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I love it BUT how does my zero oversampling DAC make my CD's sound like '70's vinyl......In layman's terms

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Showing 1-24 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Jun 2012, 22:53:19 BST
Last edited by the author on 29 Jun 2012, 23:10:12 BST
MC Zaptone says:
OK, so I have an oversampling DAC and an non oversampling DAC, I originally bought them to upgrade a favourite bit of kit, a Yamaha 1600 CD/HardDrive recorder, I now use them for achieving very different sounds.
While the oversampler (DacMagic) just seems to enhance the overall sound, the Zero oversampler (a MoodLab Dice) gives off this warm, rounded vinyl sound albeit at the price of a little bass loss.

Can anyone explain how is this achieved? In lingo I might understand, please.

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In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jun 2012, 23:37:19 BST
Last edited by the author on 29 Jun 2012, 23:58:45 BST
Hi MC,
I will just cut, paste and edit a few things I put up on the CD vs Vinyl thread that might help -

The MUSE(non-oversampling) just sounded better, more realistic than the Anagram(oversampling DAC). The upsamping DACS use maths to fill in the steps in the digital waveform, the non oversampling ones do not. I prefer the sound of the non oversampling dacs.

The Muse has 4 chips running in parallel, so any errors that slip through one of them is theoretically covered over by the other 3, basically 4 chips all doing the same job and covering for each other whilst doing so.

Over sampling is different in so far as the chip is simply(although the maths are very complex) dividing each of the digital steps into 4/6/whatever and creating new smaller ones that smooth out the wave form. The over sampling allows for the wave form to end up containing information that is not actually on the cd and works on best guess(ish) as to where the wave form goes to next.

So non-oversampling DACS add nothing to the original waveform, but attempt to get as close to what it is as is possible.

Over sampling is like using audio wall filler to round off the digital waveform.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2012, 10:18:06 BST
MC Zaptone says:
I know that upsampling uses mathmatical equations to smooth the waveform, what does the non oversampling DAC use to achieve this, and how is there a constantly warmer sound and more peculiarly a lack of bass?

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2012, 14:08:50 BST
Last edited by the author on 30 Jun 2012, 14:12:07 BST
Brass Neck says:
My MUSE is still singing sweetly - the fluctuations in volume I experienced early on have gone probably because it's permanently powered up (which the missus don't know!). Best £40 I ever spent despite my initial doubts.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2012, 15:17:19 BST
Wharf Rat says:
That's because it's 'Burnt' in Brassy......a minor term for the pcb board
and its components to reach optimum performance!...oooerrr

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2012, 16:52:49 BST
Brass Neck says:
Yes it gives me a regular aural climax!

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2012, 21:23:41 BST
Last edited by the author on 30 Jun 2012, 21:24:03 BST
BOF © says:
My MUSE is also still singing sweetly and I am lucky to have the special Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen modified version ((modified by the man himself). Mine is permanently powered up also (a guilty pleasure).

best bones

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2012, 21:56:27 BST
Brass Neck says:
What exactly did the omnipresent one do?

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2012, 22:16:50 BST
Last edited by the author on 30 Jun 2012, 22:17:27 BST
BOF © says:
He tried to explain it to me once but being a techno-bumpkin I didn't really understand past the bit were he fits new capacitors. Hopefully he'll see this and explain in words of no more than 2 syllables.

best bones

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2012, 23:47:18 BST
Oh key.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2012, 23:47:39 BST
More in de morning, Brass!

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2012, 23:48:16 BST
To keep it short, it does nothing to smooth out anything, MC.

Posted on 1 Jul 2012, 23:35:12 BST
Here is a link to a really intense discussion thread dealing with the MUSE, almost exclusively, wherein the necessary info to carry out the output cap changes to eek further sonic delights out of the MUSE may be found. Basically I put high quality capacitors in the output stage. If you are feeling brave you can short them out altogether. This last measure produced deeper and more delicious bass depth and resolution, but may be hazardous to certain amps for reasons I for get(duh)

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jul 2012, 20:03:50 BST
Intentional oversampling is something I'd probably avoid except for in a mastering scenario (to avoid nonlinear response approaching the Nyquist). With regards to your Dice lending a 'vinyl' sound to your audio, it's probably recreating the kind of sonics found in most vinyl - harmonic distortion above a certain gain, gentle nonlinear attenuation of HF above 12 kHz and some LF attenuation akin to what RIAA curve pre- and de-emphasis does to the source audio.

That's not to say vinyl sound is displeasing, in a good audio path the components are chosen and wired for their musicality and many imperfect sounding devices are sought for this very purpose. Well-coloured audio is nice. :) (heck, it's the reason MEs still exist)

Posted on 10 Jul 2012, 13:52:25 BST
M. Adams says:
Blimey, you chaps are knowledgable!

In order to improve the sound of my kitchen stereo, I would like to know if it would be worth my while buying and connecting some kind of DAC between my Pure i20 dock PURE i-20, Digital Dock for iPod/iPhone with Hi-Fi Quality Audio and Video Output -using either the optical or coaxial outputs and then running from the DAC into the phono inputs on the back of a Marantz mini system (I can't recall the model, but it's the precursor of the current mcr603 Marantz Melody Media Network CD Receiver - Silver and only has analogue inputs ).

I only have about £100 to spend, and see no point in it unless I will hear an appreciable improvement in sound quality -by which I mean, it's more like having Wayne Shorter actually standing next to the draining board while I am cooking.

Any advice in plain english, such as "buy this", "don't buy that" or "don't bother at all" would be much appreciated. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jul 2012, 10:40:42 BST
MC Zaptone says:
Firstly do some research into your present Receiver, does the older model have Marantz's 'Dual Differential DAC'? (one DAC per channel). Marantz have always used fairly decent components but when you have an all in one box with so many functions
the DAC quality might be low on the list of importance, component wise.
If it was me I would go to my local Hi-Fi/AV dealer and tell them what you're thinking and I'm sure if you leave them your credit-card details they should let you try one out for a couple of days (Richer Sounds will do this) and why not as it will probably lead to a sale.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jul 2012, 22:05:48 BST
Yes, Throw your expensive digital gadgets into a bin or sell them on ebay, buy a turntable and an amp for a fraction of the cost and play vinyls. If you can deal with 15-20 minutes of music at a time you'll be in aural heaven.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jul 2012, 22:29:08 BST
M. Adams says:
Thanks for the advice, but Marmalade, steam and children don't really go too well with a turntable and vinyl, so I'll stick to my gadgets.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jul 2012, 22:29:59 BST
Brass Neck says:
The 'expensive' digital gadget is the MUSE which sells for about £40 on ebay! It's made a tremendous difference to my Arcam CD player.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jul 2012, 22:49:41 BST

Forgot to stick in this link in the earlier post, duh......

Happy reading!

The MUSE is undoubtly the best value for money DAC ever. Others are more expensive and may sound slightly better, but as a first(big) step into the world of DAC upgrading it is a outright winner.

Posted on 23 Jul 2012, 15:16:16 BST
Malx says:
Forgive my lack of technological know-how but would I benefit, that is will there be a noticable improvement in sound, from placing one of these between my laptop output (headphone socket) and my Denon M38DAB mini system?

Thanks in advance.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jul 2012, 22:35:26 BST
MC Zaptone says:
Hi Malx, I would expect Denon to be using a pretty decent onboard DAC even at this price-point. Plus it's a new model, it's usually anything over five years that needs an upgrade DAC-wise. The USB port will automatically pass your laptop through the onboard DAC, so you should test it out. One thing everyone agrees with on this particular model is that although it's a prize winning little cracker, the supplied speakers let it down badly. That would be my first upgrade not a separate DAC.



Posted on 24 Jul 2012, 18:01:52 BST
Malx says:
I'm a little confused here! I link my laptop to the Denon via a mini jack (connected to headphone socket) to twin phono plug cable. Where does the USB port come into the equation? Am I not using the best way to connect?

With regard to the speakers I use Wharfedale Diamonds as this is my second system they will suffice for now.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jul 2012, 00:26:28 BST
Last edited by the author on 25 Jul 2012, 10:56:00 BST
MC Zaptone says:
According to the various reviews I have read only the USB 'in' allows the source to be passed through the onboard DAC. So not knowing the system personally I would explore the connections. For example, all modern Mac laptops headphone 'out sockets' double as digital/optical outs and can then be run via a optical/USB cable to a separate DAC.
The what hi-fi link I gave you had this to say:
But while the Denon's been around a while, it isn't behind the times. DLNA streaming, internet radio and AirPlay have yet to make it down to this level, but you do get a digital iPod connection through the USB socket on the front, which means your tunes are converted to analogue by the Denon's DAC rather than the iPod's, resulting in better sound quality.

**This is how you change your audio output from the headphone 'out' to USB 'out'**

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Discussion in:  mp3 discussion forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  24
Initial post:  29 Jun 2012
Latest post:  25 Jul 2012

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