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Audible Differences in DAC's?
Mach-X
post Feb 6 2013, 10:10
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My question here is, if the sansa clip+ provides linear output, why would anybody need the odac to begin with. If the odac is somewhere between 3 and 4 times the price. If the clip+ is linear is it not capable of providing linear dac conversion into a larger amp?
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Feb 6 2013, 11:09
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Feb 6 2013, 04:10) *
My question here is, if the sansa clip+ provides linear output, why would anybody need the odac to begin with. If the odac is somewhere between 3 and 4 times the price. If the clip+ is linear is it not capable of providing linear dac conversion into a larger amp?



Exactly. The ODAC has great performance, but it is deep into diminishing returns, performance-wise.
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skamp
post Feb 6 2013, 11:45
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Sure, the ODAC is overkill, but that's not a bad thing. Its price may be a bad thing, but you're also comparing two very different devices with different uses. The Clip+ is a portable DAP, and if you're going to plug it in some kind of line-in, you're going to need a lot of gain. The ODAC is a desktop DAC with a real line-out, no gain needed. Also, the ODAC was designed by NwAvGuy to make a point (excellent performance, way beyond audibility, doesn't have to cost $1,000 or more), and it's not mass produced like the Clip+. While it is (somewhat) expensive ($150), at least it's not snake oil.

If you want the best bang for the buck, you can try FiiO products like the E07k ($89), as a desktop solution.

This post has been edited by skamp: Nov 2 2013, 13:46


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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Feb 24 2013, 11:58
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QUOTE (skamp @ Feb 6 2013, 05:45) *
Sure, the ODAC is overkill, but that's not a bad thing. Its price may be a bad thing, but you're also comparing two very different devices with different uses. The Clip+ is a portable DAP, and if you're going to plug it in some kind of line-in, you're going to need a lot of gain.


There should be no problem plugging a Clip+ into either a consumer or a production line in. It hasn't been a problem when I've done so. Consumer audio gear generally needs about 100 mv to be driven to full output, and if memory serves, it can put out more like 1 volt.

Pro audio gear has been contending with semi-pro gear that only puts out -10 so long that again the Clip+ headphone jack is even overkill.

QUOTE
The ODAC is a desktop DAC with a real line-out, no gain needed. Also, the ODAC was designed by NwAvGuy to make a point (stellar performance, way beyond audibility, doesn't have to cost $1,000 or more), and it's not mass produced like the Clip+. While it is (somewhat) expensive ($150), at least it's not snake oil.


I think the most salient comment above it the lack of volume production.

QUOTE
If you want the best bang for the buck, you can try FiiO products like the E07k ($89), as a desktop solution.


Agreed. However a FIIO E3 plugged into a UCA 202 gets you there for less than half of that.
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DonP
post Feb 24 2013, 14:32
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Of course the big limitation of clip is that while it does demonstrate you can make a quality DAC for little money, you can't plug it into a coax or optical output.

Almost 10 years ago paid under $100 for a Denon unit with several inputs of both types, plus Dolby digital decoding, a couple of real knobs, and remote. Getting a piece of gear fully kitted out is a real consideration that costs at least a few bucks.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Feb 24 2013, 20:11
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QUOTE (DonP @ Feb 24 2013, 08:32) *
Of course the big limitation of clip is that while it does demonstrate you can make a quality DAC for little money, you can't plug it into a coax or optical output.


Looks like cherry picking to me. The Clip+ implements something far more complex and potentially costly than a coax or optical input - it impmlments a full function music playing including gigabytes of storage. Coax and optical inputs contain only a few very inexpensive parts.
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mzil
post Feb 24 2013, 22:10
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Feb 24 2013, 05:58) *
Agreed. However a FIIO E3 plugged into a UCA 202 gets you there for less than half of that.

If I am understanding you correctly, you are suggesting bypassing the built-in headphone out already found on the UCA-202 and instead using its line out to the Fiio E3 to drive some headphones?
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Feb 25 2013, 15:51
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QUOTE (mzil @ Feb 24 2013, 16:10) *
QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Feb 24 2013, 05:58) *
Agreed. However a FIIO E3 plugged into a UCA 202 gets you there for less than half of that.

If I am understanding you correctly, you are suggesting bypassing the built-in headphone out already found on the UCA-202 and instead using its line out to the Fiio E3 to drive some headphones?


BTW I made a typgraphic error above. I meant FIIO E5. I had to look at the one on this computer to refresh my memory! ;-)

Yes. The headphone jack on the UCA 202 has a source impedance of about 50 ohms which can lead to audible frequency response changes with some headphones.

The Fiio e5 is said to provide a source impedance of less than 1 ohm:

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/03/fiio-e...dphone-amp.html
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saratoga
post Feb 25 2013, 21:40
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QUOTE (mzil @ Feb 25 2013, 12:25) *
I really wish I could see more curves than just that.


Heres another 30 or 40 devices and a bunch of headphones:

http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/index.php?dir=Comparisons
http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/index.php?dir=Single_Players

QUOTE (mzil @ Feb 25 2013, 12:25) *
For all we know the amount of deviation plummets with a conventional, non-balanced armature design with a similarly low impedance, or if one accepts deviations of say +/- 1 dB as being relatively benign (considering the much larger, comparatively rollercoaster curves of different headphones in general, one model to the next), his "rule" becomes more like "1/2" or "1/4" , for all we know.


I'd say hes quite conservative. The impact of output impedance is enormous, and it factors into more then just frequency response (see THD at 1/2 vs. 1/8 for instance).

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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Feb 26 2013, 14:31
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QUOTE (mzil @ Feb 25 2013, 18:26) *
QUOTE (saratoga @ Feb 25 2013, 15:40) *
QUOTE (mzil @ Feb 25 2013, 12:25) *
I really wish I could see more curves than just that.


Heres another 30 or 40 devices and a bunch of headphones:

http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/index.php?dir=Comparisons
http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/index.php?dir=Single_Players

...
I'd say hes quite conservative. The impact of output impedance is enormous, and it factors into more then just frequency response (see THD at 1/2 vs. 1/8 for instance).



Thanks, but might you do me a favor and point out a particular example within those 100 files [all of devices with output impedances that are unknown to me and to the best of my knowledge not stated within the file itself], which demonstrates that breaking the 1/8th rule by just a little, (say closer to 1/4, 1/5th, 1/6th or 1/7th) causes a response variation one would expect to be audible?


The purple line on this graph looks pretty audible to me. I'll leave evaluation of the rest of the parameters to you.

http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Comparisons...ip%2B%29/fr.png

Blue and purple here seem problematical:

http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Comparisons...y%20A845/fr.png

Green and purple here, and the problem is relatred to the output coupling caps, not source Z

http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Comparisons...%20Vibez/fr.png

Green and white here, and again its a coupling capacitor problem, not source Z

http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Comparisons...%20Loads/fr.png

Hope this helps.
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