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Stello DA100 (show-off/impressions thread) - Page 3

post #31 of 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azure View Post
With such high praise of the DA100 in this thread, I may never find a DA100 seller on these forums
Just wait till they upgrade to the DA220.

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post #32 of 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by threEchelon View Post
Just wait till they upgrade to the DA220.
Which may happen only if someone is after balanced output, otherwise, accordingly to posted on this board impressions, they sound identical.
post #33 of 496
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
Which may happen only if someone is after balanced output, otherwise, accordingly to posted on this board impressions, they sound identical.
+ with the way this thing sounds won't see me upgrading for a while ;-). (The source I mean...amp/phones...different story).
post #34 of 496
For me too the quest for a good DAC is over. At least for some time till I go balanced. That is one reason I do not want to mod this baby. In fact I asked APRIL MUSIC to install OPAMP sockets. But when they said if I swap opamps warranty gets void, I aborted the idea.
I may change my amp for a tube amp unbalanced. Now I am in search of a cheap DVD/CD transport to combine with Stello.
post #35 of 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushama View Post
For me too the quest for a good DAC is over. At least for some time till I go balanced. That is one reason I do not want to mod this baby. In fact I asked APRIL MUSIC to install OPAMP sockets. But when they said if I swap opamps warranty gets void, I aborted the idea.
I may change my amp for a tube amp unbalanced. Now I am in search of a cheap DVD/CD transport to combine with Stello.
Can't go wrong with the Sony S7700. It is a great transport & can be had for under 200.00.. & very modable as well..
post #36 of 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushama View Post
For me too the quest for a good DAC is over. At least for some time till I go balanced. That is one reason I do not want to mod this baby. In fact I asked APRIL MUSIC to install OPAMP sockets. But when they said if I swap opamps warranty gets void, I aborted the idea.
I may change my amp for a tube amp unbalanced. Now I am in search of a cheap DVD/CD transport to combine with Stello.
I wouldn't be too worried about changing the opamps in the DA100. At best, I think it'd only alter the flavor of the DAC a bit. Due to design specifications and whatnot, different opamps might make it perform empirically worse. Furthermore, the only sources I've heard which sound significantly better than the DA100 and its' ilk are all in the $5000+ range, and use far more esoteric circuity (no pun intended). It's quite possible that the DA100 level of performance is as great as can be expected from typical, off-the-shelf parts and design, at least with the current generation of DAC chips.
post #37 of 496
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
I wouldn't be too worried about changing the opamps in the DA100. At best, I think it'd only alter the flavor of the DAC a bit. Due to design specifications and whatnot, different opamps might make it perform empirically worse. Furthermore, the only sources I've heard which sound significantly better than the DA100 and its' ilk are all in the $5000+ range, and use far more esoteric circuity (no pun intended). It's quite possible that the DA100 level of performance is as great as can be expected from typical, off-the-shelf parts and design, at least with the current generation of DAC chips.
Thats good to hear, reinforces my happiness with this purchase
I want a w5k -_-
How well does hp100 perform by the way? I am using a Millet Hybrid which should mate fairly well with w5000 that I intend on repurchasing, but I am wondering if there are better options.
post #38 of 496
FedEx just dropped my DA100 off at my apartment. Another 6 hours of torture at work...
post #39 of 496
Got my Stello DA100. Haven't done much listening yet but my first impressions are quite good. Much better detail, bass has more weight, soundstage and separation are better and decay is more realistic. I'll have to post my impressions after some extended listening (SB3 +/- DAC).

But all's not well in paradise...

There's this annoying buzz that kicks in a few minutes after turning the DAC on. It's not my amplifier or my transport. It's nice and quiet when I first turn on the DAC, no hint of any hiss until I turn my amp up to 2 o'clock. After a few minutes the buzzing kicks in. It's worse when I turn up the volume on my amp. I don't want to ship this thing back to Korea so any help would be greatly appreciated.
post #40 of 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by jules650 View Post
Got my Stello DA100. Haven't done much listening yet but my first impressions are quite good. Much better detail, bass has more weight, soundstage and separation are better and decay is more realistic. I'll have to post my impressions after some extended listening (SB3 +/- DAC).

But all's not well in paradise...

There's this annoying buzz that kicks in a few minutes after turning the DAC on. It's not my amplifier or my transport. It's nice and quiet when I first turn on the DAC, no hint of any hiss until I turn my amp up to 2 o'clock. After a few minutes the buzzing kicks in. It's worse when I turn up the volume on my amp. I don't want to ship this thing back to Korea so any help would be greatly appreciated.
How do you connect transport to Stello? My first thought would be ground loop. Try to lift ground on DA100 and amp. I had this problem when using USB to DAC. Have to use two prong adapters on both Stello and GS-1.
post #41 of 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by jules650 View Post
There's this annoying buzz that kicks in a few minutes after turning the DAC on. It's not my amplifier or my transport. It's nice and quiet when I first turn on the DAC, no hint of any hiss until I turn my amp up to 2 o'clock. After a few minutes the buzzing kicks in. It's worse when I turn up the volume on my amp. I don't want to ship this thing back to Korea so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Sounds weird. DA100 should have dead quiet background.

What kind of headphones do you use if you need to turn your amp to 14:00? I use maximum 10:00 with high gain and HD650 as headphones. With low gain setting I might get to 11 - 11:30 with some tracks but that's an absolute maximum.
post #42 of 496
I turned it to 1400 just to check how quiet my amp is. 1000 is VERY loud for the Canamp.
post #43 of 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
How do you connect transport to Stello? My first thought would be ground loop. Try to lift ground on DA100 and amp. I had this problem when using USB to DAC. Have to use two prong adapters on both Stello and GS-1.
What's the easiest way to lift the ground connection? I read this from a random website:

Ground Lift - A process used to eliminate ground loops (usually present in the form of hum) in systems whereby one or more of the grounds in the system is disconnected ("lifted"). The process can be executed via an in-line adaptor which disconnects pin one of the XLR connector, or via a switch found on many pieces of audio equipment, which disconnects the audio signal ground from the chassis ground. The highly unsafe and heartily not recommended method to lift a ground is by cutting or otherwise disabling the grounding pin on the AC cord. This is a highly dangerous way to eliminate ground loops. Avoid it at all costs.

The hum is present with both USB and coax. My fear of being electrocuted prevents me from ungrounding the power chord using a 3 to 2 prong adaptor.

Thanks for all the replies.
post #44 of 496
Thread Starter 
Hm. I am going to have to test this, but it might be due to unconditioned power? My house has very bad power and alot of things can easily generate static. I have a power conditioner running for all my equipment, which results in things being quiet.

Also, there can be an issue with a ground-loop as a result of something interesting with the cables, or even a fault power supply cable you received with the da100. If you have an alternate power supply cable you could try, I highly suggest that.
Lastly..nothing stops you from grounding the chassis of the Stello or your other equipment to a chassis of something you know has it working well. Just need a piece of wire =]
Check for external interference also, objects such as screens can occasionally have such influences.
post #45 of 496
I tried Andrew_WOT's suggestion and modded an adaptor to remove the AC ground. The hum still came back after a few minutes.

The way the hum appears makes me suspicious that the DAC may be faulty. It is non-existant until a few minutes after the DAC is powered on.

What do I know anyway.. I'm a total noob when it comes to electronics.

Anyway.. this thread is called the show off/impressions thread so here are some initial ones.
I'm finding the Stello DA100 a significant improvement over the Squeezebox 3 internal DAC. I've not owned any other dedicated DACs, so this is very much a comparison between an inferior internal DAC and a dedicated one. There is so much more detail, previously everything sounded like there was a veil or curtain over it. With the Stello there is more treble sparkle. Cymbals and notes with reverb sound so much more realistic. I have to say there's a very noticeable difference with adding a dedicated DAC to my setup. It's so good that I've managed to resist the upsampling switch for now.

Screw the hum, I'm turning up the music.
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