Wow, looks nice. I wonder if it is based on the gigawork board with optional tube buffer that I saw on ebay. There is a thread about it here. If it is, the chips look to be pretty good, but the board might now be as nicely put together as some. The case certainly looks pretty and above the Zero. I think it looks nice than the Compass, but only time will tell if is actually better.
Please post pictures and impressions when you get it in. This seems to be exactly what I am looking for which means there is probably something wrong with it...
I got an email back from Ryan, who is the owner?/operator? of Maverick audio about the components. He sent a picture of the insides (that tube looks cool ), but said he would prefer not to disclose the D/A chip to protect his design from cloning. Pretty understandable considering how crowded the value market is getting. Doesn't help us estimate the sound quality, but it is a start. I have also encouraged him to join our forum here to get to know us, what we are looking for, and to allow us to get to know him. Here is the email and the pic he sent me. Hopefully someone with knowledge of the interiors of these things can take a peek and make some educated guesses for newbies like me.
"We only use audio grade components in our DAC. For examples, R-core transformer, metal film resistors, ceramic capacitors and Japanese audio grade Rubycon capacitors, high quality cable with silver shield are used in the DAC.
Attached is an internal picture of our DAC. Please note it is all made by hand, it doesn't look as good as those PCB boards made by SMT machine, but you can not make an audio grade product by using "SMT friendly" components.
I will not be able to disclose the DAC chip model used in our DAC (to avoid other vendor to copy our design). We believe the analog output stage is as important as DAC chip. Ultimately, the digital sound will go through the analog output stage, same chip might sound completely different go through different analog output stage. We have spent a great deal of effort to design the analog output stage and we are very confident that our DAC sounds at least as good as some much expensive models."
PS. If anyone could use a higher resolution image and not the resized one, let me know and I can email it to you.
I'd do it but I have no reference point outside of a Fiio E5 and my heaphones aren't really even midfi (HD25, AD700). Plus I think I might be on the smallest budget out of all Headfiers right now and can't really risk it. But goodness knows I want to.
Ryan @ Maverick audio says they have spent quite some time developing this and have only just released it which is why it is so cheap right now.
Not disclosing what D/A it uses is bogus. As it's been said already on Head-Fi repeatedly, cloning a DAC is far more involved that just using the same parts. And if an engineer wanted to clone it, he could figure it out anyways.
So if anyone wants to purchase, I'd personally wait until more information can be found about the DAC/Amp. Starky thinks it's a Sheng DAC-01 clone... personally would want to know what I was buying.
For me as I been reading more about computer as source, jitter is far more of an issue than I believed. So for me personally I'd definitely would want to know if it used the digital receiver as a soundcard does that has more than 700ps jitter or if it uses a DIR9001 or a Wolfsen with 50ps or if it uses a CS chip with minimum of 200ps. I don't fully understand all the details but what I've attempted to glean so far has opened my eyes a lot. For any DAC used with a computer as source, I would want to know exactly what D/A and digital receiver and type of reclock it uses or an explanation of how the engineer tackled that issue. Check out Lavry's sponsor forum for more information, I'm still trying to understand it all.
As someone mentioned before even HeadRoom and other companies provide great pictures of interiors and go into detail of what parts are used and how they addressed various issues. And these DAC's cost far more than this one. I don't accept the excuse for worrying about a clone as a legitimate excuse to keep a potential customer in the dark.
I 100% agree. A lot more goes into cloning a dac than knowing what dac chip is used. There are many dacs that uses both the same chip and digital receiver, but sound very different. I think it's deceptive not to let the customer know what they are buying. I think he has already lost some potential customers taking this approach. I was interested in biting the bullet and trying this one out, but not anymore.