Jump to content

Gieseler Audio

Groß DAC owner's thread.

Recommended Posts

7 minutes ago, scumbag said:

If you are using a software player that up-samples to a higher bit-rate before applying volume attenuation then the decimation won't be necessary in the DAC. JRiver, Roon do that (I think Roon upsamples to 64bit and JRiver goes to 32bit. HQPlayer ans others I'm sure would also do this. 

If you do need "deep" attenuation and want to do it in the analogue domain then perhaps something like the Lightspeed Attenuator would work here too.

 

Ahh, did not know that! I figured that JRiver upsamples as I've seen it literally do it but never knew what purpose it served!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/2/2018 at 6:25 PM, Suopermanni said:

Ahh, did not know that! I figured that JRiver upsamples as I've seen it literally do it but never knew what purpose it served!

 

If you do it in the player it probably will apply dither algorithms that make the bit dropping less obvious.   Wont explain dither - but see here:

http://www.earlevel.com/main/1996/10/20/what-is-dither/

 

Thanks

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it’s time for my impressions of Clays latest GroB Dac. ( I owned a PS audio Nu Wave DSD Dac before the GroB, no slouch in itself )  

 

Ive owned the Dac for about 4 weeks now, so well burnt in, and not to mention a few bottles of red along the way. 

 

The setup is the GroB dac ( 3 Input version ) ( I used the coax input) fed from a Bluesound node two.  Amp is a luxman 507U. Speakers are Sonus Faber Grand Pianos and Zu Audio Essence.  Interconnects are my own rca, xlr and digital coax.  

 

I started straight streaming from my Nas drive. Mostly flac files.  ( dodgie music choices, mainly 60’s and 70’s.   I started with The Beatles Sargent Peppers because I know it so well having it in Vinyl, CD and SACD. 

 

I instantly noticed a wider soundstage and more detail. This has improved over the last week as the Dac settled down. Bass was tight.  

 

Then i streamed it through the bluesound tidal connection.   Omg. It jumped out at me. Spacial definition was wonderful.  I heard things happening in the background that I had never heard before. Small tinkles. The frets of the guitar being caressed. 

 

I then decided to try Tidal MQA.   Went all modern and listened to Adele 21.  As I have this again on CD, Vinyl, and can stream through tidal.   Again the tidal version was unbelievable.  The bass was tighter and faster than I had heard before 

 

Then onto Dark Side of the Moon,  Again the detail was incredible . But not overstated.

 

My fav filter on the Dac is D. Slow. But that just a personnel 

 

Finally I streamed DSD from my NAS through the BlueSound.  Mostly classical.   Just amazing. The spacial definition between instruments was outstanding.  You could pick out every instrument and where it was in the orchestra. 

 

I was lucky enough to take the Dac over to @scumbag for a comparison to his PS Audio Direct Stream jnr.   It’s loaded with the latest software.  We both concluded that both DACs are extreamly good, but let’s be realistic, Clay’s Dac is 1/3 the price of the PS Audio

 

To sum up.     This Dac is amazing.  So musical. So damn accurate. If one of the big manufactures put this out it would sell for 7k 

 

As Molly Meldrum used to say.  “ do yourself a favour, go out and buy this “

 

Clay. Your a genius 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Bill125812

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this new DAC do MQA?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bill125812 said:

 

 

I was lucky enough to take the Dac over to @scumbag for a comparison to his PS Audio Direct Stream jnr.   It’s loaded with the latest software.  We both concluded that both DACs are extreamly good, but let’s be realistic, Clay’s Dac is 1/3 the price of the PS Audio

 

To sum up.     This Dac is amazing.  So musical. So damn accurate. If one of the big manufactures put this out it would sell for 7k 

 

I had Bill over yesterday to drop off some of his super-duper cables, with GroB DAC in hand as promised. As he mentioned, I've got a Direct Stream Junior with the latest firmware (Red Cloud) that was released last year. I just sold my preamp so the comparisons were done straight into my Pass Labs power amplifier. The DSJ has digital attenuation, it converts to 64bits prior to applying it in the digital domain so as to reduce decimation at lower volumes. I believe the GroB uses digital attenuation though I'm not up on all the details as to what method is used in the AKM chip or the DAC as a whole. Either way, at a range of volumes from reasonably loud to quite low, there was no audible reduction in resolution in either DAC that I could hear.

i did own a Klien with an AKM chip (V1) previously which was a very enjoyable DAC so I know that AKM with their "velvet" DAC chips manage to strike that delicate balance between detail and musicality (sorry if that word offends anyone).

The DSJ was via a Schiit Eitr then via a coaxial cable (Bill's design - excellent) whereas the GroB was straight out of my Roon Rock via USB (being filtered by a w4S regen but it may not have needed it).

So it wasn't apples for apples but it was the way the cards fell at the time and I had a headache so I didn't feel like too much stuffing around with cables.

So the $4000 question? We didn't switch over too many times and i think we only listened for about 45-60mins but I'll be buggered if I could in any way be confident that I could pick the 2 DAC's apart in a DBT. There was obviously some differences in connection here at play though of course if you don't believe that digital cables have a sound then you can discard that factor ;)

I think there were some minor differences. Neither was "better" - I think Bill and I agree on that. There might have been just a tad more bass in this setup from the GroB - it did sound very solid during some tracks. This would not have been as close had the DSJ been running the older (Huron) firmware which was a bit "soft" in character and I might have even preferred the GroB had the Red Cloud not been released before this comparison. Apparently the guy who designs the DSJ firmware is already working on new firmware so this is a moving target of sorts.

 

Both DAC's had great detail, good width and depth sound-staging, good detailed bass, a well balanced midrange and a detailed but not glarey treble. I think both DAC's draw you into the music in subtlety different ways. I do believe though that the USB input in the Grob is SORTED, i.e. it is a great implementation and should be very tolerant of less than stellar things feeding it. I had an NAD M51 prior to getting my old Klien DAC - the M51 sounded like ass when fed from my laptop but the Klein didn't miss a beat. I think I'm safe in assuming that Clay will if anything have improved the USB input since that time. I also think the use of the Arduino rather than the much hyped XMOS was a great move. The XMOS has a "V" shaped sound to my ears - the Arduino is very natural and well balanced. I haven't heard the USB only version which Clay believes sounds better so that would be another interesting comparison to do at some point.


The rub of it is IMHO, the DSJ has a few extra inputs - AES/EBU, i2S and perhaps the biggest feature - Bridge II which allows you to stream via ethernet but if you don't need / want those features then you could grab a GroB, not the DSJ and pocket $4000 (at today's prices) and in no way feel that you had to compromise in your choice. 

Nice work Clay. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I haven't done the comparison with Redcloud for reasons mentioned previously (driver problems - dropouts - now hopefully fixed) yet but can say this:

 

1.  The Grob was better than Huron

2.  Redcloud was noticeably better than huron.

3.  It was a bit difficult with the occasional dropouts to be sure, which is why a proper comparison is needed, but it was just as was said above - very close.  The Grob was slightly more organic, the DS slightly white or metallic as some call it - but the detail was very obvious - better than the Grob - no - but more obvious.  At this stage I agree with the above - a tie.

4.  If it wasn't done with the USB only version then there is a chance it may pull ahead.

 

Its up to you which you get - features vs price difference - I cant decide that one.  Also the DS has regular software updates.

 

I can say Mike Lenehan is still going to sell both - he wouldn't do that if the difference was marked.  Go down there if you want to compare both and are in the Brisbane/Gold Coast area.

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/18/2018 at 6:41 PM, Bill125812 said:

@kelossus  sure does 

 

Yes - with caveats.

 

You use the Tidal app on your computer and connect it via USB.

 

It does not do the second unfold - you need a specific MQA DAC for that - but it only makes a difference with a very small amount of materal - less  than 1% as I explain here:

The MQA guys have converted tons of albums to MQA and have found much less than 1% have frequencies over 48k that are more than just noise.  So 96k from the first unfold encapsulates everything - the folding trick they use doesn't really do much.

 

Why? - that is is explained here:

https://www.xivero.com/blog/hypothesis-paper-to-support-a-deeper-technical-analysis-of-mqa-by-mqa-limited/

 

The second unfold uses information about the filter used to create the MQA file to upsample it.  It losslesslty encodes at 96k ie up to 48k.   If there is only noise above 48k as the above paper explains nothing, nada, is done by any filter above 48k - tricky ones like MQA use that prevent ringing and time smear - or any other filter - even steep linear phase ones that ring like a bell - why?- nothing hits then to make them ring - it fact it does nothing to the audio at all.

 

Thanks

Bill 

Edited by bhobba

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question for all the learned people here. I have a GroB dac (Clay’s updating firmware for me) and Mike’s ML2 Reference. It will be fed with a ultraRendu from Sonore, which now will apparently do the first unfold of MQA.

The question... amp recommendations.

I have two to choose from that I have, and one is to go. And then of course future upgrade ideas!

*Vincent Audio SV800 tube hybrid integrated
*Audia flight 3S SS integrated

And for those that have tried, how were power amps using the DAC’s digital volume?

So what are other people using?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Raffinator said:

I have a question for all the learned people here. I have a GroB dac (Clay’s updating firmware for me) and Mike’s ML2 Reference. It will be fed with a ultraRendu from Sonore, which now will apparently do the first unfold of MQA.

The question... amp recommendations.

I have two to choose from that I have, and one is to go. And then of course future upgrade ideas!

*Vincent Audio SV800 tube hybrid integrated
*Audia flight 3S SS integrated

And for those that have tried, how were power amps using the DAC’s digital volume?

So what are other people using?
 

I have a PS Audio DirectStream DAC, I was using its digital volume control, purchased a Parasound JC2 pre amp and now use its volume, SQ improved considerable with addition of the pre-amp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using the Groß digital volume control with the remote and connected into SGR CX3B powered speakers. As you know, audio is wonderful ! :party

 

Am reluctant to add a pre amp because it complicates the chain and may change things for the worse?

 

Would be interested to know which of the amps you end up using...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sponsor

XLR & RCA jumper setting.

Note this only applies to the USB only version & also the Demo unit.

5a654419a4a60_GrossRCAjumpers.thumb.jpg.1becb22ec2e5f73316edbaf23a0a1f6b.jpg

RCA

when using the RCA outputs you may need the "RCA GND link " jumpers in position otherwise you can get a small amount of hum.

I have left them in this position.

 

XLR

for XLR out you definitely need to remove the jumpers. I just unplug them, & then reinsert on to one pin only so they are not bridging the pins.

 

I know it is a little inconvenient but less signal loss than using relays as both output transformers are hardwired to the output sockets.

I have attached a photo showing the jumper location - near the output sockets on the rear panel.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Clay, sorry if I’m a bit thick, but why does the multi-input version not need this done?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sponsor

Hi John,

because on the USB only version if you leave the jumpers in & try & use XLR it won't work because the (-) side of the XLR connection is shorted to gnd.

On your three input version there is a relay that connects either XLR or RCA (to the output transformer)  so the RCA shorting jumpers have no effect on the XLR connections.

Your 3 input version still has the jumpers but they can be in even when using XLR as the relay separates the output wiring. Sorry a little tricky to follow I know.

Hope that helps

Cheers

Clay

PS Mike & I just having a coffee & discussing your speakers.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a PS Audio DirectStream DAC, I was using its digital volume control, purchased a Parasound JC2 pre amp and now use its volume, SQ improved considerable with addition of the pre-amp.
Yep I've heard the exact same and it was a night and day difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

PS Mike & I just having a coffee & discussing your speakers.

Lazy sod - he should be finishing my Magnesium's - he only works something like 60 or more hours a week - what does he think this is a vacation camp:na::na::na:

 

BTW Clay - I still have the leather gear if you need some incentiveisation - it doesn't work with Mike - why?  Here is a little story.   The masochist  says to the sadist - beat, whip, kick, punch me yada yada yada - the sadist, with a sick smirk on his face says - no.

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/22/2018 at 11:45 AM, Snoopy8 said:

Am reluctant to add a pre amp because it complicates the chain and may change things for the worse?

 

Only the very best pre's like the AR10 or BHK are woth it IMHO and they do make a difference:

They all have one characteristic though - they cost - by which i mean about $10k - the so and so's.  I wish it wasn't like that but it s. Below that my experience is its not worth it - direct connect it.

 

The 64 million dollar question is why?  It can only subtract - not make better.   The answer would seem to be some very slight euphonics are being added that your ear easily detects but are not that easy to detect by measurements.  These make it sound more real.

 

Thanks

Bill

 

 

Edited by bhobba

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, bhobba said:

 

Only the very best pre's like the AR10 or BHK are woth it IMHO and they do make a difference:

Below that my experience is its not worth it - direct connect it.

 

THanks

Bill

 

 

I've had great results with an Auralic Taurus Pre. Added a bit of zing and extended the bandwidth. For sure a more expensive pre will be subjectively better but I wouldn't rule out a cheaper option carte blanche. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Just now, scumbag said:

I've had great results with an Auralic Taurus Pre. Added a bit of zing and extended the bandwidth. For sure a more expensive pre will be subjectively better but I wouldn't rule out a cheaper option carte blanche. 

 

By all means give them a go - its just my experience as far as price goes.

 

Thanks

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Raffinator said:

So what are other people using?

For speakers that sensitive - the Prima Luna Dialogue Premium.   Get it upgraded as finances permit.   When fully upgraded it in the same class as the much more expensive BHK.

 

For low sensitivity speakers like my Magnesium's the BHK 250 or Arions.

 

For high sensitivity speakers - say 89db (but no lower) and above a Perfectus amp - could be the best amp I have ever heard and the price is paltry:

http://www.perfectusaudio.com/

 

I have purchased one and will be getting it delivered to Mike to use in checking out the high sensitivity speaker he is looking to build.   It should run, just, the ML5's at low volume levels.

Edited by bhobba

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, bhobba said:

For speakers that sensitive - the Prima Luna Dialogue Premium.   Get it upgraded as finances permit.   When fully upgraded it in the same class as the much more expensive BHK.

 

For low sensitivity speakers like my Magnesium's the BHK 250 or Arions.

 

For high sensitivity speakers - say 89db (but no lower) and above a Perfectus amp - could be the best amp I have ever heard and the price is paltry:

http://www.perfectusaudio.com/

 

I have purchased one and will be getting it delivered to Mike to use in checking out the high sensitivity speaker he is looking to build.   It should run, just, the ML5's at low volume levels.

I can't see any prices on their website.  They look very well put together - do you have a ball park price for these units? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, scumbag said:

I can't see any prices on their website.  They look very well put together - do you have a ball park price for these units? 

 

Sure - about $2500 for the amps - like I said paltry.

 

The secret is, as it is for most valve amps, the output transformer used.   The guy spent over a year designing listening, designing etc.   He gets each one individually computer wound to his specifications.

 

But remember - just 4-5 watts - your speakers must be at least 89db and even then don't expect thunderous levels.   I heard them on 100db speakers and they did thunderous levels - but as you go lower in sensitivity your millage may vary.  Both me and Rawl99 think it will run the Ml5's at reasonable levels - but no lower in sensitivity.  We did this by measuring the  SPL coming out of some ML5's while listening at normal levels from our listening position and measuring the SPL at 1 meter, then converting it back to the power needed to produce that level.   Rawl who installs systems for a living though it would be fine - but you would not want to go any lower in sensitivity.

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎22‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 11:54 AM, awayward said:

I have a PS Audio DirectStream DAC, I was using its digital volume control, purchased a Parasound JC2 pre amp and now use its volume, SQ improved considerable with addition of the pre-amp.

Just wondering if you considered simply spending that extra $5K on a higher quality DAC/PRE instead?

 

My friends' Jeff Rowland Aeris can be had for a little over $10K and is a VERY impressive unit..........haven't heard the PS Audio DS or Parasound JC2 though!!!!

 

Allowing for system dependency it would still be interesting to know which approach may potentially offer the best SQ and VFM.

Edited by JohnL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 26/01/2018 at 10:18 PM, JohnL said:

My friends' Jeff Rowland Aeris can be had for a little over $10K and is a VERY impressive unit..........haven't heard the PS Audio DS or Parasound JC2 though!!!!

 

Haven't heard it so I cant say.

 

I got both the pre and DS Junior as a double deal at a good price.  I had feedback on how good the BHK was so thought - what the heck.   

 

Cant get and check out everything.  But if you want to buy it and compare it be my guest.

 

Thanks

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


 
Only the very best pre's like the AR10 or BHK are woth it IMHO and they do make a difference:
They all have one characteristic though - they cost - by which i mean about $10k - the so and so's.  I wish it wasn't like that but it s. Below that my experience is its not worth it - direct connect it.
 
The 64 million dollar question is why?  It can only subtract - not make better.   The answer would seem to be some very slight euphonics are being added that your ear easily detects but are not that easy to detect by measurements.  These make it sound more real.
 
Thanks
Bill
 
 
I've heard the direct stream with a few different pre's and even the Parasound p5 was an improvement over the internal volume control. Very sad to discover but true to my ears.

As always best to try for yourself and see what you think. There are shops around where you can play around and find a combo you like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×