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

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OzarkTom

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #60 on: 28 Oct 2018, 02:39 pm »
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?

1500, not 15,000.

Tyson

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #61 on: 28 Oct 2018, 04:14 pm »
I agree that top flight DACs and SS gear takes a long time to fully burn in.  For me I've noted about 1000 hours.  The difference between top flight gear and mediocre gear is that the good stuff generally takes longer to burn in. 

For me, I've noticed that the general trend is it often sounds good for the first 24 hours, then a big drop in sound quality, then slowly gets better and better to around 100 hours.  Then it vacillates quite a bit until you hit 300 hours.  After 300 hours it sounds good.  From 300 hours to 1000 it's mostly just slow, incremental improvements then full stability at 1000. 

I've noticed this similar pattern with tube gear, but more dramatic.  And of course with tubes you have to go through the same process every time you swap in new tubes.  The only silver lining is that new tubes top out at around 300 hours. 

nickd

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #62 on: 28 Oct 2018, 04:34 pm »
I’m a believer in burn in,  but ya’ll are deep in the weeds on this one.
If I buy a piece of gear and it doesn’t sound good after a couple of hundred hours it is for sale or returned to dealer.

Life is too short to suffer from poor sounding gear. 1000 hours might just be your ear-brain computation adjusting to distortion, jitter, poor frequency balance, phase issues etc.

twitch54

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #63 on: 28 Oct 2018, 04:57 pm »
I agree that top flight DACs and SS gear takes a long time to fully burn in.  For me I've noted about 1000 hours.  The difference between top flight gear and mediocre gear is that the good stuff generally takes longer to burn in.

again I ask...... what is it that takes 1000 hrs to 'burn in' ??

Quote
For me, I've noticed that the general trend is it often sounds good for the first 24 hours, then a big drop in sound quality, then slowly gets better and better to around 100 hours.  Then it vacillates quite a bit until you hit 300 hours.  After 300 hours it sounds good.  From 300 hours to 1000 it's mostly just slow, incremental improvements then full stability at 1000.

Oh my Lord, I've been around this crazy hobby / obsession for 50 plus years, I have NEVER had a piece of equipment behave like that, if I did , back it would go !

Quote
I've noticed this similar pattern with tube gear, but more dramatic.  And of course with tubes you have to go through the same process every time you swap in new tubes.  The only silver lining is that new tubes top out at around 300 hours.

Really, please tell us what piece of tube gear ??

OzarkTom

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #64 on: 28 Oct 2018, 05:42 pm »
The tube units in my experience were the AMR 777 and the Lampizator 3. These did not sound crappy the whole 1000 hours, Tyson explained the process very well.

The AMR rep agreed also.

Early B.

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #65 on: 28 Oct 2018, 07:25 pm »
I’m a believer in burn in,  but ya’ll are deep in the weeds on this one.
If I buy a piece of gear and it doesn’t sound good after a couple of hundred hours it is for sale or returned to dealer.

Agreed. In fact, after a few hours, I determine whether or not a component will make the cut. No amount of burn-in will turn a turd into pumpkin pie. 

Tyson

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #66 on: 28 Oct 2018, 07:33 pm »
I think for the first 100 hours or so it's mainly the caps forming.  After that it's the transformers that slowly evolve.  The big noticeable changes happen in the first 100 hours, then the rest of the ups and downs are more subtle, up until 300 hours.  At 300 hours it's pretty stable in that it doesn't have any dips in sound quality anymore.  But there are more (subtle) improvements till about 1000 hours.  If you look at my profile you can see what gear I have now, its been true for all of it.  And it was true for the large # of other pieces of equipment I churned through in the past.  Some of it was commercial gear, a fair bit was DIY.  Similar patterns for all of it. 

Charles Calkins

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Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #67 on: 28 Oct 2018, 11:46 pm »

    Hi Guys:
          I don't have it anymore but the best dac I had was built by Alex Peychev of APLhifi.
           Don't know if they are still in business. Their products were not cheap but were well worth the cost.

                                                          Cheers
                                                         Charlie

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #68 on: 29 Oct 2018, 12:15 am »
I think for the first 100 hours or so it's mainly the caps forming.  After that it's the transformers that slowly evolve.  The big noticeable changes happen in the first 100 hours, then the rest of the ups and downs are more subtle, up until 300 hours.  At 300 hours it's pretty stable in that it doesn't have any dips in sound quality anymore.  But there are more (subtle) improvements till about 1000 hours.  If you look at my profile you can see what gear I have now, its been true for all of it.  And it was true for the large # of other pieces of equipment I churned through in the past.  Some of it was commercial gear, a fair bit was DIY.  Similar patterns for all of it.

I agree about caps burning in.  I replaced the PIO caps with the same ones in my BAT VK-51se and I thought I ruined the preamp.  It sounded bright and harsh.  It took them about 150 hours for the brightness and harshness to go away.   The Teflon caps that Conrad Johnson uses takes 500 hours of break in and CJ also says so.

Tubes certainly need 20-50 hours to break in.  Even cartridges for TT's need break in.  My Nagaoka MP-200 sounded flat for the first 20-25 hours and then bam it came alive and sounded great.  Nagaoka say they take 30 hours.

Mudslide

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #69 on: 29 Oct 2018, 05:26 am »
1500, not 15,000.

Dyslexia strikes.  My apologies, Tom.

Still......

mfsoa

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #70 on: 29 Oct 2018, 02:39 pm »
Quote
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.

Certainly not.  But my the original Dragonfly, DFy Black, DFly Red, Gustard A20H, Marantz SA8005, Brooklyn DAC+, SBox Duets, SBox Touch etc. that I do have on hand certainly do not sound "basically the same" as you say.

I'd guess that DACs <$5K sound more different than those >$5K.

To say that the worst $25 DAC you can get sounds "basically the same" as say a $3500 Exasound is simply preposterous.

If what you are trying to say is "I'm so rich that I can't even participate in the kind of thoughts that you poor people have" then yes your point is well made.

rollo

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Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #71 on: 29 Oct 2018, 02:49 pm »
I think for the first 100 hours or so it's mainly the caps forming.  After that it's the transformers that slowly evolve.  The big noticeable changes happen in the first 100 hours, then the rest of the ups and downs are more subtle, up until 300 hours.  At 300 hours it's pretty stable in that it doesn't have any dips in sound quality anymore.  But there are more (subtle) improvements till about 1000 hours.  If you look at my profile you can see what gear I havse now, its been true for all of it.  And it was true for the large # of other pieces of equipment I churned through in the past.  Some of it was commercial gear, a fair bit was DIY.  Similar patterns for all of it.

   Good call Tyson. However do not forget the chipset. That alone takes 500  to 750 hours. For break-in try 18 hours on six hours off for dielectrics to cool and form. The most affective break-in is 6 hours off six hours on. Set your clock.  :icon_lol:


charles

Danny Richie

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Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #72 on: 29 Oct 2018, 02:55 pm »
We've hosted some DAC shoot outs:  https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=75402.0

The The Music Streamer II https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=80062.msg764994  Later the Music Stramer HD proved to be really good.

More comparisons: https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=51316.0

The DAC-60 was such an over achiever back in the day and I bought a bunch of them. We then had Sonic Craft do some basic mods and we offered them with mods for a pretty low price. It wasn't really a money maker, but more of a service for our customers.

rollo

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Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #73 on: 29 Oct 2018, 07:57 pm »
Prove you wrong? Nope, you're welcome to your opinion.

Question for you though. Do you enjoy eating popcorn? Or do you chew it to mask all the pops and clicks in your vinyl? 
 :popcorn:


   Cute and funny. Come over and hear three different DACs from the same manf. at different price points. You will hear a difference. Ladder DACs not chip sets used by most. That is why not much difference heard. If all say a Sabre chip then should be close to each other.


charles

nc42acc

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Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #74 on: 30 Oct 2018, 08:27 pm »
Nope. Most DACs around about the $5k mark homogenize the sound characteristics. Every recording sounds basically the same without the cues needed to tell you the size of the recorded space, live or studio. This is just my observation and it will definitely differ depending on systems. My current DAC is under $5k as I have a hard time justifying anything above this for an ever changing market. Hope that makes sense.

Certainly not.  But my the original Dragonfly, DFy Black, DFly Red, Gustard A20H, Marantz SA8005, Brooklyn DAC+, SBox Duets, SBox Touch etc. that I do have on hand certainly do not sound "basically the same" as you say.

I'd guess that DACs <$5K sound more different than those >$5K.

To say that the worst $25 DAC you can get sounds "basically the same" as say a $3500 Exasound is simply preposterous.

If what you are trying to say is "I'm so rich that I can't even participate in the kind of thoughts that you poor people have" then yes your point is well made.

grsimmon

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Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #75 on: 31 Oct 2018, 04:04 am »
because they are tremendously overhyped

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #76 on: 31 Oct 2018, 04:07 am »
Nope. Most DACs around about the $5k mark homogenize the sound characteristics. Every recording sounds basically the same without the cues needed to tell you the size of the recorded space, live or studio. This is just my observation and it will definitely differ depending on systems. My current DAC is under $5k as I have a hard time justifying anything above this for an ever changing market. Hope that makes sense.

Not my experience at all.

nc42acc

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Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #77 on: 31 Oct 2018, 12:48 pm »
With so many system variables from one audiophile to the next it is not surprising we come to a different conclusion. In my system it was eye opening to have four DACs operating at once using ROON and be able to switch instantly to each one.

Not my experience at all.

timind

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #78 on: 31 Oct 2018, 02:24 pm »

   Cute and funny. Come over and hear three different DACs from the same manf. at different price points. You will hear a difference. Ladder DACs not chip sets used by most. That is why not much difference heard. If all say a Sabre chip then should be close to each other.


charles

If what you took from my post is, I don't believe there are differences in dacs, then I wasn't clear. The intent of my post is, if a person doesn't hear a difference after comparing several dacs, they're welcome to that finding. My experience says there is a difference. Although, I am in the camp that feels more of the difference comes from the design and build of the dac's analog output stage. I came to this conclusion a few years ago after comparing 3 cd players using PCM1704 dac chips. I attributed the different sound I heard to the implementation of the output stages.


I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Why cant I hear a worthwhile difference with DAC's?
« Reply #79 on: 31 Oct 2018, 03:41 pm »
If what you took from my post is, I don't believe there are differences in dacs, then I wasn't clear. The intent of my post is, if a person doesn't hear a difference after comparing several dacs, they're welcome to that finding. My experience says there is a difference. Although, I am in the camp that feels more of the difference comes from the design and build of the dac's analog output stage. I came to this conclusion a few years ago after comparing 3 cd players using PCM1704 dac chips. I attributed the different sound I heard to the implementation of the output stages.


Certainly the sound is related to the collection of parts used.  I built a Pass B1 preamp and used high end caps.  I have swapped out Clarity caps and tried Obbligato Golds and they sound was very different.  Also swapped volume pots and there was a huge difference in sound.    A good friend of mine built the same B1 with different parts and his sounds different.

Just look at the Musical Paradise DAC and its ability to customize with different DAC chips and caps to your liking.