Sound of USB filters on Vivaldi

The Vivaldi DAC manual is very taciturn about the sound of the 4 USB filters. Can anyone provide guidelines?



There’s already lot’s off info on filters on here. Just use the search function at the top right, and you will find lot’s to read up on.

USB filters? Please clarify. as that s new to me. There are PCM filters ( 6 available ) and DSD filters of which there are 5. As there are no 4 USB filters perhaps that I why they are taciturn?

The manual describes their action but not their sound. In regard to the sound it clearly says “” This is a personal preference and is best done by ear. The type of filter may depend upon the type of music you are listening to.

As I have often said : There is no right or wrong answer.

You will note, however, that different filters or the precise action of the filter changes according to the incoming data. dCS only provide a choice of suitable filters for each rate. On this one you simply trust your own ears.


My general answer is, of course I’m aware that ultimately preferences (for filters or anything else) are subjective. It wouldn’t make sense to ask someone to “choose” a filter for me. However, factual summaries are possible and useful. “Filter X gives more pronounced transients in my system.” “I have found the sound brighter w/ Filter Y.” That sort of thing can put some flesh on the bones of “out of band noise” and “Nyquist images.” Descriptive, not prescriptive.

More specifically, I’m using Theoretica’s BACCH system for crosstalk cancellation. It’s pretty extraordinary in the way it produces a 3D image. Lots of info on their site. The input is from a Mac mini to the USB port on the Vivaldi. And I do indeed have a choice of F1-4. But again, the manual doesn’t say anything here. BUT perhaps I’m going off half-cocked: perhaps these are just the 4 filters you’d expect given PCM at 96.

Jeffrey you are still anticipating a "right or “wrong” conclusion. The point is that different individuals do not necessarily find the same or similar sonic correlations for any given filter choice or may find the same filter choice acceptable for some music but not for other. To continue with your example:

It may well do in your system but it is not the case that it always will in any other system or to the subjective interpretation any other listener

Interesting. I’ve read about the BACCH and have been curious to give it a spin, just haven’t found the time. Do you use them with your main speakers, or headphones?

On your Filter question though, the dCS Vivaldi User Manual has a fairly terse but good explanation of the 4 PCM filters associated with lower bit-rates - those filters are not associated with USB or any other inputs as such, just the incoming rate. As Pete suggests though, any other interpretation of how they sound would be rather personally subjective.

Hi Jeffrey,

The filters themselves don’t affect the audio spectrum directly, they affect the characteristics of the low pass filters that take out the remaining energy above the Nyquist frequency so as such they vary for each different sample rate but ultimately what - say - F1 sounds like in my setup and what it sounds like in your setup will be different as the ancillary kit itself will also respond differently to the output from the filters, this is why they are very much a personal preference as to which you would use within the context of your own system …

Myself, I seem to pretty much stay on F3 for most of my listening as that seems to just sit with me a little better than the others but I couldn’t give you a sensible and objective description as to why.




@Anupc I’m using the “budget” version of BACCH for Mac. That involves a Mac mini & Babyface Pro FS for infrastructure, plus the entry-level version of the software. Total $$ out about 3k. A toe in the water approach. I use this only w/ main speakers, as I’m not a Head-Fi guy. So far I’m getting used to the sonics, but it certainly does what it claims, namely create a vivid 3-D image. I would say if you have any interest in XTC, give it a serious look. Also I know the founder, Edgar Choueri, and he’s a great guy.

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Understood, Phil, thx. I guess I have to believe that, just as in law there’s a “reasonable man” doctrine, one could allude to a “typical audiophile setup” for an approximate idea of how the dry technical deets in the manual imply a certain sonic profile. But that’s probably naive of me. And of course the main thing is to just listen and see what sounds best, I get that. :slight_smile:

If you look at what Apple, Theoretica and others are achieving, I think the future is bright for these technologies. At its best, Theoretica is jaw-dropping - and what Apple achieves with a cheap pair of earphones is pretty incredible too.

I think the issue is that the technologies need tweaking for different hardware, although this may have moved along since I last tried BACCH. Apple, obviously, control their hardware platform completely.

One thing I wasn’t so keen on is that you have to use USB with BACCH and the user-friendliness needed some work at the time (or explaining by a rocket scientist!). Edgar just happens to be a jolly nice rocket scientist :slight_smile:

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