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Both DAC are transparent as measures by Amir, why one not as clean sounding as the other?

Pdxwayne

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All,
Before you start typing words like "brain", "imagination", please save your energy. I won't response to such replies.

I have done multiple online blind tests, done multiple ABX tests, and a coupe of DAC vs DAC double blind tests. So, please save the lectures about voltage match comparisons. See https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...tracking-my-listening-tests.24364/post-822052 for more details.

Thanks in advance.

I just got a brand new Topping d30pro. It sounded not as clean as my well used Gustard X16. Not sure how exactly to describe it. X16 just sounds right. D30pro is OK, but doesn't give me the "wow" I get from x16. This reminded me of the same feelings I got when the Gustard x16 was brand new and I compared to the well uses Topping E30. E30 sounded cleaner at that time.

Both X16 and d30pro measured transparent per Amir.

I measured both too and don't see anything obvious other than 3Khz tone. X16 is cleaner around the fundamental than d30pro. But, I don't really think this is the reason. See the comparison chart at
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-d30pro-review-balanced-dac.20259/post-837455.

What other possibilities are there?

Thanks!
 

THW

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from what i have seen others say on this site, if there are audible differences between DACs it is usually fairly subtle. may also have something to do with the filter settings but don't quote me on that.

i'm not a believer of "i can hear it but i can't measure it", that just promotes magical thinking.
 

THW

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also i wouldn't worry if i were you, X16 is a good piece of kit based on the measurements.

just enjoy whatever you already have.
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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from what i have seen others say on this site, if there are audible differences between DACs it is usually fairly subtle. may also have something to do with the filter settings but don't quote me on that.

i'm not a believer of "i can hear it but i can't measure it", that just promotes magical thinking.

I don't think it is the filter issue. I use Filter 9 and it is flat.

REW_d30_pro_filter9.PNG
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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also i wouldn't worry if i were you, X16 is a good piece of kit based on the measurements.

just enjoy whatever you already have.
I want to get the same enjoyment I get from X16, but as of now d30Pro not able to deliver. : (

The reason I wanted to use d30Pro is because it does not has the DC issue when turning off and on. X16 can potentially destroy my speakers or subs due to DC issue when shutdown.
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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… that the measurements used still don’t tell the whole story. I would agree on this. Measurements do tell the measurements story.
Any idea about why?

I am curious about impulse response of DAC. Is there such thing? Could that be the difference? What component inside a DAC actually responsible for IR?

Thanks!
 

Blumlein 88

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I'll have to ask anyway, X16 has 5 volts out and Topping 4 volts. Did you compensate for that? Please just give us the straightforward answer.
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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I'll have to ask anyway, X16 has 5 volts out and Topping 4 volts. Did you compensate for that? Please just give us the straightforward answer.
Commercial X16 can only do 4V per Gustard. It is in the Gustard thread. Also, given the same signal, d30pro is the louder one per my measurements. For example, d30pro right XLR output is about 1db louder than x16 right XLR output when given the same signal.

It really doesn't matter about matching voltage. At multiple sound levels I tried, d30pro simply does not sound as clean as I like.
 
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Blumlein 88

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It necessarily Always matters to match voltage. Without that you don't have anything.

Start incorporating that and you'll be helping yourself.
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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It necessarily Always matters to match voltage. Without that you don't have anything.

Start incorporating that and you'll be helping yourself.
I am going to repeat what I updated earlier in my prior response.

Given the same signal, d30pro is the louder one per my measurements. For example, d30pro right XLR output is about 1db louder than x16 right XLR output when given the same signal.

Again, please save the lecture about voltage matching. I am well aware of that.

Any other possibilities you can offer?

Thanks!
 

raif71

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Commercial X16 can only do 4V per Gustard. It is in the Gustard thread. Also, given the same signal, d30pro is the louder one per my measurements. For example, d30pro right XLR output is about 1db louder than x16 right XLR output when given the same signal.

It really doesn't matter about matching voltage. At multiple sound levels I tried, d30pro simply does not sound as clean as I like.
I would say both DACs output 4V. From my readings, Gustard X16 output 4V and not 5V.
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Why don't you make two short recordings of each D/A with your interface and upload them to google drive so we can download and listen ourselves?
I only have mono loopback capture device that is pretty decent. Would mono capture work?
 

restorer-john

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I only have mono loopback capture device that is pretty decent. Would mono capture work?

I can't see why not. Obviously if the differences you are describing are imaging or interchannel related, a mono capture may not show that.

I'm more than happy to have a listen. :) People can even trim the files, level match them if they need to, and ABX them for themselves. Then they can report back to the thread will their own observations. Be prepared for a lack of engagement however from members if past experience is an indicator.
 

Blumlein 88

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If you wish to put a marker in a stereo track, you can even record first one channel and then the other. With the ability to line up the marker in time and create a stereo file if you wish. But mono should work just fine for your purposes.
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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I can't see why not. Obviously if the differences you are describing are imaging or interchannel related, a mono capture may not show that.

I'm more than happy to have a listen. :) People can even trim the files, level match them if they need to, and ABX them for themselves. Then they can report back to the thread will their own observations. Be prepared for a lack of engagement however from members if past experience is an indicator.
Not only that, if the difference is very subtle, like below 0.5db, I doubt many members can even sense it via ABX.

Maybe I can do ABX first to see if I can sense any difference between the recordings. If you check my ABX results as linked in my first post, I can sense around 0.2db sound pressure difference. If I can't even sense any difference, then I think no point sharing....

Thanks for the suggestion!
 

restorer-john

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If I can't even sense any difference, then I think no point sharing....

I was going to suggest that. But it's always illuminating to find out if others can hear what you hear.
 

jacobacci

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When you listen, your DACs are not connected to an analyzer. They are operating in a different environment. Your DACs are interacting with the next devices in line (cables, preamp or power amp) that have input characteristics that are different from those of amir's analyzer.
You are always listening to a combination of devices, not to a device in isolation.
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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I was going to suggest that. But it's always illuminating to find out if others can hear what you hear.
I played a song and did a 2.5 minutes capture of right channel XLR. I then did DeltaWave comparisons.

Anything to concern about regarding the PK Metric? The song started to have sub bass near 1 min 48 second mark
pkmetric_d30pro_vs_x16_right_xlr_song_of_the_whale.PNG


Here is the delta of spectrogram:
delta_of_spectrogram_x16_vs_d30pro_right_XLR_song_of_the_whale.PNG
 
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