High End Audiophile thread

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by ROBSCIX, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    I ordered an Oppo 205 yesterday, hopefully it will arrive over the weekend.
    My 105D was handed to the courier today for px so theres a big hole in my AV system!
    I'm using the Minimax for stereo from PC, feeding TV audio into PC via mic in. Works well.

    My brother managed to snag a 205 yesterday from a shop.
    At first he said he didnt notice much difference to his 105 but after a short break-in its definitely clearer and he is impressed. He's not easy to impress.
    Not heard more from him, probably too busy playing with it.

    Theres only one downside to the Oppo 205 vs the 105 that I have found so far.
    It has 2 HDMI out but only one of them supports video.
    The other is audio only. Its been configured to reduce jitter for those that feed audio into another AV DAC/pre-amp.
    Good for those using a Pre-amp with a better DAC (not sure there is one vs the 205 though) but I use both HDMI outs for video.
    I'll get an HDMI 2.0 splitter. I advise making sure it supports 4K60 and HDR if you do this.

    This brings up an issue.
    I avoided using a pre-amp to prevent colouring the signal and reducing detail, instead using the Oppos internal volume control built into the DAC chip.
    But there is a downside to this with high end kit.
    Using the volume control in the Oppo reduces output level but the noise floor remains the same. Fortunately there is enough headroom with the 32bit DAC running 24bit media to prevent reduction of dynamic range which is a relief.
    With the 205 it has been stated, below 70% volume you may start to hear effects of the noise floor.

    I plan to insert a high quality resistor on each channels analogue out to reduce output enough that the volume is at the right level between 70 to 100%.
    Once I get the value worked out it will be soldered it into the silver leads to reduce connection losses.
    (1% on the volume is 1dB. Previous Oppos it was 0.5dB)
     
  2. Hyde

    Hyde Member

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    Mufflore, share what you think of it before the resistors are installed. Some feedback with various materials at different attenuations would great! Is it possible the noise may be from source material in that scenario? Looking forward to reading about it.
     
  3. moab600

    moab600 Ancient Guru

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    Bought recently Fiio K1 i think, small USB DAC for mine Mate 9, only problem is that it's mini usb and i have USB C so i needed to make adjustments :)

    Together with Audio Technica E50 in ear headphones, the quality is top notch, the music is soo alive and you can hear ALL the instruments plays well, separation and sound stage are awesome as well, 220$ for the bundle.
     
  4. DW75

    DW75 Master Guru

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    Right after I got my Creative ZXR, I took out the stock JRC2114D opamps in the I/V Stage. I put two LME49860NA opamps in. The difference was easily noticeable. The bass became much tighter, and that nasty treble fatigue with the stock opamps disappeared. The instrument separation and soundstaging improved. As it is with any audiophile, I was still not completely satisfied and wanted more. Last week I ended up putting two LME49710HA TO-99 Metal Can opamps on adapters in the buffer stage to replace the stock LME49710NA chips. Oh my, what a great upgrade. The bass became tighter, faster, and more defined. The soundstaging opened right up. Instrument separation and location are greatly improved. The mids are a tad more forward, and vocals are very well presented. The treble extension is far better. Things are more articulate, clear, and defined. Everything is nice and neutral sounding with great details. I am not using the headphone amp on the card. I use an M-Stage HPA-2 headphone amp connected to the RCA outs. It has an opamp upgrade in it as well from the stock OPA2134, which I replaced months ago with two LME49990MA opamps on an adapter. The headphones I have are the HD600 and the DT880 Premium 250 Ohm. I have been really impressed so far after the opamp upgrades, especially the LME49710HA.
     

  5. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Good info!

    Probably wont have it until Weds.
    It needs running in first then I'll see what it can do before making any changes.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
  6. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Only got it today, been listening to it and comparing for the last 5 hours.
    Its a wonderful sound.

    Its more laid back (like my original Oppo 105) but has more micro detail than my stereo Minimax Plus DAC -which is quite a lot more detailed than the Oppo 105.
    Imaging is a good step up from the Minimax, it is so precise its quite incredible.
    The sound is more delicate and at the same time more revealing.
    Voice and instrument placement is unquestionable its like you can see the exact locations.

    I made a custom USB cable that gives a little more detail on the Minimax.
    It doesnt matter whether I use this cable or a cheap one on the Oppo 205, they both sound the same.
    Optical extracts a tiny bit more detail than USB but is more limited in its use (so I rarely use it). I had the same experience with the Oppo 105 and Minimax.
    My optical cable has always worked perfectly up to 96KHz but crackles a bit at 192KHz. The Oppo 205 works perfectly at 192KHz. I imagine it interpolates errors better.
    I really need to spend some cash on a better optical cable but the inability to play anything outside 44, 48, 96 and 192KHz makes it a chore to use.


    To sum up the audio quality so far:
    The Oppo 205 is better than the Oppo 105, way better.
    Its very similar to the Minimax plus sound and detail level. The Minimax has a slightly sharper sound that accentuates detail. The Oppo adds more tiny detail while giving a more relaxed delicate sound.
    Imaging is superior, very precise. Tiny sounds have a precise location that previously mixed together somewhat. Exceptional.
    Micro detail is improved, reverb lasts a little longer before fading to nothing.
    It doesnt care so much about audio cable quality for digital input.

    Doing an A/B comparison with the Minimax is difficult at times because they both extract a ton of detail and the sound is extraordinarily similar.
    But the delicate extra detail and better imaging make the Oppo 205 a win.
    And it does this with surround channels.

    Awesome DAC.


    ps no need for resistors.
    I use between 70 and 78% volume for mid to moderate loudness. 60% is quiet.
    When doing the comparisons over optical I set the Oppo to 100% volume and used Foobars volume control so both DACs received the same signal.
     
  7. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Finally got an balanced cable for my R70x, to use the balanced headphone jack on the Schiit Jotunheim. I didn't effect the headphone to improve this much. I did expected some improvement due to being supplied more power, but not this much.

    I did get 4FT so i had to move my Jotunheim foward an bit, Should had went for 5ft for 10 more dollars,but then it would had been too long and been in the way.


    Edit: after using it for an while my R70 sound much better then they ever did in compared to using the SE cable that came with them. Everything sound perfect to me and spacious too.

    Now I feel I have every thing I ever wanted with the way every thing sounds. I'm finally can say that I have an setup that I'm happy with.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
  8. gridiron whirlw

    gridiron whirlw Ancient Guru

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    New amp in the house!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    EL3N tubes with two stages...wonderful for high impedance , low impedance and great with planars.
     
  9. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Nice.
    I'd like to try a good tube amp on my hifi.

    I used a 100W EL34 with my guitar years ago and it was the nicest sounding guitar amp.
    My current amp has a valve pre which gives some of the same flavour.
     
  10. gridiron whirlw

    gridiron whirlw Ancient Guru

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    The new dac finally made it's way to me. KTE Holo Springs Level 3

    This definitely stepped up my whole system.

    I never had thought that the dac was as important as I now know that it is.

    This may be the single best upgrade that I have ever put in my system .
    Much better than my PS Audio Nuwave, which I always considered very good.

    I always considered DSD something that my old ears could not tell the difference from a 44/16 flac....the native DSD performance is simply amazing.

    It does DSD natively and I am gobsmacked by it's performance....definitely the last dac I will be looking for.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

  11. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Hehe sweet.
    Its hard to tell people how DSD is better without being unwrapped to PCM because most cant do that and dont understand.
    It also needs a good enough DAC and equipment to get the finer detail.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  12. gridiron whirlw

    gridiron whirlw Ancient Guru

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    It takes up lots of hard drive space and the albums are not cheap, but there is gobs of detail and it is a joy to listen to.
     
  13. mikeysg

    mikeysg Ancient Guru

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    Haven't gotten anything lately because, well, nothing seems exciting or new. In fact, I'd been avoiding going to the local shops selling audio stuff for a while now, but last Saturday, I happened upon the Audeze iSine 10 and was intrigued. Like that it's a Planar Magnetic IEM, as well as having a pair of Imperial Tie fighter wings on my ears, so I snagged it.
    [​IMG]
    Comes with a variety of ear tips, a couple of ear hooks, a Lightning audio cable adapter and a regular cable with 3.5mm plug....nice presentation case if I do say so myself.
    [​IMG]

    I'm using it on my LG G6 and HFM HM901s....pictured with my G6 which can drive it up to pretty damn loud, I have my volume set at 40-45 of a max of 75.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Til an rebel strolls by and rip them from your ears ;)

    How are they, are they comfitable and sound really well?

    I planning on grabbing me an sound blaster AE-5,since it has the functionally and features that I want, when it comes out. Lucky I didn't have to pay extra for the dac module of the jotunheim, since it was in mine when I got an good deal on it used. Because that thing gave me all types of issues, including what I needed the most asio, which don't work right.
     
  15. mikeysg

    mikeysg Ancient Guru

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    I have about 4TB of DSD, but I've been scoffed at when I say I hear the extra detail and clarity. Even had one guy tell me that it was all placebo, and another reasonable argument is that better masters were used for DSD recording/mastering. Honestly, I'm more than happy with FLAC and WAV rips of CD's, there's just something subtly different about DSD.

    GW, about the fit, well, I never had any luck with stock silicon tips, foam type tips is my preferred tip. I'll be snagging some Comply's.....prolly the Isolation 600. Right now, I need the hook to keep the IEM in place, but I do believe that with foam tips, I may dispense with the hooks which I find pretty difficult to mount correctly on my ears. I've heard that the use of foam tips would enhance the bass somewhat, but kill off some of the highs.
     

  16. gridiron whirlw

    gridiron whirlw Ancient Guru

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    That is quite alot of DSD.

    I wish I had that much!

    Where have you gotten most of yours.

    I was always skeptical of DSD, but after hearing it from my new dac, I am a believer.
     
  17. mikeysg

    mikeysg Ancient Guru

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    I'd gotten some of my DSD tracks from a friend who had given up on audio, passed me about 2.5TB worth of DSD's. There were mostly classical with limited Pop, New Age and such, traded with my other friends and such to my present collection size.

    First time I'd heard some DSD64 tracks, I was amazed at the clarity and crystal clear details......but, many of those I've chatted with online (in the various forums) basically scoffed at the idea of better clarity and imaging compared to FLAC/WAV, and that it took up too much HDD space.

    I'm now on an IEM trip, beside the iSine 10, I've ordered a Senfer 4in1 (black, already have the gray version) and seriously thinking of getting a BNIB Noble Audio Sage Universal that someone's selling here for about 367USD. Man, I've gotta learn to stop scouring the Garage section of the local forums.
     
  18. gridiron whirlw

    gridiron whirlw Ancient Guru

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    I would be interested in hearing what some of your favorite DSD blues and rock albums are. That is mostly want I am interested in.
     
  19. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    I ended up putting an order in for the Sound blasterX AE-5, since it fit the bill what I was looking for in an source for the price, for my muiti purpose use. Hoping I get it by next week if not sooner. After it comes, I'll be taking this old Xonar DS out back and burying it in the apt complex yard, next to the jot dac module.

    After I use it for an while when it comes, I'll put up an review.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  20. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Well guys I had an unpleasant experience with Oppo UK support and the MD so have returned it.

    This puts me in a great position to look for a new DAC.
    I decided on stereo to get the best quality per buck.
    Initially I thought the Matrix X-Sabre Pro with dual 9038 Pro DAC chips (thats 16 channels to get stereo with very high s/n ratio!), DSD512 via USB and DSD1024 via I2S was the answer:
    http://www.matrix-digi.com/en/products/137/index.html#page1
    But then came across this....
    http://www.musicalparadise.ca/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=61&product_id=80
    Simply called the MP-D2 MKII, its an audiophile dream if you dont have £5K for the Lampizator.

    To quickly sum up, it is modular and has:
    Headphone amp
    Changeable 32bit DAC chips
    Changeable valve rectifier
    Fully balanced and single ended output straight from the DAC
    Changeable valve single ended pre-amp
    Changeable capacitors for output coupling (no solder needed)
    80W toroid for digital stage, 150W toroid for analogue
    SPDIF (96KHz PCM) / AES (96KHz PCM) / USB input (DSD256, 384KHz PCM)
    S/N 126dB
    Output sensitivity switch 3V/6V normally for balanced, also useful for lower output valves using single ended out.
    and more...
    Only downside seems to be that 384KHz PCM is only possible on a Mac or Linux. Not a biggy for me because I dont intend to use PCM but DSD256.


    Reviews and user opinions are glowing, I havent come across a bad one yet.
    It looks like this is the one!

    Useful reads
    http://audioreview.ca/default.aspx?pagename=review&reviewID=7664
    https://www.hifihaven.org/forum/all-things-digital/50601-review-musical-paradise-mp-d2
    http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=148213.0
    https://www.canuckaudiomart.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=42058
    http://www.audioshark.org/computer-...ew-toy-2017-musical-paradise-mp-d2-11092.html
    https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/musical-paradise-m2-d2-ak4490-balanced-dac-reviews.802557/

    My plan is to get a DSD DAC and use HQPlayer to upsample to the highest frequency DSD the DAC will do.
    This isnt cheap but luckily they offer a method of trialing to see if it works with your kit.
    http://www.signalyst.com/webshop.html
    It can be used to upsample to the highest PCM or DSD of your DAC to bypass some or all of the DACs internal processing while using very high precision filters that you can choose/experiment with.
    This thread covers how many people use it.
    https://community.roonlabs.com/t/what-do-most-people-use-hq-player-for/7393
    People swear by upsampling normal FLAC/WAV/PCM to max DSD rate.

    Has anyone tried either the MP-D2 DAC or HQPlayer?
    Opinions are welcome too :)
    I'm really looking forward to this, just gotta be sure its the best for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017

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