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rega dac, cdq, young dac bake off

Discussion in 'audio' started by bottleneck, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. arthur

    arthur Banned

    :D:D
     
  2. silencio

    silencio New Member

    Me likes cable threads ;)
     
  3. strocky

    strocky pfm Member

  4. Wilson

    Wilson _

    Apologies if this has already been covered in this thread.

    Has anyone run the Emotiva DAC directly into their amplifier? Did lower volume settings on the Emotiva affect sound quality due to decreased resolution?

    Thanks
     
  5. bottleneck

    bottleneck pfm Member

    Hi Wilson

    To maintain some kind of uniformity, we ran everything through the pre-amp.

    If I have any regret, I wish I had my power amps that I have now, then. They may have revealed a little more between the DACs.. but you can never have it all.

    Item Audio will doubltess be able to tell you more on your question if you send them a message.

    All the best
     
  6. ItemAudio

    ItemAudio Trade: Item Audio

    (Practically) all attenuation is lossy, but I've come to believe that digital VC is better value than analog: it's not hard to design a reasonably good, cheap digital attenuation stage, but it's tough to attenuate well analog-ishly* on a budget. Good analog volume controls are horribly expensive.

    So the Emotiva does a very credible job for £350. You would need a very good dedicated preamp to better its transparency.

    * Perversely 'analog' has no word equivalent to 'digitally'
     
  7. ItemAudio

    ItemAudio Trade: Item Audio

    This was the only stone we left unturned: it's a very big real-world advantage (not to mention super thrifty) if a DAC has a volume control.

    If we'd have put the preamp in the way of those DACs that need it, I think we might have seen a different pecking order . . .

    Ooh! What are you listening to now, then? Valves still?
     
  8. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Well, no hifi company has yet been able to design a digital volume control with greater real world precision than the best analogue potentiometers, they always trail by a handful of db noise, even when implemented in 32bit.

    Point in case the new digital attenuation in the DAC from the team who designed the Sabre chip, is 4db more noisy than an analogue equivalent would be- by their own measurement.
     
  9. Markus S

    Markus S 41 - 29

    But it sounds better. I much prefer the digital volume control in the 8200CDQ to the analog one.
     
  10. bottleneck

    bottleneck pfm Member

    Of course the main problem with digital volume control is when you have multiple sources. If I had one source only (ever) may have (personally) taken this factor into greater account.

    Item - have gone to solid state.
     
  11. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer fourhundredandthirtytwo

    Lavry claim their analog digital VC to be way better than any potentiometer.
     
  12. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Yeh I seem to remember someone not so far from this thread providing irrefutable proof of the impossibility of some of Dan Lavry's previous product claims.
     
  13. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    But this 'noise' should be way below the overall noise floor of the system. It's not relevant in the real world. Whereas the tracking errors introduced by analogue attenuators definitely are.

    Paul
     
  14. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Funny that the guy who headed up the design team at ESS that designed the Sabre chip, and now the Invicta DAC disagrees with you- even though he's trying to sell a digital volume controlled product.


    http://www.sixmoons.com/audioreviews/resonessence/2.html

    Maybe you are just wrong...
     
  15. Wilson

    Wilson _

    Thanks very much for the replies. I appreciate your help.

    Wilson
     
  16. Plutox

    Plutox Registered Abuser

    Or maybe not. What Paul R implied was that in the real world the noise content of recordings is so much worse than these numbers that, in practice, the apparently poorer noise performance of digital attenuators is a matter of purely theoretical concern.
     
  17. bottleneck

    bottleneck pfm Member


    very interesting, thanks.
     
  18. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer


    Not quite sure I understand you. Additional noise from the attenuation process is additional noise, regardless of the signal to noise ratio of the recorded track. If you add more noise you add more noise regardless of what was already captured on the recording.

    Are you really attempting to say that poorer SNR is ok on poorly recorded tracks with higher background noise? You are funny. No doubt a hifi manufacturer will be along soon attempting to sell us shit low-fidelity under the ' you only listen to mp3 what do you fu_king care how shit it sounds banner'.
     
  19. Plutox

    Plutox Registered Abuser

    Absolutely true. It's just a matter of magnitudes however. If your source material has a noise level of, say,-70dB and you pass it through a device with a noise level of, say, -120dB, the resultant noise level will become worse: it will be about -69.98dB. The louder noise source dominates and the greater the difference, the more true this becomes*.

    The very best recorded material we can produce will have a noise floor several orders of magnitude worse than a well-designed digital volume control can achieve. In short, in the real world, it is of no consequence.

    *remember that the dB is a relative logarithmic unit. -6dB halves the voltage. -12dB is 25%. In the above example, the noise voltage of the volume control is about point three of one percent of that of the recording being controlled.
     
  20. ItemAudio

    ItemAudio Trade: Item Audio

    The best analog potentiometers are disproportionately expensive.
    Cheap digital volume controls sound disproportionately good.
    Digital attenuation is excellent value.

    If we switch suddenly to a discussion of the ultimate volume control, well, good luck with that . . .
     

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