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Gigawork DAC vs Marantz CD67SE

Audiolab 6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport

madbullram

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Guys,
One of my close friend has also started his 2 channel journey. He is currently in the US of A and decided to get his CDP from there. He has a budget of 7-8k max, so was scouting in eBay.

He had almost decided on Marantz CD67SE (he liked CD63SE so has decided 67SE would be better, pls comment on that also) at around 120$, when he stumbled upon this gigawork DIY DAC.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Gigawork-24-192....l1262&_trkparms=|293:2|294:30#ht_7985wt_1242

gigawork is willing to offer it as a full DAC for 200 USD with an upgrade of opa627 opamps in the DAC along with the casing.
Ref: My new dac - Page 2 - Stereo Net Australia

Now, he wants to decide between CD67SE at 120$ or Gigawork DAC for 200$. If he buys the DAC he will use his old IBM laptop to play FLAC files

From convinience, he is fine with using the laptop.

I dont have any clue on this tech spec of the DAC so wanted your views. The stereo forum members says its better than DACMagic.

Your view pls

Gigawork specs:
Super High End 24-Bit 192 kHz with Up-sampling function DAC
This kit, which features the latest receiver ICs and digital-to-analogue chips, has 5 individual high-performance power regulation supplies. The best components are included. More impressively, you can boost the standard CD format to 24-bit 192 khz with our up-bit modular from either coaxial, optical or USB inputs. With repeated testing and modification, this DAC gives excellent performance in clarity and dynamics and offers good imaging with a large, layered sounstage. Our kit with up-sampling function at this price range is the ONLY ONE of its kind in the DIY market.

Features:
1. Digital receiver CS8416
~ 32 kHz to 192 kHz sample frequency range
~ Low-jitter clock recovery

2. Up-bit modular CS8421
~Our Daughter Board design means you can either up-sample (when plugged in) or go without up-sampling (when unplugged). which can NOrmally be found in expensive brand names.

3. DAC CS4398 -A stereo DAC for flagship audio products,
~ Advanced 24-bit resolution and sample rate up to 192kHz
~ 120db dynamic range, -107db THD+N

4. Best components selected
~ Philips high speed diode in 5 individual power regulation supplies
~ Dala and CGW military grade resistors
~ Wima and Nichhicon muse capacitors
~ High precision 1% Dale metal film resistors and Wima capactors,
~ DUAL-FET op-amp NE5532 for the output stage.
~ A pair high quality gold plated RCA sockets for analog output.
~ On board jumper to select the digital input ( coaxial / optical or USB ).
~ High quality Rubycon and WIMA capacitors.
~ Use a lot of High End Nichicon Muse audio grade capacitors.
~ Make to Order Toroidal power transformer, worldwide AC voltage , 110V and 220V, complete separate digital and analog AC supply.

Specifications:
Digital receiver CS8416
Digital converter CS4398
Up sampling chips CS8421
USB IC - PCM2902
Digital input 1x coaxial, 1x optical, 1xUSB
Analogue output 2x RCA
 

anm

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he can also consider hrt streamer II async usb dac. Costs 149 usd and is tailored for usb only.
I have one, and I am burning it in right now. As of now, it is quite detailed, bass is there, but the top end is a little sharp and bites into the ears.

Overall, I am not very happy with using laptop as a player - when using it in the office. There are lot of ticks - could be because of processor scheduling. They are long/ loud and irks me. I have set foobar on high priority but that doesn't help. Also foobar seems to be a little buggy, as it refuses to play a song and then you have to press play button 3-4 times before it agrees to play.
 

Thad E Ginathom

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Overall, I am not very happy with using laptop as a player - when using it in the office. There are lot of ticks - could be because of processor scheduling. They are long/ loud and irks me. I have set foobar on high priority but that doesn't help. Also foobar seems to be a little buggy, as it refuses to play a song and then you have to press play button 3-4 times before it agrees to play.
This is very bad. The least a PC should be able to do is to play some music! It is not asking much of it: a 286 should be able to deliver :mad:

It seems, however, that some just won't. Or that they won't using certain softwares. I wonder if your laptop has the dreaded DPC Latency problem? You can find out about, and download a testing tool, here. It's a small download: you just run it and watch the resultant graph.

You can find more of my experience with DPC Latency, which led to me building a new PC, here, but (typically of anything to do with me) it is a rambling thread, and I won't be offended it you give it a miss ;).
 
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anm

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but isn't async usb dac supposed to eat some of the latency? Is latency dependent on interface?
 

Thad E Ginathom

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My understanding doesn't extend very far into the architecture of computers, but I think it is to do with what is happening on the bus. The PCI bus, primarily, but when one looks at a block diagram of a PC, we see that that a lot of the I/O is clubbed together. This is certainly a physical problem: even with Linux instead of WinXP, my old machine still gave problems.

Foobar and VLC have been my favourite sound/media players (I still use VLC under Linux) in Windows for a long time. I forget if I ever made foobar work. Skype was an absolute no-go, like listening to stuttering; VLC could be made to work by adjusting the buffering, which one can do independently for different input types. However, by the time you have made it sufficiently high to play smoothly, you may find you have to wait a second or three for your music to start when you press play!

The other thing is that the on-board sound on my old PC was very much less affected than my PCI sound card was, but that sound card was much higher quality and I missed it. My sound card was (is --- I still use it today) old technology, pre-dating bus mastering. I didn't have a bus-mastering card to compare, but I did get equally bad results with a PCI firewire card and an external interface.
 
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kaushik

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Overall, I am not very happy with using laptop as a player - when using it in the office. There are lot of ticks - could be because of processor scheduling.... to play a song and then you have to press play button 3-4 times before it agrees to play.

Do u know how fast CPU is switched ..aaah! audiophiles conclude very fast
i suggest u clean the system there may be 'MANY' spywares running in BG or some
server app like SQL that is eating memory and resources

I am a regular user of USB DAC .. my lappy runs vista ..itz a basic laptop i never get pops /clicks . however i kick the spywares with 'spyware search and desroy';)
 
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anm

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I don't run sql server etc on my laptop. Outlook, firefox, ie are the main programs running.
I first HEARD problems and then came to the conclusion :)
 
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