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Apogee Mini Dac or...? - Page 2

post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
i don't know but why not just connect your source to your mini-dac via s/pdif.
That's what I'm going to do.

You can't do SACD or DVD-A over s/pidf, though.

That's why I was remotely curious about the firewire/I-link idea, but I think it's a no-go.
post #17 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Thorsen View Post
I just ordered the Apogee Mini DAC this morning from Sweetwater. No USB or Firewire. (Don't really need those.)

It really sounds like it could just the touch my system needs.

That basically gives me 30 days to take this thing for a test spin with little to no risk.


Here's a question for mini DAC owners (I even called Apogee abou this):

My source actually has an I-link on it, which is the same as firewire, is it not?

With my source, you can have SACD and DVD-A and all the rest of it either over the multichannel analogs OR the I-link connection.

So I wondered if I connected my source to the Firewired Mini-DAC...would it work and would I be able to run high rez audio through it as well?

The tech I spoke to at Apogee said no. He said it's strictly for computer useage.

I certainly have no reason to not take his word for it unless someone here has actually tried it and has something different to tell us.
I am thinking that you are in for a real treat with the Mini-Dac. I have been using my Lavry for quite a while and would not want to do without it.
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser View Post
I am thinking that you are in for a real treat with the Mini-Dac. I have been using my Lavry for quite a while and would not want to do without it.
I may get it today. Sweetwater's warehouse is about an hour and change from my house and even though I went for Fed Ex ground, the tracking says I'm due up for today.

This'll be interesting.
post #19 of 53
First impressions with the mini DAC are very good here.

I'm not really experiencing anything super earth shattering between this vs. the DACs off of my Onkyo DVSP1000 (I forget which Wolfsons these were from about three years ago), although I think I'm hearing a refinement a little bit more of warmth than I had before, but these are very raw and fairly quick first impressions.

Here's a question for other mini DAC owners:
I've connected the Mini DAC to my headphone amp via the XLR connectors.
Am I supposed to max out that volume from the mini DAC and then simply control the volume from my headphone amp as per normal or is there a certain level or setting that the mini DAC should be set at?
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Thorsen View Post
First impressions with the mini DAC are very good here.

I'm not really experiencing anything super earth shattering between this vs. the DACs off of my Onkyo DVSP1000 (I forget which Wolfsons these were from about three years ago), although I think I'm hearing a refinement a little bit more of warmth than I had before, but these are very raw and fairly quick first impressions.

Here's a question for other mini DAC owners:
I've connected the Mini DAC to my headphone amp via the XLR connectors.
Am I supposed to max out that volume from the mini DAC and then simply control the volume from my headphone amp as per normal or is there a certain level or setting that the mini DAC should be set at?
If it is like any other piece of equipment you will have a burn-in period and you will also have to learn the differences. After about one to two weeks go back to the original configuration and listen and then get back with us about what the differences appear then.
post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser View Post
If it is like any other piece of equipment you will have a burn-in period and you will also have to learn the differences. After about one to two weeks go back to the original configuration and listen and then get back with us about what the differences appear then.
Oh, I will.

Even upfront, I can tell it's doing some things for me that I wanted, like taking a little bit of a "harsh edge" off of some things I had noticed.

Like I said: Very favorable first impressions.
post #22 of 53
Here's a question for other mini DAC owners:
I've connected the Mini DAC to my headphone amp via the XLR connectors.
Am I supposed to max out that volume from the mini DAC and then simply control the volume from my headphone amp as per normal or is there a certain level or setting that the mini DAC should be set at?



Congratulations on your Mini-DAC.
You can use the volume control, but a better solution would be to move the jumpers on the board. One of the jumpers will allow you to use the XLR output independently of the front volume control.
There are also a couple of small pots where you can adjust the XLR output if you feel it is too high for your amp.
The manual explains how to do it.
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimragone View Post
Here's a question for other mini DAC owners:
I've connected the Mini DAC to my headphone amp via the XLR connectors.
Am I supposed to max out that volume from the mini DAC and then simply control the volume from my headphone amp as per normal or is there a certain level or setting that the mini DAC should be set at?



Congratulations on your Mini-DAC.
You can use the volume control, but a better solution would be to move the jumpers on the board. One of the jumpers will allow you to use the XLR output independently of the front volume control.
There are also a couple of small pots where you can adjust the XLR output if you feel it is too high for your amp.
The manual explains how to do it.
I'm definitely going to keep those tricks in my back pocket. As it stands, everything seems great so far at factory defaults.
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Thorsen View Post
That's what I'm going to do.

You can't do SACD or DVD-A over s/pidf, though.

That's why I was remotely curious about the firewire/I-link idea, but I think it's a no-go.
i see.
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Thorsen View Post
You can't do SACD or DVD-A over s/pidf, though.
That's why I was remotely curious about the firewire/I-link idea, but I think it's a no-go.
Congrats on your Apogee, A.Thorsen. I'm sure you will enjoy it (sounds like you already are).

Just an FYI that you can output DVD-A over spdif. Variances depend on:

1. The DVD-A disc itself (specific content & possible protection schemes)
2. Your transport (some players have configurable digital outputs)
3. Your transport's available digital-outs (only coax can support full 192khz)

I'm not sure what Firewire (or iLink) supports though.
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Thorsen View Post
I'm definitely going to keep those tricks in my back pocket. As it stands, everything seems great so far at factory defaults.
I wouldn't touch those trimmers either, but you should not be reluctant to move the jumpers, it might pay off. If I had two pots in the signal path doing more or less the same thing, I would do my best to get rid of one of them.
post #27 of 53
so far my apogee is outstanding I had been using it as part of a computer rig
Imac>optical cable>Apogee>ps-1, yesterday I put it in my main rig with the alesis masterlink cdp as a transport and Wow it held up agaist my exemplar cdp, maybe not quite as transparent and the bass impact was off by a hair with cds. The really cool thing is is can play the needle drops I did of vinyl that I receorded at 24/96 and I don't care what others have told me they sounded better than the redbook versions I made out of my exemplar.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpelg View Post
Congrats on your Apogee, A.Thorsen. I'm sure you will enjoy it (sounds like you already are).

Just an FYI that you can output DVD-A over spdif. Variances depend on:

1. The DVD-A disc itself (specific content & possible protection schemes)
2. Your transport (some players have configurable digital outputs)
3. Your transport's available digital-outs (only coax can support full 192khz)
I'll mess around with this later today, but thankfully the GS-X lets me switch on the fly. The Apogee is XLR all the way and I still have the analogs going directly from the Onkyo 1000 into the GS-X's RCA inputs, so I can keep switching back and forth on the fly with great ease.

Handy!

Quote:
I'm not sure what Firewire (or iLink) supports though.
I think it's strictly computer related.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Quichotte View Post
I wouldn't touch those trimmers either, but you should not be reluctant to move the jumpers, it might pay off. If I had two pots in the signal path doing more or less the same thing, I would do my best to get rid of one of them.
I'll keep that in mind.

I usually tend to not mess around with things like that unless I really perceive a need to do so. I'm pretty early in this ballgame as of yet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jp11801 View Post
so far my apogee is outstanding I had been using it as part of a computer rig
Imac>optical cable>Apogee>ps-1, yesterday I put it in my main rig with the alesis masterlink cdp as a transport and Wow it held up agaist my exemplar cdp, maybe not quite as transparent and the bass impact was off by a hair with cds. The really cool thing is is can play the needle drops I did of vinyl that I receorded at 24/96 and I don't care what others have told me they sounded better than the redbook versions I made out of my exemplar.
^^ I'm definitely impressed overall with the sound myself. I'm just going to have to decide over the next couple of weeks or so if the $700 was spent well enough here to bring something appreciable to the table or do I consider other options.

Plenty of time!

EDIT: Put in some time this morning. I deliberately brought out some recordings that I had some complaints with before in regards to a touch of harshness, brightness, and things of that nature.

The mini DAC noticeably smoothed out those edges and I had no harshness issues where I'd noticed them before on these recordings. I do feel like there's a bit more warmth and overall body to the music. It's subtle and almost something I can't put my finger on, but I definitely like what the mini DAC is doing and I'm already seeing myself favoring it. I'm almost noticing a little more of some overall dimension, soundstage, and resolution/seperation as far as instrumentation and vocals go. It's doing some nice things here for sure.

If I continue along this way, I can definitely see the mini-DAC scoring gold for me in very short order.
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Thorsen View Post
I just ordered the Apogee Mini DAC this morning from Sweetwater. No USB or Firewire. (Don't really need those.)

It really sounds like it could just the touch my system needs.

That basically gives me 30 days to take this thing for a test spin with little to no risk.


Here's a question for mini DAC owners (I even called Apogee abou this):

My source actually has an I-link on it, which is the same as firewire, is it not?

With my source, you can have SACD and DVD-A and all the rest of it either over the multichannel analogs OR the I-link connection.

So I wondered if I connected my source to the Firewired Mini-DAC...would it work and would I be able to run high rez audio through it as well?

The tech I spoke to at Apogee said no. He said it's strictly for computer useage.

I certainly have no reason to not take his word for it unless someone here has actually tried it and has something different to tell us.


Firewire outputs are proprietary outputs on DVDA/SACD players. They carry an encrypted signal in order to comply with the governing bodies for the two formats. The Firewire input on the Mini-DAC requires a driver from Apogee on a PC or Mac. It allows you to carry a much higher resolution signal than USB. Generally, this isn't a concern if all you are playing back is ripped CDs. There are some ultra high resolution downloads available though.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sum View Post
Firewire outputs are proprietary outputs on DVDA/SACD players. They carry an encrypted signal in order to comply with the governing bodies for the two formats. The Firewire input on the Mini-DAC requires a driver from Apogee on a PC or Mac. It allows you to carry a much higher resolution signal than USB. Generally, this isn't a concern if all you are playing back is ripped CDs. There are some ultra high resolution downloads available though.
Firewire is also considered a bus whereas the USB is considered only a signal path where data is push out to anyone and anything able to capture it. Being a bus you have two way communication available. Sending and receiving units talk to each other to ensure communication integrity. In other words, no lost bits if the receiver is not ready. This is the specific reason it is used in video equipment.
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