Overdrive DAC outperforms Vinyl - Demo Avail.

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audioengr

Overdrive DAC outperforms Vinyl - Demo Avail.
« on: 30 Jun 2011, 05:12 pm »
The first customer has the Overdrive with the new dual Turboclock.  His Overdrive has the D/A Hynes Reg and the Turboclock, no other options.  here is his feedback:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=95464.msg960567#msg960567

I have a demo DAC available now with the same options.  It can be auditioned with a $4K refundable deposit, less shipping.  Transaction must be by PayPal in order to refund CC fees. 30 day audition.  This one has the fan, but you can order one without.  This demo must be returned.


According to the following reviews, the Overdrive DAC, even without Turboclock beats QB9, Berkeley, Wired for Sound, Tranquility, Weiss 202, PSAudio, dCS Debussey and others.

You can read more about it here:

http://www.empiricalaudio.com/products/overdrive-dac

Recent Dagogo Review (before Turboclock was available):

http://www.dagogo.com/View-Article.asp?hArticle=860

Colo Audio Society review (before Turboclock was available):

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Just-Finished-Auditioning-Steve-Nugents-New-DAC-Empirical-Audio

Golden Ear award winner and best sound of show, cost no object from TAS:

http://www.avguide.com/blog/tas-rmaf-steven-stone-digital-and-new-technologies?page=2

In previous years in order to get the best sound out of the Overdrive, it was necessary to use it in conjunction with an Off-Ramp or Pace-Car.  Not anymore.  The SQ with the internal dual Turboclock is actually better now than using an external Pace-Car or Off-Ramp.  The fan is also gone now, if you want that option.

Steve N.
« Last Edit: 5 Jul 2011, 08:01 pm by audioengr »

bhobba

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Re: Overdrive DAC outperforms Vinyl - Demo Avail.
« Reply #1 on: 17 Jul 2011, 09:00 am »
Hi Guys

I was trying to find a comparison of the Overdrive to the Tranquility and WFS but couldn't find it - anyone knows if it is about and where it is?

I own the Tranquility, Tranquility SE, and WFS DAC2.  It doesn't surprise me the Overdrive easily bests the WFS - it's a good DAC and I know of no DAC cheaper than it that it doesn't show a clean pair of heels to but dac's at its price point such as the Tranquility are better and a number of more expensive DAC's are way better.  In fact the Tranquility is rather hard to beat - especially the SE.  I have a DAC similar to Steve's Spoiler with really exotic stuff like Duelund VSF Copper capacitors and it bests it, plus another DAC I know that uses similar stuff does as well, but they are the only two I know that do.  I would really love to read a comparison of the Tranquility to the Overdrive.  Oh and it does not surprise me the other DAC's mentioned are bested by the Overdrive - I know people who have compared them to DAC's I know - and yes they were not the winners.  For example a guy I know was nearly going to buy a QB9 but heard I had a Tranquility and called into where I had it at the time - after hearing it he didn't get the Ayre.

I may sometime down the line get an Overdrive to check out but not right now - I already have a number of DAC's and want so on-sell some before getting any more.  But right now I would really like to hear from someone who has compared it to the Tranquility.

Added later - found it - found it.  Looks good, looks good.  Really looking forward to eventually getting an Overdrive to check out but unfortunately it must wait a while.  Interestingly they used the Dianna Krall Live In Paris which is one of my favorites for checking this stuff out. 

Thanks
Bill

« Last Edit: 17 Jul 2011, 11:37 am by bhobba »

firedog

Re: Overdrive DAC outperforms Vinyl - Demo Avail.
« Reply #2 on: 27 Jan 2012, 03:08 pm »
Steve-

Sonore makes a Linux  server with an I2S output, setup with the PSAudio HDMI configuration. Could the Overdrive be setup to work with this over I2S? I know it wouldn't work with USB b/c of the M2Tech technology, but I'm talking I2S.

audioengr

Re: Overdrive DAC outperforms Vinyl - Demo Avail.
« Reply #3 on: 27 Jan 2012, 07:04 pm »
Steve-

Sonore makes a Linux  server with an I2S output, setup with the PSAudio HDMI configuration. Could the Overdrive be setup to work with this over I2S? I know it wouldn't work with USB b/c of the M2Tech technology, but I'm talking I2S.

Really.  This IS interesting.  The I2S is not compatible, but with an adapter box, it could be.  I would have to design one.

Steve N.

audioengr

Re: Overdrive DAC outperforms Vinyl - Demo Avail.
« Reply #4 on: 27 Jan 2012, 09:10 pm »
Really.  This IS interesting.  The I2S is not compatible, but with an adapter box, it could be.  I would have to design one.

After giving this more thought I realized that the most important thing in digital is the master clock, and this is inside this server, not in the interface or the DAC.  To remedy the jitter from this, it probably makes sense to do a combination reclocker/HDMI converter, not just an HDMI converter.  If the clock from this is jittery, I'm not convinced that doing a product like this makes sense.  I can only 50%-fix the jitter. If the server had a word-clock input, then I could 100% fix the jitter.

Steve N.

claytontstanley

Re: Overdrive DAC outperforms Vinyl - Demo Avail.
« Reply #5 on: 29 Jan 2012, 03:43 am »
Really.  This IS interesting.  The I2S is not compatible, but with an adapter box, it could be.  I would have to design one.

Steve N.

I don't mean to reroute the thread, but the last few posts seem really interesting.

Since the Sonore servers are running an open-source OS, could this conversion not be done in software instead? Or is it the actual hardware I2S plug that's not compatible?

Edit: Doing a bit more research, I guess what I'm asking is, is it possible to add an interface/driver to VortexBox so that it delivers I2S output that's compatible with the Overdrive?

2nd Edit: After a bit more thought, I'm not sure if there would be a lot of ROI for something like this. Seems like it's writing a driver to solve the wrong problem. I've heard you mention (and completely agree with you) about having a network-based solution (give the DAC and IP address) as the way to completely remove the computer/OS/particular-media-player from the equation. It seems that if a lot of time is put in to writing a custom driver, it might as well be that one.

3rd Edit: Thinking more about the network solution, it seems that Sonos and others did the networking solution backwards. They are using a pull model, where their DAC is pulling data over the network from shared drives on other machines. It seems that it would be better to use a push model, where the audio player pushes data to the DAC over the network. This would allow players on different machines in the home to all use custom playback software, and all be able to all see and push data to the same DAC. I think this would open up other possibilities like walking into my home while listening to music on my iPhone, and then immediately start streaming that music to the DAC.
« Last Edit: 29 Jan 2012, 06:09 am by claytontstanley »

Audioexcels

Re: Overdrive DAC outperforms Vinyl - Demo Avail.
« Reply #6 on: 29 Jan 2012, 05:30 pm »
This is one incredible dac because of how the off-ramp is integrated into it.  Most converters in the DACs are not very good implementations and an OR5 will be a good choice.  But if you want to beat the OR5 and think your DAC is better than what Steve has built, be prepared for the challenge is all I can say;). 

audioengr

Re: Overdrive DAC outperforms Vinyl - Demo Avail.
« Reply #7 on: 29 Jan 2012, 06:40 pm »
I don't mean to reroute the thread, but the last few posts seem really interesting.

Since the Sonore servers are running an open-source OS, could this conversion not be done in software instead? Or is it the actual hardware I2S plug that's not compatible?

Its the electrical interface that is not compatible.

Quote
Edit: Doing a bit more research, I guess what I'm asking is, is it possible to add an interface/driver to VortexBox so that it delivers I2S output that's compatible with the Overdrive?

Possible, but not worth the effort unless it is an OEM interface and Vortex designs it in.  I would have to get a Linux driver if its Linux.

Quote
2nd Edit: After a bit more thought, I'm not sure if there would be a lot of ROI for something like this. Seems like it's writing a driver to solve the wrong problem. I've heard you mention (and completely agree with you) about having
a network-based solution (give the DAC and IP address) as the way to completely remove the computer/OS/particular-media-player from the equation. It seems that if a lot of time is put in to writing a custom driver, it might as well be that one.

The Networked solution is the ultimate solution IMO.

Quote

3rd Edit: Thinking more about the network solution, it seems that Sonos and others did the networking solution backwards. They are using a pull model, where their DAC is pulling data over the network from shared drives on other machines. It seems that it would be better to use a push model, where the
audio player pushes data to the DAC over the network. This would allow players on different machines in the home to all use custom playback software, and all be able to all see and push data to the same DAC. I think this would open up other possibilities like walking into my home while listening to music on my iPhone, and then immediately start streaming that music to the DAC.

The push model could work, but the data speeds would have to be much higher than the sample rates to avoid underruns.

Steve N.

claytontstanley

Re: Overdrive DAC outperforms Vinyl - Demo Avail.
« Reply #8 on: 29 Jan 2012, 07:18 pm »

The push model could work, but the data speeds would have to be much higher than the sample rates to avoid underruns.

Steve N.

I think Apple's AirPlay protocol is an example of a networked push model. But after reading Wikipedia about AirPlay, I think it uses the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) to transfer the network packets. If that's the case, this is the wrong choice (IMO). It should use TCP as the transfer protocol. This way bit-perfect data is guaranteed at the receiving end. This is not case for UDP.