$43000 "hi-end" DAC vs $50 consumer audio dac ? - Page 4 - diyAudio
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Old 10th October 2012, 09:37 AM   #31
PHEONIX is offline PHEONIX  Australia
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Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
HIFICRITIC, with Martin Colloms and others of the cream of the British hifi press, looked at the msb and Weiss DAC202 at the beginning of 2011, in the same issue. This magazine has a nice balance of the subjective, and objective measurements, and they acknowledge that the Weiss is ruler perfect in the numbers game. Yet, on a subjective marking scale the Weiss got 67, and the msb 200.

Some comments about the Weiss in the review: "tonality is not perfect", "hint of hardness in the midrange and a trace of grain in the treble", "fails to define leading edges as well as the best available", "not really the one for great dynamics and realistic rhythm and timing". These are the things that are important for audiophiles, so if you can point to subjective reviews that consider them to be on level pegging, please tell me ...

Frank
Hello Frank

Could you site the articles your talking about where these comparisons were made.

My I ask what these people consider the ultimate best sounding DAC is and what its subjective marking scale is.
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Old 10th October 2012, 09:46 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
HIFICRITIC, with Martin Colloms and others of the cream of the British hifi press, looked at the msb and Weiss DAC202 at the beginning of 2011, in the same issue. This magazine has a nice balance of the subjective, and objective measurements, and they acknowledge that the Weiss is ruler perfect in the numbers game. Yet, on a subjective marking scale the Weiss got 67, and the msb 200.

Some comments about the Weiss in the review: "tonality is not perfect", "hint of hardness in the midrange and a trace of grain in the treble", "fails to define leading edges as well as the best available", "not really the one for great dynamics and realistic rhythm and timing". These are the things that are important for audiophiles, so if you can point to subjective reviews that consider them to be on level pegging, please tell me ...

Frank
so you find someone else who swears by the Weiss and then what ?

the problem with Weiss is that they didn't put a 43K price tag on their dac
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Old 10th October 2012, 10:09 AM   #33
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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Originally Posted by PHEONIX View Post
Hello Frank

Could you site the articles your talking about where these comparisons were made.

My I ask what these people consider the ultimate best sounding DAC is and what its subjective marking scale is.
Unfortunately, this is a subscription only mag, no ads - HIFICRITIC, audio review magazine, hi fi critic. The issue was Jan-Mar 2011.

The 2nd answer has already been given, the msb!! However, I only received one year's subscription so something else may have usurped it in the meantime. Some comments therein about the msb: "It just sounds more like live music than any other digital source that I have yet head", "difficult to criticise and find fault with something that has set such a high standard. No matter how well I thought I knew a recording, this (msb) managed to reveal still more", "It might be one of the most expensive DACs around, but it's also easily the best we've tried so far".

Frank
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Old 10th October 2012, 11:29 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
Unfortunately, this is a subscription only mag, no ads - HIFICRITIC, audio review magazine, hi fi critic. The issue was Jan-Mar 2011.

The 2nd answer has already been given, the msb!! However, I only received one year's subscription so something else may have usurped it in the meantime. Some comments therein about the msb: "It just sounds more like live music than any other digital source that I have yet head", "difficult to criticise and find fault with something that has set such a high standard. No matter how well I thought I knew a recording, this (msb) managed to reveal still more", "It might be one of the most expensive DACs around, but it's also easily the best we've tried so far".

Frank
Jeez the Weiss does alright in the recommendation stakes as well but it still only uses that $50 consumer grade dac !! What a pity

Weiss :: High End : DAC202 FIREWIRE D/A CONVERTER

Quote:
"All things considered, the Weiss DAC202 is the best-sounding DAC I’ve had in my system. (...) I’ve never heard better sound through my audio system than when listening to hi-rez recordings through the DAC202."

Jeff Fritz - UltraAudio

And:

USA – The Absolute Sound Editor’s Choice Award
Japan – AEX Audio Excellence Award
Hong Kong – HiFi Review Product Of The Year
Thailand – Audiophile Product Of The Year
USA - The Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award 2011

Last edited by Trevor White; 10th October 2012 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 10th October 2012, 12:40 PM   #35
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I would love to see the PCB's and their layer count in the $43,000 DAC.
I have found that most expensive gear generally gets a good to glowing report in the press!
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Old 10th October 2012, 12:47 PM   #36
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I don't want to appear to be a defender of msb, for I once made a technical inquirery to them via e-mail and received a rather condescending response. That said, it is not an apples to apples comaprison to make between the msb discrete converter and the Sabre chip. The Sabre chip is a sigma-delta type converter, while the msb is a discrete resistor full dynamic range (16+ bit quantizer) converter. It's no small accomplishment that the msb converter achieves 21-bits of effective resolution with a discrete circuit design not utilizing feedback based error correction. Sigma-delta converters utilize discrete-time feedback based error correction to obtain low distortion figures while utilizing low dynamic range (1-6 bit) quantizers.

My take on the point of the msb converter approach is that some people simply feel that full dynamic range (16+ bit) quantizer based converters provide subjectively more natural sound. The closest available DAC IC to the msb approach is probably the 24 bit input PCM1704, which I don't believe provides better than around 18-19 bits of effective resolution. So, do I believe that this msb DAC is overpriced? Yes, I do. However, probabaly no more so than a number of other DACs which have appeared in this stratospherically high price range.
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Old 10th October 2012, 01:03 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Trevor White View Post
Jeez the Weiss does alright in the recommendation stakes as well but it still only uses that $50 consumer grade dac !! What a pity
I for one don't need high cost parts or assemblies to be part of a component to hold it in high esteem. It all comes down to the engineering skills that went into getting a result, whether as manufactured, or from intelligent tweaking to optimise, or correct weaknesses.

Good to hear that the Weiss has done well elsewhere, the score it got in HIFICRITIC is still very respectable and puts it in a bracket with other highly regarded units; but in a direct shootout with the msb the indications are that there would be a very clear winner, from all that I've read.

To put things into perspective, what I listen to personally, at the moment, would look quite ridiculous to a lot of people here, as in that it's an as cheap as chips setup. But, the point of the exercise is for it to be a disposable testbed, to investigate ideas of how far you can push nondescript equipment to get respectable sound. And the good news is that it's quite remarkable what can be achieved, if all the right areas are fiddled with.

Which means really, that virtually all systems out there can be lifted to excellent levels of performance if sufficient effort and attention to detail is applied -- a good thought to end this post on ...

Frank

Last edited by fas42; 10th October 2012 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 10th October 2012, 01:16 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
I for one don't need high cost parts or assemblies to be part of a component to hold it in high esteem. It all comes down to the engineering skills that went into getting a result, whether as manufactured, or from intelligent tweaking to optimise, or correct weaknesses.

Good to hear that the Weiss has done well elsewhere, the score it got in HIFICRITIC is still very respectable and puts it in a bracket with other highly regarded units; but in a direct shootout with the msb the indications are that there would be a very clear winner, from all that I've read.

To put things into perspective, what I listen to personally, at the moment, would look quite ridiculous to a lot of people here, as in that it's an as cheap as chips setup. But, the point of the exercise is for it to be a disposable testbed, to investigate ideas of how far you can push nondescript equipment to get respectable sound. And the good news is that it's quite remarkable what can be achieved, if all the right areas are fiddled with.

Which means really, that virtually all systems out there can be lifted to excellent levels of performance if sufficient effort and attention to detail is applied -- a good thought to end this post on ...

Frank
I honestly believe that if the Weiss was some in-house proprietary design with a 43K price tag you would probably be giving it the same glowing accolades

Last edited by Trevor White; 10th October 2012 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 10th October 2012, 05:52 PM   #39
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Yeah, those "top hi-fi reviewers" surely have no incentive to promote the most expensive gear and pretend that there is a reason for their rag to exist.

They would be committing career suicide if they came up with any other conclusion. I would bet they actually do believe it sounds better.

Last edited by chris719; 10th October 2012 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 11th October 2012, 03:07 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Newton View Post
My take on the point of the msb converter approach is that some people simply feel that full dynamic range (16+ bit) quantizer based converters provide subjectively more natural sound. The closest available DAC IC to the msb approach is probably the 24 bit input PCM1704, which I don't believe provides better than around 18-19 bits of effective resolution.
This post of Bruno's has some relevance when discussing MSB's dynamic range measurements, bearing in mind its of an older version of their DAC: hypex ncore
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