Is Vista really capable of bit-perfect output? - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Source & Line > Digital Line Level

Digital Line Level DACs, Digital Crossovers, Equalizers, etc.

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 2nd February 2008, 09:16 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Default Is Vista really capable of bit-perfect output?

Hi,

I thought I'd share my experience in getting a bit-perfect output using Vista, for anyone who may be interested.

My setup is:

PC (with Vista Ultimate)
MOTU 896HD sound card
Esoteric D70 DAC
Pass Labs XVR1 analogue crossovers (x2 - one per channel)
Hypex UCD700 HG amplifiers (x8 - four per channel)
Wilson Benesch Chimera speakers

The 896HD is slaved to the D70's wordclock output. The digital audio signal is fed to the D70 via an AES/EBU cable.

I determine whether I'm getting a bit-perfect output by playing an HDCD-encoded WAV file (extracted using EAC) and seeing if I can invoke the HDCD processing in my D70 (a little blue light comes on when this happens).

Here's what happens with the three audio applications I've tried:

1) XXHighend - bit-perfect output only with Engine #3
2) Windows Media Player - not bit-perfect (irrespective of which settings I use)
3) Foobar - only bit-perfect if ASIO driver is used

These results surprise me. Everything I've read about Vista suggests that the removal of KMixer has removed the necessity of using an ASIO driver with Foobar.

I'd love to hear others' views/experiences.

On a final note, I could not discern any difference between XXHighend (engine #3) and Foobar (ASIO) - both are superb and better my Esoteric P70 transport playing the same CD.

Mani.
  Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2008, 09:24 PM   #2
flshzug is offline flshzug  Antarctica
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
better than transport ?????

better or different?

(im lookin into linear power supply , solid state hard disk for the PC and Lynx AES-16)
  Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2008, 09:32 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Definitely better.

Let me give you an example.

Take Claire Martin's 'Too Damn Hot' album. I have 3 versions of this:
1) CD (HDCD)
2) 16/44.1 WAV (extracted using EAC)
3) 24/96 FLAC (downloaded from Linn Records site)

When played through Foobar, the FLAC version is simply stunning. The Wav version is very good, though flatter than the FLAC. The CD played through the transport sounds more edgy, less fluid and less solid.

Mani.
  Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2008, 10:23 PM   #4
diyAudio Member
 
georgehifi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Manly Australia (Jewel of the Pacific)
Send a message via MSN to georgehifi
Quote:
Originally posted by manisandher
Definitely better.

The CD played through the transport sounds more edgy, less fluid and less solid.

Mani.
You must have a problem then with that transport then, when working well it is a stunning transport with no hint of grain, edge or compression even in standard form, with a Tent XO3 and supply instaled it takes on a new level of sound, even more relaxed, richer and bigger. I've heard both standard and clocked. Yours must have a problem. Maybe even the laser, it's getting long in the tooth now, lots of error correction going on? maybe??

Cheers George
__________________
Avatar : Production Lightspeed Attenuator
www.lightspeedattenuator.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2008, 11:54 PM   #5
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Virginia
Quote:
Originally posted by manisandher
Definitely better.

Let me give you an example.

Take Claire Martin's 'Too Damn Hot' album. I have 3 versions of this:
1) CD (HDCD)
2) 16/44.1 WAV (extracted using EAC)
3) 24/96 FLAC (downloaded from Linn Records site)

When played through Foobar, the FLAC version is simply stunning. The Wav version is very good, though flatter than the FLAC. The CD played through the transport sounds more edgy, less fluid and less solid.

Mani.
Try to play the HDCD on the PC with Windows Media Player - the only one that can decode the signal proper... if you don't have an external decoder for that.
The wav on HDD (even extracted with EAC) will not be decoded/played as HDCD by WMP!
  Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2008, 07:18 AM   #6
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Quote:
Originally posted by georgehifi


You must have a problem then with that transport then...

Cheers George
I agree, the standard P70 is a stunning transport. I've not heard any modded versions, so can't comment on their performance.

I don't think there's anything wrong with my transport though. It's dead silent when playing CDs and handles (my wife's!) badly scratched CDs easily. It literally blows my Pioneer DVD, acting as a transport, out of the water. No, I'm pretty sure it's doing a sterling job, given the constaints of the ancient 'red book' standard.

But as you yourself admit, the standard P70 is not perfect. You reckon that the modded version sounds "even more relaxed, richer and bigger". Well, I reckon you get all of this (and maybe more?) by extracting and playing wav/flac files well.

As for 24/96 FLAC files, I'd venture that no transport on the planet, modded or not, comes anywhere close to the sound quality you can get from them. If more and more companies start offering these downloads, I think the audiophile community is simply going to have to start taking more of an interest in PC music.

I'm currently looking for an audiophile DAC with USB and/or IEEE1394 input that will out-perform my current MOTU/Esoteric combo, but haven't come across anything... as yet.

IMHO, there is a potentially lucrative market here for the likes of Meitner, Weiss and Zanden (and Esoteric, of course!).

Cheers, Mani.
  Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2008, 01:54 PM   #7
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Quote:
Originally posted by SoNic_real_one


Try to play the HDCD on the PC with Windows Media Player - the only one that can decode the signal proper... if you don't have an external decoder for that.
The wav on HDD (even extracted with EAC) will not be decoded/played as HDCD by WMP!

SoNic_real_one,

I wouldn't go near WMP as my main audio player. I'd only ever consider Foobar or maybe XXHighEnd, though I don't like the latter's interface right now.

As you rightly state, WMP will NOT decode an HDCD-encoded WAV file anyway, so why use it if you have an HDCD-capable DAC?

Fortunately, my DAC has HDCD capability. Unfortunately, the newer Esoteric DACs don't

Mani.
  Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2008, 03:37 PM   #8
Telstar is offline Telstar  Italy
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Italy
Quote:
Originally posted by manisandher


I agree, the standard P70 is a stunning transport. I've not heard any modded versions, so can't comment on their performance.

I don't think there's anything wrong with my transport though. It's dead silent when playing CDs and handles (my wife's!) badly scratched CDs easily. It literally blows my Pioneer DVD, acting as a transport, out of the water. No, I'm pretty sure it's doing a sterling job, given the constaints of the ancient 'red book' standard.

But as you yourself admit, the standard P70 is not perfect. You reckon that the modded version sounds "even more relaxed, richer and bigger". Well, I reckon you get all of this (and maybe more?) by extracting and playing wav/flac files well.

As for 24/96 FLAC files, I'd venture that no transport on the planet, modded or not, comes anywhere close to the sound quality you can get from them. If more and more companies start offering these downloads, I think the audiophile community is simply going to have to start taking more of an interest in PC music.

I'm currently looking for an audiophile DAC with USB and/or IEEE1394 input that will out-perform my current MOTU/Esoteric combo, but haven't come across anything... as yet.

IMHO, there is a potentially lucrative market here for the likes of Meitner, Weiss and Zanden (and Esoteric, of course!).

Cheers, Mani.
I'm pretty sure your transport is working fine. I havent installed the xo3 and xo supply yet in mine, but I will comment readily on the difference in SQ when I'll do.
For 24/96 master files wav/flac, I think the only comparable transport is an Esoteric UX-01/03 using DVD-Audio (NOT SACD).
Me, i'm happy if i can come to the same conclusions that you did with your computer transport.

You probably would like to know what I read a couple of days ago:
http://stereophile.com/news/010508ref/

So you are shoping for the same kind of DAC that I want. I am afraid that it will be difficult to find a firewire input in an audiophile-oriented DAC. And I recommend you to stay away from USB. So Maybe you have to keep that motu (or the fireface) for a while more.

I think that the Esoteric DAC is the bottleneck in your chain. XXHE should outperform foobar w/ asio.

Lastly, you are not telling if you perform any upsampling software or hardware (i'm pretty sure the Esoteric DAC does 24/192).
__________________
"The total harmonic distortion is not a measure of the degree of distastefulness to the listener and it is recommended that its use should be discontinued." D. Masa, 1938
  Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2008, 04:06 PM   #9
flshzug is offline flshzug  Antarctica
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
you re aiming at Prism Orpheus, or if you want you can wait for friendlier price offers ( heard it thru the grapevine )
  Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2008, 04:21 PM   #10
flshzug is offline flshzug  Antarctica
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
telstar there are so many shoot& miss in your comment entry i rather not count / respond
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 02:14 PM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2