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Bill Hobba's Killer DAC


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Hi Guys

Its been a bit of a wait with more than a few twists and turns but I have been told my Killer has been competed enough to test it out - but more needs to be done. To get it up and running it has initially been set up with SPDIF but my final version will use I2S fed by my Off-Ramp.

Its first outing will be the Canberra GTG tomorrow where we will do a comparison to my PDX and NAD M51.

So now its simply what the listening tests will show.

Will keep everyone informed.

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba
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That's great news Bill. Thanks for sharing.

 

Will there be any DAC's of similar cost to the Killer t the GTG for a more valid comparison?

 

I reckon it would be great down the track to mod your PDX with the DIY boards that will allow the PDX to not just run off I2S but do that with super low jitter and chuck out that DF1704 filter so you can run it NOS or with software sophisticated minimal phase oversampling filters. The DF1704 is likely to be the biggest choke of sound quality in the PDX so chucking it could be very interesting and allow a descent match with the NOS TDA1541 DAC onr day?

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I will add my Buffalo II to the contender line. Just to stir the water a bit with something that is polite, balanced, non-tube and not into-your-face. I would not assume that the price is a measure of quality. We are talking mainly about DIY effort here.

Edited by Decky
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Hi Nada

 

I am in Canberra right now but when I get back will of course be comparing it to my Playback Designs and have lined up guys with DAC's like the Audionote to see what the go is.

 

Regarding NOS the designer Clay is aware of the new software that upsamples to 384 making the digital filter to some extent redundant   But prior to that sort of software being available he tried it NOS and the digital filter was easily better.  Also its not a trivial matter to drive the PCM1704 NOS - it requires some 'glue'.  But above that many computers such as my current Mac Mini do not have the horsepower to do that - I know I have tried it with my PD which goes that high and it crashed quite frequently.  Still maybe in the future.

 

Thanks

Bill 

Edited by bhobba
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I will add my Buffalo II to the contender line. Just to stir the water a bit with something that is polite, balanced, non-tube and not into-your-face. I would not assume that the price is a measure of quality. We are talking mainly about DIY effort here.
Hi Decky

If you are going to the GTG no problemo.

If not it may be taken back to Brisbane to install the I2S for when I get back - don't know the logistics.

But once I find out will drop you a line and we will see if its possible to get it over to your place before it returns to Brisbane.

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba
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Good One Bill-- Like I mentioned I heard the Killer at the Sydney Show with my own test disc and was disappointed considering the buzz/etc-- upon listening to your PDX at Mikes

 

I felt the PDX superior--but will await your conclusions with great interest-keep up the great work!

 

Incidentally which AN Dac will you be using 

 

Willco

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Upgraded NAD M51!!! What are these upgrades of which you speak??? :D

 

It was in the M51 thread.

 

Clay figured out how to replace the switching power supply with an analogue one.

 

Thanks

Bill

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I think that could be a killer Dac killer :)

 

Its good all right but having heard a Killer a on a number of occasions I have to give it to the Killer - still one never knows.  But that is hardly surprising - the Killer is nearly 4 times the price and took on a DCS stack in a shoot-out where it was declared a tie.  But again one never knows - which is what makes such things fun.

 

Also to my ears the NAD really needs an Audiophilleo or Off-Ramp to really strut its stuff and I didn't bring mine with me.  More on that later when I get the Killer in my system.

 

Sorry for the double post - but there is something funny going on and I couldn't edit or delete it.

 

Thanks

Bill

 

Edited by bhobba
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Good One Bill-- Like I mentioned I heard the Killer at the Sydney Show with my own test disc and was disappointed considering the buzz/etc-- upon listening to your PDX at Mikes

 

I felt the PDX superior--but will await your conclusions with great interest-keep up the great work!

 

Incidentally which AN Dac will you be using 

 

Willco

Interesting opinion as i have heard both kd and pdx and a modded pdx by me which is now in qld our ears are very different yet unamplified music has only our ears as reference imho 

Enjoy your journey

Edited by kajak12
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Hi Guys

 

Had a great day yesterday and meet a few guys who I had conversed with before such as Onthebeach, VMF and Ozmilzy.

 

First due to a few technical hitches couldn't check out some things like the PDX (I left the power supply back at my place) but they will be rectified today and hopefully we can check out some more stuff.

 

OK we tried the AMG's on the old vintage speakers we were using - don't know what they were but it was an old style single driver.  Very interesting - they made a difference 100% for sure and I personally preferred it with the AMG's - better bass and the music has more life to my ears.  But not everyone agreed - some preferred bricks instead.

 

We had a chance to compare the Killer to my NAD 51 - sorry - the KIller SLAUGHTERED the NAD - the difference was simply huge.

 

But it did give us a chance to check out something else very interesting   You will find some people saying the order of priorities is speakers, amps then DAC and DAC's only make a subtle difference compared to the other two.  I have never agreed with this - I believe speakers are the most important - yes - but the DAC is a close second with the amp a distant third.  Well what we did was hear the NAD through a very good valve amp (really good in fact) - a restored Leak (there were other amps there as well)  - and the Killer through an an inexpensive but high quality Gain Clone amp - the Patek.  Even though the Patek is very good the Leak was clearly better but the combination of the Killer and Patek was WAY ahead of the M51 and Leak.  I suspect at least one person there had never really experienced this before and was surprised.

 

If you are putting together a system my suggestion is to spend about 45% on speakers, 35% on a DAC and 20% on an amp.  That is only up to a certain price point though - I cant say I have really experienced any significant improvements with spending more than about $5K on an amp or DAC so if your budget allows you to exceed that I would spend the difference on better speakers. 

 

Ok we will be continuing the listening today where we will hear the PDX, the Arions, and some other speakers.

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba
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