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Topic: Strange feature of Topping DAC (Read 2198 times) previous topic - next topic
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Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #25
I've seen countless people attempted to bypass everything and think it is always a good idea...
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/for-those-who-worry-about-quality-of-software-volume-control.5922/post-172865

Written by me, but I specifically asked Archimago to proofread the article because I am not a native speaker. As a result the content is somehow changed.  foobar2000 1.4.4 was used and therefore something were changed now as well.
http://archimago.blogspot.com/2019/06/guest-post-why-we-should-use-software.html

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #26
I've seen countless people attempted to bypass everything and think it is always a good idea...

I think you might have meant "not always" ???

With me, trying to bypass everything is second nature :)
Back when I had the luxury of a real high-end system, I once decided to replace every fuse internal and external with
a crazy "audiophile" fuse (and I got the soldering iron out to remove one or two).  What an improvement to sheer
musicality !!

Anyway -- I must confess that I always do use the Foobar volume control (rather than keep it at 100%) and it never
bothers me.

So here's another question --

If the Foobar volume control is being used, is it then better to output at 24bits (playback preferences) even when
playing a 16bit file.  (Obviously ears are the ultimate judge, but I'm interested in the technicality of it).


Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #27
Use the highest allowed (24 or 32) bit depth, alongside with foobar's volume control and/or ReplayGain. If a bit-depth is not allowed in exclusive mode, foobar will show error, so you always know it.

Quite a number of DACs accept 32-bit input these days. Even in the most pessimistic scenario (non-dithered 24-bit), lowering a few dBs in the playback software is 100% harmless, you can do the rest in analog, of course.

foobar always use 32-bit float intermediate format in playback and file conversion, and will feed the DAC with 24-bit or 32-bit integer data depending on hardware and driver support. That's why I said the content of the article is somehow changed after proofreading.

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #28
16 bit in case of PCM audio means the format allows for a dynamic range of 96 dB (16x6) max.
The bit depth as set in Win (or any other OS) is the arithmetic precision of the path between media player and DAC.

Win by design will mix. So converts to float, mix, dither , convert back to integer.
Set the precision to 16 bit and it will dither at -96 dBFS
Set it to 24 and this will be -144 dBFS, way below what your gear can resolve.

Likewise if you use volume control e.g. reduce the vole with 48 dB

MSB                 LSB
1111111111111111
0000000011111111
You lose half of the bits if you set Win to use 16

111111111111111100000000
000000001111111111111111

You have the entire sample in the register when using 24 bits.

So as bennetng suggested, always use the highest available bit depth.

TheWellTemperedComputer.com

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #29
So as a 24 bit aware (or 32 bit aware) DAC cannot utilize anything below around 21 anyway, it would suggest that you cannot turn down more than around 5 bits (30 dB) before you start losing fidelity.

Of course it is possible to construct examples where that is "bad" (you have a world-record loud PA and attenuate it to civilized levels ...) - but not for sane setups.
Last two months' worth of foobar2000.org ad revenue has been donated to support war refugees from Ukraine: https://www.foobar2000.org/

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #30
Some of the worst case scenarios are people using sensitive IEMs with a product with rather strong headphone output, so dozens of dBs could be needed to achieve safe listening level, and doing so may reveal audible hiss, but still highly unlikely to reveal 24-bit truncation artifacts.

Some people said they have to use -70dB gain or so, I sincerely don't know if they were trolling or not.

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #31
I actually experienced the same with highly efficient loudspeakers. The amplifier in question had probably led a long and happy life with speakers at 85 dB senstivity on the watt, but, add twenty and there was indeed hiss out of the horns.

But -70? Did they build a headphone outlet for those 600 ohms headsets?
Last two months' worth of foobar2000.org ad revenue has been donated to support war refugees from Ukraine: https://www.foobar2000.org/

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #32
So just to round this off.  I checked what happens in "exclusive mode" when I tried to "mix" in a second source
from the same laptop.  Using the sliders (as per images above) I can play audio from e.g. youtube at the same
time, but whereas the main audio is routed out via the Dac to the external amplifier/speakers, the second audio
is heard through the laptop's internal speakers.

Clearly I had misunderstood the exact nature of exclusive output !

Many thanks to everybody for helping to enlighten me.