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Found 92 results

  1. Hello All, I have bought a set of Sennheiser HD650 for my son for Christmas. At the moment he is living in student residence studying classical guitar at the Royal Academy. He has a Mac Book Pro and a Samsung phone to deliver music. Can anyone advise me on a DAC/AMP combo for up to £200 max. Everything keeps returning to Chord Mojo but its just too much cash. Could be a desk top or portable. So far looked at. Oppo HA-2SE Schiit Fulla 2 And loads of other leads and youtube videos and only one that grabbed me was OPPO HA-2SE. Any advice welcome. Refine sound out of PC and just headphone amp?
  2. Bram49

    Bel Canto Dac 3

    Stereophile Class A dac with an excellent 100 step preamp. AES, SPDIF, COAXIAL, OPTICAL and USB inputs. Balanced and single-ended outputs. Very good condition, with original BC packaging, boxes, instructions, etc. Very spacious and detailed sound, with exceptionally refined treble. Worth pampering with a good mains cable! £500?
  3. Just replaced this amazing bit of kit with Auralic's sensational Vega G1. Streaming made easy, Tidal, Quobuz integrated into Auralic's own control interface Lightning DS (Apple). Play Spotify, bluetooth, as well as wired or wireless. Comes pre-fitted with 1TB internal SSD, original packaging & tool, and with iFi ultra low noise PSU. 2.5 years since bought new from Audio Emotion, £685 worth of musical goodness, for just £395. Postage will be whatever it costs, collection & demo available if you're near St Albans. Check the reviews on the web, but in summary it's a terrific streamer & dac.
  4. Bit of a rambling one here Wammers so please bear with me. Bit of background - I have an HP Microserver with 32TB of space servering up all my media via Plex over a wired network throughout the flat. While I haven't been keeping up to date on the latest tech in hifi, I'm fairly comfortable learning new stuff, so feel free to go into techy detail if you think it will help. For example I'm happy to run a separate server software for music only if that's going to make things easier - server can handle plenty more stress. Bedroom Requirements I'll be moving my stereo system out of my bedroom and into the spare room - looking for a simple, streamlined replacement solution for the bedroom and my thinking is to either get a fully wireless system or, at most, a wired system with a single box that streams everything to attached speakers. Due to space limitations, the speakers have to be (a) very forgiving of placement and (b) not very big. As it won't be a critical listening system and merely there for enjoyment and convenience, what are my best options? At the moment I'm considering Sonos or Bluesound but I'm not even sure how it would work. Do I need to have a base to connect wirelessly to the speakers or are they controlled on the phone? If they can be controlled by phone but it's preferable to have the base, why is that? And how does the sound of, say, two Sonos Ones compare to having, the Sonos Amp plus two small bookshelf speakers? Remember that the point of this system is fun and unobtrusive and above all, easy to use - so while I want good sound, it doesn't need to compete with a proper hifi. In this case, good enough is good enough (but I also don't want it to sound like a pair of Monster Beats!) Budget isn't set but lets start at £1k and see what answers I get Computer/Hifi Room Requirements The stuff moving from the bedroom - I have a Resolution Audio Opus 21 CD player which I love, so that's staying, and the Totem Sttafs are staying too. I'll probably be replacing the Roskan Caspian MkII with something that has better synergy. Now the main question is whether the onboard DAC on the Opus frmo the PC is worth using, or should I be looking at something more recent too, to open up higher res audio? The Opus 21 DAC is 4 Burr Brown PCM1704 @ 32 - 96 kHz / 16 - 24 bit. Would I be better off grabbing something that can do it all (MQA/DSD etc). I have to admit that while I'm comfortable with tech, this is an area I've fallen waaaay behind the eightball on, so happy to be schooled and convinced either way here. I usually tend to err on the side of future-proofing though, so if there's something I should be looking at, I'm all ears (and I usually like the Chord DAC sound if that helps) Again, budget is moderately flexible, let's say £1k for the amp and £500 for the DAC as a starting point. (These will all be second hand so I think we'll have plenty to play with) Other questions For the Computer/Hifi setup I'm also open to a one-box solution with onboard DAC if that's going to work more elegantly. I was eyeing up the Peachtree Nova but thought better of it as it doesn't have the latest Hi Res capabilities, but if there's something else I should consider, feel free to point it out. At the moment I'm considering amps from Sim Audio, Plinius, Ayre and Sugden (whatever falls within the c.£1k range second hand) so would need to compete with that sort of level, but obviously if it has onboard DAC I'd spend more (c.£1.5k) as I'd be saving on the DAC side of things. Experience tells me this is likely to be less of an option than the separates though.
  5. Boatmancalls

    Some DAC advice please

    Hi I currently have an aging system comprised of Rotel 991 SA CD player Naim nac72/hicap/nap140 amp mission 773 speakers Android TV with Spotify premium connected to a Cheap £100 Topping DAC via Toslink Synology NAS I’ve been amazed at how good the optically linked TV can sound with Spotify at 320kbpm and wondered if addding a better DAC might improve things further ? The bit I don’t understand is what difference does it make changing the source of the digital information entering the DAC. Would I benefit from a better source than the TV ? If so what would you recommend and why? Btw - budget ~ £700 Many thanks
  6. Selling my Yamaha CD-S3000 SACD/CD Player/Dac. Immaculate used condition. Comes in original packaging with remote control. Would consider PX offers. Looking for a DAC with volume control. Collection from Woolwich Arsenal. £1950
  7. Excellent DAC with the really extensive feature set. It's ideal as the main hub for your multimedia and TV as HDMI ARC is supported. Effectively, DAC is capable to capture HDMI output from your source and capture the audio stream only with HDMI (video) out forwarding to your TV set. That way, you could easily route HDMI audio from your source. It's a really great feature not commonly supported. Apart from HDMI support 2x analogue (front 3.5mm and rear RCA ports), optical, coaxial and USB inputs are supported. Also, DAC features balanced and single-ended outputs together with digital output (passthrough). Really great connectivity on offer. You will be hard-pressed to find any device with a similar feature set and sound quality at this price point. This was taken out of the original box for picture taking, but otherwise as new condition. There is still a screen protector in place and device packaging itself includes all original accessories intact. £215 with free UK shipping
  8. incognito73

    NuPrime IDA-8 Integrated Amplifier

    Exemplary amplifier form NuPrime. This was imported from US as it was very difficult to source NuPrime audio components without the official UK distributor presence (to this date) It is roughly 1 years old in perfect condition with original accessories (including Bluetooth dongle) and packing. £650
  9. iFi Audio iDSD Micro DSD D-A Convertor. £350 iFi Audio Micro iUSB3.0 Power Supply. £320 iFi Audio Mercury USB Cable IN EXCELLENT CONDITION. £85 iFi Audio Gemini Dual-Headed USB Cable IN EXCELLENT CONDITION. £120 All in excellent condition with box and accessories.
  10. The Lyngdorf 2170, a true digital amp or if you prefer 'power dac' ,a complete one box solution that replaces preamp,power amps and dac, and it includes Lyngdorf's 'room perfect' room correction . Keith
  11. wHIZZY

    Roksan Kandy K3 DAC

    Seems like an bargain price for a decent DAC.
  12. Mr Underhill

    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
  13. Jolida FX Tube DAC DSD Tube DAC/Preamp with headphone amp New, only opened for these photos. Very well regarded and known dac - likely the only or one of the only DSD versions in the U.K. Can be used as a preamp directly into a power amp for digital only systems or just a quality tube DAC with headphone amp. (Does not use a remote control function). Comes with the stock TungSol 12AX7 tubes. The boxes there are shipped in a small so a UK pluck/cable does not fit. So one only has to add a UK mains cable to get set up. A USA cable is included in the box. Technical Specifications: Output Level: 0 V to 2.3V (±1dB, 47K ohms) (SIN SIGNAL 0dB SPDIF IN) Frequency Response: 20-20 KHz (±0.5dB) Bandwidth: 10Hz to 70kHz + 1dB SNR: >90dB (20Hz-20kHz) Dynamic Range: 126 dB Distortion THD: Less than 0.01% (1kHz) Headphone Impedance: 30 Ohms Construction Details & Features Amplification of the analogue signal is done via the vacuum tubes PCM: 32Bit/384KHz DSD: DSD 64 / DSD 128 Asynchronous Burr Brown Chip AD1896 DAC Chip: PCM 1795 R Style Transformer Price £460 incl U.K. post.
  14. Hello I admit right now that my skills in this area are woeful so please have a good laugh at my ineptitude then offer me some sensible advice. I recently bought a Metrum Quad DAC which has replaced a Perpetual Technology P3-A DAC . Now I like the sound of the new Metrum (please ignore this as I am not really wanting to start another you cannot hear any difference thread) . However I have noticed that the output into my Valve Concordant Exhilirant Pre is much lower than the Perpetual meaning I need to wind the volume up by about an extra quarter and on some low level recordings (Ry Cooder Bop til you Drop being a case in point) the volume is full on and still not really loud enough . I asked a question about this on the Metrum Forum and was informed that all of their DAC's are at proper Red Book 2MV output. I looked at the Perpetual Manual and that also states that it is 2MV Red Book Standard output . Now one is very much louder and more able to drive the Concordant than the other so something is not right. How can I safely test the output of each DAC ? My thought was that with signal coming through the unit I put a meter test on the phono lead out using the centre pin and the shield . Is this first of all safe for the DAC and for me ? Secondly would this give me the correct reading to compare the outputs for both units . Yes I knoe I should know this but truth is I do not I have seen outputs given for many units like Tuners /Tape Decks and DACs but never really understood how they were tested .
  15. QuestForThe13thNote

    Chord Qutest with linear PSU?

    The manual on the 2Qute I had said that you shouldn’t use a linear PSU, but I notice on checking the Qutest manual that it doesn’t mention anything of the kind. I heard someone say it sounded better with a linear PSU (notably Terry of Pursuit Perfect System) but I’m interested if any readers on here have tried and what proportionate percentage benefits if you had to say. If it’s worth it, it’s an inexpensive upgrade.
  16. carwacster

    FS Audiolab MDAC

    As new, in black. Comes with remote control and original power lead. Would prefer buyer to collect £370
  17. 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)
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Millennium

    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?
  22. 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
  23. Mr Underhill

    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
  24. 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 >
  25. 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.