Hands's Non-Oversampling DAC Comparison Master List

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Hands, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Zachik

    Zachik Acquaintance

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    Has anyone compared the Audial S5 vs. Sonnet Morpheus DACs?
     
  2. Wushuliu

    Wushuliu Acquaintance

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    I've gotten on the vintage R2R bandwagon (though I did mess around with an AD1865 diy kit some years ago). Picked up a Parasound D/AC 1100 and looking into other older dacs.

    In the meantime I came across this ridiculously cheap PCM56 box on AliExpress. And you know what? It doesn't suck. Hell it even drives my 6XXs direct (still prefer thru Asgard 3 though).

    I'm shocked at how good it sounds. Not too rolled off or too abrasive on the top end, midrange is solid and natural, low end a little woolly but I bet this is also amp-dependent. I got the 'upgraded' version. I'm listening to it more than my diy Soekris...
     
  3. uncola

    uncola Friend

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    Did anyone receive their Audial AYA 5 yet? I ordered one in a black case with 3.5V output and I think he’s building it this month from the last update I read on his blog. I’ll be replacing an smsl su9 with it in a 2 channel speaker setup
     
  4. dericchan1

    dericchan1 Acquaintance

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    Please excuse my silly question here!!

    my buddy has this pretty dated Asus xonar essence one preamp/dac/hp amp that uses a burr brown 1795 chip. It actually has some very interesting designs.

    It detects the incoming frequencies and the corresponding led light will turn on, it also has a standalone “upsampling” button that you can push to upsample incoming frequency 8x up to 24/384 pcm. My buddy also had a add on module to the dac that can decode dsd dop 64!!

    i wonder if this is indeed a NOS design?

    thanks

    Deric
     
  5. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    PCM1795 seems to be a delta sigma chip, so no, it isn't NOS.
     
  6. uncola

    uncola Friend

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    I received my Audial Aya 5 tda1541a fully assembled dac in the black chassis with 3.4V rca output.. and it's blowing my mind. wish I could compare it with the other popular dacs

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2022
  7. denny_dow

    denny_dow Acquaintance

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    I am playing this thing too for about a week now, although I got it from a different shop and judging by the price - the so called standard version. may I ask how are you feeding it? I got 24V 1A PSU for mine, and I am feeling that it does not give enough gain, I have to turn the volume up considerably when I am switching from my J2.

    other than that I more or less agree with the reviews: it does indeed sound different to DS DACs in an enjoyable way, I like it on well-recorded jazz albums, vocals, I threw INXS at it and it did well, including the funky bass-based 'Elegantly Wasted'. guitars and snares rendering / tonality is superb. it passed the 'wall of sound' test on LCD Soundsystem 'American Dream' I very much enjoy. the only disappointment so far was the 'Roll It Up' by Taiwan MC - I know it as a loaded, coked-up banger both from various DS DACs and the vinyl record I own, but on PCM56 something was badly off, all the energy was sucked out of the composition, it sounded dry and lifeless... I am guessing the bass in this track is probably too much for this DAC to handle.
     
  8. Phong Luu

    Phong Luu Rando

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    Here is an interesting DAC made by Prometheus Audio with tube and non-tube flavors. It has the implementation/all the elements of a highend DAC using TDA1545 in parallel mode with transformer output. Has dedicated power supply for the digital and analog stage at an affordable
    Price: $800 plus shipping for the tube version with $300 TVC option and $490 for non-tube version.
    Per manufacture website:


    • Dual Non-Oversampling TDA1545 DAC chip, run in parallel mode

    • Silver pulse transformer for the digital input of DAC. This is wound on a mu-metal core
    • Having the pulse transformers isolates the digital ground between the DAC and the Transport/CDP
    • Dedicated pre and post regulator (for each chip) to bring down the noise floor of the Tube Dac
    • Balanced power transformer to power digital and Tube section.
    • Dedicated transformers for the DAC. Three transformers is used to power the Tube DAC, one for the tube power supply, tube heater and last for the digital section. Doing so totally isolates noise generated from the each supply. The transformers are mounted on a subchassis to minimize noise generation
    • Each Power Transformer is wound on a split bobbin format. Doing so isolates the noise from the mains
    • Asynchrous reclocking to 100Mhz. The clock has its own dedicate power supply to decouple the noise generated from the clock
    • The DAC is design around an isolated power supply system, where each digital chip is fed with local voltage regulators individually finding each IC. So each digital IC is totally isolated from each digital IC
    • The tube stage is powered with a dedicated voltage regulator for the High voltage and voltage regulated for the fillament of the tubes

    • Output transformers is used to load the tube stage. By doing so the allows the DAC to be impedance match to the preamp. This output transformer is wound on a M6 audio grade core. The transformers is mounted on a dedicated sub chassis to minimize vibration pickup

    • The dac is housed in a 2mm Aluminium Chassis to shield the dac for electrostatic noise and electromagnetic pickup

    • Primary Voltage is customly wound to suit customer request, 100V, 120V, 220V, 230V and 240V

    • Neotech 7N copper is used for internal wiring

    • Pure Silver RCA used for digital input and analog output

    • Neutrik XLR output. XLR output is a true balanced connection

    • Tube output stages uses NOS General Electic 6922

    • USB input done with the PCM2706 by Texas Instruments and Coaxial Input done by CS8414

    • Dac Output level is 4V. Design to drive our TVC well. Output level can be made custom to suit customers needs if needed

    • The Dac can be custom done, with a TVC transformer thus making it an one box preamp with DAC input.

    • The Digital input can be made custom to accept BNC, AES/EBU or Toslink.

      Link to the tube version:

      http://www.promitheusaudio.com/tubedac.html

    • Link to non-tube version:

    • http://www.promitheusaudio.com/dac.htm
     
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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2022
  9. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    Dude this sounds awesome but it also kinda sounds like you're simping for the manufacturer. Be a hero and buy one, and send it out on a loaner tour here to build personal cred. If you love it, share it. If it's shit, say it's shit. I'm interested and will sign up for your loaner tour.
     
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  10. Phong Luu

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    If this DAC uses TDA1541 I would be all over it. I’ll contact the manufacture if they can make 1 with both BNC and AES and if they can modify the circuit for 6N6P tube instead of 6922. If they can, then I’ll sell 1 of my 3 DACs for this 1
     
  11. denny_dow

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    I too am now an owner of a Parasound D/AC-1100, running it for a few days now, feeding my old Harman HD620 and into Triangle Titus Ez for now. the bass this thing produces is surprising, the slam, the definition, the rumble is something I would not expect from small speakers like the Tituses, and frankly, a bit overwhelming for me (not a bass-head). there is certain forceful presentation, forwardness I guess, the bite to the sound, but not exactly brightness... I don't know, it just grips me, the sound makes itself known and would not be ignored - even the 'background jazz' I put on with the idea of having something playing while working completely grabs my attention. the mids are a bit recessed for my taste. I am planning to try the Parasound with the tube amp next...
     
  12. caute

    caute Almost "Made"

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  13. Climber

    Climber Acquaintance

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    Not especially new, I owned one in 2018. I liked it for all the reasons one generally would go for an NOS DAC. But while tonally it felt on the money, scale and soundstage seemed smaller than the Modi Multibit I was comparing it to at the time. And dynamics felt a bit sleepy. It had the v1 chips in it.

    I was impressed enough to go up to the Amethyst which I bought from someone here. It's supposed to be the same thing as the Flint with the addition of a headphone amplifier (which was pretty meh.) But with the v2 chips (and maybe a better internal power supply?) it was a clear step up.

    I kept the Amethyst up until I got a Gungnir A1.
     
  14. caute

    caute Almost "Made"

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    Oh, my bad! I saw reviews from 2021 and I'd never heard of it, so I just figured it was circa then.

    Very interested to hear your thoughts on Amethyst vs A1 Gungnir! I have an A1 now and love it, but I keep looking at/reading about NOS DACs nevertheless...
     
  15. Climber

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    There were more similarities than differences and the Gungnir did not immediately shout out that it was an obvious winner. But in the end, despite being on par in its spatial detail retrieval -- i.e. reverb trails -- the Amethyst overall played slightly flatter than the Gungnir somehow. Also falls short to Gungnir in bass, but that's Schitt for you.

    I will say, the Amethyst had an odd synergy with the Falcon LS3/5a. Just more 'holy shit' timbre moments than the Gungnir with LS3/5a-appropriate fare -- jazz, vocals, etc. But other than that, Gungnir just seemed overall a bit bigger and had a bit more propulsion.

    I'm still curious about higher-end Metrums and may also give a Denafrips a shot. And a LIM Yggdrasil is definitely on the audition list at some point. But can't say I have any complaints about Gungnir A1 at the moment.
     

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