OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2

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audioengr

OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« on: 30 Nov 2012, 09:39 pm »
I finally got a customers W4S DAC2 in my system.  Turned out his I2S cable was bad.

Anyway, I got the chance to hear both S/PDIF and I2S driving the W4S DAC2.  Both outputs were upgraded with Hynes reg and I tried both Short-Block and Monolith.

The difference between Short-Block and Short-block with Monolith was small, but noticable.  Better HF detail.

The biggest difference here is between S/PDIF and I2S.  Huge.  I used the 1.5m PSAudio HDMI-12 silver cable, which is incidently on sale 20% off to customers that purchased Turboclock and one or more Hynes regs in their OR5.

S/PDIF from the OR5 to W4S is like decent stereo, but the magic is missing.  The top-end is detailed, but I got bored immediately.

With I2S, this is like real music.  The bass is not quite as well-defined and the slam not quite as good as the Overdrive SE, but the liquid liveness is definitely there.   The bass is all there, but maybe not quite as focused.   I could listen to this all day long. :thumb:

Steve N.

drmike

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Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #1 on: 1 Dec 2012, 03:50 pm »
hey steve,
did you modify the or5 or the dac2 with the hynes regs?
thanks,
drmike

audioengr

Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #2 on: 1 Dec 2012, 06:15 pm »
Here are the pieces, upgrades and pricing for the whole front-end:

Polestar USB cable - $300-$700  depending on length
Short-Block USB filter - $200
Off-Ramp 5, Turboclock, HDMI Hynes - $2249.00
PSAudio HDMI-12 1.5m cable - $560.00 on sale
Wired for Sound DAC2 (stock) - $1299.00 on sale
Power cable for DAC - Tekline silver - $600.00

total outlay = $5208.00

Not on sale it would be = $5748.00

This reinforces what I have discovered after doing lots of these systems.  That it is difficult to achieve the top of the performance knee without spending around $5K, whether its one expensive DAC or an inexpensive DAC, an expensive converter, and good cables.

Steve N.
« Last Edit: 2 Dec 2012, 09:53 pm by audioengr »

RSB

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Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #3 on: 4 Dec 2012, 05:30 am »
Steve - Thanks for your thoughts on the sound quality of the OR5 via I2S to W4S Dac2 and how it compares to the Overdrive.

How much do you think the addition of the quality power cord and USB cable add to the mix?


Randy

audioengr

Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #4 on: 4 Dec 2012, 07:14 pm »
Steve - Thanks for your thoughts on the sound quality of the OR5 via I2S to W4S Dac2 and how it compares to the Overdrive.

How much do you think the addition of the quality power cord and USB cable add to the mix?
Randy

They both make a significant difference.  I would recommend both of them.  Maybe 20% better??

Steve N.

RSB

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Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #5 on: 28 Dec 2012, 10:40 pm »
I am the guy whose W4S Dac2 / OR5 pair was at Steve's for repairs.  Well, I have them back in my system, and am listening to them now.  I also purchase a 1.5m PS Audio Silver HDMI cable from Steve to replace the bad one.  I have not had a chance to upgrade the power cord to the dac or  the USB cable, as he recommended.  Also, I haven't had a chance to try the Shortblock.

I wanted to offer my thoughts about this combo now that I that I am again hearing them in my Den system.  As Steve said, the I2S connection between them is wonderful, and much better than the S/PDIF.  Music as opposed to HIFI.  Also, as my memory serves me, and to my surprise, the PS Audio HDMI-12 cable adds a fair amount to the SQ.  The only on hand comparison that I have is a Calyx Dac which I use in another system, and it is good, but doesn't reach the magic of the DAC2/OR5 combo via the I2S either.

I am currently in the process of trying out a few speaker cables, and interconnects in this system, which do also seem to help.  I am looking forward to next upgrading the USB and power cords, to see what difference thay make.  A work in progress.  I'll post back when I get them in.

  :D


Randy



 

   

trueaudiophile

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Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #6 on: 7 Jan 2013, 11:35 pm »
Steve -

I have to take my hat off to you and Empirical Audio for a well lets just say, "Magical Product" in the OR-5 with Turboclock and Hynes Reg upgrade via I2S driving to W4S DAC2. As I sit here listening I am simply blown away by the detail, overall resolution, and deep wide soundstage I am experiencing making this front end combo the 'Best" I have ever owned in my lifetime.  I am an average working man and do not have mega bucks to spend on this stuff..  For the investment of around 4K I am in Audiophile Wonderland!   I simply can not stop listening being drawn in by each and every track.  I highly recommend this combo to anyone who wants a GIANT improvement on a modest investment.  (Well done Steve)!    :D

Tom P.

toddc2

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Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #7 on: 21 Feb 2013, 10:15 pm »
Hi Steve, a question on your cable selection for the W4S DAC2:

1. You mention 1.25m-1.5m length for the PS Audio HDMI cable, would the 1m cable provide similar performance?

Thanks

Todd

audioengr

Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #8 on: 22 Feb 2013, 02:42 am »
Hi Steve, a question on your cable selection for the W4S DAC2:

1. You mention 1.25m-1.5m length for the PS Audio HDMI cable, would the 1m cable provide similar performance?

Thanks

Todd

1m should be good.

Steve N.

wikeeboy

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Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #9 on: 19 Mar 2013, 11:03 am »
Steve,

In light of your recent breakthrough with both the SM and OR5, would you continue to suggest running i2s from an OR5 to DAC2 now or change to the coax instead?

Also, would the choice of mod option from a SM or OR5 to a DAC2 be OTL or OT?

Thanks as always.

audioengr

Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #10 on: 19 Mar 2013, 06:31 pm »
Steve,

In light of your recent breakthrough with both the SM and OR5, would you continue to suggest running i2s from an OR5 to DAC2 now or change to the coax instead?

Also, would the choice of mod option from a SM or OR5 to a DAC2 be OTL or OT?

Thanks as always.

I still recommend using I2S/HDMI to the W4S DAC2.  The S/PDIF input is just not that great.  It think the reason is that the I2S is the only input on the DAC that does not get all of the resampling/reclocking in the Sabre chip.

Steve N.

jb26

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Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #11 on: 22 Mar 2013, 01:08 pm »
Would you recommend this multi-piece kit at $5748 (without discount) of just getting an Overdrive DAC at $5999 run straight from the computer to the amp?

audioengr

Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #12 on: 22 Mar 2013, 05:30 pm »
Would you recommend this multi-piece kit at $5748 (without discount) of just getting an Overdrive DAC at $5999 run straight from the computer to the amp?

Between the two, I prefer the Overdrive SE, and the volume control technology trumps the DAC2.

Steve N.

Eugene2

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Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #13 on: 23 Jul 2013, 03:07 pm »
I am trying to figure the best upgrade path.  My system is Odyssey Kismet hybrid integrated amp, April music dp1 Dac, Oppo 105 and Cirrus Vapor speakers.  I also use J River through MacBook Pro.  I was considering getting the Oppo modded, or using one of the Empirical devices instead for both the Mac and Oppo.  I would prefer to use the Dp1's I2S interface for the Oppo, Empirical to Dp1.  What would you recommend, between upgrade, Final Drive, Reclocker or OffRamp.  If more then one device in which pecking order of upgrade?

audioengr

Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #14 on: 23 Jul 2013, 05:23 pm »
I am trying to figure the best upgrade path.  My system is Odyssey Kismet hybrid integrated amp, April music dp1 Dac, Oppo 105 and Cirrus Vapor speakers.  I also use J River through MacBook Pro.  I was considering getting the Oppo modded, or using one of the Empirical devices instead for both the Mac and Oppo.  I would prefer to use the Dp1's I2S interface for the Oppo, Empirical to Dp1.  What would you recommend, between upgrade, Final Drive, Reclocker or OffRamp.  If more then one device in which pecking order of upgrade?

Eugene - I would recommend for the biggest improvement the Off-Ramp 5 with Turboclock and HDMI/I2S Hynes Reg.  Also you will need a really good I2S cable, the Revelation.  Particularly if you are using Amarra, this is killer good.

If you want to use S/PDIF to the DP1, then get the S/PDIF Hynes Reg and my BNC-BNC cable instead.  Just as good.

If you just want to improve the OPPO output, then the Synchro-Mesh can help, but it will not match the OR5.

Steve N.

drmike

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Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #15 on: 24 Jul 2013, 08:20 pm »
if your talking about revelation audio labs i2s cable I would stay away from brad. took me about 3 mos. to get the right cable after I paid for it. returned it because of a problem, haven't heard from him since.
check the internet, brad has a long history of not being very responsive and blowing people off. i'm out about $350.00
thanks,
drmike

audioengr

Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #16 on: 24 Jul 2013, 08:24 pm »
if your talking about revelation audio labs i2s cable I would stay away from brad. took me about 3 mos. to get the right cable after I paid for it. returned it because of a problem, haven't heard from him since.
check the internet, brad has a long history of not being very responsive and blowing people off. i'm out about $350.00
thanks,
drmike

If you purchase through me it costs the same and I get results.

Steve N.

drmike

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Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #17 on: 24 Jul 2013, 08:37 pm »
got mine from brad.
drmike

Janke

Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #18 on: 8 Oct 2014, 03:43 pm »
I got the Revelation I2S HDMI through Steve. When it finally arrived (after some fuzz and a long wait) it did not make that big difference over the PS Audio HDMI 12. I have a fully optioned OR5, a likewise W4S DAC-2 and the revealing Magico S3 speakers - including a pair of JL Audio f112 subs. After some 300 hours of burn-in on the 5V OR5, with very little progress, I put it between my 12V cable TV box and the TV for another 300h, hoping that the higher current would speed things up.
When I put back in it was clearly superior, but as I ran it continously for another 50h it transformed into the most fantastic sound I´ve had in my system; fuller, cleaner and more liquid, like floating on a cushion, but with great dynamics and an incredible slam that made the sound more like a tank floating on a cloud. Not to mention the soundstage, which became a lot deeper and wider, defining every instrument, voice and sound effect with the outmost precision and clarity, engulfing me in the music, including giving me the first ever illusion of a sound coming from behind the listening position (on a song I knew very well from before).
To put it mildly: Highly recommended companion for the OR5 feeding the W4S DAC-2SE with femto clock!

RSB

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Re: OR5 driving I2S to W4S DAC2
« Reply #19 on: 12 Oct 2014, 06:13 am »
Janke -  Thanks for the review of the Revelation HDMI. I have the OR5 / W4S DAC2 fully optioned/ upgraded,  just like yours.  I have been on the fence about  ordering the Revelation HDMI.    Tonight I was Googling to find reviews/more info about it and ran across your review.  You have pushed me off the fence.  I think I'm going to get mine from Steve...   300 + hours run in,  eh!  Wow!

FYI, I just received a TotalDac USB which is connecting  the Shortblock to my CAPS-3 Carbon.  My system is the best it has ever sounded, however, I really can't tell the various contributions, as I have three new cables here, and I just stuck them all in to cook.  I will probably try to tease it out later.

Thanks again! 

Randy