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DAC Genre's Who is using what?

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  • DAC Genre's Who is using what?

    Sigma/Delta, R2R, FPGA....A lot going on these days in DAC tech. What is impressing you? What is approaching or in your experience is achieving "Analog" sound qualities? So far I have heard two DAC's this year that made me think analog. both, interestingly are FPGA. One is the DAVE from Chord the other is the Dirtectstream from PS Audio. I bought the Directstream. While both are FPGA Chord has a non upgradable approach they offer with no apologies. I spent a couple of hours talking to John Franks about Robb Watts approach and they are convinced they are years ahead of the competition. PS Audio has taken a different path with continuous software upgrades making the DS relatively future proof. That and the less than half price pushed me toward their approach. That being said, the DAVE is extraordinary. I would love some head to head time with the two of them.

    Anyone else experiencing anything here?
    VPI Prime Signature with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, Simaudio Moon 610LP Phono Pre, Luxman CL-38uC, MQ-88uC, DeVore O/93's, Cary DMS-700, Roon, AudioQuest Niagara 5000, Thunder Power cables, CastleRock speaker cables, MacKenzie interconnects and Diamond USB.

  • #2
    I have now had the EMM Labs DA2 for several months and could not be more pleased. I have spoken at length with Ed Meitner a number of times about the technology. One of the things which I found interesting was that he felt that some of the biggest gains sonically over his earlier efforts had resulted from changes in the analog circuitry, primarily increasing the bandwidth from 500K to 1 megahertz and decreasing the settling time.
    Rockport Sirius turntable, Lyra Atlas SL cartridge, Audio Note M9 SE Phono stage, Audio Note M10 (Signature) linestage, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode Reference stands and Cerabases, Halcyonics active isolation bases, HRS Equipment stand, Stillpoints Ultra 6 footers, Furitech cable isolators and plugs, Loricraft and Audiodesk vinyl cleaners, Yamaha CT7000 Tuner.

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    • #3
      It is interesting how extended frequencies seem to make a significant difference in the qualities of the sonic delivery and our perceptions around what we hear. I love that the DAC makers are still finding ways to squeeze more out of the same files.
      VPI Prime Signature with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, Simaudio Moon 610LP Phono Pre, Luxman CL-38uC, MQ-88uC, DeVore O/93's, Cary DMS-700, Roon, AudioQuest Niagara 5000, Thunder Power cables, CastleRock speaker cables, MacKenzie interconnects and Diamond USB.

      Comment


      • #4
        A few thoughts. While I herd the Dave sounds good from a friend it's 15K below this is ps audio DAC. Being able to change firmware is digital tube rolling and a must if you ask me. Now going forward I have not heard an fpga that is what I feel better than a r2r and some chips . Why I do not know. Now this is based on PCM , in dsd there no comparison again for me. Fpga in dsd looses what dsd is . Now the best PCM I have now is from my lampi now non format SW the PCM is almost edge less. But has dynamics to raise the roof. After many formwares rolls I finally sold the DS DAC a shame as I really like it. While ps audio makes great products , I think too much effort is put to a price point keeping just how good it can sound. Lastly a DAC is an investment and should have N upgrade path weather it's parts or software or both. My msb does this its rediculas how expensive but it does. Ps audio does this as well. Why the other fpga models don't is short sighted for me. I feel no one person will know how it should sound for me meaning I need some varibles. While msb has filter settings and can upsample internally and to me sounds better than any other upsample I have tried . Choices in digital beyond cables is a must. My lampi is a work in progress while Luke refines his sound with firmware and parts often . I think this makes it a cult and Afterall hi end audio is one. If someone wants the maximum choices it's a lampi but this may be too much for some , ps audio is a more refined way to do some changing with breaking the banks as its formware are free. While msb is expensive and for me I Ike my lampi better I do know the Amount of money put into research and the level of technology is more than any made . And it shows in the sound , but if we are trying to get back to basics in audio then analog is where we want to be. Then lampi has been there all along and getting better with each upgrade .

        Beyond sound that that may be keeping some analog people is money spent for soon to be door stop lampi , ps audio and msb all prevent this.
        While Psaudio and lampi make this happen much cheaper than msb all three really do admit didgital is changing even as wel sleep lol.
        analog stuff.
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
        sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
        new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
        thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
        thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
        kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
        phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
        speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
        mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
        digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
        Dacs lampi various

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        • #5
          Owning a chord 2Qute and Hugo and prefering them to anything I have heard that is based on Ess chips or the like. I think its clear where my prefernce lies.

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          • #6
            I do appreciate Chord's process. I would love a DAVE in the chain but I am unwilling to write the check. The new Torrey's firmware for the DS has already revealed some nuances to music I have been listening to for 40 years. This is something that I really have enjoyed. The ability for PS to continue to advance the capabilities of their products to existing owners without additional charge is a strong and long term value proposition for me.
            VPI Prime Signature with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, Simaudio Moon 610LP Phono Pre, Luxman CL-38uC, MQ-88uC, DeVore O/93's, Cary DMS-700, Roon, AudioQuest Niagara 5000, Thunder Power cables, CastleRock speaker cables, MacKenzie interconnects and Diamond USB.

            Comment


          • #7
            If your budget can go to the Dave Dac you may also want to consider the Nagra Classic DAC. Pretty much the only thing that comes to my mind that would tempt me....

            Comment


            • #8
              I have determined after many years that there is almost always something just a bit farther up the line. Life is good right now though. I do enjoy going to the shows and seeing the latest ideas. Great creativity in the industry today!
              VPI Prime Signature with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, Simaudio Moon 610LP Phono Pre, Luxman CL-38uC, MQ-88uC, DeVore O/93's, Cary DMS-700, Roon, AudioQuest Niagara 5000, Thunder Power cables, CastleRock speaker cables, MacKenzie interconnects and Diamond USB.

              Comment


              • #9
                If you going to spend a bit more you may consider and used lampi B7. Tube following is a great way to tune the sound
                analog stuff.
                otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                Dacs lampi various

                Comment


                • #10
                  I do appreciate Lampi's qualities. Given I have tubes in other places thought the chain, I am staying put for now with the DS.
                  VPI Prime Signature with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, Simaudio Moon 610LP Phono Pre, Luxman CL-38uC, MQ-88uC, DeVore O/93's, Cary DMS-700, Roon, AudioQuest Niagara 5000, Thunder Power cables, CastleRock speaker cables, MacKenzie interconnects and Diamond USB.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    The DS is a very nice DAC and at its price point with free updates is a very wise purchase.
                    analog stuff.
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                    sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                    new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                    thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                    thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                    kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                    phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                    speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                    mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                    digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                    Dacs lampi various

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      It has been a big year for upgrades. I am going to pause for awhile and enjoy!
                      VPI Prime Signature with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, Simaudio Moon 610LP Phono Pre, Luxman CL-38uC, MQ-88uC, DeVore O/93's, Cary DMS-700, Roon, AudioQuest Niagara 5000, Thunder Power cables, CastleRock speaker cables, MacKenzie interconnects and Diamond USB.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        DS w/Ethernet Bridge II in the rack...The LANRover USB Transporter is on top of the DS. I picked up Serial # 0001 at PS Audio Wednesday.

                        ​​​​​​
                        VPI Prime Signature with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, Simaudio Moon 610LP Phono Pre, Luxman CL-38uC, MQ-88uC, DeVore O/93's, Cary DMS-700, Roon, AudioQuest Niagara 5000, Thunder Power cables, CastleRock speaker cables, MacKenzie interconnects and Diamond USB.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          I've had the PSA DS DAC with the original Bridge for over a year now and continue to be pleased with it. Normally use it either with a wireless connection to my Xfinity X1 Gateway and then via Ethernet to the Bridge or with my Oppo 105D feeding it via coax or glass TOSLink. Probably gone through four software iterations and the sound has improved every step of the way. In the beginning I thought the 105D was more impactful for lack of a better way of putting it, but now...I find that when I listen to the 105D solo I soon switch over to the 105D/DS DAC combo. Just seems more musical, less digital to me.

                          I know you've only had it for a few days, longbowbbs, but have you formed any opinions yet on the LANRover?
                          Oppo BDP-105D, PSA DS DAC
                          c-j CA200
                          MartinLogan EM-ESL
                          WireWorld Starlight Cat 8, XLO Signature 1.1, 1.4 and 3.1 interconnects; PranaWire Photon USB; XLO S3-5.2 speaker cables; PSA Juice Bar and Power Wing II PLCs, PranaWire Vajra and Satori power cords

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            So far the LANRover is a nice improvement over USB only. The DS was connected via an AudioQuest Diamond USB so I was using a great cable before. Now I have the LANRover connected with two Diamond cables and there is more clarity with the soundstage. Next weekend I should have a chance to do some comparative critical listening. Early returns sound good though.
                            VPI Prime Signature with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, Simaudio Moon 610LP Phono Pre, Luxman CL-38uC, MQ-88uC, DeVore O/93's, Cary DMS-700, Roon, AudioQuest Niagara 5000, Thunder Power cables, CastleRock speaker cables, MacKenzie interconnects and Diamond USB.

                            Comment


                            • Joe Appierto
                              Joe Appierto
                              Junior Member
                              Joe Appierto commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Good to know, thanks. I don't use the USB connection to the DAC at present, but you never know. Thanks.
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