Vintage DACs

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Luckbad, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Except for the case arrangement, it looks nothing like the Gen V :eek:

    I like that the power supplies are on the flip side of the chassis :cool:
     
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  2. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    I have a Wadia 15 on loan at the moment. Did some serious listening last night using the Nuprime uDSD as a USB/SPDIF bridge and a $1 RCA to BNC adapter from my local Security Superstore.

    To my ears the Wadia 15 is a staggeringly good DAC. Compared to the much newer (but less high-end) 121 it is markedly more focused with much better instrument separation. The dynamics too are much more lifelike and layered, with substantially better weight and timber throughout the frequency range.

    Obviously the 15 was a well-engineered example of the mid 90's DAC (one of the very best at the time), with careful attention to power supply design, layout and noise suppression, but is makes you wonder how much of the so-called improvements in digital audio reproduction over the past two decades is real and how much is hype.

    As an aside the sort of improvements noticed over the 121 is typical of power supply upgrades. So I'm thinking what the 121 with a proper power supply might sound like ...
     
  3. joeybgood

    joeybgood Rando

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    I picked up the SF SFD-2 MKII and sent it in tp PcX for the SE+ upgrade. man oh man!! Staggeringly musical machine. So much so I sold my Yggy. Love that DAC!! I use the YellowTec PUC 2 Lite.. great AES interface.
     
  4. recarcar

    recarcar Friend

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    I picked one up a couple months ago and I am still enjoying it a lot also. Wonderful sounding DAC.
     
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  5. MarcusV123

    MarcusV123 Friend

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    Hello Everyone.
    Does anyone in this thread have any impressions for a Enlightened audio theatermaster ovation? Or any Enlightened audio dacs for that matter? Seen a couple go up on eBay and am wondering how much of an upgrade they are over my Bifrost 4490. The gear I'll be using it with is a mjolnir 1 and Paradox Slants headphones. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  6. haywood

    haywood Facebook Friend

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    I think I got this link from earlier in this thread:

    http://www.dutchaudioclassics.nl/the_complete_d_a_dac_converter_list/

    I've never heard anyone talking about the Ovation but that's not surprising since it's HT gear. The PCM-1702 is well regarded, as is EAD, but the devil is in the (implementation) details and without hearing it that's a pretty big gamble. If you're getting an amazing deal on it and already have a daily driver type dac or need six channels for some reason then it might be interesting but otherwise...
     
  7. MarcusV123

    MarcusV123 Friend

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    Thanks for the information. I have never thought about bulding my own home theater system and am only interested in 2 channel gear. So I guess the ovation is not for me. I think I'll try to keep an eye out for the EAD DSP-X000 series since that seems to be more to my taste. My goal is to find myself a killer R2R dac without spending a fortune so that's why I am looking into vintage dacs.
     
  8. joeybgood

    joeybgood Rando

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    Sonic Frontiers and Theta are both amazing vintage R2R DAC companies. Keep an eye out for them on all the classifieds. They don't pop up everyday, so you need to keep a close eye out. good luck!
     
  9. Kamikazi

    Kamikazi Friend

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    The EAD DSP 7000 is quite nice, shares the excellent tone of most PCM63 chipsets, but it is quite sensitive to the transport used so you've got to be careful with that. Very dynamic and while it punches quite deep and doesn't have any midbass bloat so the bass sounds quite linear. It's a touch grainy sounding in the mids, which I think would disappear with a very good transport or might be in need of some new caps. The highs seems very dependent on what transport you use with it, but it does a bit of a roll off on top. It has a very solid centre image, but I expected a bit more from the staging and the imaging could be a touch more precise as well. Has pretty good detail, but it far from as clean and crystal sounding as typical from something like an ES9018 Sabre DAC.
     
  10. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    The EAD is very thick and warm compared to the Theta Basic III and PS Audio UltraLink.

    Even using a ST Fiber didn't change this aspect.
     
  11. Kamikazi

    Kamikazi Friend

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    Yeah, will be comparing the EAD with a Theta Basic III this week that we have available for a demo. The EAD did change quite a bit depending on what transport it was used with. It sounded a lot better with a Concero running with an external PSU. I'm sure the ST Fiber would be the input with most scaling potential, unfortunately don't have a transport for that in the house at the moment.
     
  12. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    I was using the Bel Canto Reflink or the Genesis Digital Lens. The later is very hard to find.
     
  13. ak2angel

    ak2angel Acquaintance

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    Does anyone here know/ heard about the Theta DSPre Gen III ? (the one that came before Gen V). All I can find is that it uses the same digital section as the Gen V, with different analog circuit (opamp instead of discrete), and that's it. Also, what are the differences between the DSPre and DSPro ? (I think the Pre has inbuilt preamp in it, but I dont know if it is just a potentiometer or a complex active buffer).
    Thanks !
     
  14. Mr.Sneis

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  15. Luckbad

    Luckbad Thinks this is blogspot.luckbad.com

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    Wish I could have a good NOS R-2R DAC and a Sonic Frontiers SFD. The short period of time that I had both an SFD-1 MKII SE+ and some sort of MHDT was pretty awesome.
     
  16. RiddleyWalker

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    Has anybody had a chance to compare between two or more Theta DAC's? I know it's a longshot, but I'm looking at my Theta Progeny (non-A) and wondering what differences there might be to, say, Basic III, Gen V, etc.
     
  17. TomHP

    TomHP Almost "Made"

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    Any thoughts on the original Benchmark DAC 1? My dad has one laying around and told a while ago that he wants to give/ship it to me. But if it's not better than my current setup (Mojo), I don't see the point in shipping it. I would feed it from an Eitr and through a Vorzuge amp.
     
  18. atomicbob

    atomicbob Friend

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    Used the DAC 1 for years in production audio work through nearfields. Suffered listening fatigue on a daily basis. Still have it. Never use it. I'd rather listen to any of the Schiit MB seires.
     
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  19. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    I owned two of the Dac1 in speaker and HP setups. Mediocre hp out and on the clinical side. Moving from a Mojo to the Benchmark would be a step backwards in my opinion.
     
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  20. Icarium

    Icarium Rando

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    Glad to see love for vintage dacs lives :) Been out of audio for awhile.

    Have several parasound 1500s/1600s. Assemblage Dac2/3/3.1s. Spectral SDR-2000 pros and a Pacific Microsonics Model 2 :)

    Ah and an old Esoteric D3 (Not D-03, uses AD1862N-J R2R dacs).
     

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