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DAC burn-in/break-in? My Gustard X16 measurements

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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #321
As above, whatever your perceived problem is, it's not a 0.2dB difference in level between channels. Maybe your Gustard is broken somehow, but this is not the right test to determine that either.
Correct!

The strange thing is after powered it on straight for ~3 weeks, I could enjoy the same song more. This could be just my imagination. I can further test the warm up effect. I will continue power it on for at least two weeks and measure again.
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #322
Yes, I meant all tolerances (chip and various resistors) can easily add up (become) 0.2% (in either direction)
That means Gustard x16 is actually doing just fine, within specs, correct?

0.2dB overall level difference is not enough to hear obvious differences and make treble sound 'not sparkly' and 'echo trails' to be longer.
You would need many dB's for that. There aren't any 0.2dB level difference between L and R in your room on speakers is already much smaller than those and even your headphones will have smaller differences.

When you want to know just use your favorite recording and make the L or R channel 0.1dB less loud, make one with 0.2dB less loud, 0.3dB, 0.4dB and 0.5dB and use ABX tester to determine WHAT you can hear using music. Then you know for yourself. use the E30.

You need to determine YOUR hearing thresholds.


Another test would be to put those 6 files (incl the original) in a folder. Use a player that can randomly play from that folder and just listen and hit 'next' now and then without looking at the screen. Then guess what dB difference there is and then check to see if you got it right.

Enjoy.
Good idea!
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #324
It looks like the dB diff between SE and XLR is less than 6.02dB. Does that mean the Vrms change is less than doubled? Since X16 scales well and SE is fixed at 2Vrms at 0dB, can we conclude that output from XLR at 0dB is less than 4Vrms in general or at least in this sample?
I would consider it a more serious issue here.
Interesting....I would also like to know if this is indeed a serious issue.
 

solderdude

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0.2%, sure. For 0.1% tolerance parts to add up to 2% combined error would take a lot of bad luck.
unless the chip is 0,2% and the resistors are well below0.1% (which is most likely the case here) ;)

Interesting....I would also like to know if this is indeed a serious issue.
It's not an issue at all. it just means that SE is not simply the same signal path as the + output of the XLR but has a separate buffer. That would be preferred over SE simply being equal to the + output of the XLR. So also here; no weird behavior.

The real question is did the FR change from cold to warmed up for the X16 (and only above 1kHz)
 
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mansr

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unless the chip is 0,2% and the resistors are well below0.1% (which is most likely the case here) ;)
How do you get 2% combined error out of that?

Of course, in typical ESS fashion, their datasheets don't specify inter-channel mismatch figures. AKM and TI are both around 3% max. 0.2 dB mismatch could thus be down to the chip alone.
 
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I had e30 and the x16 didn't hear a difference. They are both transparent dacs. They are by design not intended to alter the tone.

But when is see now how every mV is interpreted to match the impression I have my doubts if anything could convince me of those 'sparkles' or 'punches' or whatever.
Do you play a stereo, headphones or both? I'm curious to know the listening setup.
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #329
unless the chip is 0,2% and the resistors are well below0.1% (which is most likely the case here) ;)



It's not an issue at all. it just means that SE is not simply the same signal path as the + output of the XLR but has a separate buffer. That would be preferred over SE simply being equal to the + output of the XLR. So also here; no weird behavior.

The real question is did the FR change from cold to warmed up for the X16 (and only above 1kHz)
Actually, using headphones and quick RCA switch, I don't believe I could reliably hear a difference between DAC using the same song I mentioned before, even when x16 is cold.

This was done a few times last couple days (sighted RCA quick switch) with headphones setup. Note that headphones is $50 low cost headphones.

So I do agree with you that 0.2db difference with music, at least with the headphones I have, unlikely I can reliably hear a different.

Could there be something else at work that make it more audible in stereo setup? Speakers response curve? The room? Is it possible that that 0.2db difference could become larger due to the speaker response curve and the room?

Edit:
I will let x16 powered on all the time and measure at different days. Will see if anything changes.

Thanks!
 
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Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #332
unless the chip is 0,2% and the resistors are well below0.1% (which is most likely the case here) ;)



It's not an issue at all. it just means that SE is not simply the same signal path as the + output of the XLR but has a separate buffer. That would be preferred over SE simply being equal to the + output of the XLR. So also here; no weird behavior.

The real question is did the FR change from cold to warmed up for the X16 (and only above 1kHz)
One more question.

I directly connect DAC to amp in my downstairs stereo setup.

The amp is Parasound A21.

I don't know if E30 and x16 have same output resistance or not. Would output resistance cause differences in amp frequency response?

Would using a mic and REW to capture freq response in my room, using both DAC, worthwhile?

Thanks!
 

solderdude

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0.2%, sure. For 0.1% tolerance parts to add up to 2% combined error would take a lot of bad luck.
That may be because I mentioned adds up to 0.2% and not 2%. No idea where the 2% sneaked in there I only spoke of 0.2%.
The manufacturer mentioned the output levels of chips (there's 2 DAC chips in the X16) can mismatch. The manufacturer replaces DAC chips when the mismatch exceeds 0.2dB.
 

solderdude

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Could there be something else at work that make it more audible in stereo setup? Speakers response curve? The room? Is it possible that that 0.2db difference could become larger due to the speaker response curve and the room?
The difference in a room would be the same whether you would use the X16 or E30. Rooms can certainly have (frequency dependent as well) differences far exceeding 0.2dB. 0.2dB difference with music is inaudible.

Would output resistance cause differences in amp frequency response?
No, not in this case.

Would using a mic and REW to capture freq response in my room, using both DAC, worthwhile?
No, it would be trying to measure millimeters with a cm scaled ruler. Move the mic a few cm and the measurement will differ yet again.
 

solderdude

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0.2 dB (the reported discrepancy) is roughly 2%. You even said so yourself.
Ah... yes.. my bad 0.2dB is almost 2% I stated 0.2% which is wrong.
Anyway... it thus will be down to the DAC chip (as mentioned) which can deviate 0.2dB (2% and not 0.2% :facepalm:).
Resistors would indeed be really bad luck unless they were 5% ones, which I have always measured closer to 1% than the specified 5%.
 
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Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #337
The difference in a room would be the same whether you would use the X16 or E30. Rooms can certainly have (frequency dependent as well) differences far exceeding 0.2dB. 0.2dB difference with music is inaudible.



No, not in this case.



No, it would be trying to measure millimeters with a cm scaled ruler. Move the mic a few cm and the measurement will differ yet again.
I do have a tripod. So, can reliably measure differences between DAC for a single position. Would making several positions measurements provide any more clues? Or it is again like using CM ruler to measure mm? Since you said the "sparkles" difference would take several dB to show up, would this several dB differences show up using MIC to capture speaker's output?

Thanks!
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #339
It's NOT a reliable measurement. Period.
I guess at the end it all goes back to listening tests?

: )

BTW, curious. Typically how resolving are headphones?

Can headphones reliably output at 0.2db resolution or even lower? If so, which brand and model?

Thanks again!
 
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