Author Topic: What are your thoughts on Hi-Rez v. NOS Redbook?  (Read 7124 times)

Offline Nick B

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Re: What are your thoughts on Hi-Rez v. NOS Redbook?
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2023, 09:39:47 AM »
Hiya, Dave!

I'll <sort of> answer your question.

Much of my music listening is streamed. I use streaming to discover new music, and to enjoy 'found' artists' music. When I want to really get into the music, I listen to physical media. I've been worrying less about critical listening and more about just enjoying the music. My favorite DAC is limited to no higher than 96kHz, so I usually listen to Redbook quality.
Hi, Mike.  Good to see you.

I've got several DACs (mega modified HRT Pro, Schiit Bifrost & Yggdrasil) and I stil keep going back to my hot rodded Tranquility DAC because it just makes music.  That ancient TDA1543 with the mods Eric and I came up with are just my goto, could be my ego 😁.  Of course I have 75 year old ears, but so what?  I love me some toons.

Like TMAZZ says: It's all about the music.

Dave,

I must agree with you about the Tranquility SE DAC. I credit it with turning me into a NOS DAC lover. However, my addictive personality has led me to buy too many DACs :duh, so I may end up letting go of my Tranquility SE this summer (to be determined).

My in-laws' health is precarious enough now that Melody and I may end up moving back to Taiwan to oversee their care. It's turning out to be a repeat of what happened with my parents before they passed away - only this time I'm not the person who's being devoured by the stress.

Hi Michael,

Sorry to hear about the declining health of your in laws.  My wife and I took care of my mom. Iím quite grateful that she was there to help me. Iíve read your posts about various dacs. Iím presuming youíre using the latest Sw1CZ sp? Iím a happy camper with 16/44. All the music I have is that resolution and virtually all the music I stream is 16/44 as well. My Border Patrol dac is only 24/96 capable and can resolve very, very well as I found out when auditioning the Hapa Silver ICs. I will admit Iíve always been curious about upsampling to DSD with a Chord Hugo M Scaler, but their stuff is really pricey and I doubt Iíll ever try one

Nick
« Last Edit: February 21, 2023, 09:41:19 AM by Nick B »
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Offline HAL

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Re: What are your thoughts on Hi-Rez v. NOS Redbook?
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2023, 11:25:46 AM »
My latest DAC is using the AKM AK4499 that is a 32bit R2R balanced ladder DAC with minimum phase filtering selectable.  Sorry, but non-causal filters like linear phase give me a headache listening to digital.  I think this is a reason folks like the older DAC's as they preceded linear phase filter use.

I like it more with a Class A biased output stage, but the Topping E70 Velvet sounds really good using the fully balanced output.  I know some do not like fully balanced, but that would not be me.  Lower noise and distortion from my listening. 

The dspNexus 4x8 is supposed to get an upgrade to AK4499 DAC's at some point.  Those will have a Class A biased output stage that a prototype used that beat the sound of the E70V.  Until then the AKM AK4493's sound really good.

I listen to everything from 16bit/44.1KHz WAV to 32bit/352.8KHz DXD files, so I want a DAC that can handle it natively.  Even digitized vinyl sounds good to me, so I am happy.

Just my $0.02


Offline GDHAL

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Re: What are your thoughts on Hi-Rez v. NOS Redbook?
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2023, 12:01:23 PM »
My latest DAC is using the AKM AK4499 that is a 32bit R2R balanced ladder DAC with minimum phase filtering selectable.  Sorry, but non-causal filters like linear phase give me a headache listening to digital.  I think this is a reason folks like the older DAC's as they preceded linear phase filter use.

I like it more with a Class A biased output stage, but the Topping E70 Velvet sounds really good using the fully balanced output.  I know some do not like fully balanced, but that would not be me.  Lower noise and distortion from my listening. 

The dspNexus 4x8 is supposed to get an upgrade to AK4499 DAC's at some point.  Those will have a Class A biased output stage that a prototype used that beat the sound of the E70V.  Until then the AKM AK4493's sound really good.

I listen to everything from 16bit/44.1KHz WAV to 32bit/352.8KHz DXD files, so I want a DAC that can handle it natively.  Even digitized vinyl sounds good to me, so I am happy.

Just my $0.02

Actually, I'll see your .02 and raise you another .02. Forgetting for the moment that there's essentially no such thing as 32bit recordings yet (albeit mastering, yes) the/your key is you've avoided delta-sigma chipset in favor of multibit/R2R.

Oh, jest I forget it's not about the chipset, but the "implementation" and everything else...

Happy listening.  :thumb:

Best.

Hal
« Last Edit: February 21, 2023, 12:16:57 PM by GDHAL »
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Offline P.I.

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Re: What are your thoughts on Hi-Rez v. NOS Redbook?
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2023, 12:19:44 PM »
Hiya, Dave!

I'll <sort of> answer your question.

Much of my music listening is streamed. I use streaming to discover new music, and to enjoy 'found' artists' music. When I want to really get into the music, I listen to physical media. I've been worrying less about critical listening and more about just enjoying the music. My favorite DAC is limited to no higher than 96kHz, so I usually listen to Redbook quality.
Hi, Mike.  Good to see you.

I've got several DACs (mega modified HRT Pro, Schiit Bifrost & Yggdrasil) and I stil keep going back to my hot rodded Tranquility DAC because it just makes music.  That ancient TDA1543 with the mods Eric and I came up with are just my goto, could be my ego 😁.  Of course I have 75 year old ears, but so what?  I love me some toons.

Like TMAZZ says: It's all about the music.

Dave,

I must agree with you about the Tranquility SE DAC. I credit it with turning me into a NOS DAC lover. However, my addictive personality has led me to buy too many DACs :duh, so I may end up letting go of my Tranquility SE this summer (to be determined).

My in-laws' health is precarious enough now that Melody and I may end up moving back to Taiwan to oversee their care. It's turning out to be a repeat of what happened with my parents before they passed away - only this time I'm not the person who's being devoured by the stress.
I'm very sorry to see that Melody's parents are failing.  Seeing those you love slip away is the hardest thing to live through.  Give Melody my best. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2023, 12:58:03 PM by P.I. »
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Offline P.I.

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Re: What are your thoughts on Hi-Rez v. NOS Redbook?
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2023, 12:55:24 PM »
@P.I.

EDIT: I see you recognize what I stated and have corrected your post as far as where to place your text.

I'm assuming this is your last post: (you encapsulated a series of quotes inside other quotes so your reply does not standout).

Well, since I build USB cables, that would be USB.  Optical sucks, AES is a flawed method, SPDIF over RCA doesn't sound right and I don't have a source with BNC.  My source is a modified MAC mini with a dB Audio Labs OS.  If it had an HDMI input I would be interested in trying that, but my friend Greg would be sad to give it back.

I figured you would be using USB, given the "hot rodded" (whatever that means you had done, likely upgraded caps) Tranquility DAC.

O.K. I was just curious. Not wanting/looking to debate or be argumentative. But the "A" serial number Yggy you bought if original (2015?) likely didn't even have the Gen 5 USB card. So today's OG Yggy (which would be serial number B had you upgraded the A, i.e. the analog board itself was upgraded) also contains their proprietary Unison USB, supposedly the greatest thing since sliced bread as far as USB is concerned. Or so claim the Schiit fan club and those who have used it, reviews, etc.  I wouldn't know as I don't (no longer anyway) use USB.

To your statement that "AES is a flawed method", again, I prefer not to debate or be argumentative but suffice it to say I adamantly disagree and in fact believe it to be the **very best** of digital inputs one can use. Even better than I2S/HDMI, which by the way is not completely standardized.

I'd be interested in reading any citation you could post supporting your claim "AES is a flawed method". Prior to Unison USB, Mike Moffat himself claimed AES/EBU to be the best digital input, and not just for Yggy.

Optical too can be very good if done right so I personally wouldn't go as far as stating it "sucks". I use optical from my LG C9 to feed Yggy and it's entry level optical cable and still sounds grate. Glass optical is best (of optical) but who can use that from a practical perspective?

I use SPDIF RCA on my main transport Oppo UDP205 (99.9% of listening) only because it doesn't have AES output, and AES output from my ERC3 in the off chance I happen to listen to a CD (almost never).

Happy listening.  :)

Best.

Hal
The major Tranquility mods are:
Furutech FI-06NCF IEC
Fred diodes
Increased power supply capacitance with a final supply stage of PP capacitors
Much lower noise voltage regulation with voltage increased to 7.8VDC
Select TDA1543 DAC w heatsink
Upgraded local bypassing at the DAC
Texas component TX2575 bulk metal foil I/V conversion
A redesigned analog output stage using lower noise, higher speed transistors
Film and foil output capacitors
ETI RCAs
Mass loaded chassis and circuit board with ERS cloth applied in some areas

The flaw I mentioned about AES/EBU is the lack of acceptance and implementation in the high end audio industry

My biggest issue with optical is the still widespread use of plastic instead of glass fiber and the wide variation of transmitter and receiver quality.

The Yggy is a fine DAC, even in the original implementation.  The one I bought does have the Gen5 upgrade board.  The difference to me is the Yggdrasil SAYS" Listen to me."  My outdated dinosaur Tranquility whispers "listen to me."  It is the difference between clean, clear detail and musical seduction.

You do you.  I'm happy.
 
TMSAISTI
« Last Edit: February 21, 2023, 12:57:16 PM by P.I. »
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Offline GDHAL

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Re: What are your thoughts on Hi-Rez v. NOS Redbook?
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2023, 01:29:44 PM »
@P.I.

"The major Tranquility mods are:............"

Wow! Perhaps you should have bought a different DAC, to begin with!  :roll:

"The flaw I mentioned about AES/EBU is the lack of acceptance and implementation in the high end audio industry."

Huh? It's (XLR) predominant. :o

"My biggest issue with optical is the still widespread use of plastic instead of glass fiber and the wide variation of transmitter and receiver quality."

Agreed. Fair enough. :)

"The Yggy is a fine DAC, even in the original implementation.  The one I bought does have the Gen5 upgrade board.  The difference to me is the Yggdrasil SAYS" Listen to me."  My outdated dinosaur Tranquility whispers "listen to me."  It is the difference between clean, clear detail and musical seduction."

Fair enough. To quote Jason Stoddard "All of audiophilia is a search for the perfect distortion profile." 8)

Best.

Hal
« Last Edit: February 21, 2023, 01:43:39 PM by GDHAL »
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Offline P.I.

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Re: What are your thoughts on Hi-Rez v. NOS Redbook?
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2023, 01:58:16 PM »
@P.I.

"The major Tranquility mods are:............"

Wow! Perhaps you should have bought a different DAC, to begin with!  :roll:

"The flaw I mentioned about AES/EBU is the lack of acceptance and implementation in the high end audio industry."

Huh? It's (XLR) predominant. :o

"My biggest issue with optical is the still widespread use of plastic instead of glass fiber and the wide variation of transmitter and receiver quality."

Agreed. Fair enough. :)

"The Yggy is a fine DAC, even in the original implementation.  The one I bought does have the Gen5 upgrade board.  The difference to me is the Yggdrasil SAYS" Listen to me."  My outdated dinosaur Tranquility whispers "listen to me."  It is the difference between clean, clear detail and musical seduction."

Fair enough. To quote Jason Stoddard "All of audiophilia is a search for the perfect distortion profile." 8)

Best.

Hal

I did development work for Eric Hider at dB Audio Labs.  He wanted to se just how far we could take the DAC through upgrades.  Each upgrade was done independently and we carefully listened to the improvements.  We also tried some things that were just lateral moves, too.  I guess that you are unaware that I am/was an independent consultant/ OEM for some companies.  I also have a lifetime of experience in the recording arts, so I get the XLR thing.  I also know that Bernie Grundman Mastering Labs are all single ended because it sounds better... to him/them.  For me, it is more of a simplicity issue.  KISS is my thing.  My longest runs are all < 1m, except for USB which sounds best at 1.5m.

Stoddard is absolutely right. :thumb:
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Offline HAL

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Re: What are your thoughts on Hi-Rez v. NOS Redbook?
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2023, 02:34:53 PM »
GDHAL,
The idea behind the 32bit DAC is to make a very good digital volume control with 0.5dB steps.  Not really for 32bit audio. 

I compared the DAC volume to the analog controls on my HPA and the digital volume control was cleaner.  I am happy with it.

Implementation is everything, but it is the only DAC so far that surpasses my other reference the Wolfson Digital WM8741 DAC that has a Class A biased output stage. 


Offline GDHAL

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Re: What are your thoughts on Hi-Rez v. NOS Redbook?
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2023, 03:42:00 PM »
@P.I. and @HAL

A sincere "thank you". Your points/response is well received and understood (by me anyway).

Best.

Hal

p.s. I'm always willing to share.... for free  :)
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Offline GDHAL

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Re: What are your thoughts on Hi-Rez v. NOS Redbook?
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2023, 03:59:11 PM »
@HAL

With regard to "reference DACs"...

Have you had an opportunity to hear in any system - which would typically only be in a very high end system - the lampizator horizon dac?

I have.

Frankly I don't understand how Fikus does his business. Because, it's his top of the line dac, and is delta sigma.... Meanwhile, his midline dac is r2r which upon reading the marketing literature is the creme de la creme as far as he's concerned.

Go figure.

Look, I pretty much heard it all just like the rest of you.

In the end it boils down to your personal preference, what your budget can sustain, and the other hassles you're willing to go through in order to attain what you perceive to be audio nervosa.

Best.

Hal
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Offline Folsom

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Re: What are your thoughts on Hi-Rez v. NOS Redbook?
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2023, 08:58:07 PM »
I'll let you know when I hear something better than my 1543 DAC. I'd like to hear some of the Abbas DAC's.

Sometimes high res sounds different but better is not the same thing.

Jeremy,

Have you been following the Abbas thread on What's Best Audio?

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/abbas-dac-2-1-se.31754/#post-708536

Honestly, if I hadn't bought 2 DACs last year, I wouldn't hesitate to order a 3.21SE to compare against my SW1X DAC III+. Alas, even I have limits on how much excess gear I can buy.

Casually but not very intimately.

Offline HAL

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Re: What are your thoughts on Hi-Rez v. NOS Redbook?
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2023, 04:21:33 AM »
@HAL

With regard to "reference DACs"...

Have you had an opportunity to hear in any system - which would typically only be in a very high end system - the lampizator horizon dac?

I have.

Frankly I don't understand how Fikus does his business. Because, it's his top of the line dac, and is delta sigma.... Meanwhile, his midline dac is r2r which upon reading the marketing literature is the creme de la creme as far as he's concerned.

Go figure.

Look, I pretty much heard it all just like the rest of you.

In the end it boils down to your personal preference, what your budget can sustain, and the other hassles you're willing to go through in order to attain what you perceive to be audio nervosa.

Best.

Hal

GDHAL,
No I have not heard the Lampizator DAC's.  Not really interested in them. 

The DSP end with multiple channel DAC's is what I have been using for over a decade.  And no, I am not talking about MiniDSP or Beheringer DCX2496.  Many companies have surpassed that sound quality.