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Audio Mirror NOS DAC

post #1 of 142
Thread Starter 
Noticed on Audiogon forums some folks making a fuss of this... it originally sold for $500 and appeared by some accounts to best the major $1k and under DACs. Unfortunately the price has been bumped to $1k, and it's not transportable, does not include an amp, justa DAC.

Anyone here have experience with one of these?

Website (at bottom): http://www.audiomirror.com/products.htm

Audiogon reviews: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...6441&read&3&4&

Note I have absolutely no affiliation with this company, just curious why this hasn't been discussed on Head-fi if it's truly all that... probably plumb the used market for one.
post #2 of 142
Hmm...

CS8414 receiver, 8 x TDA1543 chips, OPA602 output...

Sounds a HECK of a lot like the DAC-AH:

http://eshop.diyclub.biz/index.php?cPath=23_135

Even the box looks similar.

I wouldn't be surprised at all to find the same board inside and them charging $900 for a polished case with isolation feet.

Ask if you can get internal pics from this Audiomirror DAC, because to me it certainly looks like some kind of reflection.
post #3 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by chillysalsa
Hmm...

CS8414 receiver, 8 x TDA1543 chips, OPA602 output...

Sounds a HECK of a lot like the DAC-AH:

http://eshop.diyclub.biz/index.php?cPath=23_135

Even the box looks similar.

I wouldn't be surprised at all to find the same board inside and them charging $900 for a polished case with isolation feet.

Ask if you can get internal pics from this Audiomirror DAC, because to me it certainly looks like some kind of reflection.


Thanks for that site.I owned the audio mirror dac.Was very open sounding and a little on the hard side with my system at the time.But it did sound pretty good.

I opened the unit up to check it out and it is the same board that is on the link you provided.He only adds some Russian surplus teflon coupling caps.Everything else is the same.


He orders all of his stuff from china i would bet ya.Thats a good price on the little dac .I wonder what there shipping would be on that?
post #4 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by chillysalsa
Hmm...

CS8414 receiver, 8 x TDA1543 chips, OPA602 output...

Sounds a HECK of a lot like the DAC-AH:

http://eshop.diyclub.biz/index.php?cPath=23_135

Even the box looks similar.

I wouldn't be surprised at all to find the same board inside and them charging $900 for a polished case with isolation feet.

Ask if you can get internal pics from this Audiomirror DAC, because to me it certainly looks like some kind of reflection.
Yeah, it's well-known in some circles that Audio Mirror is a "modded" DAC-Ah, but I didn't realize how little has been modded, according to RogerWilco

Poth audio has come out with their own modded DAC-AH, which does cost $1250, but at least the mods are very extensive.

http://www.pothaudio.com/prod.php?view=23

Chillysalsa, you certainly have the skills to mod the DAC-Ah board as well as anyone. Bypass the opamp output stage and stick a ouput transformer in there and improve the PS, and YOU could sell these things for maybe $400-500 and call'em ChillyDAC..
post #5 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerWilco
I opened the unit up to check it out and it is the same board that is on the link you provided.He only adds some Russian surplus teflon coupling caps.Everything else is the same.
Russian? Surplus? Ok, so he is charging $899 for the case.

THere is a mini-review of the DAC-AH here:
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=93233

they picked it up locally I think, so who knows what shipping would be from HK... DHL is pretty fast and cheap though, maybe wouldn't be too bad.
post #6 of 142
Thread Starter 
Wow, am I ever glad I asked about this. So I take it some basic mods completely change the DAC-Ah into a different beast?

I'm not familiar with the DIY scene... just want something under $500, no frills, that compares favorably to a Bel Canto or Ack, used is fine. After this little discovery I feel maybe it's much safer going spending more for one of the well knowns.
post #7 of 142
For just a dac, there is the Muse 2, and Scott Nixon TubeDAC.

If you wanted a dedicated player, I would save up out $750 and get the Eastsound E5, it walks over stuff in the $2-3K range.
post #8 of 142
This caught my eye: http://eshop.diyclub.biz/product_inf...roducts_id=398 from the same place offering the DAC-AH. There doesn't seem to be much information circulating about it other that one positive review of the DAC-72, apparently a toned-down model of the DAC-68, on Audiogon. I shot DIYCLUB.biz an email about it, hopefully they can provide some more information as it looks promising. I don't think anyone here on headfi has one as their profile would have popped up in the google searches. :P

Anyway it upsamples to 192k, has digital volume control, standard and balanced output, and uses two 6922s for output.

$575 plus S&H, which would probably be high.

I'll try and pass along any info I procure from that email.
post #9 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chillysalsa
For just a dac, there is the Muse 2, and Scott Nixon TubeDAC.

If you wanted a dedicated player, I would save up out $750 and get the Eastsound E5, it walks over stuff in the $2-3K range.
Thank you. I will look into these.
post #10 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobeau
Thank you. I will look into these.
If you're looking for a non-oversampling DAC that is reasonably priced there is a guy on eBay selling some that look very interesting, so much so that I bought the basic one. I'm hoping it arrives sometime this week. His user name is mhdtlab, unfortunately he doesn't have any up for auction at the moment, he's said he builds them himself in his spare time and there's usually at least one up for auction so I would expect to see something up soon. If you're interested check out his feedback and the items some people have bought.
post #11 of 142
Hi there.

I have the Audio Mirror DAC and so does another Head-FI'er, DarkAngel.

I was the person in the Audigon thread that had compared it to the following DACs/CDPs:
- Eastern Electric Minimax Tube CDP (Electro-Harmonix tubes)
- Museatex Melior Bitstream DAC
- Channel Islands Audio VDA-1
- Benchmark DAC-1

At the time of my comparison, I owned all the above mentioned equipment including the Audio Mirror D1, but not the Benchmark DAC-1. At present, I have sold all of the DACs/CDPs and kept the Audio Mirror. I also bought a Benchmark DAC-1. The Audio Mirror is being used in my main speaker-based system. I suppose this is a testament to how much I like the Audio Mirror DAC. The Audio Mirror is the first NOS DAC that I had owned.

The creator of the Audio Mirror DAC, "Vlad", apparently sent his design to be manufactured in China. It is being debated that his design was copied by the Chinese manufacturer and is now distributed as the DAC-Ah. The DAC-Ah can be purchased in North America via Poth Audio.

I have taked photos of my Audio Mirror and compared them directly to the DAC-Ah and they are virtually identical. There are visual differences in large green output caps and possibly an increase in voltage to the DACs themselves. The outer casing has a gold top cover and a small "Audio Mirror" badge on the top and the bottom has 4 gold cones permanently affixed. I have had two versions of this unit - the original version did not have this badge.

Regardless of this debate, the sound is what really matters, and frankly, it is truly an amazing design for the money. Break-in was around ~100 hours and the sound is extremely appealing. Images pop and the soundstage is more forward than the Benchmark DAC-1. There is a warmth in the midrange that is very seductive, almost tube-like - something the DAC-1 cannot compete against, but not as warm as the Minimax.

I hope this helps you,
Dennis


Quote:
Originally Posted by bobeau
Noticed on Audiogon forums some folks making a fuss of this... it originally sold for $500 and appeared by some accounts to best the major $1k and under DACs. Unfortunately the price has been bumped to $1k, and it's not transportable, does not include an amp, justa DAC.

Anyone here have experience with one of these?

Website (at bottom): http://www.audiomirror.com/products.htm

Audiogon reviews: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...6441&read&3&4&

Note I have absolutely no affiliation with this company, just curious why this hasn't been discussed on Head-fi if it's truly all that... probably plumb the used market for one.
post #12 of 142
WK
The thread at Audiogon where Vlad responded in more detail about his Audio Mirror design vs the Poth Audio import has mysteriously been removed by Audiogon from forum.......I didn't pay much attention at the time since it was mostly speculation.

Mine is currently being fully tweaked out at Reference Audio Mods as we speak.
post #13 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chillysalsa
For just a dac, there is the Muse 2, and Scott Nixon TubeDAC.
Any pointers on where I might find a Muse 2? They seem pretty rare on the used market...
post #14 of 142
The DAC-AH is nice for the money and very easy to modify. With some simple mods it performs very well.

Does anyone know what brand and size teflon caps the Audio Mirror DAC uses?
post #15 of 142
DarkAngel:

I find that interesting as well (thread being pulled).

I remember our PM conversation about your mods. You'll have to let me know how it sounds once you get it back and have a good length of time auditioning it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
WK
The thread at Audiogon where Vlad responded in more detail about his Audio Mirror design vs the Poth Audio import has mysteriously been removed by Audiogon from forum.......I didn't pay much attention at the time since it was mostly speculation.

Mine is currently being fully tweaked out at Reference Audio Mods as we speak.
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