On the 12th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Jun 22, 2013
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Soquel, CA
Some thoughts: If upsampling to quad speed DSD using HQ player is the cat's meow.....then why do we need a Nadac? Is Ravenna and Ethernet really THE way to go......or could you use a great usb to I2S converter with hardwired I2S cable on the output and plug into a modified Gustard X20 and get as good of sound?!?!?!? Maybe just double speed DSD directly into the usb input of the Gustard would be amazing! The Nadac is probably one ESS DAC chip and a couple of op amps on the output. The Gustard has 2 ESS DACs and I am going to install one super transparent discrete stage on the output of each phase.....so the Gustard will be better in DACsville and outputstageville. Could it compete with the Nadac? We shall see. The Nadac is $10,500, The Gustard X20 with mods less than $2000....optionally, add another $500 or so for state of the art I2S converter and we might have something really, really serious.
 
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MadFloyd

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May 31, 2010
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What is an op amp?
 
Sep 30, 2015
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Some thoughts: If upsampling to quad speed DSD using HQ player is the cat's meow.....then why do we need a Nadac? Is Ravenna and Ethernet really THE way to go......or could you use a great usb to I2S converter with hardwired I2S cable on the output and plug into a modified Gustard X20 and get as good of sound?!?!?!? The Nadac is probably one ESS DAC chip and a couple of op amps on the output. The Gustard is 2 ESS DACs and I am going to install one super transparent discrete stage on the output.....so the Gustard will be better in DACsville and outputstageville. Could it compete with the Nadac? We shall see. The Nadac is $10,500, The Gustard X20 with mods less than $2000....add another $500 or so for state of the art I2S converter and we might have something really, really serious.
You still need an I2S source. And remember the Gustard has CMOS I2S input, not LVDS. So what are you going to use that can interface to the CMOS I2S input on the Gustard, and be able to accept quad DSD input from HQplayer?

Good luck getting a USB interface as good as Ravenna. One of the big reasons the NADAC sounds so good is their Ravenna implementation.
 
Sep 30, 2015
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What is an op amp?
They are little chips that amplify the signal. It's what preamps use to pre-amplify the signal before going to the amp. It's also what DAC's use to amplify the output from the DAC chip up to levels high enough for the amps. Most products use IC opamps, however, you can build the circuits with discrete components as well. But this is far more costly. The NADAC uses IC opamps. There's no written in stone better way of doing things, but the highest end stuff usually uses discrete circuits. However discrete circuits doesn't automatically mean better.


An example of an dip 8 IC opamp:

lm4562.jpg

Here's your Pass XS pre gain stage. There's one in there, along with IC voltage regs, a few caps, resistors and relays:

XsPregains.jpg
 
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Sep 30, 2015
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I know little about I2S interfacing but will learn. I thought Amanero can do DSD 256....even 512. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Yeah but the Amanero sucks.The usb interface that comes stock in it is likely better.
 

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