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Old 10th February 2012, 10:44 PM   #2021
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Pieter, my pleasure. I hope other nCore early adopters will join in.

Bruno, i know this is a bit off topic, but what do you regard as the "nCore" of DACs? What to make sure the rest of my system is up to the high bar set by the nCore 400's.
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Old 10th February 2012, 10:57 PM   #2022
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Bruno might be sleeping by now, but allow me to express my enthusiasm for the DAC I received today after a 6 weeks waiting time (seems like more Dutch stuff is hot....):
6moons audio reviews: Metrum Acoustics NOS Mini DAC Octave
This non-oversampling DAC has a very natural and dynamic sound, unlike most oversampling dacs of which I have auditioned quite a few over the years.
Worth every penny IMO.
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Old 10th February 2012, 11:06 PM   #2023
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Great review-you answered a question I posed some time ago-ClassD vs. Hypex. Thanks again. I may consider dumping my tubes. Regards John Dozier
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Old 10th February 2012, 11:12 PM   #2024
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I'm sure Bruno will have many nice things to say about NOS DACs
I even remember him advising against using NOS DACs with the UCD.
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Old 10th February 2012, 11:19 PM   #2025
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earflappin: Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you...

Not to highjack, but...I can't agree more how important it is to get everything else ideal to properly judge the Ncores...6Moons recently loved the Dutch b Audio DAC, and IIRC could hear no difference in direct AB vs. another favorite DAC 3x more costly. Guido (UH-doh) Tent, b Audio principal, is close with Bruno (I believe). My friend loved the Tent Labs Hypex-based amp with tube-input/transformer coupling (pre Ncore).

I very much liked the Eastern Electric mini-DAC (circa $1200 with op-amp upgrades, preferred vs. a $15k DAC), in direct AB with my modded CDP owned for 8 years (impossibly long time for me not to "upgrade").

I will order 3x Ncore and PS ASAP.
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Last edited by ro9397; 10th February 2012 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 10th February 2012, 11:27 PM   #2026
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno Putzeys View Post
@Arthur I think it would take us off topic to discuss in detail. ESS's claims regarding the SRC pertain to the actual interpolation process. They have done an absolutely splendid job there. The thing that causes problems is the ratio estimator (the bit that works out exactly what sampling time to interpolate). The bandwidth is too high which lets through time quantization errors. The circuit samples the incoming clock signal using its reference clock. This results in the addition of jitter with a peak-to-peak value of one reference clock period (e.g. 25ns for a 40MHz reference clock). Next the number of ref clock periods in one input clock cycle are counted and this constantly changing number is fed into a low-pass filter which outputs a cleaned-up version of the ratio between the reference and input clocks. This ratio is then used to space the "virtual resampling points" calculated by the interpolator. Of course the low pass filter doesn't output pure DC. The spectrum of the counter output consists of mix products between the two clocks. The filter can only attenuate those. The attenuated spectrum shows up as close-in FM sidebands exactly like jitter. DNR and THD measurements ignore those. The SRC successfully removes high-frequency jitter, thus guaranteeing good SNR, but it adds low-frequency phase modulation of the signal that wasn't even present in the input clock. All SRC's do this but the bandwidth of the low-pass filter determines whether this is an issue or not.

The attached two measurements were made on a standalone test chip for the ESS SRC which was never issued as a product, but the actual SRC did go on to be used in the Sabre DAC.
But 120 dB down on the first lobe is nothing to sneeze at especially considering it is only a 50 buck chip !!

Considering that MSB tech conveniently choose not to provide distortion measurements it is abundantly clear that this 50 dollar "mass market" dac is vastly superior to this Hi-end megabuck goliath !!
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Old 10th February 2012, 11:28 PM   #2027
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_push_pull View Post
I'm sure Bruno will have many nice things to say about NOS DACs
I even remember him advising against using NOS DACs with the UCD.
Yes maybe, but I trust my own ears enough, and don't need Bruno's advice on this one.
When this particular Dac wouldn't work with UCD (curious to know why...) I'd sooner replace the UCD than the Dac
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Old 10th February 2012, 11:44 PM   #2028
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Originally Posted by ro9397 View Post
...6Moons recently loved the Dutch b Audio DAC, and IIRC could hear no difference in direct AB vs. another favorite DAC 3x more costly.
When it comes to that: 6Moons scaled the Octave in the 5000 dollars class, and Martin Colloms (HiFi Critic) wrote:

No messing about, the score came out at an
incredible 185, which is true reference class, mixing
with audiophile devices at 15 times the price!

When you have the chance lend the Octave your ears....
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Old 11th February 2012, 06:46 AM   #2029
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pieter,
Thanks for the splendid DAC advice!

Best wishes to fellow Ncore pioneers! Any suggestions for chassis source welcome (3x Ncore channels). Can hardly contain my enthusiasm just learning the Hypex power supplies are complete, no transformer required. Christmas in February is good!
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Old 11th February 2012, 07:54 AM   #2030
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Default Metrum

I am reading the thread because I am interested in ncore (which I don't own yet ), however, I do have a Metrum Octave since two weeks. After reading the 6moons review and several other raving tests I expected this DAC to clearly outperform my 20 years old Marantz CD 16 Exclusive and my friends Rega DAC. It didn't for me (and a couple of friends). Sound is very lean and precise, however the music lacks "body" and... well, musicality. Especially the Rega DAC with its differend filters is clearly better in my ears. Going to give it back next week.

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Last edited by Abraxas336; 11th February 2012 at 07:59 AM.
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