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Old 17th March 2010, 04:03 PM   #121
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Tnaks a lot!
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Old 30th March 2010, 07:09 PM   #122
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I received today a new ROM upgrade to one of my SDTrans 352.8 SD card players

The SDTrans 352.8 are upgraded with JFET (LU1014D) regulated powersupplies with a virtual capacity of 20F placed after yet another JFET regulated powersupply that are supplied from batteries.
The ES9018 are also equipped with JFET regulated powersupplies and shares the first JFET regulator level with the SDTrans 352.8. There are minimum of three regulator levels on all powersupply voltages.

Well - back to the ROM...
I had ordered a different programming of the SDTrans 352.8 due to the ES9018 DAC receives 32bit of data even if the source data are 16bit (I could have programmed the ES9018 to use only 16bit of the data, but the ES9018 must then have been reprogrammed to receive 24bit or 32bit when I play 24bit or 32bit sources, and reprogrammed to 16bit again etc..).

Standard programming of the SDTrans 352.8 clocks out "0" for the 16 LSB bits (of the 32bits) for both positive and negative samples with a 16bit source, and the same happens with the 8 LSB bits with 24bit sources...
The new ROM causes the SDTrans 352.8 to clock out "1" for the 16 LSB for negative samples, or for the 8 LSB with 24bit sources..

This upgrade are the most positive audible upgrade I have ever done
Absolutely everything sounds better, but the easiest way to describe the difference are that ALL "digitalis" are gone and replaced with details and natural sounding instruments and voices..
The depth and width of the soundstage are much better and a lot of "new" information in the records are giving new meaning.

I will "salute" Bunpei and Chiaki for the efforts they have used to make this fantastic product and for their willingness to have done several changes after my request...

Last edited by RayCtech; 30th March 2010 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 30th March 2010, 09:43 PM   #123
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Hello Ray,
your setup is very interesting.
Can you give us more information.
Ciao
Guglielmo
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Old 31st March 2010, 01:46 PM   #124
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I have listened more to the upgraded SDTrans 352.8 and absolutely all of my music are now like "new" and I am now enjoying playing music I thought I knew - only to discover what I never have heard in any setup before.

Not only have everything become much more natural, but the biggest difference are that both the placement in the soundstage and level of natural details are extremely much better.

On many records I now are able to hear non-music noises from the record studio and hiss and hum from recording equipment etc..
This new level of details are NOT disturbing, but a great relief as all the records I previously did not like due to I heard something was wrong - but not exactly what - are now playable.
Music that I previously believed had been "destroyed" during recording and mixing are now playable..

Quote:
Originally Posted by guglielmope View Post
Hello Ray,
your setup is very interesting.
Can you give us more information.
Ciao
Guglielmo
I do not want to put to much OT in Bunpei and Chiakis thread,
but here are some info regarding the amplifiers:
ESS Sabre Reference DAC (8-channel)
#559 and #560

Some info regarding the AMT:
The One and Only Full Range AMT

Last edited by RayCtech; 31st March 2010 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 31st March 2010, 02:01 PM   #125
jkeny is offline jkeny  Ireland
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Interesting Ray,

I wonder would you have achieved the same improvement if you programmed the ES9018 to only use 16 bits for 16bit sources, etc? Again, in other words, could this be made more universal & less specific to SDtrans (not wishing to go OT here)

What do you reckon lies at the heart of the sonic improvement?
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Old 31st March 2010, 02:27 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post
Interesting Ray,

I wonder would you have achieved the same improvement if you programmed the ES9018 to only use 16 bits for 16bit sources, etc? Again, in other words, could this be made more universal & less specific to SDtrans (not wishing to go OT here)

What do you reckon lies at the heart of the sonic improvement?
Hi John,

As I did not know how Dustin have programmed the ESS chips with regard to how to increase the bit length from 16 to 32, and due to the SDTrans 352.8 already before the upgrade by a large margin was the best player I ever have heard I felt it as safest to have the SDTrans to deliver the data perfectly.
Then ALL DACs receiving data from the SDTrans 352.8 either via SPDIF (24bit) or I2S (32bit) will benefit from the upgrade.

The sonic improvement are simply a removal of a digital "crossover" distortion due to the faulty values in the LSB bits below the 16 bit.
Some calculations I did earlier indicated a distortion of 1/2 to 1 LSB at clipping that increased up to close to 100% distortion at the lowest level where only the LSB bit are changing - this distortion are present in the whole level range - but worst around 0 volt.

And to my understanding - this problem exists possibly in MOST hardware and software that sends 16bit data at 20, 24 or 32bit length...
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Old 31st March 2010, 05:18 PM   #127
jkeny is offline jkeny  Ireland
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Thanks Ray, if your analysis is correct & this is a widespread phenomena in most hardware & software that outputs 16bit data at 20,24 or 32, this is fundamental information. I don't know too much about digital audio processing but how has this not been noted before? So from what you say I gather that the 16 LSB of a 32 bit word are padded out incorrectly in negative samples with 0s instead of 1s. Is this not a basic flaw in digital? Please excuse my ignorance in this.

PS. Have you tried the ES9018 in synchronous mode i.e operating from the clock in the SDtrans? Well worth a listen although you seem to be happy with the sound you are now getting. I would be interested in your impressions of the sound of synchronous clock operation in the Sabre DAC.

Last edited by jkeny; 31st March 2010 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 31st March 2010, 05:33 PM   #128
EUVL is offline EUVL  Europe
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Biasing the DACs into Class A ?
I wonder if you get the same benefit with R-ladder DACs like PCM1704 or AD1865 ....

Patrick
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Old 31st March 2010, 05:46 PM   #129
jkeny is offline jkeny  Ireland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EUVL View Post
Biasing the DACs into Class A ?
I wonder if you get the same benefit with R-ladder DACs like PCM1704 or AD1865 ....

Patrick
Hi Patrick,
I don't understand your biasing comment - is there a good primer on digital audio processing that I can read?
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Old 31st March 2010, 05:57 PM   #130
EUVL is offline EUVL  Europe
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Isn't that what you get by changing all the empty LSBs into 1 -- a DC offset ?
Or did I misunderstood the story ?
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