Upsampling DACS: Take the Pepsi Challenge

HAs anyone used 2 of the following 3 relatively inexpensive upsampling DACs: Perpetual technologies, Bel Canto, MSB Link 3 with upsampling upgrade?? I am trying to sort out the details of the new technologies. The Perp Tech can "interpolate", while the others do not. I am under the impression that the "24 bit" part of this new technology has to do with s/n ratios aroung 140 db, which is great, but a little useless considering the other equipment in the system. The sampling freq is the part that has me all aflutter, because it seems to be getting closer to analog quality "infinite sampling" if you will... What do you think? Has anyone compared these dacs?? Thanks, gang.
Can't help with these two pieces.The thing is the "CHIP" It is just a better chip.Naturally the further up you go the better.Think about the MSB with 24/96 chip.Better than anything in that price range should sound. I have had Theata 5a for 5 years.Just did the 24/96 up grade. Best 3 hundred I ever spent.Before I broke in the new chip it was apparent what Burr Brown had wroth.(I think the first 24/96 chip)If I can't hear the dif.I should sell my stuff and get a bose radio.I'm a diet coke man!!
I too have been worrying about this problem. The problem is that one really has to listen to these DACs to compare them and it is not possible to find dealers that carry more than one line. It becomes especially difficult with the various upgrades available and the availability of kits. I was considering the Bel Canto, the MSB LINK (and its various variants), and the Sonic Frontiers Assemblage D2D-1 upsampler and the 2.6 and 3.0 DACs. I was leaning toward the Assemblage stuff but heard from friends that the kits were difficult to assemble (especially with the upgraded components). I also went to hear and compare the dCS Purcell/Delius combo with the Mark Levinson Reference 30.6, both using a ML 31.5 transport. (I thought that the dCS sounded better, but not by much). I then heard really good things about the Dodson DA217 MkIID upsampling DAC (, and will have one on approval for a week or so at my home in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know of the out come.
As far as actually getting true 140dB performance, the only DAC that even claims this is the new $15,000 Boulder (no, I've not heard it). The DAC's in question have NOT tested to 140dB, in any test I've seen. You have to keep in mind that the analog circuit after the DAC would have to be RADICALLY quiet, and there are hardly any in the world that are, especially anything in the $1000 price range, and MOST especially anything that must operate within, or near, digital circuitry (like a DAC).
You may have read my glowing review of the Bel Canto on In anticipation of the Perpetual P3-A (we are dealers) I sold the Bel Canto. As an interim and a back up, I bought a Monarchy 18B- piggy back 18 bit dacs with a passive buffered volume control. The results were consistent with or without active Klyne 7.3 LXBP in the system. I was shocked. It was much better then the BC. Why? Most likely it's the power supply differences. The Monarchy uses a 35 watt toroid- big enough for preamps. My partner has the dCS ELgar/Purcell combo and recently bought the Accuphase DVP 75- 192 upsampling player. He was hoping the all in one box approach would be the better choice. To our ears the dCS is the clear winner, as it should be at almost twice the price. What's the point? Upsampling isn't necessarily better, and there are marked differences between very expensive upsamplers. At $995, the Monarchy is an outstanding performer, but my Perpetual Tech P3-A should be here any day. Check our website in a week or two for a review.
Thanks, guys. Looking foreward to the Perp Tech P3-A review.
Hi, I don't agree with Tweak1 about the Monarchy 18B seriously outclassing the Bel Canto. It defies common sense if you think about it, i.e., older technology beating the latest technology. I used a modified Monarchy D22 for reference for a long time and liked it very much--but then I bought a Parasound D/AC-2000 and liked that a little better. Now, I have the BC and feel (with my Parasound C/BD-2000 belt-drive transport)that it is on a higher plateau than either the Monarchy D22 or the Parasound. The bass is excellent, micro-dynamic contrasts--superior, and the highs are both relaxed AND detailed. For the first time, I'm hearing analogue-like air from a digital source with ordinary CDs--I don't believe the Monarchy 18B (good though it may be) can match that. However, I will say that there are many factors that can degrade the performance of the Bel Canto--so if it was set up so as to perform at a disadvantage, than anything is possible, I suppose. The unit is transport-sensitive and benefits from being placed on a properly damped, isolated base. My advice is not to believe everything you see in print. Try to make your own comparisons first-hand in a familiar system, rather than taking a stranger's word (even mine) on blind faith. Regards, Plato
DCS is the way to go- period! Listen and you will believe - just gotta save up now...
DCS is the way to go- period! Listen and you will believe - just gotta save up now...
I have been trying out a Dodson DA217 MkIID upsampling DAC in my system and it sounds fantastic. It has MUCH better soundstaging, tonal balance (musicality), bass and treble extension, and resolution than my current Mark Levinson 36. The difference is dramatic and made my whole system sound better! I have a system with mostly Mark Levinson equipment and bi-amped Vandersteen 3A Signature speakers. It would have been better if I could have arranged a comparison of the Dodson with an M-L 360S or a dCS combo, but I couldn't arrange it in time. If anyone has an opportunity to do this, I would be interested in hearing of their results. I did compare the 3560S with a dCS Purcell/Delius combo, and I thought that the latter sounded better, but only marginally.
Carl, in your opinion, what DACs have well-designed analog circuitry?
I've not analized a lot of them, or taken them apart. I only know that you should look at the analog line level output section seriously, and that a compromised one usually bespeaks a philosophy based on compromise.
I would like to second Kweifi. I just bought a Dodson with the 24/96 upsampling upgrade. I'm using my SCD-1 as a transport. The Dodson has taken a very good- sounding CDP and given it an expanded sounstage,greater detail and a "sparkle" that I now see was missing. All for $2500 (used). David
Perhaps someone on this thread can clear something up for me? I asked the question before on Audiogon: what are the differences between upsampling and oversampling? Carl, you seem to be one of many fans of the improvement wrought by upsampling. Can you explain the difference or are there differences? My understanding is that upsampling and oversampling are basically the same. By upsampling/oversampling the digital filtering can be more aggressive (outside the audio range), leaving only a gentle analog filter before output. Is this basically correct? Upsampling/Oversampling can't actually create information; the process can only allow more accurate retrieval of what is contained in the 16/44.1 signal. Right? As for oversampling, all delta/sigma (1 bit) type DACS must use oversampling. Are the new 24/96 DACS mostly delta/sigma types or are they ladder DACS? Don't mean to divert attention from the thread topic, but the recent attention to upsampling has me wondering if my understanding of the process is correct. Did mfg's just get better at implementing oversampling techniques to get better sound and needed new marketing jargon to draw interest? Thanks!
Greysquirrel; I'm no expert here, and I've had some of the same questions that you do. From reading, I've learned that upsampling and over-sampling are not the same thing. Upsampling adds dither, ie it interpolates between digital bits and then adds "sound" based on an upsampling algorithm via a DSP chip. This serves to make the digital data stream more continuous, ie more analog like. Analog meaning a continuous sound stream as opposed to the bit stream of digital output. Over sampling does not add dither or do any interpolating. Maybe Carl can help us out from here. Cheers. Craig.
.... I should have added that over sampling is just used to increase the accuracy of reading standard 16 bit 44.1 HZ CDs, but it adds nothing to the digital output stream. Craig.
Craig, yes dither (white noise) is added to increase resolution. Not sure exactly how that works, but I believe it elevates the recorded data up from the near the least significant bit, reducing quantization errors. Interpolation is basically what is done whenever you increase the sampling rate by some multiple. I don't think that early "oversampling" designs were adding dither before decoding? But if this is the only difference, then my last statement above is probably right: mfg's found better ways to implement oversampling techniques and are marketing them as the "upsampling" process? Either way, it sounds like most listeners have found well done upsampling/oversampling to be a significant improvement.
With upsampling, the digital audio is actually re-sampled, and has nothing to do with the filters in the DAC. The data is sample rate converted to a HIGHER resolution digital format (while in the digital domain), before it even gets to the DAC. The first units of this type used two separate chassis. One was a "sample rate converter", or "digital-to-digital" converter. The data was then sent to a DAC in another chassis. Lately, all-in-one-box units of all types are popping up.
Anyone interested read latest Hi-Fi News & Record Review (August) they have good article on this subject. Wadia apparantly is saying upsampling is no better than their oversampling techniques. Magazine compares latest Wadia 860 against DCS Delius 24/192 upsample unit. Gives good overview of both methods of data processing, too complex to explain here, please read article. To summarize they say Wadia has perfected the CD sound to its highest level, but it still has underlying CD sound characteristics. DCS Delius using upsample somehow takes same data from CD and transforms sound in positive ways to sound more real than traditional oversample. There is no scientific explanation at this time, just subjective opinions of reviewers, regards Sam
It's a shame that Wadia might feel negatively towards upsampling, because their slow roll off filter in their DAC would greatly benefit if it were rolled off way above the audible frequency range, instead of WITHIN the audible range. I had assumed they were moving towards upsampling. Perhaps they'll eventually catch up to the rest...
Megasam, just went out to the local Borders and read the article in "HiFi News and Record Review". Thanks for the notice. Not sure what they were trying to suggest? They only compared the sound of two different units. I would have liked to hear about the differences wrought by sending the Wadia an upsampled data stream via Purcel or Delius (can't keep straight which is the "upsampler"). After reading that article, I'm still left with the same feeling: oversampling and upsampling are VERY similar as far as the processes go. Implementation (how much over/up sampling and amount of dither added) and choice of filter algorithm is likely to be most significant to overall sound. How do you "resample" a digital datastream? You oversample and interpolate the points between original sampling points. You may increase word length also, but this does nothing unless you add dither. I'm not an expert on this, but I do think I'm not far off. I've e-mailed several mfg's with specific questions regarding upsampling/oversampling. Haven't heard back yet, but if it turns out I'm way off base here, I'll report it here and eat my helping of crow. Just want to understand. Greysquirrel
I'm trying to tell you, I don't know how else to put it. Oversampling still sends the same data to the DAC. Upsampling sends the DAC data that has been sample rate converted to a much higher resolution format, while still in the digital domain. Oversampling means we are still talking about a DAC that converts 16 bit/44.1 PCM code, to analog. An upsampled data stream is sent to a DAC that (depending on what bit rate/sample rate that data is) is converted to analog with a DAC that could be 24/96, 24/192, 24/706, or 24/768........I thought all of this was common knowledge, and can't understand why you are confused. Certainly any manufacturer will be frustrated by these questions, it seems to me.
Perhaps I need to ask an even more elementary question to clear my confusion: with an upsampled datastream, what "information" is populated into the additional 16,711,680 word states (16 bit to 24 bit) and what information is packed in between the sampling points (44.1 to 96,192,706,768 kHz)? MSB has returned my e-mail and confirmed that the improvements brought about by upsampling (at least as they implement it) are primarily due to the ability to filter more aggressively outside the audio band, as well as the ability to utilize the greater linearity of the 24 bit DACS they use. Haven't heard back yet from Resolution Audio or Wadia yet, but will post their response when they do.
dCS, the British company that made the first upsampler product, readily admits that there is no known reason why upsampling should sound any better than oversampling. The processes are fundamentally the same. Since many well-trained listeners report that upsampled data sounds more natural and realistic than oversampled equivalents, then I think it is reasonable for listeners and manufacturers to be somewhat confused.
Thanks Onhwy61. I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a little confused about this subject. The two processes appear VERY similar to me and yet there is quite a stir about upsampling DACs.
I really don't have much to add, except to say that I too am curious about the sonic benifits (if any) of upsampling technology. I will make several observatons, however: Observation #1-A few years ago, many high end companies were crying (in writing to the audio press) that the sales of CD players were droping off because the press was spending too much time talking about the "new" audio formats "soon" to be released, and that the press was discouraging people from investing in newer CD playback units. But now, thanks to upsampling, 24/96, and all that jazz, we're all talking about CD players again. Just a coincidence? Maybe upsampling is "better", but maybe it's just marketing hype. I plan to find out for myself one day. Anyway, on to observaton #2- some people on this site need to lighten up! Remember, this is a HOBBY; it is supposed to be FUN! All the frustration and name calling I see in this discussion group can be a real drag. And the truth of the matter is this. No matter what you buy, no matter how much you spend, no matter how much new technology improves sound quality, no matter how superior your technical understanding is, and no matter how much more "analog" someting sounds---NOTHING WILL EVER SOUND LIKE REAL MUSIC! (the truth hurts, don't it?)----Right now the kid across the street from me is playing (smashing) the drums. I know for damm sure that racket I'm hearing it is not a home stereo. How can that be? Without soundstage depth, height, imaging, tonal balance, acoustical treatments, etc...I can easily tell the difference between live music and recorded music. BTY, I'm a professional jazz musician. I play 3-6 nights a week, 52 weeks a year, all around the world, with some of the greatest musicians alive. I have a stereo system with a retail value of over $15,000. And it never once fooled me. Maybe we need to upsamle our personalities: some of us have lost the ability to have fun:) Keep it real, and in perspective.
I certainly know how to enjoy listening to recorded music, and it seems to me that you are the one that doesn't know how to do that. Perhaps it's true with all musicians, but it seems that they're never happy listening, only playing. That's fine with me, and also a good thing; otherwise they wouldn't be playing what gets recorded, or playing live. But don't presume to tell me that I'm not having fun, just because I listen to recorded music. And regarding marketing hype, it's very easy for anyone in the world to just sit back, and spout that things that others have experienced THAT THEY THEMSELVES HAVE NOT, and are enthusiastic about, is all just "hype". I too think that there's a lot of "hype" in the world, and I really don't care if you think upsampling is "hype" or not...Go back to playing with your world class chums, and let us enjoy music the way we can, and stop begrudging it.
Hey, not bad Carl. My apt is to small for live music,as is most everybodys'(music room) Can't play a lick of anything.--All I got is my love for music playback; and my system. In reading,year after year people like Les Paul,Allan Parsons,all have one thing in common;Budget equiptment. Playing,over the years, for musicians, (listening in Allan Parsons case) has done something,It may be because it is their JOB.(Not an informed opinin) They may love performing,but it ends there. They know,as do we,nothing compares to live,and have little interest in our hobby,hey that's fine with me.I do have Purcell. working on Delius.It ain't just upsampling,It is HOW it is done.(like playing music).
I know this thread has gotton way off base, and is now a bit out of control. I suppose I'm as much to blame for this as anyone, so I apoligize, especially if I offended any readers. I have no doubt that most of us are passionate listeners and lovers of fine recorded (and live) music. If you read my previous post carefully, I specifically state that this new technology (upsampling) might in fact be better. And I also state that I plan to find out for myself one day. I'm not down on upsampling or any new development in the audio world. I just think we (myself included) can get carried away with the gear and audiophile thing. Home music reproduction has gotton so good, that most of these (or any) new developments are MINUTIA. True, many years of minutia will add up to a worthwhile improvement in sound. And maybe upsampling is the culmination of many years of 16/44 research. But has anyone checked out SACD? I had a player and 30 or so titles for about 2 months. Was the wait worth the hype? NOT AT ALL! Yes, it is in some ways a step forward, but not a HUGE step closer to musical (read emotional)truth, at least not IMHO. If we call ourselves CAREFUL listeners, I hope we mean carefully listening to the MUSIC. Not the wires, speakers, upsamplers, etc. In the end, we should just forget all this and enjoy ourselves, which I'm sure most of us do, most of the time. Anyway, my crack about forgetting how to have fun (again, read my previous post) was really NOT aimed at the listeners, it was meant to be aimed at the name calling, frustrated replies, and snide remarks found in many of these threads; and it's usually the same handful of culprits who seem to do it. Anyway, someone should have the right to ask a question without having to worry about getting beat up for asking it. And if it is explained to them and they still do not get it, either patiently try again, or let it go. Why respond with insults? Anyway, I'm sure I'll get bashed for this thread, and in some way my point will be proven. I hope however, that I am proven wrong. Nuf' said.
It's interesting, the emotional truth at the core of music has nothing to do with the quality of the sound. Maybe that's why alot of musicians don't have audiophile quality systems. The music really is only in your head. Deaf people have composed symphonies and I bet they "hear" it better than most people.
It's interesting, the emotional truth at the core of music has nothing to do with the quality of the sound. Maybe that's why alot of musicians don't have audiophile quality systems. The music really is only in your head. Deaf people have composed symphonies and I bet they "hear" it better than most people.
OK, guys, read the thread topic, and please stick to it. ALso, BE NICE! Otherwise, I'm gonna put all of you in "time out"
All I did was try to stick to the thread topic, and yet it seems someone using a woman's name doesn't like that most audiophiles simply like "gadgets" and how things work, besides their love for music. I won't apologize for this, and I am even proud of it! It's in the nature of most men to be curious about the workings of the physical world (and it doesn't seem to be that way for most women). It helps them appreciate it better...whereas those who aren't curious about these "tidbits" very often seem to have little or no appreciation for them. (I.e., on interstate highways, women driving their SUV's...aren't thinking about how heavy an 18 wheeler is, so they very often drive in their large blindspots, only thinking about staying around the speed limit...rather than foreseeing the possibility that the trucker might suddenly need to change lanes. Don't tell me any of you haven't seen this a billion times, as well!) It's all a question of personal prioroties and observatonal logic/natural curiousity). And, I feel that my views on audio in general are representative of perhaps 80% of "audiophiles". Also, we don't listen to music because we don't love it...
WOW! Lets get back to the topic(s). I too am very curious about the latest developments in DAC technologies. Carl, maybe it would help us layman if you could explain upsampling using an analogy (like when math teachers use a pie to help students visualize the concept of division)... it might seem silly but it would help get us out of the abstract world and into the physical world where things are easier to understand. You would be doing us all a great service if you could find a way to clarify this once and for all. Anyway, I do have a friend coming over this weekend with the Bel Canto DAC1, so I might have some more to say about that product early next week.
I emailed MSB yesterday regarding the Link DAC III's ability to INTERPOLATE AND UPSAMPLE. The response was as follows:

Thomas, We do have this available, we call it our upsampling upgrade. It does smart interpolation and upsamples the signal to 24/96kHz as well as 24/132kHz.

This upgrade is $199.00 and can be installed by the customer at any time.

Thank you for your interest, Scott Rust MSB TECHNOLOGY This information lead me to order a Link DAC III with the upsampling and interpolation chip. When I asked the Scott why does MSB not state anything about Interpolation on their website, he said "Nobody Knows what Interpolation is". Anyway. I have Pioneer DV-414 as the transport and the Link DAC III will complement it. I just thought I would interject my ignorance or 2 cents which ever is worth more!
I thought I'd done the laymen thing already, and as you'll probably see, I may still fail at that yet...........As said above by MSB (posted by perhaps an F-14 pilot?), interpolation occurs when voltage amplitude values are APPROXIMATED during this up-conversion from CD resolution data, to much HIGHER resolution data. It's sort of like a line doubler for video projectors...sort of, but not exactly..................I think of it in this simple way: the conversion of the audio data, in the digital domain, to a higher bit and sampling rate (upsampling), allow the high performance DAC to do its conversion on this LARGE amount of data, thus making full use of the DAC's superior resolution. IT'S NOT A MATTER OF CREATING NEW DETAILS IN THE RECORDING that were never there to begin with, it's a matter of getting the most out of what was always there...just like everything else in this hobby.......................It's also not merely "digital" we're talking about, but rather how the digital data gets turned into the analog voltages/waveforms...before it goes to your amp, or preamp. THAT'S ALWAYS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN DIGITAL AUDIO. Otherwise, you're making assumptions like my smug, MIT graduated, aeronautical engineer uncle. He's said the cliche right to my face, "but digital is digital; how could one CD player possibly sound different from another one?" You know, the old/stupid "bits is bits" argument, only he didn't even bother to think of it on that level............No DAC is perfect, but it is the critical "roadblock-weaklink" in the digital playback chain. Therefore, if you can make use of a "superDAC" on "mere" CD audio, it's much better than using DACs that operate only on the level of "CD quality" data................Anyway, audio is always about maximizing your UPSTREAM performance, in order to make full use of what you have DOWNSTREAM. UPSAMPLING "guesses" at many extra millions of possible "loudness" levels (and frequency "pulses" in time) in the digital data, BEFORE IT EVER GETS TO THE DAC (that needs all the "help" it can get)..............As perhaps most who'll read this know, SACD uses a different digital process, that samples at nearly 3 million times a second, and only uses one "loudness" bit, to tell if the waveform is rising or falling. It depends on the sheer density of those 2.8 million pulses every second, to describe how quiet or how loud the music is...............It's all much more complicated than this, but oh well, I'm not the real expert here...either from a designer's viewpoint, or from a journalist's viewpoint.
Carl, that was very helpful.Thank you for taking the time to offer such a clear summary. I'll get back to you all after I hear the Bel Canto DAC1 next week.
The following is the actual e-mail (in entirety) sent to me (this morning) by Resolution Audio in response to my question concerning upsampling / oversampling (the question was almost verbatim to my original question above). Indeed, there is no technical difference between upsampling and oversampling. The only difference I can discern is in the marketing. Indeed, digital filters can be very aggressive above the audio band without the adverse effects that analog brick-wall filters have. This is possible because of FIR (finite-impulse response) filters, which have constant group delay (zero phase effect vs. frequency). There is no physical realization of an FIR filter in analog. Using FIR digital filters allows the analog filter to be relaxed significantly, because the first "images" are located at much higher frequencies. In our cd55, we use a passive third order filter which is down only 0.2 dB at 20 kHz, yet the rejection of the images at 700 kHz is about 60 dB. And indeed, the digital filters do not create information that may have existed before the mic feed was converted to digital. Some external "upsamplers" may by their nature apply some other filter/eq, but this is independent of the a/d - d/a process. You are also correct regarding the delta-sigma dacs. These dacs are rated for maximum input rate, currently as high as 192 kHz. These converters all run at the output at much higher rates -- typically 12 MHz or thereabouts. The better ones from Analog Devices use extra filter stages when the input rate is lower. Essentially, the dacs run, say, 256x at 44.1 or 48 kHz, 128x at 88.2 or 96, and 64x at 176.4 or 192. This puts the noise modulator heart of the converter at the same frequency regardless of input. The best multi-bits, including the PCM1704, run upwards of 800 kHz, which allows 16x at 44.1 (and 8x at 96, and 4x at 192 input rates). In sum, your perception of "market jargon to draw interest" is dead-on. In addition to preying on the consumer base which generally does not have engineering degrees (and some manufacturers as well), these products offer the opportunity to sneak in digital eqs which will absolutely sound different. Better? That's a different story. Finally, we have just started talking to a dealer in Indiana. If all goes well, I'll pass along the info in a couple of days. Regards, Jeff Kalt Resolution Audio [email protected]
Carl, it seems that Resolution Audio wasn't frustrated by my question. Why must you?
Hi Greysquirrel-- excellent post, and thanks. Finally an answer to the oversampling versus upsampling question from someone who really does know. And I now admit that my original perception, that the two were different, was wrong. You may be interested to know that I emailed Theta Digital with essentially the same question. I got a reply from their Customer Services Rep. (not an engineer or designer); the Rep. asked their digital designers, and they flatly told him that "over-sampling and upsampling are the same thing", but implementation techniques vary. Cheers. Craig.
I guess Jeff Kalt is a better man than me. That's why I bought his CD player over a year ago. I guess since there's no difference in upsampling and oversampling, then there'd be no difference between my CD50, and the new CD55. I'm ok with that, too. Why aren't you, you little squirrely thing, you?
Again I advise reading August HFNRR, which describes the two techniques, although they can acheive the same end result, the "process" is and find out the differences, they claim they can hear the difference
Check out the MSB site's description of their new Platinum DAC where they take a stab at describing the differences. BTW this is an excellent unit. I replaced by Theta Pro Gen Va upraded to 96k with the MSB Platinum unit. I directly compared the Perpetual Technologies upsampler with both DACs and thought the result was inferior. I actually had the dCs units in my system on a borrowed basis earlier this year. In my opinion (but from my memory) while they gave better sound the Platinum covers more than half the distance from the Theta to the dCs. The Platinum's balanced outputs are able to drive my power amp directly from the DAC without an intermediate analog buffer stage. I think good comparison to heat the effects of the digital processing, if you have an excellent analog rig, is to compare the RCA Reiner recordings of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra and Music for Strings Percussion and Celesta on the Classics Records vinyl to the most recent remaster on CD. These recordings are some of the most realistic recordings of a symphony orchestra ever made. The difference with upsampling jumps out. (The vinyl is still better but not so much that really bothers me)
Thanks Megasam, the HFNRR article was most interesting. Thanks Greysquirrel for going to a source with cred. I agree with Carl's first 8/2 posting -- yes, you are not the real expert here. BTW, you really do owe Deborah1 an apology. Your 8/1 comments are way out of line, IMHO.
Thanks Onhwy61, but no apolpgy necessary from Carl. His remarks were so outrageous that I just had to laugh. I guess I did get SOME retribution: it seems us "less curious" types are not as easily swayed by what in the end is MARKETING HYPE! (see my post on 7/31) And this from Carl's FAVORITE digital guy, Jeff Kalt @ Resolution Audio! BTW Carl, kudos to you for sticking to your guns: I've seen on another thread ("What is Resolution Audio") that you even DISAGREE with MR. KALT on this topic of upsampling! Seriously though, we must all remember one thing, and this just might come to aid Carl's position in this matter (is that ironic or what)....Just because we have no rational explaination for how or why something affects sound reproduction, that does not mean it has no real effect; especially if "skilled" listeners hear a difference. Our brains seem to be able to perceive HUGE differences in sound quality where none exist on the test bench or in the designers lab. So maybe upsampling falls into this catagory; it can't be justified from a technical point of view, but it still somehow improves our perception of the quality of reproduced sound. But I do think Jeff Kalt made a valid point in his e-mail to Greysquirrel: different is not always better, or more accurate. And thanks Greysquirrel: this has been one of the most heated thread topics I can remember!
I also emailed Madrigal Audio with the question of upsampling vs oversampling. I think it's fair to say that Madrigal also makes some pretty fine digital products, and I have their ML 37 transport and ML 360S DAC. Their response-- from Customer Relations: "We're actually about ready to post a position paper on this very subject on our (web) site. You'll see it there soon. To help our Mark Levinson customers understand more about what's going on inside their processors (already), we're about to release new software that will allow the customer to see the output sampling rate (versus the input rate, which is what they see in the display now) with the touch of a few buttons. Mind you, this is all the new software does; add a feature not a capability, as OUR DACs HAVE BEEN DOING THIS UP-SAMPLING (OVER-SAMPLING) FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. Stay tuned and thanks again for asking about the facts versus the hype." Todd Sutherland, Madrigal Audio. (emphasis mine re: capital letters). As to the differences in music quality/character among different CD players and DACs, I think the Theta Digital response summed it up best: "implementation techniques vary". Madrigal has a nice web site, and I recommend that anyone interested in this subject check out their position paper. I don't know exactly when it will be posted. This whole thread has been very informative-- well mostly. Thanks. Craig
There are those of you who seem to relish in your opinion that my views on this subject are irrational, and for that, you owe me an apology...not the other way around. I'm only defending my own viewpoints, here, afterall. And if you persist in harping about Jeff Kalt, I may just e-mail him myself, to see if the above comments from him are even real. I am a skeptic, afterall, at least as much so as you think you are...
Hi Carl; I certainly hope you don't think (that I think) that your opinions are irrational on this subject-- we're all doing our best to understand it and its significance. You actually understand many of the details of this complex engineering subject, whereas I never will. I respect you, your views, and enjoy your posts. As to this subject; as a result of responses from Jeff Kalt (by Greysquirrel), Theta Digital, and Madrigal Audio, I've concluded that I was totally wrong about over-sampling vs upsampling-- these industry leaders apparently consider them the same thing, and I for one am glad to finally know this. My ego wasn't bruised at all when I found that my perceptions were wrong. As to differences in sound quality of digital components, I'll say again that Theta Digital is probably right when they say "implementation techniques vary". And that also explains why dCS gear may be so good (and so expensive) while others are building "up-sampling" components for a few hundred dollars. I'm looking forward to seeing Madrigal's position paper. Cheers. Craig.
Carl, I think you missed the point about the apology thing. None of us doubt your views on audio, and although we all might not agree with each other all of the time, well, that only makes things more interesting. And yes, you are very rational AND knowledgeable, at least when it comes to this audio hobby. When it comes to women, well that is another story. And I believe it was your remarks about WOMEN that Onhwy61 was refering to when he said I deserved an apology; nothing to do with audio at all. But keep defending your view point(s), and if you read between the lines, you'll see that most of us are on the same page as you.
Ahem. Ok. Guys. Enough. Lets be adults here. Carl is entitled to his opinion, just as we all are. But really, guys, can't we all just get along?? Carl, be nice, too, please, there's lots of good knowledge on this thread, but you keep gettin the newbies all riled up. Thanks.