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generalwu
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generalwu Mar 27th, 12, 12:31 AM #16

Cool, thanks again for the review.
Wasn't suprise that GT40 was your preferred choice if given, Lol...
Do you know of anyone/any place that may sell it?

Many thanks...
Foobar/Jetaudio -> Styleaudio Peridot -> Yamaha MSP 5 / Denon AH-D2000
Ipod Classic -> Graham Slee Voyager -> UE TF10Pro
Ipod Nano 6th Gen -> Klipsch X10

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9VARZ
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9VARZ Mar 27th, 12, 06:41 AM #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by generalwu View Post
Cool, thanks again for the review.
Wasn't suprise that GT40 was your preferred choice if given, Lol...
Do you know of anyone/any place that may sell it?

Many thanks...
Hehe....You're welcome! It was quite a wall of text for you to read through also, though!

Since I'm not based in SG at the moment, obviously I can't give you any direct referrals to any dealers.

Furutech, however, is represented in Singapore by Musiclink AV distribution. You can find them here: USB DAC

You might also want to check out the Teac UD-H01 too. I haven't got the chance to try it myself yet, but I heard it's a pretty good device.
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gfx_bgd May 1st, 12, 02:53 PM #18
@9VARZ,

Thanks for EXCELLENT review

I have a few question...

Today I found THIS TEST for the DacMagic Plus.

There I found one especially interesting comment related to the volume control on the DAC.

Quote:
But the DacMagic does have one ergonomic quirk: its volume control. Unlike most volume controls, which are in some way directly connected to an attenuator, the DacMagic Plus control is more like a switch. When you turn it, it feels loose and sloppy before it engages. Once engaged, it takes a moment for the volume knob to respond. To some prospective users this volume control will feel cheap. But the reason the volume control feels the way it does is because it isn’t an analog or bit-reduction digital controller but a DSP driven digital domain gain stage using Anagram Q5 adaptive time filtering to accomplish gain reduction without bit-reduction.
Does this mean that with this approach they minimized any losses in reducing / amplifying the level of music, as it is the case with classic digital volume control?

Does is really works on this way, in practice?

btw. what feeling is when You turn volume control knob (up/down) at DacMagic Plus in comparation with Asus Essence One? Which one is more serious, better... in any aspect?

...

Also, I have a question referring head-amp in DacMagic Plus.

I have AKG K 701, so I am interested is DacMagic Plus head-amp enough powerfull to push them enough loud?

What is Your oppinion about DacMagic Plus vs. Asusu Essence Xonar ONE vs. Audiolab M-DAC head amps... which one is louder (and with better sound quality)?

Thanks in advance,

Regards
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Last edited by gfx_bgd; May 2nd, 12 at 01:34 AM..
9VARZ
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9VARZ May 2nd, 12, 01:47 AM #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by gfx_bgd View Post
Does this mean that with this approach they minimized any losses in reducing / amplifying the level of music, as it is the case with classic digital volume control?

Does is really works on this way, in practice?

btw. what feeling is when You turn volume control knob (up/down) at Dac Magic Plus in comparation with Asus Essence One? Which one is more serious, better... in any aspect?
Hmm....as I've not personally auditioned the Asus One yet, I shall refrain from making too many comments about the product.

I'm definitely not very technically inclined as far as electronics go, but I can ascertain that the volume control on the CDM+ is definitely not a shabby implementation.

I'm going to risk making myself looking a bit like a fool here in somewhat contradicting my earlier comments on the build quality of the CDM+. While most of the unit does come across as rather cheap and tacky, the volume knob on the CDM+ definitely doesn't feel like a "loose and sloppy" implementation like what the article suggests.

It definitely works as advertised and is actually one of the rare few products I've come across in the price bracket that does not exhibit any form of audible channel imbalance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gfx_bgd View Post
Also, I have a question referring head-amp in DacMagic Plus.

I have AKG K 701, so I am interested is DacMagic Plus head-amp enough powerfull to push them enough loud?

What is Your oppinion about DacMagic Plus vs. Asusu Essence Xonar ONE vs. Audiolab M-DAC head amps... which one is louder (and with better sound quality)?
Again, I can't comment on the Asus. The other two will only be from memory as I've sent them both back.

I've mentioned earlier in my review that I prefer the CDM+ over the M-DAC and I still stand by that decision. I believe all three units will have sufficient juice to drive the 701 loudly. However, in terms of finesse, I think I would go with the CDM+ as the sound from it seems to come from a more finished product as opposed to the M-DAC (this is despite its apparent lack in technicalities, overall smaller presentation and coloured sound). To use an oft-quoted phrase in the hi-fi world, the CDM+ is still a more "musical" product and should pair very well with the K701.

You should try to have an audition against both units yourself, though. Rickysio is currently running a rolling review of the Asus One. You might want to contact him once you get hold of the other two units and run a mini group test.
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gfx_bgd May 2nd, 12, 03:45 PM #20
@9VARZ,

Thank You for this detailed answer.

Now I can see the things more clearly

I hope that @Rickysio will join us, also, in this thread.

I will contact him on PM, and ask him to do it.

Regards
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rickysio May 2nd, 12, 04:27 PM #21
I'm afraid I have no experience with the 2 units reviewed in this thread and only have experience with the Essence One.

I will, however, attempt to give a better sense of comparison hardware wise - sound wise I'm not sure as to how it can be achieved. I'm not very well known and I don't know if people'll loan me either of the 2 DACs here to test run...

The volume knob of the Essence One isn't exactly the best - it's stepped, has some severe channel balance issues at the first few steps for headphone out. Not an issue for all but the very efficient headphones/IEMs since the output at those levels are too soft for listening purposes, much less the K701. Wriggles between steps as well.

The Essence One does have plenty of power according to many reviews, and some of them say the One's

Quote:
-Nice design
-Solid construction, quality components
-Excellent bass
-Connectivity and versatility at the highest level
-Upgrade possibilities
-Voices and mids sounds special
-Wide soundstage

CONS:
- USB driver still in beta stage
- No remote
- Details are only average
and another says (they end up contradicting each other on some fronts)

Quote:
When compared to other soundcards I have tested in recent years, this product is simply in a different league, capable of resolving immensely high levels of detail without sounding harsh. Obviously it needs paired up with quality equipment, but as it was able to drive our flagship Audeze LCD2 headphones there will be no problems with a lesser headset.
Quote:
Pros:

Very competitive price point considering the versatility and audio quality.
Built to the highest standards.
Bass response is immense.
op-amps can be upgraded.
mid range is impressive.
expansive soundstage.

Cons:

USB sound quality isn’t going to showcase this product to the full.
High end frequencies need controlled by a quality source.
We would love a luxury model with true balanced headphone output.
I don't have any high-end headphones to test with (I'm poor) so yeah.
It is better to remain silent and be taken as a fool, than to speak and prove your ignorance beyond doubt.
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Last edited by rickysio; May 2nd, 12 at 04:29 PM..
9VARZ
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9VARZ May 3rd, 12, 04:27 AM #22


What I'm proposing is that you guys band together and try to see if you can get something together collectively.

Probably places like Jaben and Stereo won't mind. You *could* offer them something in return, of course. Maybe a nicely written review or something.
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rickysio May 3rd, 12, 07:59 PM #23
He's not even in Singapore. Lol.
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gfx_bgd May 4th, 12, 03:07 AM #24
@9VARZ

I like Your suggestion very much, but as You can see, Belgrade is only 9387 km far away from Singapore. (A little joke, NHF. )



Any way, thank You very much for Your helpful answers, suggestions and invitation to join all of You.

Best Regards
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9VARZ May 4th, 12, 03:24 AM #25
Oops....!

Well....it was worth a shot. (Quite a lot of proxy users in this forum made me say that)

Try to see if you get your hands on all three to sample, though!

But if you really have to buy blind, then the CDM+ is definitely an option you absolutely cannot go wrong with.
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Last edited by 9VARZ; May 4th, 12 at 03:27 AM..
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ivanlyf_2011 Oct 2nd, 12, 02:21 PM #26
Dig up 9VARZ's thread! Hehe

I shall try out these DACs next
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ivanlyf_2011 Oct 5th, 12, 01:08 AM #27
@9VARZ

Okay I'm coming in with the questions!

1. You mentioned (and I paraphrase) that the power supply is of the 'cannot make it' grade...

Are there solutions to this problem? Like a PSU upgrade or whatever else you already know off...And what would the cost be like?

2. I remember you telling me that the GT40 is best paired with a pre-amp? Where in the audio chain is the pre-amp installed at?

Computer -> Pre-amp -> Furutech GT40 -> Headphone??

2b. If pre-amp, what are the brands that I should consider? Preferably something within the 500-1000 SGD region

3. If I place my O2 amp after the Furutech GT40, I am doing double amplification and, this might affect the sound signature for better or for worse correct?

Computer -> Furutech -> O2 -> Headphone

Thanks,
Ivan
Hobbies: DIY PC Hardware, Reading, Running, Classical Music, Ballet, Opera and Jaz

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9VARZ Oct 5th, 12, 01:28 AM #28
Err.... No disrespect, but think you didn't understand the concept of a DAC as well as the rest of the components within your audio chain yet.

Ok...let's tackle these questions one at a time, shall we?

1. PSU: Apparently the PSU is built INTO the DAC box itself in the form of a small daughter board. I'm no electrician, but I think because we are using very simple, modular components here, there should be scope for improvement. Perhaps this was already dealt with in the Esprit (a physically bigger box), although I've not stripped one apart to tell.

2a. A preamp is usually an analogue component. Thus, it has to be placed AFTER you have converted the signal into analogue (i.e. after the DAC). The GT40 has a measured (if memory serves) rear output of about 1V (instead of your usual 2.xV). Thus it can be treated as a box with no gain. An active preamp will cater to this end.

2b. Don't kancheong. It depends on what else you have or intend to put into the chain.

3. Back to the preamp mention, your O2 will be providing the gain for the GT40. So, no, you're not doing double amplification. Whether or not the O2 really has "no sound of its own" (as claimed), I still don't know yet as I've not met anyone willing to test them out or loan me one to try.

The GT40, however, certainly has its own signature sound. Therefore, mating these two together should, in theory, do something to the output unless the O2 is well and truly "100% transparent" (which I'd doubt it would be).

NB: The GT40 and the Esprit already have FANTASTIC headphone amps built-in.

If you ever have the fortune of trying this experiment out, do let us know your findings. Remember to compare them against the built-in amps.
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rickysio Oct 5th, 12, 01:43 AM #29
What to do, your location so weird hahaha. If you in SG don't mind lending you try.
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9VARZ Oct 5th, 12, 01:50 AM #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio View Post
What to do, your location so weird hahaha. If you in SG don't mind lending you try.


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