Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?

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nc42acc

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Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #40 on: 27 Oct 2018, 02:51 pm »
Have you had all these said DACs in your system at the same time with the ability to switch back to each using the same source material.


Every dac I've heard in my system, all below $5K, have sounded significantly different from each other.

mlundy57

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #41 on: 27 Oct 2018, 04:15 pm »
Bits aren't just bits on the digital side either fellows.

Differences in USB cables can be pretty significant.

I also have or have had a lot of different playback software packages including iTunes, Amarra, Pure Music, Audirvana, and SB Play. And they all sound different.

How much is buffered into RAM has made a difference.

Switching from a standard to solid state hard drive made a difference.

Maxing out the RAM with gaming RAM made a difference.

Switching out and trying different external hard drives that the music is stored on made a difference.

Power supply upgrades to the MacMini made a difference. The type of power cable used with the MacMini made a lot of difference.

Mine has the power supply removed and it runs on an external battery. The brand and size of battery made a difference.   

Adding a Dave Elledge built buffer for the battery made a difference.

Shutting down various operating system that stay on in the background made a difference.

Going from a SPDIF output to an I2S direct output made a difference.

Still think bits are bits?

Danny,

How did you go about getting a direct I2S output and what are you connecting it to?

Freo-1

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #42 on: 27 Oct 2018, 04:45 pm »
Bits aren't just bits on the digital side either fellows.

Differences in USB cables can be pretty significant.

I also have or have had a lot of different playback software packages including iTunes, Amarra, Pure Music, Audirvana, and SB Play. And they all sound different.

How much is buffered into RAM has made a difference.

Switching from a standard to solid state hard drive made a difference.

Maxing out the RAM with gaming RAM made a difference.

Switching out and trying different external hard drives that the music is stored on made a difference.

Power supply upgrades to the MacMini made a difference. The type of power cable used with the MacMini made a lot of difference.

Mine has the power supply removed and it runs on an external battery. The brand and size of battery made a difference.   

Adding a Dave Elledge built buffer for the battery made a difference.

Shutting down various operating system that stay on in the background made a difference.

Going from a SPDIF output to an I2S direct output made a difference.

Still think bits are bits?



Don't forget jitter!  I think one of the reasons the Benchmark DAC2/3 units are so good is their approach to dealing with jitter.

Danny Richie

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Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #43 on: 27 Oct 2018, 09:54 pm »
Danny,

How did you go about getting a direct I2S output and what are you connecting it to?

That custom DAC that I have receives an I2S input. I am pretty sure all the clocking is handled at the DAC rather than as the data is sent. If I remember correctly there was some software involved in transmitting the I2S signal through the USB cable.

mlundy57

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #44 on: 27 Oct 2018, 11:15 pm »
That custom DAC that I have receives an I2S input. I am pretty sure all the clocking is handled at the DAC rather than as the data is sent. If I remember correctly there was some software involved in transmitting the I2S signal through the USB cable.

Interesting. My PS-Audio Stellar DAC/Preamp has an I2S input but it uses an HDMI type connector and is intended for use only with a PS Audio disc player with an I2S output. It won't work with a computer/music server.

OzarkTom

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #45 on: 27 Oct 2018, 11:52 pm »
Since everyone here has an opinion, I will throw mine into the hat. I have had several DACS in the $3000-5000 here in my system, and some lower priced. Every DAC I have ever owned takes about 500-1500 hours to break in for the best sound. And every DAC I have owned, unplug it and it takes about 24 hours to start sounding it's best again. Comparing DAC's to me is a nightmare since they need to warm up first.

Many has sounded fairly good after break-in. And some just so-so. I hear bigger differences in USB cables and the power cords feeding the dacs. But that is just my opinion.

twitch54

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #46 on: 28 Oct 2018, 12:16 am »
Every DAC I have ever owned takes about 500-1500 hours to break in for the best sound.

Ok, I'll bite, please tell us what the devil takes up to 1500 hrs to break in ?? !! 

 this should be good ..............

dB Cooper

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #47 on: 28 Oct 2018, 01:30 am »
I also think people don't just enjoy the music. You mean to tell us that you can't enjoy music on a Klaus system vs. a V.A.C. system vs a D.I.Y. system vs. any other system?

We all have our tastes, and will buy what we like. But, still.

I can absolutely enjoy music on a Klaus system. That's precisely my point. I can enjoy music on a table radio. Or a DIY system. Just agreeing with Klaus' point that the differences between speakers (I believe the same could be said for phono carts) are far larger than the differences between DACs, phono pre's, or other electronics. Not to say there aren't differences; I'm talking about magnitude. Hey wait, I just realized I'm repeating my post almost verbatim.... Sorry

OzarkTom

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #48 on: 28 Oct 2018, 01:58 am »
Ok, I'll bite, please tell us what the devil takes up to 1500 hrs to break in ?? !! 

 this should be good ..............

Antelope Zodiac Gold took very close to 1500 hours
AMR 777 took about 1000
Lampizator 3 took about 1000
All the other DACs I have owned took 500 hours and more
Sony Music Server HAP-Z1ES took between 200-300 hours
All sound their best leaving on for 24 hours after break-in

gefski

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Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #49 on: 28 Oct 2018, 02:19 am »
Ok, I'll bite, please tell us what the devil takes up to 1500 hrs to break in ?? !! 

 this should be good ..............

I'm not making claims about 1500 hours being magic, but...

There's nothing new about digital devices needing to be run many hours to reach thermal stability. Audioquest has a white paper from several years ago with measurements and  listening tests on the Dragonfly showing performance improvements with longer run time.

Yggdrasil owners, myself included, find that new units need a couple weeks plus, and are left on 24/7 for the timbral and spatial realism we love. In fact, mine is hot transported to our Seattle area meets I attend.

jtwrace

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #50 on: 28 Oct 2018, 02:24 am »
In fact, mine is hot transported to our Seattle area meets I attend.
As in an inverter in the car to keep it on the whole ride? 

gefski

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Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #51 on: 28 Oct 2018, 02:55 am »
As in an inverter in the car to keep it on the whole ride?




OzarkTom

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #52 on: 28 Oct 2018, 03:40 am »



I have often wondered how you could ever take your DAC to a store and give it a fair test to the store DAC. Looks like this could be the solution. If the store DAC has been on 24/7, I would say it might sound better over 98% of the time over your DAC.

poseidonsvoice

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Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #53 on: 28 Oct 2018, 04:39 am »



And I thought I had seen it all...wow. That’s...

Well, it’s good you are SO dedicated to the hobby!

Best,
Anand.

gefski

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Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #54 on: 28 Oct 2018, 06:08 am »
We have a great group in Seattle, incredible stuff showing up at our meets. Ultimate headphones, DIY amps (under construction at the meet), atomicbob (who also hot transports) running a Stanford Research Rubidium Reference clock ahead of a Modi MB (!) crazy stuff. Our premier meet is in spring --- at Bottlehead on Bainbridge Island!

twitch54

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #55 on: 28 Oct 2018, 11:06 am »
Antelope Zodiac Gold took very close to 1500 hours
AMR 777 took about 1000
Lampizator 3 took about 1000
All the other DACs I have owned took 500 hours and more
Sony Music Server HAP-Z1ES took between 200-300 hours
All sound their best leaving on for 24 hours after break-in

you still didn't tell what it is that takes 1500 hrs to break in ??

twitch54

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #56 on: 28 Oct 2018, 11:11 am »
I'm not making claims about 1500 hours being magic, but...

thank you, that's way out there .......

Quote
There's nothing new about digital devices needing to be run many hours to reach thermal stability.

definition of 'many' is key

 
Quote
Audioquest has a white paper from several years ago with measurements and  listening tests on the Dragonfly showing performance improvements with longer run time.

Audioquest ............nuf said

Quote
Yggdrasil owners, myself included, find that new units need a couple weeks plus, and are left on 24/7 for the timbral and spatial realism we love. In fact, mine is hot transported to our Seattle area meets I attend.

OK ........

OzarkTom

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #57 on: 28 Oct 2018, 02:04 pm »
you still didn't tell what it is that takes 1500 hrs to break in ??

I sure as heck don't know. 6moons said it took theirs about 1400 hours or so to break in.

Why does it take 500 or 1000 hours on most of these other dacs to break-in? I guess look up AQ white papers that getski mentioned.

mav52

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #58 on: 28 Oct 2018, 02:17 pm »
you still didn't tell what it is that takes 1500 hrs to break in ??

Maybe it just takes a persons brain a long time to break into the noise.  :D

Mudslide

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #59 on: 28 Oct 2018, 02:34 pm »
I sure as heck don't know. 6moons said it took theirs about 1400 hours or so to break in.

Why does it take 500 or 1000 hours on most of these other dacs to break-in? I guess look up AQ white papers that getski mentioned.

15,000 hours equals 625 days, equipment on 7/24.  So it takes you 2 YEARS (or more) to hear the audio effect?  Tom, might that be stretching auditory memory just a tiny bit?