georgehifi

Mutibit vs Delta Sigma (old vs new)

307 posts in this topic

But dont boutique DACs like the Lampizator use DS DACs (spec says 32/192)? There is NO feedback or review that says it lacks the JUMP factor, rather the contrary that it has bold macrodynamics with no roll off in the frequency extremes and SET-like midrange with lots of air around the instuments. I am not saying that this will be to everyone's liking , BUT I am suggesting that the stereotype can be broken. There are threads here that give feedback on the Lampizator and I personally know 2 people that sold/gave back their DACs and turned around and got new Lampis as they missed the sound.

Here is what Li'L Caesar said (extracts from other treads on this forum):

The Calm before the Storm....

The first 24 hours of replay were akin to being dropped into a party at the PlayBoy Mansion. I quickly bounced through an eclectic collection of tunes across a number of genres giddy in delight at what I was hearing. Here was a device with a contemporary, 32 bit 192kHz sampling rate delta-sigma chip that sounded like my 16 bit NOS DAC. That is, everything we like about NOS DACs, with none of the drawbacks. More importantly, it did not suffer any of the typical problems associated with multilevel chips either.

Best of both worlds then. Have your cake and eat it too. Natural and above all - even, tonal presentation across the frequency response range. Not a hint of sibilance, transients presented without razor blades. Decay, space and air without the notion of dryness or brightness. Organic, flowing, natural sound. And this is what made it such an infuriating device to contrast and compare. I didn't want to a/b the thing, I just wanted to enjoy it. Soooo damned easy to listen to, for hours on end.

Lampizator L4 vs NAD M51

Lets make a couple of things clear here. The Level 4 Lampi costs $5,500. The M51 $1500 at current list price. They are very different machines. The Lampi uses a true tube output stage, runs entirely at Class A and uses a 32 bit 192k delta sigma chipset. The M51 uses a 35 bit 844K PCM to PWM process and is all solid state.

If emotional weight and euphonic charm is important to you, the Lampi wins. I was initially naive in my time with the Lampi, and suggested the it was only a marginal improvement over the Bifrost. This is not the case. The Bifrost tricked me with its effortless and easy-going nature. It was only when the Lampi returned to its owner that I realised just how much was missing. It is the best soundstaging, most musical DAC I have ever heard. Period.

If we accept this, then it IS possible to coax detail, PRaT, liquidity, organic non-digital sound out of these chips if implemented properly. The upside is that they can do Hires. Thus, if the gap in presentation is cut with respect to multibit, then you can have your Hires cake and eat it too!
Edited by wis97non

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.....But dont boutique DACs...use DS DACs ....... NO feedback or review that says.....lacks the JUMP factor.......If we accept this...

I personally do
not
accept this.

The microdynamic jump factor that brings music alive has to be experienced for a reviewer to know when it is lacking.

Unless the reviewer is very experienced and has listened to some great DACs with correctly implemented sublime chips like the the PCM1704 or PCM63 (not all R2R chips are equal) then the review will inevitably be flawed. Such reviewers are exceedingly rare.

When medicocrity becomes so embedded by the current trends that leading opinion is inadequate, then it behoves us to be assiduous in our critcal thinking, while also holding an open mind to what may be possible.

Come brothers, join the R2R cult and find musical nirvana for yourself.
Edited by Nada

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But dont boutique DACs like the Lampizator use DS DACs (spec says 32/192)? There is NO feedback or review that says it lacks the JUMP factor,

I, like Nada, find this less than convincing. If there was a side-by-side review next to a decent multibit (not necessarily R2R) DAC then I'd be more likely won over. But in isolation its easy to get suckered into the smooth D-S sound and not realize what's missing. I've done it myself too.

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Ah Vincent's design isn't using a DAC chip - he's built it all from the ground up. For myself, I can't for the life of me see why. An R2R built out of discrete resistors and logic can't help but be glitch city Arizona. When I took a look at his noise levels (there was an FFT somewhere on his site) I asked him on DIYA why he bothered when the PCM1704 has a hugely lower noise floor. I don't think I got a straight answer.

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Techspurt and Nada, as long as you leave your minds open, I can live with your positions. Recall that the Lampizator has worked with ALL these chips and for years, so it would not be accuarte to think that he does not know the sound of R2R chips. The only thing I do know for sure otherwise is that he never worked with TDA1541 double crowns, but he certainly has worked with and liked the regular TDA1541.

What of the NAD M51, currently enjoying GREAT reviews right here? That certainly is NOT a muiltibit chip implementation.

PRaT is not something I have heard negative comments about from any Lampi feedback. See here: http://parttimeaudio...or-level-4-dac/

Finally, a buddy of mine is Boston who is gaga over his Level 4 also has a B. alpha Dac 1 and a Zanden Nos Dac and claims the Level 4 levels BOTh of them. He will put them on the block for sale soon.

Edited by wis97non

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I'd be curious which chip the Lamp has incorporated into his design. I hear its markings are sanded off but if anyone has internal pics I'll put my sleuthing abilities to the test... :party

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I chat with him a lot and even I cant get a clue out of him. LoL

I understand why though. Lot of knock off artists out there and the DAC is one small element of the overall design. No one focusses on the chips in cell phones...

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Techspurt and Nada, as long as you leave your minds open, I can live with your positions. Recall that the Lampizator has worked with ALL these chips and for years, so it would not be accuarte to think that he does not know the sound of R2R chips. The only thing I do know for sure otherwise is that he never worked with TDA1541 double crowns, but he certainly has worked with and liked the regular TDA1541.

What of the NAD M51, currently enjoying GREAT reviews right here? That certainly is NOT a muiltibit chip implementation.

PRaT is not something I have heard negative comments about from any Lampi feedback. See here: http://parttimeaudio...or-level-4-dac/

Finally, a buddy of mine is Boston who is gaga over his Level 4 also has a B. alpha Dac 1 and a Zanden Nos Dac and claims the Level 4 levels BOTh of them. He will put them on the block for sale soon.

Regarding nad51 and great reviews just wait a few months the second hand market will be flooded once again

dac of the month club

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I chat with him a lot and even I cant get a clue out of him. LoL

Say hello to him from me and wish him all the best in his audio journey

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I'd be curious which chip the Lamp has incorporated into his design. I hear its markings are sanded off but if anyone has internal pics I'll put my sleuthing abilities to the test... :party

It is a 32 bit chip but he also offers a TDA 1541 variant. He says that the warranty is void if it is opened.

I suspect that it is a chip from the AV world.

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'32 bit chip' is marketing, not engineering speak. TI offers one (PCM1795) but its obviously copy-pasted from an earlier 24-bit chip (and no chip I've seen approaches 24bits in an engineering sense). AKM offers 32-(marketing)bits too. What's the AV world incidentally?

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'32 bit chip' is marketing, not engineering speak. TI offers one (PCM1795) but its obviously copy-pasted from an earlier 24-bit chip (and no chip I've seen approaches 24bits in an engineering sense). AKM offers 32-(marketing)bits too. What's the AV world incidentally?

AV world = Audio Video. Something like a Sharc 32 bit DSP.

Edited by Telecine

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Ah i didn't phrase my question well enough - apologies. I know what AV meant but I could not figure out why that world would be different from the general audio world where DACs are concerned. The 'Shark' would be ADI's 'Sharc' floating point DSP chip - they also make great DACs (or rather, they did make great DACs). Nowadays they've almost totally gone over to S-D with the exception of the AD1865 (I think).

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Say hello to him from me and wish him all the best in his audio journey

Will do.

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Regarding nad51 and great reviews just wait a few months the second hand market will be flooded once again

dac of the month club

I would not count on it. I would depend on if the SotA improves dramatically in the coming months. The NAD is a high value proposition.

I see deep seated satisfaction among those who have taken the plunge.

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"The Weiss DAC202 is the best-measuring D/A processor I have measured in my quarter-century career at Stereophile. It just doesn't get any better than this!—John Atkinson"

http://www.stereophi...re-da-converter

Cheers George

You will notice that JA did not buy one. He just bought a different DAC to replace his old Mark Levinson.

They are now offering async USB input in addition to Firewire. Strange to have both???

Steve N.

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Yes - he hits the nail on the head with 'jump factor' - I stopped developing my AD1955 (S-D) DAC design and switched over to multibit when I realised

what it was the AD1955 was taking out. The element of surprise. What keeps your attention in the music when listening, the 'on the edge of your seat'

element. S-D doesn't have it, when compared to multibit.

I dont agree. I have had great results with most of the S-D chips from AD and TI/BB. The trick is to use the right power delivery to them. It's similar a lot of op-amps. If you dont do the right power delivery (regulation and decoupling caps etc.), then they dont perform. Most designers dont get this right, and as a result, the audio is flat and uninvolving, not dynamic. No jump factor. I modded a LOT of DACs in the 10 years before I started designing my own, so I know what effect this has on otherwise mediocre DACs.

The ENTIRE power subsystem, not just the power supply, must be optimized to achieve jump factor. What you must understand is that even the best voltage regulators and power supplies dont respond to load changes the same at all frequencies. It is the understanding of this that allows you to "tune" the regulation speed and decoupling cap locations and sizes so that the response to load changes (current) is uniform across the entire audio frequency range. The use of proper connectors, PC board layout practices and cable design also plays a major role in this.

Steve N.

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Thank you Steve N.

I said the same in my first post to this thread, though nowhere as elegantly.

Posted 22 March 2012 - 04:17 PM

It depends on the implementation.

Delta Sigma done well can have huge bass. The WM874x series for example often is reported to be bass heavy.

The Lamp Dac also is said to have huge bass even if a bit tubey (ie not as tight as some others). Check out www.parttimeaudiophile.com feedback.

Implementation is key. ANY DAC can be made to sound glorious or hellish, depending on the quality of implementation. It is not magic, just intelligent design.

Make the DAC chip "happy" and it will reward you in spades. That is my story and I'm sticking to it! :D

Edited by wis97non

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The Late Jerry Ozment's Designs for the Jadis Dacs were Delta Sigmas-- they'd go up against any Hi Follutin' Multi bit out there today

YVMV

Willco

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http://www.mother-of.../conversion.htm

Very much so RSG thanks for that, I wish I had found this link to post in my first post then it may have made the doubters think again before their beliefs that newer must be better.

This article will clearly show the opposite, to those who take the time to understand it. Although I don't agree to all that Altman preaches, he did get this right.

It's a bit like comparing digital/smp amps against good class A or a/b linear amps, and you may know my dislike of the former, it's well documented in these forums. And this takes the same direction, where the mighty dollar seems to steer where we go with development.

Cheers George

HI George

I am also a follower of the TDA1541 dac chip....I use an Analogmetric board with Tent labs clock,and Newclass D low noise regs and discrete op amp out put stage. It amazes me with the extension clarity and dynamics...makes my Musical Fidelity M1 dac sound like a toy!

Cheers Paul

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I suspect that all decent DAC chips will sound the same when optimally implemented.

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I suspect that all decent DAC chips will sound the same when optimally implemented.

Having experimented with this stuff they certainly get closer when fed with say a very low jitter source but differences still remain eg tube output stages sound different to SS.

Thanks

Bill

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Having experimented with this stuff they certainly get closer when fed with say a very low jitter source but differences still remain eg tube output stages sound different to SS.

Thanks

Bill

I meant the DAC chips themselves.

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I meant the DAC chips themselves.

That too - the DAC chips in the Metrum, PDX, WFS and the custom made converter in the Playback Designs all sound different - yes, as mentioned above, they get a lot closer when fed with a low jitter source such as the Off-Ramp but differences remain.

Thanks

Bill

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