flak monkey

Cheapo Chinese DAC testing results...

55 posts in this topic

Super Wammer
5 hours ago, dmsims said:

Sonos is a massively limiting factor when testing, it's incredibly veiled

Having compared it directly to CD I'd have to disagree.

Besides, in fixed volume mode and playing from a FLAC source (as I do) the digital output if the Sonos is bit perfect to the source. So it can't be 'veiled' playing through an external DAC.

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Super Wammer
7 minutes ago, JANDL100 said:

Yes, that's the kit.

But you can buy from the German seller I mentioned without the hassle / time / cost of getting the gear from China.

In silver or black! ...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/282251862033?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/272445414946?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I'm almost tempted to get one and host a DAC bake off . . . . .  . .

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Super Wammer

It won't be a bake off, it'll be a massacre! :D

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Super Wammer

Jerry do you listen through the tube output or SS ?

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Super Wammer

I prefer the solid state output.  I played around a bit to start with, and did a bit of tube rolling, but have settled on the ss for the last year or so.

For those that prefer a slightly more laidback, less precisely focussed presentation to me it's certainly worth trying both.

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Super Wammer

I'm assuming there will be  distortion through the tube outputs, so a warmer less precise sound.

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Super Wammer

I've no idea of the technical measurements, but the subjective performance certainly ties in with what you say.
Solid stated, the sound is astonishingly precisely focussed (assuming the rest of the audio system is capable), the valve implementation in this DAC does smear it out a little bit ime.  But tube rolling does show differences, so experimentation with the 5670 valve is interesting and their are lots of options available.

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Super Wammer

Thanks for that Jerry, I might look into getting one :)

Oh one more question, does it do 24/96 through the USB input. I could not find that info on their site.

Edited by greybeard
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Super Wammer

Right, so I have ordered one of these DAC 01A thingys.

Inititially I will trial it against Analogue output from Aries Mini with upgraded PSU, Chord DAVE, Bricasti M1 SE.

Then if it seems worthwhile I will open it up to a public bake off.

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Super Wammer
On 14/02/2017 at 09:38, Fourlegs said:

Right, so I have ordered one of these DAC 01A thingys.

Inititially I will trial it against Analogue output from Aries Mini with upgraded PSU, Chord DAVE, Bricasti M1 SE.

Then if it seems worthwhile I will open it up to a public bake off.

It's arriving today. Pretty fast delivery from Germany. I will report again, probably after listening this evening . . . . . . . . .

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Super Wammer

I couldn't wait and so have had a quick listen.

As the DAC01A was the new bit of kit it got plugged in first. Using the S/S circuit for the DAC01A ie not using the valve circuit and with an Auralic Mini streaming Tidal HiFi.

The initial reaction was that it is amazing value. I listened to a couple of tracks that are well known to me then I plugged all the kit in so that the outputs were all going through a Music First Pre Amp to enable easy switching between DACs.

Auralic Mini with the big Auralic power supply. - Nice sound but nothing special. A bit muddied in the bass and the bass was not all that deep. Mids also a bit claustrophobic and hemmed in. Just didn't sound all that amazing.

DAC01A - Much more open sound. Bass more resolved and deeper. The tracks just sounded more real and the music was more enjoyable. A very enjoyable sound. A big improvement on the Auralic Mini audio output.

Chord Dave - Oh, wow, now the music really was at a different level. More detail, more resolution. Much deeper bass. Lovely mids and top. The music just seemed to have more space between the individual instruments (ie you could really identify where they are in the sound stage). Just glorious.

All the volumes from the DACs were matched. Indeed, switching between them and only briefly listening to a dac for 10 secs or so before moving on gave the initial impression that they all sounded the same.

More listening to come and also to try the valve output from the DAC01A. I'll add a Bricasti M1 into the mix as well.

I think this has the definite makings of a bake off with guests.

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Super Wammer

Yes please Nick. :)

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Super Wammer

Ah well, not a bad start for my £150 DAC fave,

Seems like it easily beat a £450 DAC (plus whatever ££ for the fancy PSU?).

And was beaten by a .... err, £8k DAC.  

Is that right?

Let it run in for a bit .... I bought mine used, so I don't know if run-in is an issue.

The most expensive DACs I compared it to were around the £2k level.

Edited by JANDL100
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Super Wammer
1 minute ago, JANDL100 said:

Ah well, not a bad start for my £150 DAC fave,

Seems like it easily beat a £450 DAC (plus whatever ££ for the PSU?).

And was beaten by a .... err, £8k DAC.  

Is that right?

Let it run in for a bit .... I bought mine used, so I don't know if run-in is an issue.

Jerry, That's why I think it might be necessary to have a DAC bake off with a few mid price ones thrown in as well. The only person that I know who won't be interested is Serge!

I have in mind to keep the kit carrying simple and use my speakers and my amps (after all it isn't possible to improve on those so why bother with other peoples stuff?!!). The only variables will be the DACs.

I'll listen a bit more then post in the Bake Off section. The other possibility is to see if there is a room available at scalford and do a DAC bake off there?

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Super Wammer

The Auralic PSU you used - is that the £249 one advertised on Audiobarn's website? - that would make it a £700 DAC. :D

Edited by JANDL100
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