Rockna Wavelight DAC - Thoughts/Experiences

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by exocer, Jun 1, 2020.

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  1. exocer

    exocer Rando

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  2. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    I'm torn between this, the Bricasti M3(h) and Sonnet Morpheus.

    Interested in thoughts, as well :)
     
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  3. exocer

    exocer Rando

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    I am not in the market yet but it would be interesting to see how the Wavelight fares against the local recommendations here :D

    Eventually, i'm sure someone will get their hands on one for demo. It's in an interesting price bracket for sure.
     
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  4. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    I say the Bricasti M3(h). Mostly because I'm very interested in it as well and couldn't care less about the other two. ;)

    Would be curious as to your thoughts with Focal speakers. Wondering if it would be a good headphone amp for the Utopia too.
     
  5. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    After literally months of humming and hawing over which DAC to pick up, this arrived today. The packaging was super impressive, it had its own foam sarcophagus, haha. I don’t really want to speak about the sound quality yet, as I’d like to let it warm up and what not, but the build quality is really, really impressive.

    [​IMG]
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  6. Zurvv

    Zurvv Rando

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    Any impressions you'd like to share? What were you using before?

    I wonder what the diff is between this and the wavedream (which is more than i'd want to spend.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
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  7. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    I've been enjoying it so far. I haven't had as much time to spend with it as I would like though, so I can't offer any firm conclusions yet. However, it is the best and most pleasing I have heard my system sound so far. I've been using my iFi Micro iDSD BL for about a year, but before that I've had

    -Hugo TT2
    -DAVE
    -PS Audio PWDmk2
    -Aqua La Voce S2 (Briefly)

    I haven't heard the WaveDream Edition, or Signature, so I can't share any thoughts from personal experience there.
     
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  8. exocer

    exocer Rando

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    Did you also replace a pre-amp with this unit? How are things after an additional 10 days?
     
  9. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    No, i use an integrated amp so no pre amp. I'll report back with full review in the next week or so. I am really enjoying it though, dynamics are really well done and it seems to excel with mids and female vocals in particular (not that it does male vocals badly.) Bass is perhaps not like, super duper hard hitting bombastic but its not bass light. The biggest surprise is the treble so far, very natural and extended, I thought it might be a bit rolled off, but there is none of that present at all.

    Also, with my current amp and the Rockna, it synergises best with the Susvara (out of the three headphones I have, Abyss, Susvara, and Verite.)

    I think in the future, I might get better synergy with the Abyss with a different amp choice, and putting the Kinki into my speaker set up. Thats not to say the Abyss aren't sounding great already I should note.
     
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  10. Failed Engineer

    Failed Engineer Acquaintance

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    I've had a Wavelight for 2 days now, purchased mostly because I'd like a more versatile DAC than the ECP Walnut V that's been my primary DAC for about 5 years now. The Walnut is USB only. My decision was not driven by an itch for a "better" DAC.

    Not sure my early impressions will help much as I don't think many have heard the Walnut, but I like the Wavelight. At this early stage I know I'm not going to immediately sell it, which is more than what I can say of other DACs that have come and gone like Yggdrasil A1, Metrum Hex, Holo Spring 1 lv3, Yggdrasil A2, and most lately, dac1541.

    The tonal density and feeling of fullness of sound is definitely an adjustment coming from the WM8741 based Walnut, and for my preferences I think it's different presentations as opposed to better.

    The Wavelight is eerily black, the sound comes from nowhere. It's the biggest nag both Yggys had (A2 the bigger offender to me than A1). The blackness provides a platform for great dynamics. The Walnut does both micro and macro dynamics brilliantly and the Wavelight is early on just as good.

    The last early impression is that the Wavelight is smooth grain free in the totality of sound, but textured when needed. It feels like an oxymoron to me but I can't describe it any other way. It does vocals extremely well and connects to the emotion of singers probably a touch better than the Walnut. I think the tonality helps here.

    I'm still thinking it's a little bonkers to spend this much money on a DAC when I only listen to headphones, but I think we are all a little stupid sometimes when it comes to this hobby.

    I'll need to put it through it's paces more, but it has a chance to stick. I thought for my priorities (dynamics first and foremost, followed by imaging, speed, and detail) I'd have to spring for a Bricasti M1SE to find something that wouldn't clearly be substandard to the Walnut (to my ears) so glad this is slightly easier on my wallet. It mates well with the 3F and both Utopia and Stellia.

    The Wavelight has the brain gravity I look for in all audio equipment, the kind that tells me, "stop focusing on that fucking spreadsheet".
     
  11. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Got the Wavelight earlier this week.

    First impressions - driving it either via USB or with the Metrum Ambre in AES - is of a very expansive, dynamic and 'neutral' sound. Nothing seems pushed forward. It doesn't seem have a 'sound' of its own.

    The bass definition (and impact) is a clear step up from the Burl B2. For the rest, it seems slightly more expansive and 3D and slightly more detailed.
    I bet the 'slightly' will become 'clearly' when I manage to use the I2S input. My Pi2AES won't work with it (44.1 PCM input recognized as DSD128, which doesn't sound great :rolleyes:).

    Not sure yet if it's worth the +$2000 mark-up (or more, considering the B2 comes with Dante built-in, which potentially can save a lot of $$$ on a transport).
     
  12. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    Clem, does it have dense tones like the Schiit Multibit or NOS DACs, or it is more lighter/neutral like the Hugo2? Also, would you say the treble is on the smoother side?
     
  13. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    It’s is definitely not lean like H2.
    The treble is oh so smooth, yet very detailed. Nothing is ever harsh, which is awesome (and again, unlike H2).
     
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  14. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    Would you say the Wavelight is at the level where your DAC search is over for a few years or not quite yet?
     
  15. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    The Burl B2 was already there. I feel one would need to fork > $5k to get meaningful improvements. That would be a Bricasti or a Rockna. Then there the mega bucks stuff (dCS, etc) that I have no interest in.

    While the Wavelight improves upon the B2 in many ways, I still love the Burl's "sound", which is more immediate and has some sweetness in the treble that's very yummy. The Wavelight is "boring" by comparison, as it doesn't emphasize anything.

    I should receive the BOPA8 op amps for the Burl today. That's should be interesting...
     
  16. Gungrave

    Gungrave Rando

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    Can't wait for this comparsion ! I think you'll be suprised.
     
  17. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

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    If anyone’s interested, I reached out to Rockna about warmup times for their DACs, and this is the response I received:

     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I've heard a lot of DACs including the Wavedream, I'd still keep a Burl around, just because it sounds like an old tape machine.
     
  19. Gungrave

    Gungrave Rando

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    Hmm I I might need to side grade op amps since I have the new one, I'll inquire about getting the bopa1
     
  20. exocer

    exocer Rando

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    Just have to admire the beauty here. The Rockna Wavelight is so elegant and simple. Looking forward to further reports from loaner program :).
     

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