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About all300b

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  1. | The D-90 does not appear to have any isolation of its USB input from the rest of the DAC. Uh oh... Maybe need to look into USB cleaners again. Am currently going straight USB from my MacBook Pro with Roon. As you say PCM-DSD256 in Roon sounds fantastic on this DAC - I told a friend of mine that listening to REM Life's Rich Pageant this way reminded me for of hearing this LP this first time in his dorm room. To me, the 2X max upsampling does not sound as good, but I have seen others post a preference for it. | Of course if one uses it with a good preamp, perhaps the lower output current will be a non-issue. I get a strong "audiophile intuition" that a good preamp is needed for this one. Maybe it's the diminutive size. Glad to be plugging it in into a hefty integrated amp.
  2. Nice write-up. I had to re-read your set up several times over to fully realize that you are going DAC direct into high sensitivity speakers using just the preamp in the DAC and no amp? That's certainly interesting - though quite unusual.
  3. Am confused - thought ASMedia 3142 USB controller was a somewhat older part (and one with some compatibility issues). The new USB 3.2 standard is 20gb/s. Maybe there is something the designer likes about this specific part?
  4. $24,000 Euros for the base unit and they still upcharge an extra $220 for 4 TB storage. Does anyone know what this means: "All data and software storage is non SSD, and utilizes non SATA, non volatile solid state storage modules."
  5. Nice review. I'm curious as to what the clock in the sending device - in this case the Phoenix - is actually doing. In your setup, the clock in the Chord Scaler should be acting in asynchronous mode to control the data stream. Does this clock interact with the one in the sending device?
  6. Thanks for that description. I agree completely - upsampling everything to DSD 256 just sounds great on this DAC. It is less "meaty" than my previous DAC, but am preferring the more spacious, detailed sound going into a tubed integrated amp. Also think it sounds a tad rounder and less "excited" after plugging it into a power conditioner (my amp disagrees and stays plugged directly into the wall). This is all using DSD 256 upsampling in Roon. Do I even want to know what it sounds like using HQ player and those special filters?
  7. I think Barrows has posted here about the specifics of what is being bypassed when sending DSD to the D90. The question IS about potentially paying for what you won't use. For the ladder DACs example - if you end up preferring PCM through those costly resistor networks then money well spent, but if instead you prefer "high end software" DSD upsampling then those $$$ networks lay dormant. The same could be true for more expensive DACs in which part of the selling point and expense is the complex resampling algorithms and chips on the DAC side - one may decide they like software resampling better. Point is just that the software side adds an interaction to choosing a DAC.
  8. I purchased a Topping D90 to compare with my now aged Eximus DP-1. Had to use the discrete attenuator on the Eximus to level match between the two - I tried to obtain identical SPLs at the listening chair with white noise. Not sure if this is a scientifically correct approach, but the Eximus output is 3V single ended and the Topping 2V. A small surprise was that I liked the Topping better than my previously 5X more expensive DAC - it's easier to hear small details, high frequencies are more present, and the presentation has a greater sense of spaciousness. This is going into a tubed integrated amp. But a bigger surprise was how nice upsampling to DSD in Roon could be for many, though not all, PCM recordings. As I understand it, DSD bypasses much of the new AKM chip in the Topping, which is a key selling point of this DAC. This throws a wrench into a search for next DAC upgrades. For example, highly regarded DACs such as Holo and Denafrips look awesome, but if DSD software upsampling ends up the winner- and I have not even TRIED HQ player yet - then would be wasting money on a beautiful set of discrete resistor networks that would never be used. Any thoughts on this? Thanks! Bryan
  9. Hello all, Looking for opinions about a new computer audio setup. Currently using a MacBook Pro laptop with Roon. The USB output goes to the DAC in my main system. Roon also "serves" up the music library over wifi to the basement for playing drums and to the kitchen for washing the dishes. I don't mind less than perfect sound quality for drumming and sing alongs, but do want the best possible sound in the main system. Am considering building a new computer for music and in the process trying to understand the general need for a wired music server. For the above needs, would the best approach be to build something that maximizes the USB output - i.e. PC with a good USB card and clean power, and just use built in wifi as the server? Or better follow some of the more complex paths promoted here involving a separate computer - wired ethernet - additional endpoint - DAC. Am trying to wrap my head around the purpose of adding wired ethernet fo this setup. Thanks very much, Bryan
  10. The famous Robert E. Greene of Absolute Sound stated that the entirety of digital audio was solved with the Benchmark DAC1 USB.
  11. Wow - such a great idea to focus on perfecting the 6.5" woofer. The two-way rises again. Any thoughts on: - What about trying a sealed box configuration? - Could this go with a first order crossover to something a little softer - say like an Esotar? The freq response curve for the pure-fi looks remarkably free of of ringing - it might not squeal when asked to play some higher notes. Bryan
  12. Incredible - can you write one of these pieces for every classic rock album? This article is almost a manifesto for a good turntable setup. Digital makes it all too easy for every engineer to just throw more spices into the soup. Who knows - that 02 master may have sounded fantastic until someone thought that dialing up the compression would be a good idea... Analog (for recordings that were recorded in analog) seems like a great strategy for keeping people with bad taste away from good recordings.
  13. From a non-engineering standpoint, there just has to be something different about sound that is born from mechanical vibration (analog) versus sound that is born from electricity (digital)- with "born" meaning how it starts in your living room. Yes, the turntable is powered- but only to spin the record. Somehow, translating vibration into electricity via a magnet just sounds different- and often better- than recreating an electrical waveform from a digital signal. I (remember) hearing a more realistic increase in loudness and image size when I had vinyl- does that reflect the way a magnet responds to larger vibrations? Have always hoped someone would delve more into these questions than samples rates and bits.
  14. Happy Audirvana user here- thanks for great program. This may have been asked already. Would love a way to more quickly change DACs - rather than preferences/audio system/... Maybe have a DAC icon on the top right of the main screen. Would also be great for a couple of other commonly used settings that are toggled - EQ and up sampling. Thanks,
  15. There is a misconception that comparisons mean reporting on which product sounds "better." However, the truth lies much closer to different high quality audio products having different "takes" on the recording. No DAC can perfectly recreate the analog event in time, no amp can boost the signal without altering it to some extent, and no speaker can exactly produce the sound pressure levels of an actual performance. At some point we settle on which approach we like best over the widest range of our preference of recordings (and then obsess over what the full DCS stack or Walker turntable sound like). In this regard, I find qualitative comparisons with detailed descriptions of the qualitative differences the most important when reading reviews and ultimately narrowing down components to try out. My two cents Nice review - Audio Alchemy was a legendary preamp back in the day- seemed to always be dueling it out with the equally legendary CAT preamp but for a fraction of the price. Comforting to know that a DAC designer has serious chops in analog for that key part of the design.
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