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Welshsox
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PS Audio DAC

Hi

Ive been trying the PS audio DAC on the outputs of an older Pioneer DV-45 DVD player, ive tried it on the optical and the COAX outputs.

This unit has been well reviewed, the problem im having is that any differences in sound between the DAC output and the analogue L/R of the DVD player are minimal. In a very close A/B comparison you could possibly detect subtle differences but it would be impossible to detect in a blind test. I have a policy of not changing kit if I cant hear a difference, i was really surprised that it did not improve on my sound.

Any ideas if im doing something wrong or is it just that DAC's do not have a real sound signature ?

Alan

tomjtx
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Re: PS Audio DAC

Make sure your digital interconnects are at least 1.5 meters long (5 feet or more.

I go with 2 meter.
This removes the ghosting effect.

If you still don't hear a diff. save your money you lucky dog

mrlowry
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Re: PS Audio DAC

Alan-

I too tried the PS Audio DACLink III (I'm assuming that's the one you are playing with) and was not blown away either.

Welshsox
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Re: PS Audio DAC

Mrlowry

What did you try it with ?

I have an older Pioneer Elite DVD and I was hoping to make it a good universal player. Im thinking that plan B might be to get say the NAD M55 master series demo that Saturday Audio is currently selling.

What do you think ?

Alan

mrlowry
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Re: PS Audio DAC

The transport that I used with it was a Primare D20 CD player and it was compared to a my Theta DS Pro Basic III DAC which was about a $3,000 approximately 15 years ago. While the PS Audio had a bit more extension and sparkle in the highs there was nowhere near as much dynamics, sound staging width/depth, or bass (I'm not a bass freak but I still noticed.)

I also tried the USB in as, like you I've played around with building my own music server a little bit. For whatever reason when trying to up-sample the USB input to 192kHz every 10 to 15 minutes there would be a small pause in the music that lasted about 0.25 to 0.5 seconds which was annoying. When I switched the up-sampling to 96kHz that issue went away but the sound wasn't as good.

I of course kept the my Theta which I still use. To be honest with you I don't have that much experience with NAD products so I wouldn't be able to give you an informed opinion. However, I am an Arcam fan and their units that do SACD and DVD-A are fantastic, including their CD performance. The only digital source that I've heard that significantly out-performs them is the Ayre stuff at several times the price. I'm probably pickier about digital sources than just about anything, except speakers

JIMV
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Re: PS Audio DAC

Very interesting write up

commsysman
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Re: PS Audio DAC

My experience with DACs is that when you try to do what you are doing, the interface is very tricky.

The optical connection has never sounded good to me in any case, and the typical coaxial digital output driver from a CD player is a poor quality circuit that doesn't usually even have a proper 75 OHM connector, so you have a rotten impedance mismatch to your cable to start with. This will usually lead to a very distorted waveform reaching the DAC.

This quite possibly explains why you are having problems; I suspect that it had nothing to do with the DAC per se.

I have an Ayre CD player that I primarily use now, but I still have a Yamaha 5-disc player that I use sometimes through a THETA PRO BASIC III BALANCED DAC. I think this is an excellent DAC, and if you can find one used, you might get it for $500 or so.

JIMV
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Re: PS Audio DAC

I am using an old Audio Alchemy digital interconnect, which has a BNC connection....any comment on this or would I be better off with a newer RCA type connection?

Kal Rubinson
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Re: PS Audio DAC


Quote:
I am using an old Audio Alchemy digital interconnect, which has a BNC connection....any comment on this or would I be better off with a newer RCA type connection?

A 75ohm BNC is a better connection (physically and electrically) but the difference may not be discernible.

Kal

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