Better ADC/DAC cards with Acourate?

Lewinskih01
Posts: 46
Joined: 19 Oct 2019 22:12

Better ADC/DAC cards with Acourate?

Post by Lewinskih01 » 14 Mar 2020 16:01

I'm considering options to improve my ADC/DAC and would appreciate your input. Today I have a Lynx Hilo with USB card, outputting 6 active channels: 2 subs, 2 midbasses, 2 to a tube amp driving midrange/tweeter with passive xo still in there.

What I seek with the upgrade:
1. Improved sound.
2. Enable active 4-ways. So I can take the mids/tweeter passive xo out. I'm hoping this will in turn improve sound.
3. Bonus points: streamline/tidy up my rack. System in the living room, so WAF important. Ethernet connection would allow to take the audiophile computer and LPS out of the rack.

Options I'm aware of and my considerations so far:
  • Hilo: biggest limitation is to enable 8 channels I would need to use the headphone out as interconnects, which looks bad in the living room. They have an ethernet (Dante) card, but Lynx can't assure it would work with Acourate and I haven't found users doing this. Would be the cheapest route to streamlining the rack, at the cost of the awkward headphone out cable and same sound quality as now.
  • Merging Hapi: a strong candidate. Would allow active 4 ways, has ethernet/Ravenna connection (streamline rack), and there are some good comments about sound quality as DAC, especially doing DSD. Not sure if Acourate and Hapi will work well through ethernet connection though (Hapi has no USB). Does anybody here have experience with this?
  • Prism Titan: Would allow active 4 ways, has ethernet/Dante card option (streamline rack). Very little info about sound quality, let alone use with Acourate thru ethernet. I seems no DSD support.
  • Audiophile multichannel DACs (Merging NADAC, exaSound e38) are being kind of disregarded because of timing issues from using a different ADC than DAC. Happy to be challenged on this assumption. Keeping Hilo for measurements and using one of these as DAC...bad idea, right?
Other options more than welcomed!
User avatar
UliBru
Posts: 444
Joined: 19 Oct 2019 13:58

Re: Better ADC/DAC cards with Acourate?

Post by UliBru » 15 Mar 2020 12:40

I have already set up Acourate solutions with Merging Hapi and Prism Titan without problem. Another solution is the Focusrite RedNet series. With RedNet D16R (but even with the cheaper miniDSP U-DIO8) you can run a fully independent ADC/DAC setup according to your sound preferences. Or feed full digital amplifiers (as I do).
For sound you have to judge by yourself.
The NADAC solution is of course of no compromise (measurement with Hilo would work).
Stay well tuned
Uli

Moderator
Acourate system: JRiver/Roon -> AcourateConvolver -> miniDSP U-DIO8 -> TacT M/S2150 amps -> DIY horn speakers
Lewinskih01
Posts: 46
Joined: 19 Oct 2019 22:12

Re: Better ADC/DAC cards with Acourate?

Post by Lewinskih01 » 16 Mar 2020 23:26

Uli,

Thanks for the input. It's comforting to know both Hapi and Titan have been set up properly with Acourate. Buying both to judge the sound quality is not an option for me, though. Could you please connect me with Hapi/Titan users who can share their views about their sound attributes?

I will look into RedNets. What would be their advantage over Hapi/Titan if I weren't going to implement full digital amplifiers?

NADAC plus Hilo is indeed much. I could try to find a used Nadac, but that wouldn't address the rack streamlining despite the added price.

Thank you,
Horacio
User avatar
UliBru
Posts: 444
Joined: 19 Oct 2019 13:58

Re: Better ADC/DAC cards with Acourate?

Post by UliBru » 17 Mar 2020 16:47

Horacio,

I'm sorry. I cannot help much here.

The Titan user has sold his Titan, now he is happily using a RedNet D16R in combination with a Prism ADA-8XR. Today I've been there and run a measurement incl. correction for his 3-way horn system. Great sound. But I don't know where the Titan has gone to.
A friend of mine is running a RedNet D16R with two ADA-8XR and a 6-way horn system and Pass Labs SIT3 amplifieres . This is my personal reference system over all the last years now. I have never come across a better system. That's why the previous Titan users has also switched.

There are 3 users of a Merging Hapi and they are all very happy too. Unfortunately they do not join the usual forums. I can ask one of them if he likes to tell you more. I like the Hapi sound and the design very much. A professional work.
IMO the NADAC is overkill here, just an upgrade for unsatisfied audiophiles with too much money. :mrgreen:
Stay well tuned
Uli

Moderator
Acourate system: JRiver/Roon -> AcourateConvolver -> miniDSP U-DIO8 -> TacT M/S2150 amps -> DIY horn speakers
Lewinskih01
Posts: 46
Joined: 19 Oct 2019 22:12

Re: Better ADC/DAC cards with Acourate?

Post by Lewinskih01 » 19 Mar 2020 00:02

Wow. RedNet D16R ($2k) + ADA-8XR ($11k) is some ADC/DAC setup! And two AD-8XR, so 16 channels!! I couldn't go that far. I'm an unsatisfied audiophile, but don't have "too much" money :lol:
FWIW, Nelson Pass SITs are up there in my list. I'm skewed towards SETs for mids and trebble, but SITs are such a low maintenance and suitable sound option.

I didn't get any hits for Rednet D16R on audiophilestyle.com to get a sense of sound quality. Same as Titan.

How hard was it to get the PC set up with Hapi? Ravenna knowledge required?
Would be wonderful if I could get in touch with any of the current users.

Regards,
Horacio
User avatar
UliBru
Posts: 444
Joined: 19 Oct 2019 13:58

Re: Better ADC/DAC cards with Acourate?

Post by UliBru » 19 Mar 2020 10:16

Lewinskih01 wrote:
19 Mar 2020 00:02
I didn't get any hits for Rednet D16R on audiophilestyle.com to get a sense of sound quality. Same as Titan.
The D16R is simply spoken a machine which does its job for digital input/output. So there is no thing like sound quality. If you like you can connect a wordclock. That's it. The sound quality is finally defined by the connected ADC/DAC.

For Titan you may read more at https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/prism-sound-titan or https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-c ... n-wow.html
Lewinskih01 wrote:
19 Mar 2020 00:02
How hard was it to get the PC set up with Hapi? Ravenna knowledge required?
The setup is not too difficult but a bit unusual in the first moment. Today the Ethernet sound devices are mainly dedicated for professional use. And the people working in this field think differently. Simply imagine you have to connect many devices at a broadcaster over several floors in the house. That's possible.
Whereas the typical audiophile setup is to use a PC with two different Ethernet channels one for the typical Internet stuff and the other one for the Merging Hapi. The Hapi can be connected directly by one Ethernet cable (possibly two if you add an Ethernet isolator like https://baaske-medical.de/en/223-networ ... -1005.html), no switch required . You need to install the software and to configure the connection. There is a web interface for the Hapi and an Asio driver. That's it. I have done this now several times and if you have questions I can give you answers. Acourate and AcourateConvolver directly connect to the Hapi by Asio. The Hapi allows different options for ADC and DAC, I would select the best ones.
The Hapi allows also to be tweaked by a wordclock or by an external linear power supply but IMO it is not a must.
Stay well tuned
Uli

Moderator
Acourate system: JRiver/Roon -> AcourateConvolver -> miniDSP U-DIO8 -> TacT M/S2150 amps -> DIY horn speakers
User avatar
Ackcheng
Posts: 63
Joined: 19 Oct 2019 18:31

Re: Better ADC/DAC cards with Acourate?

Post by Ackcheng » 19 Mar 2020 16:21

Hi Lewinskih01

I am a happy Hapi user. I run a digital 4 way XO with accurate. Acourate convolver works well with Ravenna setup
Lewinskih01
Posts: 46
Joined: 19 Oct 2019 22:12

Re: Better ADC/DAC cards with Acourate?

Post by Lewinskih01 » 21 Mar 2020 15:20

Ackcheng wrote:
19 Mar 2020 16:21
Hi Lewinskih01

I am a happy Hapi user. I run a digital 4 way XO with accurate. Acourate convolver works well with Ravenna setup
Thanks so much for chiming in! I'm very interested in your experience with Hapi. I too run an active setup with digital XO done with Acourate. Currently a 3-way because it's my Lynx Hilo limit, and looking into 4-way cards.
  • Do you have a computer directly connected to Hapi thru ethernet cable or have an ethernet switch in between?
  • Most interested about your experience regarding sound quality. What did you compare the Hapi to when deciding. Unfortunately I have no way of hearing one before buying, and even then returning it (from a different country) would be a big hassle.
  • Do you play PCM or DSD files to Hapi?
Thank you!!
User avatar
Ackcheng
Posts: 63
Joined: 19 Oct 2019 18:31

Re: Better ADC/DAC cards with Acourate?

Post by Ackcheng » 22 Mar 2020 08:46

Dear Lewinskih01,

You can see my system description here viewtopic.php?f=14&t=43
I have a PC for streaming and playback using HQPlayer which than passes the signal to a Mac mini running a program for XTC which then passes the signal to another PC for digital crossover. The 8 channels that passes over to Hapi for DAC. All digital equipments are connected via a switch.

I was using Metric Halo before with a similar setup but with AES connections and external clocking. Using Ravenna is a lot more neat and tiny and cabling is a lot more simple.

Both Metric Halo and Hapi are studio DAC and their character are very similar. More true to the source with no emphasis to any particular frequency. Some say its a bit sterile but I say its perfect.

Because Acourate can only do filters in PCM mode, I resample everything including all DSD files to 2496 before passing on. Acourate Convolver can auto switch the sampling frequency as long as it is less than 24192 but I only do my measurement at 2496, so I thought it is better to resample the source rather than resampling the XO filters
Lewinskih01
Posts: 46
Joined: 19 Oct 2019 22:12

Re: Better ADC/DAC cards with Acourate?

Post by Lewinskih01 » 22 Mar 2020 21:18

Arthur,

Thanks so much for the info and links. Nice system!!

I'm understanding you host Acourate and Convolver on the last PC before the Hapi, and a switch connects both Hapi and that PC. When you are playing back that PC receives the stereo stream, runs it through Convolver for digital XO and room correction and sends 8 channels at 24/96k PCM thru ethernet to Hapi. And when you take measurements you just take them from that last PC running Acourate and connected to Hapi as before. Did I get it right?

Did you consider (or tried and discarded) running HQPlayer to do the convolution, upsample to DSD and feed that to Hapi? Some Hapi users speak highly about its DSD256 capability.

Regards,
Horacio
Post Reply