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Budget DAC Review: behringer UMC204HD

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amirm

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And here is the J-test signal comparing balanced to unbalanced:

J-test balanced versus unbalanced.png


No surprises. Unbalanced has a bit lower noise floor as it should. Otherwise, all is the same in both.

Jinjuku, is this what you were asking me to measure?
 
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@amirm do you plan on doing any other measurements on the Behringer?

At least one I would like to see is the -4 db of white noise in a 44.1 or 48 khz file recorded at 192 khz. That will confirm the FR is basically flat over the first 20 khz, and if combined with a 19 khz tone overlay it will show us the steepness of the filter and whether it does a good job of keeping out aliasing. Here is one for the HDMI switcher this one is 48 khz so I used a 20 khz tone.
Unfortunately I can't run any composite files the way you had created. I posted the white noise. Here is the 19 Khz tone with 61 Khz measurement bandwidth:

upload_2017-8-18_20-12-21.png


Is this what you were looking for?
 

Jinjuku

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And here is the J-test signal comparing balanced to unbalanced:

View attachment 8208

No surprises. Unbalanced has a bit lower noise floor as it should. Otherwise, all is the same in both.

Jinjuku, is this what you were asking me to measure?

Yep, I just wanted confirmation that it's hitting near -140dB with the Balanced I/O. Thanks.

Just a well mannered DAC and incredible once you reveal the $80 price tag.

Someone was calling it a DAC with maybe 18 bits of resolution. More like 19-20
 

Sal1950

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Just can't stop yourself's from trying to find fault with this little jewel, eh guys.
And they said Amir was just a hater. ;)
 

Blumlein 88

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Unfortunately I can't run any composite files the way you had created. I posted the white noise. Here is the 19 Khz tone with 61 Khz measurement bandwidth:

View attachment 8209

Is this what you were looking for?

Yes, we see the 25,100 tone from the image of the 19 khz tone above the 22,050 nyquist point is nearly 100 db down. So the filter is plenty sharp enough to prevent imaging artefacts. Combined with the white noise graph we see the filter is plenty sharp enough and no oddities are showing up. Just good basic design. We also see the 2nd and 3rd harmonic distortion isn't terrible at near max level.
 

Blumlein 88

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Yep, I just wanted confirmation that it's hitting near -140dB with the Balanced I/O. Thanks.

Just a well mannered DAC and incredible once you reveal the $80 price tag.

Someone was calling it a DAC with maybe 18 bits of resolution. More like 19-20

I think more like 17 bits is about right. Notice the white noise plot in a prior graph. Assuming Amir is using the file I sent, then it is at - 4dbFS. In the balanced it ends up creating a line around -43 so we add 4 do that and get like -39 db near full scale white noise. If we then look at the noise floor in the balanced J test graph it is around -138 db. So the noise floor would work out to about 99 db for the 20 khz band. You'll have a slight rise in low frequencies too. So 98 or 99 db is a pretty good general estimate for the 20 khz band. So more like 16.5 bits or maybe 17.

The specs list dynamic range as 110 db A-wtd. SNR and dynamic range aren't quite the same thing. Dynamic range with the official AES17 method is usually a handful of db higher than SNR. Still A-wtd maybe 18 bits unweighted maybe about 17 bits. Either way plenty good enough not to have audible issues and pretty darn good performance for $79.
 
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Assuming Amir is using the file I sent, then it is at - 4dbFS.
No, I created new files. Also, the ADC used in the two graphs are different. The wideband one has higher noise floor.
 

Blumlein 88

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No, I created new files. Also, the ADC used in the two graphs are different. The wideband one has higher noise floor.

I noticed the noise floor in the wideband graph and didn't use it. So did your new file have - 4db levels or something else for the white noise?
 

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Just can't stop yourself's from trying to find fault with this little jewel, eh guys.
And they said Amir was just a hater. ;)

But no audiophile would ever buy one because there would be general agreement that, in spite of the measurements, it sounds horrible. I'd like to dress one up with a machined aluminium case and a $5995 price tag, and give it plus a plain one to a group of audiophiles and get them to say which sounds better...
 

Blumlein 88

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If Vinni Rossi used this in his modular system, he could build the DAC in a nice case, and feed the output thru some mal-conceived slightly distortion generating tube buffer circuit. Then everyone would rave about the space, dynamics, imaging, musicality and silence. Apply for a pending patent and its there. Probably innovative component of the year, TAS editor's pick and S-phile recommended all in one year.
 

Jinjuku

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But no audiophile would ever buy one because there would be general agreement that, in spite of the measurements, it sounds horrible. I'd like to dress one up with a machined aluminium case and a $5995 price tag, and give it plus a plain one to a group of audiophiles and get them to say which sounds better...

I wonder if an iFi DAC would accommodate the 204 PCB?
 

NWCgrad

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I need a midi interface to get my REW EQ settings to my Behringer 2496, this little box may work and it throws in a DAC for free.
 

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I tried to open the UMC204HD to see what ICs Behringer are inside but unfortunately the screws are too tight.

But no audiophile would ever buy one because there would be general agreement that, in spite of the measurements, it sounds horrible. I'd like to dress one up with a machined aluminium case and a $5995 price tag, and give it plus a plain one to a group of audiophiles and get them to say which sounds better...

It's not just audiophiles, there plenty of gear snobs who love taking potshots at cheap products regardless of actual performance or taking the price tag into consideration. Plenty of those losers on Youtube.
 
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Sal1950

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I tried to open the UMC204HD to see what ICs Behringer are inside but unfortunately the screws are too tight.
Use a torch to warm em up a bit. ;)
 

watchnerd

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I tried to open the UMC204HD to see what ICs Behringer are inside but unfortunately the screws are too tight.

Use a torch to warm em up a bit. ;)

Or, perhaps, just work on your Google Fu:

571031d1468166019-audio-interface-low-latency-performance-data-base-20160710_111209.jpg


XMOS
Cirrus Logic CS4272 ADC / DAC 24bit/192khz
[can't read the middle one]
AD 8694 amp
 

Palladium

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The Cirrus logic CS4272-CZZ ADC/DAC is $13 each, introduced in 2005.
The AD8964 op-amp is $4 each, introduced in 2003.
The $0.70 HEF4066B looks like a dumb analog electronic switch used by the A/B monitor button.
The XMOS chip looks like a USB to I2S encoder/decoder to feed the DAC chip.

Behringer probably can get far better pricing than Mouser list price, but even so I can't imagine them making much profit out of their $80 audio interface.
 

Sal1950

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Behringer probably can get far better pricing than Mouser list price, but even so I can't imagine them making much profit out of their $80 audio interface.
I really find it incredible how they can build and distribute something like that and have any profit margin at all?
 

Palladium

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I really find it incredible how they can build and distribute something like that and have any profit margin at all?

There are far worse places to be like selling ~$50 PC motherboards with even higher material cost and that also includes a complete integrated audio solution; IIRC Biostar and the smaller-sized manufacturers outright said they were losing money for every unit sold. For similar reasons that why we saw so many companies leaving the PC manufacturing industry over the past 2 decades.
 
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