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Good DAC made in Europe - Page 3

post #31 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver
- would you say that the light from the buttons is rather soft in a dark environment, or are they more of the mad blinkenlights variety?
Rather soft, not annoying at all though I'd prefer an option to totally switch it off.
Quote:
are the unit's footers easily removed?
Yes and no.There is simply a screw in the center, but it's one of those modern screws, me and my dictionary don't know the technical term.I don't own a suitable tool.
post #32 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorman
Hmmm... ok, but assuming I only want to use it for listening to music on my office PC, with HA-1 Mk II and DT 880, would I be better off in investing in AV-710+external DAC or in a RME DIGI96/8 PAD?

I don't give a damn about manufacturers problems with mass-production, expensive enclosures, power supplies and so on and so forth. I'm only interested in sound quality.
Well, I own a RME and I am negotiating with a seller at the moment in order to purchase a second (used) one for a second rig.Bypasses Kmixer in any mode by default, ultrastable drivers, relatively low jitter output, I love the digital section.The analog section gets exactly 0 % of my listening time.
post #33 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by catachresis
Cosmopragma, you've said that you're doing all your serious listening through the Aqvox. Is your system pc-based or stereo components?.
I mainly use PCs at different locations as source though I also own components.In hotel rooms I use the digital out of an Iriver DAP.
Quote:
Have you any reflections on the use of the Aqvox with pure stereo speakers ?
Yes.At the moment my main speaker system is a bit strange, but I like it.Two DIY speakers with coax drivers by Thiel, supported by the bass drivers of four huge semiactive floorstanders I already had.Add a kind of room treatment your spouse wouldn't like, digital crossovers and on top digital room correction into the mix.
In this configuration the power amp which drives the DIY speakers gets it's signal from the AQVOX.Sounds wonderful, excellent soundstage and imaging and a visceral bass from the floorstanders no headphones are capable to provide.
Definitely not neighbor friendly, therefor doesn't get much use.
However, IME the differences between sources are less pronounced in the speaker audio realm, speakers and room are far more important than the source.
Headphones are a whole different story.
post #34 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
I mainly use PCs at different locations as source though I also own components.In hotel rooms I use the digital out of an Iriver DAP.
Yes.At the moment my main speaker system is a bit strange, but I like it.Two DIY speakers with coax drivers by Thiel, supported by the bass drivers of four huge semiactive floorstanders I already had.Add a kind of room treatment your spouse wouldn't like, digital crossovers and on top digital room correction into the mix.
In this configuration the power amp which drives the DIY speakers gets it's signal from the AQVOX.Sounds wonderful, excellent soundstage and imaging and a visceral bass from the floorstanders no headphones are capable to provide.
Definitely not neighbor friendly, therefor doesn't get much use.
However, IME the differences between sources are less pronounced in the speaker audio realm, speakers and room are far more important than the source.
Headphones are a whole different story.
First, Cosmopragma, thanks for responding. I kept checking during the work day (on the sly) to see what you might say.

Let me be up-front about my situation, and maybe you can advise me more directly. I've got a decentish used component system: Sony SCD555 sacd >> Croft Mega Micro preamp >> Exposure IV amp >> Ruark Talisman I speakers. At the moment I'm using Grover URs for IC (and I'm quite happy). I thought that, when I could afford it, a DAC upgrade would be a logical step to enhancing sound -- rather than, say, sending the sacd playe or preamp off for modding, or investing in a lot of isolators/power cords. Money's always a factor.

I was thinking that the Aqvox might be good enough to grow on for a few years: if I got a different preamp with balanced inputs, or tried to integrate the pc system. . . . But what I'm really concerned about is superior quality 2-channel sound at the moment. The Aqvox is not what I had imagined I'd go for -- I thought it would be something simpler and used, probably with no sampling or filtring, Audio Note or Ack Dack or whatever. But if the Aqvox has really compelling sound for ordinary stereo, then it clearly has many other appealing options as well, and I would consider it very seriously. Thanks for your comments!
post #35 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
Well, I own a RME and I am negotiating with a seller at the moment in order to purchase a second (used) one for a second rig.Bypasses Kmixer in any mode by default, ultrastable drivers, relatively low jitter output, I love the digital section.The analog section gets exactly 0 % of my listening time.
That's what I would use though. Analog to my amp.
post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorman
That's what I would use though. Analog to my amp.
I didn't make my point clear.
To me the difference in SQ between the AQVOX and the RME is like the difference between the RME and AC 97.
post #37 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
I didn't make my point clear.
To me the difference in SQ between the AQVOX and the RME is like the difference between the RME and AC 97.
Meaning RME is not to your liking in analogue? Sorry if I'm thick
post #38 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorman
Meaning RME is not to your liking in analogue?
No, it's mediocre.Whoever told you that it competes with $$$$ standalone gear might be deaf or was comparing it to outdated eighties or early nineties gear.
Audio technology progresses slowly, but finally we got some very nice DACs in the reach of everyone.
When you complained
Quote:
What I don't understand is why these things are so expensive.
I immediately thought : "Man, I'm glad that top notch DACs are so cheap nowadays."

I'm done as far as source is concerned.Far more important than minute improvements an even more sophisticated DAC might provide are the transducers and last but not least the recording quality.
post #39 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
AQVOX USB 2 D/A .
German engineering, assembled in China, sold by a german company partly owned by the engineer.
Very nice DAC, I like it way better than the "famous" Benchmark DAC1 I also own.
What's the actual DAC component ? Is it a known part?
post #40 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorman
What I don't understand is why these things are so expensive.
That's not expensive.
That's expensive: 16'650 USD
http://www.dcsltd.co.uk/dcs_elgar_plus.html
post #41 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt
That's not expensive.
That's expensive: 16'650 USD
http://www.dcsltd.co.uk/dcs_elgar_plus.html
LOL... I find quite laughable the fact that their most expensive DAC for professional use is £ 3,800 and their most expensive DAC for audiophile use is £ 9,499.
post #42 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorman
What's the actual DAC component ? Is it a known part?
"Dual Mono Digital/Analog-Converter (2 x Burr Brown PCM1796)."
That's nothing special, but that's not the point anyway.
Good engineering isn't about utilizing rare or custom parts, but combining standard components in a way that yields a special synergy.
In the end anything that counts is the perceived SQ.You have to use your own ears, no specs or reviews will tell you if audio gear is to your liking.
post #43 of 74
Cosmopragma,

Could I get a purely hypothetical conjecture about the performance of the Aqvox between a decent sacd and a decentish preamp. My specs are a few replies up. I understand that I wont' get SACd reply from the Aqvox DAC. Your response is muchly appreciated. -MannyMan
post #44 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by catachresis
Cosmopragma,

Could I get a purely hypothetical conjecture about the performance of the Aqvox between a decent sacd and a decentish preamp. My specs are a few replies up. I understand that I wont' get SACd reply from the Aqvox DAC. Your response is muchly appreciated. -MannyMan
I can't predict how an AQVOX DAC would fit into your existing speaker rig.

All I can say is that this DAC sqeezes (almost) all inherent SQ out of the Redbook audio format.In the end we have to live with the fact that Redbook is limited.As long as at least 95 % of all music is exclusively available in the old low-rez format it's worthwhile anyway to get the best possible out of it.

IME the recording quality is more important than the format.I have a few CDs, some of them even remastered based on age old analog tapes, which are sounding excellent in every aspect.
These are examples for what is possible with the old format, and I hope some of my mediocre sounding favorite CDs will be remastered during the years to come.
IME excellently recorded and mastered Redbook is in the same league as the hi-rez formats.The latter, especially SACD, sound more convincing in treble subtleties like cymbals, but that's it as far as my hearing is concerned.
post #45 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
I can't predict how an AQVOX DAC would fit into your existing speaker rig.
Thanks Cosmopragma, I appreciate your honest response. Kind regards. -Manny
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