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Danny Kaey

Article: LessLoss Echo’s End Reference DAC Full Review

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1 hour ago, JoeWhip said:

Can’t say I am a big fan of where the replies to this review have gone so I will try to steer it back to the sound of the DAC as described by Danny. I am more concerned by the description that the DAC has a sonic signature. I guess that all DACs do to some extent but when I see this type of language used I think that it means that it makes different recordings sound similar in tone. I have heard some DACs do this. You listen to wildly divergent recordings and hear a similar sound with each that shouldn’t be there. It is usually a softness to the top end. I won’t mention any names though so don’t ask. I hope this is not the case with this DAC, especially at this price point. 

 

Not sure what else you want me to say Joe -

 

 That organic, natural and neutral sonic signature of Echo’s End plays fantastically well with this type of a recording. Where the Playback Design’s MPS-8 is far closer to that presentation, AURALiC’s Vega G2 moves the curve the other way, highlighting the leading transients and giving the entire image a more edgy feel...

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7 hours ago, PeterSt said:

 

Alex, thank you for pointing this out. I seemed recognize the board but couldn't place it.

And without beating around the bush, I think your implied merit has, well, merit. And @Danny Kaey, I am sorry, but the review already was too strange to really be one (I read it ahead of responses). 

 

 

 

My review is already too strange to really be one.

 

🙄

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6 hours ago, mansr said:

What is that supposed to mean?

I mean that ADCs typically aren't used to convert at 384 kHz. 96, yes, this is ubiquitous, 48 kHz, too, but in recording scenarios it is not a professional standard to record at 384 and therefore anything you see on the music market which claims to be a 384 kHz sampling rate recording is likely a mathematically contrived version of the originally recorded material.  This is a heated discussion in the audio recording arena.

 

There might be some scientific applications for recording at 384 like recording bats, but in order for this to be justified, all the gear in the chain needs to have extremely low noise even at ultrasound frequencies in order for the intermodulation effects not to add even more noise to the audible spectrum that we humans can indeed hear. Maybe some rare labs have this capability but for the world of audio this type of extension of sampling rates simply does not add value and can even be (due to interpolation distortions) detrimental to the result. 

 

If you ever compare a high jitter recording at high sampling rate vs. a low jitter recording at a low sampling rate, you will always prefer the low jitter recording. In terms of hierarchy of importance with direct relation to sonic quality, low jitter is much, much more important than the difference between, say, 48 kHz and 96 kHz. Today there are even ADCs (AK5397 for example) which can do 786 kHz but it remains disputed as to its usefulness in real-world (human ear) audio applications. 

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5 minutes ago, Louis Motek - LessLoss said:

I mean that ADCs typically aren't used to convert at 384 kHz. 96, yes, this is ubiquitous, 48 kHz, too, but in recording scenarios it is not a professional standard to record at 384 and therefore anything you see on the music market which claims to be a 384 kHz sampling rate recording is likely a mathematically contrived version of the originally recorded material.  This is a heated discussion in the audio recording arena.

 

There might be some scientific applications for recording at 384 like recording bats, but in order for this to be justified, all the gear in the chain needs to have extremely low noise even at ultrasound frequencies in order for the intermodulation effects not to add even more noise to the audible spectrum that we humans can indeed hear. Maybe some rare labs have this capability but for the world of audio this type of extension of sampling rates simply does not add value and can even be (due to interpolation distortions) detrimental to the result. 

 

If you ever compare a high jitter recording at high sampling rate vs. a low jitter recording at a low sampling rate, you will always prefer the low jitter recording. In terms of hierarchy of importance with direct relation to sonic quality, low jitter is much, much more important than the difference between, say, 48 kHz and 96 kHz. Today there are even ADCs (AK5397 for example) which can do 786 kHz but it remains disputed as to its usefulness in real-world (human ear) audio applications. 

Sure, recording music at such rates is of dubious benefit. Nevertheless, such recordings are not hard to find. For the purpose of this discussion, I'm regarding 352.8 kHz and 384 kHz as equivalent, the former for some reason being far more common.

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23 minutes ago, mansr said:

Sure, recording music at such rates is of dubious benefit. Nevertheless, such recordings are not hard to find. For the purpose of this discussion, I'm regarding 352.8 kHz and 384 kHz as equivalent, the former for some reason being far more common.

 

most definitely not the music I listen to.

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15 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

comparison test with a $10k DAC or a $5k DAC is what's needed

 

Or maybe with RBCD vs an EC designs MOS16.  Also a “R2R” DAC (using  ECD’s own board) , also AFAIK handmade in Europe (Netherlands), but in this case for €363. Useless as a piece of furniture though.

 

 

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So the enclosure is acting as a dielectric and not a shield.  It won't reflect/absorb RF energy, but dissipate/slow it down.  

 

I prefer to keep cotton away from wires in my builds.  Cotton absorbs airborne moisture, adding to the possibility of corroding of conductors.  Unless either the case or cable assembly is hermetically sealed.  Also it gets compressed during the harness assembly, thereby losing all of it's real benefit as a mostly air dielectric.

 

Interesting design, good luck with it.

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12 hours ago, Axial said:

 

The DAC reviewed here is made in Europe. 

 

but maybe made in Romania or Bulgaria, no matter where the designer lives...


"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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Louis - thanks for responding in this thread.  Ultimately, I'd like to see a DAC-off listening test -- you can take on Peter... or one of the others mentioned above.

 

I am also curious if you tried using Lignostone?


"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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you don't seem to understand my post - I listed 2 very low cost labor countries in Europe


"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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Riiight!


"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, Louis Motek - LessLoss said:

Meanwhile, we and like-minded audiophiles are still discovering deeper and deeper depths in good 'ol 44.1. The whole question of sonic discovery in digital always was and always will remain the further and further reduction of jitter. It is just that simple.

 

 

Yes. Except, I don't like the word "jitter", because it parcels up all the degrading influences into one convenient grab-all - turn the anomalies or noise interference into 'jitter equivalents' if you like, but it may distract one from addressing "non-jitter" areas.

 

It was very obvious, to me, 35 years ago, that CD was indeed "perfect" - but playback chains were, and still to a large degree are, weak as sh!t, and only highly focused efforts could, can overcome the numerous flaws in the path; sloppiness and lack of attention to detail will undermine precisely what one is trying to achieve.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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Archimago brought an essential point; in any subjective audio review of an audio product, particularly when for the majority of us it takes few years of savings, any sensitive audiophile would love to see measurement graphs in real life's performance...on the test bench in addition to a set of ears. It is the least we can ask for as well aware audiophiles. 

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3 minutes ago, Axial said:

Archimago brought an essential point; in any subjective audio review of an audio product, particularly when for the majority of us it takes few years of savings, any sensitive audiophile would love to see measurement graphs in real life's performance...on the test bench in addition to a set of ears. It is the least we can ask for as well aware audiophiles. 

 

Certainly something you can ask for; that said, I’m not an audiophile and I’m certainly not an aware audiophile. The last few feet of HiFi (from the cone of your speaker to your ears) is all subjective anyway so even if a set of measurements where provided, who’s to say that you or I won’t hear otherwise. Psychologically speaking, the power of suggestion is immensely powerful a force. 

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9 minutes ago, Axial said:

Archimago brought an essential point; in any subjective audio review of an audio product, particularly when for the majority of us it takes few years of savings, any sensitive audiophile would love to see measurement graphs in real life's performance...on the test bench in addition to a set of ears. It is the least we can ask for as well aware audiophiles. 

 

Right. When I bought my first mechanical watch that I saved up for, I asked the salesman for a 24h +/- second measurement cycle. Ummmmm. No, I didn’t. 

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2 hours ago, Archimago said:

Fascinating discussion boys...

 

Just wanted to say that TWENTY THOUSAND AMERICAN DOLLARS after income tax, before sales tax, before shipping costs is still a big number for a DAC. Even to the "liquid" multi-millionaires I know. It does look nice though.

 

Man, where have you been bro? 20k is chump change in high-end land these days. I’m not even joking. 

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6 hours ago, Danny Kaey said:

 

most definitely not the music I listen to.

 

Just as an aside, there are some wonderful pieces available.  For example, this album, available in DSD64 and DSD128 (the resolution I have it in) features one of the most beautiful versions of Beethoven's Heiliger Dankgesang I've heard: https://crierrecords.nativedsd.com/albums/dreams-and-prayers

 

(Yes I do realize much of the editing is done in "DXD," 352.8kHz resolution.)


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, A+ -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> Ghent JSSG360 USB cable -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC ->

Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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1 minute ago, Jud said:

 

Just as an aside, there are some wonderful pieces available.  For example, this album, available in DSD64 and DSD128 (the resolution I have it in) features one of the most beautiful versions of Beethoven's Heiliger Dankgesang I've heard: https://crierrecords.nativedsd.com/albums/dreams-and-prayers

 

(Yes I do realize much of the editing is done in "DXD," 352.8kHz resolution.)

 

I do love classical music, which is likely a candidate for such resolution. That said, I could care less of the kilohertz and megahertz wars. To me, this is the equivalent of arguing over megapixels on a camera sensor. There are so many more relevant factors impacting music reproduction that this is generally speaking utterly meaningless noise. 

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