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Better D/A Converters for SHD 1 year 4 weeks ago #50436

  • writesds
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Originally, I said "MiniDSP did an excellent job implementing their conversion." That statement holds true. I don't believe you're money is better spent on a Chord if your room is not right.

The main thing to consider is that, if you have sound reflection due to your environment which causes an unpleasant physical response, you're going to miss the advantages of a higher end DAC anyway. There may be tradeoffs with room correction compression in that if DSP is not done properly, some negligible detail may be lost. However, More comfort and focus in listening beats anything lost.

One thing I also do is run the main signal out digitally through my external DAC and Preamp. this allows me to control the subwoofer volume on the minidsp separately from the main amp volume. This has its advantages and can be used as an A/B to answer your question about the miniDSP DAC vs others..

Of course, if you want to get the absolute best listening experience money, just add THC. You'll be hyper focused, blocking the background information which robs you of detail, and hear the music in the most pleasurable way possible. so, in order: good components, room correction, weed, DAC

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Better D/A Converters for SHD 1 year 4 weeks ago #50444

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I believe the threshold of hearing is around -116dB. The SHD is virtually transparent at around -111dB as measured at Audiosciencereview.
www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.p...p-and-streamer.4286/
The excellent measured performance, Dirac, manual eq, crossovers etc is what makes the SHD such an amazing device in my opinion. It never hurts to want a better measuring device, but the SHD pretty much nails it in the DAC department. In a perfectly level matched double blind test, it would be a pretty amazing feat to pick one as better, even if it measures better. I would say it is close enough to call it audibly transparent but others may have differing opinions of course!

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Better D/A Converters for SHD 1 year 3 weeks ago #50450

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I was wondering if there would be any advantage to having dual DAC chips per output pair (I believe SHD has 2 chips, but 1 chip per output pair) would have any benefit? Seems most high end setups have dual DACs and then claim hardware balanced signal paths.

FYI - sounds like the AK4498 was announced this year for 2021 release.

Not DAC related (directly): Didn’t ASR find some weird spurious tones way down low (where it’s probably inaudible) due to presumed interference from the power supply? Wonder if they addressed that in any of the product revisions?

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Better D/A Converters for SHD 1 year 3 weeks ago #50451

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I was wondering if there would be any advantage to having dual DAC chips per output pair (I believe SHD has 2 chips, but 1 chip per output pair) would have any benefit? Seems most high end setups have dual DACs and then claim hardware balanced signal paths.

FYI - sounds like the AK4498 was announced this year for 2021 release.

Not DAC related (directly): Didn’t ASR find some weird spurious tones way down low (where it’s probably inaudible) due to presumed interference from the power supply? Wonder if they addressed that in any of the product revisions?

The levels are at -120, so not a concern. Amir's comments say as such.
"Fortunately the highest level is below -120 dB so not an audible concern. But what a way to ruin great response of this DAC. I wonder if they had someone else design the DAC portion and they did not test it when in the same box as the DSP and display subsystem. These issues could have been avoided for the most part with some care."

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Better D/A Converters for SHD 1 year 3 weeks ago #50452

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The flaws of the SHD measuremens are not flaws. Aamir just has ocd. Cd quality is 96db. The SHD blows past that level. Theoretically 120 dB is past the maximum where somebody could hear a flaw, but realistically that bar is much lower. I have a hard time telling the difference between Cd and 128kbps mp3, let alone the far smaller differences between Cd and 24/192 files.

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Better D/A Converters for SHD 1 year 3 weeks ago #50453

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The flaws of the SHD measuremens are not flaws. Aamir just has ocd. Cd quality is 96db. The SHD blows past that level. Theoretically 120 dB is past the maximum where somebody could hear a flaw, but realistically that bar is much lower. I have a hard time telling the difference between Cd and 128kbps mp3, let alone the far smaller differences between Cd and 24/192 files.

That is why I posted his actual comments. It does show jitter but as he noted it is not an audible concern at all.
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Better D/A Converters for SHD 1 year 3 weeks ago #50454

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Yep, I had listed it as being inaudible in my comment as well - but there is always some fun in being OCD about things. :)

Anyone know why all of the high end stuff seems to use 2 DACs in parallel vs 1? Or is this a case of double the cost to quadruple the price?
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Better D/A Converters for SHD 1 year 3 weeks ago #50457

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It's largely about correlation. The signal should have a correlation of 1 whereas noise and distortion products should be less correlated or even have zero correlation. This causes the wanted signal to add perfectly but the less correlated things don't add well, they partly cancel each other out. Having said that, a mere two things in parallel doesn't give you much chance of getting a significant improvement. Its far better to use 4 or even 8 things in parallel for correlation effects to work well. So my suspicion is that companies who use 2 DACs in parallel are primarily jumping on the parallel bandwagon.

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Better D/A Converters for SHD 1 year 3 weeks ago #50458

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The benefits of two channels of DAC or 16 channels of DAC are far less than the benefits of just designing everything around the chip correctly in the first place. Everything past that is getting esoteric. My goal is 105db. I figure that gives plenty of headroom above what I can tell. Even then, my speakers distort way more than 105db. Distortion probably rises to .5 or 1% in much of the frequency range if I play loud enough. Especially at low frequencies.

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Better D/A Converters for SHD 1 year 3 weeks ago #50459

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The benefits of two channels of DAC or 16 channels of DAC are far less than the benefits of just designing everything around the chip correctly in the first place. Everything past that is getting esoteric. My goal is 105db. I figure that gives plenty of headroom above what I can tell. Even then, my speakers distort way more than 105db. Distortion probably rises to .5 or 1% in much of the frequency range if I play loud enough. Especially at low frequencies.


That's funny, I used a similar number when sizing my amp. Sized it for at least 100 db plus some headroom - I really play in the 70s to 80s of dbs. So far, haven't hit 15 watts.

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Better D/A Converters for SHD 1 year 3 weeks ago #50461

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I often play louder and use all my power. Not on the sub though. That thing's way too powerful.

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