How to remove harshness from my digital gear


Some help would be appreciated here.

I want to replace my dac and transport(moon dac3+ classe cdt-1 trans)In my system whit my ears i find this combo harsh and bright. It is the reason why i want to replace it. I was thinking about raysonic or cary tube cd player but i cannot ear one of them before taking my descision.

Any one have experimented moon gear vs cary or raysonic.
Between cary or raysonic wich one would be the less bright and the more liquid.

MY system: Dynaudio contour s5.4
Moon w3 amp
Marantz sc11-s1 preamp
All my cable have a neutral sound signature

Thank you
0097b8c4 a0d0 4113 8bc6 82ecf8bc7cb9thenis
Before giving up on the Classe transport and the Moon DAC3 (is that the right model number, btw? I couldn't find any info on it), if you already haven't I would suggest that you try all three of the Classe's outputs (AES/EBU, coaxial S/PDIF, and optical S/PDIF) if the DAC3 can accept them. Also, I would suggest that for the AES/EBU and coaxial S/PDIF connections you try cable lengths that are either about 1.5 meters long, or that are very short if that is practicable (i.e., about 8 inches or less). See this paper.

IMO there is no such thing as a neutral digital cable, because the sonic effects of a digital cable will be highly dependent on interactions between its technical characteristics and the technical characteristics of the particular components it is connecting. And many of the key characteristics that are involved are usually unspecified and unpredictable.

Regards,
-- Al
You can certianly add bandaids like tibe buffers and cables that compress the sound. However, you will be sacrificing detail, imaging and ultimately liveness.

I have completely eliminated harshness by reducing first the biggest problem tht causes this and that is jitter. Next I have eliminated the active preamp, which reduces ,distortion, ,noise and compression. Finally, eliminating as many ground-loops in the system as possible.

A better strategy is to find the cause of the problem and eliminate it, which in general causes the system to be simple with shorter signal paths.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
I agree with Al and Steve, though both have far more experience than I do. I can say that my efforts to improve digital SQ were most fruitful when I focused on reducing jitter, which included...

1. Using a 1.5 meter S/PDIF cable.

2. Experimenting with a variety of S/PDIF cables until I found the best match for my equipment.

3. Adding a reclocker between the transport and the dac. The reclocker discards the S/PDIF timing data and reclocks with a high precision clock (an Audiocom Superclock 4).

4. Modding the dac to lower jitter. The dac's clock was replaced with a second Superclock 4, and the stock power supply with a custom PSU.

5. Reducing the effects of EMI/RFI, some of which is described here.

6. Experimenting with grounding schemes, as described here.

The collective results of these efforts to reduce jitter were less harshness, greater resolution, more harmonic accuracy, better imaging, and a more relaxed overall presentation. I should also mention...

7. I installed an apodizing filter (software) in my dac and it also improved digital SQ in a variety of ways, but I have no knowledge that apodizing has an impact on jitter.

I'm not saying that the recommendations from other folks won't help, but I suspect that the best place to start is jitter reduction, if possible.

Good luck.

Bryon
While I don't necessarily agree with Steve N concerning the elimination of an active pre-amp. I do agree with his analysis concerning eliminating the problem and not trying to mask it with more boxes or cables.

Chuck
I had a lot of digital glare in my system, I did two things. I bought a tube preamp and a Havana tube dac. Both of these made a huge difference in my system.