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ccclapp 19th March 2012 11:38 PM

BIII: Multi-Ch vs Stereo Sound Quality?
What is considered to be the difference in sound quality of the B-III used as 8-channel vs 2-channel?

Russ White 20th March 2012 12:27 PM

With 8 channel You will just lose a bit of dynamic range, and you will have to configure the output stages for more gain, which typically results in slightly higher THD. But it will still sound superb.

ccclapp 21st March 2012 03:56 AM


Originally Posted by Russ White (Post 2953288)
With 8 channel You will just lose a bit of dynamic range, and you will have to configure the output stages for more gain, which typically results in slightly higher THD. But it will still sound superb.

Hi Russ. Thanks for the reply!

Without meaning to put you on the spot, would you please reconcile your answer above with your earlier statement below where you described the poor quality of m-ch?...

"I may do it at some point, but I actually don't have that much interest in because once you use the ES9018 with only one differential DAC per output channel performance wise (DNR and THD) the DAC really becomes not much better than anything else out there. Really to get exceptional performance you have to use it in 1 or 2 channel mode.

You can very easily do a superb multi-channel DAC with the Buffalo II. Just use more than one buff II module (3 or 4 for 5.1 or 7.1 respectively). Then you get multi channel with no compromise in results compared to stereo."

Multichannel Buffalo? - Buffalo DAC - Twisted Pear Audio Support

Aren't the chips in the B-II and B-III the same, or similar enough that other than exposing the pre-existing m-ch capability, nothing changed between your two statements

PS: I bought a B-III last night...


Russ White 21st March 2012 12:10 PM

There is nothing to reconcile. If you are looking at dynamic range you can achieve the same numbers with other DACs if you are only using one DAC output per channel and not doing any summing. But Dynamic range and THD are not the whole story. :cool:

I still believe the best approach is 3 or 4 stereo configured DAC,s or 6 or 8 mono if your ready to go that far. :)

ccclapp 21st March 2012 01:00 PM

Thanks Russ

ArtsyAllen 26th September 2014 07:38 AM

Does this hold true using Buffalo III after a digital cross-over?
Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I may as well ask, as I am sure others may want to know also.

I understand from what is written above that the Sabre chip is not as dynamic running it for a six or 8 channel set-up for surround sound. In this case, it is driving all those channels full-range.

What I am wondering, is what if I was to configure the Buffalo III DAC kit as a four channel DAC used after a digital cross-over to drive a stereo 2-way system. In other words, 2 channels would be running the lows and 2 channels would be running the highs. The cross-over frequency I will be starting with is 300 Hz. As I am spliting the bandwidth in half, with each channel doing less work, would I still experience the loss in dynamic range?

This is going to be for a "with-in reason" dream system, using the RD-75 for the highs and either my Avebury system or Mark Audio CHR array system on lows. My source system is all digital, so this may be a good chance to play around with digital cross-over and EQ. This system is a work in progress and I will be slowly buying the components over the next couple of years. I have the Buffalo III DAC kit and will be building it this winter...

So with that in mind, in regards to the performance of the Buffalo DAC, am I better off running it 2 channel using active analog cross-overs or running it 4 channel after a digital cross-over?

I look forward to any information or thread referrals in regards to this question.



miero 27th September 2014 08:30 PM

For multichannel output from Buffalo DAC you need to have I2S or DSD on input. S/PDIF is stereo-only.

Dynamic range of ES9018 for 4ch would be approx. 131dB... so I'd say it's still enough for most of use cases... ;-)

ArtsyAllen 28th September 2014 06:44 AM

Thanks Miero,

Yes, 131 dB is definitely acceptable ;), we are lucky to get 120 dB from most source material.

I will google the 12S and DSD inputs you mention, and see if these formats are compatible with the various digital cross-overs out there.

Time for me to start digging in to see what is possible...


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