Here is what I have experienced:
1) SRC is the best-sounding software upsampler for Foobar2000, at 24/96
2) Hardware upsamplers all sound about the same, not so great IMO, with one exception: for 24/192 upsampling, the SM5847AF chip is wonderful. Implementation is everything though. You can still screw it up with a bad design.
Get the best non oversampler you can afford. I have heard too many oversamplers to ever be the least interested in them.
Sorry. No habla generalizations.
OK... I'll bite... what is "SRC" & "FUBAR" ??
SRC is Secret Rabbit Code, written by a coder in Australia. It is a plug-in for Foobar2000. Foobar2000 is a free player for computer, the best-sounding of the PC players IMO.
I posted recommendations for the best software combination on my forum, based on feedback from customers and my own listening tests:
Anyone had compatibility issues with that Foobar 2K software... it's not confidence inspiring reading through their FAQ's.
I also didn't see where it did Apple lossless, I've nearly everything in AAC & AL. yet I'm likely gonna re-rip onto a big NAS drive soon... just hate to relearn another software, especially if it's clunky, or PC knowledge based intensive... though I know more than a little... I ain't the PC genius I think i am most often.
Blindjim, I would suggest you take a look at my thread entitled: Reference DACS: An over all perspective, it contains tons of information on non/up/over sampling, solid state/tube DACS on the market today.
The discussion revolves around to distinct types of "flavors" in world class DACS that are described as Type 1 ot Type 11.
There is no one "superior" approach to the D/A conversion process, but personnal taste and system synergy really make the difference. Look at the thread for fine details in the sonic differences.
Steve, looking at your subjective ranking for the MSB Gold Link w/Power Base in regards to both upsampling selection and also sound in general, you might be interested to check out my archived thread.
thanks guys. My rig was deeply into the warm region once. Now it's near neutrality with a warm cast though still. but no longer resembling 'dark' IMO. i'VE ANOTHER pc ON THE WAY WHICH i'M PRETTY SURE WILL BRING ME EVEN CLOSER TO THE NEUTRAL DEAL. YECCH... BUT i BELIEVE IT TO BE a good move for supplying my amps power reqs.
So any DAC at this point needs be a pretty good performer interms of it's presentation, and of course, way musical. Nothing near strtlingly resolute or overly detailed, especially in the upper mids and above. Something akin to the best Sony Cd players resolution and detail... yet with greater body for imaging and the ability to reduce the jitter bugs... so I don't have to reclock the Sony xa777. hate to mod if I don't have to, and I think a good DAC should accomplish that for me as well as handle the mass fi items (Carosels cable boxes), and the PC.
the PS Audio Ultra Link III really interests me but I can't find anything written on it anywhere... which might say something after all... huh?
I don't want a DAC that will reduce my CD/music collection to only those excellently recorded. taht would wbe a poor choice IMO.
OVERSAMPLING seems the less likely path for me as it appears the more over the top resolution method.
I will read the links, anyother notions based upon experience with both technologies would be well appreciated.
thanks teajay... I think I need a type V or VI, if type I & II run as much as those in the thread run. Oh. My. God. Probably need to simply buy more lotteery tickets.. or pray and likely both.
but I'm (if I've a choice and I do), a type II guy. the astounding expense of those pieces is well beyond me. their sound I think, is not. Well, I don't think so anyway. love to have any of them though. In my world however, they are no option. I do see synergy is the ticket compleetly. I also get the impression from those posts of the different items that it's how the makers go about implementing a certain technology too. Parts and so forth... and I sort of got that down already. My biggest issue is the playground I frequent. finding a rose in the pasture is a bit tuff... it's mostly mushrooms. Mushrooms can be nice too... if one is into that sort of thing.
I try to live somewhere around that point of diminishing returns. All of those type I & II are well into, and beyond that threshold.
unless someone adopts me, (and I'm really esy to get along with and just way charming), or dies and gbequeaths to me such a piece, my lot is near cast to remain in the more pedestrian markets. I say pedestrian, yet I'm still walking about where I really shouldn't, all things being considered. merely my passion has me taking larger strides most often.
If a grand, new or used (give or take a bit), can't do a good job, I'll really be frustrated. More.
Blindjim - In the past I would not necessarily recommend upsamplers in hardware, but the new 24/192 chip I mentioned is quite excellent. It is used in the Northstar 192 and the new BelCanto DAC3 as well as the Dodson 218. Great sounding upsampler.
Audioengr - is the SM5847AF chip in the North Star used in the AES/EBU output that allows for 24/96 upsampling, or the I2S output that allows for 24/192 upsampling, or both? I have been using the AES/EBU output and letting the North Star upsample to 24/96, which can be read by my Monarchy DAC and it sounded suprisingly better versus Redbook. I'd like to try the I2S, but the Monarchy doesn't have an input for this. Would this be a mod you could take on? I believe the Monarchy uses the CS8414. Feel free to respond here or email me offline.
Clio09 - if you are talking about the Northstar Transport, the only way you get 24/192 is out the I2S output.
The Northstar DAC has I2S, AES and S/PDIF inputs. The AES and S/PDIF inputs upsample to 24/192. The I2S just passes through.
For the Monarchy DAC I can install a USB or I2S interface, or both. With both, you can drive it from the computer with USB as well as the Northstar Transport with I2S. Contact me with email for more details.
Steve, thanks much. you've been a tremendous hehlp. My xa777 will likely remain the drive unit. the BC 3 does have my attention. I've heard much about the North Star but from a dealer I spoke with.. he said you need to use them together, drive and DAC both being NorthStar... and he pointed to the I2S... whatever that thing is, as the reason.
Audioengr - I just realized you were referring to the North Star 192 DAC and not the Model 192 transport, but that raises another question. Why does North Star allow upsampling at the transport level? Is it indeed the same upsampler as in the DAC. If you use the transport and DAC together (I don't at the moment but am considering it for the I2S if my DAC cannot be upgraded to include an I2S input) I assume you just allow the DAC to upsample and don't engage the upsampling on the transport. True? Any comments would be appreciated.
"Why does North Star allow upsampling at the transport level? Is it indeed the same upsampler as in the DAC."
Identical. The reason is the I2S interface. It is evidently more efficient design-wise to upsample in the Transport and then output 24/192 to the I2S interface. The transport can also output native rate on the S/PDIF outputs.
When you use the Transport and DAc together with S/PDIF, the DAC does the upsampling only if you select this. With the I2S interface the transport always upsamples to 24/96 and the DAC does no upsampling.
Steve, how do the two sounds compare?
The upsampled data, either using SRC on a computer or 24/192 from the Northstar transport is more dynamic, much smoother on vocals and more detailed than native 44.1.