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Digital to Digital Converters with Devialet - New products
#1
This is not a new topic, but some rather interesting new products have come to the market.  For a while a number of people have tried various "digital to digital" converter type products with the Devialet, and often reported good results.  A link below to the Mutec MC3+USB thread.  I think the Mutec has been one of the more popular choices in this area.

https://devialetchat.com/Thread-Mutec-MC-3-USB

There are actually a whole range of products in this category, but I have only seen posts about a few similar items actually tried with a Devialet, notably the Singxr SU1, but there might be others.  Then we have the "king of the price list" dSC Upsampler, which has been discussed recently in other threads.

From a technical perspective, these products do make sense, as they allow the use of the Devialet'e seemingly better measuring AES/EBU input.  Certainly for my ears, subjectively, I preferer to use the AES/EBU input.

Some interesting new products have come to the market:

https://www.denafrips.com/iris

https://www.denafrips.com/gaia

https://6moons.com/audioreview_articles/denafrips5/

http://www.audio-gd.com/R2R/DI20/DI20EN.htm

http://www.audio-gd.com/R2R/DI20HE/DI20HEEN.htm


Personally, I am keeping an eye out now for reports on the Audio GD DI-20.  In many respects it has similar functionality to my current Mutec MC3+USB, and has a 10MHz input that I could use with the REF10.  

In fact, with the Audio GD DI-20 I could use my REF10 to clock, and HQPlayer to provide DSD64, and perhaps mimic some of the goodness that I observed listening to a dCS Vivaldi Upsampler running DSD64 to a Devialet.  OK- maybe it would sound as good, which would be remarkable, or maybe not, who knows, but it is an interesting thought.  One thing is clear, it is a lot cheaper!  Plus, it does have a LPSU, rather than the Mutec's SMPS.

The Audio GD DI-20 is Chinese, so perhaps the does not give the confidence that one might grt from the very Germanic Mutec or the UK Cambridge built and machine finished dCS.  But there are some very smart people in China, and who wants to pay 1000's for a fancy case, it might just be a killer product?

Something to watch out for?
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - SOtM sMS-200Ultra Neo - tX-USBultra - Mutec REF10 - MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#2
This is very timely thread indeed, thank you!

An older device that should sound great, but lacks a clock input, is the Weiss Int204. I used to own an Int202 (firewire -> aes-ebu) with the original D-Premier and it did sound great, if not quite as good as Air. I don’t know what this would translate into with the Devialet Pro CI.

Having recently discussed this with Daniel Weiss ovef email he is confident that the internal clock of the Int204 is as accurate as the best external ones such as Mutec or Cybershaft.

Another data point is that Mutec is now accepting to ship MC-3+USB units with the switching PSU removed and replaced by 2 DC wires for the owner to connect himself to an LPS.

Cheers,
Bernard
Room: Gik Acoustics room conditioning | Power: Shunyata Omega XC + Shunyata Everest + Shunyata Sigma NR v2 power cables | Source: Mac mini with LPS running Roon core (Raat) | Ethernet: Sonore Optical module - Melco S100 + UpTone UltraCap LPS-1.2 | Dac/Pre/Amplification: Devialet D1000 Pro Core Infinity (Chord Sarum T RCA-RCA link) | Speakers: Chord Company Sarum T speaker cables + Wilson Benesch Act One Evolution P1
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#3
Audiobyte Hydra Z / Zpm
Clearaudio Solution Cmb - Achromat - The Wand Plus II - AT Oc9 III - Roon - Cisco sg200-08 - D200 Expert - Egglestonworks Fontaine II - 2x BK 200Xls ff Mk2 - Meicord Eth - Siltech New York - AudioPlan PowerCord S - mains stabilizer 1:1 Bartolomeo Aloia - HAF Drc

Marietto - Italia
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#4
I use a Singxer SU-6. The Singxer SU-1 released a few years ago raised the bar significantly, and the new ones are even better.

https://shenzhenaudio.com/products/singx...-interface

I was also keen on comparing the Audio-Gd DI20HE with the SU-6, but now the new Denafrips Gaia looks more interesting.

I find that even with a good DDC, the USB part still makes a big difference.
I use an isolating USB hub in front of it - the Uptone ISO Regen.

https://uptoneaudio.com/products/iso-regen

And I find that using these little iFi iDefender devices to inject very clean DC into the USB cable going into the DDC or Hub also makes a big difference to the sound. This is because the USB inputs on most DDCs with galvanic isolation power their isolating circuit from the 5V on the USB input.

https://ifi-audio.com/products/idefender3-0/
https://uptoneaudio.com/products/ultracap-lps-1-2

Made a lot of incremental additions along the way. If I were to start from scratch, I'd probably go with a good DDC, plus the iDefender and a good DC power supply in front of it. That would probably be the best bang for the buck.
Devialet 1000 Pro CI - AQ Diamond RCA-RCA-XLR  /  PC - ifi USB iDefender - Uptone LPS 1.2 + ISO Regen - Singxer SU-6 - AQ Carbon XLR
PSB Imagine T3  Anticables L3.1 speaker cables  /  PliXir Elementa balanced AC power  /  ifi AC iPurifier
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#5
@bernardl - I cannot comment on the performance of the Weiss devices as I have never had the chance to listen to one, but I am though going to drift into slightly cynical mode here.

Daniel Weiss states he is confident that the internal clock of the Int204 is as accurate as the best external ones such as Mutec or Cybershaft? In terms of published data, the Mutec REF10 (or the new SE120) and the better Cybershaft models have phase noise figures that are pretty much unmatched by anything. So I would politely ask, has Mr Weiss published measurements, provided a phase noise graph or perhaps advised the spec of the clock oscillator used? If so, great, how do they compare? if not, I will remain cynical...

@hardcore - I think in my case I tend to look at these products through the lens of of thinking "can I use this with my REF10". Basically, I already have the REF10 so anything that has a 10MHz input becomes more interesting. Although I think I agree with you in some respects, the Denafrips Gaia does look like the more compelling product.

So, when I look at any of these products I first think "will it work with the REF10?" From what I have read, the Singxer SU-6 is a bit of a killer product, better than the MC3+USB, but is it better than my current REF10 clocked MC3+USB? Who knows, but if I was going to try something new it would make sense in my particular case to try something that can utilise the REF10.

As for the Denafrips, this does accept an external clock, but only with 45.1548MHz and 49.152MHz clock rates, so whilst it looks to me like the better product, it cannot be used with the REF10. (Actually, I could use the MC3 to provide a suitable clock output, but running a clock from REF10 to MC3 to Denafrips does not seem like a sound technical approach, too many things in the clock signal chain) As a "standalone" device it may well be one of the best, early reports look good.

Then to the Audio-Gd DI20HE. It accepts a 10MHz clock feed, so is directly compatible with the REF10. Also, it can be set to output DSD64 via AES/EBU, which the Mutec MC3+USB cannot. This makes me wonder. As mentioned in other threads, the dCS Upsampler is just about the best thing I have heard feeding a Devialet, and this was when it was outputting DSD64 via AES/EBU. Combined with Roon or HQPlayer Upsampling to DSD64, the Audio GD could do the same thing, with the REF10 providing the clock. It could of course also be tried in normal PCM mode, and here it would at least offer an LPSU powered device to replace the SMPS powered MC3+USB. It might seem a bit of a stretch to state the the Audio GD could in any way approach the performance of the dCS Upsampler, but when you consider that it accepts a 10MHz clock input, and there are claims that dCS Vivaldi Master clock can be improved with the REF10 providing the reference clock, I am not so sure. I am seriously tempted to give this one a try, I will certainly be keeping a look out for any reports or more information on the device.
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - SOtM sMS-200Ultra Neo - tX-USBultra - Mutec REF10 - MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#6
@Confused - Interesting observations. I've never tried the external clock stuff. But going from your experience, the Denafrips Gaia 's clock input seemed designed to work with their new Terminator+ DAC's clocks.

Read good reviews about the DI20 HE as well. A friend bought a DI20HE. He uses a Weiss DAC, and upgraded from a Singxer SU-1 with external Uptone LPS-1.2 power supply. He thinks the DI20 is better, no question. But one thing that concerns me about the DI20 is the reliability and ease of updating the firmware, it apparently requires additional tools to do that.

In all this experimenting, I found that some big gains can be had, in tweaking the ground isolation of the USB devices - At least in my setup with the Singxer SU-6. I use the ifi iSilencer devices to isolate the ground from the PC side to the USB ISO Regen input, and from the USB ISO Regen to DDC. Improvements to me were in getting rid of some bass boom, improving that 3-dimensional feel of the soundstage, and in keeping the highs detailed but not harsh. These tweaks also make me wonder if the DI20 or the Gaia will actually sound better than the SU-6 or not? Maybe a lot of the improvements had a lot to do with the cables and grounding in the first place.

Maybe with a cleaner or floating "computer" source this difference will be less apparent.
Devialet 1000 Pro CI - AQ Diamond RCA-RCA-XLR  /  PC - ifi USB iDefender - Uptone LPS 1.2 + ISO Regen - Singxer SU-6 - AQ Carbon XLR
PSB Imagine T3  Anticables L3.1 speaker cables  /  PliXir Elementa balanced AC power  /  ifi AC iPurifier
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#7
To be more accurate, his answer focused on comparing the current clock of the Int204 to what they would get if they were to add the capability to sync to a 10 Mhz external clock.

Cheers,
Bernard
Room: Gik Acoustics room conditioning | Power: Shunyata Omega XC + Shunyata Everest + Shunyata Sigma NR v2 power cables | Source: Mac mini with LPS running Roon core (Raat) | Ethernet: Sonore Optical module - Melco S100 + UpTone UltraCap LPS-1.2 | Dac/Pre/Amplification: Devialet D1000 Pro Core Infinity (Chord Sarum T RCA-RCA link) | Speakers: Chord Company Sarum T speaker cables + Wilson Benesch Act One Evolution P1
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#8
@Confused @bernardl - Since you mentioned the Weiss INT204, maybe this is relevant. My friend who was using the Singxer SU-1 and now DI20HE, he is using it with a Weiss DAC202. Not sure how their internal clocks compare there.
Devialet 1000 Pro CI - AQ Diamond RCA-RCA-XLR  /  PC - ifi USB iDefender - Uptone LPS 1.2 + ISO Regen - Singxer SU-6 - AQ Carbon XLR
PSB Imagine T3  Anticables L3.1 speaker cables  /  PliXir Elementa balanced AC power  /  ifi AC iPurifier
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#9
The Audio GD DI20HE is being discussed on AS, and someone linked to this thread on Head-Fi:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/audio-gd-di-20.918123/

There is a lot to read in this thread!  Last week I slogged thought it, much off topic nonsense there as you often get in long threads like this, but there are some gems of information there too.

First to say that the thread contains many listening reports.  These are mostly very positive.  Not only that, but when I read these listening reports they were describing exactly what I would want if I was "fine tuning" my system a touch.  So this was definitely a big positive for me. 

Then come concerns, I can now understand exactly what @hardcore was referring to when he mentions reliability issues and possible issues with firmware updates.  There were a couple of people posting about issues and needing to return seemly faulty units, so this does give some concerns re build quality and long term reliability.

I then started looking elsewhere.  Not much information to be found as it happens, but I did end up reading about some other GD Audio products on ASR.  OK, I know ASR is not the most popular forum around here, for a number of reasons.  But measurements are measurements, and assuming they are performed competently you can interpret these how you wish.  In the case of some other Audio GD products, the measurements were just about the worst I have ever looked at.  So overall, reading the subjective stuff about the Audio GD I was pretty much ready to purchase, but when investigating further I decided that my current Mutec is just fine for now.  I shall still be keeping an eye out for information on the Audio GD, it is an interesting product, but have enough concerns not to take a punt and buy one. 

This is not the end of this little story though.  The Audio GD interested me because it could both do DSD64 via AES/EBU (which the Mutec MC3+USB cannot) and has a 10MHz input for use with my REF10.  Reading through the epic Head-Fi thread I found two other products that can do the same thing.

One is the Singxer SU-2, the other is the Gustard U16. Neither of these products are top of their respective ranges, as a quirk of how these things are designed, it seems that the models with the best clocks are also equipped with clock outputs for use with other devices.  It is then the lesser models with lesser clocks, that have the 10MHz input, for use with a better clock.

I then did a bit of research and reading up on the respective Singxer and Gustard models, and decided that between these two the Gustard would be the one to go for.  Remarkably, the Gustard is available for just £239.99 including delivery.  This is cheap enough just to take a punt on, and I guess if bought from Amazon it would be easy enough to return if there was an issue.  I'm very tempted!  So here is a question, has anyone tried any of the Gustard range with a Devialet?

It is also fun to think that the two products that I would be most interested in hearing with the Pro at the moment are the Gustard U16 (with REF10) and the Vivaldi Upsampler, retail prices £239.99 and £17,999.00 respectively.  (or £29998.00 if you include the Vivaldi master clock)  Shy
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - SOtM sMS-200Ultra Neo - tX-USBultra - Mutec REF10 - MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#10
(02-Aug-2020, 13:01)Confused Wrote: One is the Singxer SU-2, the other is the Gustard U16.  Neither of these products are top of their respective ranges, as a quirk of how these things are designed, it seems that the models with the best clocks are also equipped with clock outputs for use with other devices.  It is then the lesser models with lesser clocks, that have the 10MHz input, for use with a better clock.
@Confused - Those were the same threads that I read from as well.

I bought my Singxer SU-6 when it first came out, upgrading from an SU-1 but before the SU-2 was released. Many SU-1 owners did a simple modification to use an external DC power supply, and I did the same to use it with an external Uptone LPS 1.2 super-capacitor power supply. This was a huge upgrade in the sound of the SU-1.

If the SU-2 was available when I bought the SU-6, I might have tried it instead since I already have a super-capacitor power supply.

I've never used the Gustard and also read positive reviews of the U16. However, there are also many reports of issues with the Gustard. It uses an uncommon USB interface and many people have reported problems with drivers and stability, enough problems that some users have sold their U16's.

The Singxer units use a common XMOS chipset and drivers and are very stable - I use mine for everything from PC gaming to movies to music.

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/gustard-...ip.888947/

I do think the sound of the DDC is very system dependent though, so I'm quite hesitant to buy an expensive DDC without being able to try it in my system first.
Devialet 1000 Pro CI - AQ Diamond RCA-RCA-XLR  /  PC - ifi USB iDefender - Uptone LPS 1.2 + ISO Regen - Singxer SU-6 - AQ Carbon XLR
PSB Imagine T3  Anticables L3.1 speaker cables  /  PliXir Elementa balanced AC power  /  ifi AC iPurifier
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