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T+A new flagship streaming dsd1024 dac


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4 minutes ago, OE333 said:

 

No, with upgrade I mean an upgrade of existing MP3000HV to bring most of the features of the successor model MP3100HV to the older models. This upgrade will mean a complete exchange of the digital processing board and the streaming module.

 

Details about the MP3000HV upgrade program will be announced in the near future by T+A.

 

 

Wow, very refreshing to hear.  Pricing etc will be made available in announcement?

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  • 9 months later...
3 hours ago, barrows said:

oh man, you take the words right out of my mouth.

 

I really think there would be a market for a really good, discrete, DSD only DAC, with just a single USB input and an (by passable) analog volume control, optimized for DSD 256 (but compatible with higher rates).  Keep it simple, but pay attention to the details for the best possible sound quality.  High End is already niche!  Considering that there is now a fair amount of software (not just tweaky HQPlayer) which does a good job at oversampling to DSD, maybe this would not be too niche...

 

I am tired of Swiss Army Knife style DACs with a million features, not to mention that if you make a DAC which has multiple inputs and is compatible with all kinds of sample rates and DSD and PCM, you inevitably have to make compromises.

 

As an analogy, a Formula car does not have a DVD player for the back seat passengers (oh yeah, only one seat)...

Agreed.  It's literally changing one setting in Roon and you've got up to DSD512 that works every time without fail, robust DSP, and a choice of 4 very good sounding filters.

 

 

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15 hours ago, barrows said:

oh man, you take the words right out of my mouth.

 

I really think there would be a market for a really good, discrete, DSD only DAC, with just a single USB input and an (by passable) analog volume control, optimized for DSD 256 (but compatible with higher rates).  Keep it simple, but pay attention to the details for the best possible sound quality.  High End is already niche!  Considering that there is now a fair amount of software (not just tweaky HQPlayer) which does a good job at oversampling to DSD, maybe this would not be too niche...

I see you comment a lot over on Mike of Mivera Audio's forum, especially before when he was releasing a PureStream Mk2 standalone DAC, that was specialized for DSD256 only. 

 

I'm not sure if you ever for to listen to his Mk1, but isn't that just like what you're talking about here? Or are you meaning something better than that?

 

I would also love a DAC 8 DSD upgrade option, but the DAC 8 DSD's internals are all a single PCB, so the looks of the upgrade path to me are a full guts replacement... Which sounds pretty out there. I'd say if anything, given the situation, they'll just release a whole new DAC 8 DSD replacement, without any upgrade option, as the cost of the upgrade would be too significant. I'd be happy to get surprised, though!

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Mike's implementation is via a standard DAC chip (AKM).  I am more interested in the DSC-1 style approach of the discrete moving average FIR filter, a version of which is apparently employed by T+A.  Versions of this DSD conversion approach appear in a number of different commercial DACs now: Playback Designs, maybe Mola Mola, maybe Meitner, Star Pulse, Holo Audio, etc.

 

But most of the commercial options are "full featured" DACs, which allow for PCM input and onboard oversampling and lots of DSP operations.  I really would prefer no processing in the DAC (excepting a USB or Ethernet receiver, completely isolated for the rest of the dAC with its own power supply).  How about just a simple single bit converter with no onboard processing, designed just to accept DSD 256 (and up) input, with a really good output stage and onboard analog volume control.

ROON: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModule-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY AC, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.                                                       

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Thanks for explaining a bit more, I follow what you mean now. 

 

It sounds interesting, but I can't see anyone ever taking up a commercial offering like that, it would really cut the legs out from under the total potential client base, in an already niche market. 

 

But it might work in a First Watt style approach, as a labour of love by a skilled designer(s), schematics and part lists fully offered for DIY, and an assembled version available in standard case work at a DIFM premium. First Watt has done well off this approach and produced many unique components that might never have otherwise made it as a pure, commercial, Pass Labs product.

 

From my seat, that's an "inside man" project, and an industry insider like you might be in a good position to make it happen, or by coordinating a collaboration with other members of the trade?

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@Ben-M, Believe me, i have considered it.  Although I agree it would, be niche, there are definite advantages to leaving the processing outside the DAC.  For example, PS Audio will doing this with their new two box solution, they will be putting all the processing in the first box, then isolating it from the second by optical connection, where the second box has only the discrete converter stage and output stage.  But of course that results in a very expensive DAC.

 

The more affordable solution is to just build the single bit DAC and sell it, and require DSD 256 (and up) input.  While it is a little tweaky, one need not get involved with things like HQPlayer to take advantage of this approach anymore: ROON does fine oversampling to DSD 256, for example, and it is simple, and well accepted by many audiophiles.  This approach is much more affordable, and has the potential to offer improved performance over "full featured" DACs.

 

Let's face it, DACs such as the ones this thread is about are not mass market products anyway, the only folks even considering buying something like this are folks deeply invested in their systems: I do not think it is that much to ask for these types of audiophiles to open the DSP engine of ROON, click on couple of settings, and output DSD 256 to a DAC...

ROON: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModule-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY AC, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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5 minutes ago, barrows said:

Heck, look at the current state of the mainstream audio reviewers out there, even those so called "professionals" are pretty far behind the curve when it comes to these kinds of approaches, and when they test DACs like Holo Audio or T+A they do not even bother to test with oversampling in software!

 

Certainly, although many demos at shows, I think Stereo was maybe the first one to feature such in their print review of the T+A flagship.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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I’ve considered this approach, and agree. 

1 hour ago, barrows said:

The more affordable solution is to just build the single bit DAC and sell it, and require DSD 256 (and up) input.  While it is a little tweaky, one need not get involved with things like HQPlayer to take advantage of this approach anymore: ROON does fine oversampling to DSD 256, for example, and it is simple, and well accepted by many audiophiles.  This approach is much more affordable, and has the potential to offer improved performance over "full featured" DACs.


Well if we are doing this let’s use DSD512 ;)  I guess you could do it in kit form? Aren’t there DSC-1 kits of some type? Are they popular?

 

No I expect this approach would need to be more “high end” and a good workstation is needed for upsampling. So you are already bumping up against the Holo Spring/May and T&A 8...

 

Now if you want to use an Ethernet input, there’s the cost of that interface and support.... Considering the opticalRendu is ?$1200 or so, what would the price of a DAC be?

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1.  A lot of my experience is suggesting that DSD 512 has no additional performance over 256, and comes with a few issues: it is harder for the average audiophile to reliably deliver 512 than 256.  In most cases 512 requires a higher speed clock, which means more jitter, as for any given clock quality, jitter goes up as speed increases.  But these are things which would be worked through during the development phase.  Jussi has shown that Holo Audio DSD DACs tend to perform better at 256 than at 512.  Additionally, it is currently impossible to run HQP4 and the EC modulators at anything higher than 256.  Bigger numbers are not always better.  Kits are a bad idea in my estimation, they offer no guarantee that the builder will do it right, so no guarantee of final outcome, and are a support nightmare.

 

2.  DIY DSC type DACs are available, but there are plenty of customers who do not have time, the inclination, or the ability to DIY.  There is no competition for commercial products from the DIY scene, despite some companies concerns!  Also, DIY of a DSC style DAC basically requires assembling different modules together, kind of a Lego approach, which is not the way to build the best possible performing component.  A purpose designed complete component has many advantages.

 

3.  As far as manufacturing goes, anything I would want would be made in the US.  And doing it right would be the goal, not doing it cheaply.  So the end product would not be a bargain basement made in China style DAC.  The input receiver has to be a bit modular anyway, so one could offer the customer a choice of either USB or optical Ethernet interfaces.  I am not in favor of 5 figure DACs, so i would hope to be able to do it for ~$8K or so retail.  Much less than that is probably not possible without making a lot of compromises in sound quality.  This is a very popular price point for high performance DACs, and should be marketable at that price.

ROON: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModule-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY AC, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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13 minutes ago, Miska said:

 

At least the T+A flagship has DSD1024 NAA capable ethernet interface. But I'm especially curious about the new HA 200 headphone amp version that is not nearly as expensive.

 

I’m assuming that your P&F will accept Ethernet +|- Wi-Fi in and audio out, so a “power DAC” (with a radar jamming function built in 😂)

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1 hour ago, barrows said:

Jussi has shown that Holo Audio DSD DACs tend to perform better at 256 than at 512.


Hmmm ... the May? Maybe not so, really?

 

The May has DSD1024 in and they say probably DSD2048, so I expect it would perform optimally at DSD512 but if there are measurements which suggest otherwise then I’d love to see. 

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1 hour ago, barrows said:

In most cases 512 requires a higher speed clock, which means more jitter, as for any given clock quality, jitter goes up as speed increases.


Side note: I worked out the math, and posted here over a year ago that as DSD rates increase, the increased clock jitter is less of an issue (the samples average out and are further away from the audio frequency so the clock is filtered even more effectively away)

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20 minutes ago, jabbr said:


Hmmm ... the May? Maybe not so, really?

 

The May has DSD1024 in and they say probably DSD2048, so I expect it would perform optimally at DSD512 but if there are measurements which suggest otherwise then I’d love to see. 

no tests of this exist to my knowledge, Jussi has found this to be the case with the Holo DACs which he has tested as I recall.  He can certainly clear this up if I am mistaken in my memory!

ROON: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModule-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY AC, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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1 hour ago, Miska said:

But I'm especially curious about the new HA 200 headphone amp version that is not nearly as expensive.

 

£6600, €6600, $8900

 

If it is the best solution for HQP with headphones (with measurements at least matching any separate DAC and amp combo) I'm interested too.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, asdf1000 said:

£6600, €6600, $8900

 

If it is the best solution for HQP with headphones (with measurements at least matching any separate DAC and amp combo) I'm interested too.

 

If you compare to something like Spring2 + HPA4 or May + HPA4, things are looking interesting.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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6 hours ago, barrows said:

Hi Jussi!  Indeed, i agree with you.  But, in order for such a product to be viable from a sales/marketing standpoint, it needs to be as easy to use as possible for the customer.  I think it is fair to say that ROON has achieved a level of market acceptance well beyond that of HQPlayer, such that I used it as an example for the potential viability of making such a DAC as a commercial product.

Of course the good news for Signalyist would be that said manufacturer could then promote the use of HQPlayer as the absolute best option for sound quality.  So for the customer, perhaps ROON oversampling to DSD is their entry point (being that many folks are comfortable with ROON), and then once they get comfortable with the idea of oversampling everything to DSD 256 in ROON with said DAC, they then get the upgrade itch, and add in HQP.

 

I think most of us in the industry get that customers need some hand holding and coddling, and are often slow to accept new ways of doing things...  Heck, look at the current state of the mainstream audio reviewers out there, even those so called "professionals" are pretty far behind the curve when it comes to these kinds of approaches, and when they test DACs like Holo Audio or T+A they do not even bother to test with oversampling in software!

When I get my new W10 comp, I certainly won't be using Roon, as it lacks even the basics of accessibility.  I'm going to try switching to HQ, and see if it'll work with screen-readers.  It seems the more one has to pay for audio software, the less likely it will be blind-usable.

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5 hours ago, Miska said:

 

If you compare to something like Spring2 + HPA4 or May + HPA4, things are looking interesting.

 

 

Exactly - if performance compares well to those, it’s definitely  interesting.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone tested (or owned) the T+A SD-3100HV or SDV-3100HV by any chance? Earlier in this thread, there were some questions around Ethernet connection and the ability to play DSD files over ethernet and which Dacs were capable of doing this.

 

The last time I emailed T+A directly (approx 6 months ago), they clearly stated that DSD was only supported via USB and not via ethernet. Some of the posts in this thread seem to indicate the opposite, unless I am misreading...

 

 

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2 hours ago, pvanosta said:

Has anyone tested (or owned) the T+A SD-3100HV or SDV-3100HV by any chance? Earlier in this thread, there were some questions around Ethernet connection and the ability to play DSD files over ethernet and which Dacs were capable of doing this.

 

The last time I emailed T+A directly (approx 6 months ago), they clearly stated that DSD was only supported via USB and not via ethernet. Some of the posts in this thread seem to indicate the opposite, unless I am misreading...

 

AFAIK, up to DSD1024 over HQPlayer NAA to it should work. This is how it was demoed at Munich 2019 and discussed on the Stereo magazine. I just don't have such unit myself to test with - quite a bit outside of my budget!

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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On 3/3/2020 at 1:49 PM, pvanosta said:

Has anyone tested (or owned) the T+A SD-3100HV or SDV-3100HV by any chance? Earlier in this thread, there were some questions around Ethernet connection and the ability to play DSD files over ethernet and which Dacs were capable of doing this.

 

The last time I emailed T+A directly (approx 6 months ago), they clearly stated that DSD was only supported via USB and not via ethernet. Some of the posts in this thread seem to indicate the opposite, unless I am misreading...

 

 

 

DSD1024 over ethernet works with SD3100HV and SDV3100HV.

You only need to have HQ player installed on your computer, then you can select the SD(V)3100HV as a NAA endpoint.

 

DSD1024 via the USB input also works if you want to connect your computer directly.

 

T+A developer

(*) My postings represent my private and personal opinion and hopefully are helpful to the members of this forum

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