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Review and Measurements of Okto DAC8 8Ch DAC & Amp

dualazmak

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Hello friends,

I assume many of us are rather forgetting about the excellent headphone output of DAC8PRO in the front panel always giving high quality sound of CH-1 and CH-2 in line-level signal for 6.3 mm (1/4”) TRS connector.

In DAC8PRO's Owner&s Manual, we can read;
Headphone output (front side)
6.3 mm (1/4”) TRS connector
Output level: 4.1 V RMS full-scale
120 mA linear output current
fixed to output channels 1 and 2
output impedance <100 mOhm


I decided to use this headphone output for RCA unbalanced line-level Input to L & R Sub-Woofer YAMAHA YST-SW1000.
Please visit my post #162 in my thread for the details.
 

Dacapalooza

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Yes & no. Technically you can use HDMI for MCH and seemingly work. But all MCH HDMI DAC implementations are broken...
Granted but his sample size is minute.

So great news!
There looks to be not broken MCH HDMI DAC implementations.
I got the SINBAD values for some high end MCH DAC's. Nothing in Blue tier but there are better measured results.

I found this site that converts THD to SINBAD. I found some websites that also had same AP THD measurements using same 1kh for quite a few. Still can't find Krell PrePro measurements. The ASR highest is Emotiva RMC-1 at 100db, but with a little googling I found better. Also bear in mind, DAC is more tweakish than say the room correction app. I can certainly hear differences between RC apps, while I just went from red tier to the highest of blue and cannot hear a diff. I have no formal audio education. I would certainly take a Trinnov with red tier over a blue tier and no RC.

The best was ANTHEM STATEMENT D2V 3D, measuring 0.000516% / -105.7. Discontinued. I see in Ebay for $1,500. So if the DAC tweak is most important this would be the best way to go. Not sure if Anthem updates the RC app in old devices, so RC wise it might be a downgrade from current models. That’s what I like about Trinnov, they’re consistently updating. The Anthem Statement D1 measured: .00338% / 89.4. D2 was not measured & was upgradable to add ARC in 2008.

The second best was McIntosh MX150, 0.00057% / -104.8. If I was to guess the newer model MX160 is probably the best measured DAC today. Since the hosts approves of RoomPerfect I would classify the MX160 as the most advanced PrePro today & probably in blue tier. Not far stretch as it just has to go up 2db from the previous model.

Bryston SP3 - 0.000857 / -101.3. No room correction so I would consider this broken anyway...

Worthy mention: Integra DTC-9.8 .0093 / -80.6 - First PrePro that decoded BD's. Knowing what I know now, I still regret not buying this anyway. I had the Audyseey standalone that had 2 extra conversions in path. I ended up waiting too long of time for a decent PrePro. There was also the D2 but it bothered me too much that it could not decode. Ironic that My that my BD is decoding now and for the foreseeable future. The next PrePro that decoded BD's was Marantz AV8003 around 6 months later with mere 0.023 / 72.7. So those that chose Integra over Matantz won the SINBAD lottery.

PrePro SINBAD not in ASR (from hometheaterhifi and 1 or 2 in S & V):
Denon AVP-A1HDCI - .019 / -74.4
Integra DTC-9.8 THX Ultra2 7.1 SSP - .0093 / -80.6
INTEGRA DHC-80.6 11.2 - .00797 / -81.9
Marantz AV7005 7.1 - .01 / 80
McIntosh MX150 7.1 - 0.00057 / -104.8
CLASSE SSP-800 - 0.003 / -90.4
MARANTZ AV7701 7.2 - .002395 / 92.4
MARANTZ AV8801 - 0.002852 / -90.8
Yamaha CX-A5000 SSP - 0.005 / -86
Marantz AV8003 Processor - 0.023 / -72.7
Bryston SP3 - 0.000857 / -101.3
ANTHEM STATEMENT D2V 3D - 0.000516 / -105.747005967
MARANTZ AV8802 - 0.001692 / -95.4
 

EchoChamber

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I know that DAC8 Pro are shipping. I'm waiting for the very first DAC8 Stereo shipments.
I can’t even place an order for the DAC8 Stereo... This DAC is sooooo HOT right now. I wish I can get one before end of year...
 

Morla

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What do you need the 8GB for?

container. I would like to consolidate services currently running on other pies. Actually I think there is no reason not to believe it's possible to use that model in the octo.

Of course it is just abusing a dac as pricey raspberry pi case :)
 

somebodyelse

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That's a fair excuse ;) The only one I'd thought of was some of the more memory-hungry package compilation jobs. It's got to be one of the most stylish cases out there though!
 

Ozymandias

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Did any DAC8 owner hear back from Pavel about firmware upgrades? I'd like to upgrade mine (version 1.31).
 

jjk

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As an owner of a DAC8, I would say good luck hearing back from Pavel.
 

dualazmak

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Did any DAC8 owner hear back from Pavel about firmware upgrades? I'd like to upgrade mine (version 1.31).

My DAC8PRO is ver 1.32 as shown in my post #1518, and Pavel said that the latest version is 1.34 in his post #1549. I am also looking forward to, therefore, hearing from Pavel soon for possible firmware update to 1.34 or higher.

I should be very much careful enough, however, to apply the firmware update through USB route since I am in Japan and it would be much problem if I failed the update and my DAC8PRO would have no response.... I assume it should be better for me to apply the update after some DAC8PRO owners in Europe would successfully update the firmware.

I once had a bad experience of firmware update failure with one of my old DACs (a Japanese domestic product) and I needed to send it back to the manufacturer to complete the update.

I do hope that Pavel will fully test and validate the update package in most safety features before make it available for us in order to avoid any possible trouble on our DAC8PRO. The version should remain as it is now for complete operation if the update process would eventually fail.
 
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John1959

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Hi all,

In general, I would say don't upgrade your firmware just because there is a newer version. As in this case the version number (from 1.31 to 1.34) suggests there are only minor changes. Maybe it's wise to read (if available) about the changes first and decide if they are useful for you, like intersting new functions, significant improvements of performance and/or user interface or (critical) bug fixes. If that is the case it's also wise to wait some time until user experiences come available about the update. An update can, as stated correctly by Dualazmak, introduce new problems and it's is often not possible to roll back the update! Also, it's the manufacturer who decides if the latest firmware versions become available for existing customers too. I don't know the policy of Oktoresearch in this of course, but the DAC-units have a firmware update function so I guess updates will be available on a regular basis sooner or later and we will hear from Pavel via his website or others channels when they are ready to download.

BTW, I am not a big fan of firmware updates in general, especially because these are often used to correct design flaws without bringing real improvements of functionality. A product should be introduced only after thorough testing without using customers as a kind of beta testers. I don't mean to say Oktoreseach falls in this category!

John
 

elberoth

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Hi all,

In general, I would say don't upgrade your firmware just because there is a newer version. As in this case the version number (from 1.31 to 1.34) suggests there are only minor changes. Maybe it's wise to read (if available) about the changes first and decide if they are useful for you, like intersting new functions, significant improvements of performance and/or user interface or (critical) bug fixes. If that is the case it's also wise to wait some time until user experiences come available about the update. An update can, as stated correctly by Dualazmak, introduce new problems and it's is often not possible to roll back the update! Also, it's the manufacturer who decides if the latest firmware versions become available for existing customers too. I don't know the policy of Oktoresearch in this of course, but the DAC-units have a firmware update function so I guess updates will be available on a regular basis sooner or later and we will hear from Pavel via his website or others channels when they are ready to download.

BTW, I am not a big fan of firmware updates in general, especially because these are often used to correct design flaws without bringing real improvements of functionality. A product should be introduced only after thorough testing without using customers as a kind of beta testers. I don't mean to say Oktoreseach falls in this category!

John

+1 !!!
 

Feyire

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As an owner of a DAC8, I would say good luck hearing back from Pavel.
I haven't sent many e-mails, but of the few I did (as a customer who ordered), they were answered within 3 days.

It is probably fair to say that Okto is suffering from success - they can't keep up with demand and inquiries.
 

John1959

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Same experience here. I only send a couple of messages while waiting for my DAC8pro and yes, it takes some time and, at least, longer than we are used to these days with call centers and help desks of the larger companies. But his answers are neat and to the point which I can't always say about those fast answers of not so knowledgeable people which arrives within a few hours. Having said this, I am doing business with several other small companies in audio and their response is usually faster. So I think these somewhat delayed answers can put some newly interested people off. But in a situation where accepting new orders is already on hold, because of lack of capacity, I also don't think this is their main concern at the moment :).
 

DaaDaa

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I'd be very interested in subjective impressions between the stereo version and matrix X-sabre pro. I expect a few people to have received their stereo versions by now.
 
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Ozymandias

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I received my unit (order #86) a few months back in early March. However I only got around to setting it up this past weekend (crazy, I know! but work and life have been getting in the way). My setup: JRiver MC25 streaming to the DAC8 Pro from my MacBook via USB. My DAC8 Pro is connected to 2 Benchmark AHB2 amps which are in turn connected to 4 Buchardt S400 speakers (4.0 setup). All connections are balanced. My other DAC is the RME ADI-2 which I have been super happy with. I did some listening this weekend and the sound quality with the DAC8 on my system is very good and is comparable to what I get with the RME ADI-2 when listening to 2 channel music (DSD and PCM). I did some basic speaker calibration (setting speaker distance in JRiver and applying channel trims in the DAC8 to equalize SPL at my main listening position from the 4 speakers) and also applied custom downmix to 4.0 in JRiver's DSP PEQ settings. The multichannel tracks I listened to sound pretty good. I'm pretty happy with the DAC8 Pro.

The only annoyance so far is the pop I get whenever I hit stop on a playing track when bitstreaming DSD music (DoP). This doesn't occur with PCM music. I also did not have this problem with the RME ADI-2 DAC. @Okto Research Any thoughts as to what might be going on?
 
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Kal Rubinson

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The only annoyance so far is the pop I get whenever I hit stop on a playing track when bitstreaming DSD music (DoP). This doesn't occur with PCM music.
It is not clear to me why you are using DoP at all.
 

dualazmak

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Hello friends,

I am very happy with my DAC8PRO is working perfectly fine in my multi-channel project.

I am now recommending and suggesting one of my audio-enthu friends in Japan to have DAC8PRO in his rather heavy-duty multi-channel system, but he is a little bit hesitating that it looks difficult for him to operate "two" DAC8PROs in sync; he needs more than 8 channels (I do not fully understand about his big system, though).

I know that if we would use AES-EBU input into DAC8PRO then the sync clock is provided by the AES signal and DAC8PRO does not use its internal clock. I assume if we could establish proper AES-EBU input into "two" of DAC8PROs from "one" PC, then he may use two DAC8PROs in sync in his big system.

In my multi-channel project, I am using full USB ASIO input (just fine for me!).

I know little about, however, how and which additional gear(s) would enable 4-channel AES-EBU into DAC8PRO, and furthermore, how we could have AES-EBU input into two of DAC8PROs simultaneously which my friend would like to achieve.

Any suggestion and comment will be highly appreciated.
 
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Zooqu1ko

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In my multi-channel project, I am using full USB ASIO input (justr fine for me!). I know little about how and which additional gear(s) would enable 4-channel AES-EBU into DAC8PRO, and furthermore, how we could have AES-EBU input into two of DAC8PROs simultaneously which my friend like to achieve.
There are various interfaces (USB, Firewire, PCI(-e)) that provide 4 AES outputs. I have no idea if any of those have word clock inputs that affect their digital outputs, they are frequently just intended to sync the A/D converters. The XMOS USB audio chips do support external clocks, so if you find an interface that supports it, you could just use multiple of those.

Some other possible solutions, none of which I've tested:

* RME HDSPe AES
* a Dante Virtual Soundcard (or an interface, e.g. RME digiface Dante) feeding multiple Dante -> AES/EBU adapters or e.g. a Focusrite RedNet D16R
* the same, substituting Dante for Ravenna
* a Smyth Realiser A16 Pro-D (not even really announced yet)
 

dualazmak

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There are various interfaces (USB, Firewire, PCI(-e)) that provide 4 AES outputs. I have no idea if any of those have word clock inputs that affect their digital outputs, they are frequently just intended to sync the A/D converters. The XMOS USB audio chips do support external clocks, so if you find an interface that supports it, you could just use multiple of those.

Some other possible solutions, none of which I've tested:

* RME HDSPe AES
* a Dante Virtual Soundcard (or an interface, e.g. RME digiface Dante) feeding multiple Dante -> AES/EBU adapters or e.g. a Focusrite RedNet D16R
* the same, substituting Dante for Ravenna
* a Smyth Realiser A16 Pro-D (not even really announced yet)

Hello Zooqu1ko,

Thank you for your quick response.

According to my suggestions from my project, it looks that my friend would like to use software crossover EKIO in one PC, and he would like to allocate 14 or 16 channels of EKIO's output into two DAC8PROs through sync AES-EBU routing. He already purchased one license of EKIO which enables him to use unlimited numbers of input and output channels with EKIO.

Reading and understanding your kind comments and suggestions, if EKIO would properly recognize multiple AES-EBU sync devices, then he may achieve multi-channel system with two DAC8PROs to be set after the AES devices, right?
 
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