The New DAC-9x is now shipping

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John Casler

The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« on: 15 Nov 2021, 06:55 pm »

Adalbert

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Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #1 on: 16 Nov 2021, 05:22 pm »
Does it have a similar amount of tube-like warmth as dac-9 and dac-9se?

rustydoglim

Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #2 on: 17 Nov 2021, 09:09 pm »
It is not as warmth as DAC-9 or 9SE, but overall it is better sounding.

davidk1

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Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #3 on: 1 Dec 2021, 12:31 am »
I have questions about DAC-9x.

1. Does DAC-9x support MQA over coaxial?

2. I'm using alita currently. How does DAC-9x sound compared to alita? Is it more clear, sharper side?

Relayer_CR

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Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #4 on: 24 Dec 2021, 06:13 pm »
Hi I want to make a choice between DAC-9X or Alita.  My interest is to replace an old Pre Parasound and an old DAC Cambridge Audio (851D, it was a $1500 Cambridge top of line).  I have a very good headphone amp, so this would be a secondary feature for me.

I like detailed sounds, with good definition, I like soundstage, image is important, I like not fatiguing and natural or real sound.  My music preferences are jazz (60%), progressive rock (20%) and classical music (10%).  I prefer lossless files, 16 and 24 bit.

I appreciate an advice!  Thanx!


rustydoglim

Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #5 on: 26 Dec 2021, 06:15 pm »
1. Does DAC-9x support MQA over coaxial?
2. I'm using alita currently. How does DAC-9x sound compared to alita? Is it more clear, sharper side?

MQA is only available from computer or streaming, so answer to 1 is No.
DAC-9X uses ESS chip which is clear and neutral.  Alita uses AKM chip which sounded warmer.

rustydoglim

Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #6 on: 26 Dec 2021, 06:17 pm »
Hi I want to make a choice between DAC-9X or Alita.  My interest is to replace an old Pre Parasound and an old DAC Cambridge Audio (851D, it was a $1500 Cambridge top of line).  I have a very good headphone amp, so this would be a secondary feature for me.

I like detailed sounds, with good definition, I like soundstage, image is important, I like not fatiguing and natural or real sound.  My music preferences are jazz (60%), progressive rock (20%) and classical music (10%).  I prefer lossless files, 16 and 24 bit.

I appreciate an advice!  Thanx!

Since you already have a good headphone amp, based on your music and sound preference, you should go for DAC-9X.

jjss49

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Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #7 on: 26 Dec 2021, 11:45 pm »

MQA is only available from computer or streaming, so answer to 1 is No.
DAC-9X uses ESS chip which is clear and neutral.  Alita uses AKM chip which sounded warmer.

rusty - would you please clarify/confirm -- a streamer such as the popular bluesound node (among others) will deliver a digital bitstream over its coax spdif output into a downstream dac streamed from tidal -- will this new nuprime dac not properly and fully decode/unfold such a stream bearing mqa content if fed into its rca digital input?   thanks in advance for your reply

rustydoglim

Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #8 on: 31 Dec 2021, 07:32 pm »
I can't say if all the commercial DAC, but a majority of them uses the USB communication chip (XMOS) to do the MQA unfolding.
The DAC chips themself (AKM, ESS) don't decode MQA. Therefore only the USB input supports MQA.

JamesVN

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Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #9 on: 28 Feb 2022, 01:08 pm »
Regarding the front panel mounted variable/fixed switch on the Dac-9x, could this be clarified in terms of function and use?  If the Dac-9x is utilized to directly drive amps as NP intended, such as driving 2xAMG STA (bridged), the variable setting will obviously prevail.  However, would the fixed setting be preferred for the Dac-9x driving an AMG PRA?  Does the fixed setting effectively bypass the DAC-9x pre-amp stage, or does it just run it at 100% volume, with volume control then provided by separate analog PRA?  Lastly, how would you assess the overall sonic performance of the Dac-9x, both with or without the AMG PRA, again driving 2xAMG STA (bridged)?  Thanks. 

John Casler

Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #10 on: 28 Feb 2022, 09:34 pm »
Very simply, the "fixed" selection removes the Volume Control and the DAC-9x acts as a stand alone DAC.  The "variable" selection runs the signal through the Volume Control and the DAC-9x acts as a DAC/Preamp.

I have users with that very combination (DAC-9x > AMG PRA > Dual STA-9x) and unless they are using the headphone section of the DAC-9x, use the "FIXED" selection.

JamesVN

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Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #11 on: 1 Mar 2022, 12:36 am »
Thank you for your informative response.  To clarify, in "fixed" setting, the volume control is bypassed and the DAC-9x operates as a standalone DAC.  Does this action then effectively bypass the DAC-9x's pre-amp section?  Also, could you provide comment on the sonic comparison between using DAC-9x (fixed) + AMG PRA + 2x AMG STA versus the DAC-9x (variable) + 2x AMG STA.  Thank you.

rustydoglim

Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #12 on: 3 Mar 2022, 04:06 pm »
Regarding the volume control being "bypass", this is a concept that does not apply to modern DAC design.
Here's why: 
Quote
https://nuprimeaudio.com/ufaqs/what-kind-of-volume-control-and-preamp-do-you-use-for-your-dac/
Mainly, volume control is a digital function (no point using analog volume control if your input is digital, for a state of the art DAC, the digital volume  control does a better job). The analog volume control is only needed when the input is analog (if using A2D, then analog volume control is absolutely not required).

So the main issue regarding the fixed volume versus variable volume is implementation, which I have to find out from the engineer.
I think you want to use the fixed volume control only
1) if you have a very good preamp that you must use.  For example, you have a high end turntable system and preamp so digital music is only secondary to you
2) You need to have AMG PRA to fine tune your bookshelf speaker.
So if your primary music source is digital and your speaker is quite neutral and easy to drive, then go with DAC-9X + 2 x AMG STA

KLH007

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Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #13 on: 7 Mar 2022, 04:40 am »
I thought we were referring to the variable/fixed switch on the DAC-9X? The DAC-9X has an analog resistor ladder volume control, not digital. JamesVN's question asks if the fixed position bypasses the preamp circuit and the analog volume control?

rustydoglim

Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #14 on: 7 Mar 2022, 07:39 pm »
I thought we were referring to the variable/fixed switch on the DAC-9X? The DAC-9X has an analog resistor ladder volume control, not digital. JamesVN's question asks if the fixed position bypasses the preamp circuit and the analog volume control?

Analog or digital is depending on the inputs. Digital volume control output ended up not getting adjusted. Analog input goes through adjustment, but last stage is nearly identical. Don't get too hung up on the design, the FAQ explained how volume control is designed.

rustydoglim

Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #15 on: 9 Mar 2022, 10:44 pm »
Noise problem with BlueSound streamer when switching music format from 44.1 to 48kHz – DAC-9X did not anticipate that Bluesound’s clock changed in the middle of the switch and therefore produced noise during the switch. User can update DAC-9X firmware to resolve this problem.
The instruction is on https://nuprimeaudio.com/product/dac-9x/ "Manual & Firmware Update" tab.

Adalbert

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Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #16 on: 4 Jun 2022, 06:50 am »
Regarding the volume control being "bypass", this is a concept that does not apply to modern DAC design.
Here's why:  Mainly, volume control is a digital function (no point using analog volume control if your input is digital, for a state of the art DAC, the digital volume  control does a better job). The analog volume control is only needed when the input is analog (if using A2D, then analog volume control is absolutely not required).

So the main issue regarding the fixed volume versus variable volume is implementation, which I have to find out from the engineer.
I think you want to use the fixed volume control only
1) if you have a very good preamp that you must use.  For example, you have a high end turntable system and preamp so digital music is only secondary to you
2) You need to have AMG PRA to fine tune your bookshelf speaker.
So if your primary music source is digital and your speaker is quite neutral and easy to drive, then go with DAC-9X + 2 x AMG STA

Hi,
what happens if somebody (like a child) accidentally switches from 'variable' to 'fixed' when the DAC is connected directly to a power amp? Should not the switch be located in the back? That is not something one changes frequently enough to have it so easily accessible.

rustydoglim

Re: The New DAC-9x is now shipping
« Reply #17 on: 4 Jun 2022, 06:54 pm »
On hindsight the switch should be at the back. But then audiophiles would most likely hide their high-end components away from a child.  A child can also pull the cables, poke at speaker's tweeters, do any number of unpredictable things  :scratch:
By the way, production speakers can handle max volume, however loud it might be.