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post #16 of 109
Thread Starter 
i see, i see.
i noticed you are using a usb soundcard, that goes spdif into the dac. doesn't the da100 use usb input? is there a particular reason for still using the audiophile?
post #17 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by granodemostasa View Post
i noticed you are using a usb soundcard, that goes spdif into the dac. doesn't the da100 use usb input? is there a particular reason for still using the audiophile?
There are two reasons for this:

1) When use the USB input I experience a ground loop and I can hear all sorts of computer noise; this has nothing to do with the D02 and it is a problem with my system and setup that I have been too lazy to fix because the Audiophile USB cuts the ground loop out of the equation and gives me clean unadulterated S/PDIF.

2) The DA100 does not officially support ASIO. A number of members have gotten it to work with ASIO4ALL, but I have read reports that using ASIO4ALL is not truly bit-perfect but merely a wrapper from DirectSound designed to enable ASIO based applications to use DS devices. Regardless of if this is true or not, I feel more comfortable using my Audiophile which comes with proprietary ASIO drivers and I know delivers bit-perfect 24-bit S/PDIF all the way up to 96Khz without any headaches. The DA100 manual also suggests that the coaxial S/PDIF input is the best option for uncompromising quality.


That being said, I know that there are a number of very satisfied DA100 owners who are using the DA100, and I would venture a guess that I am in the minority of Computer-As-Source people who aren't using the DA100's USB capabilities.
post #18 of 109
Thread Starter 
i see, thanks.
i noticed (on AA) that empirical audio is actually making a modded Dac 60 into the basis of their new high end usb dac. while i can't afford such a device (5999), it does give me some confidence in the capacity of the dac 62.

i'm looking forward to impressions on the dac 62.
post #19 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by granodemostasa View Post
i see, thanks.
i noticed (on AA) that empirical audio is actually making a modded Dac 60 into the basis of their new high end usb dac. while i can't afford such a device (5999), it does give me some confidence in the capacity of the dac 62.

i'm looking forward to impressions on the dac 62.
Both the DAC62 and the Sonicraft modded DAC60 are highly recommended. Put Siemens cca tubes or Amperex 7308 PQ's in them and you have a winner. I would move the .01uFd Relcaps to the plate voltage, close to the tubes. They are rated at 600V, expensive and work better in this location IMO. Replace them with lower voltage parts. Both V-caps and Sonicap platinums work great for output coupling cap bypass, depending on your taste.

In order for the DAC-60 (Spoiler) to pull ahead of our fully modded Benchmark DAC-1 with I2S interface, we were forced to do a large number of circuit and topology changes to the DAC-60 board, not just parts changes etc.. as well as introducing some very spendy new parts. Improving the tubes, output coupling and power delivery is a must. Some tubes also pick-up radiation from the superclock, so this has to be dealt with.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Manufacturer
post #20 of 109
Hi Steve, thanks for your interesting post.

I plan to put auricaps as output caps in my stock lite 60, some users here prefered it over the mundorf oil caps for their clearer sounding mids. It seems to be a very nice cap when you take price into consideration. Do you have any experience with auricaps?
What voltage is going to hit the output caps, will a cap rated for 200V be enough?
Could you suggest some other easy mods (= part exchanges) for the DIY crowd here that will make significant enough difference?

How do you protect the tubes from the clocks radiation? Do you exchange
it with another clock or put some kind of protection around the stock clock?

Thanks alot, Christian

ps: I noticed the PV website states that they use 3 wima blackbox, but i only see 1 on their picture.
Are the other 2 under the pcb, and if yes, where? Any Lite 62 owners here already?
post #21 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeChuck View Post
I don't want to give you the impression that the DAC-60 is like a big fat tube DAC, because it certainly isn't. The tube stage is only and output buffer, it's a very detailed and neutral piece of equipment, and with the right tubes and a few mods it can really be pushed into the next level. I preferred it to the DAC1, but I also prefer my Stello DA100 to the DAC-60.

There are obviously better pieces of equipment out there than the DA100, but it's the most satisfaction I've had from a source in my own setup. Obviously I can't speak for your source, or your own tastes, we're getting into pretty subjective things here which are often independant of price, but I still feel pretty comfortable recommending both the DAC-60 and the DA100 as great buys.

Like I said in my previous post, I've never heard a stock DAC-60, so I can't really comment as to its abilities, but my modified version was great.

So, you think the Lite 62 from Pacific valve is the real deal then? I'm thiking about buying it instead of the DAC1, due to warmth, & lean issues I keep hearing about with the DAC1.. I just got my XDAC3 modded today, So I will see how it sounds before moving forward..
post #22 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool bubba ice View Post
So, you think the Lite 62 from Pacific valve is the real deal then? I'm thiking about buying it instead of the DAC1, due to warmth, & lean issues I keep hearing about with the DAC1.. I just got my XDAC3 modded today, So I will see how it sounds before moving forward..
I think it is, yes, but that's based on my experienced with the modified DAC-60M. Also, remember that I replaced the capacitors and added in some expensive tubes, which made a significant difference in the overall sound. At the very least, I would say that if you want to get the most out of you DAC-62, be prepared to make an investment into some quality tubes, which will probably push the end cost close to the ~$900 after shipping is considered.

At a certain point I just had reservations about spending close to $1000 on a DAC that you can order directly from Aisa for less than $400. Mind you I did go out and spend $800 on a DA100, but that's the stock price, and it's a commercial product.

I wouldn't be too worried about being dissapointed by the DAC-62, it can only sound better than the DAC-60M (which sounds great), so there is very little risk involved in the purchse.
post #23 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeChuck View Post
I think it is, yes, but that's based on my experienced with the modified DAC-60M. Also, remember that I replaced the capacitors and added in some expensive tubes, which made a significant difference in the overall sound. At the very least, I would say that if you want to get the most out of you DAC-62, be prepared to make an investment into some quality tubes, which will probably push the end cost close to the ~$900 after shipping is considered.

At a certain point I just had reservations about spending close to $1000 on a DAC that you can order directly from Aisa for less than $400. Mind you I did go out and spend $800 on a DA100, but that's the stock price, and it's a commercial product.

I wouldn't be too worried about being dissapointed by the DAC-62, it can only sound better than the DAC-60M (which sounds great), so there is very little risk involved in the purchse.
I'm sure this will be my next DAC purchase.. The Stock DAC LITE 60 is regarded as subpar by Pacficvalve.. They gave the sound quality rating a 15/20. The modded 60, & 62, scored 18, 19.. Too grainy & doesn't take advantage of the DAC chip..(forgot the name of it)
post #24 of 109
Thread Starter 
i read a "watercooler" review of the dac62... the idea comment the treble is "polite" and "soft" doesn't appeal to me- considering i already have tubes and a headphone with soft treble.... i wonder if tubes can help this situation?
post #25 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by granodemostasa View Post
i read a "watercooler" review of the dac62... the idea comment the treble is "polite" and "soft" doesn't appeal to me- considering i already have tubes and a headphone with soft treble.... i wonder if tubes can help this situation?
You're going down the same thought process as I was a month ago. Ultimately I just wanted a neutral DAC that I wouldn't have to second guess myself on, and I didn't want the DAC1, so the DA100 took the spot.

Then again, one person saying something in an informal review is pretty uninformative. Some people love Benchmarks some people hate them, it's hard to say exactly what "soft" and "polite" are in that particular reviewer's mind, given that they are both fairly subjective terms, his polite could be my harsh.
post #26 of 109
Thread Starter 
true... nevertheless, the impression the comment gave me was of a great bass, great mid range, and so so treble.


addition: i'm finding this search for a new dac to be very open right now. the stello 220 is up there (like it's treble and detail), the classe dac, the CI audio vda-2 is comming back into the mix, and the dac 62, of course.
post #27 of 109
The treble on my stock Lite 60 isnt really soft. Fast high hats are perfectly seperated for example, the W5000 is grooving to drums like always.

However i wouldnt want a tube DAC too if i were going with a tube amp or a headphone like the HD650.
But for my HA5000 & W5000 its a great pairing in stock form already. There's more room & depth & impact than my old 1500€ C.E.C. CDP supplied, that really surprised me.

If the lite 62 is really having a soft treble i would exchange the mundorf caps for something clearer and look for the right tubes.

EDIT: I was a little surprised to find out from PV that all their mods are done in china directly and not by PV.
post #28 of 109
Thread Starter 
if these mods are done in China... it makes me wonder who is doing them, and whehter or not this is actually a "modded" unit or a differently built one. anyone compare something like a dac 62 to an "unmodded" 60?
post #29 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizkid View Post
Hi Steve, thanks for your interesting post.

I plan to put auricaps as output caps in my stock lite 60, some users here prefered it over the mundorf oil caps for their clearer sounding mids. It seems to be a very nice cap when you take price into consideration. Do you have any experience with auricaps?
What voltage is going to hit the output caps, will a cap rated for 200V be enough?
Could you suggest some other easy mods (= part exchanges) for the DIY crowd here that will make significant enough difference?

How do you protect the tubes from the clocks radiation? Do you exchange
it with another clock or put some kind of protection around the stock clock?

Thanks alot, Christian

ps: I noticed the PV website states that they use 3 wima blackbox, but i only see 1 on their picture.
Are the other 2 under the pcb, and if yes, where? Any Lite 62 owners here already?

I have heard all of the commercially available coupling caps except the Mundorf and the super expensive Audio Note silver ones. I much prefer either Sonicap Platinum or V-cap teflons over the rest. The others aren't even close to a copper wire. I would recommend at least 350V rating. Here is an intereesting shootout:
http://www.vhaudio.com/21capacitorshootout.pdf

Shielding is required to stop the clock radiation. There are several methods to do this. The "stock" clock is only for sample-rate decode. Has nothing to do with the audio quality. The superclock that I put in is for the USB interface.

Another improvement that you can do is to replace the S/PDIF input series caps with some good .1uFd Poly caps, like Wima's.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
post #30 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizkid View Post
ps: I noticed the PV website states that they use 3 wima blackbox, but i only see 1 on their picture.
Are the other 2 under the pcb, and if yes, where? Any Lite 62 owners here already?
Well, you could just e-mail pv and ask them. Hopefully I will have my DAC62 this week.
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