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Old 5th July 2012, 07:17 PM   #1151
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Well,

I own both and I prefer the ExaU2I -it is more "transparent" as in giving more details, letting you follow each instrument better and having a wider and deeper stage with more spacial clues. It has longer decays and music "flows" better. It is impossible to describe the sound as words have different meanings to different people. I have no idea what you call "better" in your system and I never trust other people's reviews. The way I like to do things is that I buy them all and let them thorugh my system for a month, at least. Then I choose which I like best and I let the rest go. But I kept the WaveIO , it is great and sounds great, just the ExaU2I is better.

here is a picture of my DAC, I have at least tried to do it right, just to give you an diea of the surroundgs:

A New Take on the Classic Pass Labs D1 with an ESS Dac

I have told Exa065 that it is great that he has offered the device to the DIY community, the only device that is at this level of engineering that is not unobtainum to us is Ian's FIFO board. But being a DIY device means that it is used by DIY guys and for DIY guys their stuff is the best, no one trusts the others and reads between the lines and finds exactly what he/she wants. If it were a commercial device with a zero in the back of the price it would have been proclaimed the best by magazines and there would be no questions. Exa065 has made his decision and there are consequences from that. And I do suffer the same consequences from posting:"that's,simply, impossible" - for sure, I was there but it did not happen
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Old 5th July 2012, 07:19 PM   #1152
exa065 is offline exa065  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikola Krivorov View Post
I knew you would say that, I did not hear anything. But when the notes were checked it was 10/10. 4 times it was the SSD feeding the DAC and 6 times the HDD, random. Go figure.

Have a look at this, I find it interesting, but listen to it till the end. She's DEAF.

Evelyn Glennie shows how to listen | Video on TED.com
I am interested to participate in such test, if your friend is available. I will bring with me an e18 DAC. Send me a PM.
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Old 5th July 2012, 07:41 PM   #1153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikola Krivorov View Post
Well,

I own both and I prefer the ExaU2I -it is more "transparent" as in giving more details, letting you follow each instrument better and having a wider and deeper stage with more spacial clues. It has longer decays and music "flows" better. It is impossible to describe the sound as words have different meanings to different people. I have no idea what you call "better" in your system and I never trust other people's reviews. The way I like to do things is that I buy them all and let them thorugh my system for a month, at least. Then I choose which I like best and I let the rest go. But I kept the WaveIO , it is great and sounds great, just the ExaU2I is better.

here is a picture of my DAC, I have at least tried to do it right, just to give you an diea of the surroundgs:

A New Take on the Classic Pass Labs D1 with an ESS Dac

I have told Exa065 that it is great that he has offered the device to the DIY community, the only device that is at this level of engineering that is not unobtainum to us is Ian's FIFO board. But being a DIY device means that it is used by DIY guys and for DIY guys their stuff is the best, no one trusts the others and reads between the lines and finds exactly what he/she wants. If it were a commercial device with a zero in the back of the price it would have been proclaimed the best by magazines and there would be no questions. Exa065 has made his decision and there are consequences from that. And I do suffer the same consequences from posting:"that's,simply, impossible" - for sure, I was there but it did not happen
I agree pple have different taste and I understand what you mean Now I have DAC with I2S but I also have plans to test AD1865 with SM5813 and WM8804. There will be no I2S connection possibility like with Exa Device even its the best solution. For now XMOS is cheaper and easier to get= I could test it and find whos got similiar feelings to me.
BTW Exa do you have something like trial for your products if I ever wanted to buy (test) it?
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Old 5th July 2012, 07:49 PM   #1154
exa065 is offline exa065  Canada
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Originally Posted by zibra View Post
BTW Exa do you have something like trial for your products if I ever wanted to buy (test) it?
There is a 30 day money back warranty for the e18 DAC. Sorry, we don't have a trial program for the exaU2I.
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Old 5th July 2012, 07:51 PM   #1155
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Why?
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Old 5th July 2012, 07:53 PM   #1156
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Originally Posted by exa065 View Post
I am interested to participate in such test, if your friend is available. I will bring with me an e18 DAC. Send me a PM.

Of course that is not going to happen because he is not interested in any tests and he doesn't care about competitions. And I don't care about that either because I don't have time for that. And I am sorry that I mentioned it because I was not trying to say anything apart from this being just a funny fact, not meant to give me credibility of the most trustworthy owner of an ExaU2I, I did not hear ANY difference. I only wanted to say that there is stuff that is beyond anyone's limit of acceptance. I could not care less if he heard it or not,but if he was that lucky he would not need the 1 million, he would win the lottery all the time. He is not happy either because he hears the 98th violin playing out of tune.

I do hear differences in cables, stands and supports but to lesser effect than when changing speakers, cartridges and DACs sometimes. I do hear mpingo discs on DAC chips but not on loudspeakers. Most of all - I do enjoy music and not audio competitions, I enjoy Floyd on my system, I have heard it being mastered and that has been the most exciting thing in my life with music but I don't die in terrible pain when I switch on the CD in my car and I smile when I hear Massive attack in the Mall. It is just toys that we are playing with and I am trying not to forget that, it's been many years now in audio and I have learned that I shouldn't say "impossible".

With respect to everyone here.
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Old 5th July 2012, 08:12 PM   #1157
exa065 is offline exa065  Canada
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Sorry, Nikola. I didn't mean to make you angry. It is possible to hear the difference between different hard drives, if the interface is not asynchronous, or if the interface is not working well. I was just hoping to be able to prove that our interface can take care of such differences.

I also agree with you that the human hearing is complex, and it can go beyond the commonly accepted boundaries.

Most of all I agree with you that we should enjoy music, instead of being "measurebators".
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Old 5th July 2012, 08:24 PM   #1158
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I did not get angry at all, thanks for saying that Obviously audio is our passion, you can't avoid differences in opinion, the more mature we handle these the better the chance that we learn something. It is difficult to be objective all the time too.

Your device is great and it is the end of the search for me, at least for now. Yes, there is or there will be a better device but I have other parts of my system that are well behind the level of the ExaU2I, I will concentrate on these trying hard to balance between the variables along the way, the ExaU2I will not be the bottle neck.
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Old 6th July 2012, 12:35 PM   #1159
tsiros is offline tsiros  Greece
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only way i can think of that audio playback from two different digital storage mediums producing audibly or measurably different result is one (or both) be defective and produce erroneous output.
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Old 6th July 2012, 02:32 PM   #1160
exa065 is offline exa065  Canada
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Originally Posted by tsiros View Post
only way i can think of that audio playback from two different digital storage mediums producing audibly or measurably different result is one (or both) be defective and produce erroneous output.
Erroneous output is one possibility. The more interesting case is when the output is bit-perfect, an there is a noticeable difference in sound quality. Different hard drives can produce different timing during read operations. For example SSD can be faster. Different hard drives can be serviced by different software drivers, and drivers can use different buffer sizes, DMA implementations etc. Since consumer operating systems are not real-time systems, eventually the result of all this is different errors in the timing of the output sound stream. With "simple" words, big errors can cause dropouts, mid-size errors will cause deviations of the sampling rate, and small errors will cause jitter.

The same timing errors can be caused by any computer activity, like network operations, starting and using any program, screensavers, video playback etc. That's why some people try to configure and run minimalistic versions of Windows. Their rational is - less software activity, less background interrupts, less fluctuations in the timing of the audio stream. The same logic applies to hardware - less hardware components, less power line noise.

Unfortunately the approach to make the computer to run quiet and smooth doesn't work very well. It is focused on reducing the symptoms, but the root cause remains. The consumer operating systems are not capable of delivering precise timing for audio. The solution is to take the necessary measures outside the computer to re-clock the audio stream and to isolate the computer noise. There are different techniques for doing that. The best that I know of are:
  • Using an asynchronous interface to restore accurate timing (and eliminate computer jitter)
  • Using galvanic isolation to eliminate computer noise
Back to our discussion about blind-testing the hard drive impact on sound quality - a properly working asynchronous USB to I2S interface must eliminate the jitter and noise caused by hard drive activity, and there should be no audible difference between different hard drives. The same applies to the remaining hardware - memory, USB cables etc.
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