SBAF DAC Talk II

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Maxx134, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. bilboda

    bilboda Friend

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    Not cheap but may be end game, from FB post:

    We have calculated the prices for the Sonnet Morpheus dac

    Consumer Introduction price is Euro 3250 including 21% for Europe. Outside Europe Euro 2686 This deal is valid when ordered before end of November 2019
    December 2019 : Consumer price in Europe including 21% VAT is Euro 3500. Outside Europe Euro 2893.

    Shipping date will be around week 4 of November. Ordering via

    [email protected]
     
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  2. Roman

    Roman Almost "Made"

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    I'm not 100% but there might be customs duties at that price point. So anyone going to order the device and ship to the US should probably double check.
     
  3. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    There's duties importing from the EU?
     
  4. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    I guess after a certain limit there is Duty fee except if imported from duty exempted country .When I got Meze Empyrean imported from Meze directly, although bought from US dealer, there was a slip attached on the box saying Duty paid by seller. So sometimes seller pay the duty upfront but I guess those terms have to be negotiated upfront and not all seller will pay it.
     
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  5. Meh

    Meh Friend

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    (I'm not sure where to post this so mod's pls feel free to move it to the appropriate spot)

    I just received the following email saying that Metrum is offering discounts on DACTWO Transient chips to owners of METRUM DAC's with DACONE chips. I haven't done the upgrade myself sp I can't comment on how easy it is but if it just involves pulling the old chips and putting the new ones in that would be easy:


    Are you ready for - Transient DACTWO?
    If you are an owner of a Metrum Acoustics device with DACONE Transient chips and are looking for a great - bang for your buck - upgrade..

    You're in luck! We're offering a temporary discount on the newer and more powerful chip!

    It's an easy DIY proces and we'll help you all the way.
    Get in touch with us by replying to this email and get the upgrade for €75,- per chip.
     
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  6. JeffYoung

    JeffYoung Friend

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    That's definitely cheaper than I was expecting. When I was talking to Cees about this yonks ago it certainly sounded like it was just a direct swap of the chips.
     
  7. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I snagged a Focusrite Clarett 2Pre USB recently as a potential replacement for my Prism Lyra. Because I've been having driver issues.

    Chain: Clarett 2Pre -> AHB2 -> HE-6

    Initial impressions:
    - very meaty thumpy sound, immediately pleasing but a bit much after some time (bass fatigue? odd feeling)
    - feels "harder" than the Prism in terms of detail (though I consider the Lyra very "airy" sounding)
    - tactility is more subdued, it humms rather than tickles the ears
    - staging good not phenomenal, feels low down
    - mic preamps are good, ironically I find the "air" emulation sounds a bit flat (though softer/cleaner) and prefer it without, but my voice has a lot of resonance and I felt it robbed it of that
    - driver stable with reboots/sleep, although I did manage to accidentally disable channels 3-4 somehow and had to reset to get them back
    - however I do have some issues doing 4-channel playback and get some static when I do

    I don't know if this is a proper replacement for my Prism after a day's worth of play. The Focusrite hits harder, but overall resolution and staging are not as good. The mic pre is good but the Lyra works with my voice better (but I'm just a part time radio jockey, who cares what I sound like). Considering the big price difference though, I could live with this. Now the stupid thing though is that the Clarett sound impresses me enough that I'm already window-shopping at the Red series, like the X2P or the Red 4Pre which is supposed to be their flagship but venturing into stupid money territory.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
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  8. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

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    ISA is the flagship and very good. Everything else is whatever. Snag a British made one too if you can. Chinese Focusrite ISA sounds worse but is still pretty good.
     
  9. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    The Clarett is definitely better than the old Saffire I used to have, and from brief exposure/memory better than the Scarlett. Hence the curiosity for the Rednet series.

    I don't think there's any ISA product that's USB and both AD/DA?
     
  10. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

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    It’s a separate pre. Just buy it. It’s the only Focusrite product to keep transformers. The Clarett and Rednet just try to ape it and the older Red. The Rednet doesn’t sound that much better than Clarett.
     
  11. skem

    skem Friend

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    Has anybody heard Pass Labs D1 from way back, their one and only DAC? If so, comparisons?
     
  12. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    LOL.

    How come there hasn't been a new DS chip from Analog Devices? The AD1955 is almost 20 years old. That way you can avoid both the Sabre house sound and that velvet tuning from AKM.

    My biggest beef with Modi 3 is there seems to be too much bloom when power chords are played. Or some of the detail with picking is smeared. There's this light glow that hangs over the entire frequency range, which might be what is imparting an engaging sound. It's enjoyable, pleasant but only if it was smoother could it really pull me into the music.

    It's like music is being punctured by tiny holes, but also pushes the details forward with an artificial edge. It's like there's microdust on the lens. (Sidenote: holy shit is Valhalla 2 a better amp to draw out these details than the Magni 3. Magni 3 is total shit with HD650, closed-in soundstage, compressed. It's ass.)

    Can Unison fix some of this shit with Modi 3?

    Maybe my ears are fucked. The Convert-2 doesn't nearly have this amount of detail except on the outer edges. This is all being done thru headphones. Speakers it's a different story.

    Not to go full aspergers here, but a picture comparison, let's take this stock photo as the reference for "perfect sound":

    [​IMG]

    Modi 3:

    [​IMG]

    Convert-2:

    [​IMG]

    ^ Much more effortless flow here. None of those digital nasties that get in the way of the music.
     
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  13. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    Sorry, just curious, what is your sound reference for "perfect sound"? Like it is just in your brain, it is live music, it is some DAC/amp/transducer combo?
     
  14. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    The sound I hear is the opening of a huge can o' worms.:D
     
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  15. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    Lol I have a beautiful mind...

    [​IMG]

    Seriously, I did not expect these questions. I was hoping my post would be ignored as nothing more than the ravings of a lunatic.

    My sound reference for "perfect sound" hmm well first I would say there is no such thing. The stock picture I posted above is some idealized reference to "perfect sound" that will never be captured. It can't exist. Why? For philosophical reasons but I want to avoid this because it'll probably end up into another "objectivist" vs "subjectivst" tangent. My assumption is all gear (transducers, amps or DACs) function as an interpretation of what is played back via recordings. They all render sound differently. There is no correct or final interpretation or one that can be discovered independently of our subjectivity. I'm a total relativist when it comes to audio. Now that doesn't mean we can't agree on how we perceive the way music is presented, of course, I mean look at the gear impressions from friends here, they are fairly consistent, even if they have different components in their chain. Even a room of a few people would agree on certain sound characteristics when different DACs are used. But what I'm saying is I want to disabuse this notion that I see from the "objectivist" side that is forever chasing that box which can absolutely 100% faithfully reproduce recordings. But that "100% faithful reproduction" is still an interpretation and who can say with any certainty that it is? Those people are sadly forever lost and their folly believing we can measure everything (we can't and never will) and if we could just get even more precise measurements that will be the last word in audio. But we don't listen to measurement graphs or numbers, we listen to music (I hope), which comes in all different kinds of flavors. Once you accept that, then you can develop your own approach to what kind of gear you are after in how you want music reproduced. Like warm, gooey, syrupy sound? Cold, clinical, sterile? There's all sorts of stuff out there but you gotta know what you like first. Otherwise you are going to be like people on Head-Fi constantly buying new gear and dumping it because they aren't satisfied.

    So back to what you were really asking me, what my reference is? Well I don't have one. I mean I am under no illusion what I have currently is "perfect". But I ain't chasing after perfection either. I don't know what I would even be looking for. I have to fall back on my personal tastes and what I want. So for example I want a hard hitting, visceral, impactful sound where I'm immersed in slam. I have one rig that does that. Then I have another setup that is laidback but has a rich, creamy midrange. The last one is no-frills, no fussing, don't-give-a-shit-about-missing-43%-detail-in-music. They all have their purposes and dependent upon what kind of mood I'm in. None of these setups I would ever say are "reference quality". I don't think the HD650 is the measure of all things. But these work for me and may not work for you. I don't have nearly the exposure to gear most here have, so I would be the wrong person to give advice. Again what I have heard and like, you may not like. I can try to describe what I'm hearing and maybe something you've read interests you to try something. I'm sure there are plenty of setups out there I've never heard that would be head and shoulders over what I have and probably more aligned to my tastes. Problem is I don't have unlimited cash to burn thru to find out, or access to these big meets, or whatever.

    Sorry, Dzerh, I know this doesn't really answer your question.

    I mean the only principle, or "sound reference", I would have is, does this transducer, or DAC, or amp absorb me into music emotionally? Do I stay up super late into the night playing that "one more album"? That's what matters the most. If there's not a direct connection with me and the music, then something is amiss.
     
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  16. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    "I was hoping my post would be ignored as nothing more than the ravings of a lunatic."

    ...and thus a DAC thread moves into the realm of Chekhov, Dostoeyevsky, and Gogol.
     
  17. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    LOL. Time to go back to lurking.
     
  18. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    I'm not 100% sure where your complaint came from: either akm 4490 or budget ds in general, maybe both.

    But I partly agree with modi 3's weaknesses you listed, which is totally ok for me for its price. I doubt that unison is for your requirements, unless revolutionary Modi 4 comes out.

    Here are a couple of suggestions that can solve your problems:
    1. Try well implemented multibits/r2r. Higher Schiits and Soekris 14xx/15xx are easy recommendations.
    2. Try well implemented es9038. I also had a prejudice regarding "sabre-sound" before I actually hear some nice products. But if fully utilized (e.g., Matrix), the most recent sabre chip does a lot of great things in a very modern way without typical hassles.

    Also check out idsd products. Not sure about their budget product lines.. but their pro idsd was great enough to comfortably recommend.
     
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  19. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    @treboR :) I really was just asking about first picture - does it represent something from the material word for you or it is just a concept. Thank you for the answer. Sorry for being unclear.
     
  20. Baten

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