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MDAC first listen (part IV)

Discussion in 'audio' started by adamlau, Feb 5, 2012.

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  1. adamlau

    adamlau Um...What Is Going On?

    Up until today, I had purposefully reserved judgement regarding the overall sound quality of the M-DAC. First impressions were admittedly poor: S/PDIF out sounded noticeably darker and somewhat veiled vs. the analog out of a Xonar ST (cryo treated w/ a single LME49720HA in the buffer). AB testing was particularly straightforward as not only do my monitors support concurrent RCA/XLR inputs, but a single ossmix command line option is able to swap between analog and S/PDIF out. Minimum Phase and Optimal Spectrum could only alleviate a definite sense of murkiness by so much. Might all the glowing M-DAC reviews here and elsewhere be wrong? Was I destined to become an M-DAC dissenter? Decided to take another look at my playback chain and discovered that I had installed the Oyaide DR-510 digital coax cable backwards, against the directional markings imprinted along the polyurethane jacket. Reoriented the cable accordingly and the sound absolutely opened up. Six days later and I am essentially hearing the M-DAC as it should sound within my confines of my system for the first time. So check those cable orientations everyone :) ...
  2. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    Adam with all due respect the orientation of the cable wil not make any difference, you have simply got used to the sound of the new piece of equipment.
  3. Plutox

    Plutox Registered Abuser

    ...or the act of removing and remaking has cleaned the connections.
  4. adamlau

    adamlau Um...What Is Going On?

    That is what I had initially suspected (and still suspect to some degree) as well. Going to contact Oyaide and inquire about the purpose of directional markings along the outer jacket (else why imprint them at all)...Perhaps an issue with shield grounding?
  5. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Hi Ben,

    The Clock error you see with the Sonos will not effect the sound quality - its already been reported that the Sonos does "Drift" about quite alot. However the "Drifting" is at a slow rate (LF) and not in large Discrete steps - so MDAC is able to track the clock error without loosing lock.

    Sonically, from past experience, slowly drifting clocks tend to narrow the sound stage (L to R).

    We will release the "Beta" versions on the forum - for constructive feedback :)

  6. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Or pulled the outer ground collar off the MDAC's connectors!! :rolleyes:
  7. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you - let the MDAC run-in it, its sound quality will open up over the next few days :)

    At least the CDQ makes a decent transport :)
  8. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Hi Sergiox,

    Just cleared some space in my mail box - if your quick..

    I'll PM my Email address just in case,

  9. Plutox

    Plutox Registered Abuser

    I really wouldn't bother!

    Just content yourself with understanding that when any AC (alternating current) is transmitted down a wire, electrons spend equal amounts of time moving in one direction as the other.

    Armed with this vital knowledge, it's not hard to deduce that reversing the orientation of the cable cannot, in and of itself, make any significant difference.

    The markings are more to do with psychology than technology.
  10. adamlau

    adamlau Um...What Is Going On?

    I believe the directionality of the cable is not so much directed towards a preferred signal path, but more along the lines that the shield of the DR-510 may only be earthed at one end...
  11. Neil Gilbert

    Neil Gilbert pfm Member

    Pretty sure the answer is no, but will ask anyway.

    Can you play SACD through the MDAC ?

  12. Plutox

    Plutox Registered Abuser

    No, nor through any other DAC that only supports PCM.

    The whole story is a bit complicated but, in essence, SACD transports are not permitted, by license, to offer a digital output above 48kHz.
  13. scubaboy

    scubaboy pfm Member

    Hi John, thanks' for your reply. I'm not really a city person but, i really enjoyed Singapore. Everything just works so well there and super clean.People are really courteous and friendly. Got my first pair of headphones after exhaustive auditioning, can't wait to test them out on the Mdac.

    KR Steven.

    p.s once your lab arrives and you have a minute could you see what is involved with hooking DC up to Mdac?
  14. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Hi Neil,

    As Plutox has already replied the MDAC does not support native DSD (SACD), very very few DAC's can - I believe DCS Dac's can...

    We do have a flagship ADC / DAC that supports both DSD and DSDx2 over USB in the works - but no timeline for its release... when its ready...

  15. Plutox

    Plutox Registered Abuser

    But won't the DSD encryption prove a stumbling block as far as commercial SACD is concerned?
  16. Neil Gilbert

    Neil Gilbert pfm Member

    Probably too complicated for me but

    If you can use 5:1 analogue out to receiver can you use two channel analogue out to stereo preamp to listen to the stereo section?

    If considered a quality source why is it designed to work with generally lower quality pre amps found in receivers and processors?

    How do you hear it at its best?
  17. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    We are really designing it to archive Turntables and Studio Master Tapes - the "DSD" can operate at over 12MHz - plenty fast enough to decimate to future audio standards.

    I've a good friend whose a well known recording artist, and needs to import his analogue Tapes while he still can (the tapes are degrading) - and needs the very highest quality ADC to capture the full resolution of the analogue tape...

    I know many would claim Digital to be perfect, but listening to master tape through a highend Studio ADC/DAC cycle shows it to be anything but..

    There's also a Sony PS3 crack that allows extraction of the DSD stream from SACD...
  18. arthur

    arthur Banned

    Lo John;

    Another dac!!! I've already got two :). Don't want to have to sell the CDQ before the cross stage is out.

    I assume (don't know why) that the adc/dac will be a 2013 job?

    After the M-Pax and M-amp?
  19. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    If I understand you would want to intergate your Hifi system into an AV system...

    We have an external PSU for the MDAC that also functions as an "AV" bypass - so you can hookup the MDAC to your AV system.

    You could also use a cheaper A/B switch box to achieve the same (I guess a switch box is going to cost around GBP20)...
  20. Plutox

    Plutox Registered Abuser

    Sadly, it seems near enough unavailable in Europe - it requires a maximum firmware version that's quite old (Sony closed off the exploit in later versions) and as most PS3s seem to have been connected to the 'net and therefore had their firmware updated more or less automatically, we're largely up the creek.

    Shame, because it appears to be a really good approach to SACD ripping. If you (or anyone else) knows of the right kind of PS3 for sale, I'm interested.
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