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Help: Where are DPA Digital?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Yeldarb, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Yeldarb

    Yeldarb Guest

    Can anyone help? I am looking for Rob Watts' DPA Digital (used to be Deltec Precision Audio).

    They used to be in the Cardiff area, but despite searching on numberous sites, I can't find them.

    I have a DPA 50s Pre amp/2x50s power amps and a PDM2. The amps and the PDM2 are getting noisy and I started to hear a high pitched whine from the DAC recently. I figure they are in need of servicing, hence the need to find out where Rob Watts - or the engineer who worked for him - Tom.

    I am also looking or up to a metre length of Deltec Black Slink interconnect.

    Fingers crossed that someone can help,


    Sorry if I am abusing the hospitality of the forum with this post.
  2. Paul Dimaline

    Paul Dimaline 12" round member

    This is not gospel, but i was under the impression that DPA (the company) were no more. Wether the individuals who ran it are still around im not sure.

  3. Yeldarb

    Yeldarb Guest


    Thank you for your quick reply. I had a horrible feeling that this might be the case, but I was hoping that there may be a further reincarnation of the company.

    I can hope that if nothing else there might be someone in the forum who knows Rob Watt's whereabouts.

    I am not sure that anyone else would be able to service the units due to the "specialist" manufacturing processes that Rob used, but I would be happy to be proved wrong.


  4. SCIDB

    SCIDB Triode Man


    A company called Chevin Audio may be able to help. I understand they can service Deltec/DPA items. You can find them here.

    DPA disappeared in the mid 90s but Rob Watts has done some work for Chord. He designed the Chord DAC64. I may have done some work for Sony.

  5. Dark Lord

    Dark Lord pfm Member

    Rob Watts designed the Chord DAC 64, DPA is defunct (RIP) they did some great digital kit, remember the £6k mega DAC with the gold case. I think DPA went the same way as Pink Triangle and NVA which si unfortuntate.
  6. SimonConnell

    SimonConnell pfm Member

    I've dropped you a mail.

    Regarding that 6K DAC, that was the SX1024, which was thoroughly beaten by the SX512, introduced in 1997/8 at a cost of £12,000. I've seen two for sale s/h, and if I ever get enough money I'm getting myself one :D Funnily enough, it wasn't too long after that that DPA went down the tubes - not a very happy story.
  7. Yeldarb

    Yeldarb Guest

    Thank you all,

    Now I know... it is a great pity as the DPA gear is/was fantastic. Thank you for the lead to Chevin Audio, Dean, I will give them a call.

    Dark lord - I remember Rob letting me hear the 6K DAC you refer to when I was in his workshop picking up my PDM 2 after he had added the Deltran Conversion. It beat the PDM2, (which is something) and he offered to let me swap it for the new DAC giving me the full 2K I paid for it in px, but I just couldn't place my hands on the additional 4K at the time. Such is life!

    Simon - I've emailed you.

    Once again, thanks for your help guys - I appreciate it.


    DPA_SERVICE pfm Member

    Still have a problem?

    I was DPA's only Service Engineer.

    My name is Tom.
  9. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Deltec/DPA kit was impressive stuff with leading edge (for home audio) digital technology and great sound. It's a terrible shame that they are no longer around, though I'm pleased to hear that Rob Watts has designed for Chord - thanks for that info Dev.
  10. dcaudio

    dcaudio New Member

    Hi Tom,

    I would need help, becouse i have some problems with a dpa component.
    Could You help me Please.

    Thank You very much for the Answer.

    DPA_SERVICE pfm Member

    What is your problem, I may have spare parts. My advice will be free.
  12. RustyB

    RustyB Registered Ginga

    Currently using a DPA Bigger Bit, with some minor tweaks. It does lots right and very little wrong. SMT very advanced for early 90's. Fussy about transports.

    Question fior Tom: my unit has a lot of hard-wiring on the board, and scratched out tracks; any idea what this was about?

    DPA_SERVICE pfm Member

    Sounds like a Deltec early production model; basically a prototype. The final production version would only tidy up the modifications; nothing new was added.
  14. RustyB

    RustyB Registered Ginga

    S/n is A106, which I guess makes it early production at least.

    DPA_SERVICE pfm Member

    If it comes with glossy case work, has the serial number on the rear as opposed to the base, then you are the proud owner of a Deltec unit. Deltec went bust on May 29th 1992, so your Bigger bit is easily 14 years old.

    There are a number of things that can fail namely the Dac 7 IC and Optical devices. Both will cause sound to become scratchy before complete failure.

    The other device SAA7350 is not a problem as I have 174 spare IC's. A life times supply.

    If you are worried give me your email address and I will give you a summary. All free advice.

    Circuit diagrams including the Deltran circuit would be helpful to you?
  16. RustyB

    RustyB Registered Ginga

    The DAC is functioning perfectly at the moment, and given what I paid I'm not too worried if it does fall over.

    However, it would certainly be useful and interesting to have the circuit diagrams. I'll PM you.
  17. Artioneer

    Artioneer tripath walker

    Maybe the futures here now ! These Zhaolu's (morning dew) are a good examples,there's a choice of 1852 or 4398 dac boards and an adjustable class AB discrete headphone amplifier.


  18. kasperhauser

    kasperhauser pfm Member

    Wowie. All those chips and no fish.

    DPA_SERVICE pfm Member

    Once apon a time electronics was just a bunch of well placed chips (integrated circuits). However, these days the electronics side is minimal, software side, MAJOR!

    PULSE ARRAY was claimed to be a huge breakthrough in sound technology. True! As the software eliminated all forms of noise and distortion which previously hardware failed to do.

    The last generation of DPA dacs were PULSE ARRAY. Then there was the Chord 64 which used it. And now Tube Technology claim PULSE ARRAY to be their idea. The common denominator is Rob Watts.

    Sadly for PULSE ARRAY, the difference in sound quality was not major enough to see existing DPA dac uses swap to PULSE ARRAY. Not for £425, the upgrade price for Bigger Bits or DX32 Enlightenment Dacs.

    The future 6 years ago was Super CD or DVD Audio; 192khz but this like many new things before it, have failed to catch on. So Bigger Bits are just as potent now as they were 14 years ago.

    Unless you own an SX512 or PDM 1024 Reference dac.
  20. Unplugged

    Unplugged New Member

    I have a DPA PDM 2 and I noticed that it has Deltec printed on the back with the serial number labeled on the underside ( # P2 929,007 ). The owner's manual is dated June 25, 1992. It also has a smaller printed label with the 120 volt rating on top of the standard 220 V - since I am using it in Canada - I believe this and another unit came from Hong Kong a few years ago. Could this be a left over since the manual is dated a month after they went under? Just curious!

    Also using a Sonic Frontiers Ultra Jitterbug and a large, heavy (50 lbs.) Monarchy Audio DT 40A LD as a transport. Since I am not going to upgrade the audio components - except for a Toshiba HD XA1 HD player which seems to be getting good marks as a cd player - would this unit do a good job? Primarily being used for watching movies but if it can outdo the Monarchy I could reduce the clutter.

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