Author Topic: Computer transport interface  (Read 21873 times)

Offline kajak12

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2014, 03:46:54 PM »
The whole idea of 'computer audio' will only work if you yourself actually want it to.

If you are a person who doesn't like the idea of using computers in general or the idea of storing/accessing your music library from say an ipad,   I reckon even if the resultant sound is as good as the 'analog tape',   it still wouldnt be 'good enough'.

Another example is like vinyl rips.  When I had my turntable setup running, I thought it sounded great.   I played a copy of the 24/96 vinyl rip I downloaded and played it through my digital system and felt it sounded just as good. Possibly even better.  Yet there are vinyl advocates out there that still believe the sound of vinyl is (and will always be) more 'real' than any digital source.    What we audiophiles 'think' sounds more 'real' is more than just what comes out of the speakers. 

That's my observations from most of the people I've met in this hobby so far.
Tuyen what have you been smoking lately i would like some.............
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

Offline zenelectro

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2014, 06:36:24 PM »
O.k. I've got it,

We can put a black hole next to the isolator, suck all the noise out....and theen re-clock it!

Just gotta find the right black hole, vgot some datasheets here somwhere.  :P

D

That's it Danny. :)

I just bought one myself. Should be a good project.
Getting re familiarized with Design Spark.   

T

Offline Rob181

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #42 on: May 24, 2014, 06:39:59 PM »
Of course, but a PS audio direct stream DAC is a very expensive piece of kit that can be improved upon WRT performance.

You would also have to throw away most of the OP level to make it suitable for the KD triode OP stage.

There are better options than the PS audio DAC and for cheaper for DSD OP.

Stay tuned. :)

 T

You bet your life I will stay tuned...really looking forward to what "rabbit you can pull out of a hat" with this...like MANY others I am moving to computer audio & would really appreciate a Killer DSD...especially once that has 2 inputs...1 x USB for the computer & 1 x I2S for the CD Transport...Rob

Offline Tuyen

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #43 on: May 25, 2014, 11:51:00 AM »
Do you guys believe the issue of 'noise' being one of the primary things to focus on trying to get 'right', with these usb-i2s converters?    I.e.  does the discussion about these clocking/reclocking function directly affect the output 'noise'?

If so, would it be worth measuring the unique 'noise' profiles of a fully tweaked Marantz CD94/Wadia unit that are currently considered ultimate i2s transports and try to replicate this noise profile on these USB modules?  Or is the aim really just to get 'lowest' noise possible?   

Sorry if I'm over simplifying things!    Just very interested in the whole topic of usb-i2s interfaces vs  disc-i2s interfaces.  Not knowledgeable or technical enough. Have only ever executed primitive and totally subjective listening tests and comparisons in the past.

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #44 on: May 25, 2014, 12:11:25 PM »
Jitter is a bit of a phenomena, IMHO.

Take the Zenclock.   It was designed in a way to ensure lowest possible jitter distortion.   We put it into my cd94, and it was kind of cold/clinical.   Terry then tweaked it, and the result was all this harmonic beauty going on.  I believe the tweak resulted in higher jitter distortion.

It's almost like some static jitter is needed for a more pleasing sound,  but I dont know why that is, it's almost counter intuitive.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 12:36:01 PM by ozmillsy »
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline kajak12

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #45 on: May 25, 2014, 12:19:22 PM »
Jitter is a bit of a phenomena, IMHO.

Take the Zenclock.   It was designed in a way to ensure lowest possible jitter distortion.   We put it into my cd94, and it was kind of cold/clinical.   Terry then tweaked it, and then result was all this harmonic beauty going on.  I believe the tweak resulted in higher jitter distortion.

It's almost like some static jitter is needed for a more pleasing sound,  but I dont know why that is, it's almost counter intuitive.

Do you guys believe the issue of 'noise' being one of the primary things to focus on trying to get 'right', with these usb-i2s converters?    I.e.  does the discussion about these clocking/reclocking function directly affect the output 'noise'?

If so, would it be worth measuring the unique 'noise' profiles of a fully tweaked Marantz CD94/Wadia unit that are currently considered ultimate i2s transports and try to replicate this noise profile on these USB modules?  Or is the aim really just to get 'lowest' noise possible?   

Sorry if I'm over simplifying things!    Just very interested in the whole topic of usb-i2s interfaces vs  disc-i2s interfaces.  Not knowledgeable or technical enough. Have only ever executed primitive and totally subjective listening tests and comparisons in the past.

Jitter is a unknown dark secret while developing the zen clock its amazing how a few changes in the clock affect the sound what we need is accurate measurements just to plot the jitter aspects and what sound real
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 12:28:15 PM by ozmillsy »
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

Offline zenelectro

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #46 on: May 25, 2014, 01:19:55 PM »
Jitter is a bit of a phenomena, IMHO.

Take the Zenclock.   It was designed in a way to ensure lowest possible jitter distortion.   We put it into my cd94, and it was kind of cold/clinical.   Terry then tweaked it, and the result was all this harmonic beauty going on.  I believe the tweak resulted in higher jitter distortion.

It's almost like some static jitter is needed for a more pleasing sound,  but I dont know why that is, it's almost counter intuitive.

Oz,

WRT adding jitter, I don't that is the case. I tweaked the oscillator load, making it lighter, ie; unloading it. On Nathans I unloaded it even further.

I don't think this would add jitter and could very well lower it. I wish I had the test gear to measure it.

One thing is for sure, unloading the oscillator increased the sine wave voltage OP, (before squaring) so that well may have lowered jitter.


cheers

T

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #47 on: May 25, 2014, 02:08:32 PM »
I don't think this would add jitter and could very well lower it. I wish I had the test gear to measure it.

One thing is for sure, unloading the oscillator increased the sine wave voltage OP, (before squaring) so that well may have lowered jitter.
Doesnt loading the oscillator ensure a tighter square wave?

What is the theory in loading it?
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline gamve

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2014, 03:23:47 PM »
Watching this topic with some interest.
A question for all you guys. Has anyone heard a decent (and by decent I mean nearly as good as a
dedicated transport/DAC or well sorted analogue system) reasonably priced PC based audio system.
Has anyone heard a decent PC based music system at any price?

If you have had experience with either system, has this system been used successfully for a reasonable
period of time without constant pissing around with both the software and the hardware, ie complete and
going reliably without any modifications for six months or more?

Is it a mandatory and expected fact that if you use a PC for digital audio you are committing to using most
of your listening time fcuking about with useless sh!t equipment and crap technology designed for a totally
different purpose. If I want a piece of toast I put it in the toaster not the bloody washing machine.  :D

Do you really believe a $99.00 kit board solution will be the answer to all your digital dreams? or are you
all deluded?  :-*


Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #49 on: May 25, 2014, 04:02:49 PM »
LOL

I have had good results with a MacMini running Audirvana.

I use it for playing native DSD files into a DSD dac (cheap unit).   

I dont use it on my main system.   Just doesnt compare, but that is more to do with the dac than the macmini (I reckon).

One day I'll have a SOTA KillerDSD.  :)
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline Tuyen

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #50 on: May 25, 2014, 04:34:22 PM »
I was using a little netbook running foobar2000 playback software into a USB DDDAC1543 MK2. Perfectly content with the sound quality I was getting from the setup for the 3 years I had it.   Have lost all  interest in any disc spinners as a primary digital transport since. hehe

Only decided to try the newer high-res supported USB DDDAC1794 last year and have been enjoying it too.  Don't mind trying small software/hardware tweaks that get posted around the place, as long as they aren't too costly and don't involve too much effort.

Offline Tuyen

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #51 on: May 25, 2014, 04:47:55 PM »
I'd be interested in reading about forum member's personal experiences of which computer transport interfaces(hardware and software) they have tried on their own dac/system and how they found it compared to their cd transport.   Do understand it is completely subjective, but still interesting to me none-the-less :)

Offline Tuyen

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #52 on: May 25, 2014, 04:56:20 PM »
PC audio will surpass the KillerDAC - no question.  It's just a question of who can do it.

My money is on DSD replay being the best solution. 

T

Hi Terry,

What's your reason for saying DSD being the best solution?

The whole PCM vs DSD and which format is superior, doesn't seem to be black and white from what I can gather reading various forums.

Official DSD releases are so so limited too.  I can't see it growing that fast anytime soon.   Do you feel there really is any point putting much effort into getting a solution that is done 'right' ?    Or is the idea of DSD more for recording and replaying of vinyl/tape rips?

Has any forums members compared a 24/96 vinyl rip (or tape rip) on their digital system (even if converted to 16/44 and burnt to CD for playback)  to the actual record on their turntable?     If so,   how do they compare sonically?  What aspects in the sound do you feel you lose  from the conversion/playback process?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 05:00:08 PM by Tuyen »

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #53 on: May 25, 2014, 05:08:43 PM »
Has any forums members compared a 24/96 vinyl rip (or tape rip) on their digital system (even if converted to 16/44 and burnt to CD for playback)  to the actual record on their turntable?     If so,   how do they compare sonically?  What aspects in the sound do you feel you lose  from the conversion/playback process?
I just did that yesterday, and posted about it in the Vinyl section.
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #54 on: May 25, 2014, 05:18:21 PM »
Watching this topic with some interest.
A question for all you guys. Has anyone heard a decent (and by decent I mean nearly as good as a
dedicated transport/DAC or well sorted analogue system) reasonably priced PC based audio system.
Has anyone heard a decent PC based music system at any price?

If you have had experience with either system, has this system been used successfully for a reasonable
period of time without constant pissing around with both the software and the hardware, ie complete and
going reliably without any modifications for six months or more?

Is it a mandatory and expected fact that if you use a PC for digital audio you are committing to using most
of your listening time fcuking about with useless sh!t equipment and crap technology designed for a totally
different purpose. If I want a piece of toast I put it in the toaster not the bloody washing machine.  :D

Do you really believe a $99.00 kit board solution will be the answer to all your digital dreams? or are you
all deluded?  :-*
Ha,,, its all true, but we hope to change that. The best computer audio I have heard was at my place and that was a very expensive full on rig. He had been working on it's sound for about 5 years, and spent loads of money, it was very good, not like real, but very good. Where it fell down was the typical problems that seem to be intrinsic in all the computer based transport systems i have heard, a slightly White, thin, anaemic, and cold unmusical artificial nature, not much flesh on that bone. Yes unfortunately it was only ok in all the areas that really matter. On the plus side when i removed this $10,000 latest and greatest 24 bit 192 dac and plugged it into my Killerdac via a digital cable, the improvement was dramatic. Can we make a computer interface that cuts it, well that is the plan, but my modified Wadia 3200 killerdac combo is so good, its very unlikely i can reach that level, but even if i can get 90 precent i will be happy, maybe. Ultimately can we have brilliance via computer audio, probably not. Why? the simple answer could be. That Less is More. For people who don't know what that means, the less sh!t or complexity your system has, the better it can potentially sound. The other problem may be the poor sounding chips they use.

Offline Tuyen

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #55 on: May 25, 2014, 05:54:10 PM »
Thanks for sharing your experience, Steven.  I was told many a time you are a man who will only accept brilliance.  If this is true, the very nature of computer audio being how complex it is, I can't see how it would ever make you happy?  There would be too many compromises!    Life's too short to even bother getting worked into it if one isn't truly interested or believe in the concept or idea of computer audio. Would just continually be disappointed. Which was one of my main point before. Would you tend to agree?

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #56 on: May 25, 2014, 07:31:16 PM »
Thanks for sharing your experience, Steven.  I was told many a time you are a man who will only accept brilliance.  If this is true, the very nature of computer audio being how complex it is, I can't see how it would ever make you happy?  There would be too many compromises!    Life's too short to even bother getting worked into it if one isn't truly interested or believe in the concept or idea of computer audio. Would just continually be disappointed. Which was one of my main point before. Would you tend to agree?
Tuyen you have built so many different systems over the years, and no doubt like all of us have spent plenty of money, The fanatical one, Bryan in Melbourne has built about the same amount of systems, because he is a man who will only accept brilliance, I think he holds the record closely followed by you. Tuyen that also means that you are a man who will only accept brilliance. I have had the same general System for about 20 years. For many years I never used digital, because digital sucked, I only played turntable, but I decided I will try to make digital happen after hearing the potential of a full on all battery powered burr brown chipped dac built by Zenelectro. Today we have the killerdac, finally we have digital that really makes music, Why then can't we take computer transports, put in the effort, and hopefully also make music. whether or not its possible time will tell, but we need to waste our short lives on something. I am really worried about the modern chips being the bottle neck, and those surface mount resistors, YUK. 
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 08:50:11 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline zenelectro

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #57 on: May 25, 2014, 10:37:38 PM »
Doesnt loading the oscillator ensure a tighter square wave?

What is the theory in loading it?

The load is acting on the sine wave oscillator before the squaring circuit.

Supposedly the oscillator should meet its spec with any load down to a few hundred ohms but I did notice
the load makes a big difference to the sine wave OP level.  IOW, when 'unoading' the oscillator, the amplitude
gets larger. Remember I am referring to the sine wave OP pre squaring.

So despite what the so called specs say it all appears very interactive. I got best results with the lightest
possible load.

T

Offline zenelectro

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Re: Computer transport interface
« Reply #58 on: May 25, 2014, 11:18:55 PM »
Tuyen you have built so many different systems over the years, and no doubt like all of us have spent plenty of money, The fanatical one, Bryan in Melbourne has built about the same amount of systems, because he is a man who will only accept brilliance, I think he holds the record closely followed by you. Tuyen that also means that you are a man who will only accept brilliance. I have had the same general System for about 20 years. For many years I never used digital, because digital sucked, I only played turntable, but I decided I will try to make digital happen after hearing the potential of a full on all battery powered burr brown chipped dac built by Zenelectro. Today we have the killerdac, finally we have digital that really makes music, Why then can't we take computer transports, put in the effort, and hopefully also make music. whether or not its possible time will tell, but we need to waste our short lives on something. I am really worried about the modern chips being the bottle neck, and those surface mount resistors, YUK.

Steven,

Yes agreed, all these DAC's are way too complex.

My next DAC for PC playback will not use any commercial DAC chip or digital filter end of story. It will be a fully discrete DAC and designed from ground up with the highest quality logic, clocks,
thru hole parts etc. You can use whatever resistors you like :) WRT less is more, yes, that is why I am going this way. The tricky part is circuit board layout however I have a pretty good
handle on that with a simple noise cancelling balanced architecture. 

That's about all I can say at this stage.

Z

Offline kajak12

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Re: Computer transport interface (some ppl make $$$ on cd players
« Reply #59 on: May 25, 2014, 11:31:21 PM »
http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/neodio/1.html

AT 38K (US) CHECK WHATS INSIDE!!!!!!   makes computer audio very cheap
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time