XXHighEnd - The Ultra HighEnd Audio Player
August 18, 2017, 07:37:09 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: August 6, 2017 : Phasure Webshop open ! Go to the Shop
Search current board structure only !!  
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Calling acg - MSB Analog DAC  (Read 2766 times)
0 Members and 0 Guests are viewing this topic.
PaulF70
Audio Loudspeaker
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


View Profile
« on: May 05, 2016, 01:44:23 am »

Hi Anthony,

I've seen your posts in other forums where you related that you had an MSB Analog in-house and the Phasure handily beat it.  That's great, as the MSB Analog is considered about the best digital source extant for many, or at least south of $50,000 or so.

My pedantic question for you is: What were the differences, if you can recall?  How is the Phasure better?

I'm just curious.  I have long wanted an MSB Analog but could not put the $7000 (at least) trigger.  Now I have a Phasure NOS1A 75B so I don't have to worry about it anymore.
Logged
acg
Audio Addict
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 687


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2016, 03:15:06 am »

Hi Paul,

At that time I had one of the predecessors to the NOS1a 75B, the humble NOS1 (still have it - but am also listening to a NOS1a as well) which is a couple of steps down the Phasure ladder.  I was also running an earlier XXHE, which has improved, and had no Intona, RAM-OS or Clairixa USB or any such things...so it was a NOS1 with $2 USB and XXHE 1.186 if I remember correctly.

The MSB was the "top of the range" spec with the uber power supply etc. but was considerably "thinner" sounding than the NOS1, less weight across the entire frequency range, especially noticeable for me in the vocals and the percussive instruments.  Considering the difference in sound between the NOS1 and the current NOS1a, which I know quite well by now, and assuming that the MSB has stood still since that time (I don't know if it has or not) the gap would be considerably wider in that respect now.  Plus with Peters B'Ass unit under development and his enthusiasm about  its effect, I think that the MSB as I heard it then would be quite a step backwards from the current NOS1a/XXHE setup.

One of the things that I have noticed about the Phasure dacs when comparing them to other good dacs is that the Phasures always seem more balanced and composed and therefore engaging across all music genres.  I have heard dacs that sound better but they are only better for a certain genre or two (think girl and guitar or early Jazz or Blues), and if you poke orchestral or even modern rock at them they fall apart, but in their target area they can be stunning.  Is this accuracy?  Heck no, not if they cannot play other kinds of music well.  Would the current NOS1a/XXHE combination still sound lesser than those specialist dacs when they are operating in their own ecosystem?  I actually doubt it now, and I should probably schedule a rematch if I was at all concerned about it, but I am not.  The MSB Analog is more accurate than many dacs I have heard, but it still did not 100% dig out things like the growl in some female vocals or the proper pitch of the piano and display them with their colours intact.  Piano, percussive and vocals are the most difficult things for a dac to get right in my experience, in that order, and I have heard nothing that has been as good at replicating these sounds as the NOS1a.

The MSB guys also delivered to me their under-development server and some expensive power cables that supposedly go well with the MSB Analog, and to my surprise I did hear changes with those cables but they were for the worse...yet thinner sound especially in the mid and higher frequencies.  The special server seemed to work fine and I never could manage to get the MSB drivers installed properly on my XXHE PC to run it from there, although I would have liked to.

You will notice that I don't mention soundstage or image depth or "tightness" of bass when talking about the sound. These are not things that greatly contribute to my listening pleasure...I care about tone, engagement and reality.  The NOS1a is superb at all of those things, including that which does not worry me (well not the tighter bass - that is a misnomer in my opinion) and more, including its balance and composure during complex passages of music.   

I hope that helps.

Cheers,

Anthony
Logged

Audio PC
Asrock X79 Extreme 4-M/ Xeon E5 2648L 8 Core 1.8GHz 70w TDP running at 1.2GHz with Hyperthreading On [16 cores]/ 16GB Ram / RAM-OS / *All* music files are WAV / Isolated Silverstone USB Card fed by LPS

XXHighEnd 2.05 RAM-OS (W10586 RAM)
Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Buffer 4096 / Q1/3/4/5 = 14/1/1/1 / xQ1 = 1 / Processor Core Appointment Scheme = Core 1-3 / PlayerPrio = Low / ThreadPrio = RealTime / ClockRes = 1ms / Not Switch during playback = off / Xtweaks Balanced Load = 64 / Nervous Rate = 1 / Cool when idle = 1 / Provide stable power = 1 / Utilize cores always = 1 / Time Stability = Not Stable / Time Performance Index = Not the best / SFS 0.12MB Max 20MB / Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect = on / Start Playback during conversion = off / Do not start playback at all = off / Copy to XX-drive by standard = on / Always clear Proxy before Playback = on / Stop Remaining Desktop Services = on / Stop Remaining Services = on / Stop WASAPI Services = on / Stop W10 Services = off / Keep LAN Services = on / Persist = on / Use Remote Desktop = on/ Custom Upsampling / Minimize OS = on / Peak Extend = off / Unattended

Audio Chain
Silverstone USB3 (isolated) >> Clairixa USB (short) >> Intona >> Clairixa USB >> 24/768 Phasure NOS1a async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4 (4ms) -> 6 way active horn speakers (Single Ended Triodes)
PaulF70
Audio Loudspeaker
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2016, 06:11:34 am »

Anthony, thanks very much!

I also care not in the least for soundstaging and imaging.  I don't hear or notice those things when I listen to live music.  (Next week I'll be in NYC for biz and will be hitting the Vanguard and the Blue Note again - I predict my system will hold up fairly well after this recalibration.)

One thing that is a bit uncanny about Peter's DAC is that he relies heavily on measurements yet gets that body thing DOWN, and that such an incredibly common weakness in digital and one that is often seemingly "rectified" by DACs that measure poorly - with loads of low-order HD fattening up the sound.  We don't have that here, that is for sure.

I am a bit curious how you've ended up in the situation where MSB sends you their DACs, apparently for free, to then have you describe online what beats them. :-)
Logged
acg
Audio Addict
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 687


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2016, 08:05:53 am »

Well, it was not MSB that sent me their dac but the distributor.  I had called them up seriously interested in the dac, and I let them know that I had Peters dac here in the initial 90 day cooling off period and the distributor thought the Analog was up to the task so they couriered the demo unit, server and cables to me for a few weeks to try and make the sale. 

This same dac had been in Melbourne just a week or two earlier and had knocked of a high model Lampizator and another strong contender (cannot remember which) at an audio get together so it was properly run-in and everything was right about it.

So there is nothing special about me...I was just in the market for a really good dac and I had taken a punt on Peter (I was the second NOS1 in Australia - the other is about 3000km away) and I needed to do my due diligence for such a transaction.  I'm glad I did...it sort of quenched my desire to keep looking!   
Logged

Audio PC
Asrock X79 Extreme 4-M/ Xeon E5 2648L 8 Core 1.8GHz 70w TDP running at 1.2GHz with Hyperthreading On [16 cores]/ 16GB Ram / RAM-OS / *All* music files are WAV / Isolated Silverstone USB Card fed by LPS

XXHighEnd 2.05 RAM-OS (W10586 RAM)
Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Buffer 4096 / Q1/3/4/5 = 14/1/1/1 / xQ1 = 1 / Processor Core Appointment Scheme = Core 1-3 / PlayerPrio = Low / ThreadPrio = RealTime / ClockRes = 1ms / Not Switch during playback = off / Xtweaks Balanced Load = 64 / Nervous Rate = 1 / Cool when idle = 1 / Provide stable power = 1 / Utilize cores always = 1 / Time Stability = Not Stable / Time Performance Index = Not the best / SFS 0.12MB Max 20MB / Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect = on / Start Playback during conversion = off / Do not start playback at all = off / Copy to XX-drive by standard = on / Always clear Proxy before Playback = on / Stop Remaining Desktop Services = on / Stop Remaining Services = on / Stop WASAPI Services = on / Stop W10 Services = off / Keep LAN Services = on / Persist = on / Use Remote Desktop = on/ Custom Upsampling / Minimize OS = on / Peak Extend = off / Unattended

Audio Chain
Silverstone USB3 (isolated) >> Clairixa USB (short) >> Intona >> Clairixa USB >> 24/768 Phasure NOS1a async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4 (4ms) -> 6 way active horn speakers (Single Ended Triodes)
acg
Audio Addict
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 687


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2016, 08:26:54 am »


One thing that is a bit uncanny about Peter's DAC is that he relies heavily on measurements yet gets that body thing DOWN, and that such an incredibly common weakness in digital and one that is often seemingly "rectified" by DACs that measure poorly - with loads of low-order HD fattening up the sound.  We don't have that here, that is for sure.


Yes, Peter does rely on measurements, as he should, but he also is capable of figuring out what needs to be measured and adjusting the design to suit.  That 'working towards a goal' is much more productive than just taking stabs in the dark and hoping for the best.  Identifying what needs changing and then achieving that change is the right process to follow but is one that is not easy to do unless you have a keen intuition for these things.
Logged

Audio PC
Asrock X79 Extreme 4-M/ Xeon E5 2648L 8 Core 1.8GHz 70w TDP running at 1.2GHz with Hyperthreading On [16 cores]/ 16GB Ram / RAM-OS / *All* music files are WAV / Isolated Silverstone USB Card fed by LPS

XXHighEnd 2.05 RAM-OS (W10586 RAM)
Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Buffer 4096 / Q1/3/4/5 = 14/1/1/1 / xQ1 = 1 / Processor Core Appointment Scheme = Core 1-3 / PlayerPrio = Low / ThreadPrio = RealTime / ClockRes = 1ms / Not Switch during playback = off / Xtweaks Balanced Load = 64 / Nervous Rate = 1 / Cool when idle = 1 / Provide stable power = 1 / Utilize cores always = 1 / Time Stability = Not Stable / Time Performance Index = Not the best / SFS 0.12MB Max 20MB / Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect = on / Start Playback during conversion = off / Do not start playback at all = off / Copy to XX-drive by standard = on / Always clear Proxy before Playback = on / Stop Remaining Desktop Services = on / Stop Remaining Services = on / Stop WASAPI Services = on / Stop W10 Services = off / Keep LAN Services = on / Persist = on / Use Remote Desktop = on/ Custom Upsampling / Minimize OS = on / Peak Extend = off / Unattended

Audio Chain
Silverstone USB3 (isolated) >> Clairixa USB (short) >> Intona >> Clairixa USB >> 24/768 Phasure NOS1a async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4 (4ms) -> 6 way active horn speakers (Single Ended Triodes)
manisandher
Crazy Audiophile
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1959

www.the-unfair-advantage.com


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2016, 08:35:36 am »

One thing that is a bit uncanny about Peter's DAC is that he relies heavily on measurements yet gets that body thing DOWN, and that such an incredibly common weakness in digital...

This was one of my biggest issues with the Schiit Yggy, e.g. it made a grand piano sound like an upright.

Mani.
Logged

Audio PC: Phasure Mach II / Win 14393.0 on RAM-OS / controlled by RDC, no GPU card installed / connected directly to music server
XXHighEnd: 2.07 / Minimize OS / Engine#4 Adaptive / DB=4096 / Q1=0 /  xQ1=1 / Q3,4,5=0 / SFS=1.00 / XTweaks = 43, 100, 0, 0, 1 / Straight Contiguous / Clock Resolution = 1ms / Scheme 3-5 (low/realtime) / 16x Arc Prediction / Unattended
Main System: USB3 port -> *Lush* -> Phisolator -> Phasure NOS1a B75 G3  -> BD-Design BD30-SPR mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers
Office System: *Lush* -> Phisolator -> Phasure NOS1a G3  -> BD-Design BD30 stereo amp -> Impulse H2 horn speakers
doublelife
Audio Loudspeaker
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 57


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2016, 10:20:20 am »

I sold my MSB Analog DAC to fund my NOS1a (at least partly based on ACG's advice!). Soundstage was about the same between the two IIRC but bass was improved on NOS1a, greater weight in the bass notes. Both those atributes are very important to me.
Logged

PC  i7 / W10 10074 (x64) / hyperthreading ON (12 cores) / 32GB RAM / XX - OS on separate dedicated 256GB SSD - XXHighEnd: 2.03 / Engine#4 Adaptive / 4096 / Q1=14  / xQ1=10 / Q3,4,5=0/1/0 / SFS=4-120 / Straight Contiguous / Clock Resolution = 1.0  / Scheme 3-5 / 16x Custom / Peak Extend = OFF / Unattended / Minimize OS / Phase Alignment = OFF / XTweaks = 43, 100, 1, 1, 1 > 24/768 NOS1a 75B async USB DAC driver v1.0.4 1ms > KGSSHV Carbon amp > Stax SR-009
PaulF70
Audio Loudspeaker
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2016, 05:04:03 am »


One thing that is a bit uncanny about Peter's DAC is that he relies heavily on measurements yet gets that body thing DOWN, and that such an incredibly common weakness in digital and one that is often seemingly "rectified" by DACs that measure poorly - with loads of low-order HD fattening up the sound.  We don't have that here, that is for sure.


Yes, Peter does rely on measurements, as he should, but he also is capable of figuring out what needs to be measured and adjusting the design to suit.  That 'working towards a goal' is much more productive than just taking stabs in the dark and hoping for the best.  Identifying what needs changing and then achieving that change is the right process to follow but is one that is not easy to do unless you have a keen intuition for these things.

As he says, you have to know what to measure.

Anybody who points to THD measurements to declare one amplifier better than another I call - an idiot, to be frank.  (Ignoring HD spectra for instance is very naive.)

I don't know what measurements Peter relies on.  I am generally a subjectivist as I've found personally that *published* measurements at least generally have very little correlation with sound quality and realism.  But, like Nelson Pass says with regard to amplifiers, it is with simple circuits that measurements seem to have the greatest correlation with reality.

In other words, I am quite sure that Peter is not merely relying on traditional measurements.  I am tempted to call him a genius, and that might well be accurate.
Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1 RC2 | SMF © 2001-2005, Lewis Media Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.303 seconds with 19 queries.