Is it better to have DDC b/w streamer and DAC?

I’ve read a ton of posts about what exactly is a DDC / master clock, and still don’t understand a damn thing as all that technical engineering knowledge is over my head.

My simple question to those who have a DDC in your system - did your SQ improve a lot after adding that device? How did you connect between the streamer and the DDC?

Currently I’m using a Lumin U1 mini with Plixir LPS, and a Denafrips Ares 2. (also a Stellar P3 which I’m very satisfied :slightly_smiling_face:)

Can you explain what the acronym DDC means?

@goblue Digital to digital converter (DDC).

@cheongchaklaw - first, welcome to forum - I don’t think you had the proper greeting; as a fellow INTJ, you more than likely don’t care, but “hello” nonetheless.

I don’t have one in my system, but have heard several in various setups; from my experience, I offer the “it depends” nebulous answer. I do think it is system dependent and all the power supply / connection points play into the answer of help/hurt/no difference.

I get the theory on some options (eg USB can be troublesome at the DAC input), therefore a number of folks use the Matrix to move to I2S.

I know a couple have tried the Denafrips GAIA & IRIS, but as its I2S is not compatible with the Directstream DAC, I’ve ruled it out as an option to test.

Maybe others can chime in with more direct experience- most are helpful and can steer you in the right direction.

One thing to add. Most of the use I see are USB from Transport/Streamer to DDC, then I2S from DDC to DAC.

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This. I really enjoy my Denafrips Gaia, as it converts USB from my Auralic Aries G1 streamer to I2S for feeding into the Terminator+. I also use it to convert the optical signal from my Oppo BDP-103 transport to I2S out to the T+. The sound difference noticed would of course be subjective, but to my ears it is definitely there. YMMV.

Another benefit with this combo is that the Gaia uses the OCXO clock from the Terminator+, so both units are in perfect sync.

T+ and Gaia are exactly what I’m eyeing for the next upgrade… but it’s nearly US$8000 in Hong Kong and hopefully by the time I’ve saved enough there would be a 2.0 version of T+ :sweat: :sweat:

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Hello All

I have a Auralic Aries Femto connected via USB to a Singxer SU-1 USB Audio Bridge which is a (DDC) and then I2s out of the Singxer to my Directstream DAC. I am able to send DSD files (.dsf) on my HDD connected to my Auralic to the DAC natively (not using DoP) and think both PCM and DSD sounds better using a DDC than not using one. It might seen strange that adding another device in-between transport and dac would do anything apart from making the audio worse but its the exact opposite.

Hope this helps.

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Ditto. It’s better to not have the signal path too long.


Even though the signal path is longer by adding a DDC, in my experience it improves the sound by having one.


I am using a Singxer SU2 connected to a Topping D90 MQA. The Singxer does not support MQA. So my laptop is also connected directly to the Topping via USB with a switch. If I stream TIDAL Master files, I’d send the signal directly to the Topping. If I stream DSD files or Tidal HiFi, then I send them via the Singxer, which is a DDC. Does it make a huge difference? I think so. But like another comment here, it is entirely subjective. How much do we want to spend to reach the holy grail of better sound, eh?

Uhm, why does the DDC need to support MQA if the DAC does? The DDC is just converting the signal from one digital format to another.