Showing 1 of 336 conversations about:
Will
7561
Chief Product Officer
Jun 6, 2018
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Hey Friends, Here’s a summary of the top questions and answers from our pre-launch discussion. This covers the most frequently-visited topics from the first couple of hundred discussion posts. Q: What is R-2R and why do I care? A: A different way to process digital to analog conversion, which many audiophiles prefer for it’s characteristic “sweetness”. Q: Is this different from the Schiit Audio Multi-Bit DACs? A: Different species, same family. The Multibit DACs use chips with integrated resistor ladders. The RDAC uses discrete resistor ladders. Q: Is the RDAC a copy of the Hibiki DAC? A: No, the top PCB of the RDAC has a similar layout, but these projects are unrelated, read more about RDAC development here: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-airist-audio-r-2r-dac/talk/2100186 Q: Why use discrete resistors instead of a resistor array? A: Integrated resistor arrays are not inherently better or worse than discrete resistors. In the context of the RDAC, the price point made it unrealistic to source sufficiently wide and precise integrated arrays. Q: What are the main differences between the RDAC and other popular R-2R implementations? A: We've pared it down to the core elements that make R-2R DACs sound great, focusing on a discrete ladder implementation over the more popular integrated implementation. Q: Does this DAC “upsample” it’s input? Is it “NOS”? A: The RDAC up-samples the input but the digital-to-analog conversion does not oversample. Thus, it can be considered a “no-oversampling” DAC even though there is “upsampling” at the digital inputs (with an FIR filter to reduce noise through input processing before D-to-A conversion). Thanks for your interest in this product and don’t hesitate to join the discussion below!
Jun 6, 2018
bunkbail
178
Jun 6, 2018
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"No, the top PCB of the RDAC has a similar layout, but these projects are unrelated" Who are you kidding, man.
Jun 6, 2018
WaywarDreamer
16
Jun 6, 2018
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Hi will, before I commit, I would like to know if there will be another drop later on with balanced output. Given massdrop has a history of offering improved products after initial drops finish I don't want to commit here and regret it when the same product or a similar board with balanced output comes out
Jun 6, 2018
EniGmA1987
551
Jun 6, 2018
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@Will @CEE_TEE You say this product is unrelated to the Hibiki one, but there needs to be a much more thorough explanation or the issue wont go away in all your customers minds. the post below from @WilliamTse doesnt go into the proper detail as to the "why's". It is true there are only so many designs you can use for a good layout of the ladder, but this one in the RDAC looks to have the exact same PCB layout as that other guy who is complaining it is his design. The resistor parts have changed and a couple other parts have changed, but the layout design looks to be an exact copy. The whole top section above the resistor ladder and the bottom section below it look to even use all the same parts: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-airist-audio-r-2r-dac#imagecarousel https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-airist-audio-r-2r-dac/talk#imagecarousel
There are other layouts that can be used, for example here is what Augio-GD's looks like: http://audio-gd.com/R2R/R2R2/R2R25.jpg
So it seems very strange that this is using the exact design layout from someone else. Please address in technical detail how these two products are not the same design, and how it is that this was designed and why it looks the same as that other guys product. Just changing what resistors are used is not enough to make it a newly designed product. Who is this supposed consulting engineer who is supposed to have designed the product? Why didnt WilliamTse design it himself? How do you know that whoever you paid for the design didnt just take that other design and say "here you go!". IF this really was newly designed, it wouldnt share the same exact layout as that Hibiki one.
Jun 6, 2018
jaydunndiddit
3180
Jun 6, 2018
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@Will Yes, it would be great to know if any sort of balanced DAC is in the works for the latest batch of balanced amps you guys have released recently. Otherwise, as much as I like the form factor of the RDAC, I'm sure myself and others will just move on elsewhere for a balanced DAC and suck up not having a matching chassis.
Jun 6, 2018
FL_Guy
17
Jun 6, 2018
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Yep, sure would be nice to know if MD has any plans for a balanced DAC - preferably an preferably R2R DAC targeting an (even higher) level performance, for my $.02.
Jun 6, 2018
LordBorg
262
Jun 6, 2018
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I echo others here: will there be a balanced version of this DAC?
Jun 6, 2018
Will
7561
Chief Product Officer
Jun 6, 2018
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Someday, maybe 2019, no plans underway right now. We prioritize projects based on opportunity size and community requests. Comparing the return, and request counts on DACs to Headphones or IEMS... It's hard to justify the time.
We are working on a balanced version of the SDAC, but the release timeline is unclear.
Jun 6, 2018
Inorbit
79
Jun 6, 2018
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Very disappointed at your decision to launch this drop in the midst of a possible stolen IP project. We are no legal experts but the fact that IP laws are complicate, or any law in that matter, which would take lots of time and money to fight it out in court. So how can you say in 100% confident the design is not stolen? Did any of MD staffer even get in touch with sosolar to investigate?
And if indeed copyright law doesn't cover the trace layout on a PCB which you are in the clear and that's why you launch? That makes MD a very shady business.
I sure hope sosolar can find legal council and take you guys to court if indeed someone stole the design.
Jun 6, 2018
JDWarner
331
Jun 6, 2018
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Methinks you and most people underestimate the fact that electronics design and optimization often forces convergent design, particularly so in this sort of circuit.
Jun 6, 2018
Inorbit
79
Jun 6, 2018
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I am no electrical engineer nor legal expert. Are you? Me think you and MD are being callous.
Common sense tells us that it's impossible to sort out such complicated IP issue in under 24 hours. Fact is MD did not even contact sosolar to investigate as far as I can tell. So how could MD nor anyone claim this is not stolen? And did MD nor Airist proved indisputable prove that this is their won design? Can they show the prove of their development cycle? NO! But instead every explanation they gave so far makes me think otherwise. Yet, amidst all these accusation MD decided to launch before they clear any doubt.
But hey you are a grown man and can make your own judgement, educated or not.
Jun 6, 2018
bunkbail
178
Jun 6, 2018
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One would think that an optimal R2R design might converges to a MSB, TotalDAC or Metrum design, not a Hibiki (an exact 1:1 copy at that too). I'm literally laughing my ass off over here reading these kind of comments.
Jun 6, 2018
mtmercer
47
Jun 6, 2018
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Thanks for the info on potential future DACs!
Jun 6, 2018
jaydunndiddit
3180
Jun 6, 2018
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OK, gotcha. Thanks for the head's-up. Looking forward to any future news on that SDAC :)
Jun 6, 2018
Inorbit
79
Jun 6, 2018
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"Q: Is the RDAC a copy of the Hibiki DAC? A: No, the top PCB of the RDAC has a similar layout, but these projects are unrelated, read more about RDAC development here: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-airist-audio-r-2r-dac/talk/2100186"
This statement was posted 15 hours ago and you've invited sosolar to email you and discuss the matter only 2 hours ago? Just curious, how can you make such a claim before you've talked to sosolar?
Jun 6, 2018
Will
7561
Chief Product Officer
Jun 6, 2018
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Hey Inorbit, Thanks for your post, I've seen a couple like yours today. The RDAC is not a copy of the Hibiki DAC, as explained in the post you're responding to, and William's post discussing the development of the RDAC. The theme of your post seems like "how can you be sure it's not a copy?", so I'll expand on that.
As a company whose long term success depends on our ability to bring communities and companies together, no individual product matters more than our ability to create these partnerships/collaborations. This is different from most companies that produce enthusiast products, where the success of an individual product launch often makes the difference between paying rent or going bankrupt. I'm explaining this so you can understand the underlying incentives at play, and to help folks understand why there's a theme in many communities of companies doing shady things. So baseline, for us, there is no product that's worth being shady over, we're not worried about paying rent, we’re focused on getting more people into this community. Next, a big goal for us in these collaborations is to encourage more community members to create. As such, we go to great lengths to protect and reward those creators. We are approached by dozens of groups every week selling knocked off designs which have no potential for legal backlash and we turn them down. Instead, we work with, and compensate, the designer. We’ve paid out nearly $250,000 in royalties to Massdrop community designers over the last few months. I'm sure sosolar is a great person, and he/she is probably enjoying a spike in board sales given the thousands of American community members who learned about Hibiki through this discussion, but if the RDAC is a copy of this project, where’s the second board? Why is the part spacing different? Where is the chassis? Why is the power supply different? Etc, these points have all already been covered by Airist. If you want to say “I don't like that Airist's team was inspired to use a similar layout for the top half of the RDAC pcb", that's fine, but if you're going to call it a copy or stolen, that's unfair to Airist, Christian, and the rest of our team who spent hundreds of hours making this drop possible. If the RDAC was related to another project, it would have come out in the development process. To summarize, it's not worth it for us from a financial or branding point of view to support a copy, and it's fundamentally counter to our goals of supporting the development of more community designers. It’s been entertaining to watch this unfold, maybe we should add a popcorn button next to our endorsement button, but William provided the technical information, and I’ve provided the Massdrop priorities explanation, draw your conclusions. Thanks for being part of our community!
Jun 6, 2018
bunkbail
178
Jun 6, 2018
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"It’s been entertaining to watch this unfold, maybe we should add a popcorn button next to our endorsement button"
No you should add a thumbs down button instead so that we can see how these posts with dishonesty and lies will be disliked to death.
Jun 6, 2018
Inorbit
79
Jun 6, 2018
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Thank you for your single "form letter" reply to my many inquiries but still manage to avoid my question.
You talked to William from Airist but never talked to Sosolar, and yet you came to the conclusion that William and his team did not copy the Hibiki PCB?
After reading your disingenuous reply I've made up my mind once I received my last transaction from MD I'll cancel my account and never ever do business with again. Or better yet if you can cancel them now and give me the refund I'll get out of this shit hole immediately.
Thank you and good luck in practicing your questionable business model!
Thank you for the HD6xx!
Jun 6, 2018
Will
7561
Chief Product Officer
Jun 6, 2018
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Glad you dig the 6XX! Please contact support if you'd like your account deleted. I passed along your post, but they usually ask for a direct email confirmation.
Jun 6, 2018
Inorbit
79
Jun 6, 2018
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Glad Sennheiser is not some shady outfit!
Sure I will.
Jun 6, 2018
gerry.higgins
1
Jun 6, 2018
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How does it differ, apart from upsampling, from a DCS ring DAC or other FPGA-based DACs such as the Mytek DACs which use high quality chip sets? -Gerry
Jun 6, 2018
Tigerman
409
Jun 6, 2018
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Thanks for your response. It's good to know more about your perspective. The problem is that the two sides are talking about slightly different things - the usual hallmark of an argument. Yes, I have no doubt that you, @CEE_TEE and Arist had excellent intentions, and couldn't have brought such a great DAC into being without a lot of passion, hard work and original design. I often use your audiophile and knife collaborations as a benchmark for those things! And yes, I know that the R-2R board is just a small part of the DAC, so of course the whole DAC is not copied. On the other hand, everyone else here sees the R-2R board looking 100% copied, and can you blame them for calling foul? Can you blame them for feeling like you're not answering them, but just brushing off their questions with evasive answers? It looks like William made one small mistake/imperfect decision, which has blown up to overshadow all the other good work - but can you blame people for that? Now that this has become an argument, both sides have started to lose trust in each other, so it'll take some extra honesty and goodwill to mend that. As usual both sides feel aggrieved and wait for the other side to say thanks or sorry. @killerwingnut said it perfectly, in way fewer words than I could have: "Why cant Tse just say: "Yes, we saw a great way to do it and copied what we could see in the photos, and made the other layers ourselves. It took a lot of work to get it to sound like we wanted, but thanks to Hibiki for saving a few hours of development"
Jun 6, 2018
Mp29k
65
Jun 7, 2018
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You’re kind of a troll, bunkbail. You’ve made your point, at least 15 times today (conservatively) and been given several clear and thorough answers. You clearly aren’t interested in this drop, so MOVE ON!!!!!!!!!!
Jun 7, 2018
WilliamTse
103
Founder, Airist Audio
Jun 7, 2018
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Hey gerry.higgins,
The R-2R mechanism can be used in a variety of different ways. The RDAC uses a fundamental form of R-2R, a straightforward 24-bit sign-magnitude converter. More complex designs, such as the Ring DAC, apply different control logic to account for issues with tolerance and distortion that R-2R DACs can have. These are elegant solutions that sound great and are a different approach to R-2R than the RDAC, which focuses on simplicity.
Jun 7, 2018
bunkbail
178
Jun 7, 2018
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Sorry if things appear that way to you, it's just I loathe the dishonesty, clear violation of intellectual property of the original work, the constant evasion of responsibilities showed and the undermining of the importance of the R2R module by them. To avoid myself from sounding like a broken record, I'll restrain myself from joining these discussion threads for a couple of days, I'll just sit back and watch the truth unfold instead.
Jun 7, 2018
kris.skjordal
31
Jun 7, 2018
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EU plug available for us in Euroland who want this dac?
Jun 7, 2018
tomcun
50
Jun 7, 2018
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I am an engineer and product designer. I deal with issues regarding patents and IP all the time, although not for electronics. It certainly lowers your design cost, and risk, to copy a proven architecture which is obvious to anyone was done here. Looking at this from an ethical viewpoint: the original designer should be compensated for his work. Negotiate a deal with the designer, announce the fact that you have, and move on. It is the right thing to do.
Jun 7, 2018
dnr9
15
Jun 7, 2018
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Makes me wonder where the heron 5 design came from
Jun 7, 2018
Jackula
1712
Jun 7, 2018
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Been following this for awhile, but personally I feel both Massdrop and Airist were blindsided. There is a problem and it's being handled terribad. Both companies need to invest some serious $ into a good PR / damage control person. The longer this drags on, the more it's going to hurt both companies.
Jun 7, 2018
Proclus
12
Jun 7, 2018
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I'm glad bunkbail is on their case. The disgusting way they handled the situation (lies and more lies) , deserves them to hounded by someone like bunkball for a while!
Jun 7, 2018
coolerking
157
Jun 7, 2018
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Not so! There is another facet. Your comment is one point of view, the marketing point of view, that wants a product out in time to hit the right release window with the right feature list. There is also the Development of view that pushes against convergent designs and optimization because there are massive trade-offs in regard to quality and signal integrity. Optimization can mean reducing the BOM (Bill of Materials, $) One way convergence stumbles is in regard to noise on the ground and power planes. Designs and layout are optimized for a single design, and then you jam two together and the optimization of power and ground planes go to sh--. That is just one way. There is also clocking issues, signal path issues....... Typically there is an individual who understands development and the sales issues that makes the call.
At $350 I want quality, not want you speak to. There are too many excellent products out there already at this price with a track record, positive reviews from publications, and multiple comments and exchanges from MULTIPLE individuals commenting on the product that seems to indicate it is good product.
You need to release a product that has a rock solid design if you are not going to attack at price.
Or you can mislead the poor folks on MD into buying these products.
Jun 7, 2018
Wuthoqquan
80
Jun 7, 2018
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If it was true that you prioritize based on community requests, this RDAC should have come in a fully balanced design. The LCX discussion is full of requests for a balanced DAC in the same chassis/form factor of the Cavalli amps.... but I've never seen a reply from Massdrop or even a slight hint suggesting that something could have come to surface, to the point that I've bought a balanced DAC a couple of months ago. Going back on topic, what's the point of releasing a single-ended DAC, when the hybrid version of the CTH+SDAC was also released by Massdrop together with the stand-alone SDAC, while now you have the fully balanced LCX & THX amps lacking a proper matching DAC... All in all, I fail to understand the reason for such a decision and I'm quite disappointed by the poor communication and transparency by Massdrop. I never got a reply to the several inquiries made on the LCX forum about a possible external DAC, like many others who have been asking a similar question in the past months!
Jun 7, 2018
Inorbit
79
Jun 7, 2018
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Sell you a SE RDAC today, and by the time the drop close they'll announce the balanced one will be ready for Christmas. That's how you run a business.
Jun 7, 2018
Mp29k
65
Jun 8, 2018
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I think it’s dirty the way they are handling it, but the fact remains board layout isn’t patentable IP. they SHOULD give a shoutout to the original designer of the board layout, probably in the form of a signature on the board and a future collaboration on a Massdrop product. Personally though, I’m getting a kick out of all the outrage over a small piece of the design being copied (the other layers, the software, the implementation we’re not copied) when China is NOTORIOUS for legit IP theft and blatant copies (even sold as the original item). I’m most likely not joining this one, but for a completely different reason. Micro USB is a horrible choice for a desktop product.
Jun 8, 2018
Mp29k
65
Jun 8, 2018
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my ideal version of this DAC would add the following (maybe a v2?) 1. Give credit to Sosolar (May or not illegal what they did, but it’s the right thing to give credit) 2. USB B connector. 3. An RCA analog pass through or two able to be selected from front button so this can act as a switcher as well for those of us with one input amps, and 4. ideally a balanced out option as well. Do that and bring it to us under $400 and you’ll sell WAY more. Like if you agree please.
Jun 8, 2018
Geoff1954
7
Jun 8, 2018
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Apologies, I posted these questions elsewhere, but just found this thread....
1. No MQA capability with this DAC? But used with Roon I can still get the first MQA unfold?
2. One review shared with the drop says: Factor in the ability to upgrade it to an almost shockingly high level of performance, and you can see why it earns a very strong recommendation.” – John Grandberg on Head-Fi
What upgrade? How does one obtain it? What is the cost? Or does it not apply to the Massdrop version?
Thanks!
Jun 8, 2018
LordBorg
262
Jun 9, 2018
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Plus balanced, dual-DAC.
Jun 9, 2018
Wuthoqquan
80
Jun 9, 2018
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I'd like to have all the options you listed, starting from the balanced design with XLR outputs... but such a DAC would cost more than $400, if it still has to be a discrete R2R one.
Jun 9, 2018
Mp29k
65
Jun 9, 2018
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A man can dream. I can’t join this one. I’ve already jumped on HD650 and Darkvoice in the last 2 months. If this drops again though, with the change to USB-B, I’m in.
Jun 9, 2018
Will
7561
Chief Product Officer
Jun 10, 2018
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Hey Tigerman,
I think you captured the situation really well, and it seems like the post I just made on Head-Fi would be of interest to you. https://www.head-fi.org/threads/massdrop-x-airist-audio-r-2r-dac-a-discrete-resistor-ladder-dac-for-350.881315/page-12#post-14294445
Take a look and let me know what you think. Would the discussion here benefit from me posting the full text?
Jun 10, 2018
Inorbit
79
Jun 10, 2018
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Hum, I found it interesting you'll choose to post your respond on head-fi before you post it here. After all this is the official MD product launch discussions isn't it? Testing the water to see if it sits well with people's expectation maybe?
I'll say it again. It's the actions and manner in how you and MD handling this so far that makes me lost confident.
Jun 10, 2018
Will
7561
Chief Product Officer
Jun 10, 2018
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Sosolar was posting most recently on Head-Fi and the Massdrop discussion has moved on to other topics (power supplies, changing the USB input to USB-B, etc).
Jun 10, 2018
jaydunndiddit
3180
Jun 10, 2018
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Honestly, you really need to wait it out. They're opening up a dialog to hash everything out, and even offering to send info over to a 3rd party for verification. That seems to be a step in the right direction. I mean technically, they could have done nothing, collected money and never spoke of it ever again and leave their collaborator in the dust.
Fact of the matter is they took time to figure out what was going on (considering the language barrier) and try to parse the situation before responding. That's reasonable. And, they're still going through all the right steps to get answers for themselves and the community. Which is reasonable.
Honestly, until more information comes out, we're all just speculating and gossiping since we really don't know what's going on anyway.
Jun 10, 2018
Will
7561
Chief Product Officer
Jun 10, 2018
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Hey @jaydunndiddit, same question I posed to Tigerman. Do you think it would be beneficial to this discussion for me to post the full text of my Head-Fi post here? It seems like the discussion has moved on here but what do you think?
Jun 10, 2018
jaydunndiddit
3180
Jun 10, 2018
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Personally, it wouldn't hurt. For those who aren't on HeadFi and only browse here would at least give them additional context. People are chomping at the bit to know what's going on so I think it could help. Just being transparent and letting everyone know what's going on (no matter how small it may be) adds to the trust of the community here and anywhere else (imho). A sticky wouldn't hurt considering the attention this is getting. Just my .02 cents.
Jun 10, 2018
Will
7561
Chief Product Officer
Jun 10, 2018
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Yea I think that makes sense, thanks for your quick response 👍
Jun 10, 2018
Inorbit
79
Jun 10, 2018
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The following is my respond to Will's post over at head-fi. I still hope that something good can come out of this.
Here's my head-fi post: Thank you for taking time out on the weekend to reply. However, this might be a little too late for some.
As I said before I'm disappointed at the actions taken by you and MD. I would have totally bought this explanation if MD would have postponed the launch to do the investigation first. But instead, MD callously decided to launch. And put out a statement claiming the top board has nothing to do with Hibiki design before making any contact with sosolar? Also, your arrogance in hinting that this dispute might actually be benefited sosolar because it brings attention to the Hibiki? And just now you still try to play lost in translation and mocking sosolar's English? You could have had your Chinese speaking staff write him the message! Simple as that! (Will took time and effort to PM me and addressed the situation in regards to the language barrier and I'm satisfied)
I'm not buying your explanation at this point because it sound more like damage control.
But hey, mistake happens. You still have the chance to make it right. As suggested by others you can collaborate with sosolar to develop the balanced version providing that he is as good as he claims. I'll say that's a happy ending!
Jun 10, 2018
Tigerman
409
Jun 10, 2018
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Hi Will, thanks! That was interesting to read. I think many people here are really curious about the situation, and would like to read what you wrote here, as a sticky like @jaydunndiddit said. Although it might seem like the conversation has shifted to USB etc, I'm pretty sure a lot of people are waiting for more about the design controversy. I think people tend to identify with sosolar, since he appears to be an individual going up against a corporation, and the situation appeals to everyone's sense of fairness (even though I'm sure the reality is less simple). For that reason I think it'll be good to give everyone a nice win-win resolution. Also, this Talk section is the main resource for anyone wanting to do their due diligence on a significant purchase. Personally I'd expect myself to at least read most of the comments here before joining the drop, so I think it's good to keep it as complete as possible. Finally, although the conversation has shifted to USB etc. for now, I think it'd make depressing reading for future readers if the important issue appeared to have been allowed to "blow over" without any resolution. I feel a bit sorry to imply that you've been left to clean up a mess that you're probably not to blame for, but I think you'll do a good job, unlike Tse who seems to be (I can't describe it any better than what I read on SBAF, alongside the praise for the DAC) "looking more and more like a real turd".
Jun 10, 2018
Wuthoqquan
80
Jun 10, 2018
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... making it a fully balanced DAC!
I shall make a preamble and say that, after all the posts about the similarities between the RDAC and the Hibiki DAC, I do really have confidence in what Massdrop has explained and I trust the Hibiki could have been just a source of inspiration, which gave the RDAC project an additional term of reference among the many available on the market. That’s what it looks like to me at least!
So back to the RDAC drop: what about the XLR inputs available on the LCX? Why should anybody want to connect a DAC to his/her Liquid Carbon X by RCA connectors? In my case, why should I dump my high quality XLR cables (Audioquest Mackenzie River), buy new RCA cables and ditch the balanced design on my LCX? What was the reason for Massdrop not to offer a balanced DAC with both XLR outputs and single-ended RCA‘s that could pair well with all the Massdrop-Cavalli amps? Not to mentioned that quite a few members here have purchased both a CTH and LCX. Should they also buy two DAC’s, if a balanced DAC will ever be offered by Massdrop?
Jun 10, 2018
Geoff1954
7
Jun 10, 2018
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I see you respond to so many comments and questions on this thread -- including from folks who apparently want to debate the same issues endlessly -- so is there any chance you might respond to my basic questions (above) about the product that is being offered?
Jun 10, 2018
Tex1954
85
Jun 10, 2018
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Hi Geoff1954
Some how I feel we are about the same age. I believe the upgrade that John is referring to is the power source he used his linear power supply rather than the switching power supply that comes with the unit. And for MQA files I doubt that this DAC would have that capability but I could be wrong, I think they would state that in the Specs. Just reading the article below it seems to be specialized hardware for that. Though it is interesting Dragonfly DACS are capable. You could still use the Tidal desktop app. What streamer are you using for Roon?
https://www.whathifi.com/advice/mqa-audio-what-it-how-can-you-get-it
Reading John's review he has some interesting comments on how RDAC converts audio files with ROON. He doesn't mention MQA but rather how the DAC converts DSD files to PCM.
Jun 10, 2018
Geoff1954
7
Jun 11, 2018
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Hi Text1954, Good guess on the age! :)
I'm sure you're right about MQA but I don't know why it is so hard to get Will -- or someone -- to confirm. At one time the lack of MQA support would have been a bigger deal to me. Now that one can get the first unfold via Roon (or Tidal with the Mac desktop app) it's a lesser issue.
My Roon setup uses my iMac as the Roon core and a microRendu as the streamer in the room with my main two-channel stereo.
May I ask your thoughts on this DAC offer? I've read about the technology this DAC uses. I certainly don't "need" another DAC as I have three. But the price is right to try the different approach to processing the digital to analog conversion.
BTW my current DACs are Bel Canto 2.5, Geek Pulse and Meridian Explorer 2.
Jun 11, 2018
jaydunndiddit
3180
Jun 11, 2018
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If you're looking for a cheap MQA capable DAC, the iFi nano plays them and works well with Tidal. I've used the combo for a while with no problems.
Jun 11, 2018
Geoff1954
7
Jun 11, 2018
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Thanks! I already own a Meridian Explorer 2 which handles MQA files well.
Jun 11, 2018
Will
7561
Chief Product Officer
Jun 12, 2018
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Hey Geoff,
1. The RDAC is not MQA certified, I haven't tested it with any MQA services.
2. The upgrade being discussed is a linear power supply. The included power supply is not a linear power supply for cost reasons, but if you want to spend another ~$50 (I've seen posts claiming $5 on ebay to $100+ for "special" parts so it seems like you can spend whatever you want on this) all reviewers that tried it reported an improvement with a linear PSU.
Jun 12, 2018
Will
7561
Chief Product Officer
Jun 12, 2018
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Fair point, responded to your questions : )
Jun 12, 2018
Geoff1954
7
Jun 12, 2018
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Thank you. I think someone should test it with Roon. Or at least someone should read what Roon has to say about how it has implemented MQA, so as to confirm my understanding that an MQA certified DAC is NOT necessary to get the first unfold.
Why? Because this would be another selling point for the RDAC, that one can use it to enjoy MQA (those who care to -- I know MQA is controversial and I am NOT trying to get into that controversy).
I am fairly certain the RDAC could be used in conjunction with Roon's MQA implementation but would like to be 100% sure before I plunk down the money for the drop.
Jun 12, 2018
Will
7561
Chief Product Officer
Jun 12, 2018
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Makes sense, your best bet is to reach out to the reviewers involved to see if any of them use Roon and can test this for you.
Jun 12, 2018
Geoff1954
7
Jun 12, 2018
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Thanks Will. I have no idea how to do that.
Jun 12, 2018
Will
7561
Chief Product Officer
Jun 12, 2018
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The reviews are linked at the top of the discussion in sticky posts by Christian with links to their respective platforms. Project86 is on Head-Fi for example, you could send him a PM there, asking if he can test this for you.
Jun 12, 2018
Geoff1954
7
Jun 12, 2018
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Thanks again Will. I tried to find the "sticky posts" you referred to. I looked at the top of this discussion page and at the top of the page offering the product to begin with -- but no luck.
I'm just not as familiar as others are with the ins and outs of this kind of a discussion page. Oh well...
If you or someone else can pass my suggestion on to a reviewer, great. If not, I understand.
Jun 12, 2018
DontDooDad
94
Jun 14, 2018
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The first unfold (from 48 kHz to 96 kHz) can be done in software, which is what Tidal does if you set the quality to Master and don't turn on the MQA pass-through option for your output device. Paired with exclusive mode, Tidal should set the output sample rate appropriately. So with the first unfold done in software, any DAC capable of 96 kHz should do. Now, an "MQA renderer" like most of iFi's DAC/amps (provided you use the 5.3 firmware, which kills the S/PDIF out for any input, even non-MQA) can do additional unfolding. Some other DACs can do a complete unfolding, so MQA pass-through can (should?) be used with those. The RDAC isn't either, so you only benefit from the first unfold in software.
Jun 14, 2018
Geoff1954
7
Jun 14, 2018
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Thanks. That is my understanding also. I use Tidal on my iMac desktop with a non-MQA-compliant DAC (Geek Pulse) already. I also use a Bel Canto 2.5 DAC (also non-MQA) in conjunction with Roon on my two-channel stereo in a different room. I was just hoping that Massdrop would confirm that the Airist product would work with Roon in the same way other non-MQA DACs do.
BTW do you have an opinion to share on the Airist product? As I've said above, I have three DACs so hardly need another. But the different technology on this one -- and the chance to try that technology at a reasonable price which seems unusual -- is tempting.
Thanks!
Jun 14, 2018
DontDooDad
94
Jun 14, 2018
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I do like my Yggdrasil, the only multibit DAC I have heard in my system for a long time. I don't know how this compares and haven't heard it myself. But there's definitely reason to be curious about multibit DACs.
Jun 14, 2018
Geoff1954
7
Jun 14, 2018
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Thanks.
Jun 14, 2018
PeteMtl
341
Jun 14, 2018
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But Is this thing any good? Multibit DACs were very superior to delta sigmas, but a lot costlier to produce. Multibit in theory has frequency response non-linearity issues at low level (dB), while Delta Sigmas solves this at the expense of time alignment / jitter issues. But that is theory. I would be curious to hear this Multibit DAC. Back in the old days, the king of the mountain was the Multibit DAC TDA1541A-S1 double crown 16 bit 4X oversampling DAC from Philips. Most top of the line CD players from various manufacturers would use this over Burr Brown or other DACs. They produced sound that was warmer, with better harmonics, instead of the colder/more sterile DACs that existed in the same period. Later on Philips introduced delta sigma DACs “bit stream” DACs like the TDA1547 and all the other that followed. The reason was not for better sound, but for cheaper manufacturing costs. Delta sigmas were born. I am sure that the Multibit TDA1541 is still unsurpassed in terms of sound quality even today. And I find interesting that multi bit DACs like this one or the ones used in the Schiit Multibits are reappearing on the market. This one is interesting because it’s not a DAC on a chip like the TDA1541, but a discrete component DAC. But is it any good in real life? Where are the reviews ?
(Edited)
Jun 14, 2018
DontDooDad
94
Jun 14, 2018
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@CEE_TEE linked to several/all of the reviews in the Head-Fi thread, and they all sound quite favorable. I'm certainly curious about the sound of this thing as well. Especially if they do indeed offer a linear power supply as an add on.
Jun 14, 2018
Mp29k
65
Jun 14, 2018
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I’d love a streamer with an oled screen in the same form factor as well.
Jun 14, 2018
PopZeus
330
Jun 16, 2018
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That’s actually a brilliant idea. Network and Bluetooth streamer, along with a fully featured R2R DAC below that. The hard part is the UI and capabilities of the OS but that would be a truly unique product at that price range even if doubled in cost.
Jun 16, 2018
Tex1954
85
Jun 28, 2018
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Hi Will MarcSpence above has an interesting question about UBS3 to Lighting interface. Perhaps you might reply?
Thanks
Jun 28, 2018
zep483
637
Apr 28, 2019
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second this... this needs balanced output as well for the 789, ethernet for streaming, and mqa!
Apr 28, 2019
AdviceGuy
20
Jun 9, 2019
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Copy is too strong a term and technically incorrect... 80% "Inspired" is the nicer, new legal term... Haha! Do you realize just how common in electronics it is to copy someone's work? It doesn't even matter if they copied it, if sosolar didn't patent it. They probably refined it and thus it's enough change to not matter. Just because it looks exact and is exact, if it is implement differently ( as with second board) that is enough. It sad they didn't aknowledge or admit the "inspired" but in the end this topic is beating a dead horse.
Jun 9, 2019
roarWolfy
138
Jun 9, 2019
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Sosolar could not patent it anyways nor could drop. He is not the first to use a discrete ladder nor is drop. This R-2R tech goes back decades hence drop not needing to credit anything to anyone if no one has a valid patent or leasing terms for the tech.
Jun 9, 2019
roarWolfy
138
Jun 9, 2019
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If they can fix the early issues with the dac I would love to see these in a more expensive unit and have them make even more improvements. I would definitely pay more for more features like this.
Jun 9, 2019
RockyMountains
480
Jun 10, 2019
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The whole sosolar fiasco had absolutely nothing to do with patents.
(Edited)
Jun 10, 2019
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