• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

JDS Labs Atom DAC+ Review

acbarn

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
1,796
Likes
4,312
Location
California
Could be. I'm always interested in learning things. Do you have a link or reference
that you find particularly good regarding biases in perception?


I'll check it out

15225C1D-DF28-4873-804F-49CFB3136647.jpeg
 

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
534
Location
North Carolinia
Seems to me that you're rather uninformed. Balanced connections are the most useful way to solve ground loop issues. A simple display like a few LEDs is not that difficult or expensive to implement. How else would you verify that your DAC doing bit perfect playback?

Using the term "Chinese mass market" is laughable and even prejudicial. Products from Chinese manufacturers fill the top rating slots in virtually every category on ASR.
You are either ignoring or not comprehending what I said.

When you use a dongle like the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro with a phone, the USB connection is feeding current to the dongle. A phone is not an unlimited power source for headphone amps, in the way that a wall plug is (as wall plugs provide far more voltage and current than is needed to power any headphones).

If you look at many of Amir's dongle tests, around 2V is the max output with single-ended connections. Voltage also tends to drop with impedance, indicating that they are current limited. Whereas dongles with balanced output are often able to achieve 4V in output. My understanding is that this is related to balanced design.

2V vs 4V output is not insignificant when using many more difficult-to-drive headphones with a dongle.

So as I said, balanced headphone amp design does have its uses for portable setups.
The ATOM DAC has nothing to do with a dongle trying to feed headphones. It is a DAC, and it is line powered.
 

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
534
Location
North Carolinia
Hmmm. Placebo? But a handful of albums in and I have backed off the EQ @ 3100. I have not put on the worst of the worst, but it does seem a tiny bit smoother than the AKM. Life would be simpler if I can do my eq by only adjusting the LP on my tweeters. I could not do that on the D30.
 

Veri

Master Contributor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
8,490
Likes
10,446
it does seem a tiny bit smoother than the AKM.
Well. So far after 10.000s of posts not a single person has proven statements about AKM/ESS/Cirrus Logic etc "soung signatures". So I'm pretty sure such statements = something that only "seems" to be true anecdotally (but is it really ;)?).
 

Labjr

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
832
Likes
748
Well. So far after 10.000s of posts not a single person has proven statements about AKM/ESS/Cirrus Logic etc "soung signatures". So I'm pretty sure such statements = something that only "seems" to be true anecdotally (but is it really ;)?).
I've read that ESS DAC chips are more sensitive to poor circuit design and could sound bright or overly transparent if implementation is not perfect.
 

Veri

Master Contributor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
8,490
Likes
10,446
I've read that ESS DAC chips are more sensitive to poor circuit design
That definitely has some truth in it. If you buy some ESS design that has no validation or any measurement/performance test online anywhere you could definitely have bought some botched design that sounds "bad". Could happen to other DAC chip implementations too, of course.. :)
 

mikegryo

New Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
3
Likes
0
Is anyone using an iPhone with their DAC+? I recently purchased the Atom+ and Sennheiser 6xx as a first real headphone setup, and will be purchasing the DAC+ in the future as a stack. From what I can tell the easiest way to connect my iPhone to the DAC+ is with the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter ($29) + USB A-to-USB B cable. Does that make sense?

Still a beginner to all of this obviously. If anyone has any guides to follow on PEQ on my Macbook Pro that would be awesome! (I read through this post and it appears SoundSource is the preferred app, but I don't really understand how to change EQ settings yet).
 
Last edited:

Veri

Master Contributor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
8,490
Likes
10,446
Still a beginner to all of this obviously. If anyone has any guides to follow on PEQ on my Macbook Pro that would be awesome! (I read through this post and it appears SoundSource is the preferred app, but I don't really understand how to change EQ settings yet).
I've been using SoundSource for over a year now. Love it.
 

RndJeff

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
Messages
31
Likes
18
Is anyone using an iPhone with their DAC+? I recently purchased the Atom+ and Sennheiser 6xx as a first real headphone setup, and will be purchasing the DAC+ in the future as a stack. From what I can tell the easiest way to connect my iPhone to the DAC+ is with the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter ($29) + USB A-to-USB B cable. Does that make sense

I am using this cheaper option with my iphone 6s & Atom DAC+

MeloAudio USB 2.0 Type-B OTG Adapter and Charging MIDI Cable Compatible iOS Devices to Midi Controller​

There is also another option without charging but is costs more (longer cable) https://www.amazon.ca/MeloAudio-Com...f20fa&pd_rd_wg=XRrLZ&pd_rd_i=B07FLWN6G4&psc=1
 
Last edited:

mikegryo

New Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
3
Likes
0
I've been using SoundSource for over a year now. Love it.

Thanks - sounds like SoundSource is definitely the go-to for Mac. Do you know of any good tutorials? I'm new to EQ stuff (other than playing around with stuff randomly and not knowing what I'm doing). I saw a bunch on YouTube, but wasn't sure if there was one or some that would be recommended for a beginner...
 

mikegryo

New Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
3
Likes
0
I am using this cheaper option with my iphone 6s & Atom DAC+

MeloAudio USB 2.0 Type-B OTG Adapter and Charging MIDI Cable Compatible iOS Devices to Midi Controller​

There is also another option without charging but is costs more (longer cable) https://www.amazon.ca/MeloAudio-Compatible-Controller-Electronic-Microphone,5FT/dp/B07FLWN6G4/ref=s_2/134-3445051-4965824?pd_rd_w=0N3sj&pf_rd_p=163bb2af-bb59-4d57-8170-84792444e0d2&pf_rd_r=09CS5C3RXD8FW4AMNHE4&pd_rd_r=049db334-30fc-4db1-a704-d9d2ffcf20fa&pd_rd_wg=XRrLZ&pd_rd_i=B07FLWN6G4&psc=1

Thanks! I read somewhere that Apple forces you to use theirs as it's the only one that would work, but that must have been old (or just incorrect).
 

Veri

Master Contributor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
8,490
Likes
10,446
Thanks - sounds like SoundSource is definitely the go-to for Mac. Do you know of any good tutorials? I'm new to EQ stuff (other than playing around with stuff randomly and not knowing what I'm doing). I saw a bunch on YouTube, but wasn't sure if there was one or some that would be recommended for a beginner...
Well all I did was add an "AUNBand" filter which is a standard AU plug-in within OSX, and made it match an oratory1990 EQ profile from PDF. There's probably fancier EQ plug-ins, but this one's free since it comes with the operating system. You can probably find some tutorials on youtube, both my laptop, OS and SoundSource versions are a bit old so I'm not too up-to-date :D
 

confucius_zero

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
501
Likes
300
I've tried this DAC+ a few weeks back next to my smsl sanskrit 10th mkII. I'd say subjectively that the DAC+ is cleaner and doesn't emphasize midbass as much as the sanskrit 10th mkII. Therefore, without emphasis, there isn't much midbass masking of the frequencies and more audible detail. None of that "sabre glare".

So I do enjoy it!

I wonder what measurements I can look at to reveal such emphasis on the FR output of each DAC...
PXL_20211115_195207801.jpg
 

raistlin65

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
2,273
Likes
3,376
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
I've tried this DAC+ a few weeks back next to my smsl sanskrit 10th mkII. I'd say subjectively that the DAC+ is cleaner and doesn't emphasize midbass as much as the sanskrit 10th mkII. Therefore, without emphasis, there isn't much midbass masking of the frequencies and more audible detail. None of that "sabre glare".

So I do enjoy it!

I wonder what measurements I can look at to reveal such emphasis on the FR output of each DAC...
The Sanskrit has already been measured by Amir

Since it looks like each of these will feed your headphone amp with a slightly different voltage, that might be what you are hearing because of a difference in volume. If the voltage levels were the same, they might sound the same.
 

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
534
Location
North Carolinia
Don't know about that as the Atom was unquestionably smoother even through speakers than the Topping D30pro with comparable measurements, ( superior actually) and easily outclassed the DAC in my Asgard. Well, unquestionable to me and my wife who can hear the difference, not to some in this forum who believe anything anyone else hears if wrong. Sorry. They should buy an Apple dongle and leave the rest of us who want to discover what to measure to the peruse of improving scientific measurement.

C-Z exactly, what can we measure, or interpret, that gives us correlation to what we hear? I would not be on my fifth DAC before I got the Atom. Units that measure terribly, will usually sound terrible to most, but in the top half, just what is it?
JDS propaganda will tell you is is about their attention to the USB and clocks. Curious, Schiit says the same as do most R2R makers. Chinese brag about the low THD. Probably all correct to some extent. Anyway, I am with you, JDS pulled it off!
 

raistlin65

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
2,273
Likes
3,376
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Don't know about that as the Atom was unquestionably smoother even through speakers than the Topping D30pro with comparable measurements, ( superior actually) and easily outclassed the DAC in my Asgard. Well, unquestionable to me and my wife who can hear the difference, not to some in this forum who believe anything anyone else hears if wrong. Sorry. They should buy an Apple dongle and leave the rest of us who want to discover what to measure to the peruse of improving scientific measurement.

C-Z exactly, what can we measure, or interpret, that gives us correlation to what we hear? I would not be on my fifth DAC before I got the Atom. Units that measure terribly, will usually sound terrible to most, but in the top half, just what is it?
JDS propaganda will tell you is is about their attention to the USB and clocks. Curious, Schiit says the same as do most R2R makers. Chinese brag about the low THD. Probably all correct to some extent. Anyway, I am with you, JDS pulled it off!

And, based on Amir's measurements, the Atom and the D30Pro also have different voltage output levels. So same as I said above. If you aren't properly volume leveling, you very likely could hear a difference. Whereas it might not be the case with proper volume leveling.

Match the voltage. Then tell us what you hear.
 

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
534
Location
North Carolinia
You are looking for an excuse to call us a liar. Enough already. You do not know what you are talking about. The issue I hear I can hear between just above background music to "enthusiastic". It is that obvious.
 
Top Bottom