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Tour of Supercapacitor powered Ciunas devices

Discussion in 'audio' started by Ciunas Audio, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    Thanks Sam - you probably did burn it in
  2. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    BTW, not wishing to start cables war sagain but that article nails how single ended interconnect cables can sound different which is summe dup in the opening paragraph

    "Turns out that the commonly held belief that only the differential-mode lumped parameters of cables (that's R, L, and C to you and me) make any difference to a cable's sonic contribution isn't all there is to consider in this application. There are the common-mode parameters of the system configuration to consider as well. These parameters, often misunderstood or ignored, play as an important, if not more important, a role than the more easily understood differential parameters."

    It's my firm belief that common-mode noise resulting from devices interconnected in the playback system is as said above "often misunderstood or ignored, play as an important, if not more important, a role"

    It's the noise floor modulation that I'm addressing in my devices & why I am also concerned about ground loops & CM noise
  3. Robby

    Robby pfm Member

    Having borrowed and been very impressed with the battery powered ISO-DAC in December last year I was keen to try out the new supercapacitor version. When I listened to the battery powered version I thought it bettered the Schiit Gungnir Multibit in many areas other than the midrange where I felt the Schiit was a little “fleshier” in the midrange.

    The Schiit has now gone from my system after some major changes to my digital front end and so I compared the SC version of the ISO-DAC with the internal DAC on my Aries Mini and my memory of the Schiit and BP DAC.

    It was fairly easy to do an A-B comparison – the Auralic app let me access the settings of the Mini and swap between the analogue and USB outputs.

    I listened to a few tracks with the Mini’s DAC in play and then swapped over to the ISO-DAC and listened to the same tracks. I then did a few individual track comparisons back and forth to confirm what I was hearing from the comparison.

    The bottom line is the ISO-DAC is superior to the Aries Mini’s own DAC by quite a long way. Bass is superior – better defined and tuneful. Deeper too without becoming overblown. I seem to recall the battery powered version of the DAC had fantastic bass too but it was thicker and slightly slower sounding from memory.

    The midrange has more substance than when listened through the Mini. Acoustic guitars in particular have body too them – more woody I would say.

    The treble is nicely detailed too. The Mini sounds like it reaches a little higher but at the same time it brought a little sharpness to the sound too. The ISO-DAC is a little smoother without feeling like detail is being sacrificed.

    The ISO-DAC brings all these elements together with a wonderful sense of space – I listened to a few tracks from Eva Cassidy’s Nightbird album and the atmosphere was amazing – the little Boenicke’s sound-staging abilities were maximised with the SC DAC in place.

    Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my short time with the ISO-DAC. Frustratingly it has highlighted shortcomings in the Aries Mini’s DAC that I am going to have to rectify when funds become available!
  4. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    Thanks for your impressions, Rob - glad you enjoyed it.
    Just to notify next person (Davidjt?, steve Taylor) on the tour, DAC is going to Netherlands for a short holiday, first. If it sojourns there too long, I'll put another DAC on tour.
  5. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    Also I want to clarify that the modified SMPS now comes with all my devices, ISO-DAC, ISO-SPDIF & ISO-PS.
    It is modified to shunt leakage currents to mains earth - leakage currents are something that SMPSes are known to produce at a greater level than linear PSes.

    Oh, & another point to note - I have included a white USB cable in the touring package which is a special USB cable with a ferrous layer around the full length of the cable in addition to the normal USB shield. You don't have to use this USB cable for testing, try your own USB cables - this white USB cable will likely change the sound, depending on the rest of your system.

    This white USB cable does NOT come with the retail package, I included it only in the tour package for people to try.
  6. davidjt

    davidjt pfm Member

    Do we comment on that as well, or start another cable thread? :)
  7. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    Haha, another cable thread - just what we all need ;)
    I sent it on tour already in a USB cable thread to shut up those who said USB cables can't make a difference to the sound & it did shut them up, AFAIR. Some people heard differences, some didn't - it is system dependent, as I expected - depends on the connected USB audio devices & many factors.

    Anybody who wants to comment on the sound with the USB cable can do if they wish?
  8. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    John, if another device goes into circulation it would be great if it includes the Hub function. I’ve found that powering my SSD from the hub gives a very noticeable uplift in SQ, others may wish to experiment with this too.
  9. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    I think I'll put a ISO-HUB into tour circulation rather than ISO-DAc with HUB - I'm thinking of dropping the ISO-SPDIF (with HUB) & ISO-DAC (with HUB) as they are not in much demand & a difficult build
  10. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    How is the tour going?
  11. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    Good, thanks!
    Apologies to Davidjt & Steve Taylor who were next on the tour after Robby
    I asked Robby to send the ISO-DAC to Hans Beekhuyzen, the audio reviewer on youtube from the Netherlands (wanted to send him one that was well broken in)
    He has been delayed somewhat in his review

    I meant to get another ISO-DAC into circulation but haven't yet been able to catch up on orders to have one spare
    eastone likes this.
  12. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    I see! Will look forward to the review...
  13. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    I will try my best to get another ISO-DAC & an ISO-SPDIF into circulation shortly
    I'm just doing an ISO-HUB as a separate device & not including this function with ISO-DAC or ISO-SPDIF any more.
  14. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    The tour list is still as below
    Eastone, did I leave you off this?

    supercap ISO-DAC tour
    Paul Burke
    -------------all above has already auditioned it --------------
    davidjt (not until end of April)
    Steve Taylor

    supercap ISO-SPDIF tour
    Steve Taylor
  15. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    No I had a turn right at the start, but you were going to give me another go at the end as I experienced the ground loop issue without knowing it...
  16. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    Right, I remember now
    When I have another ISO-DAC for circulation, I'll check if davidjt & Steve Taylor & yourself are still interested.
  17. Enfield boy

    Enfield boy pfm Member

    Yes please John.
  18. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    Thanks Steve
  19. davidjt

    davidjt pfm Member

    Me, too please John.
  20. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    Your'e in - I'l try to get one back in circulation next week

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