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Class D Switching Power Amplifiers and Power D/A conversion

The New Hypex Fusion Plate amps
The New Hypex Fusion Plate amps
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Old 29th August 2019, 07:52 PM   #1481
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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Originally Posted by YSDR View Post
Ok boys and girls, today I did a longer analogue vs. digital input comparative listening test with Fusionamps in stereo mode now.

Any chance of a double blind ABX?
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Old 29th August 2019, 07:57 PM   #1482
YSDR is offline YSDR  Europe
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Originally Posted by Julf View Post
Any chance of a double blind ABX?

I'd love to do double blind ABX, I'd be curious myself, maybe I'll talk to someone who can help me do it.
Otherwise, I really wanted the analog chain to sound better or at least as good as the digital, switching the musics back and forth several times, alternating the inputs.
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Old 29th August 2019, 10:12 PM   #1483
GeorgeBLN79 is offline GeorgeBLN79  Germany
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Originally Posted by YSDR View Post
I'd love to do double blind ABX, I'd be curious myself, maybe I'll talk to someone who can help me do it.
Otherwise, I really wanted the analog chain to sound better or at least as good as the digital, switching the musics back and forth several times, alternating the inputs.

Do you use a repeating audio loop of the same music passage while switching the source? I do this with the WavePad Audio-Editor Software if i check my Speakers against the Headphone regarding detail reproduction.

Regards,
George
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Old 29th August 2019, 11:06 PM   #1484
HeadShake is offline HeadShake
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Originally Posted by YSDR View Post
Ok boys and girls, today I did a longer analogue vs. digital input comparative listening test with Fusionamps in stereo mode now. The volume level was set exactly relative to each other, fortunately the HFD can be set to tenths of dB, which was needed.
The analog input chain was: PC with JRiver (Wasapi, ASIO) -> NAD C510 USB Input, XLR Output -> FA XLR Input
And the digital input chain was: PC with JRiver (Wasapi) -> Onboard Realtek S/PDIF out -> FA S/PDIF in
Later, I used a Pioneer BDP-LX58 player as a source instead of a PC.

As expected, the test was won by the digital input in this case.
At the analogue input, slight veiling was observed compared to the digital input. On the other hand, the digital input has come with tiny, subtle details combined with richness that has made reproduction more meaningful. The bass sounds seemed to go deeper and had a better resolution with a better attack. The mid and treble tones were more open, detailed, richer and airier.
The analog input chain presentation was slightly flatter.

I do not know what could be the main reason for the weaker performance of the analog chain. Maybe the NAD, or the analog interconnect (Klotz+Neutrik star-quad cable), or the FA ADC circuitry, but more likely, all of these.
By the way, both chains sound good, but the digital was clearly better in this setup, which I'm not too happy with because Fusionamp, as I mentioned, has few digital inputs for me (there could be at least one additional USB input) and nothing except the HFD informs you of the current volume and input.

Welcome MiniDSP SHD (Studio)?
Thanks for that.

I've been eyeballing the plate amps. I figured a minidsp needed to be between anyways since I use subs. I still like that the plate amps have all kinds of logic for shutoffs/standby/signal detection.

Would you go the same route again or just get separate amps?

A usb input would be nice. Also a DSP that can do FIR.

Did you do anything with the DAC filter settings for the plate amp?

"Dac filter settings
As of firmware version 1.3, it is possible to control the internal filters of the DAC. Please refer to the datasheet of the AK4454 for more information. You can change its filter type, sound quality (1..3) and FIR settings (0..7)."
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Old 30th August 2019, 03:48 AM   #1485
YSDR is offline YSDR  Europe
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Originally Posted by GeorgeBLN79 View Post
Do you use a repeating audio loop of the same music passage while switching the source? I do this with the WavePad Audio-Editor Software if i check my Speakers against the Headphone regarding detail reproduction.

Regards,
George
I just simply used the JRiver for listening the same passages.
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Old 30th August 2019, 04:23 AM   #1486
YSDR is offline YSDR  Europe
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Originally Posted by HeadShake View Post
Thanks for that.

I've been eyeballing the plate amps. I figured a minidsp needed to be between anyways since I use subs. I still like that the plate amps have all kinds of logic for shutoffs/standby/signal detection.

Would you go the same route again or just get separate amps?

A usb input would be nice. Also a DSP that can do FIR.

Did you do anything with the DAC filter settings for the plate amp?

"Dac filter settings
As of firmware version 1.3, it is possible to control the internal filters of the DAC. Please refer to the datasheet of the AK4454 for more information. You can change its filter type, sound quality (1..3) and FIR settings (0..7)."
I too like the plate amps and I would happily go the same route again.

For example a MiniDSP SHD would nice before the plate amps, because it have volume controlled digital output, a nice informative display (which unfortunately cannot be turned off), USB audio input and not least having Dirac which is a FIR filtering tool, so you don't need a FIR filter for the Fusionamps if you want time coincident impulse response.
By the way FIR filtering have benefit mainly for very high order crossovers bacause to counteract the 'lag', created by the steep slope. But maybe someone else has a different opinion.

I tried all the DAC filter settings before with extented period usage.
The only filter that came out of the line was the Super Slow roll-off. With this filter, it was easy to measure the difference in frequency response compared to the others, which I thought was audible (top-end roll-off).
The difference with other filters is very small or imaginary, if at all audible, but it is worth trying to see if one comes in.
I like the idea of using a Minimum Phase filter as it should, in principle, slightly compensate for the natural delay caused by the IIR crossover. But try it for yourself, it's free.
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Old 30th August 2019, 04:31 AM   #1487
Turbowatch2 is offline Turbowatch2  Germany
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IMO this is a very singular result, which can not be seen as a general rule. These differences have to be found for any combination of components.

I can not comment on Hypex, but maybe, tell one of my results. Im sure others have their own experience with such comparisons.

I did a test with a 2014 Onkyo 818 AVR, because the modern AVR has highest grade, highly praised D/A converter. I was expecting the digital connection to win by far.
As source I used a 199x build Onkyo Integra CD player, because it had an analog volume control to match levels. Otherwise always the higher level wins.

The analog way from the CD won so clearly against coaxial and optical digital out, it was like switching loudspeakers. With other CD players the result was repeated. I have quite a few players... For me digital out sounded mostly similar, only one cheap player was quite similar analog as digital. So here, analog won.

This is interesting, as the signal still had to take the way through the digital x-over of the AVR .
My conclusion was, Onkyo did a bad job implementing these state of the art D/A chips in this AVR. I do not see it as a general rule.

Maybe Hypex took some shortcuts with the A/D stage and screwed up?

Last edited by Turbowatch2; 30th August 2019 at 04:42 AM.
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Old 30th August 2019, 04:55 AM   #1488
YSDR is offline YSDR  Europe
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Originally Posted by Turbowatch2 View Post
IMO this is a very singular result, which can not be seen as a general rule. These differences have to be found for any combination of components.

I can not comment on Hypex, but maybe, tell one of my results. Im sure others have their own experience with such comparisons.

I did a test with a 2014 Onkyo 818 AVR, because the modern AVR has highest grade, highly praised D/A converter. I was expecting the digital connection to win by far.
As source I used a 199x build Onkyo Integra CD player, because it had an analog volume control to match levels. Otherwise always the higher level wins.

The analog way from the CD won so clearly against coaxial and optical digital out, it was like switching loudspeakers. With other CD players the result was repeated. I have quite a few players... For me digital out sounded mostly similar, only one cheap player was quite similar analog as digital. So here, analog won.

This is interesting, as the signal still had to take the way through the digital x-over of the AVR .
My conclusion was, Onkyo did a bad job implementing these state of the art D/A chips in this AVR. I do not see it as a general rule.
Yes, it is not worth generalizing from my test!

However, your case with the AVR is strange because in principle, the analog input is digitized in the device, so the amplifier's own DAC is always in the chain. But correct me if I know it wrong.
A friend of mine and I did a similar test, he has a Pioneer SC-LX86 amplifier with a Marantz Blu-ray player (both of which were previous top models) and the digital connection (HDMI in this case) clearly sounded much better, in both cases with direct amplification.

In your situation, it seems as though the implementation of a digital connection is not the best somewhere, if you really heard the analog as a better. Or your AVR amp simply won't digitize the analog input, which I doubt.
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Old 30th August 2019, 05:20 AM   #1489
Turbowatch2 is offline Turbowatch2  Germany
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In such an AVR there are multiple stages with different D/A and A/D converters. In my Onkyo, which is not a cheap one, there is a digital x-over, that does 2 way + sub diversion. A digital x-over, so my main speaker have no analog x-over, but are active 2-way. A special feature of this model from Onkyo. So it is impossible the AVR does not digitiiize the analog signal.
So we go digital to analog from CD, analog to digital and than digital to analog. How often, you have to ask Onkyo or Audessey XT32 developer, as this (great!) system is also integrated.
The result was verified by two young, instrument playing ladies, which did not really understand the technical fuzz, but clearly pointed to the analog source as better, without listening long. So not only my old ears.

From a logical point of view I share your opinion. Maybe such systems have gotten to complicated to be reduced to simple answers. I can imagine that just a few parts between some stages can make audible differences, if there is a different way a signal can take.
Another point, not any capable digital developer or software writer is a real "Audio Guy". There are a lot of electronic engineers that dont give a damm` for subtile sound shades.
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Old 30th August 2019, 06:06 AM   #1490
YSDR is offline YSDR  Europe
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Recently, I read somewhere that multiple A/D-D/A conversions produce a much more 'analog' like signal than single D/A conversions, if properly implemented. This may be true, i don't know.

In my case, the NAD could easily be the 'bottleneck' because their measurement below didn't perform well in some respects (or we are facing with intended coloration of the DAC which i may less like). Although it was an M51, it is 99% identical to the C510.

Review and Measurements of NAD M51 DAC and Digital Preamp | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum

Last edited by YSDR; 30th August 2019 at 06:12 AM.
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