New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Empirical Audio Spoiler Tube DAC Impressions - Page 2

post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregeas View Post
Steve,

I'm waiting for a 160GB 7200 rpm drive for my Dell M1210 laptop (which is only 11.7" x 8.7" x 1.4" and 4.4 lbs). When this arrives, I will be able carry all of my lossless FLAC files with me. Until your box comes to market, I'll be using the USB DAC1 as discussed on the other thread.

I love the idea of a high quality USB DAC/amp with a form factor similar to the laptop. This would be amazing. Something like this could compete with the Squeezebox as the foundation of a small system.

The problem with iPods is lack of digital output...
I modded already one of the USB DAC-1's. Turned out really stellar, but it was a customer unit, so I could not bring it to the meet.

I believe I can mod at least one of the iPod's and bring out the I2S interface.

Steve N.
post #17 of 30
Yeah I really pushed Steve for the Ipod dock dac/amp at the end of the meet ;p I think it'll absolutely be a hot selling item if priced in the 500-1000 dollar range with the stellar sound quality that Empirical Audio is known for. Picture a dock that might double the height of an ipod and increase its length by 1-2 inches, or smaller, that will allow for seamless docking with sound quality that will not only blow the Imod out of the water, but offer a variety of input/output features. I don't know if this is what Steve has in mind, but it's the picture I can't get out of my head.

I guess realistically the dock would be bigger, but hey maybe generation 2 or 3 ;p

Edit: Btw, Steve mentioned something about Apple releasing something explaining how digital output might be doable from an Ipod which is the basis of this docking DAC/Amp (If it happens in the first place).
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioengr View Post
Any interest in this?
Steve N.
Both of those ideas sound pretty cool, Steve. After hearing your gear I would imagine they would sound great.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarium View Post
Yeah I really pushed Steve for the Ipod dock dac/amp at the end of the meet ;p I think it'll absolutely be a hot selling item if priced in the 500-1000 dollar range with the stellar sound quality that Empirical Audio is known for. Picture a dock that might double the height of an ipod and increase its length by 1-2 inches, or smaller, that will allow for seamless docking with sound quality that will not only blow the Imod out of the water, but offer a variety of input/output features. I don't know if this is what Steve has in mind, but it's the picture I can't get out of my head.

I guess realistically the dock would be bigger, but hey maybe generation 2 or 3 ;p

Edit: Btw, Steve mentioned something about Apple releasing something explaining how digital output might be doable from an Ipod which is the basis of this docking DAC/Amp (If it happens in the first place).
Actually, even without the Apple instructions, I should be able to bring-out the I2S interface. If there is a D/A chip in there, it probably has an I2S interface.

Steve N.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioengr View Post
Actually, you guys got me thinking about maybe an iPod docking station or small black box cabled to iPod, with digital interface that has D/A and headphone amp, all rechargable battery powered. Battery would be recharged with a wall-wart and cable. This could put out 1-2 watts if the new TI class-D amp chips were used and give long battery life. Volume control that is digital. I modded a Panasonic receiver with some of these class-D chips in it. Sound was amazing and dead silent when nothing playing. Completely digital path from source to speakers/headphones. No analog conversion except at the speaker outputs.

I was also thinking about the same thing only USB driven from laptop instead of iPod. This would probably use my favorite D/A chip and a non-digital volume control. Any interest in this?

Steve N.
I am!

Regards,

Aaron
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioengr View Post
Yes, Ray pointed out that the tube head amp I was using was really inferior, even with the mods. The bass was WAY too flabby, overpowering any female vocalist.
This is basically what I heard. I didn't want to go into specifics, because I didn't feel that your DAC was really coming through, and I didn't want to say something that could potentially be construed as being negative about it, when it was really more of a problem with the system.

My advice would be to demo it with a relatively neutral solid-state headphone amp with a low output impedance (i.e. one that reacts similarly to most headphone loads). This way folks are hearing the DAC as truthfully as possible, and it is not being hampered by a bad amp-headphone mismatch.
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioengr View Post
Actually, even without the Apple instructions, I should be able to bring-out the I2S interface. If there is a D/A chip in there, it probably has an I2S interface.

Steve N.
The first person who does this and keeps it reasonably priced will have more business than they know what to do with IMHO.
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
This is basically what I heard. I didn't want to go into specifics, because I didn't feel that your DAC was really coming through, and I didn't want to say something that could potentially be construed as being negative about it, when it was really more of a problem with the system.

My advice would be to demo it with a relatively neutral solid-state headphone amp with a low output impedance (i.e. one that reacts similarly to most headphone loads). This way folks are hearing the DAC as truthfully as possible, and it is not being hampered by a bad amp-headphone mismatch.
Good advice, thanks. I'll explore my options before next show.

I believe we had trouble getting enough volume out of it with your headphones and chalked it up to headphone impedance. Turns-out that the baggage handlers damaged the volume control making it stiff at points in the rotation. I worked it a bit and then there was plenty more volume available..... Oh well.

Steve N.
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Large4mat View Post
The first person who does this and keeps it reasonably priced will have more business than they know what to do with IMHO.
Maybe I shouldn't then. I already have more than I can handle....no vacation in 6 years

Steve N.
post #25 of 30
Yeah ;p Boo to "reasonably priced." My understanding is that he's not in it for the money, but it in to exercise his passion for creating products that are state of the art in sound reproduction from a digital source ;p Given the already high demand for what's essentially a one-man operation with no plans to expand...

There's a 3 month wait for his more popular products as is (Modded DAC-1)... might as well spend that time saving and go for the top.
post #26 of 30
Did I waste my money on the Red Wine iPod imod? If there is a way to get a digital signal from the ipod out to an external DAC, it would make an amazing contribution to the Hi End portable digital music community. There would then be a slew of micro/portable DAC/amp add-ons for the ipod bringing the SQ to a new level.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan the man View Post
Did I waste my money on the Red Wine iPod imod? If there is a way to get a digital signal from the ipod out to an external DAC, it would make an amazing contribution to the Hi End portable digital music community. There would then be a slew of micro/portable DAC/amp add-ons for the ipod bringing the SQ to a new level.
Certainly not. I'm sure that Vinnie delivers performance for the dollar spent.

I have a video iPod now that I'm planning to mod. I know how to open it and what's inside. I belive the safe thing, and legal thing to do is bring-out an I2S interface on the docking connector. This way, I should be able to leave the headphone output intact. If it's my own proprietary I2S interface, I will not step on any toes at the iTunes store because noone will be able to get a digital stream into a computer, easily at least. It will only be for driving my own I2S DAC and headphone preamp. The mods and the DAC/headphone amp will be one box, with a docking station attached. The idea is that you slide your ipod into the slot and seat it into the docking connector and then close and lock a top bar over it so that it cannot fall out. This way, it is still an ipod, but mounted to a fatter box underneath that has a volume control and headphone output. Because of the way that I'm doing the volume control, it probably will not have a line out.

I can implement it two ways:

1) all digital - the signal never gets converted to analog until at the headphones
this will be quieter, but may not be as musical as (2)
It MUST be balanced outputs though because this is the ONLY way that the output drivers work.

2) D/A with special volume control circuit - the problem here is finding the most musical output driver that is compact. I have one good candidate in mind, not the BUF632 used in the Benchmark. This will be SE output, probably not balanced.

Just some preliminary thinking.

Do you think it should be balanced outs?

Steve N.
post #28 of 30
Sounds perfect + awesome.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioengr View Post
Just some preliminary thinking.

Steve N.
Freaking awesome. That sounds really cool, Steve. I'll be interested to see it develop.
post #30 of 30
A usb laptop DAC or a Ipod DAC with analog pre-out for hp amps is my desire. A amp could be an option for others who want a one box solution. I wondered why the digital signal hasen't been tapped from the ipod? Thought it might be proprietary. You can get the digital file out for I2S transfer to a DAC would sure open a new level of high end performance for portable devices.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home