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Valab NOS DAC, anyone using it? - Page 4

post #46 of 54

incorruptible a also grumpish intro

Hey ppl, i've validification One Wine Per Week when i searched google
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if you be undergoing rate for my english crap... so be it, i'm authorized learning
post #47 of 54
This is a very pleasant surprise to me. Bought a Swan M10 2.1 desk top speaker system, Valab DAC (09) and an used MF X-10V3 tube buffering device for my office at work. What a mistake! I just can't concentrate on my work anymore, the system is so musical that it really becomes a distraction Can't wait to take it home to compare with my Bel Canto DAC2...
post #48 of 54

This Valab DAC blew away the Bel Canto DAC3 I had hooked up in my set up and I won't be surprise it'll eat your DAC2 for lunch.

post #49 of 54
I believe you, Kenobi. Most likely the two will switch places next week and BC DAC2 ends up playing background music in my office
post #50 of 54
Please post your impressions on the Valab vs your BC DAC2! I used to own the Swan M10 speakers that you have, very sweet sounding and attractive speakers for the price. Have you had a chance to listen to them with/without the Valab DAC? I'm curious to how sensitive they are to better sources.
post #51 of 54
OK,after more than two weeks of breaking in, I finally compared Valab DAC with my old Bel Canto DAC2 at home. First of all, the difference in my system is much smaller than I expected, it did not blow my DAC2 away. But it is definitely better, more extended sound stage, richer bass, and a lot more air in the highs and in between instruments (analog like?). I did notice the Toslink connection produced darker sound than coax. Overall, it is very impressive considering $200 price ( I paid twice or three times more for interconnect and power cables Only thing less expensive than DAC in my system is digital coax and Toslink cable). I also tried USB input using my Sony Laptop (Vista Business), Foobar 2000 and an upgraded USB cable. It sounded smoother but less dynamic (I really don't know much about computer audio).
I really want to try some good anti-jitter device, any suggestions?

(The set up for digital play back is Sony DVP S7000 as transport, BetterCables Silver Serpent coax cable or Glass Toslink cable, BC DAC2 or Valab DAC (09 version), Silver Audio pure silver interconnects, Thor Audio TA1000 (tube) pre-amp, Silver Audio Interconnect, Spectron Musician II power amp, Spectron Remote Sense speaker cable, and Gallo Acoustic Nucleus Reference speakers. Power conditioner is Shunyata Research Hydra 8)
post #52 of 54
DrCal, over on the other Valab thread Bill Allen has written about using the Imperical Audio Pace Car (Jitter Reducer) with the valab Dac and is getting great results, but it aint cheap.
post #53 of 54
Thanks Tubes. I thought so too, the Pace Car is kind of expensive considering I can get a decent music server with same price and store all my 800 CDs plus many more ... may we hope that Valab will come up with something similar to this overachieving DAC to address jitter issue
Also, to answer dwong's question about Swan M10, it is amazing that for every improvement I made at the source, e.g. adding X-10 V3 tube buffer and Valab DAC, switching to better quality cables, adding a power conditioner, etc, the M10 responded each time with better and more musical sonic presentation. Can't believe I am even enjoying orchestral music in my office with this desktop set up... some of the European online classical channels sound really good... Only minor complaint I may have is that the M10 is not efficient enough to get a good dynamic sound directly off any MP3 or iPOD or a portable CD player.
post #54 of 54
you don't need the "Pace Car" which weighs in at $1250 USD
Pace Car Reclocker > Products : Empirical Audio

you can get the Pop Pulse box for about $100 USD

the Pop Pulse SPDIF-II ( otherwise known as SP-II or PC Link-II ) USB to spdif digital transport.

The SP-II is a very neat little box of tricks. When plugged into the USB port of a PC, music played back through the PC is fed into the device in the form of a digital audio stream. The SP-II takes this digital stream from the USB port,cleans it up and then outputs it into a pristine, clean, "jitter" free digital spdif data stream that can be fed directly into the Valab or indeed any DAC.

The SP-II is highly flexible in that as well as having coaxial rca, optical toslink and balanced digital xlr spdif outputs, it also features an I2S output.

DACs fed a I2S signal are supposed to offer a slight improvement in sound quality compared to being fed a spdif signal.

I2S eliminates time related errors that cause "jitter" (a certain type of audio distortion). Usually the lower the "jitter" rate, the more "analogue" a device sounds as opposed to sounding harsh and "digital".

The SP-II also features digital coaxial rca and toslink inputs.

Build quality is exceptional. A much better specced and more reliable + flexible solution to the Trends Audio UD10 or UD10.1


* SPDIF Input - Output 24-96kHz
* USB Input - 24-48kHz
* C-Media CM-108 Chipset
* Pulse isolation transformer ( reduces common mode noise and EMI )
* Plug-and-Play with Windows and Mac machines
* The unit can either run on power provided via USB or a supplied 12VDC power supply
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