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Art D/IO Tweaks - Page 2

post #16 of 28
Does Full Compass really sell these things? I can't find it in their catalog at all, and it is not listed on their ART manufacturer page.
post #17 of 28
Full compass does indeed sell the DIO. It's not on their site, but their phone number is.

Terminating the analog inputs: I suspect that one of the effects of this is to shield the input from RFI/EMI. I may be hearing more since my setup may be in a fairly noisy (in an electrical sense) location...more noise to get rid of.
post #18 of 28

Calrad makes the adapters, but only sells to distributors. I haven't yet found where the original set was bought, but parts suppliers that carry Calrad would be a place to look (it's part #35-387). OTOH, depending on the rest of your system, especially the cabling, the Radio Shack Gold adapter is less expensive and differences between it and the Calrad are very subtle.
post #19 of 28
Yeah I just picked up the radioshack mono adapters... I had some other adapters I got, forget the brand (They weren't gold if that matters). Anyways I am probably going to get the Bolder ICs for my DI/O because of its attenuating network.
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well, I received my Art D/IO yesterday and hooked it up to my Toshiba DVD player (and older model 2109) at work. I used some MIT T2 cables with the gold plated RS ¼” to RCA adapters for the audio but I didn’t have a good digital cable laying around here at work. Being that I work for a cable company (in the broadband dept), I looked around in the headend here for some good video cables to use as a digital cable while I tried to secure a replacement. (My reasoning for the video cable was the bandwidth involved. I know that the 50 ohm impedance would not be ideal. Humm.. I could make some up with a piece of belden silver clad rg59 that we have here. Then the 75 ohms vs. 50 ohms would not be an issue. Something to try later)

Well the hookup went like this: Digital from Toshiba to art dio and analogue out from art dio to my CHA47 amp with a pair of Senns 580. Well I hooked everything up and I got no sound! I rechecked my connections but still no sound.

I was about to take everything apart when I realized that maybe the reason for no sound was the digital out setting in the DVD player. DVD players can be configured for either bitstream out or pcm out. Bitstream would not work in this case but I could not check the settings because A) no TV to see the menus and B: I didn’t have the remote. (the unit sits right in front of me. So I left the remote home.) So I hooked up the unit so that the analogue out from the DVD would go to the analogue in of the art dio and I looped the digital in/out. (As described here ) I set the art for 44/88 2x and set the input levels so that the red clip light would only flicker under the loudest passages. (I used the Telarc CD Star Tracks just for this purpose) I also set the warmth control down to the lowest setting.

With everything hooked up (and a jungle of wires!) I started to play the Telarc cd and was very surprised at the sound. This little unit does sound very good. While the dvd by itself sounds a little dry and lifeless, the art dio added warmth and weight. (this Telarc CD does not lack any bass impact!) I played with the warmth control a bit but at the differences were very subtle. With this CD I really had a hard time hearing what the control did. (I do know what it is supposed to do which is overdrive the tube so that you get more of that tube sound when going through the A/D stage. It does nothing for the output) I popped in a Sade CD to hear how the unit sounds with vocals. Now here is were that warmth control really showed it stuff! It actually brought Sade’s voice forward! The effect was sort of like switching from Senns to Grados (only the voice though) I liked this effect a lot, although I’ll admit it isn’t accurate or “hi-end” but it sure was fun!

I have a lot to do to tweak this unit (which is the reason I bought it in the first place). There is still the power supply to upgrade, cables to experiment with, and the digital out settings on the DVD player to see if I like the D/A unit alone better.
post #21 of 28


One of the more frustrating things about the DIO is that a tweak that works for someone else may not be as good for you simply because of QC at ART. Someone at AA pointed out that two DIO's did not necessarily have the same sound. I'm up to three (one as external computer soundcard, second (will NOT call it ART2DIO2) as DAC in headphone system, third as DAC for secondary CDP in main system).

I had ART2 setup in headphone system with Creek OBH-11se. This unit really played to the strengths of the Creek, great detail, dynamics and imaging. Unfortunately, I couldn't let well enough alone, and moved the Creek over to the computer DIO (which still does a great job with it), and put an X-Can V2 in the headphone system. I could hear a lot of what the X-Can was trying to do, but it never quite sounded right. At best, slightly veiled with a mildly diffuse image. Good detailing, nice tonality, but weak bass. Since the DIO had none of these weaknesses with the Creek, the natural suspect was the X-Can... at this point DIO3 had about 3 days of warm-up (the first two took at least ten days before their sound stabilized), so I simply inserted it in place of DIO2. Ummm....OK. Much more focussed image than previous DIO. Bass is back (not up to top flight amp, but quite tight and defined). Veiling is gone. The X-Can now sounds like an excellent headphone amp, which it did not do with DIO2.

A quick look inside each DIO when the tube was taken out showed that there were different types of spacers used to keep the boards from contacting the cover (in one, the a spacer held the tube against the resistors on the main board, while another omitted that spacer). I didn't spend a whole lot of time looking for other differences but in any event that's an indication to me that final assembly was likely done by different people, with whatever parts were at hand. The result? Two ART DIOs do NOT necessarily have the same sound, or synergize well with the same external components.

I wonder what other components might also display this unit to unit variability, but cost so much that it is impractical for people to buy more than one, so the variability remains concealed.......
post #22 of 28
Grrrr is there better QC in later models or earlier ones...maybe they are running out of stock too much they are resorting to using gum and popsicle sticks to put it together. Or are the later models actually having a little more QC?
post #23 of 28
I got the third DIO because the Sony DVP-9000ES cannot play CD-R, and I happened to have an Apex AD600-A DVD player sitting on the shelf. So, I decided to try hooking the Apex to a DIO and see how it sounded in the main system. They sound very different, but I'm unable to make a snap judgement on which player, the 9000ES or the Apex/DIO, that I prefer for redbook. Going to have to listen over time to make a decision. The DIO that is giving the Sony a run is the one that doesn't perform well with the X-Cans. Go figure.

My main preamp is SS (Electrocompaniet Pre I), so maybe some DIOs perform better with SS, while others prefer tubes
post #24 of 28


If any of you are still interested, I have put the ART DI/O interconnects back on my website. These are made from Belden 89259 with the Neutrik gold plated 1/4" phone plug on one end and a Cardas AGMO with a voltage divider on the other end. I have a very limited supply of the Neutriks.

post #25 of 28
Time to revive an old thread!

I just got the Stancor powersupply for the ART DI/O from radioshack and THIS is the tweak that has made the difference for me. Initial impressions are that there are much more lower frequency details and tightening of the bass. The sound is a bit cleaner too.

I think RS ran out of the PSU (I think I got the last one ) so... no idea where you can get them. It is a 3.4A at 9V Stancor power supply with an M type jack.
post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'm running the art dio from a MF X-psu that I got for my x-cans. I measured the voltage from each of the four outputs and found one that was 10 volts. I haven't run into any problems yet and the improvements in dynamics are great!
post #27 of 28
You know what another funny thing is? I bought their higher end 1/4" to RCA adapters online (only online available). Funny thing is, I only got one so, doh!
post #28 of 28
The Stancor transformer is available form Allied Electronics

The Allied part number is 928-9919. The Stancor part number is STA-5790. The cost is $18.47.

I ordered in one of these to see how it sounds compared to my prototype filtered supply and a less expensive non-filtered supply I am working on. I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, but I will post my impressions.

I have been spending a lot of time listening to my Sony V6's while I build cables. Thanks for all the great reviews here that made my choice easier.

A friend dropped by a set of STAX SR-X MARK 3's that I need to extend the speaker cable on the inteface. I will spend a little time with these as well.
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