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  #51  
Old 11-06-2018, 04:01 PM
FloridaBoy FloridaBoy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decooney View Post
I still hope to demo a well regarded tube DAC at some point.

Some here mentioned MHDT Orchid.

Any others worth demoing under $1750?
I was considering the Orchid. It's tube buffered, NOS with a 1541 chip.

I went with the Ukrainian DAC simply because the design and parts used looked interesting. FWIW, I did 'hear' it from You Tube videos. The Doors Riders on the Storm and some classical. Music had weight, texture and tone. Fingers still crossed.

I'd use that Arcam until you hear something better with your ears.

Last edited by FloridaBoy; 11-07-2018 at 10:42 AM.
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  #52  
Old 11-06-2018, 10:55 PM
decooney decooney is offline
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Originally Posted by FloridaBoy View Post
I was considering the Orchid. It's tube buffered, NOS with a 1541 chip.

I went with the Ukrainian DAC simply because the design and parts used looked interesting. FWIW, I did 'hear' it from You Tube videos. The Doors Riders on the Storm and some classical. usic had weight, texture and tone. Fingers still crossed.

I'd use that Arcam until you hear something better with your ears.
It's good you recognized some of the parts and/or know the costs to design and build such a DAC. It would seem like a lot of effort for someone to go through all of that work to sell it and have it not sound good. As you suspected, it could turn out to be pretty darn nice. Never know unless you give it a go, very cool. Good for u.

yeah, about 60hrs burn-in now on the week old Arcam irDAC-II. The little edge of harshness or extra detail it had brand new on day1 is GONE! Natural and smooth now, highs rolled off just a tad and now, nice vibrant midrange is coming out as i hoped. Better than i hoped, luckily. Can really hear the lushness and delicacy of my tube gear and the sound stage changed, wider and larger now. Listening to Dust in The Wind at 2 minutes in the violins sound really good. Music time!
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  #53  
Old 11-07-2018, 01:24 AM
Bombadil Bombadil is online now
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I've owned three CD players which had the 1541. It's okay but I'm not a big fan. I think people who are more into analog tend to like it. I find it soft on detail and imaging. Okay for casual listening. I gave away my last CD player (a Rotel) which had it.
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  #54  
Old 11-07-2018, 07:00 AM
FloridaBoy FloridaBoy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decooney View Post
It's good you recognized some of the parts and/or know the costs to design and build such a DAC. It would seem like a lot of effort for someone to go through all of that work to sell it and have it not sound good. As you suspected, it could turn out to be pretty darn nice. Never know unless you give it a go, very cool. Good for u.

yeah, about 60hrs burn-in now on the week old Arcam irDAC-II. The little edge of harshness or extra detail it had brand new on day1 is GONE! Natural and smooth now, highs rolled off just a tad and now, nice vibrant midrange is coming out as i hoped. Better than i hoped, luckily. Can really hear the lushness and delicacy of my tube gear and the sound stage changed, wider and larger now. Listening to Dust in The Wind at 2 minutes in the violins sound really good. Music time!
I am far from being a digital designer. The builder is a classically trained musician who also has an electronic background.

Feedback from a buyer of the same DAC but with transistor output instead of a 5687 tube:

perfect++++this is a stunning great dac+++++ DAC2.0,solid state single ended stage,3vRMS,TDA1541A,CS8414,NOS,klangfilm parts (#172551591657) US $798.00
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  #55  
Old 11-07-2018, 11:46 PM
decooney decooney is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaBoy View Post
DAC2.0,solid state single ended stage,3vRMS,TDA1541A,CS8414,NOS,klangfilm parts (#172551591657) US $798.00
Tonight had some fun reading about the older Philips 1541 DAC and later 1543 versions also used by AN, BorderPatrol, MHDT and others. Here all this time I always assumed the newer chips would always be getting better through evolution over time yet these older 16-bit chips (certain versions) are still in demand even today for current builds. Also noted how Taiwan has their own version of the 1541 for the MHDT DACs they build. I have a little more understanding now about why you were moving on the Ukraine DAC. Interesting circle of history about some of the particular DAC chips some builders still enjoy using today, some of the older chips alone commanding good money on auction too for those looking for a particular natural NOS sound.

Last edited by decooney; 11-08-2018 at 02:01 AM.
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  #56  
Old 11-08-2018, 07:16 PM
FloridaBoy FloridaBoy is online now
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The DAC has been shipped. I'll post after it arrives. I hope it will be
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  #57  
Old 11-09-2018, 11:05 AM
decooney decooney is offline
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Update: irDAC-II

While looking for my long term DAC I picked up a new Arcam irDAC-II in the meantime. I'm assuming its more broken in now at 80+hrs. Over the past two years, this newer version of the Arcam DAC received lower overall scoring reviews reportedly due to a few quirks about the headphone amp and bluetooth (neither of which I use). I bought the latest irDAC-II for the DAC/Implementation inside, which received much more favorable "sound" reviews. Since i enjoyed my former standard irDAC so much, and i have the Arcam rPlay streamer, gave it a shot. Some of the former irDAC owners indicated the did not like the newer DAC. I'm in the other camp, i do, and like it better than the prior version. It's more open, detailed, transparent, yet it still has that smooth Arcam signature tone and sound so far. Cables help too.

Pleasantly surprised.

Smooth detail sound coming through.

Musical. Voices, guitars, clean, not colored.

At retail price its good. On sale, its very good.

Seems to benefit from higher quality interconnects, RCA, Coax.

For a solid state DAC, so far I'm liking the overall tone and sound for the $.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Looking forward to finding and trying a worthy tube DAC under $1500 to do another DAC-off.
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  #58  
Old 11-10-2018, 03:56 PM
decooney decooney is offline
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Does the quality of COAX cable from streamer to DAC make any difference in sound?

According to my local audio shop of 52yrs, the owners says "it can make a difference". Really? Honestly, had no clue this part mattered too. All this time, used average cables thinking its just digital-out-to-digital in 0s & 1s, and all bits transfer, then it gets massaged later in the DAC has been my thinking all long. So, I did order/replace my Audioquest Cinnamon COAX with a NOS Cardas Lightening, just breaking it in now. Not sure if I wasted the money but wanted to try it and see. Giving it time for the cables to relax and my DAC is still breaking in. Still uncertain.

Thoughts anyone?

-------------------------------

[UPDATE]: later this evening, same day:
Not sure if it's break-in of the newer Arcam irDAC-II or Cardas Lightning COAX cable but I'm now experiencing notably more subsonic kind of low end, almost annoyingly low (wow), so much so I had my sub on at the time and and had to turn it way down or almost off. Highs have some extension I've never heard before, picking up on subtle details with ticks, clicks, pops on different tracks and the sound stage going waaaaaaaay out there at times. Not sure if it's going from the Burr Brown 1796 DAC in the irDAC to the newer ES9018 chip in the irDAC-II, but it's definitely a change. Not as smooth as the former DAC at 80hrs break in. Only 20hrs on the Cadas COAX and 80hrs on the new irDAC-II.

Last edited by decooney; 11-10-2018 at 08:56 PM.
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  #59  
Old 11-10-2018, 10:36 PM
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doggiehowser doggiehowser is online now
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Decooney

1s And 0s with perfect square waves only exist in theory. A square wave requires an infinite bandwidth system that transitions from 0 to 1 in 0 seconds.

Since every circuit - even an infinitesimal trace of silicon on an integrated circuit contains a bit of impedance, capacitance and/or induction, they function like a passive filter. Which reduces the bandwidth of the cable.

When I was working on integrated circuits, we even had to account for how long the silicon traces were between different sections of silicon and simulate how the delays in the signals can introduce errors in the signal. While you can plan for error correction circuits for these delays/errors, they do seem to affect the reproduction.


This is what a 1 and 0 in a high speed HDMI cable looks like.


Recently I put in a cheap HDMI cable vs a decent but modestly priced HDMI cable and even though I was aware of the theory, I was still surprised the better cable produced a more vibrant picture.
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  #60  
Old 11-11-2018, 01:02 AM
decooney decooney is offline
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Originally Posted by doggiehowser View Post
This is what a 1 and 0 in a high speed HDMI cable looks like.
Interesting. Thanks.

Is there an illustration to A/B compare what looks better or worse with an inferior cable/connection?
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