oversampling vs. non-oversampling - what's the dif

Been lurking for awhile trying to figure out the best path for an outboard DAC unit. Units I've looked into thus far include the Benchmark DAC1, Bel Canto e.One Dac3, PS Audio Digital Link III, and the Altmann Attraction. However, one question lingers in my mind...

what is the sonic difference between oversampling vs non-oversampling?

-Manley Stingray (integrated amp)
-ProAc Response 1sc
-Nordost Blue Heaven cables
-Isotek GII Mini Sub (power conditioner)
-Denon DVD-757
It will all boil down to your taste, both can be terrific. You really need to pick out a few an experiment to see what your preferences are.

I know that sounds crazy..but it is very easy to do. Start off with some of the darling inexpensive NON OS Dacs. Most can be had under $500 used and sold for what you paid for them.It's hard to lose money on a used Scott Nixon or a Paradisea Dac.

From there try out a Monarchy or BenchMark used..again you won't lose any money trying it out. I look at audiogon like a big swap meet.

Guys are basically swapping gear around to find what works for them. Most of the regulars around here, I can assure you aren't losing a dime on experimenting either! lol

So before you lock yourself down to one particular unit..spread the love around. I'm sure you wanted a more definitive answer,but you are the only one with the real answer.

Oh and you forgot one.. upsampling.

Good luck
On my system, wire changes cause major shifts in presentation. That said, OS and NOS differences, being active, exhibit night and day differences.

One visiting fellow, interested in buying my second pair of Scintillas, wrote me afterwards,

"Listening to the Scintilla and your DAC was a revelation."

The potential buyer brought some big tube output SACD player, an OS machine, to be sure.

Like all other OS pretenders before it, the oversampling behaved horribly, as I knew it would. Notes were simplified, decay shortened, stage is crimped. and tonality was thin.

The NOS, on the same passage, provided deep detail, great tonality, and endless decay.
Thanks for the feedback. Muralman, I think what you said was kind of what I was looking for - given equal footing, what are the typical differences between OS and NOS (and Up Sampling for that matter). In my mind I liken it to upconverting a 16 bit jpeg image to a 24 bit jpeg - errors become multiplied during the process of introducing 'assumed' data that was never there to begin with.

Gmood, I think you are right, I'm just going to have to dive in and try a few. Any recommendations for a NOS that can handle not just redbook but also hi res (SACD, DVD-A) formats?

To answer your question Shazam, there is no free lunch when it comes to great sounds. My gear has been highly enhanced by a genius audio electronics expert. It has been a long and complicated process, not to mention a turn of luck.

As for new NOS gear, I believe the very best is to be had from 47 Labs. You can google outstanding reviews of their gear.

For cheap thrills, look for a Scott Nixon, as Gmood suggested.
I don't know of any NOS Dacs that can decode SACD or DVD-A.
Strictly redbook up to 48 kHz, although some will take up to 96 kHz and then downsample it.

Audio Sector is another good NOS Dac. Having owned a couple of NOS Dacs and now upsampling. Do not worry about the theory behind it all. You have good and OK on both ends of the spectrum.

If you decide to pick up a Bel Canto Dac 3 in the future. Beware this Dac requires at least 100 hrs of burn in to sound its best.

The Electrocompaniet ECD-1 is another one to check out.This is a upsampling Dac as well.

Normally the upsampling units have a tad better resolution over the NOS Dacs. The NOS may sound more organic. This isn't written in stone.It is possible to get a good balance either way you go depending on the actual design of the Dac itself.