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Neko Audio D100 - Page 2

post #16 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudhra View Post
i dont have idea about this thing sorry fot my ignorance
Is there something I can help you to understand?
post #17 of 57
Thread Starter 
The PCM1794A specs show that it is a 8x oversampling DAC chip. Are you somehow bypassing the oversampling with the D100?

http://focus.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/pcm1794a.pdf
post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorlac View Post
The PCM1794A specs show that it is a 8x oversampling DAC chip. Are you somehow bypassing the oversampling with the D100?
I was thinking along different lines when asked in the previous question about oversampling / NOS. Sorry for the confusion.

The PCM1794A digital filter is in effect, and as a delta-sigma DAC it uses internal oversampling to recreate the analog signal. I was thinking the question was regarding oversampling earlier in the signal chain for processing, like you might have in a DSP.

I've made modifications to my previous posts to clarify.
post #19 of 57
For those looking here, I think this (your) DAC has two main points of interest: first and minor one, the use of the chips used and specially the W8804 as a nice de-jittering solution. I say "minor" here because after all there are o there will be other DACs using this chip (you just choose it, design and use).
The other one is IMO a major one: the output stage without active devices (no opamps, no transistors, just one transformer and I assume one resistor per channel). This is something almost exclusively used by (advanced) DIY people and, besides being 'green' as Wes said (it is!), here is were the main differences (I hope in positive!) with other DAC will be.
Why it is not more used if it can sound better and aids to simplify circuits? Because not always 'simple' equals 'cheaper'. The transformers alone could cost over $100 each (the Lundahl units I am looking for my project do cost almost $300 the pair, the Jensens here will be probably around the same ballpark...).
Off course all this is just my opinion, I had not seen nor heard (I would like!) this Neko unit... correct me if wrong Wes
post #20 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by josep View Post
Why it is not more used if it can sound better and aids to simplify circuits? Because not always 'simple' equals 'cheaper'. The transformers alone could cost over $100 each (the Lundahl units I am looking for my project do cost almost $300 the pair, the Jensens here will be probably around the same ballpark...).
You're right on target. The passive transformer-based output stage is the most distinctive contributor to the sound quality. But it's a lot more expensive than transistors or op-amps and also makes some things customers would like more difficult.

Jensen publishes their price list, so you can see what the pair costs. I did try other transformers, and ended up picking the Jensen.
post #21 of 57
Yups I checked the Jensen webpage and they cost around $70 each, they only go under $50 each if you buy more than 50 units...
How many D100s do you plan to make/sell?

Just a question btw... have you used your DAC with passive preamplifiers, be it 'resistive' or 'transformer' ones? (the question is about the driving capacity of the output, even if for heapdhone use everybody will use some kind of amplification off course)
post #22 of 57
Quote:
That is correct. (Edit: The PCM1794A does oversample internally, and so it does not qualify as NOS in that respect. Sorry for the confusion.)

Oh. That seemed bit wierd, its rare to see old pure NOS dac designs in more costlier dacs because OS design is technically/measurably superior.
post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by josep View Post
How many D100s do you plan to make/sell?
Why, as many as people buy, of course. Plus a couple for myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by josep View Post
Just a question btw... have you used your DAC with passive preamplifiers, be it 'resistive' or 'transformer' ones?
I haven't tried it myself. Off the top of my head, some of the pre-amps I have tried it with include Jolida, Mark Levinson, Anthem, Emotiva, Cary, VTL, and Parasound.
post #24 of 57
Thread Starter 
Would you be able to shed some light on who is building these DACS and where they are being built?

Just curious where my new toy is coming from

Thanks!
post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorlac View Post
Would you be able to shed some light on who is building these DACS and where they are being built?
The D100 is manufactured by a custom manufacturing house locally in San Jose, California. I work very closely with them--some other manufacturing houses don't care as long as you give them money.
post #26 of 57
Any new reviews? or any owner comments yet?
post #27 of 57
Being in Norway I must say you 'owe' to us a review of another certain DAC
post #28 of 57
Very interested in this product. Wish there was some way to demo but I live in the cultural and audio desert that is Vegas.

Would love to see a comparison against the DA11. Wes, maybe you could send a loaner to Jude?
post #29 of 57
Thread Starter 
It has been a few weeks now since I got my D100 and it is getting better and better as it burns-in! I will be the first to admit that I am not a good reviewer, so I dont have a long post with fancy descriptive words for this thing, but with my current setup (see sig) compared to my old setup, the first thing that was really really noticeable was the smoothness of sound. It is the smoothest digital sound I have ever heard! (is that an oxy-moron?) And the more I listen, the more new details are popping out. Just last night I was listening to a song and noticed a guitar right/left pan in the mix that looped over and over again. I had heard this song hundreds of times and never noticed it. VERY COOL!

I am using the balanced XLR outs to my Audio-gd C-2C and now I feel like the amp might be the next to upgrade (to the fully balanced Phoenix)
Of course, then I would have to have someone recable my D7000s.

This setup truly impresses me. I cant see upgrading the DAC for a long long time (same with the headphones by the way!).

The build quality looks really good to me. Very clean and well laid out with lots and lots of high-end parts (just how I like it!). The unit even came packaged very nicely in its own slip cover to protect and the box has the nice Neko logo on it.

It is my understanding that I have no opamps in my analog path now (both in the DAC and Amp). I am a firm believer in untouched pure bitperfect nuetral sound. The DAC does not upsample, but it does oversample...so I guess that would be the only downside for hardcore purists, but I have accepted the fact that all modern DACs will oversample and usually for good reasons. I wanted a modern DAC to support high bit depths and sample rates and this chip (actually two) is the absolute best spec wise from Burr-Brown.

I also noticed the separation of the right/left channels are WAY clearer and cleaner. As I pointed out above, this is very evident with various stereo effects in the mix. This is another reason why I am now excited to go fully balanced some day.

Not really any negatives yet that I can see/hear. If I had to point anything out, then I guess I would recommend an aluminum encloser instead of steel for the next model. For the price of this thing, I would expect no less (but this is being very nitpicky). The top of the housing ...right in the center bows up a little, so maybe needs an anchor screw. Also, I would like to see some nice isolation feet (the pointy metal ones) to really give this thing the bling factor hehe. Finally, maybe Wes could add a BNC digital input since they apparently have super low jitter (probably not even needed with this Wolfson chip though).

I am building another computer in the next month or two and I will be getting a sound card with SPDIF Coax out. Not sure if this will make a difference, but right now I am using optical out. So that is the only change coming up in the near future.

So awesome job Wes! I hope your new company is very successful and I highly recommend your DAC to others that are interested!





Now I gotta prepare to sell all my other gear to recover funds and make the wife happy... =/
post #30 of 57
Thank you Zorlac for your impression and pictures. It is a couple of very nice looking units you got there mmmm the envy

Hopefully Wes will start selling 220v versions as well (hint hint)
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