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Thread: Best redbook 16bit/44.1kHz DACs?

  1. #31
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! Ronm1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marslo View Post
    Some people claim the best redbook dac is Reimyo DAP 999 EX
    http://www.enjoythemusic.com/superio..._dap_999ex.htm
    I have heard and compared the original Reimyo player yrs ago. Awfully good mids some of the best I've heard. Might not have been as detailed at extreme low/hi ends. Not a bad thing on the highs IMHO.
    A Bug!! Naa...that's a feature!!
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  2. #32
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    amirm you can ask questions directly to the guy who did the Yggdrasil measurements here:
    http://www.changstar.com/index.php/topic,2405.0.html

    (also contains good discussion and a second set of measurements with the DAC fully warm/settled ~400hrs uptime)

  3. #33
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris F View Post
    amirm you can ask questions directly to the guy who did the Yggdrasil measurements here:
    http://www.changstar.com/index.php/topic,2405.0.html

    (also contains good discussion and a second set of measurements with the DAC fully warm/settled ~400hrs uptime)
    I had seen his measurements and forum posts before. What I am looking for is his credentials and better documentation of what he is measuring. In his profile it says he is an "acoustic researcher" or some such thing. That is not the right type of background for testing DACs. Maybe he knows more than that but I don't know it.

    His measurements are odd. In this day and age for example I could care less about the frequency response of a DAC. Almost all have ruler flat response. Zooming in to 0.01 db just to show some roll off makes no sense to me. Neither do the distortion measurements unless they are measuring the headphone amp.

    I like to see jitter reduction and isolation from the source. From brief look at his tests, it looks like he is using the automated test scripts in the dScope analyzer for these. That is the wrong approach. Those tests are for verification of a device functioning. They are not revealing in regards to what needs to be tested and hence the reason I created my own tests with dScope. Here is his "jitter" test:



    The test signal is at 1 KHz. I have never seen anyone measure jitter at 1 Khz. Jitter is frequency dependent and the higher it is, the higher the level of jitter. The standard in the industry is J-test which runs at a quarter of sampling rate so for 44.1Khz, it is at 11.05 Khz.

    I can't imagine someone having a dScope but not knowing these things so it is a puzzle. Until the answers appear, I suggest not trust any of that data.

    As to me asking him questions, I have none. Per above, I can see what he is doing which is generating data that is not useful. My warning remains that people get trusted objective data. If you don't know the person, don't understand the nature of his tests, my suggestion is to ignore the information.

  5. #35
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    As a way of comparison, here are two measurements I have performed using the same hardware he is using, but with standard and proper test signal and graphs:



    Notice the proper 12 Khz J-test signal for 48 Khz sampling I am using. And how revealing that is when comparing two pieces of equipment, this time the Pioneer SC-63 AVR against my Mark Levinson N36S driven by Berkeley USB to AES/EBU converter/bridge. I am not throwing the whole dashboard of the instrument at you, hoping your eyes glaze over and make you trust the data blindly.

  6. #36
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    One other comment about his measurements. He is testing the gear after some warm up time and says there are differences. He can't claim that. He needs to re-test the instrument itself to make sure it doesn't have that kind of variability on its own. And rule out his source PC is not changing over time either. When differences become small, you need to deploy very careful protocol to make trustworthy data.

    Mind you, everything he says may be right but as a person who does this work routinely, I am bothered by most of what he is showing.

  7. #37
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    Perhaps, but I really liked what I heard from this DAC. Once I can get it past the wife, I hope to test one out in my system. It s amazing that my wife can buy yet another hand bag for up to $2k but if I want a DAC for that price, well, it isn't easy. I guess I am not the only guy with this problem!
    Last edited by Joe Whip; 06-02-2015 at 01:22 PM.

  8. #38
    Member Chris F's Avatar
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    amirm you linked the wrong picture, it is from the 1Khz@-90dBFS frequency response test. The jitter test is the one above it.

    Here is the image and indeed the signal is at 11.05Khz:


    Looks pretty good to me.... (jitter? what jitter?)
    Last edited by Chris F; 06-02-2015 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Fixing image

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris F View Post
    amirm you linked the wrong picture, it is from the 1Khz@-90dBFS frequency response test. The jitter test is the one above it.

    Here is the image and indeed the signal is at 11.05Khz:

    Looks pretty good to me.... (jitter? what jitter?)
    Thanks. That is the same picture I was commenting on previously. Oh there is jitter. It is hidden by misconfiguration the graph. I took that same image and made it easier to read in Photoshop:



    As I have highlighted, there are jitter components there. It is just that the scale both horizontally and vertically are set such that they are hugely compressed, causing some to land directly on top of the main signal itself (tall spike) and hence almost invisible. When you see components as I have highlighted, the mandatory next step is to magnify the scale and see what is there.

    Here is me approximating his scaling using my measurement of Mark Levinson No 36S:



    Notice how much cleaner it looks than my previous graph. But it is not a proper or standard way to show this type of data unless you aim to hide flaws in the system.

    What's that you say? The Shiit has lower noise floor of 160 vs 140 in mine? Well, that value is impacted by the analysis parameters. Without that, you can't compare one noise level to another.

    My measurements are from my laptop playing the test signal, through the Berkeley, driving the ML DAC. His measurements on the other hand, seem to be from the dScope's super clean digital output. If he wants to show what happens when the DAC is used with a music server, that is the connection he needs to instrument. Indeed this is why I borrowed the dScope to perform my measurements even though I own an Audio Precision Analyzer. dScope gives you the choice of the PC or the instrument itself being the signal generator.

    In his previous measurement which i showed by mistake he did use the PC as evidenced by the dialog box that says "Sound Cards" interface is used. In his jitter measurement that is not there making me suspect he is using the instrument's digital output. This will impact both the jitter and noise floor measurements.

    Ultimately the right graph is one that compares different DACs together as I have shown. That way you know under identical setups how much better one is than other.

    Again, he may very well have the right conclusions but little of what he has put forward gives confidence in them.

    As it is, I can just as well impress anyone with my 15 year old DAC.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Whip View Post
    Perhaps, but I really liked what I heard from this DAC. Once I can get it past the wife, I hope to test one out in my system. It s amazing that my wife can buy yet another hand bag for up to $2k but if I want a DAC for that price, well, it isn't easy. I guess I am not the only guy with this problem!
    Hahahaha, so funny Joe. We all have to sneak stuff in from time to time past "customs".

    Good morning, BTW.

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