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Old 24th February 2014, 12:40 PM   #1
MVZIK is offline MVZIK  Singapore
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Default Sabre vs classics

Are these sabre CDPs/DACs better than those classics like Meridian 508/24, Sony XA7es or other similar priced vintage CDPs ?
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Old 24th February 2014, 12:45 PM   #2
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Ess9018 yes

Last edited by merlin el mago; 24th February 2014 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 24th February 2014, 12:48 PM   #3
smatteo is offline smatteo  Italy
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LOL. It's a nice question.. At end the most important thing is the quality of analog section of DA. With a good analog section also tda1545 ( 0.30$ chip ) can sound better than sabre chip with poor filtering + amplifier section.
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Old 24th February 2014, 12:58 PM   #4
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The analog section is indeed hugely important, but since the ESS9018 puts out such a huge amount of HF hash the only way to deal with it and get some semblance of dynamics out is by fairly steep passive filtering. I've not seen an attempt at this anywhere. The S-D modulator adds noise too, so I'd say overall the classics should have no trouble in seeing off ESS9018 based designs.
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Old 24th February 2014, 02:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
The analog section is indeed hugely important, but since the ESS9018 puts out such a huge amount of HF hash the only way to deal with it and get some semblance of dynamics out is by fairly steep passive filtering. I've not seen an attempt at this anywhere. The S-D modulator adds noise too, so I'd say overall the classics should have no trouble in seeing off ESS9018 based designs.
High speed class A ZFB I-V / integrated LPF / transformer OP.

Did you see the sims of my ZFB Sabre I-V, at 2MHz freq, full swing, around
-90dB distortion. I don't think it will have a problem with RF noise.

Transformers are also very good at pulling music out of HF hash, you just
need a very good one, and drive it correctly. As such the transformer
distortion will not be far off Sabres (may be better > a few hundred Hz).
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Old 24th February 2014, 02:32 PM   #6
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Have yet to see a sim that produces results indicating the dynamics of a design. Distortion was measured with mutitone stimulus and the sim included all the OOB noise? Agree about trafos - passive is king in high-RF environments. However trafos tend to be rather bulky and heavy.
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Old 25th February 2014, 01:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
Have yet to see a sim that produces results indicating the dynamics of a design. Distortion was measured with mutitone stimulus and the sim included all the OOB noise? Agree about trafos - passive is king in high-RF environments. However trafos tend to be rather bulky and heavy.
In the past I have verified my designs with AP and most have been pretty
accurate.

The design is actually fairly simple and virtually impervious to RF / IM.
Further to this one characteristic of very good transformers is very low IM
distortion.

The transformer is big - and it requires proper driving, However you are
throwing the challenge out for a design that can suitably deal with Sabres
various difficult traits such as high current swing, low OP Z, significant OOB
noise etc.

Allowing for a factor of 10 x worse real life measurement results and this will
still qualify as very linear measurement wise
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Old 25th February 2014, 03:58 PM   #8
Salar is offline Salar  Germany
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The ESS9018 Buffalo II ended my search for the perfect DAC.
To me it surpassed a Nakamichi OMS-5EII, some Theta Dac, some PCM1796 design I do nit remember any more, a Parasound D/AC-1500 with PCM63 which I modded to PCM1794. It also surpasses a Sony CDP-X5000, same as XA-7ES, see this Sony CDP-X5000 / CDP-XA7ES / CDP-XA50ES Mechanics Maintenance / VFD Modification

It definitely surpasses a Sony CDP-101 which I was lucky to buy a month ago - In new condition. It was "in deep slumber" in the dealer´s cellar for 30 years - with two other units.

Last edited by Salar; 25th February 2014 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 25th February 2014, 10:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenelectro View Post
However you are throwing the challenge out for a design that can suitably deal with Sabres various difficult traits such as high current swing, low OP Z, significant OOB noise etc.
Not me guv I can't understand why anyone would want to make a rod for their own back in selecting this chip. Its a challenge too far when there are other solutions which don't result in such strong jitter dependency (due to all the OOB noise) and need for extreme dynamic performance.
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Old 25th February 2014, 10:54 PM   #10
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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.... Abrax, the comunauty need your passive design after the TDA 1545 and all these few jittered old DAC chip you worked with, pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee !

You said what yiu use is cheaper than a little Lundhal transformer...
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