Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Hands, Mar 3, 2017.
Good thing I'm not in a grouchy mood.
Currently listening to a DIY build of the Audial AYAII, modded with jensen transformers for XLR output and capped with NOS Black Gate capacitors, Oscons, Wima blacks, Panasonic FC and Elna Silmic II. Good thing it was 220V or I'm sure someone else would've snagged it
It sounds wonderful! Comes quite close to the top of the line Holo spring in detail. Bass is tight, not flabby or boomy whatsoever. Mids are ridiculously sweet sounding, I've seen TDA1541 described as polite and midrange focused but wow this thing doesn't sound polite to me. The mids do have a sweet/romantic touch. Almost real at times.
On low level detail I can hear the noise floor crop up and then when more (louder) information needs to be rendered the noise floor transforms into musicality, not sure that's the TDA chip or the analog implementation but I love how noise just seems to appear when there is basically no digital information, and then gradually turns into sweet sweet music when the silent moment ends. Really makes me think of vinyl, when you reach the end of a track.
Too bad Audial DACs nowadays cost upwards of $2k. I got this baby for an honest price used and it wrecks pretty much any NOS DAC I've heard budget-wise. The spring still seems more resolving with blacker background, but for listening to older classics, vinyl rips and live music this Audial is really breathtakingly accurate sounding to me. Really impressed.
The "Model" DACs should better render spacial cues, nuances, and ambient effects over the Holo Spring, but you're right that they'll never sound as clean or black. Haven't heard the Aya but I know specs aren't nearly as good as the Model.
Yes, exactly! The staging and spacial cues are very delta-sigma like (which it isn't). Considering it is non-oversampling that is really something special, some long lost TDA magic, perhaps really glad I gave this DAC a chance.
A micro detail monster however, this is not. But that's perhaps expecting too much for a 16-bit (1998-era) chip it's very non-fatiguing though on the other hand which I greatly appreciate.
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