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The Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC

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10 hours ago, guiltyboxswapper said:

Have any Tambaqui or Makua DAC owners tried HQPlayer with this DAC?  Given the design does it reap much benefits?

 

Based on their documentation it converts DSD to PCM first before converting it again to 1-bit stream. So it doesn't play DSD natively. You likely get better results by sending highest supported rate PCM from HQPlayer instead. Of course that way, all the various upsampling filter options, convolution engine for digital room correction, etc of HQPlayer is still available and fully usable.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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On 4/30/2019 at 5:40 PM, guiltyboxswapper said:

Have any Tambaqui or Makua DAC owners tried HQPlayer with this DAC?  Given the design does it reap much benefits?

I experimented with HQPlayer and Roon on a MacBook Pro connected by USB to a PS Audio Directstream DAC, which upsamples internally to 20X DSD.  I had fun playing wit HQPlayer but after trying countless combinations I concluded the Directstream DAC sounded best without any processing by either HQPlayer or Roon.  

Here’s a link that discusses the issues with pre processing before inputting to a DAC.

 https://www.psaudio.com/article/this-is-the-article-title-here/

 

In the Tambaqui  “...all incoming digital audio is upsampled to 3.125MHz/32 bits and converted  to noise shaped PWM”  Given this internal processing, which seems unique and to my ears makes the Tambaqui sound very special, I doubt that pre processing the digital signal with add anything, and more likely will subtract from the end result.  

But if you try HQP let us know what you hear, one never knows unless you try it for yourself.

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20 minutes ago, Davidny said:

I experimented with HQPlayer and Roon on a MacBook Pro connected by USB to a PS Audio Directstream DAC, which upsamples internally to 20X DSD.  I had fun playing wit HQPlayer but after trying countless combinations I concluded the Directstream DAC sounded best without any processing by either HQPlayer or Roon.  

Here’s a link that discusses the issues with pre processing before inputting to a DAC.

 https://www.psaudio.com/article/this-is-the-article-title-here/

 

In the Tambaqui  “...all incoming digital audio is upsampled to 3.125MHz/32 bits and converted  to noise shaped PWM”  Given this internal processing, which seems unique and to my ears makes the Tambaqui sound very special, I doubt that pre processing the digital signal with add anything, and more likely will subtract from the end result.  

But if you try HQP let us know what you hear, one never knows unless you try it for yourself.

 

I agree with your comment - its likely the best of HQPlayer cannot be achieved with this DAC.  Which leaves me at an odd cross-road - can a good direct (no decimation, tampering of DSD) 1-bit convertor with a streamer endpoint good enough to keep up, match the Tambaqui? 

 

Unfortunately for me the UK dealer isn't offering even a half decent trade-in deal so I guess I won't be finding out anytime soon... nevermind.

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4 hours ago, Davidny said:

Given this internal processing, which seems unique and to my ears makes the Tambaqui sound very special, I doubt that pre processing the digital signal with add anything, and more likely will subtract from the end result.  

But if you try HQP let us know what you hear, one never knows unless you try it for yourself.

While you are certainly entitled to having an opinion, your conclusion that the Tambaqui's oversampling is responsible for its "special" sound quality is just mere speculation on your part.  I would suggest that it is even more likely that the Tambaqui's conversion stage, and analog output stage is responsible for its "special" sound quality, as that portion of the design is particularly unique, running a discrete converter at 100 MHz and 1 bit (and any analog stage which allows the noise spec of the Tambaqui is special).

 


ROON: DSD 256-Signature Rendu optical--Buffalo PRO or DSC-2--Ncore 400 Stereo-Focus Audio FS888-JL E-112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, Cardas Clear AC, Iconoclast XLR, Nordost Frey speaker, cables, Synergistic Blue & Hi Fi Tuning Supreme Cu Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.    Design/Build Consultant with Sonore

 

                                                                                                  SONORE computer audio

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lemmee see now.... analog output stages are important in pre-amps and amplifiers, so ....


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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5 hours ago, Davidny said:

In the Tambaqui  “...all incoming digital audio is upsampled to 3.125MHz/32 bits and converted  to noise shaped PWM”  Given this internal processing, which seems unique and to my ears makes the Tambaqui sound very special, I doubt that pre processing the digital signal with add anything, and more likely will subtract from the end result.  

But if you try HQP let us know what you hear, one never knows unless you try it for yourself.

 

Generally, the first rate conversion step up from RedBook is the most critical, then the following things are less, until you hit the modulator. Modulator is something you cannot replace or change in the Mola-Mola, you always get one fixed choice and that's it.

 

4 hours ago, guiltyboxswapper said:

I agree with your comment - its likely the best of HQPlayer cannot be achieved with this DAC.  Which leaves me at an odd cross-road - can a good direct (no decimation, tampering of DSD) 1-bit convertor with a streamer endpoint good enough to keep up, match the Tambaqui?

 

You could compare it to the T+A SDV3100 HV running at DSD1024. Would be interesting to hear how people think the two compare. Unfortunately I have neither one, so I don't know...

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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On 1/2/2019 at 2:26 AM, firedog said:

I'm not the biggest fan of that site, but I think testing various units (not just DACs) in terms of their actual output is a useful service - if the measurements are done correctly. 

Archimago sometimes does the same type of thing at his site.
 

It doesn't mean all units sound the same, or that expensive DACs are for idiots, but I think it is useful data to see that sometimes more modestly priced components measure as well or better than more expensive ones, and that some of the tweaks that audiophiles think are so important actually don't seem to make a difference at all at the output.

Its funny how many people still believe we can measure everything we hear...😆 and vice versa..

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On 5/5/2019 at 3:24 PM, Ralf11 said:

lemmee see now.... analog output stages are important in pre-amps and amplifiers, so ....

In any DAC, the analog circuitry is an order of magnitude less accurate than the digital circuitry (OK, with the exception of some very old DAC tech), so the sound quality of any DAC is very reliant on the implementation of the analog circuitry (I/V stage and/or output buffer circuitry).


ROON: DSD 256-Signature Rendu optical--Buffalo PRO or DSC-2--Ncore 400 Stereo-Focus Audio FS888-JL E-112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, Cardas Clear AC, Iconoclast XLR, Nordost Frey speaker, cables, Synergistic Blue & Hi Fi Tuning Supreme Cu Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.    Design/Build Consultant with Sonore

 

                                                                                                  SONORE computer audio

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Yes, and often neglected...


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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15 hours ago, barrows said:

In any DAC, the analog circuitry is an order of magnitude less accurate than the digital circuitry (OK, with the exception of some very old DAC tech), so the sound quality of any DAC is very reliant on the implementation of the analog circuitry (I/V stage and/or output buffer circuitry).

And the same can be said for the ADC.

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7 minutes ago, marce said:

We can and far more than we can hear...

 

So if A "measures" the same as B, they sound the same? And what do you measure?

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Well for a start off look at the noise figures, how do you design a piece of equipment with ultra low noise etc. if you don't measure... Designing both recording and playback audio equipment requires measurements (as well as listening), its engineering.

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Of course if they measure the same you could always conduct a DBT to see if there is any discernible difference.

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So can someone tell us how the "lossless volume control"  on the Tambaqui works and how it differs from the Makua/DAC?  Other than switching functions, why would one choose the Makua over the Tambaqui if one's system is dedicated to a single digital source?

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On 5/10/2019 at 12:44 PM, thyname said:

So if A "measures" the same as B, they sound the same? And what do you measure?

If 'A' sounds different than 'B' then a skilled person with the correct test equipment can measure that difference.

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The basic measurements would be:

a] Frequency response

b] Distortion (but not just THD)

c] Signal to noise

d] Out of band problems and interference

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On 5/10/2019 at 4:24 PM, musicfirst said:

So can someone tell us how the "lossless volume control"  on the Tambaqui works and how it differs from the Makua/DAC?  Other than switching functions, why would one choose the Makua over the Tambaqui if one's system is dedicated to a single digital source?

The Tambaqui uses a digital volume control, exactly how it works is only known to the engineers who developed it, and the Makua preamp uses an adjustable gain stage to control the volume (which is an analog volume control, as would-be required for its analog inputs).

IMO, if one does not need analog inputs, it would make no sense at all to choose the Makua over the Tambaqui. 


ROON: DSD 256-Signature Rendu optical--Buffalo PRO or DSC-2--Ncore 400 Stereo-Focus Audio FS888-JL E-112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, Cardas Clear AC, Iconoclast XLR, Nordost Frey speaker, cables, Synergistic Blue & Hi Fi Tuning Supreme Cu Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.    Design/Build Consultant with Sonore

 

                                                                                                  SONORE computer audio

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On 5/10/2019 at 9:49 AM, marce said:

Well for a start off look at the noise figures.

From Mola Mola website:  Signal to Noise Ratio: 140 dB (Tambaqui), 130dB (preamp option board).  

 

THD, IMD: not measurable (estimated -150 dB).

 

 


Roon / Mola Mola Tambaqui / Kubala-Sosna XLR / Mola Mola Kaluga / KS biwire / B&W 803 D3

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If you have a Tambaqui and are using the ethernet input, you may want to check out the UpTone EtherREGEN (30-day, money-back guarantee), which ideally would be the last device connected to the Tambaqui.  If interested, my comments are here:  

 

 

 


Roon / Mola Mola Tambaqui / Kubala-Sosna XLR / Mola Mola Kaluga / KS biwire / B&W 803 D3

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