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Warm DAC

Discussion in 'audio' started by fredster, Jan 14, 2021 at 11:31 AM.

  1. fredster

    fredster pfm Member

    Hi all

    I have recently gone down the 4k cinema TV route playing sound through my hifi and Isobariks. Sounds great, but I am finding the sound bright when things get loud and lively. I have tried the output from my Panasonic DP9000, a Teddy Pardo DAC and a Chord Hugo. For my digital music playback I use a Wavelength Brick and I much prefer that warm, tube sound. But being a USB only DAC I cannot use it for 4K Blu ray sound. So I will have to look for an alternative DAC. Any suggestions for DACs that may have that warm sound, I am happy to use the second hand market and have a budget of £1k max.
    I did spot an Eastern Electric Minimax and a RWA Isabellina, anyone heard those or have other suggestions ?
  2. sortof

    sortof Active Member

    The Denafrips Ares II may fit.
    Torris12 likes this.
  3. Romulus

    Romulus pfm Member

    Border Patrol Dac?
    ampedup likes this.
  4. DaveMc64

    DaveMc64 pfm Member

    Rega DAC-r? Warmer than a Hugo.
  5. NeilK

    NeilK pfm Member

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021 at 5:14 PM
  6. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    Does it work in both directions?
    I think that it is a USB to S/PDIF DCC and not the other way around...

    NeilK likes this.
  7. atcman

    atcman pfm Member

  8. fredster

    fredster pfm Member

    An HDMI to USB converter....... I had no idea that was possible. The Brick is Asynchronous, would that work ? Plus it seems to suggest the source would be a PC, mine would be the Blu ray player. so no OS as such.
  9. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

  10. VTA

    VTA pfm Member

  11. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    What connection are you using? I've found that they don't sound the same. Coax sounds best on my DAC, a Rega DAC.

    I've also found that digital cables don't all sound the same, shock horror, with a lot of them sounding brittle.
  12. Curtis

    Curtis pfm Member

    I have found that I prefer toslink to coax, just the cheap plastic cables too.
  13. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I don't think it's strange, it'll just depend on which input is better on your particular DAC. USB might be the primary input on some DACs, an afterthought on others. I'll also depend on what's feeding the DAC I think.
  14. fredster

    fredster pfm Member

    I am using Coax at the moment, but I could try optical to see if there are any differences, at this stage I am only using basic cables, I have tried not to get too involved in cable battles. In the past I have found differences to be small. Once I have sorted the DAC I may invest in some better cables, but nothing too expensive, I prefer to keep funds for other gear.
    Curtis likes this.
  15. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    Apparently due to a "leaky" power supply:

    I conjecture that the DAC-R's power supply has too high an impedance to fully isolate the DAC's voltage reference input when the DAC is reconstructing high-level analog signals.
    How serious a problem is this?
    Probably not very, though I did wonder, with the earlier Rega DAC, if this behavior correlated with both Sam Tellig and Jon Iverson finding the DAC to sound warm, even a touch heavy.
    DaveMc64 likes this.
  16. DaveMc64

    DaveMc64 pfm Member

    Yes, that is an interesting hypothesis. On the back of that, as an experiment, I did try attenuating the SPDIF data by 20db before it got to the DAC but can't say that I noticed a change in the tonal balance. Not a rigorous test by any means and I'm not sure if we can conclude anything one way or the other.

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