rpi2 + iQaudio DAC + denon pma50 vs rpi2 denon pma50 on usb

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rpi2 + iQaudio DAC + denon pma50 vs rpi2 denon pma50 on usb

Postby tmilovan » 24 Apr 2016, 18:38


I have RaspberryPi 2 with iQaudio DAC and recently I've got Denon PMA-50 digital integrated amplifier. PMA-50 amplifier sounds great and built in DAC features some advanced DAC circuitry together with some advanced proprietary Denon technology so it should produce equal or superior sound in comparison to the iQaudio board connected to it via analog input. However I cannot get rid of the feeling that iQuadio sounds better and livelier than Denon's built in DAC. Am I imagining things or there really is some reason why iQaudio board might give better results:))?

Thanks :).
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Re: rpi2 + iQaudio DAC + denon pma50 vs rpi2 denon pma50 on

Postby PeteB » 28 May 2016, 18:05

It is entirely possible that the two sound different. Not likely one is better than the other, but since no small integrated amplifier/DAC can be "perfect", you can't get the best possible performance in all respects, and one may sound better to you than the other.

Your amp uses a technology called DDFA. The concept is about 8 years old (I think), and a lot has been written about it. Here is a link to a paper from one of my favorite brands, NAD, who was an early adopter, and co-developer(?).

http://www.goodwinshighend.com/manufact ... EU-Web.pdf

DDFA has impressive numbers on paper, but this is not "free". It achieves those results essentially by putting the material through another transformation in the digital domain.

Another factor is the USB interface. This amp and some other similar devices have had mixed reviews for their USB implementation. Not bad reviews, but enough to be a bit cautious (look up the first review on amazon).
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