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GIESELER KONVERTER (DAC/Preamp) Official release.


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John - no not a Antipodies but technically very similar. It a pc server that I built using a linear PSU & SOtM PCI usb card.

Runing Windows 7 & JRiver or sometimes Vortexbox/Daphile with a quick HD swap.

Joe - no Aries connnected directly to the Konverter with a Curious USB cable.

Mark - no don't have a SMS-200 yet but thinking seriously about purchasing one.

Mat - certainly good value but shortfalls vs the straight Aries as Mark pointed out.

Terry - sold my good CD player a few year back so can't compare.

 

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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

1 minute ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Terry - sold my good CD player a few year back so can't compare.

 

 

Why...you need a benchmark from which to demonstrate progress...

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Oh yeah.  Gotcha....


Although I do think Clay knows where to get a good LPS [emoji6]


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6 minutes ago, Raffinator said:

 


Although I do think Clay knows where to get a good LPS emoji6.png


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

True dat

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3 minutes ago, Raffinator said:

Although I do think Clay knows where to get a good LPS emoji6.png

 

 

Don't doubt that...

To be confident that "its better"...then there should be an established benchmark as a base...

And it should be resident..

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Just now, scumbag said:

Why? cd seems a fairly arbitrary choice to benchmark to. 

 

Sigh...OK...

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8 minutes ago, scumbag said:

Why? cd seems a fairly arbitrary choice to benchmark to. 

 

Then if not CD, which I would imagine is still the number one used source platform to listen to music, then what would be your benchmarks platform Mark? 

 

cheers Terry

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I didn't bring up the topic of bench marking so I don't see that I have to answer that question. My point is that cd is an old technology so we need to look to contemporary benchmarks. Oh, and I think clay may have his own benchmarks but they may be encapsulated between his ears and not in a single example in a given piece of technology. 

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1 hour ago, Rob181 said:

 

Don't doubt that...

To be confident that "its better"...then there should be an established benchmark as a base...

And it should be resident..

 

Its a simple test.

 

Listen with their supposed gee whiz bang revolutionary power supply they call pure power that is supplied with the unit and Clay's own power supplies he  makes.  Which sounds better - it shouldn't be hard.    I trust Clay's power supplies so much I asked him to build one and we will do just that.

 

Thanks

Bill

 

 

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Sorry for any derailing of the thread Clay . I am however at a loss as to why there is some onus in you to benchmark or prove 'claims' about your product.

Anyway, I'll butt out now otherwise I'll start getting more PM's about it....... Bye. 

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1 hour ago, Rob181 said:

then there should be an established benchmark as a base...

And it should be resident..

 

That was done years ago when Mike had an uber CD transport.   At first it clobbered computer audio - then came the Audiophileo and units made by some company I forget that run off batteries and put in the original PDX's   It was clearly better so Mike got rid of it.

 

However Rawl99 has the really uber CD player - an upgraded Wadia that is better - it has yet to be surpassed although things are getting closer.   It however is in a different price class to any of this stuff and will not stream, do MQA and Tidal, all the new exciting stuff.  Is things like the Auralic now better or as good as the Wadia - don't know, but will take the Auralic over to Rawl's eventually and find out.

 

Rawl makes the Killer DAC but is finding those old Phillips double crown DAC hard to get and is looking at a new design that will be high res and handle the output of devices like the Auralic.  How will that sound - only time will tell.

 

Thanks

Bill

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11 hours ago, TerryO said:

 

Hi Clayton, if you don't mind me asking how does it compare to playing the same music on CD?

 

cheers Terry

 

This is the simple question I asked in relation to Clay introducing the Auralic Aries and Tidal in to his system and his comments about how good it was when connected up with his Konverter DAC and some how others have turned it into a debate about whether or not I should have asked the question. 

 

I wasn't asking Clay to prove how good his product is, I was simply asking how the two delivery systems compare on his system.

 

What is so wrong with me asking this question? As for CD's being old technology that has no relevance that was said years ago about vinyl as well, CD's aren't going to disappear any time soon and most people who will end up buying Clays products will end up having both CD's and systems like Tidal, which I actually do, so why shouldn't I as a potential customer be able to ask this question how the two delivery systems compare using his DAC?

 

cheers Terry

 

 

 

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Hi guys,

I think Terry & Rob brought a good point regarding just how well a good quality CD player stacks up against all the current streamer/server DAC setups which are getting really popular now.

Thank you bhobber who brought up the day at Mike Lenehan's when we all (our small group) finally decided that a music server + DAC Combo was the way to go. Asynchronous USB input boards running on very low noise PSU's was IMHO the game changer. 

That was the also point in time when I personally moved away from disc spinners as a digital source.

However most decent DAC's these days have a coaxial S/PDIF input so its dead easy to connect a CD player as a transport & have a listen. It might be a good idea to use that as a reference point. Of course as someone pointed out the sound quality will varie depending on the CD player used. I know I was fairly disappointed with my Oppo BDP 95 when playing CD's & then one day just for fun I tried it via the coaxial input on my Klein DAC - massive improvement!

Anyway bottom the line is I will certainly try connecting a descent CD player into the Konverter S/PDIF input & see how it stacks up against other pc based digital sources. I still have a bit of a collection of reasonable Marantz & Philips CD players at work so time to blow the dust off & give it a whirl! Actually getting a bit nervous - I might be in for a surprise.

Edited by Gieseler Audio
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So apologies to all for getting my grumpy pants on again last night. Perhaps I should impose a curfew on myself.....:sorry:

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14 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Anyway bottom the line is I will certainly try connecting a descent CD player into the Konverter S/PDIF input & see how it stacks up against other pc based digital sources. I still have a bit of a collection of reasonable Marantz & Philips CD players at work so time to blow the dust off & give it a whirl! Actually getting a bit nervous - I might be in for a surprise.

 

Hi Clay

 

We, by which I mean me, you and Bruce, tried it at a GTG you were at with an Oppo using a good Coax cable made by Keith Eichmann who was also there. It was into your Klein and it sounded very nice and analogue like - so nice I use it with my Oppo. But the USB was just a touch more transparent, detailed and lively.   By the usual criteria it would be, and was by most there, including me and you, judged better.  But the SPDIF was very nice, so nice I got a cable myself and use it between my Oppo and DAC, the Drirect Stream.  It was at that same GTG everyone, including me sat there wide eyed at how close the Klein was to the much more expensive DS - we couldn't believe it.   The Konverter is closer again - as Clay mentioned, and its true, you walk into  room where the Konveter is playing and you know there is a DS there.  Casual listeing will not reveal a diffference - only a careful comparison will - its there and you can heat it - but boy is it close.   Considering the DS is twice the price of the DS that's an amazing outcome - and you get a pre to boot.

 

Ok since I have the Oppo set up in my system and have quite a few actual CD's lying around I grabbed one - 25th anniversary edition Carpenters - Interpretations and played Sing.  To me via casual listening I really cant tell the difference and how I usually listen to it.

 

I usually listen to it by simply plugging my hard disk of music into my windows notebook computer and windows has an option to Cast to the Oppo.  I am now listening to the same album and song that way.  God its hard -  but its slighly more trasnsparent and dynamic.  Mind you I have passed the files through this program which does improve things by getting rid of clipping caused by ham fisted audio engineers and up-sampling to 88.1:

https://www.xivero.com/audiorepair/

 

Now for the heck of it I have on disk the carpenters singles in SACD but entropy encoded to Flac using:

https://www.xivero.com/xifeo/

 

Not a small difference - much more detailed, dynamic, better air, more 3d, all the usual HI-Fi stuff is better.

 

Now via Tidal.  They don't have the same album but have plenty with Sing.  So I played it that way.  It had a slightly thicker presentation - not as light and airy - but it sounded darn good.

 

Ok my ranking from this little experiment

 

1.  High definition cast to Oppo

2.  Normal definition but corrected and cast

3.  The actual CD

4.  Tidal - but it had a slightly different presentation - it would be a personal preference.

 

Note the Auralic has an audio engine likely to make things even better for Tidal.

 

What we can say however is CD is still viable and can produce good sound but, at least for the Oppo casting it from computer is better, but it may be due to the enhancing programs I ran it through and HD is better again.  That would seem one of the real values of computer audio these days - you can do a lot more with it. 

 

Thanks

Bill

 

 

    

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9 hours ago, TerryO said:

 

This is the simple question I asked in relation to Clay introducing the Auralic Aries and Tidal in to his system and his comments about how good it was when connected up with his Konverter DAC and some how others have turned it into a debate about whether or not I should have asked the question. 

 

I wasn't asking Clay to prove how good his product is, I was simply asking how the two delivery systems compare on his system.

 

What is so wrong with me asking this question? As for CD's being old technology that has no relevance that was said years ago about vinyl as well, CD's aren't going to disappear any time soon and most people who will end up buying Clays products will end up having both CD's and systems like Tidal, which I actually do, so why shouldn't I as a potential customer be able to ask this question how the two delivery systems compare using his DAC?

 

cheers Terry

 

 

 

Yes, on reading the posts from last night, I can only apologise for going off on a rant. That is a valid question.

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6 hours ago, scumbag said:

Yes, on reading the posts from last night, I can only apologise for going off on a rant. That is a valid question.

 

All good Mark, no problems at all. ... :thumb:

 

cheers Terry

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Just now, TerryO said:

All good Mark, no problems at all. ... :thumb:

cheers Terry

 

Ditto...guilty of having those days...takes a good man to know & admit it...

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  • 3 weeks later...

@Gieseler Audio
Clay, what is the output impedance of the Konverter? Having a fleeting thought of trying it with an ME 75C power amp and know that the MEs love a (very) low impedance pre...

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IMG_1062.thumb.JPG.0e87e712c53826bceb57f2d7c20e8c99.JPGI'm just shipping out another Konverter to a SNA member ( woadl ) & I've actually had time to photograph it Inside & out so I thought it would be good for you guys to see the finished product.

The IR remote receiver is now exposed via hole through the front panel & works much better.

The PSU & digital boards have be updated to take the new LT3045 regulators & with better cable access points to the other boards

The forth photo is final testing with a Auralic Aries mini. 

IMG_1061.thumb.JPG.76eb13cd87e5998194a5b2403445449b.JPGIMG_1059.thumb.JPG.8bd360729a324deb7f7099bcb1c04739.JPGIMG_1076.thumb.JPG.28cabdf9bf32fc1f6e5450be9c1e4746.JPG 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1071.JPG

 

 

 

IMG_1063.JPG

Edited by Gieseler Audio
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Sorry - did not mean to put in so many photos - had trouble editing it.

My phone has trouble capturing  the OLED display correctly so the missing part of the fonts is  just a glitch with my photography

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Wow that does look fantastic and such a neat build inside.

I have had the pleasure of listening to Clay's DAC last year and liked it very much having compared it to my Auralic Vega its performance on my system I thought was up with the quality of the Vaga.  So when Clay announced that he was building a DAC with a Preamp I just had to have one as I would also like to add remote volume to my system, it's been a long wait but I should have it late next week and I will be posting my impressions

thanks again Clay

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2017-5-30 at 11:15 PM, woadl said:

Wow that does look fantastic and such a neat build inside.

I have had the pleasure of listening to Clay's DAC last year and liked it very much having compared it to my Auralic Vega its performance on my system I thought was up with the quality of the Vaga.  So when Clay announced that he was building a DAC with a Preamp I just had to have one as I would also like to add remote volume to my system, it's been a long wait but I should have it late next week and I will be posting my impressions

thanks again Clay

 

Any updates on your new arrival?

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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 something like this happens you grab yourself a brew, sit down and gently unpack your purchase.  I must say the first impressions of Clays DAC was of a piece of equipment that has been put together with a lot of thought with not a hint of being slapped together, I had seen pictures of the internals but I had to take of the lid and have a closer look, Clay I love your work !
 
To put the Konverter into my system required a bit of rewiring so I decided to pull the whole system apart and give everything a good dusting and rearrange some of the gear.  My system consists of a pair of ML2REF speakers, a pair of Quad EightyII mono blocks, Mark Levinson ML1 preamp, Auralic Aries streamer and a Auralic Vega DAC so the pre amp will go and the Vega DAC I sold a while ago, the Konverter will replace them.  Also I will be connecting to the Konverter a Audio GD cd transport, a Yamaha cd Recorder, a Technics sp10 turntable, and with the help of a tape selector switch box a Sony TC765 reel to reel and a Pioneer CT-F1250 cassette deck..... Few !
 
Well after about 3 hours of dusting, polishing and connecting I was now ready to sit down and listen to a bit of music.  The remote that comes with the Konverter has volume up and down, muting, channel up and down and a power button, Clay has configured the remote so with these few buttons you can change the inputs, the filter settings the display modes and toggle the Home Theatre bypass on and off. At first trying to navigate through the different modes I found a bit confusing but having live with it for a few days you quickly learn how it works...... So how does it sound ?
 
I believe that if you call yourself an Audiophile you have the ability to store audio memories of not only your own system but also other systems you have listened to over the years, so what I'm trying to say is that I know my own system sound very well
 
I started to stream a few of my favourite tracks and what was apparent straight away was the amount of bass weight that my system had gain it was like I had added a subwoofer to the system, the Konverter goes deep, very deep in bass.....wow
The more music I played the more excited I became, tracks I new well we're now being presented to me differently, the sound had a smoothness to it and the image was rock solid.  It seemed like every piece of music I played had new surprises, some of the instruments in the songs I knew well were louder than on my old system, the sound stage was much more wider and things like cymbals were smooth with no hint of being splashy, I was having a great time. I then played some HiRez music and the sound as you would expect was taken to a whole new level, another thing I noticed was that the background was very black, no background noise that you could notice
I can confidently say that the Konverter sounds much better than the Vega DAC particularly in the bass region, I will also say that my digital music now has a much more analog sound which is what I'm after 
 
So how did the analog inputs sound ? Just as good as my old system. I must admit I was a little worried about taking out my Mark Levinson pre amp as I really loved the vintage sound of it and I thought that if that sound changed that much I could always run the Konverter into the Mark Levinson pre to get back that sound back but there's no need to, the Konverter is a dam fine preamp as well.
Makes me wonder how much better the sound will be ones it has had a good burn in
 
Clay I must congratulate you on a product that looks good, built very well and sounds bloody brilliant, an outstanding achievement, the wait was worth it !
 
Thank you. 
 
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On 13.6.2017 at 0:05 PM, woadl said:

 

I started to stream a few of my favourite tracks and what was apparent straight away was the amount of bass weight that my system had gain it was like I had added a subwoofer to the system, the Konverter goes deep, very deep in bass.....wow

 

Nice,

am I right you address this to the DAC part of the Konverter and not to the preamp part?

 

Matt

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Hi Matt, yesterday I had a long listening session listening to some of my favourite vinyl and what I have found listening to the analog inputs is that the image and the depth is certainly better than the Mark Levinson but yes the real bass extension comes from the DAC

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I have finally (today) completed all the Konverter orders so I'm now working on the the new DAC. Most of the design work is done so it should not be too far away. When it is getting close I will start a new topic/thread about it - stay tuned!

 

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About the DAC only device, would it be possible to get a version with both USB and SPDIF inputs?

Edited by jermaink
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Yes. The standard version will have just USB in & then as a option you can have S/PDIF inputs added as well. They will be coax,  optical & I might look at AES/EBU XLR as well.

The single input version will have a slight performance gain as there is no switching of the I2S lines.

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Would it possible to order a SPDIF only version, and would it similarly benefit from there being no switching of l2s lines?

Edited by jermaink
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Yes I can certainly offer a S/PDIF only version & it will benefit in terms of sound quality vs the multi input version.

Cost will down about a $120 as well as the Amanero USB board won't be needed.

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