The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread

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CSI

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Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #80 on: 22 Sep 2017, 05:22 pm »
Preliminary impressions:  My LIO with DAC 2.0 installed arrived promptly this week on the day I had the mother of all head colds. I decided to hook it up to be sure it was working but wait a few days before listening. Of course, I couldn’t resist a small aural preview in spite of the cotton inside my head. Turning it up a little (to 4) with my favorite jazz FM station streaming in I was startled to hear low level brush strokes on cymbals presented with new clarity and detail. How could I be hearing this (or anything) with my badly plugged ears? I turned it up and, in spite of everything, heard a large improvement in my system. DAC 2.0 is more than a pleasant upgrade over 1.0. In my opinion it may be a major breakthrough. Everything, top to bottom is more real and lifelike. Much less “hi-fi” than ever before. Musical, three dimensional, dynamic, whatever audiophile buzzwords you want to toss at it. it all seems to be there. I spent several hours listening through the blockage the first day and now, a few days later and several hours in, I can confirm those first impressions. My previous DACS, LIO DAC 1.0 and the lovely sounding Decware ZDSD, are just not in the same league. For me, this is one of those rare, “run don’t walk” situations. Get on the build list asap. It ain’t cheap but, dollar for dollar, it is the most startling improvement I’ve made to my system in years.
« Last Edit: 23 Sep 2017, 06:57 pm by CSI »

Vinnie R.

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #81 on: 23 Sep 2017, 05:35 pm »
Quote
Get on the build list asap. It ain’t cheap but, dollar for dollar, it is the most startling improvement I’ve made to my system in years.

Thanks for your post, CSI !   :guitar: :drums: :beer:

flkin

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Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #82 on: 27 Sep 2017, 10:19 am »
Vinnie

Can you explain more about the Filters 1 and 2? Currently I prefer using Filter 2 finding that it sounds more analogue and less forward.

If I plan to use upsampling through Roon or HQPlayer with their filters before sending to the DAC2.0 what DAC2.0 filter I should use? I wouldn't want to pass the data through filters twice. Can you elaborate a little on this?

I read this from roonlabs discussion board:

 " .. They (DAC chips including AKM, ESS, Ti etc) almost all upsample PCM to high res DXD PCM rates internally and then convert to a DSD type file before outputting analog. If you send them DSD they may also upsample it to a higher DSD rate if that is their "native" rate. This is true even for DACs that claim "no upsampling"... "

Does this apply to the AK4497eq chip found in the DAC2.0 and if so what would be the optimal Roon or HQPlayer upsampling frequency to keep the upsampling in Roon or HQPlayer without it being done a second time in the chip before converting to analogue?

Thanks, Kin


- Oh by the way, the cracking noice at higher upsampling frequencies may have been caused by older microRendu software. Sonore tend to update their firmware but keep the version numbers the same and so you don't know if there is an update until you try to force the check. I updated from 2.5v to 2.5v (there were many file changes reported) and the cracking noice is mostly gone even at DSD256. Will continue to observe and test more.

mirekti

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Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #83 on: 27 Sep 2017, 11:04 am »

If I plan to use upsampling through Roon or HQPlayer with their filters before sending to the DAC2.0 what DAC2.0 filter I should use? I wouldn't want to pass the data through filters twice. Can you elaborate a little on this?


F2 is NOS mode which means no filter is applied in the DAC no matter what signal rate you send.
I am using Roon, HQPlayer, upsamling to DSD512 and the default F2.
I hope this helps.

Vinnie R.

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #84 on: 27 Sep 2017, 03:30 pm »
Hi Kin,

Quote
Can you explain more about the Filters 1 and 2? Currently I prefer using Filter 2 finding that it sounds more analogue and less forward.

The default filter for DAC 2.0 every time you turn on LIO is FILTER 2, which is the "NOS" filter.  This is a non-oversampling, "digital
filter-less" mode.  If you feed 44.1kHz in, you get 44.1kHz out.  If you feed 192kHz in, you get 192kHz out, etc.  And the digital filter in the dac is bypassed and instead there is a minimal analog filter on the Class A output stage.  As you mentioned, this is a very detailed natural sounding mode. 

FILTER 1 is a "minimal phase, slow roll-off" filter mode that also upsamples all PCM to 768kHz.  So no matter if you are playing 44.1, 96, 192, 384, etc... it upsamples to 768kHz and then performs d/a conversion.

NOTE:  Both F1 and F2 are only used with PCM music - not DSD. 

For DSD, I do filtering in the analog output stage.

Quote
I read this from roonlabs discussion board:

 " .. They (DAC chips including AKM, ESS, Ti etc) almost all upsample PCM to high res DXD PCM rates internally and then convert to a DSD type file before outputting analog."

Does this apply to the AK4497eq chip found in the DAC2.0 and if so what would be the optimal Roon or HQPlayer upsampling frequency to keep the upsampling in Roon or HQPlayer without it being done a second time in the chip before converting to analogue?

This is not the case for LIO DAC 1.0 or 2.0.  No PCM is converted to DSD in either LIO dac module.

If you don't want any upsampling to take place, simple run LIO DAC 2.0 FILTER 2 (default) and set Roon sample rate conversion to "Disable."  What you feed in is what you get out. 

If you want Roon to sample rate convert all PCM to DSD, set sample rate conversion in Roon to DSD256 or DSD512 (I still find them both to sound nearly identical, and DSD256 uses less processing power).  In this case, F1 or F2 makes no difference because you are then feeding DSD to the LIO DAC 2.0. 


Quote
- Oh by the way, the cracking noice at higher upsampling frequencies may have been caused by older microRendu software. Sonore tend to update their firmware but keep the version numbers the same and so you don't know if there is an update until you try to force the check. I updated from 2.5v to 2.5v (there were many file changes reported) and the cracking noice is mostly gone even at DSD256. Will continue to observe and test more.

It could also be your computer running Roon, or your router (are you going WiFi between your computer and  your router)?

Best regards,

Vinnie

flkin

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Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #85 on: 28 Sep 2017, 06:19 am »
Thanks for the useful information Vinnie.

There’s something special with the F2 filter (or no filter). The sound is very engaging and relaxed but still so detailed. Can’t stop listening, Very nice!

As I try more I’m finding that a small amount of upsampling to say 88 or 176 is enough to help focus the music yet keep artificial digital sharpening to a minimum. Soundstage width and height at higher upsampling rates seems to shrink for me and vocals seems to pop out too much and become narrower.

A bit like plasma TVs compared with OLED 4K HDR screens. The latter is super sharp with super rich colours and detail but I much prefer the more natural feel of the older generation of plasma TVs.

iSAM

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #86 on: 28 Sep 2017, 03:29 pm »
About a month ago I got my first LIO in the AVC/Tube and DAC1.0 configuration for working with my Spatial Audio Hologram M3TM. And also waiting for the second LIO in the configuration with DAC2.0 for my client with Spatial X1. A couple of days ago
i received a second LIO with a DAC2.0 and of course I wanted to hear it in my system with M3Triode’s. I installed new DAC and started listening. From the first seconds you understand, DAC1.0 and DAC2.0 - this is absolutely different level. No comparison! Now only DAC2.0! The sound of DAC2.0 is very energetic and powerful, realistic and refined, absolutely involving in the audition of each composition. Speed characteristics and sound details of the low frequency range - the feeling that the new DAC is supplemented by an additional power to the LIO amplifier) ​​For my room and the forced layout of the M3TM on a long wall, this was a very important addition! The bass is very tight and powerful and its control is surprises. With DAC2.0 you get not only more macro/micro details, huge 3d image and etc. It sounds very exciting and keeps you while the music is playing.
One of the most musical audio components I've ever heard for a long time.
Thank’s Vinnie!

p.s. Sorry for my English   


Vinnie R.

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #87 on: 29 Sep 2017, 05:21 pm »
Hi iSAM,

Welcome to the VR forum!  Thank you for your post and picture.  Looking good!  8)

Hi flkin,

Quote
A bit like plasma TVs compared with OLED 4K HDR screens. The latter is super sharp with super rich colours and detail but I much prefer the more natural feel of the older generation of plasma TVs.

I do as well, and I like your analogy!  :idea: 


Enjoy your weekend, and happy listening!

Vinnie

magnuska

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Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #88 on: 30 Sep 2017, 11:01 am »
Hi,

My turn to receive the DAC 2.0 module and the new 40 pin chip.
I got the package a few days ago but got time to do it today.

Both replacing the chip and DAC module was easier than I thought thanks to a very fine manual provided by Vinnie.
Perhaps 1 hour for this.

Have only listened for 30 minutes in filter F2 mode, and It sounds absolutely gorgeuos. Compared to the previous dac its like the famous
veil slowly dissappears. You got punch , definition, improved tone, yes the list goes on.

Thanks Vinnie, good work.

Back to listening....

Cheers /Magnus

flkin

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Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #89 on: 2 Oct 2017, 07:12 am »
 


Hi iSAM

From your pic I think I see some SOtM boxes. If so, do they make a difference with the DAC2.0 with the new clocks and isolation technologies?

iSAM

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #90 on: 4 Oct 2017, 08:22 am »
Hi iSAM

From your pic I think I see some SOtM boxes. If so, do they make a difference with the DAC2.0 with the new clocks and isolation technologies?

Hi,

Yes, i use SOtM's with Uptone ISO Regen. I added each module step by step. And made several experiments with their combination with DAC2.0. My conclusion is that each element before DAC2.0 has a very significant value! Yesterday i installed the Curious USB cable. It is very difficult not to hear the improvements that he brought :) I plan to continue to improve my source further. DAC2.0 has a huge potential and everything you use before it will only reveal it.  :thumb:

magnuska

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Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #91 on: 4 Oct 2017, 09:07 am »
Hi,

Yes, i use SOtM's with Uptone ISO Regen. I added each module step by step. And made several experiments with their combination with DAC2.0. My conclusion is that each element before DAC2.0 has a very significant value! Yesterday i installed the Curious USB cable. It is very difficult not to hear the improvements that he brought :) I plan to continue to improve my source further. DAC2.0 has a huge potential and everything you use before it will only reveal it.  :thumb:

Hi iSAM,

I seem to have about the same boxes with sotm sms-200 ultra and the TX-usb ultra and ISO Regen. The problem for me is when the ISO Regen is in the chain either between the sotm or last in the chain right before the DAC 2.0. With the ISO Regen I get unprovoked shutdowns and I have to restart the LIO. But you are right all boxes before the DAC is of use for best SQ. 
Can you tell me how you have setup the chain and or if you have the ISO Regen in ISO defeat position or not.

Thank you!

Magnus

iSAM

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #92 on: 4 Oct 2017, 03:08 pm »
Hi iSAM,

I seem to have about the same boxes with sotm sms-200 ultra and the TX-usb ultra and ISO Regen. The problem for me is when the ISO Regen is in the chain either between the sotm or last in the chain right before the DAC 2.0. With the ISO Regen I get unprovoked shutdowns and I have to restart the LIO. But you are right all boxes before the DAC is of use for best SQ. 
Can you tell me how you have setup the chain and or if you have the ISO Regen in ISO defeat position or not.

Thank you!

Magnus

Hi magnuska,
I use Regen between SOtM and the last before DAC1.0 and DAC2.0, everything worked fine. Which PSU do you use with Regen?

flkin

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Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #93 on: 5 Oct 2017, 09:24 am »
Would have thought that the ISO Regen and the tX-USBultra does the same thing. And given that the DAC2.0 also has some form of regeneration, this will be 3 regenerations in a row! :icon_surprised: Actually if you consider the sMS200ultra conversion from ethernet to USB a generation of sort....  :lol: :thumb:

Good to know the SOtM products further help the DAC2.0, will consider the SOtM Trifecta after using the DAC2.0 for a while first.

mirekti

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Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #94 on: 5 Oct 2017, 12:31 pm »
Did you guys measure any of these claims or they were based on a blind A vs B comparisson?

https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/usb-add-on-devices-measurements-including-regen.1270/

I use DAC 2.0 only, and it is so good that things like my mood, time of day, wine or not etc. are the only things that can alter my perception of music.

iSAM

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #95 on: 7 Oct 2017, 09:32 am »
Did you guys measure any of these claims or they were based on a blind A vs B comparisson?

https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/usb-add-on-devices-measurements-including-regen.1270/

I use DAC 2.0 only, and it is so good that things like my mood, time of day, wine or not etc. are the only things that can alter my perception of music.

Hi mirekti,

You have the opportunity to do the simplest thing - if you use a "ordinary" USB cable, replace it with a top-list of USB cables discussed and used by other users and all questions about blind testing will be closed for yourself   :wink:

Yes, of course, DAC2.0 has analog and sweet sounding with the usual USB for $2 straight from my Mac Air and Audirvana. This is really his merit and feature, which most DAC do not have. In my system, the difference between $ 2 USB and DHLabs Mirage USB and Curious USB is obvious and does not require blind testing. The same applies to the addition of the Regen or SOtM filter to the chain.



Best regards,
Aleksandr.
« Last Edit: 7 Oct 2017, 10:09 pm by iSAM »

ThomasKott

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Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #96 on: 8 Oct 2017, 12:31 am »
I've been living with the DAC 2.0 for a couple weeks now.  It is immediately obvious that it is huge step-up from the DAC 1.0.  I was so used to the DAC 1.0 sound that it really took me a couple weeks to dial in what could be done with the DAC 2.0.

What amazed me from the very beginning is how revealing the DAC 2.0 is.  It will pull out the maximum amount of detail from any sound file and you'll definitely hear elements of music that you've never truly heard before. 

My digital path for music is CapsZuma computer (using JRiver & HQ Player) --> MRendu --> LIO.  I enjoyed the ability of HQ Player to up-sample to the DAC 1.0.  However, I never truly heard the impact of the variety of filter options before.  The 2.0 is so revealing of musical detail that each change made in HQ Player is very noticeable.   

Today I finalized HQ Player settings.  For PCM I'm up-sampling everything to 384 and using the poly-sinc-short-mp filter with RPDF dither setting.  In the case of DSD I up-sample to 256 and use poly-sinc-mqa-mp filter and the DSD7 256+fs Modulator.  The DAC 2.0 has an incredible level of musicality and detail. For the DSD filter, I believe the “mqa” is related to reducing the level of noise on mqa files.  Even though I'm not using mqa, I found that it made the background completely black.  It was astounding.

After dialing in all of the settings above, I couldn't stop listening!  However, I have had an issue with running Windows 10 Pro, where it would sometimes stutter when doing significant up-sampling.  It seemed to be caused by all of the periodic processes Windows just kicks off now and then.  To eliminate these, I bought Audiophile Optimizer and ran that.  This helped the up-sampling issue, but also, surprisingly, expanded the soundstage even further.  So far, so great!   

coldfogey

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Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #97 on: 10 Oct 2017, 05:45 pm »
I have my DAC 02 for about 150 hours.  For the first 100 or so hours I had to use the Hum Cans on my NOS tubes. It was really loud.  The tubes
were NU 45, RCA black plate 2A3 and a Cunningham CX 345.  The new tubes are EH 2A3,  Gold Lion PX 300,  SV811-10 ( slight hum)  and
a pair of KR PX4's.    At about the 150 hour mark I noticed that the HUM was gone.
I put the HUM Cans away.  I now hear some of the sweetest music I have ever heard.

Most of listening is with the sv 811-10  with the back switch down and  the filaments
in the 2.5 position.  It is beautiful.  If I want to impress someone with a big solid
soundstage that is dynamic and impressive I use the KR PX4.

I am an old guy that just listens to CD's  ( Not that there is anything wrong with that ).  If there is another old guy out there with a system similar to mine,  Try
a CD by Beegie Adair,   THE GOOD LIFE  a tribute to Tony Bennett.  That piano
is so sweet.  OH yes, my speakers are  Turbo 3 Masters.

I was reading a 2017 RMAF report where someone said that the attendees were
really old, like Rolling Stone old.  I can go further back then that. 
Try Wingy Minone, the one armed trumpet player from the 1930's.

All I can say now is that  " YOU ARE THE MAN VINCENT, YOU ARE THE MAN "





Vinnie R.

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #98 on: 11 Oct 2017, 05:42 pm »

Have only listened for 30 minutes in filter F2 mode, and It sounds absolutely gorgeuos. Compared to the previous dac its like the famous
veil slowly dissappears. You got punch , definition, improved tone, yes the list goes on.

Thanks Vinnie, good work.

Back to listening....

Cheers /Magnus

Quote from: ThomasKott
What amazed me from the very beginning is how revealing the DAC 2.0 is.  It will pull out the maximum amount of detail from any sound file and you'll definitely hear elements of music that you've never truly heard before. 

After dialing in all of the settings above, I couldn't stop listening!

Quote from: coldfogey
Most of listening is with the sv 811-10  with the back switch down and  the filaments
in the 2.5 position.  It is beautiful.  If I want to impress someone with a big solid
soundstage that is dynamic and impressive I use the KR PX4.

Hi magnuska, ThomasKott, and coldfogey,

Thanks for posting your LIO DAC 2.0 impressions in this thread!

DAC 2.0 was a big hit at RMAF 2017, in two rooms this year!  I am slowly adding to the RMAF 2017 coverage thread, here:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=153158.0

Many attendees / members of the press said this is the best they've heard LIO sing, and the only thing new that I brought
this year was DAC 2.0...  :) :wink:

Thanks again to everyone who purchased DAC 2.0, and thanks for posting all your impressions here! 

Enjoy it!  :singing:

Vinnie

Vinnie R.

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #99 on: 17 Oct 2017, 03:25 pm »
A LIO DAC 2.0 customer from Thailand asked me to post his impressions here:

Quote
Hi Vinnie,

I just installed DAC 2.0 today. Like you said, I really love DAC 2.0. When I used DAC 1, though the detail, sound stage and image are better, the bass and atmosphere are not to the par comparing with analog output from my Rotel RCD 985BX (fully modified). However, with DAC 2.0, everything are brought up to a whole new realm. Detail is a lot better than the DAC 1. Sound stage expand wider with really ‘black’ background between the pinpointed image. Yet, there are more atmosphere. May be it due to the improvement on the low frequency, I guess.

I don’t know how to explain the experience in English, since my English is not that good. We have a word in a Thai, ไพเราะ, may be you can use the google translate to get the meaning. I try to explain quite a bit. The over all sound quality pull me into the music. It made me excitedly pull one CD out after another. It made listening to the music more pleasurable.

Best regards,
Patapong


Thanks for your feedback, Patapong!

I did look up the Thai word: ไพเราะ

Google translates it to the English word:  Melodic  :singing:

Enjoy your DAC 2.0!

Vinnie