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Audiopraise VanityPro Review (HDMI Audio Extractor)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 2.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 15 10.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 73 50.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 54 37.0%

  • Total voters
    146

da Choge

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No codecs.

Yes, understood, given that the release of this unit may be a venture into consumer/pro audio. However, if Audiopraise wants to make this a competitive retail unit versus USB DACs, I would think they would want to license at least Dolby Atmos given its expanding use in recent music. It may be too expensive for Audiopraise to consider given their potential/intended market, but it would make others of us more interested in this unit (and I not just talking about the home theater crowd), if it kept pace with contemporary multichannel audio. Granted, right now a fairly small market, but it could increase. Just thinkin' . . .
 

Kal Rubinson

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However, if Audiopraise wants to make this a competitive retail unit versus USB DACs, I would think they would want to license at least Dolby Atmos given its expanding use in recent music.
I don't think they are targeting the larger "competitive retail" market that is dominated by AVRs and high-end prepros and Atmos devotees will not be happy with their limitation to 8 channels.
 

rhollan

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I just received this product this week. It gives me the option of 24/176 for DSD to PCM conversion because of the filter options. With my Oppo 105D, and Berkeley Alpha 3 Dac, I'm no longer limited to 24/88 DSD to PCM conversion.

Previously I was using a GeerFab. It works very well but I wanted the higher conversion option as well as the AES/EBU connection. While I was hoping for a small improvement in sound quality, what I got was much more than I expected. The VanityPro, while expensive, is a major step forward in sound quality.

All is not good however. Every so often I'm getting dropouts. Consulting the Owners Manuel I found that the Trouble Shooting section mentions that this can occur with some DAC's. I've notified them of my problem and am waiting for a response.
A number of us want to know if it supports HDCP.
 

Kal Rubinson

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All is not good however. Every so often I'm getting dropouts. Consulting the Owners Manuel I found that the Trouble Shooting section mentions that this can occur with some DAC's. I've notified them of my problem and am waiting for a response.
I had a similar problem using it with the Okto DAC8 Pro and Pavel (at Okto) had a solution specific to the Okto. I suggest you contact Berkeley about it.
A number of us want to know if it supports HDCP.
I would guess "yes" if you set it to 0dB gain for bit-perfect output but I suggest that you ask AudioPraise.
 
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StephenBrown

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Please meet Prophecy HDMI 2.0a Audio Extractor & Embedder (PRO-HDRextract)
- HDMI 2.0a compliant
- HDCP 2.2 compliant
- Supports 4K @60Hz (YUV 4:4:4 8-bit)
- Supports HDR 4K @60Hz (YUV 4:2:0 10-bit)
- Video bandwidth: 18Gbps (Single-link 594MHz)
- Audio extraction via Stereo & Toslink
- Audio embedded via Stereo & Toslink
- Supports CEC bypass
- Supports ARC audio extraction via Toslink
- EDID management: Preprogrammed settings or EDID learning
From Gofanco, Inc
 

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Kal Rubinson

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Please meet Prophecy HDMI 2.0a Audio Extractor & Embedder (PRO-HDRextract)
- HDMI 2.0a compliant
- HDCP 2.2 compliant
- Supports 4K @60Hz (YUV 4:4:4 8-bit)
- Supports HDR 4K @60Hz (YUV 4:2:0 10-bit)
- Video bandwidth: 18Gbps (Single-link 594MHz)
- Audio extraction via Stereo & Toslink
- Audio embedded via Stereo & Toslink
- Supports CEC bypass
- Supports ARC audio extraction via Toslink
- EDID management: Preprogrammed settings or EDID learning
From Gofanco, Inc
Nothing new as far I see. No option for lossless multichannel and no mention of DSD.
 

Dacapalooza

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Oh right the dropouts. I forgot about that. I experienced it but it is now resolved. I'll explain.

Little history on the audiopraise dropouts:
People complained about it in the audiopriase forum for the 203. This dropouts are specific to the ES9038PRO dac chip.
Audiopraise made second release to address this. There are physical differences on the board with the capacitors. Besides user configurable AES/SPIDF that was also included in the second release.

I got 2 of the second release. A backup one a year later. The Vanity 103 no issues. My backup 203 no issue. The 203 that has this super hot to touch Clones PSU had dropouts when I first installed the dac8. At first never more than 10 minutes after playing and it dropouts for a second every minute or so. So work around was to play music for 10 minutes before serious using, like watching a movie. No big deal. But over time less of everything. Not long it was 5 minutes and every 2 minutes. So only would cut out like once or twice. After a few months all fixed. So I forgot about it.
Using Trinnov DAC no issues on all audiopriase products.

I'm not an electrical engineer, but I googled that the audio digital clocks have some heat related influence. So my super hot PSU fixed it. Also maybe it broke it? I connected the dac8 almost after 2 years of use and cooking. While my backup that was never hot & not used other than to test it. And I play a few songs once a year. Not sure if leaving a electrical device unused for years is good? Does anyone have science on that?

So to fix the dropouts: Cook it.
Worked for me. I take no responsibility and am not an electrical engineer. Are the dropouts continuous? After 10 minutes on the Pro version?
 

Dacapalooza

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Also, for the Atmos fans there is an alternative all digital product: Arvus Atmos-h2-4d. Limited to 16 channels if you care.
I still debate if I want Atmos. I have the worlds most advanced audio geek/audio science approved 5.1 system in the world. Well, other the the room. I was thinking it would be great to have Atmos so I can remove 5.1 from the description.

But I am not feeling it yet. So I get discrete channels from speaker not in front of me so I can experience a space ship at a 20 degree angle instead of 90. And deal with speakers on ceiling for that? And surround music wasn't what I thought. They don't put 5 microphones in the field to make it sound that much more realistic. They put what ever they want sometime good and sometimes just weird. Movies do far better job on the surround than music. But it is all schtick. Not something to make audio more realistic. I am not convinced Atmos has so much better schtick that the difference is so big that it is worth dealing with ceiling speakers and all the other complexities like more amps, more Trinnov channels, & multi multi channel DAC's. I did not feel: Wow Atmos is soooooo immersive vs 5.1.

Would be way better if we focused on not squashing all our movies vs more schtick channels. I think even Blu ray these days are optimized for Netflix squash factor.
 
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Kal Rubinson

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And surround music wasn't what I thought. They don't put 5 microphones in the field to make it sound that much more realistic. They put what ever they want sometime good and sometimes just weird. Movies do far better job on the surround than music. But it is all schtick. Not something to make audio more realistic.
Choice of repertoire. In classical and jazz genres, multichannel is, generally, done right. It's not fault of the medium.
I am not convinced Atmos has so much better schtick that the difference is so big that it is worth dealing with ceiling speakers and all the other complexities like more amps, more Trinnov channels, & multi multi channel DAC's. I did not feel: Wow Atmos is soooooo immersive vs 5.1.
Yeah. IMHO, mono to stereo is a big step up. Stereo to multichannel (e.g., 5.1/7.1) is a big step up. Multichannel to "immersive" can be great but it ain't life-changing.
 

Dacapalooza

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Choice of repertoire. In classical and jazz genres, multichannel is, generally, done right. It's not fault of the medium.
I was blaming the mixing engineer, not the medium. Maybe it goes deeper. Maybe it is whoever is charge of how one should create 5.1 tracks in the first place. Should it have schtick vs realistic.
So I guess you are saying "done right" is 5 microphones. And only classical & jazz mixing engineers have the goal of sounding more realistic. Not opera? At least opera we could have known what the fat lady really sounds like. Anyway, I betchya even if classical does use 5 microphones mixes some schtick as well.
Ironically, I, and I think most people, don't even like live. We prefer studio processed. So I can hear why realistic sounding 5 microphones is not even a goal. So as of now humanity is not even striving for realistic sound as far as I can tell. I once heard a line in a movie after a guy was near an explosion: "Movies are irresponsible on how they make explosions sound."

I purpose there is no "done right" to strive for in multi channel. We can do cool psychedelic schtick. Follow the instruments/vocals around the room. Entertainment. Much like how the news is entertainment. Great sounding explosions & whispering wind if squash factor is not so bad. The best surround music I have heard so far, with oh so cool schtick, is Pink Floyd & the Queen Greatest Hits DTS 96khz.
 

Kal Rubinson

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I was blaming the mixing engineer, not the medium. Maybe it goes deeper. Maybe it is whoever is charge of how one should create 5.1 tracks in the first place. Should it have schtick vs realistic.
I understand but what the mixing engineer does is greatly determined by the target market/genre.
So I guess you are saying "done right" is 5 microphones. And only classical & jazz mixing engineers have the goal of sounding more realistic. Not opera? At least opera we could have known what the fat lady really sounds like. Anyway, I betchya even if classical does use 5 microphones mixes some schtick as well.
Not quite. I was saying that 5+ channels is right although some use additional microphones for "coverage." As for "schtick," that's always there somewhere, often the secret sauce. I have a number of multichannel recordings, classical and other, where the producers have chosen to place the listener in the center of the ensemble while still capturing a realistic ambiance. This is done with careful microphone placement at a live performance (and not with "schtick"); an alternative reality.
 

Daaadou

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It would be nice to have a hdmi 2.1 compliance for this device but a fury vrroom can make a work around.
I actually have two hdmi 2.1 sources, they could be sent to the vrroom, one output to the tv and the other to the vanity, and vanity push digital output to genelec.
Since the pc and the ps5 can output pcm, I think it is working, no?
I actually also have a shield, an ub9000 and a switch, they don’t need to run into the vrroom, they can directly go to the vanity.
I have not checked about the switch but I know the ub9000 and shield can output pcm.

8 channels should be more than enough.
Do you know of any cheaper alternative to the fury vrroom? It has two special feats : it is hdmi 2.1 compliant and it can copy to two different monitor without sacrificing the better one (lg cx will be 4K 120hz while the other output could be hdmi2.0)
If someone else has been doing something similar, I’m interested.
 

Ozymandias

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I had a similar problem using it with the Okto DAC8 Pro and Pavel (at Okto) had a solution specific to the Okto. I suggest you contact Berkeley about it.
I am thinking of purchasing this unit to use with my Okto DAC8 Pro. What was the solution you got from Pavel @Kal Rubinson? Thanks
 

JimFarrell29

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I hope this link works but this little device, available from eBay in the UK for less than £50 strips the DSD stream from an HDMI output on my Oppo universal player and delivers it via I2S to my Denafrips DAC which recognises it as a DSD64 stream. Works great, sounds great and is considerably more affordable.

 

voodooless

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I hope this link works but this little device, available from eBay in the UK for less than £50 strips the DSD stream from an HDMI output on my Oppo universal player and delivers it via I2S to my Denafrips DAC which recognises it as a DSD64 stream. Works great, sounds great and is considerably more affordable.

It's missing 6 channels though, compared to the reviewed product...
 

JimFarrell29

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I agree of course. Apples and Oranges. It also doesn't give all the nice data Amir loves, but for many people all they are interested in is being able to use an external DAC with their old SACDs, something that, until recently you could only do by hacking a PS3 or putting an add on board at about $250 inside your Oppo player and punching holes in the casework. For those folks this does the job. To be honest I didn't expect it to.
For those interested it uses the PS Audio pin arrangement of I2S which seems to be the default with Denafrips DACs. I didn't have to use the Denafrips facility to change the pin array.
 

feurkils

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Serious lurker here, thank you Amirm and all the members on this site, quite an amazing resource.

PAVEL!

I have a question/suggestion, if you'd indulge a prospective buyer:

On the Audiopraise forums you queried for suggestions on what the extra FPGA headroom within the VP could be used for. Considering this thread is more active, and my suggestion has more relevance within this discussion, I wanted to post here.

Could you create up/downsample options so that OCKTO DAC users had an ability to match the output rate of the VP to the output rate of the OKTO? This would attempt to remedy the issues of the OKTO needing to have its input and output rates match (AES/USB mode). One would up/downsample the source rate in the VP to match the output rate of the OKTO (maybe even by remote, or automatically somehow).

This feature could also be useful for anyone who just likes to up/downsample... Maybe they're into it, who knows, who cares, it could be a feature that uses the extra FPGA cycles.

Also, I could be grossly misunderstanding something here (wouldn't be the first time :cool:), but figured I'd throw my two cents in per your query.

To everyone,

I'd like to explain my intended use case/situation because many peeps on this thread have been like... WTF is thing useful for anyways??? For what it's worth:

I've been hesitant on buying an OKTO because I don't feel there is anything out there to interface it with for my specific wants/needs (until now...). With the VP, I can plug all my HDMI sources into my TV, have the TV decode to LPCM (I don't care about Atmos), then ARC out to the VP, AES into the OKTO, AES/USB mode to PC for DSP/channel routing, then AES/USB back to the OKTO for D/A. Seems like a simple solution w/o the trappings of an AVR. Global volume control can be done on the OKTO (99.9% sure on that?). For non HDMI sources, I'd have to snag one of the OKTO inputs, which I don't love, but that's life. Or, if Audiopraise is taking suggestions on a V2/update :), add more inputs to the VP other than just HDMI (AES, optical, bnc, I2S even). Then I could switch from HDMI/non HDMI sources via the VP vs. take up an input on the OKTO. And while I'm here doing my best arm chair engineering/making uneducated suggestions, slap a clock snyc on the OKTO so the VP and OKTO can play nicely even though there isn't an issue with jitter/clocks on either in the first place! More cables = better right? Oh wait... maybe more cables = longer audiophile-peen?? Yep, that's the one. And if the cables have batteries on em', you're basically a peen monster...

Anyways, once I have the ability to do DSP/channel routing, I can do all sorts of fun crap, multiple subs, do a double or triple center channel setup, attempt a Meridian "Trifield" mix, multiway speakers, etc. There'd be 8 channels of infinancy in my little world. I'd be able to hear the intro to Stranger Things in all the glory my setup could muster (amongst other things).

Also, I'm cheap, and don't like spending money twice or thrice. So I lurk until I know what I need to know. If I'm straight up wrong with how I'm intending this to work, PLZ LMK.

In closing, giving the VP the ability to handshake to the OKTO via up/downsampling sounds like it'd be beneficial for certain users on here (and me, if I move forward).

BTW: krabapple said this earlier in the thread and it made me laugh, HARD: Science: disgusting and amusing the proudly uninformed since the 16th century.

Cheers ya'll.
 
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Ozymandias

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I received my unit on Thursday and have been using it the last couple days. It has the latest firmware and the multichannel XLR output board. So far I haven’t experienced the dropout issues reported by others with the previous version of the firmware.

My setup is described briefly below.

Blu-ray player {configured to output LPCM and for SACDs, DSD} >> VanityPro >> Okto DAC8 Pro

In my listening tests so far I’ve had the VanityPro configured to convert DSD to PCM with 176.4 KHz output sample rate and using the Slow HB filter.

I tested a mix of DVD-Audio and SACD stereo and multichannel discs. My SACDs and DVD/Blu-ray audio discs now sound pretty good when played from my Blu-ray player. I’ll have to do a proper A/B comparison but I think it sounds pretty close in quality to what I get when I stream the DSD and FLAC files direct to my DAC over USB.

However I think I may have identified a bug in the SACD 4.0 downmix implementation. I observed the following:

With 4.0 music in a 5.1 container ( so LFE and C are empty) the downmix output is stereo instead of a 6dB lower version of the quad input

With 5.0 music in a 5.1 container ( LFE empty) the downmix output only has content in FL , FR and C instead of a true 4.0 output

With 3.0 music in a 5.1 container ( LFE, SL and SR empty) the downmix output only has content in FL , FR and C instead of a true 4.0 output . Also I can tell that the center channel wasn’t added to the front left and right channels as the vocals on this album are all in the center channel and that remains the case when the downmix mode is enabled.

So it looks like the downmix formula in the manual is not being applied and it simply drops the rear channels when this mode is activated. @PavelV Please fix this in the next firmware release.

Otherwise, this is a fantastic unit and I’m very satisfied with my purchase.
 
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