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Review of Audio-GD DAC-19MK3 - Page 6

post #76 of 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
It seems that he uses different cases for each group : for example, compass; C2C, dac19mk3 and ref3 seem to use the same casing.
Part of the reason, I will probably end up getting a ref3 is because it will match physically the dac19mk3 and C2C.

By the way, Patu, which DAC is heavier/bigger ? the dac19mk3 or your Bel Canto dac3 ?
Well actually Compass isn't as high as DAC19Mk3 so it's not a matching case. Otherwise it has the same look though. I'm not sure if C2C matches Compass or DAC19Mk3. Anyways DAC19Mk3 is taller than Compass.

DAC3 weighs clearly more than DAC19Mk3, which surprised me because the transformers aren't that beefy looking in DAC3 (transformer usually brings most of the weight). So probably the casing just weighs a lot.

http://www.scullcommunications.com/p...interior_a.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
Audio-gd first started using the rounded corner cases with the phoenix, then P-2, and now roc, so it is very new design (and imo a better one). It'll probably take a year or a few years before all their products have rounded corners if they decide to go that route. I hope they do silver cases too, those look really nice in pictures.
Rounded corners is a nice touch but sadly now they don't match the rest of the line.
post #77 of 695
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link. It is interesting to see there are different design philosophie. the dac3 seems very neat inside.
post #78 of 695
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
Before you do, you should really ask Kingwa what he thinks of the dac19mk3+ref3. Because if you add up the costs, the dac19mk3+ref3 would cost almost as much as a ref 2 and you should ask if such a combo could come anywhere close to ref 2 in sound quality, at least in single-ended mode.
I asked Kingwa about that and below is his answer :
DAC19MK3 sound much different to DAC3DV or REF2. DAC19MK3 sound neutral. DAC3DV and REF2 sound a bit misical and coloration.
So there is no compare.
post #79 of 695
Whoops, tried to edit my message but accidentally replied to it.
post #80 of 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
I asked Kingwa about that and below is his answer :
DAC19MK3 sound much different to DAC3DV or REF2. DAC19MK3 sound neutral. DAC3DV and REF2 sound a bit misical and coloration.
So there is no compare.
Funny how DAC19Mk3 should be like the most neutral DAC in the world according to Kingwa.

DAC3 is way more neutral than DAC19Mk3, which has quite warm and enjoyable sound signature. What makes DAC19Mk3 better than many of its competitors, is its ability to be on the warm side without losing the attack and aggressiveness of the sound. It performs very nice with harder rock or metal tracks which have double basses and other complex passages. No muddiness or softness. As I said earlier, it's loyal to the recording.
post #81 of 695
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patu View Post
Funny how DAC19Mk3 should be like the most neutral DAC in the world according to Kingwa.

DAC3 is way more neutral than DAC19Mk3, which has quite warm and enjoyable sound signature. What makes DAC19Mk3 better than many of its competitors, is its ability to be on the warm side without losing the attack and aggressiveness of the sound. It performs very nice with harder rock or metal tracks which have double basses and other complex passages. No muddiness or softness. As I said earlier, it's loyal to the recording.
I think that each one of us has a different definition of neutral Or maybe, with Kingwa set-up using the high quality CD7 transport and his power cords, the sound might be different from what we are having in our systems. I have foud out lately, that some times the way a component is set up (platform, interconnect, power cords, ...) play a big role in the way a component sound once we get in the audiophila zone
post #82 of 695
Audio-gd put up a new description for the dac19mk3 which is less prone to misunderstanding than "monitor". But I knew after listening that there was nothing "monitor" about it in terms of "sterile", it was only monitor in terms of being like a transparent glass showing the recording and your gear

Quote:
Sound Characteristics: Delivers a neutral and faithful like sound with well expressed dynamic details.
It does not produce charming sound but offers near real sound and less coloration.
post #83 of 695
Thread Starter 
It is a good thing that Kingwa changed the description. I think that for many of us the expression "monitor" means "sterile", dry and lifeless.
The dac19mk3 is quite the opposite of that as being "analog like", with excellent low-level resolution and dynamics.
Maybe, the best way to describe it is being natural sounding ?
post #84 of 695
Thread Starter 

Watching movies with dac19mk3

I don't think I have mentioned it before but I also use my setup for watching movies and it is a great experience with the dac19mk3+ST3+HD650.
In fact, it is so good now that it has spoiled me and I am pretty much disappointed (soundwise) whenever I go to a movie theater.
post #85 of 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
I think that each one of us has a different definition of neutral Or maybe, with Kingwa set-up using the high quality CD7 transport and his power cords, the sound might be different from what we are having in our systems. I have foud out lately, that some times the way a component is set up (platform, interconnect, power cords, ...) play a big role in the way a component sound once we get in the audiophila zone
You are absolutely correct on all assumptions you pose in this post. No single tweak stands out above the rest but the cumulative effect of addressing as many as you can really does add up to a noticeable and positive improvement overall.

Peete.
post #86 of 695
mispost.
post #87 of 695
Thread Starter 
I received the C2C amp and module B yesterday and they were both very well packed and in a very good condition.

My first impressions before any burn-in :

The C2C amp is much better than the ST-3 : it has a more spacious sounsdstage and better high frequency extension without being bright. The sound signature remains pretty close to the ST-3 which is a good thing.

The Mode B : Well I wasn't expecting a big change here but I was very surprised by how much extra energy there is in the top end of the DF1704 module. It completely transformed the sound of the DAC-19mk3. However, I listened to it only for a few minutes and let it burn-in.
I also did a quick comparison between a file in 16/44 and 24/96 (I bought from Linn records) and the 24/96 was clear winner by a very wide margin.

I will give it a longer listening tonight and report back.
post #88 of 695
Thread Starter 

Mode A (PMD100) vs. Mode B (DF1704)

Mode B:
After letting the new Mode B burn-in for a little more than 10 hours while I was at work I gave it a second listen.
Well, after being initially impressed by the high frequency extension, I realized that a lot went missing since moving from mode A.
The balance of sound is very close to the EMU 0404 usb, while having a bigger soundstage, better bass and definition.
I know, that the digital module still needs a lot of burn-in, but after about an hour of listening, I got tired/bored with the "hi-fi"/"monitor" sound and swapped again mode B

Mode A:
Well back again to mode A (pmd-100) and I amazed again about how good it is sounding.
The sound is natural and well balanced throughout the sound spectrum. The soundstage is also very natural.
Mode A also conveys better the emotions of the music. There is soul to the music. It is what you would expect from a tubed output but without the coloration of the sound. The sound is delicate and beautiful.
The sound is clearly what you would expect from a well tought high-end product that doesn't try to impress you in the first few seconds, but rather tries to convey the emotions behind the music.
It is strange that I had to listen to the df1704 in order to understand how good is the pmd100 module.

Conclusion:
Having both modes is like having 2 different DACs.
I haven't realized until now how much the digital is important for the sound. In fact, I heard bigger differences between the df1704 and PMD100 than I remember haring when I used to swap opamps in the Zero dac and audio-gd DAC-100.
I am sure there are some people that might prefer in their systems the mode B (df1704) but I think that most will chose the mode B (pmd100) which is overall better as digital filter, as recommended by Kingwa.
There is only one drawback to the pmd100, it doesn't accept 24/96 files but I prefer listening to 16/44 through the pmd100 rather than 24/96 on the DF1704.
post #89 of 695

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post #90 of 695
very nice posts slim.a but may i ask something kinda irrelevant ? why don't you use media monkey + otachan instead of foobar ? have you done an A/B comparison before ? if yes then what is your take ? same question applies to anyone who has tried both
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