Author Topic: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba  (Read 22005 times)

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2011, 11:02:00 PM »
I know Craig thinks the JK has a digital edge to it.  I can't hear it and when I mentioned it to Craig he said he was rather sensitive to that sort of stuff.  

  I am also sensitive to what they call "digital edge" in delivery.   It's abit of a worry Bill.

But if you cant hear it, then dont go looking for it.
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline kajak12

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2011, 11:06:37 PM »
And this carefull listening was done on what system? just so some of us can get an idea

Mike's system with ML3 References.  It was with a Level 1 PDX - not Level 2.  I know you don't particularly like Mikes Mac's amps but many people think its pretty transparent.  Interestingly that day we also tried my little Redgum Sonofagum and it readily showed the differences - which shocked a friend I had with me.  I also remember that day we tried a Stello DAC and I2S transport.  Suffice to say it was not even remotely in the race.

Thanks
Bill
I know 5 people in QLD that dont like the macs at all
Bill i like quality amps not ordinary hifi amps

The people that think macs are transparent haven't heard a great amp yet,since i know what system has been used it holds no credibility to me at all.
Macs are only good for boat anchors
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

Offline bhobba

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2011, 11:10:38 PM »
I am also sensitive to what they call "digital edge" in delivery.   It's abit of a worry Bill. But if you cant hear it, then dont go looking for it.

Trouble is, especially after Craig mentioned it, I went looking for it and sill couldn't find it.  I asked others to listen for it as well and they couldn't hear it either.  Its a worry.

Thanks
Bill

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2011, 11:44:22 PM »
Trouble is, especially after Craig mentioned it, I went looking for it and sill couldn't find it.  I asked others to listen for it as well and they couldn't hear it either.  Its a worry.
Not really a worry for you.     But it is a worry for me, and the potential of the JKhiface.

As I said,  I trust Craigs opinion for the reasons stated.  I'd be shocked if he was hearing things, and that there was no digital edge (in comparison to a fully hotrodded cd94 running i2s in nos mode).
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline bhobba

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2011, 10:29:52 AM »
dont worry about a different thread (i am a moderator) the wadia you heard is stock nothing like steves wadia or my cd94,bill you have no idea how much difference their is between modded wadia/cd94 and  stock units

Hi Mario

Sorry I didn't reply to this last night - but I missed it for some reason.  Old age and senility I guess.

It is indeed possible some very heavily tweaked transport may surpass the JK as source - no one can really say until a direct comparison is done - which I think will eventually happen as per what Zenelectro said.  But the transports we were using were no slouches and John Kenny has compared it to some pretty expensive stuff as well (from a post John Kenny did in another forum):
'How about a Wadia 850 (highly modified) comparison? http://www.tirnahifi.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=11408#p11408
Or Lector CD7 comparison http://www.tirnahifi.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=10564#p10564
Both of these are using the I2S Hiface integrated with a DAC'

To me though that is not the real issue - the real issue is some very experienced ears like Criag Conner don't like it.  If you don't like it then you don't really need to go to more expensive transports.

Thanks
Bill
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 10:43:16 AM by bhobba »

Offline rawl99

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #45 on: June 10, 2011, 09:53:02 PM »
And this carefull listening was done on what system? just so some of us can get an idea

Mike's system with ML3 References.  It was with a Level 1 PDX - not Level 2.  I know you don't particularly like Mikes Mac's amps but many people think its pretty transparent.  Interestingly that day we also tried my little Redgum Sonofagum and it readily showed the differences - which shocked a friend I had with me.  I also remember that day we tried a Stello DAC and I2S transport.  Suffice to say it was not even remotely in the race.

Thanks
Bill

Hi Bill and all

Since my thoughts have been bandied about here with gay abandon, which Mario very kindly advised me I should have a read of, I figure I may as well clarify and add a few comments/observations.  
The viewpoint I voiced that Bill alludes to here was from a 60-odd second listen when I was walking in to pick up//drop off/ something to Mike and Bill was in the listening chair as I walked in and asked me what I thought of the sound reproduction.  It took me a 30 second ish period to form the view that I did not like what I heard.  It sounded a little brittle and glary without the organic flow that is essential FOR ME to enjoy music.  
He asked if I thought it was the cd player or the digital and I said I was pretty certain it was a digital item, which one I was not sure of ie Audiophileo vs JKeny as I had not done a back-to-back of the two.  
He asked why and I responded that TO ME it sounded somewhat mechanical and brittle and that was the basis for my comment because I had never heard any of the transports sounding this way on Mikes system.  
Bill commented back to me that he did not hear it which was when I responded, as he pointed out in an earlier post, that I am rather sensitive to that nature of brittleness or hardness and it really grates on me.
NOW, FOR SOME CONTEXT!!!
The speakers that were in the system were Brand New ML1 reference and as Mario will support me in, I cannot listen to them brand new in my rig.  They suck!  Actually, 'they suck' is pretty harsh and unfair.  They sound great from the get-go.  Sadly, from new they do not yet exhibit the brilliance that they are capable of.  But put 450-500 hours on them and they SING GORGEOUSLY!!!

Add on top of that that the PDX was a brand new unit and we have a recipe for somewhat short of brilliance.
I have very little to no interest in listening to any audio item that does not have in the ballpark of 500 hours on it.  IT IS NOT A FAIR JUDGEMENT.  
So my view is that if you are auditioning anything you care about, make sure it has plenty of running time on it or you may just be missing out on a pearl because of lack of burn-in time.
Anybody that does not agree with burn-in, keep it to yourself.  I am not interested in your view that it does not exist.  I hear it, most if not all of the folks whose opinions I respect hear it ---- nuff said.

So the nuts and bolts is that what I heard is not in any way representative of what the JK does.  Have I heard it apart from that experience?  Yes I have and it does not float my boat.  I may change that viewpoint in the future, I may not.  Once I have heard one on my rig then I may have an opinion to share.  Up until that point in time I have no solid opinion to share.
Some very preliminary observations:  (ref to Live In Paris) The JK sounds much cleaner and less distorted than the stock wadia, the piano is more revealed and the background detail is more apparent.  But my comment about a little mechanical still stands.
So my question then becomes: does the original recording contain some of the distortion that the JK is then removing or does the original recording have none of this distortion being talked about and the Wadia is then adding it.  I don't know.  Anybody got Diana Live in Paris on Vinyl Master Pressing????  That I would like to compare to find out for myself.

In terms of comparing the combination to a killer, that I feel is very dangerous turf without a back-to-back comparo on a good rig.

Millsy:  Thanks for the vote of confidence --- Back at ya buddy

Bill, one of the golden eared ones I feel you refer to also commented quite some back that a particular component when added to a digital system improved dimension, resolution and 'realness' by a very significant margin over direct from the transport.  I was the pariah and begged to disagree and felt that it added glare and hardness and lost all of the dimensional resolution and timbral balance/texture.  I demonstrated this to quite anumber of folks on my rig and the all looked at me with stunned amazement at the change with ahd without  (much better without).  Interesting that that component got sidelined 6-12 months later as being detrimental.  No more detail, that is all I am prepared to share.

Just wanting to clarify the record you fellow psychotic nutjobs that all ought to get a life and leave the pursuit of audio Nirvana to those already in appropriate Asylums.

Rawl
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 09:32:42 AM by rawl99 »

Offline bhobba

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #46 on: June 11, 2011, 12:03:00 AM »
I have very little to no interest in listening to any audio item that does not have in the ballpark of 500 hours on it.  IT IS NOT A FAIR JUDGEMENT.  So my view is that if you are auditioning anything you care about, make sure it has plenty of running time on it or you may just be missing out on a pearl because of lack of burn-in time. Anybody that does not agree with burn-in, keep it to yourself.  I am not interested in your view that it does not exist.  I hear it, most if not all of the folks whose opinions I respect hear it ---- nuff said.

Hi Craig

No argument about burn in from me.  I am giving my PDX plenty of burn in time.  What I think would really help is if once I have about 500 or more hours on it is to bring it around and check it out on your system.  Will drop you a line when it gets closer to having that sort of time on it and perhaps we can make a time to check it out.  That will also help because my friend that the DAC was built for can hear that digital edge as well - but didn't hear it on the level 1 DAC that didn't have Duelunds in them.  He would like to get to the bottom of it as well.

Thanks
Bill
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 12:04:55 AM by bhobba »

Offline rawl99

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2011, 09:37:26 AM »
I have very little to no interest in listening to any audio item that does not have in the ballpark of 500 hours on it.  IT IS NOT A FAIR JUDGEMENT.  So my view is that if you are auditioning anything you care about, make sure it has plenty of running time on it or you may just be missing out on a pearl because of lack of burn-in time. Anybody that does not agree with burn-in, keep it to yourself.  I am not interested in your view that it does not exist.  I hear it, most if not all of the folks whose opinions I respect hear it ---- nuff said.

Hi Craig

No argument about burn in from me.  I am giving my PDX plenty of burn in time.  What I think would really help is if once I have about 500 or more hours on it is to bring it around and check it out on your system.  Will drop you a line when it gets closer to having that sort of time on it and perhaps we can make a time to check it out.  That will also help because my friend that the DAC was built for can hear that digital edge as well - but didn't hear it on the level 1 DAC that didn't have Duelunds in them.  He would like to get to the bottom of it as well.

Thanks
Bill

Bill,

Good Morning Sire.  Yes please.  I would love to do that.  Of huge benefit to both you and me as I have not heard the JK in my rig.  Will also give us a common point of reference and flesh out each others' preferences in the world of audio.  This will be of benefit in us understanding where the other is coming from in their writings.

Thanks for the response.

Craig

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2011, 09:57:35 AM »
So the nuts and bolts is that what I heard is not in any way representative of what the JK does.  Have I heard it apart from that experience?  Yes I have and it does not float my boat.  I may change that viewpoint in the future, I may not.  Once I have heard one on my rig then I may have an opinion to share.  Up until that point in time I have no solid opinion to share.

Thanks for clarifying C,   let us know if you ever get to try it on your rig.

JK has been offering a money back trial period on his unit.  Which I have expressed an interest in,   but he's gone silent on me,  since learning that I will be comparing it to a modded CD94 that is already running I2S.   Read into that what you will.   At this stage I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, and am assumeing that he's just busy.....

Quote
Just wanting to clarify the record you fellow psychotic nutjobs that all ought to get a life and leave the pursuit of audio Nirvana to those already in appropriate Asylums.

LMAO !   Yes,  the pursuit of audio nirvana is a very deeeeeep rabbit hole,  that can seem like it has no end.
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline bhobba

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #49 on: June 11, 2011, 12:21:51 PM »
JK has been offering a money back trial period on his unit.  Which I have expressed an interest in,   but he's gone silent on me,  since learning that I will be comparing it to a modded CD94 that is already running I2S.   Read into that what you will.   At this stage I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, and am assumeing that he's just busy.....

Hi Ozmilllsy

John has resumed shipping the modified Hifaces.  I am pretty sure if you drop him a line now an I2S version can be sent out.  You can order one without contacting John:
https://sites.google.com/site/hifacemods/home/purchase

Evidently the shipping cost is for world wide delivery that includes Australia.

Thanks
Bill

Offline bhobba

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #50 on: June 11, 2011, 02:15:31 PM »
Hi Craig

Good Morning Sire.  Yes please.  I would love to do that.  Of huge benefit to both you and me as I have not heard the JK in my rig.  Will also give us a common point of reference and flesh out each others' preferences in the world of audio.  This will be of benefit in us understanding where the other is coming from in their writings.

No problem at all.  Only thing is the JK part is battery powered and only lasts about 12 hours before needing to be recharged which slows the break in a bit.  Hopefully though it will have enough hours in a month or so.  I would also like to bring my friend along that also has issues with the DAC - although we think his problems have to do with unbroken in Duelands which he does not like compared to some paper in oils he heard on a level 1 PDX.  It would be great if you can help getting to the bottom of it.

Have I heard it apart from that experience?  Yes I have and it does not float my boat.  I may change that viewpoint in the future, I may not.  Once I have heard one on my rig then I may have an opinion to share.  Up until that point in time I have no solid opinion to share. Some very preliminary observations:  (ref to Live In Paris) The JK sounds much cleaner and less distorted than the stock wadia, the piano is more revealed and the background detail is more apparent.  But my comment about a little mechanical still stands. So my question then becomes: does the original recording contain some of the distortion that the JK is then removing or does the original recording have none of this distortion being talked about and the Wadia is then adding it.  I don't know.  Anybody got Diana Live in Paris on Vinyl Master Pressing????  That I would like to compare to find out for myself.

Glad you experienced the Diana Krall recording.  To me it was chalk and cheese and why I am so positive towards it.  Imagine how you would feel if you heard that kind of difference but is did not sound edgy but rather very analogue like.

Thanks
Bill

Offline kajak12

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #51 on: June 11, 2011, 06:17:56 PM »
dont worry about a different thread (i am a moderator) the wadia you heard is stock nothing like steves wadia or my cd94,bill you have no idea how much difference their is between modded wadia/cd94 and  stock units

Hi Mario

Sorry I didn't reply to this last night - but I missed it for some reason.  Old age and senility I guess.

It is indeed possible some very heavily tweaked transport may surpass the JK as source - no one can really say until a direct comparison is done - which I think will eventually happen as per what Zenelectro said.  But the transports we were using were no slouches and John Kenny has compared it to some pretty expensive stuff as well (from a post John Kenny did in another forum):
'How about a Wadia 850 (highly modified) comparison? http://www.tirnahifi.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=11408#p11408
Or Lector CD7 comparison http://www.tirnahifi.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=10564#p10564
Both of these are using the I2S Hiface integrated with a DAC'

To me though that is not the real issue - the real issue is some very experienced ears like Criag Conner don't like it.  If you don't like it then you don't really need to go to more expensive transports.

Thanks
Bill


BILL The wadia 850 is nothing like steves it uses a sony laser mechanism and different chip sets in the digital domain.
i will write more later on too busy fixing other ppl's crap
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

Offline bhobba

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #52 on: June 11, 2011, 08:33:41 PM »
BILL The wadia 850 is nothing like steves it uses a sony laser mechanism and different chip sets in the digital domain. i will write more later on too busy fixing other ppl's crap

It is indeed possible Steve's transport exceeds the JK.  But, just like Craig said, the distortion was appreciably less and the detail greater through the JK and, try as I might, I cant hear any digital edge.  This and similar listening experiences is what has made me so positive towards JK infused DAC's.  Its why I am so keen to get the John Kenny Saber DAC out there for people to hear.  It will not be up to Killer DAC standards but I believe it could be the best Saber implementation out there and get rid of a lot of what I don't like about Saber DAC's - at least I hope so anyway.

Thanks
Bill

Offline kajak12

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #53 on: June 11, 2011, 08:42:49 PM »
BILL The wadia 850 is nothing like steves it uses a sony laser mechanism and different chip sets in the digital domain. i will write more later on too busy fixing other ppl's crap

It is indeed possible Steve's transport exceeds the JK.  But, just like Craig said, the distortion was appreciably less and the detail greater through the JK and, try as I might, I cant hear any digital edge.  This and similar listening experiences is what has made me so positive towards JK infused DAC's.  Its why I am so keen to get the John Kenny Saber DAC out there for people to hear.  It will not be up to Killer DAC standards but I believe it could be the best Saber implementation out there and get rid of a lot of what I don't like about Saber DAC's - at least I hope so anyway.

Thanks
Bill
Bill the modded marantz cd94/wadia has got more resolution then stock more on this later too busy i could really blow your mind if i mentioned what i am working on :D
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

Offline bhobba

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #54 on: June 11, 2011, 10:29:36 PM »
Bill the modded marantz cd94/wadia has got more resolution then stock more on this later too busy i could really blow your mind if i mentioned what i am working on :D

I can see you're stoked - which is great to see.  Very interesting to see how it compares.  I know Mike did mention he thought a really tricked out transport running on batteries and probably other stuff as well may do it.

Thanks
Bill

Offline rawl99

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #55 on: June 11, 2011, 10:38:22 PM »
BILL The wadia 850 is nothing like steves it uses a sony laser mechanism and different chip sets in the digital domain. i will write more later on too busy fixing other ppl's crap

It is indeed possible Steve's transport exceeds the JK.  But, just like Craig said, the distortion was appreciably less and the detail greater through the JK and, try as I might, I cant hear any digital edge.  This and similar listening experiences is what has made me so positive towards JK infused DAC's.  Its why I am so keen to get the John Kenny Saber DAC out there for people to hear.  It will not be up to Killer DAC standards but I believe it could be the best Saber implementation out there and get rid of a lot of what I don't like about Saber DAC's - at least I hope so anyway.

Thanks
Bill

Bill,

Yes, however, the question still remains as to whether the distortion is in the original recording and the JK washes it out.  I shall pursue a vinyl copy for comparison.

There are other system synergy issues afoot which we can discuss further when we get together

Cheers
Craig

Offline jkeny

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #56 on: June 12, 2011, 03:23:57 AM »
Hi All, I just joined as I saw some mention of my products & wondered if I can clarify anything or help in any way? Usual Noob refrain - go easy on me :)

I'm not able to answer questions such as which will be better CD94 or I2S Hiface - I would imagine some of this is going to be system & listener dependent. All I can say is that I've tried both the I2S Hiface & the JKDAC version of it (which uses a ESS Sabre DAC) in comparisons against some CD players that the users (& other listeners) rated highly (Lector CDP7 & a highly modified Wadia 850) & the JKDAC  it showed no sign of digital glare. Bearing in mind that the ESS Sabre DACs are considered bright & overly detailed, I would have thought that if there was any digital glare on the I2S Hiface feeding this DAC then it would have been ruthlessly exposed.

What I have noticed when comparing the I2S Hiface to SPIF sources is more solid sound stage with a more pin-point placement of players in that sound stage i.e less fuzziness to the sound stage. I don't know if this is because of extra clarity, lower noise floor or what but that is my impression of the sonic differences so far.  

I'm hoping in the next while to compare it against a dCs front end comprising of a dCs Verdi La Scala CD/SACD player; dCs Scarlatti DAC; dCs Verona Master clock. I will report back if it ever happens.

Anyway, hope some of this helps but the real test is comparing one element against another in a system which is as neutral as possible. Some systems I've come across, & I'm not saying this is the case here, have been tuned to compensate for a certain shortcoming in a device i.e if a source was dullish sounding or didn't have enough life in it, using a cable that gave a certain edge or kick might give a balanced sound. However, once a new source is introduced it can then sound too bright because it is revealing the brightness in the cable! This has been reported to me a couple of times in the past with my Hiface where it wasn't liked & returned to me, only later to find that when a cable was changed the customer then repurchased the Hiface.

I hope nobody takes this the wrong way - I'm not saying anything about any system being discussed here, I'm just saying what I've experienced in the past that might have a bearing on listening to any new element introduced into any system.    
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 03:26:08 AM by jkeny »

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #57 on: June 12, 2011, 07:23:59 AM »
What I have noticed when comparing the I2S Hiface to SPIF sources is more solid sound stage with a more pin-point placement of players in that sound stage i.e less fuzziness to the sound stage. I don't know if this is because of extra clarity, lower noise floor or what but that is my impression of the sonic differences so far.  
Hi John,  the modded CD94 running i2s is similar.   Well implemented I2S is literally like removing a veil from the music, I've found when running this transport.   The clarity is amazing.   We run NOS mode into TDA1541A chips,  and these dacs are very smooth and analog like when fed with a top class digital source - but they are also unforgiving and will reveal any anomalies or edge that is coming in, when directly compared to the existing transport.

I'm looking forward to trying your unit.

Thanks for posting.  Hope to see you around on this local DIY forum, when time permits. 
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline jkeny

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #58 on: June 12, 2011, 07:39:48 AM »
Hi John,  the modded CD94 running i2s is similar.   Well implemented I2S is literally like removing a veil from the music, I've found when running this transport.   The clarity is amazing.   We run NOS mode into TDA1541A chips,  and these dacs are very smooth and analog like when fed with a top class digital source - but they are also unforgiving and will reveal any anomalies or edge that is coming in, when directly compared to the existing transport.
Excellent, I'm sure NOS is the way to go & probably the most direct way to hear the quality of the source.

Quote
I'm looking forward to trying your unit.

Thanks for posting.  Hope to see you around on this local DIY forum, when time permits. 
Great, Oz!

Offline bhobba

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Re: Killer DAC For Bill Hobba
« Reply #59 on: June 12, 2011, 03:12:33 PM »
Yes, however, the question still remains as to whether the distortion is in the original recording and the JK washes it out.  I shall pursue a vinyl copy for comparison. There are other system synergy issues afoot which we can discuss further when we get together

Abso-friggen-lutely

In the fullness of time all will be revealed.

All that I can say right now is to my ears and in the system I have listened to I can not detect any trace of digitius and the distortion and detail retrieval were better - appreciably better in fact.

Thanks
Bill