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post #31 of 59

CEC DA53 and Aqvox USB DA design identical

I had a chance to listen to a Aqvox USB DA and take it apart. Talked with the salesman and he said both Aqvox and CEC licensed the design from another company. Like Borat said, take a look at the internals and compare for yourself. Identical except for the layout.

Only 2 different functions...really minor.
1. Aqvox added 0/180 phase switches, CEC does not. Ummm, if you really want you can just swap your RCA on the CEC.
2. CEC can oversample 1x (44/48/bypass), 2x (96), and 4x (192) where Aqvox is only 1x (44/48/bypass) and 4x (192).

Aqvox has headphone vol. knob, mic. switch, and sample rate indicator, CEC does not.
Aqvox uses a locking XLR on AES/EBU, CEC does not.
etc. etc.

Aqvox USB DA cost around $630, and CEC around $530 for me in Asia.

Oh, both do "resample" to 195 kHz (line 8 in Aqvox's fact list).

I like CEC's design, smaller footprint, and lower cost. Dislike the 1 knob control. Obviously I like the direct button control on the Aqvox but the fit and finish felt kinda cheap to me.

How often am I going to fiddle with the filter and switch oversampling? Not much. Can live with 1 knob on the CEC to control inputs....and save $100 too. Now, if I can just find somewhere local to buy one.
post #32 of 59
A little more research on the CEC DA53 and Aqvox USB DA. They are designed by the same company Candeias Engineering (which strangely was founded in Shanghai). Candeias Engineering has been designing stuff for CEC for a while. Aqvox was setup in Germany a few years ago by Susanne Candeias. Wife or sister to designer Carlos Candeias? Looks like they're just marketing their own designs and licensing to CEC at the same time.

Now that I know they're in Shanghai, I'll have to snoop around and see if I can find their offices and see what new toys they're working on.

Oh, as others have mentioned in the Aqvox/DAC1/LavryDA10 thread, the Aqvox would be easier to modify.
post #33 of 59
Thread Starter 
Please let us know anything else you find out.

Candeias Engineering's website is www.candeias.com.

The CEC DA53 doesn't have an oversampling bypass button like the AQVOX does. It has a function to select oversampling: 32fs, 64fs and 128fs. I'm not sure what the fs means. The owners manual says 32fs provides lowest distortion. The difference between the three settings are slight.
post #34 of 59
I've gotten my DA53, and I'm pretty happy with it. I'm a little frustrated with the controls, but the sound is pretty spectacular. The 1x-4x display just seems to be an indicator of what the incoming sample rate is, as you don't have an option that I can find to change it.
post #35 of 59
Thread Starter 
Welcome to Team DA53! It seems there are only two of us, though.

Yes, the topmost display lights just indicate incoming sampling rate.

x1 : 32, 44.1 or 48 kHz
x2 : 88.2 or 96 kHz
x4 : 176.4 or 192 kHz

When I started using the DA53 I was also frustrated with the selector knob. It seemed that every time I pushed it and turned it, it wouldn't do what I wanted.

Over time, it seems I've become used to it and it works very well for me now. Of course, buttons would be faster and preferable.
post #36 of 59
I don't really have any trouble getting it to do what I want. I have had trouble noticing a difference between the sound of the various settings. I am currently listening directly from the xlr outs...I can't wait til my amp gets finished so I can hear what this is really capable of.
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeliao
1. Aqvox added 0/180 phase switches, CEC does not. Ummm, if you really want you can just swap your RCA on the CEC.
Do such RCA cables exist where one side shield, will be the other side's signal pin and vice versa ?
post #38 of 59
Upsampling vs. Oversampling. Umm, read the sidebar at http://www.aslgroup.com/dcs/upandover.htm

Both DA53 and USB DA can oversample 32, 64, and 128x. Both can upsample to 192. The DA53 can also upsample to 96 (or downsample from 192, I think the USB DA can too,but its just not implimented). Both can also bypass upsampling by...sampling normally (usually 44.1) and not implimenting its interpolating software.

Daroid, you got me. I was thinking of speaker cables where you can just flip phase easily. But I don't see why you can't make an out-of-phase RCA cable.

Yeah I did find Candeias' web address but it won't open for me. Any luck for you guys? Came across an old employment ad for their company so I have a phone number and know they're in Pudong somewhere.
post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeliao
Both DA53 and USB DA can oversample 32, 64, and 128x. Both can upsample to 192. The DA53 can also upsample to 96 (or downsample from 192, I think the USB DA can too,but its just not implimented). Both can also bypass upsampling by...sampling normally (usually 44.1) and not implimenting its interpolating software.
It's true that both DACs support 32, 64 or 128x oversampling and both DACs will upsample to 195 KHz internally (the AQVOX has a bypass feature).

However, the LEDs on either DAC merely indicate the input sample rate. Neither DAC allows you to resample the input signal to anything but 195 KHz. Again, the AQVOX allows you to bypass the internal 195 KHz upsample, working directly with whatever the input sample rate is.
post #40 of 59
Yup, DA53 definitely upsamples everything to 195...can't really control any of the sample rate stuff on it. It makes up for lack of control with great sound, tho.
post #41 of 59
Does anyone have a source for the CEC in the US? Looks liek the Aqvox can be ordered from their website, but haven't found anything for CEC, which is a Japanese company. Thanks.
post #42 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daroid
Do such RCA cables exist where one side shield, will be the other side's signal pin and vice versa ?
To change phase, what one has to do is actually reverse speaker cable's + and - leads. With headphones, you can't just reverse the headphone wire leads, unless you open up the cable and re-solder the leads.
post #43 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by bearwise
Does anyone have a source for the CEC in the US? Looks liek the Aqvox can be ordered from their website, but haven't found anything for CEC, which is a Japanese company. Thanks.
I saw the DA53 at a local shop here in Canada, the price difference here and what Elephas paid in Taiwan made me pause. They did give me the url for the distributer in Canada- perhaps also for the US? You can request if there are any dealers in the US.

Mutine
post #44 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightyacorn
I saw the DA53 at a local shop here in Canada, the price difference here and what Elephas paid in Taiwan made me pause. They did give me the url for the distributer in Canada- perhaps also for the US? You can request if there are any dealers in the US.

Mutine
Yeah, this DAC is very sweet looking, but what's up with the prices? I've read and seen it for over $1K CAD and $1299 AU. How can someone obtain this DAC for $500 US? That would be an absolute steal for this kind of technology.
post #45 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebook
Yeah, this DAC is very sweet looking, but what's up with the prices? I've read and seen it for over $1K CAD and $1299 AU. How can someone obtain this DAC for $500 US? That would be an absolute steal for this kind of technology.
Looks like normal price difference.
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