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MDAC First Listen (part 00111000)

Discussion in 'audio' started by PhilCTTE, Jun 20, 2017.

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  1. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Streamer PCB





  2. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Thank you :)
  3. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    We have just been notified that the PnP machine will be ready for collection 11th - 15th September...

    Still so much work to complete before then!
  4. Lancastrian

    Lancastrian Well-Known Member

    Well after experimenting with the filter module DIP switch positions I can honestly say that the difference between the 18bit and HDCD modules wasn't exactly chalk and cheese. However subtle the changes are, it is the in dynamic range and timing I've noticed the biggest improvement. The bass seems to benefit from being cleaner and has more impact for one, but the overall sound is more organic and natural.

    Good job I took the top off the other week though....

    Now, if only I could get some Z-foil resistors in the bloody thing ! :D

    Going forward though, MDAC2 or FDAC...decisions, decisions.

  5. ti33er

    ti33er pfm Member

  6. Bob L

    Bob L pfm Member

    John, I've been trying to unpack the implications of this. Maybe I've missed something, but does this mean that the streamer/MDAC2 has no optical input? Like Ian , at the moment I use optical to connect my Samsung TV to my MDAC, and I agree it's by no means brilliant sound, but you should hear the TV by itself! Yes, ASRC is unlikely to make the sound any worse, but I'm not clear on what the "TV" input means here.

    My TV is on the far side of the room from the audio system, and a thin optical is the only visually inoffensive way to connect it- no way could I use HDMI.
  7. Lancastrian

    Lancastrian Well-Known Member


    My Samsung 4K TV only has optical out anyway, so that would be my only option for connecting it to a DAC. I've just purchased a 4K Blu-ray player, which has analogue out, so at least that is connected to the Meridian pre-amp, but there is still the issue of lip-sync error, no matter how much I try to adjust the audio delay, which you can't do with a disc playing !

  8. toozeup

    toozeup pfm Member

    I believe this was John's compromise to offer optical input! It just won't be as perfect as USB or via the Streamer Module. I definitely want optical input but I'm not going to worry if it isn't jitter free, the optical outputs from most TV's are piss-poor anyhow so it won't matter too much.
  9. ChrisPa

    ChrisPa pfm Member

    IMO a DAC is not a DAC if it doesn't have (multiple) spdif (and/or AES) inputs

    This aspect of the conversation started when John was talking about his discrete DAC alternative to the Sabre. So it's some considerable way off in the future. As I understand it, the Sabre versions will have plenty of (high quality) digital inputs.
  10. alloja

    alloja Well-Known Member



    Could you please confirm this will be the case? If not, I'll definitely revert to the ESS-based MDAC2 instead of waiting for the FDAC, and, as a consequence, order the MDAC2 streamer quite soon.

    Thanks in advance for clarifying this!

  11. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member


    The digital input limitation is only relevant to the discrete DAC PCB option for the MDAC2 - but as this will be the best sounding option (and thus our recommended option) we have enabled SPDIF (Coax / Toshlink support) via ASRC.

    I dont like the sound of ASRC, but the most common use of the SPDIF input thesedays will be TV or DSP processing - both options are sub par WRT sound quality, so any impact of ASRC is of little concern.
  12. Bob L

    Bob L pfm Member

    Thanks John for clearing this up, and apologies for unnecessary stirring.

    I obviously got hold of the wrong end of the stick (or should that read "Input?"). However, perhaps I wasn't the only one who was a bit confused.


  13. MartinC246

    MartinC246 Member


    I am also having problems getting my head around this. I want the best sound even if it's not the best in terms of SNR etc, so expect to go for the discrete version. However, at the moment all my listening is from CDs using Coax with optical clock-lock. I will look into using SSD even if only to get rid of rarely played CDs, but being 66 I don't want to spend the rest of my time in just ripping CDs. I'm not interested in watching TV or films in glorious audio via MDAC2. So, will I be able to use Coax in the same theoretical quality as optical? Like many here I prefer Coax - it has it's problems but they can be minimised, and doesn't depend on converting the electrical/optical signal twice between transport and DAC.

    Thanks John, your dedication is really appreciated.
  14. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member


    The ESS version of the MDAC2 has the full complement of digital inputs + the streamer option.

    The Discrete DAC version also supports the same Digital I/O but with ASRC for SPDIF inputs.
  15. alloja

    alloja Well-Known Member

    Thanks, John!

    How detrimental to SQ would you say ASRC will be? I too wouldn't necessarily want to rip all of my 1500+ CDs and 200+ DAT tapes. So I'm pretty sure SPDIF will be used here for more critical listening than just TV sound!

    And apropos SPDIF inputs, how many of them will the MDAC2 sport? Same complement as the current MDAC, I imagine?
  16. Lancastrian

    Lancastrian Well-Known Member

    From my basic understanding, if you lock the source to the DAC then the effects of the ASRC should be negligible. It's the effect of jitter in the timing clock data that affects the signal by introducing noise when converted to an analogue signal. An ASRC should be better than using a Phase Locked Loop in this respect.

    Of course, ready to be corrected if I've got the wrong end of the stick here :)

  17. toozeup

    toozeup pfm Member

    John, I think you mentioned we could connect an external USB CD-ROM drive to the streamer module and this would be clock-locked. Is this correct?
  18. hluga

    hluga pfm Member

    Hi JohnW,

    Could you moreover send the link to the kind of player one has to buy ?

  19. ChrisPa

    ChrisPa pfm Member


    Wait until the product actually exists and has been tested.
    Many things could change in the mean time.
  20. alloja

    alloja Well-Known Member


    Thank you very much for the explanation :)

    Unfortunately, I'm afraid I won't be able to clock lock each and every source I intend to connect to the MDAC2, so it remains to be seen whatever will happen to the SQ of non-clock locked sources.

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