Author Topic: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192  (Read 174843 times)

Offline kajak12

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #140 on: June 26, 2013, 08:14:49 PM »
Bugger, oh well maybe next time Mario...I'm really keen on hearing what you think of it. My concern is that it might be a tad dry and not as rich or liquid as 1541/1543 chips with valve outputs and vintage chokes.
Buy one and try it they dont cost much
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #141 on: June 26, 2013, 09:06:51 PM »
I own 2 devices with the 1794 chip in it.   I'm sure I am not hearing the best out of it.
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline springcreek

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #142 on: June 26, 2013, 09:58:58 PM »
Bugger, oh well maybe next time Mario...I'm really keen on hearing what you think of it. My concern is that it might be a tad dry and not as rich or liquid as 1541/1543 chips with valve outputs and vintage chokes.
Buy one and try it they dont cost much

Yep will order it soon...keen to hear what it can do.

Offline kajak12

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #143 on: June 26, 2013, 10:37:21 PM »
Bugger, oh well maybe next time Mario...I'm really keen on hearing what you think of it. My concern is that it might be a tad dry and not as rich or liquid as 1541/1543 chips with valve outputs and vintage chokes.
Buy one and try it they dont cost much

Yep will order it soon...keen to hear what it can do.
you can always add a valve output stage and tweak it until it looses digital signature
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

Offline springcreek

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #144 on: June 27, 2013, 06:43:22 AM »
My thoughts exactly

Offline rhlauranna

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #145 on: September 13, 2013, 04:12:06 AM »
well, to enlarge the knowledge in ameliorating the sound in digital stream this might perhaps be of interest:

http://twogoodears.blogspot.de/2013/09/reinhards-new-essay-about-iso-usb-and.html



this is Klaus mounting all "things" together:
1. top left: DDDAC1794 NOS DAC with one deck, i.e. two chips
2. top right: my DDDAC1543 with 120 chips
3. below left: my (Bernd's) controlled power supply for both of the DACs
4. below right: the new controlled power supply for external 5 Volt instead of the - as we now definitely know - really crappy 5 Volt delivered within the USB-cable




here testing the new DDDAC1794 NOS DAC with one deck against 4 decks...



and here the "new" connection with external 5 Volt power supply..





the results are indeed spectacular...

and what did we learn ? Again, and again...?

The way to go is not to cure the symptom but to eliminate the cause !!!



« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 05:48:15 AM by rhlauranna »

Offline kajak12

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #146 on: November 19, 2013, 11:54:07 PM »
I have heard this dac twice.................
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #147 on: December 05, 2013, 09:11:27 AM »
Some say eliminating the cause, is to do away with a pc source.

Personally, I'm not sure about that.
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline kajak12

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #148 on: December 05, 2013, 07:06:48 PM »
Some say eliminating the cause, is to do away with a pc source.

Personally, I'm not sure about that.
Its good no cigar poor PRAT poor timbre and tonality i would pay $500 max long way to go to be a killer
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

Offline vitavoxdude

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #149 on: December 05, 2013, 09:26:46 PM »
Like many things, IMV brilliance is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration so getting anything just right takes a long time and dedication.  I would not write off any dac in its earlyish gestation period, things will either click into place or not.  :-X
V
We all like different things so lets all agree to disagree and if any common ground is found then worship it.  Mine is the KD hence being present on this forum.

Offline zenelectro

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #150 on: December 06, 2013, 10:31:01 AM »
Like many things, IMV brilliance is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration so getting anything just right takes a long time and dedication.  I would not write off any dac in its earlyish gestation period, things will either click into place or not.  :-X
V

I think in this case, for ultimate performance best option is decide how many dacs you want to run in parallel, for example 2 x 1974's / mono mode per channel (4 dacs tot)
and do a dedicated board for that configuration.

This way it can be better optimised from the get go WRT layout, bypassing etc.

The big issue with all these high speed DS dacs is the layout / RF noise control needs to be much tighter than a lazy old 1541.

So there were many lessons learnt with development of Killer DAC, to port those strategies to a high speed DS DAC requires
some innovative thinking due to the higher speed requirements. I think it can be done though.

It's a good effort though, there's no doubt.

Z

Offline rhlauranna

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #151 on: December 07, 2013, 11:15:11 PM »
hmmmhh, this is partly not topic, but as exactly "this" source was "the" theme of "that" session, I found "this" place here to be just right... (although on the other hand a topic of WE severely would be worth a thread of its own)

well, at the last meeting in Metz (France) in Octobre at André's place via Jean Hiraga we (Klaus, Bernd and me) got to know for the first time part of the famous WE15a/16a/mono/stereo-gang of Paris, as there are: Jean Hiraga himself, Bénédicte Plouvier, Julien Sullerot, Tim Gurney and André of course...

as you might already know these freaks are regularly part of the European Triode Festival (ETF) in Northern France once a year, where the HiFi-DIY-aficionados from practically around the globe come together and present their latest creations and ameliorations in HiFi, and members of the famous "mélaudio"-site in France (melaudio is the abbreviation and addition of "mélomanes" (which means something like "ambitious music lovers") and "audiophiles"...

http://www.melaudia.net/

Tim Gurney has his own site writing in detail of what's going on within his/their circles

http://audio16.wordpress.com/

http://audio16.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/western-electric-16a-1932-patent-1853955/?relatedposts_exclude=1999

http://audio16.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/hanging-your-horns-2/?relatedposts_exclude=1999

http://audio16.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/emt-927-r80-the-bearing-and-platter-size-matters-8/

Tim is a real tube and vinyl aficionado and DIYer driving quality to the ultimate in detail - as is Andrè... using EMT 927 turntable with EMT TSD15, Western Electric Amps and WE15A/WE16A speakers... please have a look at his several youtube videos, for example these ones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQ9ivsBGOXc&hd=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpG2Ashh2ps&hd=1

and there are more...

and the thread regarding WE on lencoheaven regarding that matter might be of interest as well

http://www.lencoheaven.net/forum/index.php?topic=7616.0

regarding the results of digital stream let me quote Tim from here:

http://audio16.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/horns-from-1926-and-digital-source-from-21st-century/

"And….well I got the hardware and installed the dcs elgar plus to my Emt 981 that has a word clock in and all better aes digital out…marvellous…just plain fantastic!"

http://audio16.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/mixing-digitals-and-vintage-in-an-extreme-basement/

and after our listening session at André's:

http://audio16.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/mixing-digitals-and-vintage-in-an-extreme-basement/?relatedposts_exclude=1999

"The digital era can blend with the vintage horns in quite an astounding way(...)"
But here we have exterme DAC construction….comared to the dCS elgar plus driven by TEAC drive…"

I cannot help but from what I understood so far they still might have to fully "discover" (like us) the whole world of the one and only "really bit-perfect" ripped (ISO, DFF) and played back music out of computer's own RAM (and  n o  t  from any harddrive or USB-stick and  n o t  only the ones from transcodes of which the net is overflowing...)

Unfortunately I could not find a single word about the results in detail when we changed from the TEAC DC50/dCS Elgar-DAC-combination to the DDDAC1794 with four decks with controlled power supplies for 12 and 5 Volt.. exactly that what the session was all about and what Jean Hiraga especially wanted to find out before his trip to Japan...

...well., for those who might be interested in these points there is a full report coming soon about that event on Stephano's site... so you might want to have a look there...

« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 10:27:06 PM by rhlauranna »

Offline vitavoxdude

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #152 on: December 14, 2013, 12:12:29 PM »
Thank you for this post, it is very informative; the hobby of Kings - WE. :-*

Lots of great links, I have used a portion of my life enjoying them.  Most folk will never get exposed to this level of audio as they are too brain washed by the Audio comics which are only designed to sell more whiter than white crap audio.  Whilst I can say I have some field coil drivers and big horns I have yet to migrate to the likes of 16A's but who knows, maybe funds will allow.  I do remember 40+ years ago visiting our local cinema and hearing large horns (Altecs) thereafter being ruined for life with an audio affliction as a result of chasing that huge clean clear sound!

Keep these posts coming, I am impressed.  Vive la France. ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
V ;)
We all like different things so lets all agree to disagree and if any common ground is found then worship it.  Mine is the KD hence being present on this forum.

Offline hedalfa

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #153 on: December 14, 2013, 07:04:49 PM »
'...Too brain washed by the Audio comics' :( :( :( :( :(

brilliant phrase vitavox which is sadly :-[ all to true. Much of the advice given out is leads one down the garden path to nowhere and may clean out the bank account in the process.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 07:07:34 PM by hedalfa »

Offline rhlauranna

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #154 on: December 14, 2013, 10:56:13 PM »
"...being ruined for life with an audio affliction as a result of chasing that huge clean clear sound!"

yes, that brings it to the point... same with us here... some three years ago, when listening to Klaus's system - when the DDDAC-theme was just in the beginning - Jean told us already (I do not want to become indiscreet, but I think it is justified in this case - so Jean please pardon me) - after some 5 hours sitting and listening in the sweet spot nailed down like a "hare" - that it was "perfect" and "incredible" - when you listen to Klaus's system for the first time it might be like that, but at that time I was still not yet totally convinced becaue of being much longer used to "that" sound and mine, but with the latest results finally I am... (yes, I know there is always something to "ameliorate", and we will do) - with what "ingredients" and "adjustments" will appear within my report on Stefano's site rather soon - he has it now already for about two weeks, but not yet mounted - presumably because he wants "to add" something...

"Keep these posts coming..." yes, will do, and for those who cannot "wait" (like me), here is some still unfinished report and overview of André's HiFi museum from Stefano himself:

http://twogoodears.blogspot.de/2013/10/a-very-musical-weekend-hopkinsons-smith.html

enjoy...



« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 11:15:09 PM by rhlauranna »

Offline rhlauranna

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #155 on: December 16, 2013, 03:57:42 AM »

Offline rhlauranna

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #156 on: December 30, 2013, 09:22:41 AM »
...this is the very first "finished" and "perfectly" running DDDAC1794 with more than four decks, i.e. eight decks, Doede's "personal prototype", with some smaller bug fixes, some more implementations and adjustments, especially a new basic board which finally allows the stacking of more than 4 decks which now run without problems (next time we will test out 16 boards, just to experience if the ameliorations in sound equal or are comparable to those of the DDDAC1543 with multiple chips), two controlled power supplies for 5 and 12 Volt, two Sowter transformers   s i d e   b y   s i d e   next to the Mundorf silver-oil capacitors, ready to be selected and compared one against the other, a new 12 step output level control, the knob on the picture to the left in front...









how it sounds ? Once listened, there is - for me - definitely no way back..

I just ordered my next four decks when Doede was with us at Klaus's and he told me that although it is not yet ready, he has already orders, yes, from your country but as well from around the globe...

« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 09:41:39 AM by rhlauranna »

Offline rhlauranna

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #157 on: January 03, 2014, 04:40:04 AM »

Closer to the truth (part 1)...


on 28th we had another meeting at Klaus's. No, not a Carneval-session that maybe others are used to with playing whatever music just for fun, but a really scientific session with much research and lots and lots and lots of things to solder and experiment and try out and test and measure and listen to on "our" home-made reference-system to ultimately find out what to do and "where" to "go" (and we definitely found out):



Although sessions like this normally are strictly "closed" and absolutely private, destined only for research and testing purposes (it was not one of those that we have from time to time just for our music pleasure), we had two very kind and interested and well knowing guests, we had not "twogoodears", we had twice "good ears" from France, for some two hours or so, Raoul and Dominique.

 


(from left to right: Raoul, Domnique and Klaus)

Raoul is very well known within the inner high and highest end HiFi-circles in France. He is the founder of the long time legendary french audio club, "mélaudio". Dominique, who cared for Raoul while in Germany and drove him to Klaus's, is another long time experienced HiFi-aficionado and long time member of the mélaudio club as well... If you want to read more about Raoul and other members of this club in France, feel free to have a look here:

http://www.melaudia.net/

As I told: To have guests on this kind of our meetings is an absolute exception. Indeed. Normally, when testing, we do not accept any visitors. No, just to get it right, we do have nothing against external visitors if they are really interested, but even if they remain calm, in situations like this they detract us from that what we really want to do, and because of the unfortunately ever so limited time of Doede Douma we decided to keep the circle as narrow and the research as strict as possible to get the most results out of it. And we feel always very happy to share our results on "friendly" sites, for example here

http://www.dddac.com/

or on the killerdac-site

http://killerdac.com/forum/index.php?topic=842.0

And to keep it "privatissime" proves just to be right. And it was only because Jean Hiraga heavily and repeatedly insisted on me in "inviting" Raoul for this session, so that Klaus and me finally gave up our resistence and allowed his visit... who ever could lastly resist to that freak called Jean?

Well, although I did not know Raoul personally (he nevertheless is rather well known to me via the net) I have read and been told that Raoul is not at all a newbee, not at all new to the theme, to "our" theme, i.e. he is used to all kind of old and new high and highest end - and here especially - horn-systems, even multi-amped, from Western Electric, Goto, Altec, ALE, Coral.... so, he has a long time experience in audio, especially regarding high efficiency horn speakers.

Right from the beginning, after having founded mélaudio years ago, Raoul had the possibility to visit and listen to many of the highest end system that are partly described on his site, for example just to name the splendid system of Marcel Roggéro which Klaus and me had already the pleasure to experience in 2003...
 


if you want to check out for more or Marcel's system (a real hard core long time labour of love), please go here:

http://www.melaudia.net/sud1006-0301.php

But even though Raoul has already had the opportunity to listen to different kinds of Goto-systems for several times, from what I was told he didn't have - till now - the possibility to listen to a well optimized Goto-system like Klaus's which is really much different and ultra performant...

...well, to make it short, after having listened for some two hours or so (it was just an intermezzo here with us, they primarily had other HiFi-obligations on this very day in the area of Cologne) to their own reference recordings with very "tricky" tonalities (they know very well their "testing" tones and sequencies) - but they still are used to listen to CD and not "perfectly" ripped music from harddrive, which is much much better, but still not yet "bit perfect"...) - for example Tsuyoshi Yamamoto - Misty (Three Blind Mice)...
 


...and "blues down deep" - The songs of Janis Joplin...
 


...and Michel Jonasz - la fabuleuse histoire du swing, 2 CD
 


...they both like a flash of lightning jumped out of their seats, laughing deeply from the bottom of their souls, luckily and happily and full of joy, with both thumbs doubled up which they repeatedly shook into the sky when Klaus asked them about their listening impressions... well, a picture tells more than thousand words, although there was no difficulty in understanding each other...

...and of course, right after our guests had left we concentrated on our themes: Doede's absolutely newest developments regarding his completely mounted and assembled DDDAC1794 with 8 decks... he told me that he will put the results of all of his researches and measurements onto his site in the days to come, so if you like, keep having a look over there... (of course we didn't miss to show and explain all these things to our guests and had them listen to exactly that...)



front view: the "new", "fully" assemled DDDAC1794 in all its glory
 


top view: the "new", "fully" assemled DDDAC1794 in all its glory

...although this is the very first "finished" and "perfectly" running DDDAC1794 with more than four decks, i.e. eight decks, Doede's "personal prototype", with some smaller bug fixes, some more implementations and adjustments, especially a new basic board which finally allows the stacking of more than 4 decks which now run without problems (next time we will test out 16 boards, just to experience if the ameliorations in sound equal or are comparable to those of the DDDAC1543 with multiple chips), two controlled power supplies for 5 and 12 Volt, two Sowter transformers   s i d e   b y   s i d e   next to the Mundorf silver-oil capacitors, ready to be selected and compared one against the other, a new 12 step output level control, the knob on the picture to the left in front...
 


...there are already quite some orders from Australia and elsewhere around the globe so that I urgently asked Doede for not being "the last one" being delivered into that row with upgrading my DDDAC1794 from the "Quadriga" four deck to the "Octopus" with eight decks... and I am glad that he promised, although this all will last at least till mid of february, because in January he is off for the U.S.A...

to be continued with part 2: testings and results


« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 04:59:10 AM by rhlauranna »

Offline rhlauranna

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #158 on: January 03, 2014, 04:49:33 AM »
Closer to the truth, part 2

tests and results


so, what did we do then? what was this session all about?

well, we had quite a nice program to absolve...

1. we tested the new SPDIF, which Doede has added now to his new version of his DDDAC1794 with 8 decks "against" the same with USB, you have just to switch and you have an immediate A : B comparison... (see pictures)



the basic platform is now quite a lot larger as the former one, so that it is able to receive the additional SPDIF-section in front (bottom right the 5 Volt controlled power supply connection)...
 


and the "Balanced Analog Outputs" on the rear side



Well, I think it is alright to say that since the beginning of this year we are now quite used to the sound of the DDDAC1794 with 1 deck and 4 decks, both with controlled power supplies for 5 Volt and 12 Volt, we "think" we have it "in the ear"... and so it was rather "easy" for us to compare both SPDIF and USB now directly with the new DDDAC1794 with eight decks, and to compare in a fair way, and we always want to remain "fair" resp. "neutral"... why? to get out the most for us...

yes, and the results were that way that the SPDIF sounds really pretty fine, clearly the best that I have heard so far, but, as we all know, the results are inevitably more or less combined and integrated "error correction", and for that reason alone the reproduction via hard drive and USB is clearly superior. But I have to ask: Do high- and highest end aficionados really still listen to CD? I really do hope that not... (I use it only for ripping purposes)...

anyway, one can say, with SPDIF the whole sound is some sort of "rounder", a little more compressed, more "sticked" together, while USB (we checked it out with MAC Mini, Audirvana Plus and SilverLine USB-cable)...



...has much much less distortion, much more preciseness, more definition, more openness, it sounds easier, airier, more relaxed, much less "brain deranging", yes, you may say: music in a floating style... this is simply the way we want to listen to music...

2. the second test concentrated on the comparison of different USB-cables. And we had three of them. Well, you know presumably better than me what the fuss is all about with all those different USB-cables in copper, silver and whatever, reaching in price from some € up to 5.000 €/meter (as to be seen on the last Munich audio fair). And at the moment still everybody has to use an USB-cable if one wants to reproduce music via PC/MAC > hard drive > USB-cable > DAC.

I told you already in my last report that the power supply within the USB-cables is really "crap", presumably the worst that you ever get delivered. And to me the changing of USB-cables now indeed appears comparable to the changing of the pick-ups in the vinyl-area: It is only more or less curing the symptom but not erasing the cause, to make it short, in both cases it is "tayloring to taste".

And we have proven that it is exactly like that - at least in the digital area. Not only Bernd but as well Doede, they both have developed controlled power supplies for 12 Volt  a n d  for 5 Volt especially for that purpose: to get rid of exactly that 5 Volt power supply which is delivered within the USB-cable from PC and/or MAC...
 


if you want to read more about controlled power in detail and why they are so important for our sound, have a look here:

http://www.dddac.com/dddac1794_power_supplies.html

...and the results in the music reproduction show more than dramatically. The positive amelioration effects in sound indeed are that great, that nobody could have imagined or anticipated them in advance. So, for us it is no longer a question, within one of the next steps of development we want to get completely rid of this USB-norm, which is "good" for computer-purposes, but not for our beloved HiFi.

And as we now definitely do know that, we now consequently wanted to find out how different USB-cables "behave" in sound, when they no longer transport the 5 Volt from PC/MAC but only the digital signal and nothing else, i.e. when the DDDAC1794 is externally fed with a separate 5 Volt controlled power supply, and then we wanted to compare the results to each other...

Now, how many and what cables did we have? Well, there were three. The first one was a discovery of Triode Dick

http://www.triodedick.com/

and his new site

http://www.audio-creative.nl/

who has been with us for the first time at the end of last year and who has it in use for quite some time, as does Doede, the second one is the Kimber Silver USB-cable that Klaus and I very contentfully use (this was not our idea, the recommendation came from the computeraudio-site, and we just tried out), and the third one, just to give us an impression "where" we are, was a very simple 3 meter basic no-name USB-cable.

O.k., to bring it to the point: our impression was that all the so called "differences" which are said to the USB-cables are still "there", but to a much much smaller extent, so to say, the importance of an USB-cable tends to be reduced to become rather neglectable! The SilverLine was light, bright, transparent, perhaps just a little too defined and to "pointed" in the highs (maybe some systems need exactly that). The Kimber Silver was more "neutral", less spectacular, less aggressiv, more retained, to my ears simply more "natural". And the 3 meter no-name USB-cable was quite surprising, even astonishing, it was good, broader, it delivered really fine upper frequencies, but (unfortunately) the bass was more (too) pronounced.

Nevertheless all the cables "gain" considerably when they are not "misused" to transport (crappy) 5 Volt. In 2014 we will see what happens when we quit USB completely and use RG58 cable and BNC-connectors directly from motherboard to the DDDAC1794 without the - at the moment - still inevitable plug and connector interruptions on the back of the PC/MAC ...I hardly can wait for that...

ah, I nearly forgot, we did this test with PC and the JRiver Media Center program:
 


3. The third test that interested us very much was the Sowter transformers "against" the Mundorf silver oil capacitors. If you have them installed, you are able to choose simply by changing the cables. To the left the two Sowters (now with a 12 step loudness attenuator), and to the right the Mundorfs...
 


The Sowters were absolutely the clear winners for Bernd and Doede. Contrarily Klaus was rather restrained. And for me the Mundorfs may stay exactly as they are. They are simply perfect. Perhaps it is ultimatively a matter of personal taste. I am (for the second time) indeed still not yet really quite sure about it. I will have the possibility to test it out further in detail when Doede in January will be in the U.S.A. and when we will have this marvellous DDDAC1794 here for us alone to test it within a longer period (which I think in this case is necessary)...

to be continued...
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 05:00:03 AM by rhlauranna »

Offline rhlauranna

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Re: DDDAC 1794-NOS 24-192
« Reply #159 on: January 03, 2014, 04:53:01 AM »
Closer to the truth, part 3

tests and results

well, half of the day had already "gone" after having "hosted" our french guests, Raoul and Dominique, and after having finished our first three tests. Although I have to admit that listening and experimenting with music in such a sublime surrounding...
 


to the left: Bernd; to the right: Doede - just having prepared the next test to begin and now moving to their seats curious about that what would happen...

...never ever appears some sort of boring to me, it is just the opposite, I feel it to be downright "timeless", and indeed all participants regularly agree that time really does not seem to play any significant role during all our experiments, because it is always about gathering experiences and sharing so much fun and joy and especially delight when things finally work out that fine for us...

4. So, we started our next test, and yes, this topic is one of the most interesting if one follows the discussions in the net: Reproduction of digital stream with PC and/or MAC. There is no excuse, at least in our group we (Klaus, Bernd and me) did not care that much about that theme in the past. Although right from the beginning we were close "followers" of the corresponding results which are generated, presented and discussed in detail here in this treasure box:

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/

which indeed continuously and informatively reports on all things that happen within the digital scene. And the results become even more interesting because of all the single consumer reports. So I really like to recommend this page to all those people who are interested and like to deepen their knowledge within digital stream to be able to make qualified decisions on their own on the basis and experiences that others already have made. And this with special view on those products which are available for everybody on the market...

Presumably you all know about this seeming endlessly ongoing discussion all around the globe of what computer is best to use for digital music reproduction: PC or MAC? Well, we do, and we were all very lucky, that Doede finally had bought and configured a complete Mini-Mac with all necessary "ingredients" and brought it with him, ready to be tested. Against what? Against PC of course.

Well, ultimately it is not just a singular decision to use a PC or a MAC, there is quite a lot of "accessories" inevitably "welded" with this decision which all produce differences in sound and which simply can  n o t  be swapped against one or another: programs, drivers, apps, codecs... We have simply to face that it is always a "bundle of ingredients" more or less well harmonically (and right?) combined and adjusted that we compare here, and not just single ones so that we never ever can say, yes, this specific result is generated by that single object and not by any other, we always have an influence as a whole, although we can exchange single parts, if we are not "content"...

...even worse, in addition to that we have different digital formats and presumably different results within the ripping process: flac, ape, m4u, aiff... (at least when we have a closer look onto the amount of the generated data which are not identical but should be - at least from my understanding when ripping a single CD) that natively only play on the one or the other platform, and without further "transcodes" are just not playable on the one or the other platform.

And I tell you from my experiences within digital stream, the one fact that nerves me the most are especially these "transcodes", not only for downsampling purposes but as well to make digital "suitable" just for the other platform. I admit that I do not have much knowledge about the internal mathematical algorithms which do that and what an effect they have on our music, but I have to face that they in fact have an influence which I can clearly hear, and that I have no possibility to take any influence on.. I have to live with the fact that every change in both camps simply has an inluence on our sound, and that within the digital domain!!! I am not content with that state, and I can't get rid of the feeling that exactly that should not be the case!

Louis XIV, the sun king, once said: Gouverner moins, c'est gouverner mieux." (something like: to reign less means to reign better). And I am absolutely convinced that this sentence has become another new qualified meaning within digital music reproduction. Transcode less is better, and best is: no transcodes at all. That's what we have found out with the direct reproduction of DSD/DFF. And it proves to be just right...

So, what did we test then? Well, PC against MAC. PC with the latest foobar2000 Version 1.3 dating from 2013-12-27 with Wasapi 3.2.3 and DDDAC-Software (and later on the JRiver program which reveiled superb mids and highs but was only a little "broader" within the bass) against MAC-Mini with Audirvana Plus. See the full construction of both the MAC-Mini and the PC-Portable connected to external NAS and harddrive > DDDAC1794 with 8 decks > Sowter transformers  o  r  Mundorf Silver Oil capacitors...
 

 


... in combination to be tested with the two Sowter transformers...
 



connected to the left...
 


for more, see here: http://www.dddac.com/dddac1794_output.html

...against...
 


...Mundorf Silver Oil capacitors... connected to the right

Yes, and what about the results? There were quite a lot of ameliorations in both camps, PC and MAC. They are indeed really incredible, but they are all of a different kind. On that super highest level it is hard to decide what ultimately may be better or even "the best". Anyway, you can calm down, both the PC and the MAC are really really superb. Although for months and months and months the discussion for example on the computeraudiophile-site from time to time favored PC and months later MAC, and then PC again, and then MAC again, so that one really got quite nervous to be able to keep up with being on the "right" side, both camps - at least at the moment - seem to have come very close together, and the differences tend to become neglectable indeed...

The main argument from Doede, who had followed and experienced especially that development - PC versus MAC - already at his home and much more than us here was: Foobar meanwhile with its newest driver has come close or reached or even to a certain extent surpassed the level of MAC, especially with its newest driver "foobar2000_v1.3.exe" which dates from 2013-12-27 and is available here for free:

http://www.foobar2000.org/getfile/7ae959042ce74b042c90cd5599f3ec6a/foobar2000_v1.3.exe

The final result to my own ears are as well very very close to "equal", and in both camps there is no tayloring to taste at all. The staggering of the arrangements of the instruments has really come to the forefront, the reproduction indeed is really "distingué", the whole stage has become "darker", there is more "seeing-through", there is more precision and definition, there even some "three-dimensional musical erotic elements" have developed, so that it ultimately may be a matter of personal taste or preference what to choose... personally I am not a "jumper", I do not jump to and fro, i.e. from MAC to PC, from PC to MAC and so on, and so I will stay with foobar (I am extremely content with that program, and it is not only me, I am used to it and especially "I have it in my ear" so to speak)...

But in the end we had and still have to ask ourselves: Well, if this what we listen to is all really "bit-perfect", and that in both camps, why are there (still) so many differences within the musical reproduction in our systems?

5. So, the next test was comparing DDDAC1794 with four decks against DDDAC1794 with eight decks.
The principle in further multiplying chips was exactly that what I had "urged" Doede to do already years ago in the beginning of the development of his DDDAC1543, where from mathematical point of view a "more" than 60 chips could not bring any "more" amelioration in sound ( 2 + 2 = 4, what more should you expect ? ), but revealed on my "pressure" to build 120 chips a sensational gain in sound and especially a not at all planned and not at all to be foreseen reduction in jitter which nobody could have expected and even more physically simply could not even exist. This was incredible!!! For more about Doede's "new" theory have a look here:

http://www.dddac.com/dddac1794_other.html

And now with the new DDDAD1794 it was clear that right from the beginning - even against mathematical and physical "results" - Doede would try out more high resolution chips/decks as well. And so he constructed a platform on which the mounting of decks was no problem. But as it came out, there were. Unexpectedly. But those problems were exactly the poke for Doede to get rid of them. As far as I got to know him he simply cannot live with any unsolved physical problems... Doede, I really "love" you for solving exactly these "problems" and posessing the skills to do so and definitely hear the results!!!

After having realized the problems which acoustically appeared from time to time as some sort of crickling and crackling in the sound, within the last couple of months he built a completely new basic platform which now allows the stacking of more than four decks without any trouble (we still have to try out in the end how much and to what extent it goes and how much decks are "worthy" at all being stacked for our musical purposes)
 


Doede's complete DDDAC1794 with Sowter transformers and new twelve step sound level attenuator, Mundorf's silver oil capacitors and - to the right - eight decks, i.e. sixteen 1794 chips

And the listening results show how fantastic this stepping up is. With four decks you are already in HiFi-heaven. There is definitely no doubt about it. And this is terriffically-well. But with eight decks it is even more terriffically-well. The sound gets erotic. The bass is still quicker and cleaner (I love that the most), there is more "silver", the sound is more natural, and as Doede told: "one forgets to pay attention to the music being played", the deepest organ becomes a smoothness like in a real church, and the voices from females, for example from Diana Krall, gets a "breething" which sparkles down your spine and lets you think you are in bed doing... yes... right...

...not to drift away, but anyway the music out of the both, out of MAC and PC, is absolutely fluid, deeply relaxing and really wonderful to listen to... aaaahhh, what a joy, and what a level in music reproduction... this is genious !!!

6. The next test concentrated on the reproduction of SACD, i.e. PCM and ISO/DFF. We did that with quite an enormous and different kind of sources, MFSL UDSACD, Analogue Records SACDs from Steve Hoffman... not only the best of the best sources but all which we can lay our hands upon...

...and the result is simple: PCM is good, without a doubt, but ISO/DFF is better, without two doubts. Much more better. This is the one and only "bit-perfect" source that we can get, if we know how to create a perfect PS3-rip, which is not that easy. You will have to use different sort of programs and know "how" to use them to get it just right.

We have to keep in mind that that what we normally "get" is not the pure PCM from the master in the studio, what we "get" is in the one or other way some sort of downsampled with a cut-off data-result, and so is the music then: cut-off... but if the sources are "right", then we get the "right" sound, so we have to pay strong attention on that what we play and not only "judge" how "bad" the sound is when the source is not "right"...

...and of course Doede had some hard core test material not only with highest resolution with him, for example a collection of the favorite tunes of the members of stereoplay's testing crew, and the quality showed (really recommended)
 


7. I couldn't leave it out, but the next test was "my" personal reference-test: PC > Foobar2000 > RAM > DDDAC1794 with 8 decks and controlled power supply for 5 and 12 Volt with Dead Can Dance - Into The Labyrinth (1993) (2008) 4AD, MFSL SACD SAD 2711 [ISO]
 


The reproduction of this SACD with native ISO/DFF shows it clearly to me: the industry still does not deliver to us that what is on the master recording, they still "betray" us with more or less downsampling, hindering the existing amount of data to come to our ears. And the programs that we have to use for reproducing our music still add some "muddying" to our sound and they are not - what they ultimately should be - "identically" clear. I told already, the way to go for us is: The less influence in digital the better the sound. Then you are able to reach the purest delight. It makes much more sense and brings much better results to invest in proper controlled power supply than in USB-cables. With controlled power supply even a totally mediocre USB-cable sounds first rate, without a doubt. To feed your digital reproduction with external controlled 5 Volt supply (after 12 Volt) is the most important step of all.

8. Measurements. Of course Doede has not only "superb" ears which are regularly "educated" in life-performances, to "prove" the results further he also did some measurements, this time especially regarding the sound pressure at Klaus's. And he did this just for fun, not for showing-off. As you might know usually we are sitting in some 8-10 m distance from the opening mouths of the horns, where we are able to really "hear" some 30 cycles and even less as tones and not just as sound pressure on our stomachs. Here are the results:
 


 


Measured in ten meters distance the sound pressure is 112 dB over the whole frequency range (and then Klaus's system is still not fully pumped up), and the deepest bass measured by Doede was 16 Hertz with still some very very respectable 75 dB !!! So, an organ - I cannot help myself - sounds like that what we ever wanted: an organ !!!
 


9. The last test was of a different kind. As you might know, I am a very passionate and longest user of the DDDAC1543 MKII with 120 chips. As is meanwhile Jean Hiraga himself.

http://www.dddac.de/start.html

Because of the really dramatic gain in sound with the controlled 5 Volt power supply with the DDDAC1794 I wanted to have exactly that with my DDDAC1543 MK II with 120 chips. But this did not work. Why? Because the former entry of the DAC cannot handle the import of external 5 Volt. So I asked Doede for a solution. And - of course - he had one. And he had brought it with him here to our meeting. And it looks like this:
 


this is actually Klaus's DDDAC1543 with 60 chips (mine still has to be connected)
 


On top to the left is the new (red) entry modul for the DDDAC1543 capable of handling 5 Volt from external controlled power supply. And the DDDAC1543 is now as well capable of playing high resolution files up to 24 bit 96 kHz with the last 8 bit cut off, but it plays...
 


...and it is shown within foobar that and how it works, the original source with 24 bit 176 kHz played with 24 bit 88200 Hz over the 16 bit DDDAD1543 !!!

and this is the way how to install it:
 


.. and with what a mindblowing quality! Not only with the DDDAC1794 but as well with this 16 bit version there is a dramatic gain in sound quality, it is indeed that good, that immediately a german proverb came to my mind when you are very enthusiastic about something, perhaps "over-"enthusiastic (for which I have been already "accused" being so on a "very friendly" tracker - but exactly that really doesn't matter: it is always the result that counts) which is translated something like this (I hope you get the sense: "I threw myself into the corner"...

...and what a result that is: majestic, magic, "perfect", yes, "perfect"... although we know that there are always things to ameliorate on which we will report on when they are done...

Happy New Year to you all...

...nd don't forget: 2014 will be THE year of the "Music Computer"!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 01:49:11 PM by rhlauranna »