AK4395 vs. AK4396 listening comparisons - 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 24th January 2009, 03:40 PM   #1
sendler is offline sendler  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ny
Default AK4395 vs. AK4396 listening comparisons

The AK4396 has been around for a couple of years now and I have had a lot of people asking me about it as a possible upgrade to the AK4393 that comes stock in the Behringer 2496 audio gear but I have just now been able to get my US distributor to supply them. I installed an AK4396 dac chip in a direct out modified DEQ in order to compare it with the AK4395 that I have been recommending. The 4396 drops in to the board space vacated by the AK4393 and works fine on 3.3v with no other mods whereas the 4395 needs an extra regulator to provide 5v to pin 2, assuming that you donít want to share the analog 5v with the digital pin. Itís interesting that the two chips do sound quite different. Although I usually have little trouble picking one component I like best from listening trials, it has been very difficult for me to choose a clear winner this time. These chips both offer stratospheric performance. Itís funny that I actually started to feel some pressure from my indecision. I also swapped the boards into the opposite chassis to make sure that I was minimizing the variables and tried both 4k and 20k stepped attenuators even though the 20k attenuators donít work as well with my 22k amps. The 4396 has a more powerful sound even working into my 4k stepped attenuators despite itís lower stated power consumption. It throws itís soundstage closer to the listener, more toward the front line of the speakers and actually plays about 1db louder depending on the program material. The 4395ís bass was heard to extend much further than the stock 4393ís, along with a big improvement in resolving ability, and the 4396 has just as much extension, with a higher level, up into the mid bass. This makes the 4395 sound a bit lean in comparison. On the other hand, the 4395 throws itís sound stage much deeper, starting just behind the plane of the speakers and going back beyond the front wall of the room. The 4396ís stage is pleasantly a bit taller. The 96 lights the stage more brightly, making each instrument stand apart from the others but lacks the ultimate resolution of the 95ís ability to follow the sounds right to the fine end. Some tracks favor the 4396ís closer presentation as feeling more involving and easier to follow. On other cuts I preferred the 4395ís extra ability to resolve reverberation tails and ambient information, making the 96 feel like it is leaving something behind. So the trade offs went back and forth causing one of those listening binges where you just keep pulling one cd after another off of the shelf, and canít wait to get home the next day to do it all over again. At this point, with my current associated equipment, I will have to choose the AK4395 for itís extra resolving ability even though I was hoping the 4396ís more focused and powerful sound would win as it would be easier to install. With different equipment I can see where this might go the other way so I will check back on the 4396 as things in my system change.
__________________
Scott
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th January 2009, 08:17 PM   #2
Muser is offline Muser  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Default Interesting

Thanks for the thoughtful review.
Larry
  Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2009, 03:20 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: bratislava
Hello,
Please give me some information where I buy DAC AK4396?
thank you
Milan

email: milandks at pobox dot sk
  Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2009, 06:32 PM   #4
xaudiox is offline xaudiox  Philippines
diyAudio Member
 
xaudiox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Quote:
Originally posted by milandks
Hello,
Please give me some information where I buy DAC AK4396?
thank you
Milan

email: milandks at pobox dot sk
I have both chip for sale..

  Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2009, 01:34 AM   #5
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: bratislava
how many cost this part DAc AK4396?
milan
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2009, 04:04 PM   #6
MartinQ is offline MartinQ  Canada
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ontario, Canada
Can you post response, distortion graphs for these components? I can't imagine you would upgrade electronics based only on listening.
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2009, 04:39 PM   #7
sendler is offline sendler  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ny
Default Listening vs. measurement

Ah, but I can't imagine recommending anything without listening. But that is a whole other topic.
__________________
Scott
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2009, 05:36 PM   #8
MartinQ is offline MartinQ  Canada
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ontario, Canada
It certainly is, but still ... measurements are most welcome.
  Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2009, 01:32 PM   #9
dweekie is offline dweekie  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Scott, thanks for the comparison. I have one question about the test, though. Did you use your external regulator for the AK4396 as well? It seems to me from the descrition that you used the onboard regulator on the '96 while using an external regulator on the '95. Considering the '96 can run on 5V as well, it would seem to eliminate one more variable. Do you think that had any effect on the results? That is, of course, assuming you only used the external regulator on the '95.
  Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2009, 03:09 PM   #10
sendler is offline sendler  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ny
Default Additional regulator for 4396 makes little change

I did consider the additional regulator as a variable so decided to revisit the comparison and was able to lift pin 2 of the 4396 to add a 5v digital supply to make the circuit identical to that which the 4395 was running . Without having another 4396 equipped unit to compare, it's hard to say whether there were any slight differences from the change. The stock power supply implementations in the Behringer 2496s are actually pretty good. The comparative attributes of either chip remained about the same. Another epic listening session though! XRCD Sampler 2, Mapleshade's Music Festival, Old VanHalen. A modified DEQ makes an amazing source for the money!
__________________
Scott
  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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
AK4396 miracle dac xaudiox Vendor's Bazaar 42 4th January 2013 04:30 AM
AK4395, AK4396 dac chips for sale sendler Swap Meet 1 23rd August 2009 05:24 AM
Any DAC DIY Deisgn with AK4396? xenu Digital Line Level 0 4th April 2009 07:18 AM
AK4395 dac xaudiox Vendor's Bazaar 0 22nd November 2008 12:37 PM
direct listening comparisons, tractrix, JMMLC, oblate spheroid angeloitacare Multi-Way 4 23rd March 2008 09:19 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:56 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