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Digital out : Yamaha wxc50, skysong , Douk U2 - soundreview.

Tangband

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I have recently done a test in longterm listening with three units used as digital preamps to the digital input of my Genelecs .

1 . Yamaha wxc 50 digital out , spdif , pre amp mode . AirPlay from iPhone with Apple Music lossless.

2. Sky song - a chinese USB bridge with xu208, lt1963 regulator, three different clocks, , battery power option and 0.1 PPM clocks , spdif out.

3. Douk audio U2 - a chinese USB bridge with xu208 and three different clocks , very small and neat. 6841944C-AF1F-40BF-8EB0-4BD13CD7E91A.jpeg
 
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Tangband

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Can one hear a difference at all ?
Yes you can .

The Yamaha wxc50 is the worst sounding unit of the three, without being bad sounding. I used AirPlay with Apple Music lossless from IPhone to the unit. One could be satisfied using only this player if you havent heard other better alternatives.

+ Very practical solution , locks nice to.

- Sound is somewhat less good than the other two units. Less detail in the treble, the sound is not as wide and there is a less dynamic sound .

Douk U2 with Mac M1.

+ Very neat and practical solution . Good sound with Apple Music lossless with slightly more detail in the treble than the Yamaha wxc50 with digital out.

- Sound is slightly inferior to the sky song .
Less dynamic and not as clean sounding in the treble , but its a small difference . The sound is overall better than from Yamaha wxc50 in pre amp mode .

Sky song 0.1 PPM USB bridge driven by Mac M1 and with battery .

+ Driven with a 9 volt battery , feeding the lt1963 regulator directly, the sound is wider and more dynamic than Yamaha wxc50 . More resolution in the treble and very clean sounding . The difference is smaller compared to Douk U2, but you can hear it in the way sky song is slightly more dynamic, with a wider soundstage, its more fun to listening to music in the long turn with Sky song .

- Sky song driven without 9 volt battery and instead use power from MAC , the sound is slightly worse than before, not as wide and less dynamic . Switching between the Skysong och Douk U2 during this conditions a small differens can be heard with music- sky song is still slightly better .

I have used this three units in longterm listening in a relaxed environment , to avoid any blind testing bias.
 
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pjug

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Any chance you would send the Yamaha to Amir? In another thread someone said the WXC50 measured very well. But I think they were published in (German?) magazine that required subscription.
 
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Tangband

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Any chance you would send the Yamaha to Amir? In another thread someone said the WXC50 measured very well. But I think they were published in (German?) magazine that required subscription.
I think that the sample rate converter inside the Yamaha, the DSP YSS952 is less good than optimal, this chip that does the volume regulation and conversion to 48 kHz on all material in pre amp mode, has a spec THD+N of -108 dB , where other SRC chip has -130 or better.
I use the Yamaha when I watch tv, so I dont want to send it to amirm, but it would be really interesting with measurements from the digital output.
 
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Tangband

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That's not really how it works
This is no science test , agree. Just listening for hours and days.

With blind testing bias, I ment that its a risk listening only to the details of the sound instead of the emotions of the music in a blind test situation with quick switches.

Listening long term is ofcourse not free of bias , but it shows up the faults or the benefits when enjoying music while relaxing.
 
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Dj7675

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This is no science test , agree. Just listening for hours and days.

With blind testing bias, I ment that its a risk listening only to the details of the sound instead of the emotions of the music in a blind test situation with quick switches.

Listening long term is ofcourse not free of bias , but it shows up the faults or the benefits when enjoying music while relaxing.
Emotions are fickle and not a reliable way to conclude anything. It would be more interesting if you could even pick out which one is playing done blind. If I am understanding correctly, these are all digital, so it is hard to believe that any difference at all actually exist.
 
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Tangband

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Emotions are fickle and not a reliable way to conclude anything. It would be more interesting if you could even pick out which one is playing done blind. If I am understanding correctly, these are all digital, so it is hard to believe that any difference at all actually exist.
Believe me - if Yamaha wxc50 had the best sound of them all, I would use this unit all the time also for music listening , not only watching tv .:).
Yamaha is by far the most practical of the three, it even has a remote control, and look very stylish.
I wish they all sounded the same .
 
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mdsimon2

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One interesting thing I've observed with purely digital devices that do resampling is that they can have level differences, nothing crazy but something in the range of 0.5 dB.

But of course you have done no investigation as to why you are hearing differences (and implemented no controls to ensure you are actually hearing differences) which does not help any of us learn what is actually going on.

Michael
 
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mdsimon2

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Can one hear a difference at all ?
Yes you can .

The Yamaha wxc50 is the worst sounding unit of the three, without being bad sounding. I used AirPlay with Apple Music lossless from IPhone to the unit. One could be satisfied using only this player if you havent heard other better alternatives.

+ Very practical solution , locks nice to.

- Sound is somewhat less good than the other two units. Less detail in the treble, the sound is not as wide and there is a less dynamic sound .

Douk U2 with Mac M1.

+ Very neat and practical solution . Good sound with Apple Music lossless with slightly more detail in the treble than the Yamaha wxc50 with digital out.

- Sound is slightly inferior to the sky song .
Less dynamic and not as clean sounding in the treble , but its a small difference . The sound is overall better than from Yamaha wxc50 in pre amp mode .

Sky song 0.1 PPM USB bridge driven by Mac M1 and with battery .

+ Driven with a 9 volt battery , feeding the lt1963 regulator directly, the sound is wider and more dynamic than Yamaha wxc50 . More resolution in the treble and very clean sounding . The difference is smaller compared to Douk U2, but you can hear it in the way sky song is slightly more dynamic, with a wider soundstage, its more fun to listening to music in the long turn with Sky song .

- Sky song driven without 9 volt battery and instead use power from MAC , the sound is slightly worse than before, not as wide and less dynamic . Switching between the Skysong och Douk U2 during this conditions a small differens can be heard with music- sky song is still slightly better .

I have used this three units in longterm listening in a relaxed environment , to avoid any blind testing bias.

Wait, are you feeding the WXC50 with AirPlay and the others directly from your Mac M1? You aren't even comparing the same source material, LMAO.

Michael
 
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Tangband

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Wait, are you feeding the WXC50 with AirPlay and the others directly from your Mac M1? You aren't even comparing the same source material, LMAO.

Michael
Hmm…. Isnt airplay 16 bit 44,1 kHz from iPhone to the Yamaha , lossless ?.
I only listened to 16 bit 44,1 kHz material when I did the comparisons - with Apple lossless with all three units.
 

Juhazi

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WXC-50 is delivered with certain dsp presets, which add distortion and change response. One should check and set those to "passed" before serious listening or measuring the unit. Been there, done that and now I'm happy with it. Speakers connected are diy 3-way using Hypex FA123.
 

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Tangband

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One interesting thing I've observed with purely digital devices that do resampling is that they can have level differences, nothing crazy but something in the range of 0.5 dB.

But of course you have done no investigation as to why you are hearing differences (and implemented no controls to ensure you are actually hearing differences) which does not help any one of us learn what is actually going on.

Michael
Good point, even if the volume differences matter less when listening long term. You listen many days at the same unit, at different levels.
 

mdsimon2

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Hmm…. Isnt airplay 16 bit 44,1 kHz from iPhone to the Yamaha , lossless ?.
I only listened to 16 bit 44,1 kHz material when I did the comparisons - with Apple lossless with all three units.

From what I have seen AirPlay will resample everything, even if it is native 16 bit, 44.1 kHz. Again without measuring anything you have tons of variables and no idea why you are hearing difference.

Michael
 
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Tangband

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WXC-50 is delivered with certain dsp presets, which add distortion and change response. One should check and set those to "passed" before serious listening or measuring the unit. Been there, done that and now I'm happy with it. Speakers connected are diy 3-way using Hypex FA123.
Yes - everything on the Yamaha was put in ” direct ” mode when listening.
 
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Tangband

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From what I have seen AirPlay will resample everything, even if it is native 16 bit, 44.1 kHz. Again without measuring anything you have tons of variables and no idea why you are hearing difference.

Michael
Well , I cant argue with that. Measurements would be very interesting. Can someone do a loopback with REW comparing the digital out with the Yamaha in pre amp mode and in player mode ?
 

Phorize

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Believe me - if Yamaha wxc50 had the best sound of them all, I would use this unit all the time also for music listening , not only watching tv .:).
Yamaha is by far the most practical of the three, it even has a remote control, and look very stylish.
I wish they all sounded the same .
I don’t doubt your sincerity, but listening long term doesn’t add any controls. My suggestion would be that if you really want to know if you can discern these devices from each other, ask a friend to play them to you blind, with several repetitions, reducing the time delay between change overs as much as possible. That won’t be strictly scientific but it will remove your awareness and biases like availability bias from the equation and give you a bit more to go on.
 

Willem

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The big problem here, apart from perhaps not using identical sources, is the listening test methodology. It should be blind, near instantaneous, and level matched. Personally, and having heard quite a few DACs, I would not bother and just use the Yamaha.
 

BitPerfect_

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Hmm…. Isnt airplay 16 bit 44,1 kHz from iPhone to the Yamaha , lossless ?.
I only listened to 16 bit 44,1 kHz material when I did the comparisons - with Apple lossless with all three units.
Not really, iPhone Apple Music > AirPlay > WXC-50 Pre-amp (or Player mode), will be modified at 16/48.
 
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Tangband

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Not really, iPhone Apple Music > AirPlay > WXC-50 Pre-amp (or Player mode), will be modified at 16/48.
Hmm… then the fault is in the Yamaha wxc50 that in AirPlay mode, both as ”player” and as ” pre amp” modifies the sampling frequency to 48 kHz ? Thats bad if its true.

If I use the Yamaha wxc50 toslink input, the sampling frequency in ”player” mode and spdif out to my Genelecs follows the source material, but then you cant regulate the volume with the Yamaha.

I can still hear a difference between Douk U2 and sky song - even if the sampling frequency is correct.
This is hard to explain .
 
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