High End Audiophile Thread Part 2

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by vbetts, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    The dac it self is an card based addon system. The jotunheim doesn't have an dac, it only becomes an Dac/amp setup when the addon card is installed inside it, without it the card it's just an amp. But your right the AK4490 Dac add-on card module is poorly design, since I have read some where that the modi 2 out performs the module. I heard that they fixed it with the latest Muiti-bit Dac card, but I refuse to pay $200 for it, when 50 more I could get a SU-8. Plus the fact they slap CM6631A usb transport chip on all there dac's.

    Here what the AK4490 Dac module looks like, This isn't my picture of it, it was the only one I could find of it, to show you it.Only one side of the module is used for the components, So the other side is blank.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  2. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    That does look rather plain. On top of that I guess transferring the audio over those pins is a weak point. Kinda feels like really basic audio card that's wired to PC case front audio jacks. Not surprised at all if a decent sound card would end up being a superior option.
     
  3. OnnA

    OnnA Ancient Guru

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  4. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Here the muiti bit addon module that I mentioned, here it looked like they done an better job with designing it. Still it doesn't help that it's 200 dollars, I don't know how well it sounds tho, but the people who have used it in both the Jot and the lyr 3 are enjoying it.

    The only thing that ruins it for me is the usage of the CM6631A usb transfer chip, that they keep using on all of there dac's, since it has problems of it own. None of that would be a issue if they switched to say the Xmos chip or even the amanero chip. But they're too stubborn to change it.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018

  5. OnnA

    OnnA Ancient Guru

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  6. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, 200 €/ $200 would still be too much for that. At least it looks like they but more effort but when you consider what you can buy for that ~200 € that module just doesn't make much sense. That's pretty much how much Topping DX3Pro costs and it's much more than just a DAC. Massdrop x Grace Design Standard DAC Balanced would be pretty great for $149 (uses XMOS xCORE-200 USB chip) but AKM AK4452 DAC they used is a bit too budget. It does look like it's implemented wonderfully though.
     
  7. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    I been thinking i'm surprise that no one actually tried to mod or make there own dac module for the jotunheim. Since it seems all it would take is some reverse engineer, or modding to the dac module. But I not an engineer so I don't know if it be possible or not, I'm just curious.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  8. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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  9. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    Having lower price than Topping D30 + A30 would be rather interesting to me. Different new features bloated the price of DX3 Pro probably.

    But being single unit and offering many features has it own benefits for more demanding users. Looks great.
     
  10. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    I'd say that the downside is 3,5mm headphone jack. Larger would have been more versatile and durable. In any case it looks like it's an excellent device for the price without any clear flaws. Can't think of anything better at that price range.
     

  11. LocoDiceGR

    LocoDiceGR Ancient Guru

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  12. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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  13. gridiron whirlw

    gridiron whirlw Ancient Guru

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  14. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    I saw that SMSL has released a version 2 of there SU-8 dac with improved balance output's. I wonder what else they improved. Unless the improved balance was the only thing they did.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  15. OnnA

    OnnA Ancient Guru

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    3D Sound !
    'Similar' to BF V (Yes this YT is better)

     
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  16. OnnA

    OnnA Ancient Guru

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  17. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    Got around to buy myself Topping stack (D30 + A30) for birthday present. It replaces my old trusty Xonar DG.

    Pics:
    [​IMG]

    Been listening to 3 days now, still have a lot of listening to do to write somewhat correct impressions, especially when comparing performance to $20 soundcard.

    So far I noticed improvements below:
    Balance - Sound seem to be more tight and controlled. This is main factor I was looking for standalone dac/amp, the stability.
    Faster decay timing - could be a placebo, but I keep noticing sound is getting faster and cleaner. Sound doesn't stay longer than needed and fades out faster. Very crucial with fast DT1990 bass.

    Did some blind testing and the difference was not really obvious. On well mastered songs like Hans Zimmer or Daft Punk, it was easier to pin point what soundcard did "wrong" and I was able to guess somewhat correctly.
    On pop songs, I didn't do really well and was left with about 50% accuracy, meaning I couldn't tell difference at all.

    I got what I expected and even more, need more time to listen and then return to soundcard. Maybe by then my ears will get used to Topping and I will be able to tell the difference with more confidence.
     
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  18. gridiron whirlw

    gridiron whirlw Ancient Guru

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    I came across a deal that was just to good to be true on a 10 month old HeadAmp GS-X mk2...so I jumped at the opportunity.
    I have only listened with tubes for many years now, so this will be interesting.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Very nice!
    I would so like to hear that vs my valve amp.
    I'll write probably the final report on it once this infernal cold is gone, cant think straight and am probably hearing round bends too lol.
    Be sure to tell us how it fares.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  20. gridiron whirlw

    gridiron whirlw Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, it makes for a fun comparison.

    Warm & romantic vs Speed, transparency, detail
     

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