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Twisted Pear Audio Opus DAC

post #1 of 994
Thread Starter 
The Twistd Pear Opus DAC board is "..based around the Wolfson WM8740 DAC chip. It offers I2S input, stereo balanced output, hardware control of DAC options via jumpers, as well as a header for optional software control. The DAC board can also be configured to allow the WM8740 to operate in dual-mono mode (see datasheet for more information)."

Source: Opus - A Balanced DAC


With headphones the Opus is very detailed, and IMO more detailed than Aaron's Oritek modded Zhaolu. On the other hand the Zhaolu seemed to have a much wider soundstage.

After switching the Apache to preamp and listening to Aaron's Av123 Mini Strata's powered by a Pass Aleph 30, I am inclined to believe that the DAC excels much more at imaging with speakers than with headphones.
post #2 of 994
i was just there. amazing DAC! it sounds very similar to my Zapfiltered Zhaolu, otherwise I would definately build one. And it's cheap!
post #3 of 994
Fierce Freak said that his Opus didn't have as much bass as his Zapfiltered Zhaolu. Did you guys find that to be the case?

Also, how warm is the Opus?

Thanks.
post #4 of 994
The Opus is an incredible DAC. I think a Zapfilter installed in the Opus will take it to a level I don't see leaving for a good time. Also, the difference in bass levels wasn't night and day. The Zhaolu just seemed a little more present there (subtle difference), but I don't doubt that adding the zap wouldn't bring it on par or better.

I would call the Opus pretty neutral, really. It's not exactly warm, but it's certainly not cold, either.
post #5 of 994
Quote:
Originally Posted by threEchelon View Post
Fierce Freak said that his Opus didn't have as much bass as his Zapfiltered Zhaolu. Did you guys find that to be the case?
Yes, based on my memory (and not direct comparison), it seems to be true. It could be the tiny power supply in the OPUS DAC relative to the one in the Zhaolu. You can use the Zhaolu's big beefy power supply with the OPUS, but I don't think anyone has tried it yet.

Quote:
Also, how warm is the Opus?
It was pretty neutral, but can be warm when it needs to be. It is pretty much in line with other high end DACs, and yes I do consider this a high-end DAC because I prefer it over the usual $1000-$1500 class of commerical DACs that I've heard so far. I've also heard much more expensive DACs but it's definately a matter of preference.

Edit: Ah I see fierce-freak just posted a reply as I was typing this up. Seems like we agree
post #6 of 994
Hmm. I would really like to build an Opus and a B22, but I'm afraid they'll be too neutral together. I would prefer a backend with warmth and a little extra bass (All my headphones are bass light, including the pair of vintage RS-1's I'll be receiving soon. ). Any suggestions?
post #7 of 994
Quote:
Originally Posted by threEchelon View Post
Hmm. I would really like to build an Opus and a B22, but I'm afraid they'll be too neutral together. I would prefer a backend with warmth and a little extra bass (All my headphones are bass light, including the pair of vintage RS-1's I'll be receiving soon. ). Any suggestions?
the M^3 in your sig is already on the warm side for an amp, the Beta22 is even warmer, and if you want warmer still there are certain tube amps that have a nice, fat tone. But if you're using the X-Fi as your source then the OPUS is definately warmer. I say go for it! The OPUS is cheap!
post #8 of 994
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
Yes, based on my memory (and not direct comparison), it seems to be true. It could be the tiny power supply in the OPUS DAC relative to the one in the Zhaolu. You can use the Zhaolu's big beefy power supply with the OPUS, but I don't think anyone has tried it yet.
I'm planning on using AMB's sigma22 to upgrade the power supply and see where that takes the Opus dac.

As it right now, it's simply amazing when used with speakers! I can't believe the soundstage I am hearing out of Aaron's speakers. I wish cotdt brought his Zhaolu over to do some comparisons.
post #9 of 994
That's a great idea, Nebby! The Sigma22 might even get rid of that high frequency noise, who knows. I'm deaf so I couldn't hear it anyway, lol.
post #10 of 994
This is being run through my speaker rig right now and the imaging is 3D. I've never heard anything like it and now have to build one of these. IMHO, my Oritek 2.5 and a Zap Filtered Sony NS9100ES sound great with headphones but the Opus will be my new primary speaker DAC.
post #11 of 994
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
the M^3 in your sig is already on the warm side for an amp, the Beta22 is even warmer, and if you want warmer still there are certain tube amps that have a nice, fat tone. But if you're using the X-Fi as your source then the OPUS is definately warmer. I say go for it! The OPUS is cheap!
I'm using the Behringer DEQ2496 as a source, but they don't sound that much different.

Okay, okay. You might've convinced me.

What about the bass, though? The bass on the M^3 isn't very impressive (probably, the source's fault too) and I want something not necessarily with more "oomph" but at least with more volume and texture.
post #12 of 994
Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_freak View Post
The Opus is an incredible DAC. I think a Zapfilter installed in the Opus will take it to a level I don't see leaving for a good time. Also, the difference in bass levels wasn't night and day. The Zhaolu just seemed a little more present there (subtle difference), but I don't doubt that adding the zap wouldn't bring it on par or better.

I would call the Opus pretty neutral, really. It's not exactly warm, but it's certainly not cold, either.
We'll put this to the test soon. fierce_freak has been gracious enough to agree to build one for me. It will be dual differential and have the Zapfilter MKII discrete output. Twisted Pear is out of stock of the Opus kit and DAC boards at the moment. It seems they expect to have some ready for orders by the end of August. That's my luck of coarse, but it will be worth the wait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebby View Post
I'm planning on using AMB's sigma22 to upgrade the power supply and see where that takes the Opus dac.
Please let us know how this works out. If you finish it before the parts for mine arrive, and it has a favorable outcome, I can have Jim add one to mine.
post #13 of 994
Are you building yours with the OPUS PSU or something else? Might be cool to use one of AMB's power supplies, the o22 or o11.
post #14 of 994
Thread Starter 
I think the sigma22 is more appropriate for the opus since it has dual rails, and the opus dac boards require separate rails for the analog and digital stages. What exactly does a zapfilter do? I keep hearing about it and I'm curious to hear how it affects the sound.

Cotdt, I left my opus dac at Johnsonad's place, so it would be great if you two could somehow meet up and do a comparison between your zhaolu and the opus dac. I'm really interested in seeing if the zhaolu also has the 3-d imaging that the opus has with the speakers.

Personally after listening to the Opus thru the 650's, dt770s, and d5000's all balanced, I don't believe it needs any more bass. Particularly when switching between the 650's and the d5000's, it strikes me as having a neutral enough signature that it doesn't overemphasize the sound after the headphone's coloration. Perhaps Johnsonad will post his impressions since he has a larger variety of headphones than I do.

By the way, I'm not joking about the speaker part even if I probably sound a little overzealous right now.....the detail, soundstage, and 3d-ness of the sound with speakers is unbelievable with the opus when compared to the Ori Zhaolu, Meridian 805, and Sony 9100ES. Has anyone else tried hooking up their Opus to speakers?
post #15 of 994
The Zapfilter is just a high quality analog output stage.
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