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GIESELER KONVERTER (DAC/Preamp) Official release.


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Finally it is finished! Sorry for the huge delay but I have had a ton of other things happening over the last six months which caused the delay. OK down to some details. Inputs Digital

Hello everyone, well after waiting for over a year now for Clay's Konverter DAC preamp I finally  came home and their was the box I had been waiting for sitting in the hallway. As you do when som

Hi Guys, I'm rather excited at the moment as I have just finished populating the brand new digital front end PCB for the Konverter. If you look closely you can see some of the ultra low nois

17 minutes ago, AudioGeek said:

@matth have you bought one?

 

I haven't - but would like to - however my supply of the green stuff isn't unlimited.  If Matth gets one love to hear what he thinks - being from Germany he would have access to stuff we wouldn't here in Aus.

 

I used to be the DAC guy around here and buy heaps of DAC's, including Clays, when they come out.

 

Have toned it down right now - only got the Explorer because it was so cheap - but even that proved more expensive than I thought with a special RCA cable, regen, Clays supply on order.

 

It never stops.

 

Already own:

1. Killler

2. Klein

3. PDX

4. Direct Stream

5. Explorer

 

And maybe some others I forgot.

 

Just got the Bridge 2 for my Direct Stream to do MQA which PS Audio will be adding soon.

 

The Klein and PDX will be up for sale soon - drop me a line if interested.

 

Thanks

Bill

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2 hours ago, AudioGeek said:

@matth have you bought one?

 

I listened to Linn Katalyst and it was great. The Katalyst is my benchmark. But it is expensive and not able to do DSD.

If the Gieseler DAC comes close or is on par, maybe with USB only, then it is quite an achievement.

 

Matt

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16 hours ago, bhobba said:

I listen to Tidal pretty much exclusively these days due to it has everything I ever listen to including new releases.  All for just $20pm.

 

It is a pity that Tidal and others do not release records of the german jazz label ECM records.

 

Matt

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6 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

The final production digital & PSU boards will now be using state of the art Linear Technolgy ultra low noise regulators - 8uv so I'm expecting a subtle but definate improvement again in sound quality. 

 

Hi Clay,

LT3042/LT3045?

Very nice:-)

 

Matt

 

 

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Yes Matt - good guess.

They are a little tricky to mount but I think it will be well worth it. The power supply rejection ratio & ripplel rejection performance is spectacular so I will be using them in all the critical areas. Also I've found a new diode with really low RFI. They are all subtle improvements but I think the combined effect will be noticeable especially in the Konverter where I'm chasing maximum performance. Have you heard much about "Heavy load mode" with the AK4497? I haven't tried it yet but it is just a simple firmware change to turn it on.

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24 minutes ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Yes Matt - good guess.

They are a little tricky to mount but I think it will be well worth it. The power supply rejection ratio & ripplel rejection performance is spectacular so I will be using them in all the critical areas. Also I've found a new diode with really low RFI. They are all subtle improvements but I think the combined effect will be noticeable especially in the Konverter where I'm chasing maximum performance. Have you heard much about "Heavy load mode" with the AK4497? I haven't tried it yet but it is just a simple firmware change to turn it on.

 

I like your attention to detail, Clay.

So far I found only the thread on diyaudio without an answer.

I would ask the experts at AKM directly.

BTW, IMO it would be the best to power the digital core with the LT3042.

I have heard that the regulation of the digital power supply is even more important than that of the analogue power supply.

 

Matt

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BTW, 

Clay, did you have time to compare software players with your DAC?

There are reports that Daphile is superior to Roon. Any experiences with Audirvana?

 

Matt

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On 21/02/2017 at 7:51 AM, Gieseler Audio said:

The Konverter remembers all its settings (volume input ect) when powered off & on. eg - you were listening to some music via the USB input at volume level 75 & switch it off. Next time you power it on it goes back to those same settings.

Phew!  Hope that is crystal clear now.

 

Hi Clay. Great work with the "passive HT bypass", I have separate systems so not applicable to me but I believe that's how all HT bypass systems should work.

 

Re the Konverter remembering all settings, may I suggest (if software allows it) that rather than remembering the previous volume, it should remember a pre determined Max Start Up Volume. I find this very useful in my HT processor and my car stereo system.

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26 minutes ago, blybo said:

 

Hi Clay. Great work with the "passive HT bypass", I have separate systems so not applicable to me but I believe that's how all HT bypass systems should work.

 

Re the Konverter remembering all settings, may I suggest (if software allows it) that rather than remembering the previous volume, it should remember a pre determined Max Start Up Volume. I find this very useful in my HT processor and my car stereo system.

The Devialet also has this functionality. I guess people will argue for either case and it's hard to satisfy everyone's opinions though. Personally, when I'm scrolling through inputs and I find that the Devialet reverts back to a predetermined volume that this is a bit of a pest. You have to constantly adjust the volume. I don't really have an issue with a component starting at the volume that I left off at.

 

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Just now, scumbag said:

The Devialet also has this functionality. I guess people will argue for either case and it's hard to satisfy everyone's opinions though. Personally, when I'm scrolling through inputs and I find that the Devialet reverts back to a predetermined volume that this is a bit of a pest. You have to constantly adjust the volume. I don't really have an issue with a component starting at the volume that I left off at.

 

 

I'm not talking about a predetermined volume for each input, that would be annoying, just when it powers up. Just means if you had a boozy late night session at high volume, you don't wake the neighbourhood and scare the beejesus out of yourself the next morning.

 

My old Arcam integrated had this feature and it was useful. In my HT room, I basically never touch the volume, the predetermined volume on my Marantz Processor in there is as loud as my wife will allow with kids asleep above. It's only turned up when i have the house to myself.

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Oh, sorry, I misunderstood you. Yes, I suppose that makes more sense. The Devialet implementation is one of the few glitches in the "user experience". But yes, boozy nights and loud music. I remember those.

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Matth; Daphile sounding better than Roon - now that has really got me interested!

Most listening so far has been with a Mac book pro running Audirvana & it is sounding sweet.

When I get the Konverter back (today) I will give it a whirl with Daphile & report back. I use Jriver on a PC server at home as it covers all the DSD rates 

 

blybo; Actually we previously had it setup to always start at a low level but I got sick of having to turn it up again every time I turned it on. The volume control action is very smooth 

but quite gradual (for precise level) so it takes a while to come up. I do know where you are coming from though 

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5 hours ago, matth said:

There are reports that Daphile is superior to Roon. Any experiences with Audirvana?

 

My listening was done with Audirvana and the tidal app for MQA stuff.

 

Audirvana sounds fantastic compared to the Tidal app, but MQA is better again.

 

I have a Direct Stream DAC that I will be getting the Bridge 2 for and that really needs Roon.   Can report once that is set up how it works with Clays DAC.

 

Clay also has his own uber server with all sorts of tricked out parts.  Don't know what player he uses on it though.

 

All of Clays products show exceptional attention to detail.

 

This DAC really is up there with the best out there and that is based on hearing and owning a LOT of DAC's, many commercial, many home brew, and some a bit in between (ie only made in minuscule quantities).

 

Like I said I was once the DAC guy on this forum and purchased and heard  all sorts of stuff when it came out.

 

Early on a DAC called the PDX Clay made thrashed them all except the Killer which is a bit different as I will explain.   But slowly they all got better and eventually I got the Chord Qute with an upgraded power supply by Clay.   Via DSD it edged out the PDX.   Then Clay did a first Konveter and it was king again at a shootout we held (it was still called the PDX then):

But other DAC's came along and again the Konverter was edged out.   The Direct Stream at first neither I or Clay liked but with each software update got better and better until it took out the original Konverter.

 

Clay knew he had work to do.  He started with the Klein DAC which even in its early stages was good - it was hard to tell from the original PDX - you could tell but had to listen carefully.   But he wanted an all out DAC and this is it.  Its up there with the best.

 

The Killer is a bit different.  It uses those old Phillips double crown chips - great on the right material - Peggy Lee - Fever - not Leonard Cohen - Secret Life which to me sounds horrid on that DAC - not that I like it much anyway.   We played Peggy Lee later and everyone said - is that not the SAME - DAC - it sounded glorious.  I did try Secret Life on the new Konverter - it sounded fine - not 'funny' like on the Killer - but it's not what I listen to which is Peggy Lee, the Rat pack etc.

 

Thanks

Bill

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Hi Guys

 

Oh - BTW - and Clay knows this - I may get a Konverter later not so much for the DAC section - like I said I am pretty much DAC'ed out right now, but for its excellent pre-amp section to run my Killer that needs a pre.

 

I have a BHK power amp right now and if I stick with that rather than get an integrated will need a pre.   But I am unsure exactly what the final form my system will take.

 

As you probably have guessed I muck around with a lot of audio gear and my system is always in a state of flux - need to settle it down eventually.

 

Thanks

Bill

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5 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Matth; Daphile sounding better than Roon - now that has really got me interested!

Most listening so far has been with a Mac book pro running Audirvana & it is sounding sweet.

When I get the Konverter back (today) I will give it a whirl with Daphile & report back. I use Jriver on a PC server at home as it covers all the DSD rates 

 

Clay,

the report about Daphile was from here:

 

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/dsp-up-sampling-features-in-roon-1-3/19293

 

There is one guy on the Roon forum who prefered  Daphile even to HQPlayer.

AFAIK, the latest Daphile offers now DSD to DSD upsampling, maybe in Beta yet, I do not know. 

You get the latest versions from the Daphile Facebook site.

Both Daphile and Audirvana use the SoX algorithms for upsampling from PCM to DSD but DSD to DSD upsampling is not yet possible with Audirvana.

The Roon DSD to DSD upsampling is not good yet, in fact they do DSD to PCM to DSD.

What are the sonic differences between your MacBook Pro and your Server with your DAC?

 

Matt

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44 minutes ago, matth said:

 

AFAIK Audirvana 3.0 with MQA decoding is not released yet. Do you mean Tidal MQA with Audirvana sounds better than Tidal MQA alone?

 

He is the order.

 

1.   Worst - Tidal application normal ie 44.1/16 source

2.   Audirvana playing 44.1/16 ripped from CD

3.   Best - Via the Tidal App - MQA.

 

Soon everything will be able to be done in Audirvana - but not until release 3.

 

I was going to get a MAC and Audirvana 3 but decided on the Bridge 2 for my Direct Stream instead.   Borrrowed a MAC for this listening session with the Konverter. I likely eventually will run it from Roon or initially you can do it from an android phone which is supposed to sound great:

http://www.psaudio.com/ps_how/how-to-play-tidal-on-bridge-ii/

 

Soon the Bridge 2 will do MQA decoding.

 

Thanks

Bill

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8 minutes ago, matth said:

 

did you compare

Tidal MQA with Audirvana vs. Tidal MQA alone

and

Tidal with Audirvana vs. Tidal alone?

 

The version of Audirvana on the Mac did not have Tidal integration.  It was 1. something or another.

 

The owner of the MAC is waiting for Audirvana 3.

 

They are  being slack.   They said it would be out Feb 1.   Then on Feb 1 said:

Audirvana Plus version 3 is now in the Release Candidate stage.
Official public release is scheduled in about two weeks.
Get ready for the MQA sound experience!

 

Well its nearly March.

 

Hopeless - but typical.   You over promise, get people interested then fart arse around.

 

Thanks

Bill

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Might be a bit early, but would a thread describing what power amps people are using (or plan to use) with the Konverter be useful?

I know matching speakers will have a lot to do with it. However there is a lot of room for discussion about SS vs. tube, and discussing merits of Sanders vs Bryston vs Prima Luna etc. with the sound signature of the Konverter.

I for one would be interested to know more.


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2 hours ago, Raffinator said:

Might be a bit early, but would a thread describing what power amps people are using (or plan to use) with the Konverter be useful?

I know matching speakers will have a lot to do with it. However there is a lot of room for discussion about SS vs. tube, and discussing merits of Sanders vs Bryston vs Prima Luna etc. with the sound signature of the Konverter.

I for one would be interested to know more.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Feel free to start a new thread. My first pairing will be with a Naksa 70 power amp.

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1 hour ago, ~Spyne~ said:

Feel free to start a new thread. My first pairing will be with a Naksa 70 power amp.

 

Perhaps @Gieseler Audio...can tweak the DAC/PRE to maximise impedance match with your Naska...

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Just popped back in here at random and reminded how mint this looks. Can't wait to get it in with the rest of my gear...also means I'll get to power up the Naksa 70 for the first time, too.

:):):)

 

On 2/18/2017 at 6:54 PM, Gieseler Audio said:

 

O IMG_0734.thumb.JPG.54072a83c89bd78f1c41db475dddf192.JPG

 

IMG_0745.thumb.JPG.243b1e4d6fb405d2e0033570e4bcf8c6.JPG

 

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On 26/02/2017 at 1:03 PM, Raffinator said:

Might be a bit early, but would a thread describing what power amps people are using (or plan to use) with the Konverter be useful?

 

BHK 250 is what I did my listening on:

http://magentaaudio.com.au/product/ps-audio-signature-bhk250-amplifier/

 

Best amp I know - but this DAC deserves it.

 

Thanks

Bill

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I know the NAKSA and it too would be a good match.  But remember the NAKSA is built to sound 'good', which it does - but it does vary with material.

 

See:

My next favorite was the Naksa 80 - a very musical amp with an extremely lovely and detailed midrange - a lot of foot stomping prat that brings an involuntary smile to your face - my favorite performance of the day was Dianna Krall - Case Of You.  That an amp in this price range is up there with uber expensive amps like the Griffith is a real feather in Hugh Deans cap.  It however had a slightly rolled off treble and not quite as good bass grip - which considering the doubling down capabilities of the other amps is only to be expected.  I could not detect the slightest trace of Mosfet Mist like I have heard in other amps - but there was a person there who thought he heard it - however he believes he can hear it in all Mosfet amps and this was certainly not anywhere near what he thinks some others have.  A few there like myself knew the old Naksa 100 and this was clearly better - again well done Hugh.

 

Thanks

Bill

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I have no history of hearing it, but I liked the idea of matching it to a Holton Amp (
HPA-NXV500L). A Qld / Tas partnership with simple elegant design.


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Hi Anthony,

nice to hear from you - heard great things about your power amplifiers.

Konverter - price is $4000 which includes delivery Australia wide. I was originally aiming for a lower price but ended up

specking this out to the max so that bumped the price up. The final version has upgraded PSU & digital boards plus an improved layout so the interboard wiring is shorter & neater.

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I have no history of hearing it, but I liked the idea of matching it to a Holton Amp (
HPA-NXV500L). A Qld / Tas partnership with simple elegant design.


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Funny you should mention that; I've got a Holton NXV500 on order, and although I'm currently running a Klein DAC, I'll definitely be adding a Konvertor to the shopping list in the not-too-distant future! I reckon either way it's going to kick butt! [emoji38]
PS Hi Clay and Anthony; reckon you guys should have a chat, as you appear to have similar attention to detail!

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2 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Hi Anthony,

nice to hear from you - heard great things about your power amplifiers.

Konverter - price is $4000 which includes delivery Australia wide. I was originally aiming for a lower price but ended up

specking this out to the max so that bumped the price up. The final version has upgraded PSU & digital boards plus an improved layout so the interboard wiring is shorter & neater.

 

Hi Clay

 

Well done mate, always good to see some well made and conceived Aussie innovation. I really like that you added balanced outputs to your new DAC/Preamp it should match well with my power amplifiers.

I hope to get the chance to listen to your new DAC/Preamp on day.

All the best I think you will do well with this one.

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Can I please ask about the remote?
Your opening post states it does all but mains on/off. Can it put the unit into standby? Is a 12v trigger possible to implement?
Thank you very much.
Dan

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Hi Dan,

no there is no standby function. Power on/off is with a mechanical front panel switch. You would normally only have a 12v trigger out

if the unit has a remote control on/standby function. 

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Thank you for the reply.

 

Would it be possible to implement standby via a remote? Even if this was a custom add on or mkII.

 

Yep 12v in and out could be useful for many considering it can do ht bypass. 

 

I am pretty interested in this but my current DAC also requires manual on/off and though it's a pretty small inconvenience it would be a nice feature to have 

 

Thank you

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