Announcement

Collapse

INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system sound. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by the subjective opinions of strangers. Their hearing acuity and taste will be different to yours, as will be their motives and budget, their listening distance, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
See more
See less

Dac for the c7

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Dac for the c7

    So hello once again.

    i have hegel h190 with the c7es.now i am playing for hegel's dac.so i want an upgrade.i read some things i listen some other but i want your advice guys.

    i want to choose one of them.benchmark dac 3,rme adi 2,holo spring ans metrum onyx.

    does anybody try anything of that to c7es?

    thanx guys.

  • #2
    The DAC in the Hegel H190 is going to give you essentially equivalent performance to those other DACs that you've mentioned.Sure, some of the other designs provide a few extra options with regard to filtering, and may have a lower noise floor at their analog outputs, but in the end they will simply plug into the analog inputs of the Hegel.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cycleman View Post

      i have hegel h190 with the c7es.now i am playing for hegel's dac.so i want an upgrade.i read some things i listen some other but i want your advice guys.

      i want to choose one of them.benchmark dac 3,rme adi 2,holo spring ans metrum onyx.

      Two simple questions, which are offered in good faith:

      1. What is it that makes you think that any of your suggested possible new DACs will sound any better than the DAC in your Hegel amplifier?

      2. How do you actually plan to determine which of your choices (including your current DAC) sounds the best, or whether you can even tell them apart?

      I would respectfully suggest that if you don't have answers to those questions, you might think about that before spending a lot of money on a new piece of gear that is likely to be sonically indistinguishable from your current equipment. Or, if you have money to burn and you're dying to spend it, you might do better to consider a pair of M40.2s instead.

      Comment


      • #4
        DACs rarely are the limiting factor in a system. Even some cheap ones at $100 are better than most amplifiers, and are totally transparent. The only DACs that are not transparent are probably the boutique audiophile crap. So what you need is a reliable mainstream manufacturer that does not indulge in tweaking the sound, and enough inputs of the various types to cover current and future needs. If you really want to spend big money, go for the Benchmark DAC3 as it measures better than just about any alternative, and is built like a tank.

        But you will not hear any difference with alternatives that are much cheaper. I just bought a Pioneer U-05 for 475 euro, with USB, AES/EBU, 2x Optical and 2x Coaxial inputs. It has rca and xlr outputs and either fixed or variable output. I use it instead of a traditional pre-amplifier, with the digital outputs of a Chromecast Audio, an old Bluray player and a tv (I don't have any analogue sources anymore). For me the limiting factor in many DACs is the small number of inputs. Suffice it to say that the sound quality is excellent.

        Perhaps it is marginally better than the analogue outputs from inbuilt DACs in my CCA, 10 year old entry level BD player and ten year old plasma TV. If it is, it could also be because as a preamplifier it certainly measures better than my almost fifty year old Quad 33 pre amplifier that I used until this week.

        Comment


        • #5
          guys an external dac is an upgrade...this is a fact. Hegel's dac is limited and boring. If somebody knows about chips(i don't but i read it) and see inside he will understand.

          i listen this morning benchmark.i don't like the delta sigma dacs.so maybe an yggdrasil. I just ask what dacs you use...and if somebody try a lot of dac...to the same value of benchmark.

          Comment


          • #6
            I fear that you are wrong: an external DAC is not necessarily an upgrade. A DAC should simply be neutral/transparent and these days many are indeed perfect. Look here for more information: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...rters-dacs.10/

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by EricW View Post
              ... you might do better to consider a pair of M40.2s instead.
              Now that would be a serious and very good real upgrade. It would blow any DAC "upgrade" out of the water.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cycleman View Post
                guys an external dac is an upgrade...this is a fact. Hegel's dac is limited and boring. If somebody knows about chips(i don't but i read it) and see inside he will understand.
                i listen this morning benchmark.i don't like the delta sigma dacs.so maybe an yggdrasil. I just ask what dacs you use...and if somebody try a lot of dac...to the same value of benchmark.
                Try the AURALiC VEGA.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Cycleman, your question is not unreasonable. I wanted a ladder DAC (not delta sigma) at one point and I got one for around $700. It's chinese made and excellent value for money considering the engineering and the fact that it's based on an excellent chip, long discontinued now, BB 1704UK. The brand name is Audio-GD and I canít recommend it highly enough.

                  At one point I started running it in NOS mode and after that I never went back. (A certain change needed to be performed internally to make it fully NOS which I had later done for $40 or so). If you go down the multi-bit DAC route (particularly NOS) you should expect slightly rolled off highs. To me this is a bonus as I get tired of top end easily. For you it might not be. The DACs you talk about, I notice, are all ladder/multi-bit designs so itís obvious to me that youíre leaning in that direction.

                  What I would say about this type of DAC is that to compensate for its lack of razor sharpness in the top end you will need to pull out all the stops to maximise your system's potential for transparency. Otherwise it might sound a bit dull on occasion. And I donít mean to resort to fancy cabling, just clean linear PSU power in the chain and perhaps the BNC input as opposed to USB if you are using it with a computer (you will need a USB bridge in that case). Some people speak of excellent Ďtimbreí when they want to describe the sound of a good ladder NOS dac and thatís certainly what I enjoy the most in the sound of my DAC.

                  The presence in the room of acoustic instruments being played back seems to me of a different order compared to my former Rega Saturn player (which was no slouch itself, but nowhere near this). I heard the Ygrdss on one occasion through headphones and found it a bit too sweet and bassy for my liking, which could be the headphones and not the dac. But I donít see much point in commenting on the sound of gear that I haven't lived with for a while so Iíll stop here. Good luck with your quest and donít spend too much money on a DAC, youíre on the right track, just donít expect perfection and keep in mind that there are always certain trade offs, whatever you get.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Maybe alan give me 2 3 option at 2000e- 2500e...he will for sure. Don't fear alan to tell the truth which dac you liked!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cycleman View Post
                      Maybe alan give me 2 3 option at 2000e- 2500e...he did for sure. Don't fear alan to tell the truth which dac you liked!
                      I cannot give you an opinion that you will, I suspect, want me to. It would seem that you have already set in mind certain DAC technologies as superior over others, and have a certain price point in mind as being necessary to achieve DAC nirvana. Under truly objective impartial dispassionate evaluation I doubt very much whether either will stand up to proper scrutiny.

                      Once again I draw your attention to my core philosophical pont regarding the evaluation of A and B sonic events (or equipment). Unless the loudnesss of A is precisely matched (using equipment) to the loudness of B then you might as well flip a coin.

                      For me, at the Bristol hifi show next month (looking forward to meeting you), I'll be using a DAC widely used in pro-audio circles with a technical spec that far exceeds the human ear and the reality of even the finest recording studio microphones. Of course, it doesn't look sexy, and on that matter I must relay a personal experience last week.

                      I had some trouble with broadband ADSL connection speed and started to examine the cabling between the master wall socket and the broadband router. In contast with the fat, colourful and rigid CAT5E cables leading from the router around the house, the incoming subscriber cable that connects the router to the telephone network is a cheap-as-chips puny, flexible job with nasty connectors and ugly writing on it. I found myself actually comparing the incoing DSL cable with the outgoing and wondering where I could buy a recpacement cable 'just in case the entire home broadband signal is handicapped by that 1.5m of nasy flex...'. It would certainly look a lot more solid and cool.

                      Then common sense returned.

                      I visualised the mile of copper cable that for the last 35 years here carried my signal from the wall socket in my home to the local exchange perfectly happily and dismissed the notion of cable replacement as a futile waste of effort even though somewhere deep down it would have generated some sort of satisfaction from intervention in the matter, some control over events. It is just not logical that with tight connections and unbroken wire that the last 1m of a 1500m run to the exchange could degrade my signal, just as with mains cable in the home compared with the total run to the power station.

                      It proved to be a real hardware fault at the exchange, rectified by a BT engineer replacing some equipment. My nasty grey DSL flex remains and speed is back up to 80mb/S. Amazing for a twised pair or unscreened copper cores travelling about 1500 mtrs.
                      Alan A. Shaw
                      Designer, owner
                      Harbeth Audio UK

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                        I cannot give you an opinion that you will, I suspect, want me to. It would seem that you have already set in mind certain DAC technologies as superior over others, and have a certain price point in mind as being necessary to achieve DAC nirvana. Under truly objective impartial dispassionate evaluation I doubt very much whether either will stand up to proper scrutiny.
                        Might it be fair to suggest, if the OP is keen on spending Ä 2000-2500 for a system upgrade, that those funds could be more usefully directed towards a speaker upgrade - such as from the Compact 7ES to the Super HL5 Plus - rather than a change of DAC?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The transformation process ....

                          Originally posted by IMF+TDL View Post
                          Might it be fair to suggest, if the OP is keen on spending Ä 2000-2500 for a system upgrade, that those funds could be more usefully directed towards a speaker upgrade - such as from the Compact 7ES to the Super HL5 Plus - rather than a change of DAC?
                          I don't know if it is really appreciated, but as an electro-mechanical-acoustic device, the poor loudspeaker suffers from not one but two significant performance-limiting issues.
                          1. There is the transformation from an electrical incoming signal to the speaker (i.e. the music coded as a voltage) into motion of the diaphgram (with all the complex mechanical/damping issues therein) then followed practically immediately by....
                          2. The transformation of that diaphragm motion into sound waves that radiate away from the diaphragm(s)
                          As with all real-world electrical transformers, what comes out of the secondary is a version - a slightly corrupted version - of the signal that entered the transformer's primary. That's unavoidable by-product of the transformer's electrical > mechanical > electrical processes. So it's pretty clear that the louspeaker and the microphone (which is a speaker working in reverse) are going to have multiple, complex issues in converting the clean incoming electrical music signal into perfectly representational sound waves. It just can't be done perfectly.

                          And so it is with all loudspeakers (and in reverse, microphones). No exceptions.

                          The speaker designer has to find a way to balance the two-stage transformation from electical music signal to acoustic sound signal in a way that still conveys to the human listener - but not necessarily a passing alien with more auditory acuity - a 'lifelike experience'.

                          So yes, allocating decent funds to good speakers gives a far greater return on sonic investment because it allows the designer to find a way of balancing the electro > motion > acoustic equations using good piece parts well integrated.

                          But: and it's a big but - if you read a review in HiFiUpTheGardenPathMonthly of a loudspeaker with accompanying frequency response curve which is not basically a straight line (give or take, say, 2dB) and has significant notches or peaks in it, then it has failed to transform the incoming music signal with equal emphasis across the musical scale. Some musical notes will be heard as more prominent or quieter than they should be.

                          The fact that the reviewer has hailed it as the finest example of sonic perfection yet it has a technical frequency response that looks like a dog's dinner simply is not credible. It may have a sound that the reviewer likes - but it cannot truly be a high fidelity system. Beware. The published frequency response curves are far less flat now than 30 years ago and the prices have skyrocketed. 'High fidelity' is a concept under serious threat.

                          I suspect that this is a cultural problem. Folk want an experience. Just look at the extensive use of recreational narcotics among the middle class. A speaker that has a flat frequency response and thereby radiates musical notes with the relative strength that the composer and performers intended to the modern experience-driven consumer may sound - will sound - "boring" and "flat". But it is actually correct. It is doing its job as a characterless conduit from the mind of the composer to the ear of the listener.

                          I imagine that coming down from a drug experience makes real life seem rather boring, but this is reality.
                          Alan A. Shaw
                          Designer, owner
                          Harbeth Audio UK

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When i bought vtl....they guy which send me the mail informed me which speakers he liked with vtl. The same do the hegel.

                            so alan be my quest to tell me some ideas....is not about telling me which to buy.....just tell me which dacs you liked. As a guy told me once....nobody can tells you which woman you will married.hehe.

                            private messages or email are accepted!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cycleman View Post
                              When i bought vtl....they guy which send me the mail informed me which speakers he liked with vtl. The same do the hegel.

                              so alan be my quest to tell me some ideas....is not about telling me which to buy.....just tell me which dacs you liked. As a guy told me once....nobody can tells you which woman you will married.hehe.

                              private messages or email are accepted!
                              I don't have any emotional attachement to DACs, any more than I have an emotional attachment to microphones or turntables or amplifiers or, for that matter, car tyres. They hold no emotive interest for me at all. DACs, like good loudspeakers and a sharp chisel in the right hands, are merely tools to do a job. They should add nothing to and subtract nothing from the music.

                              And there lies the commercial problem. If technical excellence, even perfection, is reached in a DAC costing GBP150, then how can a market be found for one selling at ten times the price? It can be, and is, and that is by embuing the higher priced device with a nature that is either sonically real or exists only in the mind of the beholder. Only you can judge that.

                              So to answer your question: the cheapest that I can find that has exemplory technical specs because properly interpreted by a skilled reader, the specs tell 95% of the story. Of course, the more you pay the greater the 'pride of ownership', the more solid the metalwork, the more exotic the packaging. We all place a personal value on those factors but they are not in any way related to the basic functionality of the item.

                              -------
                              P.S. Over Christmas, somehow or other our son's attention drifted to how cheaply you could buy a new watch on Ebay, direct from the factory. And just for a lark, he ordered two; one for him and one for me. He paid USD4.0 (four US dollars) for the pair incl. shipping and they duly arrived last week from the PRC. Not bad looking, and they tell the time adequately but the parts are plastic and the strap is going to fail, but for an everyday watch perfectly adequate. But there is zero pride of ownership and of course, it does look inexpensive with a made-up faux brand name. But for perhaps a year it will perform its basic function - telling the time. You can buy a watch for $500,000 that will do just that. So decide for yourself the balance point between functionality, longevity and style.
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X