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The Lavry DA11 - a review

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
an updated and current review will be published shortly.
post #2 of 52
Thanks for a great review! It's always good to hear the thoughts of somebody who has done the extensive amount of research that you did before jumping into a purchase - if only we could all be so patient...
post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks I'd be curious to hear what other users of the DA-11 have to say.
post #4 of 52
I agree with the reviewer in every way. I recently upgraded from the Apogee Duet to the DA11 and I am very happy with my choice. I auditioned several DACs at home for extensive periods before finally deciding on the Lavry for all the same reasons he states here. The DA11 is also transportable, a big bonus for me, and has an excellent built-in headphone amp that will be very useful while traveling.

I'm now trying to narrow down my choice of amplifier upgrade to compliment the DA11. Right now it's between the Stello HP100 and the Donald North Audio Sonnet.

BTW, shouldn't this thread be in the Dedicated Source Components Forum?
post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 
Maybe so? I really wasn't sure where to put it.

Could a mod make a judgment call and place this is the correct forum?

Thanks for the comments Jeremy, I hope more DA11 users stop by and post their thoughts.
post #6 of 52

All business

I've had my DA11 for a couple months now and my sentiments basically echo those of the OP's. The DA11 is all business, no fancy faceplate just top notch DA conversion. Solid construction, no jumpers inside to make adjustments as everything is adjusted through the front interface, etc. Just a solid all-around high-quality DAC.

I'm not clear though why some folks feel the need to purchase a separate headphone amplifier? The one built into the DA11 is a discrete high-power design that has no trouble driving my HD800's. Maybe it's too neutral and they're looking for something warmer? More power to ya. I've enjoyed it and love being able to control the headphone volume with the remote control support.
post #7 of 52
Thread Starter 
I love the volume control

The reason I tried different headphone amps is because I already own a few, I feel no need to use anything else thou when using the DA11 as it does a solid job on it's own.

Thanks for the feedback USAudio, have you tried different cables outside of the stock HD800? I haven't yet, but I have tried the HD800 on the Lavry and it's wonderful - i'm not into the HD800 as I was the PS1000, but I would say it's amazing can if you like the sound.
post #8 of 52

Cables

Quote:
Originally Posted by thisbenjamin View Post
...
Thanks for the feedback USAudio, have you tried different cables outside of the stock HD800? I haven't yet, but I have tried the HD800 on the Lavry and it's wonderful - i'm not into the HD800 as I was the PS1000, but I would say it's amazing can if you like the sound.
I haven't tried any different cables on the HD800 and don't plan on doing so. I'm not much of a believer in spending a ton on cables, just good quality solid cables. I buy most of mine from Blue Jeans Cables, who also happen to be based here in the Seattle area like Lavry is.
post #9 of 52
Thread Starter 
ignore - delete, please mod*
post #10 of 52
Thread Starter 
If you get bored sometime give it a try. If I had HD800 cables I'd let you borrow to check them out, I have Cardas for the 600 and 650, but that's not going to do you any favors

Blue Jeans are a champion of value performance. I hate using that word value because it implies to some people that it's cheap, and while it IS cheap in budget, it's not cheap in construction or performance. I use their HDMI, RCA, optical, Balanced-XLR, component and speaker cables and compare them easily to mid to mid high tier Audioquest, Kimber, Wire World - I actually replaced my full collection of King Corba interconnects for Blue Jeans and haven't looked back.
post #11 of 52
Awesome review Benjamin. I really enjoyed reading it. And I can't be more amazed of how many sources you have tried, even ps3 and xbox360. Oh, I suppose it was so much fun for you
post #12 of 52
Your headphone odyssey is noteworthy. You preferred the HD600 to the HD650, you found Cardas aftermarket cables improved on the Sennheiser sound, and you now have settled on higher-end Grados and the K701s. That is good color, because it suggests you prefer a forward sound.

Personally, my odyssey has gone in the opposite direction: I much prefer the 650s to the 701s and Grados give me a headache after about 20 minutes. I tried a supposedly "musical" aftermarket cable for the 650s (an Equinox) and found it made the 650s unlistenable. This suggests that the Lavry might not be a good choice for those who prefer a more tube-like, laid back sound signature.
post #13 of 52
Nice review, Now I now what to look forward to with the Seattle meet. The Lavry's are scheduled to be there and I am picking up a new source tomorrow to try it out on. Don't know what CD player I am taking home yet.
post #14 of 52
Thread Starter 
I haven't heard the Equinox so I can't comment, but I will agree that my review summarizes the Lavry DA-11 experience as a transparent device that allows you to color the experience in the speakers you apply or the external amplification if you want to color the sound in that stage, I do not - so this fits the bill perfectly. Don't get me wrong, I love a nice smooth high res sound, but I want that to come from the media or the speakers, not the source components.
post #15 of 52

Transparent

Quote:
Originally Posted by minimus View Post
... This suggests that the Lavry might not be a good choice for those who prefer a more tube-like, laid back sound signature.
Exactly, Dan is going for transparency and accuracy:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f158/a...2/#post5813299

"The DA11 is very transparent (true sounding) DAC. The headphone output is also very transparent. That is what I like. But if you are after a warm sound, you can have the DA11 drive an external warm sounding amplifier and/or headphones. With external tube amplifier, you can have both - The DA11 phone jack for transparent sound, and the external amp for warm sound."
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