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Battle of the balanced DACs - Page 5

post #61 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattigol
IronDreamer: The boogie factor is also an aspect where the Aqvox distanced the Berendsen with the older DAC chip installed. In terms of settings: I remember the Pulse setting to add a bit of excitement to the sound as well. I think I might have confused it with Dither in my previous post.
Yessir! The pulse filter is indeed part of the boogie factor, I have tried going to flat, and the sound becomes well flat, and not in the good (frequency response) sort of way, it just loses the groove.

So far, I have noticed all the adjustments make a noticeable difference, though the oversampling is very hard to discern compared to the others.
post #62 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
Yessir! The pulse filter is indeed part of the boogie factor, I have tried going to flat, and the sound becomes well flat, and not in the good (frequency response) sort of way, it just loses the groove.

So far, I have noticed all the adjustments make a noticeable difference, though the oversampling is very hard to discern compared to the others.
Also prefer pulse. I think the oversampling effects are quite easily spotted - once you know what to listen for I had some trouble when I got the AQVOX. Overall presentation was clearly improved, but all those settings didn't seem to make so much of a difference. And some truly are subtle, yet once you read up on what *should* be happening it becomes much easier to differentiate. The differences are still subtle, but now I notice them they become significant & appreciated. It is pretty much like using a lossy encoder, once you know where to listen for artifacts and degradation, you will be unable to miss them.
post #63 of 75
I've only owned and heard the Benchmark (most recent version) out of the DACs being discussed in this thread, but I think the Stello DA220 is a worthwhile consideration as a top tier balanced DAC. I just posted some impressions of the unit in this thread:

http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=156711
post #64 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oski
I've only owned and heard the Benchmark (most recent version) out of the DACs being discussed in this thread, but I think the Stello DA220 is a worthwhile consideration as a top tier balanced DAC. I just posted some impressions of the unit in this thread:

http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=156711
Yeah, it looks great with all those I/O options and the nice faceplate. Plus it uses the AK4595 (I think that's the number) DAC chip which I really like from the EMU 0404. A bit more pricy than these other options, but I guess it's a case of getting what you pay for, at least as it applies to features (would love to hear it someday though).
post #65 of 75
Here are some internal pictures of the two units we shot tonight. Comments on anything you might find interesting would be invited. Click for larger versions:

Lavry:














Aqvox:






















post #66 of 75
Those pics look hot.

me=ARGH!!!!
post #67 of 75
The CEC DA53's internals looks like a crowded version of the Aqvox USB 2 DA.

post #68 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elephas
The CEC DA53's internals looks like a crowded version of the Aqvox USB 2 DA.
Holy COW!!! You're not kidding, they look almost identical! I wonder if they are really the same, or if that one is a knock-off??? At any rate they are eerily similar. What is the story on that DAC, where is it made and how much does it cost, any other pics?
post #69 of 75

Old news...

Carlos Candeias, the USB 2 D/A's designer, is the engineer behind both products. He's also been a long time developer for CEC. He apparently lives and works in China these days, runs a company called something like Candeias Engineering. His former spouse, Mrs. Susanne Candeias, runs the Aqvox company of Hamburg, Germany. I am not sure how much of the Aqvox products are actually being assembled there, but they run a great, professional business with service that rivals some of the most beloved manufacturers on head-fi.
post #70 of 75
How is the resolution on the AQVOX?

The manual says it has a pretty high distortion level 0.018% ~ -74.9db ~ 12bit.

Cheers

Thomas
post #71 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaspf
How is the resolution on the AQVOX?

The manual says it has a pretty high distortion level 0.018% ~ -74.9db ~ 12bit.

Cheers

Thomas
I certainly haven't noticed any lack of resolution, it is at least as good as the Benchmark DAC1, which is listed to have some ridiculously low distortion, so it shows you can't really go based solely off that figure.
post #72 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
Holy COW!!! You're not kidding, they look almost identical! I wonder if they are really the same, or if that one is a knock-off??? At any rate they are eerily similar. What is the story on that DAC, where is it made and how much does it cost, any other pics?
Elephas provided the product link in an earlier thread comparing the CEC, two non-OS DAC's, and the 1212m.
post #73 of 75
I was waiting for the arrival of my new Singlepower MPX3 Slam before doing any comment about the aqvox (to better judge it), but reading your love about it I can't hold myself. I'm really enjoying this piece of hardware. Thanks to everybody (cosmopragma and mattigol especially) for convincing me with your comments. And please be understanding with my english; is not my first language

The aesthetics of the aqvox are not very special, but above the average in his class. I would like a black version, but the matte, soft silver finish is not bad. I apreciate its standard measures, which allows stack the unit with cdplayers or amps without problems. A great difference for me over the lavry and dac1 alternatives, but you may prefer a smaller unit, of course. The lights are dim and somewhat atractive with low light, but the quality of the plastic blue buttons could be better. The feet could be better too, they slip a bit being of something like felt. I don't need a headphone amp section because I will use a mpx3, and therefore I prefer a dac without one and put my euros in other place.

I concur with everybody about the musical character, boogie factor or whatever you call it. You connect the aqvox, you start to move your feet. So simple . I usually use the "pulse" and "bypass" buttons, but maybe I prefer the "flat" one for orchestral music. I think I like the 192khz and dither options with orchestral music too. Still deciding.

The highs are smooth and natural, good thing because I'm very sensitive to harsh highs, and the bass is full and vibrant. Middles are a strong point in my opinion, very natural. The overall sound is very natural to me, detailed but not cold or "analytical" at all. Can't say warm neither. Maybe a little bit to the warm side, which I think is good. Soundstage is another strong point of this unit, which in my opinion contribute in a great manner to the natural and fun character of the aqvox. And I love the flexibility of this dac. You can connect anything to this thing and make it sound good.

Finally I want to thank Susanne Candeias and Norman Luebke. They have been very professional and considerate, and after a long, long period of waiting for my decision they even warned me about the price rise in order to save me some money. Thanks!
post #74 of 75
Can sombody confirm if AQVox's normal outputs (RCA, XLR) are active when USB input is used? I know the headphone out and mic input are active ONLY with USB input.
post #75 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L
Can sombody confirm if AQVox's normal outputs (RCA, XLR) are active when USB input is used? I know the headphone out and mic input are active ONLY with USB input.
Yes, of course, no problem at all. Normal outputs are first class.
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