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Found 78 results

  1. Hello everyone, It's been a while but I hope you are all well. I've always had what I would consider to be a solid/modest mid-fi system. PC/Tidal > Cambridge Audio Dac Magic > Marantz PM8003 > Bowers and Wilkins CM7 with good quality power/speaker cables, interconnects and very conscious speaker placement for listening sessions. Room size 3.5m(D) x 4m(W) x 2.6m(H) Pretty much my dream set-up for a good 6 years and have had some great times with it. I recently heard my bothers new Amphion Two18 studio set-up, I was blown away. At the same time, I borrowed my friends entry-level Stax set-up consisting of SR - 207 Earspeakers and SRM -252S energiser/amp. (the speed of electrostatics!) Again, blown away. The overall impression I got was how resolving both systems are. Everything was bigger and better - Not just frequencies but the placement of instruments, depth of the music, details such as the sustain of reverbs on the vocals. You get the idea. I've been a musician for 20 years (but still learning to listen) and it made me realise that I was missing the true sound that the creator(s) wanted his or her work to be like. The whole process of making music takes a huge deal of time/effort and talent for musicians/engineers/mixers/mastering engineers to craft the end product and I'm guessing that all we truly want is to be in the (mix) room with them - the truest representation of how they intended it to be - with no loss of resolution in every department. I felt like I never got the whole picture, in this case, sound. I guess I'm ready to get into high-end sound. With that being said, and with a budget of £1k - 2k. What would give me the most tangible improvements? Dac, amp or speaker? List of potential gear I'm eyeing out: Speakers: Bowers and Wilkins 804S Amp: Yamaha A-S 1100 / A-S 2100 Dac: Mytek Brooklyn v1 Spotted most if not all in the used market. Thanks for your time and input. Always appreciated.
  2. I'd be grateful for further input from experienced wammers who have already been generous and patient... After a super-helpful conversation I landed on a Bluesound Node 2 as my new DAC/Streamer solution - and I couldn't be happier. My next project had dual purposes: do something about my complete and embarrassing lack of backup of my NAS take advantage of that backup to access my whole music collection in my northern man-cave in Kendal (and at Kegworth and ...) I bought myself a 3TB WD My Passport HDD drive. After a typically helpful Wam conversation (seriously!)... ... I spent an enjoyable, informative and scary morning with generous Dave (slavedata) looking at Pi-based solutions and have <whimpers pathetically> probably ruled that out. The most obvious solution is a second Bluesound Node 2. Formatting the HDD: Bluesound Node 2 can read (only) FAT32 and NTFS so I'll go with FAT32 (exFAT is equally platform-agnostic and doesn't have the 4GB file size limit but that is hardly a real world constraint for a music collection. Have I got this right? Connecting the HDD: If I buy a second Bluesound Node 2 it will live in Kendal; but the external drive (HDD) will regularly travel between there and the midlands for the purpose of backing up my NAS. I have read a couple of confusing threads on the generally excellent Bluesound support site which seemed to mix up USB memory sticks and external drives, and implid that I may have to reindex every time I plug the HDD into the Node 2; and/or that if I plug the same HDD into the router then I won't. That was the point at which I stopped reading and came to the wam... Reindexing doesn't take forever and isn't a showstopper but if I can just plug-and-play then obviously I'd rather do so. How shoud I be connecting my external drive/HDD to th Bluesound Node 2? Direct to USB port? Or via router? All advice much appreciated. Many thanks, Nigel
  3. Introduction Would love to have opened this up, but I only have a small living room. Visited by Metatron and George47 yesterday, together with George's AudioNote (AN) 2.1, an AN4.1 he is currently sheltering and the Matrix SPDIF 2 that he recently reviewed. I bought a Schiit Eitr and so we had a three way comparison between my current DDC, the SingXer F1, the Matrix and the Eitr. The main aim was to repeat the get together a couple of weeks ago where we compared the AN2.1 and Border Patrol (BP) DACs in Metatron's system, but in mine. My system (briefly): USB Storage/StarTech/Raspberry Pi 3 powered by R-Core Chinese LPSU via LT3045 Sonore ultraRendu powered by R-Core Chinese LPSU via LT3045 DDC DAC EAR868/EAR534 Focal 1008be II One thing I have been wrestling with for months is edge. I think there are a number of reasons for this and present in different, although similar, ways. I have made progress but this was again bothering me, especially as I thought I had more or less put it to bed a few weeks ago - this was a driving force behind trying the different DDCs. They made NO DIFFERENCE on the edge front, but something else did, which I will return to later. We made up a review music list, which was modified over the day: See Appendix A. The DDCs Metatron was delayed so George and I initially compared the DDCs. My view: F1 Detailed. Eitr Detailed. Bit more weight to the intruments. Bass perhaps a touch better defined. Matrix Wow. Detailed. Weighty presentation. Warmer. Excellent sound stage. More below. The DAC comparisons were therefore done with the Matrix. The DACs The DAC comparison was obviously very straightforward: 4.1 > 2.1 > BP. Actually I bought the Border Patrol having done long comparisons with the Bel Canto DAC 3.5vb, Schiit Yggdrasil and the Lampizator L4G5. All are good DACs but their presentations will suit different tastes and systems. For me the BP wasn't as detailed as the Yggy, or as euphonic as the Lampizator, but it communicated music in a joy filled and enthusiastic fashion that I find extends any music listening session. Listening to the AN2.1 at Metatron's was very similar to the BP, but added: a bit more bass weight; detail; and spacial positioning. It repeated this in my system. The AN4.1 is a bigger and MUCH heavier beast. I believe this IS probably the best of the DACs .....but NOT in my system; system synergy. The 4.1 extracted more detail and nuance but just lacked the boogie factor of the 2.1 and BP. Intellectually I believe the order of the DACs in terms of detail and presentation is 4.1 > 2.1 > BP; in the right system. However, in my system the order for me was: 2.1 > (4.1 = BP), where the detail and nuance of the 4.1 was equaled by the BP's boogie. We ended the day playing Streetwalker and Billie Jean via the 2.1, what a blast. Edge While trying the 4.1 we useed the SE inputs, but decided to try the balanced, this failed for some reason (I suspect my cables). I realised that I had plugged the balanced cables into my Oppo 105D a few weeks ago. Removing these cables appeared to reduce the edge we were hearing. I will be testing this again today. Matrix I am very impressed by this small box of tricks. It is not simply that I am hearing added detail from very familier tracks it warmth and instrumental weight makes me listen to whole albums where before I might have been inclined to listen to certain tracks. Conclusion I suspect I will be buying the Matrix. I am very happy with the BP DAC, which I think is an absolute bargain. However, if an AN2.1 comes up at the right price I suspect I will find it very hard to resist. Thanks to George & Metatron. Appendix A - Music Playlist --------------------------------------------- Let Me Touch You Fir a While Alison Krauss & Union Station Live (Qobuz) Track includes some high notes that can be hot on my system Columbus Mary Black Live at Oympia (DVD rip > 16/44) My favourite recorded version of this artist and song. Keith Don't Go Nils Lofgren Acoustic Live Virtuoso Guitar Son of Man Phil Collins Tarzan Soundtrack (CD rip) Can be far too hot on my system Happy Martin Sexton Seeds (CD rip) Sharp Recording Crucify (2015 remaster) Tori Amos Little Earthquakes (Qobuz) Come Together Brian Bromberg Wood (Qobuz) Big fat bass! Unfinished Sympathy (2006 remaster) Massive Attack Collected (Qobuz) Hella Bar Talk / Enterprising Young Man The Music of Star Trek The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (Qobuz) Powerful stuff. Jungle Tash Sultana Notion (Qobuz)
  4. I bought a few years ago a fancy silver wire USB cable, quite short and hand built, not too expensive but certainly not the £3-5 pounds of a standard USB printer cable (I think that's USB > USB B, I can't say for sure - it's a standard USB port to an almost square port, not micro or mini). The cable has been having some trouble recently (it's glitching / failing when bent out of shape) so just to get me running a few minutes ago I took a normal USB printer cable and subbed it in. Result - working sound, but not as I was used to from this system, just muffled somewhat. I could only stand this for 2-3 songs (listening to Reputation lol) so I swapped back in the fancy silver cable and restarted the album. How (since it wasn't working)? Just a different USB port on the laptop to minimise bends in the short cable (it's like 30cm). Any everything sounds better(!). The highs, the dynamics, the range, the whole sound is much improved. Which leaves me sorely confused. This is USB 1, not even 2, and it's a DIGITAL signal. How could a swapped out cable cause such changes to the sound? HOW? weird. I will admit to some volume changes on the amp in between tests but even trying to match volume it's clearly better. Am I insane? Is a 'fancy' cable making a difference to a DIGITAL signal? Huhhhhhhhh? Experiences welcome.
  5. Aune T1 Tube (ish) DAC

    Hi Anyone else have one? I have a V1 Aune T1 with an aftermarket tube - the original tube was too cheap and I had to get a couple more since the second I got was out of balance on the channels. I'm not sure what tube I'm running now but it's not particularly fancy or NOS. The tube here is only used in the DAC stage, somehow, I'm no expert but it's not an output stage tube afaik. I really like it! My comparisons are a Z906 headphone output (pretty crap) and a CA Dacmagic XS v2 (good but I believe held back by the USB based power). It's got body, it's got highs, I'm driving 600 ohm DT990 Pro and it's just amazing. Such a full bodied sound. I'm experiencing occasional channel imbalances when using it to drive actual speakers, but with headphones it seems just fine, it's quite old now so I don't mind this so much (and the 'phones sound so much better anyway). So - just curious if you also have this "cheap" DAC and how you rate it?
  6. Border Patrol

    I am surprised that BP don't have a thread on here, so let's start one! I only own the baby in the range, the Border Patrol DAC. This little box is just superb, and knocks that ball out of the park in terms of VFM. I compared it to the Schitt Yggdrasil, at twice the cost, and a Lampizator, at four times the cost, and preferred its balance of sound. My version just has a spdif input and the uprated PSU. Downsides? It will handle files up to 9624, but really only uses 16/44.1. Won't handle DSD, or unfold MQA. But, really when it sounds THIS good I don't care. I agree with this, even if my experiences with 'other' DACs is rather less extensive: M
  7. Matrix Audio Quattro II

    Matrix Audio Quattro II One of the great benefits of reviewing audio for the Wam is you come across some really interesting products. The Audiovalve amplifier was a great find. Its sound was everything you would expect from a great valve amplifier and it had distinctive, steampunk styling. I also discovered the audio market has developed what I call ‘all-in-one’ front ends. They consist of a DAC, a preamplifier and a headphone amplifier all in one box. I reviewed two of these all-in-one boxes and the sound quality was a pleasant surprise. But the big problem was that although they sounded good they were expensive. Whilst spending multi-thousands on an all-in-one box is reasonable value what do you do if your budget is not over a thousand and you still want a good sound? Enter Matrix Audio. Matrix Audio is based in Xi'an, China. Xi'an is an ancient city that is several thousand years old. It used to be the capital of ancient China and was so for 13 dynasties. The team at Matrix Audio are all into music and electronic/digital products. The CEO and CTO (Mr. Yang) have funded an audio studio for more than 10 years and started the Matrix Electronic Technology Company about 5 years ago. Matrix has an extensive range of more than 10 different models in 3 series, the X series, the Mini-i series and the Quattro series. For my review I listened to the Quattro II. I built up an image of what the Quattro II would be like. It would have an amorphous high density plastic box, amorphous circuit components and would sound well….amorphous and bland. The Quatttro II is packaged in a white glossy cardboard box. The Quattro II is a small, half sized 205×232×49mm black box. BUT. It is made of metal. Not only that this is no bent metal box, it is a solid CNC machined, thick aluminium case. It is a weighty item for something so small. There are no lid screws, just some stainless, machined screws on the front of the case. It is also superbly black anodised. And the remote control is a neat small handset made of aluminium, not a plastic abomination from the spare parts box. Amorphous plastic box? Wrong. OK how about the components used? It has the ‘magic’ ESS Sabre ES9018S DAC chip inside. This chip has fantastic specifications and deals with a large number of sample rates. The Quattro II has six digital inputs and can handle numerous digital sampling rates. USB deals with everything up to 32 bit 384 kHz PCM. The Quattro II also plays DSD, DSD64, DSD128 and DSD 264 via DoP, dCS and ASIO (native). OK very versatile. The Quattro II uses very low noise op amps (LME49720 ultralow distortion) and boasts a noise specification of >120 db. Amorphous components? Wrong. The Quattro II’s inputs include AES, coaxialx2, opticalx2 and USB. The outputs are RCA and XLRs with two headphone outputs on the front. I did all the volume control and switching using the neat remote. So how about the sound? I started using the Quattro II with headphones. I used my Senheisser HD202 and the sound was not bad. In fact it was actually a lot better than I expected. It was clear and transparent and voices were very clear and all the words were easy to hear. I have lost count of the number of high end audio systems I have heard where you cannot clearly hear the words being sung. Most singers have a message to their songs whether it is sad, happy, angry or whatever. It should be obvious what they are singing. OK Bruce Springsteen is an exception. The Quattro II allows you to decipher the words easily. The Quattro II did not have that sharp, clean and ultimately sterile sound of other ESS Sabre chips. A great start. I used my Logitech Touch connected to the Quattro II with the Quattro II in preamp mode. I tried all the digital inputs and found USB gave the best sound quality and was the most versatile. The Quattro II had some issues with my Senheisser Momentums due to their low impedance (18ohms) but all the other headphones worked without problems. The overall sound was very good and if you wanted to use is as a headphone amplifier it would work well. But it would only be using a part of what it can do. OK over to the big system. I fed the Quattro II with an Auralic Aries and took the XLR outputs into my Nord Class D amp and on to my Audionote Es (silver wired). I used my collection of ‘test’ music (no bland jazz stuff) and the system gave a good account of itself. The sound was clear, neutral and had good dynamics. It was easy to hear the lyrics. The contrast between well recorded tracks and those great music tracks that are not so well recorded was easy to hear. I soon left the test tracks behind and just listened to music that interested me including the latest albums. This was fun. The bass attack and timing was very good and fast tracks kept that speed really well. No slowing down of the pace due to a fat, slow bass or thin bass with just a ‘pip’ in the background. No it did not capture that last bit of deep bass but give the little guy a break. The mid-range was clear and voices were easy to hear. The 3D soundstage had more width than depth but what depth was there was only slightly curtailed and would probably not be missed. To be honest I was just having great fun. This system performed well and only uses a few boxes rather than my normal collection that takes over the top end of the living room. Need to keep it away from the wife and that ultimate comment ‘what that little box does what those three big ugly boxes do?’ I could get picky but remember that every component in this system, including the cables, were at least 50% more expensive than the Quattro II. So over the next few days I was playing a lot of favourite music including opera where it was easy to hear the words even if I could not understand the language. Maria Callas sounded clear and easy on the ear as well as being suitably dramatic. Girl and guitar is the real forte of this set up. Big powerful rock and classical was played with real dynamics. OK the ultimate dynamics and emotional quotient was reduced but boy would it cost you a lot to realise it. So in summary, this little box is not an amorphous bland box. It uses CNC machined aluminium, with highly desirable audiophile components, it is easy to use and extremely versatile and the sound is good. The few areas where it does not shine is no great deal and I can see it being used in a system with active speakers or a separates system with better power amplifiers and speakers and still not be out of its depth. At the cost (£999) I am not sure there is a much competition and it is lot better than the amorphous boxes out there. An interesting company that is well focused. The Quattro II is great value for money. I also have their USB/SPdif for review next. Specifications: AES PCM 16-24Bit/44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192 kHz DSD DSD64(DoP, dCS) COAXIAL PCM 16-24Bit/44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192 kHz DSD DSD64(DoP, dCS) OPTICAL PCM 16-24Bit/44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192 kHz DSD DSD64(DoP, dCS) USB PCM 16-32Bit/44.1kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz 176.4 kHz, 192 kHz, 352.8 kHz, 384 kHz DSD DSD64 /DSD128(DoP, dCS) DSD64 /DSD128 / DSD256(ASIO Native) SNR >-122dB 20Hz-20kHz A-Weighting THD+N <0.0003% at 1kHz A-Weighting Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz (+0.01dB/-0.02dB) Crosstalk >-120dB at 1kHz
  8. Schiit Yggdrasil

    My digital front end is sounding the best it has ever done ....after a LOT of tuning. But, there are aspects of it that I would like to change. It could be that this is simply down to the source files or other parts of my system, but I thought I'd borrow one of these 'DAC of the moment' to compare with my Bel Canto 3.5 vbs. R2R vs DS. I arranged to borrow the Y through Schitt EU, and would thoroughly recommend the service offered by Mark - you pay postage at a very reasonable rate and have the DAC for two weeks. My front end is shown in the graphic below, into EAR534 > Focal 1008be II. Only update on the diagram = IFI SMPS powering the Raspberry Pi 3 is now an R-Core 5v/3A LPSU. I listened to the Yggdrasil via its SPDIF input. I was driven to try the Y by an ongoing edge that I hear when using my Bel Canto 3.5vb (BC), due to a change to Focal 1008be IIs. With my previous speakers, Living Voice, the issue wasn't evident, and even then it is only evident in a small subset of my music; but, irritatingly so. I have used my Oppo 205D as a baseline to assure myself that any issues I was hearing existed, and that the issue wasn’t with the BC itself. The BC is a better DAC than the Oppo, but the Oppo is no mean performer, excellent VFM – when set up correctly. Looking at the issues I was having with the BC, after listening to the Y for a few days I noted: >Small number of tracks/albums with hard sibilants (e.g. Tarzan) Y – Initially no change, but as the Yggy has warmed and settled this has changed, e.g.: Tarzan – Now listenable. Still sharper than I would like, but not ear bending Simon & Garfunkle – Now a LOT better, mainly fine. >Cymbals being splashy & hard Y – Issue gone >General feeling of edge Y – Issue substantially reduced, almost gone The Y painted a wider and more detailed soundstage. I could hear lyrics more easily. I was aware of fully resolved instruments that were before just a part of background clutter. An example: Liszt transcribed Beethoven’s symphonies for piano. These are available on Qobuz. At the start of the 7th Symphony, 1st movement there is a thumping start which is immediately damped, this makes the whole frame of the strings vibrate. Through the BC this was an almost dissociated noise, like a second supporting instrument was in the background. Through the Y this was the piano, adding to the power of the player. So the Y is simply better than the BC? Perhaps, but I could set up a demo that the BC would win. The BC has a high frequency edge, this can act like a spice in food. For instance, again from Qobuz, there is an album of Star Trek themes which includes part of the soundtrack from the more recent Star Trek movie. The track ‘Hella Bar Talk / Enterprising Young Man’ opens softly, and a deep drum beat joins, this moves into Enterprising Young Man when there is some impactful drumming. Through the BC the bass is more evident, and the climatic drumming is just balls out exciting. Though the Y this is all there, but just a tad muted. Listened to a vinyl rip I did of Rikki Lee Jone's eponymous album and it was like listening to it for the first time. Overall the Y paints a superb aural picture that the BC, while good, could not equal. Having listened to the Y for two weeks I slotted my Bel Canto (BC) back into place, and noted the following: I want to muddy the waters a bit. Returning to my three issues: >Small number of tracks/albums with hard sibilants (e.g. Tarzan) Y – Initially no change, but as the Yggy has warmed and settled this has changed, e.g.: Tarzan – Now listenable. Still sharper than I would like, but not ear bending Simon & Garfunkle – Now a LOT better, mainly fine. --I will stick with this. >Cymbals being splashy & hard Y – Issue gone --Again true .....but: The BC is more extended in the high frequencies. The hard sibilance is happening at 6-10KHz, and perhaps this is where this effect is happening too? With the Yggy the high frequencies are there, and beautifully articulated, however they feel as though they are recessed in the sound stage and at a lower volume so that some detail is just missing. Similarly at the bass end of things the Yggy doesn't dig as deep. However, it is wonderfully musical, whereas the BC can feel a bit one note in comparison. Please note that I am overstating things in order to draw the comparison. These are both good DACs, and the Yggy may well be a great DAC. >General feeling of edge Y – Issue substantially reduced, almost gone. --Again true .....but: That was with the tracks that caused me issues with the BC. With other music the Yggy could move towards sharp, not to the same extent as the BC, but it is there, for instance: Stevie Nicks (LP rip 9624) - The Other Side of the Mirror Great album, and sounds stonking through the BC. Via the Yggy retained all the marvels of that DAC: wider soundstage; more details that add to the experience; clearer what is happening musically ....but, the vocals sound slightly sharper. U2 (Quboz 16/44.1) - The Joshua Tree As above (*) Conclusion In my mind and in my system the Yggdrasil is a clearly a better DAC overall than the Bel Canto 3.5vb, and I thought the BC was a very minor improvement on my nDAC/XPS; purchased to scratch a couple of other itches. Having listened to the Yggy I can definitely understand why some people describe DS DACs as grey in comparison to R2R, at least on this very limited sample! There is something propulsive and compulsive about the Yggy, you want to stay up and listen to just one more track, that becomes one more album. You find yourself getting into music that before left you a bit nonplussed. Will I be buying it? Perhaps. I want to audition two or three other DACs: A Lampizator; the Border Patrol DAC; and, perhaps the Mytek Brooklyn. (*) Fascinating: Last Saturday I was listening to the Yggy most of the day. In the evening I put on U2 (Quboz 16/44.1) - The Joshua Tree, it sounded AWFUL. Far worse than any of the sharpness I had experienced with the BC. I had already listened to this and not heard this issue, and the following morning all was well again. Why? I obviously don't know, but I wish I had immediately tried streaming a local file as I suspect it may be due to high contention on Virgin's infrastructure. As it was I turned off the system and watched Dr Who - really good this season! Dear Mods, Apologies - thought I was creating this in the Computer Based HiFi section. Can you move it please, thx. M
  9. We have an ex-review SOtM sDP-1000EX DSD DAC & Pre-amp at just £1,995 (RRP: £3,495). The component is in excellent condition and is a great bargain for anyone looking to replace the DAC in their system. For more information or to buy, visit the Elite Audio website here. Or speak to one of our staff at 570 666. Key Features 32bit/384KHz PCM DSDx64, DSDx128 support OLED display Remote control Battery power supply Optional Ultra low noise linear power supply Technical Specification USB input USB specification 2.0 or higher USB audio class 2.0 32bit/384KHz PCM & DSDx64, DSDx128 playback Native ASIO support Optical, Coaxial, AES/EBU input Max bit-depth : 24bit Sampling rate : 32KHz, 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 88.2KHz, 96KHz, 176.4KHz, 192KHz Impedance Coaxial, BNC : 75Ω AES/EBU : 110Ω Balanced input Max input voltage : 4 Vrms Input impedance : > 10kΩ Frequency range : 20~20KHz @ ±0.1dB Unbalanced input Max input voltage : 4 Vrms Input impedance : > 10kΩ Frequency range : 20~20KHz @ ±0.1dB Balanced output Output voltage at 0dB : 3.8 Vrms ±5% Output impedance : 47Ω ±5% Frequency range : 20~20KHz @ ±0.1dB THD : < 0.003% @ 1KHz, 0dB Unbalanced output Output voltage at 0dB : 3.8 Vrms ±5% Output impedance : 47Ω ±5% Frequency range : 20~20KHz @ ±0.1dB THD : < 0.003% @ 1KHz, 0dB Volume control Setting range : -75 ~ +10dB, 0.5dB step Charging power input Input voltage : 9Vdc ±1% Max input current : 3A Operating environment Operating temperature : 10°C ~ 35°C Storage temperature : -10°C ~ 50°C Operating & storage humidity : 10% ~ 90% Dimensions, Weight 360 x 68 245(mm), 4 Kg >
  10. Rob Johnson has recently reviewed Wyred 4 Sound's top of the range DAC, the DAC 2v2 SE, for Tone Audio. After testing it out with a range of components, he awarded it the coveted "Exceptional Value Award". Wyred 4 Sound pride themselves in manufacturing the best audio components at reasonable prices. Their DACs are no strangers to awards, with multiple "Editors' Choice Awards" from The Absolute Sound and a "Blue Moon Award" from already attached to their DAC Series. "At first listen, the DAC 2v2SE demonstrates a natural, and relaxed presentation". What caught Johnson's attention the most was the DAC's musicality. With the lowest jitter setting activated, the component managed to produce a smooth and engaging sound. This could be down to the high-end ESS Sabre 9028PRO DAC chip that makes up the DAC, offering DSD and 384 kHz PCM playback. "Extensive soundstage portrayal is DAC 2v2SEs top strengths". Not only did he DAC produce an incredible sound it also managed to create a 3D landscape of the music. The individual instruments could be heard as the DAC fed the sound to the loudspeakers. Johnson noted that it gave off a "solid approximation as if sitting several rows back in an auditorium at a live concert". "The DAC 2v2SE does not appear to modify the sound of any amp it is mated with, it just gives the amp a chance to sing to its full potential". For those who are worried that the DAC might not fit into their system, Johnson found that the DAC played well with the wide range of components he tested it with. The 2v2 SE also seemed to bring out the best in each component. The review was rounded off with the DAC 2v2 SE's best features, accompanied by the Tone Audio "Exceptional Value Award": "This DAC combines excellent build quality, understated modern looks, and a confidence inspiring five-year warranty...the DAC 2v2SE is another addition to the list of highly musical yet reasonably priced DACs that will make you sit back and take notice." The full review can be read here. Wyred 4 Sound will also be sending Tone Audio the special 10th Anniversary Limited Edition of the DAC for comparison. Elite Audio are the official UK distributor for Wyred 4 Sound. We offer an excellent 30-day, no risk trial on selected products allowing you to try out audio components at home with your own system. A generous part exchange is also available allowing you to upgrade for less. To find out how much your old hi-fi components are worth, take our part exchange challenge now. Alternatively, you can contact Elite Audio via email: or telephone: 020 3397 1119 for more information.
  11. Border Patrol DAC

    Apologies for doubling up, but I had buried my previous Border Patrol (BP) comments in the Schitt Yggdrasil thread: There is a more detailed comment further down as well. I borrowed the Yggy hoping it would be 'The One', and as you will see I enjoyed what it did in my system. I then borrowed a Lampizator L4 G5, and enjoyed that fractionally more ....but in different ways. Finally I took a Border Patrol DAC on approval and, to quote a little girl I know, it was 'Juuuuuuuuuust right'. And at 50% & 25% of the cost of the two earlier ones. As i had been tracking the Yggdrasil via RBAF you can see the same posts there .....and some of the reactions: I did my final post on the Border Patrol DAC on there today, which reads: +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Border Patrol DAC In a post above it was posited that my enthusiasm for this DAC may be that of an ingénue. Whilst my thoughts may have been due to a first flush enthusiasm I thought I would post a brief follow up. I did think that my positive comments about the Yggdrasil were not met in a similar way, but hay hoe. I did enjoy the comment above that the 1543 chip is only good for 13/14 bits of resolution. I have heard similar things said about vinyl. A few weeks ago I was listening to a Naim/Focal system using the Statement amps. The source for most of the evening was the Naim NDS and, while I prefer my own system, it was doing things I found interesting. However, it was when the source was changed to vinyl that the whole thing really came to life, that turntable was a tangerined Stiletto LP12 ( Am I claiming that the BP DAC is up to this, I suspect not - but I will be finding out in the coming months. A friend popped over yesterday. He agreed that my digital had never sounded better. I played him the Roger Waters live version of The Wall. After a track he asked me if it was an LP or CD rip was Qobuz! I thought I would do some comparative listening, my sources being played through my Raspberry Pi 3, powered by an R-Core LPSU running piCorePlayer: just LMS. Sources: U: StartTech USB extender + USB sticks. Q: Qobuz. Quality: 9624 LP rip 16/44.1 CD Rip 16/44.1 Q Note: Although Qobuz states their files are CD quality they are never reported by LMS as 1411kbps, normally 800 - 1200 range. My bias would be that U > Q and 9624 > 1644. In the event, things were less straightforward: 10cc Best Of - The Early Years vs 10 cc (former album not on Q) Rubber Bullets 4416 vs 4416 U vs Q Winner: Q Alison Moyet - Alf Love Resurrection U vs Q 9624 vs 4416 (2011 Remastered) U - by a mile LP can be slightly sharp - cymbals CD very sharp consistently Duran Duran - Rio Rio U vs Q 9624 vs 4416 (2009 Remastered) Q - More detailed and dynamic. Jeff Beck - Wired Led Boots U vs Q 9624 vs 4416 Q - More detailed and dynamic. Jethro Tull - North Sea Oil Not on Q Jethro Tull - Bursting Out No Lullaby U vs U vs Q 9624 vs 4416 vs 4416 U 9624 - Tonally better. U 4416 > Q 4416 Tears for Fears - The Seeds of Love Woman In Chains U vs U vs Q 9624 vs 4416 vs 4416 U 9624 = U 4416 (detail different but equally excellent) Conclusion I am very happy with the Border Patrol DAC. It really has allowed my system to sing. I fully accept that it is not technically superb, it IS musically excellent. In terms of the which file source is best I THINK what i am hearing is telling me that the quality of the source files is king. For instance, my copy of 10cc Rubber Bullets is from a very early Best Of CD, the Qobuz version is from a 'proper' album; I suspect it is simply better, that is what I hear. Equally, my pressing of Duran Duran - Rio is not one of the best. Most of my albums have been with me for MANY years. I have ripped approx 10% of my 3k LPs, but this is a time consuming process. I left Jethro Tull's North Sea Oil in the list above to highlight an issue, this is one of my favourite Tull albums, but it is NOT on Qobuz. Tears for Fears - The Seeds of Love is a superb album. I have an excellent vinyl and CD copy. Comparing these with Qobuz left the latter in the shade, but only slightly. I will state that the StarTech/USB solution is easily & demonstrably better than using my Synology NAS, also running LMS. I am VERY impressed with the quality of music i am now streaming. Although I do enjoy my LP12/Aro/Geddon would I go down this route today? I will be getting together with some friends to do some listening with my system, before heading over to repeat the exercise, but with a friend's Stilletoed LP12. Finally Thank you for this thread. It is excellent and encouraged me to borrow a Yggdrasil and then the Lampizator. Ultimately I think there is a limit to the number of DACs you can audition, as there is the rest of your life going on! I am very happy with my result. M +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Worth listening to if you get the chance, even if it is only a measly 13/14 bits; better quality bits than those I have heard before. Perhaps BP bits are similar to valve watts (JOKE!!) ......although..... M
  12. For sale, a Chord Hugo in silver, great condition, barely used (which is why I'm reluctantly selling). As you probably know this is a fantastic portable DAC, preamp and headphone amplifier rolled into one, which punches well above its weight. Includes the beautiful black leather case, original box, charger. This is the later revision of the original Hugo that has RCA terminals which are more friendly than the originals. £800 plus postage or pickup from St Albans. UK only.
  13. DAC pre-amp

    Hello! I'm returning to hifi after many years out in the Navy. Not much space for separates on a warship... I have zero budget so doing this on a shoestring. I have all the components, second hand, and would appreciate your advice on setup, including cabling and configuration, optimisation etc. So, I have an irDAC 2, two Arcam 8P power amps, and a pair of Ruark CL20s. Ortofon SPK200 biwire speaker cables, QED Profile ICs. Sources include spotify, tidal, itunes, TV etc. Interested on views regarding using the DAC as a pre-amp, how to establish the best connections to the amps etc. I have a pair of Y RCA cables (i.e. single male RCA to double female RCA in order to feed the amps... is that optimal?) Any other views most welcome. Hit me. Stefan
  14. I've got a Trichord research pulsar one DAC here with a separate dedicated power supply. Mines probably around 20 years old now but recently its had a service and still sounds superb, anyone else still using one and enjoying it? Tried dethroning it many times with modern DAC's but it still has the edge by a large margin to my ears. My DAC's pretty basic as in it only does standard CDs redbook conversion, but thats pretty much all I want anyway. Even had a big QBD76 Chord (£4000 retailed new) here recently but still preferred the Trichord over it. The Trichord's a really natural sounding DAC I think nothing glaring with it, but there is a lot of depth, body and texture in the sound and it does a great job for music enjoyment. They were quite special when they came out so there must be other fans around. Would be interested to know if anyone's upgraded and the improvements they had or didn't have. Recently phoned Trichord as well for some technical support and even with a 20 year old product they were extremely helpful. That deserves a mention if nothing else!
  15. Hi Here I go..... Bought end of 2014, currently in perfect used condition For sales is my Cyrus Anniversary system (less the Cd Player), for you who don't know what the Anniversary system is, it's basically Cyrus Signature range with few upgraded parts, and a higher quality paint finish. So, what's for sale? New Price - Cyrus X300 Signature £2895 - Cyrus X300 Signature £2895 - Cyrus DAC XP Signature £2995 - Cyrus PSX-R2 £745 - Cyrus Stream X Signature £1395 - Cyrus Hark II Stand £600 - Black Rhodium Cratos Power Leads x 5 £750 No cables included, I'm keeping them for my next system Total New cost £12,275, Selling for? see below I don't have the CD player anymore, I sold it a few years back to fund my TT. If you really need a Cd player Cyrus signature going on Ebay for £1000, or If you already have Cd signature and also phono signature and the rest of your system is not signature, then this would be perfect. Here is a link to the review, Selling for??? I am open to sensible offers, I am not willing to sell any item individually. PM if interested
  16. Chord QDB76 DAC (MK1), immaculate condition and rarely used. £2100 ONO. Item can be posted by collection is preferred due to the value of the item.
  17. The original Sonicweld Diverter in a pure slab of beautifully crafted aluminium. This is the state of the art USB converter; widely considered to be the best ever. £430 plus postage or pick up/handover in SE London/Central London.I use an Audio Synthesis DAX Discrete, with a specially modified and re-clocked transport using twin glass optical cables. I could never get computer audio to sound anywhere near as good until I tried the Sonicweld. It is a big leap from the mid-range converters such as the M2Tech EVO. I'm only selling because I've decided I don't want to use a computer in the system, for various reasons. I had to import this from Australia, and I got hit for very high customs charges. They are very rare indeed on the second hand market. I waited about 2 years for this one, and pestered various people around the world to sell one in the meantime, to no avail!Review here:
  18. Leema Acoustics Elements Precision DAC / Pre-Amp - £695, RRP - £1395 This unit is the newer precision model. 1 owner from new, in excellent condition. Original box and packing, with remote and user manual. 12 month warranty provided. See our website listing here Please call us on 0203 397 1119 for more information.
  19. SOtM sDP-1000EX DSD DAC & Pre-Amplifier - £2495, RRP - £3495 Ex-Review unit, in excellent, 'as new' condition. Original box and packing. See our website listing here Elite Audio are part of Audio Emotion, so you can buy with confidence Please call us on 0203 397 1119 for more information
  20. Lector Digitube 24/96 DAC - £599, RRP - £499 1 owner from new, in excellent condition. One minor scratch to the top surface. 12 month warranty provided. **The base model in Lector's amazing range of digital replay systems, the single-box Digitube uses two ECC81 double- triodes and offers a wonderful, musical experience from top to bottom.** Uses a Cirrus Logic chipset. Elite Audio are part of Audio Emotion, so you can buy with confidence Please call us on 0203 397 1119, PM or email us at for more information.
  21. Ex-display model. Condition as new. A stunning vacuum-tube front end that doubles up as a DAC with onboard volume control for direct amp. Comes with the original packaging, remote and accessories; full warranty included. Price new £3,995, now only £2,750. Click on photo for more information:
  22. FOR SALE (due to upgrading) - Linn Majik Exaktbox-i - 8 Channels - Exakt engines - 8x DACs - 8x 100W poweramps - All in one black and mint box - Transferable Warranty to October 2020 - Original Linn packaging - This is the same type of component used by Linn at the Scalford Show demos - Current list price £3950 - Price is £2950 including UK mainland shipping Photos added soon.
  23. Sabaidee All, It's been awhile since I have been on the Wam, I hope Scalford went well this year. All is good here in Laos except for my EE Minimax DAC has starting sputtering on all inputs and I fear it is not long for this world and getting it repaired here is well impossible. With that said, I am looking for a DAC that has at least 2 digital inputs, can handle up to 24/192 on coax or USB, and has a volume control preferably as I am running Adam powered monitors. I live in Luang Prabang, Laos so will need the item shipped at my expense of course and will pay for the DAC itself by Bank transfer from my UK account. The shipping is as simple as standard UK next day delivery with the exception of a customs declaration form that takes 5 minutes to fill out. My max budget is £200, what do you have for a poor charity worker?! Yes, I am shameless... Cheers, Steve
  24. M2Tech Young DAC with Teddy Pardo PSU - SOLD 1 owner from new. In excellent condition. Original boxes and packing. See our website listing here 12 month warranty provided. Elite Audio are part of Audio Emotion, so buy with confidence. Please call us on 0203 397 1119 for more information.
  25. Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2 D2 - SOLD In excellent condition. Includes remote and user manual. See our website listing here 12 month warranty provided. Elite Audio are part of Audio Emotion, so buy with confidence. Please call us on 0203 397 1119 for more information.