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γ1 (gamma 1) DAC thread - Page 2

post #16 of 159
anyone else got one yet? I'm pretty interested in how it compares to other DIY and commercial options
post #17 of 159
My Gamma DAC has been cooking for a while. I have listened to the Toslink input from an Airport Express, the coaxial from the SPDIF output of a Delta 66 card and most recently the USB input (which was immediately recognized by XP).

I have used A5 speakers on my desktop and a pair of Dynaudio floorstanders. Initial comparision was with a TADAC. I plan to spend some time this weekend comparing the Gamma with an EMU 0404. I will use the A5 speakers and I had hoped to use my son's Dynaudio BM5A monitors, but will need to piece together some cables as they accept only XLR.

I use J. River Media Jukebox with APE, FLAC or m4a. Hope to have some observations by the end of the weekend, FWIW.
post #18 of 159
LinuxWorks, who has both the BantamDAC and the Gamma 1 DAC, says that there is little difference between the two sound quality wise.

Here are some graphs.

bantam dac vs gamma1 dac on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

bantam dac vs gamma1 dac (detail zoom) on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
post #19 of 159
I've just received my MisterX-built Gamma Lite (which is the USB-only version). I'll post my thoughts here in the coming days, comparing it to my memory of my old tweaked out AlienDAC, and straight out of the computer.
post #20 of 159
After a couple of hours tonight comparing E-mu 0404 USB with Gamma1 both through USB into Audioengine A5 speakers, the Gamma is winning. I don't know if this is the expected result or not.
post #21 of 159
To my ears, the Gamma is a significant improvement over the E-mu 0404 USB. It has a more three dimensional sound stage with better separation of instruments. The vocals emerge with more contrast from the background. The kick drum and bass guitar are better defined with more slam.

I use Watching the Detective and Chelsea by Elvis Costello as examples of well recorded bass and kick lines and both showed more body with the Gamma. The keyboards floated in space better.

In Police and Thieves by The Clash, the guitar solo mid-song sounded much more like a Les Paul guitar.

Both The Painter by Neil Young and Tecumseh Valley by Steve Earle had a wide and deeper sound stage and the acoustic guitar work had crisper attack with more of a "you're there" feeling.

On Frosty by Albert Collins on Live 92-3, the sax and muted trumpet wer more authentic and Albert's telecaster a bit "icier."

I had planned to listen to more stratocaster stuff, but I am just not sure yet about the A5 speakers and that guitar and I need a break. Also my ears are older, with too much live music as a youth and thus YMMV.
post #22 of 159
So far, I'm really happy with my Gamma Lite. When my current setup included my tweaked AlienDAC, I'd complained about the D2000s not having a good soundstage. Now with the Gamma, I don't have that complaint anymore. I wish I still had my AlienDAC to be able to A/B better, but I am very happy with the Gamma. I think I'll be able to just enjoy listening now for awhile, and not have it in my head that I need to continue upgrading. Which is a good feeling.... for now.
post #23 of 159
Thanks guys for the impressions. I wonder if anyone compared it to something slightly above its price range.
post #24 of 159
I tried to compare the Gamma with a TADAC from Tube Audio Design today. The TADAC feeds a 1793 from a CS8414 in the DAC and combines it with a 12AU7 based pre-amp in a single chasis. It doesn't get much attention here perhaps because of the components and the fact that it has a "tubyness" knob.

Apparently not a fair contest when feeding the analog input of the TADAC with an 1/8" to RCA pair cable from the Gamma versus the intergrated DAC/Pre of the TADAC.

I switched the coaxial input back and forth between the Gamma and the TADAC DAC and tried to keep the volume consistent. I also tried using a passive pre-amp from CI Audio for switching, but . . .

On Puttin' it Down by Terry Evans, the soundstage fills the entire wall of my room with the TADAC and the Gamma just couldn't compete. As there is no line out on the TADAC, I don't think I will be able to do a level field comparision.

I will have an Audio Sector DAC in a week or so and am interested in comparing the two. The winner stays in my den and the loser joins my son.
post #25 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonWho View Post
LinuxWorks, who has both the BantamDAC and the Gamma 1 DAC, says that there is little difference between the two sound quality wise.

Here are some graphs.

bantam dac vs gamma1 dac on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

bantam dac vs gamma1 dac (detail zoom) on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
I don't think those results look entirely sane. I don't know linuxworks' test setup and methodology, but I refer you to the "Specifications" section of the official γ1 websitė, which contains RMAA test results, oscillograms, and other information.
post #26 of 159
I ordered a standard lite from MisterX. I'll do some comparisons when I get it
post #27 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonWho View Post
LinuxWorks, who has both the BantamDAC and the Gamma 1 DAC, says that there is little difference between the two sound quality wise.
Even if that is the case, which I very much doubt, you don't see many BantamDAC's with optical and coax input.......
post #28 of 159
Beefy, Any comments on your Buffalo compared with your Gamma?
post #29 of 159
Haven't had the time to sit down and directly compare the two yet

Even so, it is safe to say that I am still very impressed by the y1.
post #30 of 159
Listened more using a pair of my son's Sony 7506. Be advised I usually listen to speakers, and I not sure how to describe the sound stage with headphones.
Compared with Audio Sector (also Audio Zone) DAC assembled by Peter Daniels for me and my TADAC.

The more I listen, the more I am impressed with the Gamma1. Listening to acoustic guitar and mandolin, vocals and percussion, the Gamma1 gets the timbre spot on and is nicely detailed. No muffling or congestion with nice natural decay of a picked and strummed strings.

The Audiosector is still probably not burned in and is somewhat more polite and minimally less detailed, but also very nice. The TADAC tones are rounder and lose some detail, but still seem to convey the feeling of a live performance.

I hope to compare with a VALAB as it uses a 1543 too like the Audio Sector. Just my observations using a coaxial input for all three and attempting to volume match, which I always have found to be difficult and can have such a significant effect on perceived quality so YMMV.
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