Author Topic: uDSD and AMP pairing advice  (Read 1711 times)

Offline Hi-Phibian

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Offline kamikazi

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2017, 11:51:12 AM »
Hi Guys,

The GO2A kamikazi mentioned seems like a champion when it comes to portable setups. Here is a review link: <http://www.head-fi.org/products/lh-labs-geek-out-2a/reviews/17331>

Seems like this guy thinks its a good pair with the X2's. I especially like that it supports DSD. To my ears, my DSD tracks sounds awesome on the uDSD compared to other formats I have. Although I do not have the same tracks in both DSD and FLAC format so this statement is very subjective. Does anyone on the forum actually own and/or used the GO2A for some time?

@ Hi-Phibian:
I tried another powered USB 3 hub with the uDSD last night. With the limited time I had, I could not hear a difference between the two hubs I have at various volume levels.

I think I need to listen to my X2s on any good amp, fed by my uDSD to know if my headphones are not the actual problem. Lots of guys saying that the X2s do not scale well with amplification like the HD600's, although many reviewers put these two very close in their ratings. If a good amp does not do the job, then I fear I might need to change my brand new X2 headphones. :(

Cheers,
W

Fire GoodEnoughGear with a PM who has one afaik, see https://www.avforums.co.za/index.php/topic,59818.msg753339.html#msg753339

Offline Wietsche

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2017, 12:48:43 PM »
Hi,

@ itscraig:
I currently use the uDSD as a DAC and headphone amp. I do not have an external headphone amp. So the aim of this topic is to figure out if I should get an external headphone amp, and if so, what to get. The alternative is to sell the uDSD and start with a new setup like a Schiit Stack  with a new DAC and AMP. The Schiit Stack is just an example, because its neat, compact, fits the budget, and has plenty of power for future headphones as well, but has no DSD support. I believe the uDSD does not get enough power to the AMP part (Hi-Phibian guiding me to try and improve that), but I like the sound and detail the DAC part provides and is much better than my PC sound. I have to turn the uDSD volume up to about 2 - 3PM and then the sound starts to deteriorate fast if my ears are not lying to me. This is now on my X2 headphones, and the sound does not have enough body at any volume, where they sound fuller on other sources without the detail of the uDSD that I like. So maybe a tube amp like the Vali 2 might make it sound fuller, but I am scared of loosing the accuracy and detail of the uDSD DAC. A pair of Samson SR850s does the same thing but becomes unbearable in the highs at that point so I avoid high volume on this pair. The Samson's are excellent for positional sound in FPS games though, and its my use and abuse pair. Not my music listening pair.

@ Kamikazi
Thanks, will drop him a message.

Thanks guys!

Cheers,
W




Online itscraig

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2017, 02:11:50 PM »
i am in full agreement with you that the DAC on the uDsD is in fact good, i have used a schitt magni and it made a good difference. i have one if you are interested. i have also tried it with LYR little dot and other amps. i believe that the amp side of the uDSD is a let down. on the audeze deckard it was the other way around for me. the dac was the let down the amp was really good.
i like the separate dac amp better that the combined, it gives more freedom.
the uDSD is a great amp though and really a good small travel companion.

Offline Wietsche

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2017, 05:02:14 PM »
Hi,

@ itscraig
Excellent! Thanks for sharing. You then have already done what I still wanted to test. So you would say it's worth sticking with the uDSD as a dac part, and then just getting an external amp should provide the needed improvement and juice for the headphones? Or would you say it's worth selling the uDSD and getting a new separate DAC and AMP that works together nicely (not sure what I mean with "working together nicely" but mainly compliments each other)? I would obviously be able to get a nicer amp if I keep the uDSD as DAC.. Can you remember how those different amps of yours sounded with the uDSD and make a quick comparison?

Cheers,
W

Online itscraig

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2017, 05:36:39 PM »
never sell the uDSD it is very good and not worth the money you get.
if you are based in JHB you can borrow the Schitt Magni 2 i have. that will give you a starting point to compare. the magni 2 is excellent value for money and has decent headroom

Offline Wietsche

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2017, 07:37:31 PM »
Thanks Craig! Sent you a PM.

Offline Scubadude

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2017, 11:29:37 AM »
never sell the uDSD it is very good and not worth the money you get.


Absolutely. Worth it's money many times over just for its ability to drag old DACs into the computer audio era, a surprisingly competent DAC capable of main system duty and a fairly decent travel solution. It will outlast several amp upgrades in a USB-only setup.  The more important matching  question is amp-cans rather than DAC-amp.
"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Offline JonnyP

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2017, 01:52:24 PM »
I can confirm it sounds great with the HPA9 (not surprising).  Gives me plenty of volume, good separation of instruments and lots of detail with punchy bass.  The better amplification needed for over ear home listening phones.
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Offline Wietsche

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2017, 05:45:47 PM »
Thanks Scubadude and Jonny! Excellent feedback! Its time to focus on a nice amp then.

Hope I can work something out with Craig and have a listen to the Magni. It will also help me determine if the X2 was a good choise for my taste.

Do you think its worth looking at a tube amp in die R3000 to R6000 range? Seems like solid state at this price point offer better value.

Cheers,
W

Online itscraig

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2017, 06:23:08 PM »
Thanks Scubadude and Jonny! Excellent feedback! Its time to focus on a nice amp then.

Hope I can work something out with Craig and have a listen to the Magni. It will also help me determine if the X2 was a good choise for my taste.

Do you think its worth looking at a tube amp in die R3000 to R6000 range? Seems like solid state at this price point offer better value.

Cheers,
W
get hold of me and use the magni
don't spend too much off the bat and don't loose focus of the music and get caught up in listening to the equipment
i have 2 amps you can try.
to try equipment it is a good idea to go to the headphone meets and you get to try some top end kit, then you can compare what you have to that

Offline Wietsche

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2017, 08:19:02 PM »
Thanks Craig!

I have been contacted by the person arranging the meetings. I will make a plan and join them one evening. Its definitely the best way to get the exposure needed.

I sent you a PM, but its not in my Sent Items list, not sure if it indeed got sent to you or if I stuffed up a bit.

Cheers,
W


Offline Wietsche

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2017, 10:08:58 PM »
Hi All,

Thanks for all the inputs! Its been a quick roller coaster of research to the point of questioning my sanity.

I would just like to give a shout out to ItsCraig, he has been so generous and nice to borrow me a couple of amps and a headset for a week to listen to. What was intended for a quick 30min stop over the weekend, turned to a 2 and a half hour visit that was so insightful and interesting that my wife had to tear me away from the toys! Listened to some awesome stuff! Thanks Craig!

After a week of listening the uDSD sounds great through the Magni 2 AMP and pairs very well with the Philips Fidelio X2s. When I was at Craig's, that was also my quick conclusion that I liked the X2 best over the Magni 2 solid state. His Soekris DAC sounded better over the Magni 2 than over the uDSD but it was also in another class, as expected.

Headphone wise, I definitely enjoy the Philips Fidelio X2s more than Sennheizer HD 598's, on any combination of dac and amp. If someone is interested in X2s, I bought mine a month ago and locally. You wait a bit for it, but it was not a Amazon import etc and much cheaper. So if there is enough interest, I will share the link in the headphones heads-up thread. Just note, my X2s has no quality issues associated with the Gibson versions (check Amazon and head-fi reviews). They also sounded tinny and had very stiff base at first, but they completely changed after a week of over night burn-in with random music tracks and some burn-in specific tracks. So give them some time.

As a side note, I am not sure if I should be embarrassed by this within an audiophile community, but my really cheaply priced and built Samson SR850 headphones sounds really good over this setup as well, and I might even prefer it to the 598's, especially considering its price point on a Takealot deal. These are very closely related to the SuperLux headphones if you want to read up on it. The SR850s I would use for classical orchestral and some jazz music since it is more detailed in the high-mids and highs to my ears (not that the bass is bad or missing at all), where the X2's really works well with contemporary, experimental, electronic, most jazz, and any music with some nice base notes, interesting highs, with less emphasis on vocals. The X2s are very comfortable and non-fatiguing and awesome for long hours of relaxed listening. The SR850s also reacts the same as the X2s on some good burn-in at first.

So in the end, only 3 practical options remained for me.

The first option was to run uDSD to a new Magni 2 Uber (I would like to run powered speakers from the pre-outs). I also have a Chromecast Audio that I would like to feed into it as well so that I can listen to music effortlessly without the PC running in front of me, distracting me or enticing me to "quickly" waste a couple of hours on whatever, when I am supposed to study for some serious board exams. But I would have to use the Chromecast DAC then, and have something like a Schiit SYS to toggle the analog signals. I was also considering getting a Schiit WYRD to feed the uDSD some velvety power and signals. This all ads up to a REALLY BIG pile of Schiit on my desk. Nasty.

Second option was to get the Magni 2 Uber with a Modi 2 Uber. Magni amp reason same as above. The reason for a new DAC was that I could feed 3 types of digital signal into it eliminating any switch boxes and extra cables, and especially eliminating the Chromecast DAC (apparently its not bad and I was very happy with it) and passing the optical signal directly to Modi to do a better job. And then I am still able to feed it the COAX signal from the uDSD for specifically DSD tracks, and the uDSD does not even have to be powered on to work over the COAX. That sounds pretty perfect to me and bang for buck for all the extra functionality.

Third option was basically the same as option two above, but I wanted to add some insurance into the DAC equation, trying to avoid having buyers regret with the Modi 2 Uber vs the Nuprime uDSD (that I absolutely love and which you guys pointed out to not to get rid of - awesome advice). I surely was afraid of that feeling that the Modi was a waste, or no real upgrade except for the extra optical port.. So I did some extra research and decided to take out a Modi Multibit policy :)

So with Scott's help I have pulled the trigger tonight, and went for option 3. The Schiit just got real! I can't wait for my Modi Multibit and Magni 2 Uber to arrive on our shores. Thank you very much Scott for your awesome service and patience with me to arrive at a final order.

Have a great weekend everybody!  :groovy:

For my budget and audio experience level, I think that my newly acquired (or soon to be) audio equipment for a study desk setup, fits me well and I am positive that I will enjoy it very much for a reasonable time to come. I am very well aware of the fact that I could not have done it within the time and with the confidence without the feedback from this community and the generous offerings of various members for auditions and purchase options, and even invites to social meetings. This was my first interaction with the forum and it was absolutely fantastic! I thank you sincerely for the time invested in my first thread and the personal messages - ItsCraig, ScottulusMaximus, Hi-Phibian, kamikazi, JonnyP, xenithon, thomas24, AdrianDeLau, seeyou, Wolvebain, Scubadude (in not particular order). And then also thanks to Kemosabe for introducing me to the forum and the various intense discussions and testing of equipment to help with the decision making process. I hope I did not cause too much frustrations in time of confusion.. :)

Offline AdrianDeLau

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2017, 10:28:32 PM »
Glad we could help! and many happy hours of listening pleasure!


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Offline Scubadude

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Re: uDSD and AMP pairing advice
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2017, 07:13:36 AM »
Talk about a quick learner ... from rank amateur to leading the pack with a Modibit in a couple of mouseclicks! Congrats on your purchases ... think you'll be delighted with the results. And remember to pay it forward by letting some Schiit deprived guys experience your kit as well :groovy:
"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass