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This topic is a real coincidence since I’ve been fiddling around just an hour ago with a DAC I’ve had for ages but haven’t used for 20years.

I’ve just bought a Dynaudio Confidence 1 which arrived a couple of days ago. Unfortunately the amp which was fabulous with my Focus 160 was just too warm with the new speakers. So I switched it over to a combo of Primare pre and Primare 5 channel amp. I suddenly remembered I had this old Dac and decided to dig it out. It’s an old Audio Alchemy with a power station 2, all in immaculate condition and still boxed.! I connected it up and wow I was amazed at the big smooth sound it produces. I’m sure there are much better dacs available these days but I’m so glad that I didn’t sell my trusty audio alchemy. I’ll still keep experimenting to get the best out of my new speakers and probably look for an integrated or pre streaming amp with built in dac and I’ll stop my journey then. Any recommendations anyone ? 

 

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Just installed some NOS Western Electric 396A tubes into my Ifi Pro idsd Preamp/Dac/MQA Stremer which has options for SS/Tube/Tube+ connected directly to Quad Platinum Monoblocks.

I have had alot of HiFi components through the mancave in the last 3-4 years and can whole heartedly say the Ifi would be the best component so far.

Just ordered a Power Supply from Clay at Giesler so looking forward to seeing what improvements in can add.

Here are some pics of the tube change out.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Waiting for this to arrive from the Ukraine, after which I'll remove the face plate from the DAC and phono stage and post to a mate in Melbourne to repaint in matching colours. I'm thinking metallic gunmetal grey.

 

It's an Abbas Audio DAC2.2SE TDA1541A R1. I've a nice Holland made S1 chip to replace the R1 in it. Has a single ended tube output stage.

 

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EDIT: I've now recieved this DAC and it is without doubt that end game component I've been looking for. Spectacular performance  :)

Edited by MattyW
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Guest deanB

Loving all the valve action fellas. I don't understand Dacanese very well but hot bottles in the circuit speak a universal language!

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Here's a picture of my DAC's. STAX DAC X1T, VTL Reference DAC & Marantz DA12 (with its twin partner, the CD12 transport).

I like this particular period of digital electronics. Their respective DAC chips are to my flavour and with two of them having tube output stages I can very easily experiment with difference flavours. 

I still have a hit list of DAC's that I must listen to/own. Crazy hobby this... it never really allows us to stop!

IMG_7475.jpg

Edited by Be Quiet...Listen
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39 minutes ago, deanB said:

Loving all the valve action fellas. I don't understand Dacanese very well but hot bottles in the circuit speak a universal language!

Even nicer is when the tubes are hidden away inside. Don't ask me why though exposed tubes are a negative ever since my little rug rat came along. That and sometimes it's useful to stack gear due to lack of space. My DAC will sit on top of the tube phono stage. They'll never be turned on at the same time so I don't believe hear will be an issue.  :)

 

22 minutes ago, Batty said:

My DAC, Denafrips Ares II R2R.

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Now that's meant to be a fantastic DAC. A mate has the first gen Ares which I hope to get a listen to at some point. I believe these are even better though. I also love the large number of inputs on the Ares range. Makes them extremely flexible. No need for the DAC to determine which components you buy (available inputs)

Edited by MattyW
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Here are my two DACs:

 

nImGp1M.jpg

 

MSB Reference DAC in black with its associated power supply that services my main system. Was the first DAC I put in my system that broke through the "everything sounds more or less the same +/-detail +/-stage +/-top end +/-bass +/-dynamics." When I stuck this in my good recordings suddenly put instruments into the room with an amazing real life presence, whilst the average and below recordings sounded, well, pretty much unchanged from their hifi-ness. There are times where the realism on good recordings is spookily real and I have to take a double take. Cost me an arm, a leg, a spleen, a kidney, and a ********, but I don't regret it since it did justice to the rest of the system.

 

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 Topping DX7s for my headphone system. I don't listen to the headphone system that much and just wanted a no nonsense clean and clear DAC that does away with crap and had balanced outputs for the headphone amp which is where the real magic in that part of the system is. It works perfectly well in this role, though it spends more time being used for watching video on my PC than listening music.

 

No valves in either of the DAC components. I prefer to leave the valve voicing of the system to what happens after the DAC entirely instead.

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Ho-ly crap! I just looked up the MSB Reference DAC and you weren't joking about the cost. I think maybe more than my entire sound system.  No doubt it sounds fantastic....  Now I'll disappear for a bit to read some reviews of your DAC. :)

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Linn Akurate DSM

 

Was loaned one of these in about 2014 and it opened my eyes. Does everything, sounds fantastic, upgradeable and still gets frequent updates which includes features many companies make you buy new products for like Roon, Space Optimisation, Spotify/Tidal/Qobuz support among many others. Another new app coming soon too.

 

 

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The best I have ever auditioned is the Playback Designs MPD-8.

 

Can't say I have tried that many DACs especially at this price point (eye watering 33k) but FWIF it's hard to imagine anything that could be more natural and musical.

 

Has anyone heard this DAC and have made a more meaningful comparison? Please share your thoughts. 

 

 

Playback+Designs+MPD-8-1.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

I have the Mytek Brooklyn DAC+. It has been excellent in my system. It is fed by a Roon Nucleus and outputs to:

* Musical Fidelity M6si to Paradigm Studio 100s for main listening, including DSD and MQA;

* Oppo HA 1 for Oppo PM1 headphone listening. 
Reasonable price ($3,200) for a quality product. I also reckon it looks great. 

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Edited by KRSDarwin
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9 hours ago, muon* said:

I can see little Borg Drones moving around in that thing :D

 

What DAC chips and how many per layer?

 

What a Beastie thing :wub:

They are PCM1794 NOS with 22 DAC chips stacking for most refined SQ. I2S direct from ARM board render/server. 

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