Young DAC



  • Quite possible....
  • You're absolutely right ... and with the next driver or firmware release everything's vice versa   :-?
  • I suspect there is a difference, but just as different people like different music, different people like different sounds.

    I like what pleases me, and my reviewing experiences back in the day made me very aware that what pleases me may not please the other guy!
  • edited June 2011
    Please yourself!

    (I can say that because Dave & I ended up with very similar rigs to each other. Except mine's better!)
  • I suspect there is a difference, but just as different people like different music, different people like different sounds.

    I like what pleases me, and my reviewing experiences back in the day made me very aware that what pleases me may not please the other guy!
    Absolutely, nail, hit, head. Different people like different things. I'd go one step further than that. People like to hear differences so much, that when none exist they will make them up....

  • Hi, has anybody observed if it degrades the sound quality to use the levelcontrol in Mediamonkey?

    I use Mediamonkey with kernel streaming and Young DAC and an iPod Touch with Remote and Monkeytunes.

  • Ups, forgot: I use Windows XP.
  • An interesting read but with no measurement to back it up it's purely supposition. Integer mode can simplify things and with an integer capable dac maybe doubly so, but we'd need to see some sample accurate comparison data to be sure.

    That's the problem with computer audio, it went straight to 1990's marketing, missing out the 1950-60 objective measurement lead approach. I've never seen one damn thing from any of these 'engineers' to back up their claims with measurement
  • edited June 2011
    @ Christensen: please refer to the PDF above your Win XP post and see in section 2 "Digital volume control"
    Effect should be the same in Windows XP.
  • An interesting read but with no measurement to back it up it's purely supposition. Integer mode can simplify things and with an integer capable dac maybe doubly so, but we'd need to see some sample accurate comparison data to be sure.
    Good point Si - I like Charles Hansen's most recent post in the Decibel thread concernig fixed Integer mode. He talks of his impressions during development and then questions these same experiences, acknowledging Integer payback may be better - but for no apparent reason. I found his candidness refreshing and even handed.
  • Thank you Haujobb!
  • Interesting read, don't miss it:

    Thanks. I shall be reading it tomorrow when the brain cell isn't quite so tired.
  • Time to revive our favourite thread! :-)

    Keith (@coops). Do you know the state of play on Young drivers and OS X Lion? Thanks!
  • David Hi, I asked Marco the very same question, 'soon' he said.
    Kr Keith.
  • Thanks Keith
  • I tried it vs the CDQ today. The CDQ isn't anywhere near as good via USB as the Young. As a CD player however it comes very close, too close to call for me in fact, but as a USB dac, no way no how.
  • That's a comforting comparison, for someone who had been waiting for a 'lab. I don't even have a spinner now.
  • BTW, I thought Steven was getting his Eikos fixed, not replacing it? Will you do another recording of his system as before?
  • I'm downloading Lion onto my Mini as I type....
    Has anyone had a go yet?
  • All is good with the Young and Lion... Biggest issue was my NAS but after a firmware update all is fine with that..... 

  • Glad you've had no ongoing problems. I upgraded my laptop and iMac and had some NAS problems. I haven't got round to upgrading my MacBook server.
  • I got the new Kanye West & Jay-Z album delivered today from if anyones interested  :D
    It's absolutely awesome and sound amazing through the Young ! 
  • No crackling to make it more 'analogue' then?
    :-" b-(
  • Nope. I think they've been there and done that......
  • So then had an interesting afternoon yesterday. Mr Westlake came around with one of the two prototype MDAC's.

    It's a little half width box, basically the CDQ without the transport gubbins, there's  a few differences in terms of the output stage as well I believe. Unlike when Steven came around we plugged in into my power amps directly and used the Digital pre-amp function. We didn't level match or anything else and there was precious little in the way of A/B it was a lot of A followed by unplugging and then a lot of B.

    Whereas the CDQ sounded just like the Young when plugged into my pre-amp, these two were a world apart when the MDAC was driving my power amps directly. Almost chalk and cheese in fact, with the MDAC having the edge is bass definition, and an ability to unravel layers of complexity without getting congested. 

    The upshot was that after John left I spent a good while messing with the Young with some attenuators and the digital pre-feature in Decibel trying to remove my pre-amp from the equation. And what did I find out? Well Young sounds even better when suitably attenuated in the digital domain than it does via my pre-amp which smudges everything and blurs detail. Bugger. I run  vinyl as well so I need two sources so I have to have an analogue input for the phonostage.

    My search continues, but this time it's for a better pre-amp and not a DAC. 

    The Mdac sounds superb, especially if you can use the digital pre-amp feature, at £400 it's just an ultra no brainer if you have a single source front end and the gain/impedance set-up matches your power amps without any noise as experienced by a handful of CDQ owners with high efficiency speakers and moderate impedance power amps.
  • Thanks Si,
    Interesting to me as I'm in essentially the same position (though with different kit), and have pondering on such issues for a while. Like you I need preamp attenuation for multiple sources, but would like at least to experiment with bypassing the pre- for digital sources with their own volumes.
    I had decided to submit to laziness and leave things as they are with everything going via the preamp (NVA P90SA), and tell myself that the sound would be unaffected. Given your findings I should probably at least experiement a bit...
    A further issue in my case is that the rigid and fragile (though wonderful) SSP interconnects that I use would make experimentation at best a annoying, and at worst disasterous (if the solder joints break - though I haven't had this happen for a few years).
    I'll wait for a day when I'm feeling resilient and give it a go.
  • Doc, even closer than you think, my phono-pre IVC's use ,5 x 5mm silver foil as the gnd wire, they are uber fragile.
  • edited August 2011
    hi guys, have you considered passive pre amps with resistive ladder stepped attenuators ? might be worth investigating .
    all the best
  • Matt, my Passlabs B1 uses a Goldpoint stepped attenuator with .1% Vishay films, other than that it's just a buffer stage.
  • The nva p90sa is a stepped attenuator design (Shinkoh/Elma 24 step mono attenuators apparently).
    I upgraded to these from the standard p90 pots and there was an audible difference.
    That said removing all pots may be a good thing...A quick look at Richard Dunn's hifi subjectivist forum tells me that he himself is bypassing a preamp altogether in his own nva tfs digital setup. (I need my pre- for all my source needs.)
    But RD's current approach may be informative. He may have cruelly tossed me and others from his forum, but I hugely respect and enjoy his gear. His amps and cables aren't bad either... ;-D The man knows how to craft some sound from a decent source.
  • When I get my rig back out of its boxes I might try going 'pre-less'.
  • Hmm. Interesting stuff happening while I was away.

    I don't think I can do without a pre either, though, as I need a volume control for the TV. 

    Maybe I can find another way around it... Dunno at the moment.
  • image

    hi guys, the pic above is more what i was thinking ,even a simplton like me could cobble a decent one of these together , if you hard-wired all the interconnects you would effectively have a cable with an input selector and two resistors in each signal path , i think this is as close as you can get to source selection and direct input between source and power amp.
    all the best,
  • That's a great thought Matt, I have been thinking about hard-wiring my I/Cs to the Pre for a ling time now.
  • Very simple, eminently sensible.

    The Australian site seems better than the main from Italy! It has a built in pre...
  • The Vaughan seems a long time in development. With so many new DAC/Pre's coming onto the market it's looking increasingly expensive as well (assuming it falls in the 3-5k bracket). MDAC vs Vaughan anyone?
  • Well, I guess someone will do it.
  • Yeh, sadly for M2tech they have missed they boat, they had a niche and now the market has overtaken them. That's the trouble with working on multiple products at the same time with limited resources.

  • edited September 2011
    It depends how good the Vaughan is, doesn't it? And then we have the choice as consumers as to how much we want to invest in the law of diminishing returns.

    I haven't yet heard the mDAC, but I'm sure it'll be superseded sooner or later by something better.

    I'm waiting on the sidelines until I at least get some thoughts from someone whose musical/hi-fi priorities I know well and understand - that's no reflection on you, Si, it's just that I don't know your system, Although your choice of the Young previously does indicate we're possibly not that far apart.

    Even better, I'd want to get it in my system.
  • You have to hear everything in your own system and the only opinion that has any validity is your own.
  • Absolutely, Keith. But the main thrust of what I was saying was to challenge the assumption that M2Tech have missed the boat, when we haven't heard the Vaughan.

    There are loads of well-reviewed pieces of kit that I've hated over the years and loads of people's systems that I wouldn't use for propping the door open.

    So we get back to your point, I guess, Keith ;-)
  • This has to be true, hear it at home. Even trusted ears sometimes surprise us with their latest purchase!

    I would be happy saying I would happily live with a Vaughan, knowing a little of the 'house sound' but it always going to too rich for my blood I fear. By four of five times...

    As for the mdac, it will have to prove itself here before I change anything in the main system.

    if its worth hearing Dave, I'm sure we will find a way (again)! b-(
  • At this stage, I don't know that I would be happy with the Vaughan, even if I could afford it (looks in echoing depths of wallet, and notes small pieces of coinage cowering in dark corners).

    Sometimes cheaper products from the same manufacturer sound better than more expensive ones.

    Altogether now: You need to hear it in your system before you can make an informed decision!
  • No doubt you need to hear it at home. But that doesn't alter the fact that the Frankie is going to be 3x the Young cost to better it. While the mdac, in my experience, does it for half the price. That's a different game entirely, different sport in fact.

    I'm not saying m2tech won't be unleashing more great stuff soon, just that I don't think it will own the price performance slot like the Young briefly did. I'd love to be wrong, if the Young had an attenuator on it we'd not be having this conversation as I wouldn't still be looking.
  • There is just so much hype and BS difficult to cut through it, that's why it is so important to hear equipment in your own system, and form your own opinion.
    KR Keith.
  • One voice hardly counts as hype. My experience was simple, the mdac using its digital-out sounded better than my Young through my pre-amp.

    If the Young output a sensible voltage, say like the nominal 2 volt output, I'd be able to use the volume control in Audivarna+ and plug it direct into my power amps. Sadly even the first notch on that 24 bit volume control is too loud for late night listening so it's not really  a viable solution to achieving better sound for me.

    It's my pre-amp that is the limit, not the Young, the odd output specs of the Young just compound that difficult choice, pushing me elsewhere.

  • edited September 2011
    I know your post wasn't aimed at my post, but I feel there is and has been hype, Si, and it's nothing to do with your expressed preferences.

    To me, it's mainly been the mega thread that seems to have exercised that old Microsoft marketing tactic from back in the 80s/90s of stopping people buying other products by pre-announcing product that would be here RSN (real soon now), and it struggled on to the marketplace anything but RSN.

    Anyhow, that's a great clarification of the reasons for your choice.
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