GIGAPORT HD/HD+

A DIY digital music streamer with exceptional performance

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Ron The Mon
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French Context

Post by Ron The Mon » 2019-06-29 17:44

NinthWave wrote:
2019-06-27 02:53
There is also a saying, pardon me for my literal translation from french: "You won't know if you don't try"
What is the actual French saying? I am one-quarter French Canadian, a Phaneuf. My wife and I often converse in French. Our boat is named "Joie de Vivre": enough said.
I don't see why I should "curb my enthusiasm" ...???
I never said such. Just the opposite actually. You have much enthusiasm, keep it up! Are you naive? yes, very much. Also a good thing.

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"Frenchy"

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by maffe » 2020-01-20 22:40

I don’t know if this issue have been solved all reddy.
Just played one of the few 24/96 and both Volumio and Kazoo say “24/96”.
Latest Volumio installed.

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2020-01-20 22:52

I recall ninthwave initiated a request for change. Perhaps it came to fruition.
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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by maffe » 2020-01-20 22:57

Can’t tell if it worked earlier versions or not since I don’t have many high res records on my NAS, and the few times I do I have not looked at what Volumio/Kazoo have Done with it :P

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by jewa » 2020-01-20 23:02

There’s a new version (Gigaport eX) coming out in late February.
Hope it is good! Exiting times ahead.

Also the Gigaport HD+ can be had really cheap right now.

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by maffe » 2020-01-20 23:08

Yep and it’s, eeh, good looking;)
Guess we’ll see (hear)if the HD+ was a fluke or not then.
Have not spotted any price on the eX yet thou

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by teatime » 2020-01-21 00:28

maffe wrote:
2020-01-20 22:40
I don’t know if this issue have been solved all reddy.
Just played one of the few 24/96 and both Volumio and Kazoo say “24/96”.
Latest Volumio installed.
I think it's just showing the rates of the source material, not what it sends to the DAC. If I play a 192/24 FLAC, Volumio merrily displays that too.

ALSA, however, has this to say:
volumio@volumio:~$ cat /proc/asound/card5/pcm0p/sub0/hw_params
access: RW_INTERLEAVED
format: S16_LE
subformat: STD
channels: 8
rate: 44100 (44100/1)
period_size: 5513
buffer_size: 22050

.. so it's probably using 44.1/16

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ESI GIGAPORT: HD+ vs. eX

Post by Ron The Mon » 2020-01-21 03:41

Ron The Mon wrote:
2019-06-26 21:35
The GIGAPORT HD+ design was started when Windows XP controlled 72% of all computers worldwide. They had to develop software to control it. ASIO is a cheap open-source easy solution in Windows. XP is still about 6% of the market in 2019(!), probably dozens of times more than Linux and Raspberry Pi combined.

If I worked at ESI and was reading this thread and Lejonklou Forum Category, I would abandon any software support and look into potential hardware improvements as a way to increase sales. To change components in the GIGAPORT HD+ in the surface-mount assembly process and test them is far cheaper than software changes. Manufacturing a SUPERDUPERHD+++ GIGAPORT that was stereo output only with improved quality, eliminating superfluous components and connections could allow a product available across all software platforms.

Ron The Mon,
It appears you were half right; ESI has replaced the DAC chip and other components of GIGAPORT HD+ in the new eX model. It is allowing all playback modes to have 24-bit/192 kHz on all output channels. It is not stereo-only, but all channels are claimed to have the same quality.

However, ESI is abandoning all XP and Vista software support! It appears the new GIGAPORT eX may possibly provide an improvement over the new Mac mini built-in DAC headphone output. Same goes for HAKAI.

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ESI GIGAPORT: HD+ vs. eX

Post by Ron The Mon » 2020-01-21 03:58

Ron The Mon wrote:
2020-01-21 03:41
However, ESI is abandoning all XP and Vista software support! It appears the new GIGAPORT eX may possibly provide an improvement over the new Mac mini built-in DAC headphone output. Same goes for HAKAI.
Ron The Mon,
Thanks for the info!!! If it can improve upon my Mac mini headphone out, that will be worth the cost. The HD+ didn't cut the mustard, so I am skeptical.

I just preordered a GIGAPORT eX. I will try it with my Mac mini and HAKAI-alike and report back.

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Re: ESI GIGAPORT: HD+ vs. eX

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2020-01-21 10:38

Ron The Mon wrote:
2020-01-21 03:41
The HD+ didn't cut the mustard
[/quote]

In what sense did it not cut the mustard? I own three. It sounds great and is bullet proof. ESI has discontinued other models with fewer inputs and 24/96 support. Manufacturers change models frequently. It's the product life cycle.
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Re: ESI GIGAPORT: HD+ vs. eX

Post by matthias » 2020-01-21 12:20

Ron The Mon wrote:
2020-01-21 03:58
I just preordered a GIGAPORT eX. I will try it with my Mac mini and HAKAI-alike and report back.
Looking forward to your impressions with both servers.......
Thanks

Matt
LP12 / Exposure / JBL3677

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2020-01-21 13:54

Sopper bought an ESI DAC with 24/96 support and less inputs a few months ago. It was a discontinued model but I don't think he posted any reports of its sound quality.

I was told some time ago by an ESI supplier that the recommended Hakai DAC was being discontinued. It seems that supplier was correct. Given the size of the supplier it's no surprise to me.

The views on the other DAC will be valuable but IMHO there are bigger improvements to be found elsewhere.

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by OscarH » 2020-01-21 14:12

The HD+ is at least still available from Thomann - I ordered one just now upon realizing it's being phased out.

Should the eX prove better the second system will get the HD+ in a classic trickle down move... win-win.

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2020-01-21 14:42

Thomann was my original source. And they told me it was being phased out.

It's available cheaper elsewhere at the moment.

But in reality the DAC is one component. This DAC is already excellent. There are cheaper and easier ways in my view to improve the sound quality of the system.
Everything is a remix: Copy, Transform, Combine.

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by OscarH » 2020-01-21 14:53

FairPlayMotty wrote:
2020-01-21 14:42
There are cheaper and easier ways in my view to improve the sound quality of the system.
Yeah, following your findings from Oz with great interest even though I’m not yet at a point where I can begin to tweak things.

(Regarding the HD+ it’s pretty cheap regardless and I might, just might, have picked up a kids’ size guitar while I was browsing Thomann...)

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2020-01-21 14:56

OscarH wrote:
2020-01-21 14:53
FairPlayMotty wrote:
2020-01-21 14:42
There are cheaper and easier ways in my view to improve the sound quality of the system.
Yeah, following your findings from Oz with great interest even though I’m not yet at a point where I can begin to tweak things.

(Regarding the HD+ it’s pretty cheap regardless and I might, just might, have picked up a kids’ size guitar while I was browsing Thomann...)
It's too easy to buy something else when you're on there :)
Everything is a remix: Copy, Transform, Combine.

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Mustard Cutting

Post by Ron The Mon » 2020-01-21 21:13

FairPlayMotty wrote:
2020-01-21 10:38
In what sense did it [the HD+] not cut the mustard? I own three. It sounds great and is bullet proof. ESI has discontinued other models with fewer inputs and 24/96 support.
The HD+ does not play 24/96 with any Mac computer. The new GIGAPORT eX does. However, this doesn't guarantee better sound quality. To be fair, I haven't found a DAC that improves upon the headphone output of the new Mac mini.

I gave up on my HAKAI project because I didn't have the time, patience, or devotion. Reading the updates on this forum, I may give it another shot.

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Re: Mustard Cutting

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2020-01-21 23:26

Ron The Mon wrote:
2020-01-21 21:13
FairPlayMotty wrote:
2020-01-21 10:38
In what sense did it [the HD+] not cut the mustard? I own three. It sounds great and is bullet proof. ESI has discontinued other models with fewer inputs and 24/96 support.
The HD+ does not play 24/96 with any Mac computer. The new GIGAPORT eX does. However, this doesn't guarantee better sound quality. To be fair, I haven't found a DAC that improves upon the headphone output of the new Mac mini.

I gave up on my HAKAI project because I didn't have the time, patience, or devotion. Reading the updates on this forum, I may give it another shot.

Ron The Mon
The Mac mini rears it's head again.

Seriously, do you think the headphone output of the Mac mini is the best in the world? I suspect owners of DACs like the Accuphase DC-950 might disagree with you.

The lack of 24/96 at the playing music stage does not bother me because it's beyond the range of human hearing. The science is pretty clear.

https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

The video is very persuasive to me. So the lack of 24/96 doesn't bother me at all. I am aware of the science of the brain picking up information beyond the known capacity of the human ear and I'm very interested in the mechanism which is unclear:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10848570
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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2020-01-22 02:27

I really do wish I knew more about DACs and especially what the secret sauce is that the ESI guys either stumbled across or knew. Extravagant claims are made for many DACs. Few in my experience are as great value as the ESI.

I'm going to go better PSU and tidier build before I'd even think about changing DAC. It sounds great. If it ain't broke.....
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Mac mini Head Rearing

Post by Ron The Mon » 2020-01-22 05:39

FairPlayMotty wrote:
2020-01-21 23:26
The Mac mini rears it's head again.

Seriously, do you think the headphone output of the Mac mini is the best in the world? I suspect owners of DACs like the Accuphase DC-950 might disagree with you.
I never said the built in Mac DAC was the best in the world. It is better than every outboard DAC I've tried. Implementation is the key, I believe. Imagine if your HAKAI motherboard had a GIGAPORT HD+ built into it and eliminated all the extra connections and features and just was run stereo. Linn do this in their steamers.

I use my Oppo BDP-105D as a streamer and it sounds better than Spotify or streaming on the Mac mini. However, if I use the Oppo as a DAC for the Mac mini, it sounds worse.

I have a $170 Beresford TC-7510 DAC I've had for years and it still sounds great! I use it in my bedroom system. I compared it to Accuphase and Benchmark DACs traded in at a local dealer several years back. The Accuphase was the worst of the three.
The lack of 24/96 at the playing music stage does not bother me because it's beyond the range of human hearing. The science is pretty clear.
I totally disagree. I don't think it's clear at all.

I've found "Hi-Def" digital versions (software) usually sound worse. However, better "Hi-Def" DACs sound better even on 44.1, so a better DAC is a better DAC. Back to the HD+; I used mine on a Windows XP and 7 computer and it sounded best choosing the 24/96 setting even though I was only playing 44.1 files. Same goes for the Mac mini internal DAC settings.

The GIGAPORT eX is Thunderbolt3/USB-C and can carry more juice; that will work great with Macs. Macs can also now play at 24/196. We'll have to wait 6 or 7 weeks to hear how it sounds.

Do any HAKAI recommended mother boards have USB-C connectors?

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by jewa » 2020-01-22 09:13

The GIGAPORT eX is Thunderbolt3/USB-C and can carry more juice; that will work great with Macs. Macs can also now play at 24/196. We'll have to wait 6 or 7 weeks to hear how it sounds.
From the Gigabit eX specs:

USB 3.1 Audio Interface with USB-C connector (different connection cables included)
USB 2.0 compatible

So no worries regarding motherboard.

(Also I have just asked Jenving about any plans making a USB-C cable.)

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by Sopper » 2020-01-22 12:09

FairPlayMotty wrote:
2020-01-21 13:54
Sopper bought an ESI DAC with 24/96 support and less inputs a few months ago. It was a discontinued model but I don't think he posted any reports of its sound quality.
The ESI Dr. Dac Prime
Sound is (subjective) exactly the same as Gigaport HD+.
Plays in 192/24 and that’s what I wanted.
# HAKAI # Sagatun mono + Tundra mono # Harbeth SHL5+ 40th Ann # Mogami Neglex III 2803 + 2804

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2020-01-22 17:09

Sopper wrote:
2020-01-22 12:09
FairPlayMotty wrote:
2020-01-21 13:54
Sopper bought an ESI DAC with 24/96 support and less inputs a few months ago. It was a discontinued model but I don't think he posted any reports of its sound quality.
The ESI Dr. Dac Prime
Sound is (subjective) exactly the same as Gigaport HD+.
Plays in 192/24 and that’s what I wanted.
Thanks Sopper, it's good to know!
Everything is a remix: Copy, Transform, Combine.

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by lejonklou » 2020-01-22 17:26

Sopper wrote:
2020-01-22 12:09
FairPlayMotty wrote:
2020-01-21 13:54
Sopper bought an ESI DAC with 24/96 support and less inputs a few months ago. It was a discontinued model but I don't think he posted any reports of its sound quality.
The ESI Dr. Dac Prime
Sound is (subjective) exactly the same as Gigaport HD+.
Plays in 192/24 and that’s what I wanted.
That sounds strange, as the designs are completely different in nearly every aspect.

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Re: GIGAPORT HD/HD+

Post by Sopper » 2020-01-22 17:50

lejonklou wrote:
2020-01-22 17:26
Sopper wrote:
2020-01-22 12:09
FairPlayMotty wrote:
2020-01-21 13:54
Sopper bought an ESI DAC with 24/96 support and less inputs a few months ago. It was a discontinued model but I don't think he posted any reports of its sound quality.
The ESI Dr. Dac Prime
Sound is (subjective) exactly the same as Gigaport HD+.
Plays in 192/24 and that’s what I wanted.
That sounds strange, as the designs are completely different in nearly every aspect.
That’s why I stated that it is subjective.... I think to hear no difference.
Or maybe good dacs, even with different designs, are close in performance.
My RME ESI-2 DAC is not much different either...
# HAKAI # Sagatun mono + Tundra mono # Harbeth SHL5+ 40th Ann # Mogami Neglex III 2803 + 2804

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