For those that do not want to take the time to review the information available in Dan Lavry's forum concerning the DA10. Here are some notes that I have collected. I have attempted to capture all of Dan Lavry's comments in italics.
The headphone output amp is discrete per Dan Lavry. The extensive speculation about the Lavry design has resulted in some misunderstanding of how the opamps are used in the Lavry DA10 I think. Per Lavry:"2. Yes, the headphone can drive 300 Ohm. The driver is made out of discrete transistors. In fact, it can drive 20dBu level (that is really huge for a headphone) into 60 Ohms!"
Another Dan Lavry comment about the speculation made here in on this web site of a review of the Lavry DA10: 4."The analog circuitry of the LaVry consists of discrete transistors with a few OP275 opamps, presumably outside the signal path." Lavry's response: The comments regarding OPamp is based on common ignorance. Transistor circuits are better? An opamp is a repackaging of a transistor circuit! "
The XLR balanced output I do not know about. Dan has been quite about the design on this side. People keep on asking Dan Lavry about his circuits but since he developed his own for his own company he purposely leaves some information hidden for what is a normal practive in keeping "trade secrets." For those who actually take the time to develop their own products and maket them this should be completely understandable. He says; "As a rule, I do not talk about the internal circuitry of my designs."
Here is what Dan says about the use of opamps: "Having a well designed op amp in a good circuit is fine. An opamp is really not all that different then discrete transistor (or fet) circuit. It is mostly just a "repackaging job" of transistors resistors and small caps. Most opamps (not all) are oriented towards low currents. There are times when it is better to go to discrete components. "
Concerning his headphone amp: "The reason I did a discrete 20 transistor circuit for the headphone is - I needed some serious drive current with very low distortions, beyond what opamps would yield. There is time for discrete, and there is time for opamps, and different cases call for different circuits or opamps. That is why we have thousands of different types of transistors and thousands of opamps… "
Sounds like Dan Lavry is a circuit designer understanding the design complexities needed to bring a product to market. Here are some other ideals from Dan Lavry about the DA10:
___________________________________So what you have here is a year and a half of careful detail work by a seasoned designer with much experience in DA design, no matter what some audiophiles choose to think or believe.
If my goal were to please the “run of the mill” audiophile critics. I would need to do the following:
The list is well known:
1. Use linear supply, no matter what.
2. Make a big fancy looking box with “retro” look to it
3. If possible, use at least one tube
4. Use only discrete circuits, no matter what
5. No aluminum electrolytic in series, regardless of the circuit
6. No DC servo circuits.
7. Use open loop circuit, no negative feedback
I COULD ADD MANY MORE THINGS TO THIS LIST.
If I did the above, I would have a lesser product and the approval of the “generic audiophile critic”.
Depending on circumstances, the above can be true or false. It is ridiculous to design a unit based on an accumulation of “notions” that many years ago MAY HAVE BEEN TRUE IN SOME PAST DESIGNS. The goal should be the END RESULT, and that is what I work towards.
Concerning his pedigree:
I did get a kick from the comment about the Lavry designers.
I designed everything including historically the original DAC module sold (repackaged) by Ultra Analog to OEMs Mark Levinson, Wadia, Pacific Microsonics.(1980s) My design put in their gear was sold under the name UltraAnalog DAC D20400. I then designed the much improved DA924 (Lavry Gold) used by the many of the top mastering facilities. I also designed the LavryBlue DA which, as I mentioned, shares the same supply, crystals and oscillator circuit…
These have been some things that I thought should be noted about the Lavry DA10 before more speculation incorrectly gets posted around here.
None of these things suggests that the Lavry DA10 is a better sounding product which is a completely subjective thing anyway. The other units noted in this thread may very well match up to your preferences better than the Lavry but poor speculation concerning a unit does no one any real good in these discussions. If one were so inclined, speculation for any particular unit can takes us anywhere and be much less useful to us all.
Originally Posted by humanflyz
The DA220 MK2 is a bit above my budget, so I'm more interested in the original DA220.
As for Lavry, I don't know where I heard that it has discrete output stage, but thanks to Iron_Dreamer for clearing that up.