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Maverick Audio DAC/Amp - Page 4

post #46 of 2656
I have been listening to mine, and I've got to say that I really like the way it sounds. I think it has a somewhat warm sound, both through the headphone output, and as a preamp, which suits me just fine. I'm not a fan of the sterile or clinical sound. I've been using the tube output to drive my speakers and the ss output for the sub.

There are two issues that I have encountered with mine though:

The first is that the chassis was not square when I received it (it doesn't make contact with all four feet, one being about 1.0mm off the table). I think the design of the chassis and top cover are part of the problem, and also where the attachment screws were located also adds to this. I took the top off and the chassis itself went back into place by just twisting it a little. The problem occurs when you go to put the cover back on. I have played with it a little though, using pliers to get the stiffening flanges off of each other a little, and have gotten it pretty close to true. I may take a dremmel and open up a small relief notch between them, or perhaps just put a small washer between the foot and the chassis and solve it that way. It's hard to explain without a picture, but suffice it to say that it's not a show-stopper, at least for me.

The other issue is that, when you are using a digital source and rotate the selector switch, there is a momentary "hiss" sound that escapes, some sort of energy release. It's not horrible, but it can be annoying. It doesn't happen on the analog inputs; only with the digital ones. It seems to be tied to the DAC, but if you turn down the volume before rotating the switch, then you do not hear it. I am the only one that uses this equipment in my home, so it is not a big deal to turn it down first. If you have others that you have to remind, it may be a big issue for you. I wouldn't normally be turning it while using it, but since it is new, I have been checking the outputs against each other, single-blind style.

All-in-all, I think that for $199, it represents a really good value, especially when you back out $30 or so for shipping the unit to you. If you want to have full service and the security of a warranty behind the product, you may want to consider paying up for the Grant Fidelity version. They have more of an established business and should be in a position to give better service if you were to need repair or something, but it comes at a price. I am in a situation where every nickel counts right now, and do not feel that I have that luxury.

Ryan has been real good about answering questions and so forth, and seems like a pretty good guy. He has been trying to correct the switching issue, and if he does, then the product value on these will just go up another notch. I'm glad that I made the purchase and happy with it in-spite of the shortcomings.

So that's all I can report for now. I am still too busy to do a full write-up on this unit, but if you have any questions, post them here and I'll try to answer them. Ryan also is watching this post occasionally, so perhaps he will sign-up and answer them himself, and get to know the community here as well. That would be a real benefit for both, I think.
post #47 of 2656
What headphones do you use jmzzz01? Does the headphone amp seem like it has lots of power? Glad to hear you like it so far. So tempted, but I have so man things to buy at this point...
post #48 of 2656
I got mine this morning. For reference my headphones are Sony MDR-V6. I don't know if these are respected headphones around here but a friend recommended them and I like them. I only had an hour or so to play with the amp but this is my impression. Keep in mind of course I'm new at this and have a limited reference.

To start with my enclosure was not at all deformed as jmzzz01 observed with his. Nice looking case. Everything feels solid. I did notice the brief hiss as jmzzz01 did when changing away from a digital source but it's not a big deal. Not sure if this is important but there's a tiny hum at zero volume on any input regardless of whether or not it's connected to a source. Once the music starts you never notice it. Being an ex punker and metalhead I like loud music and the Maverick can blow my head off at half volume. Just plain loud is at 1/3 volume. I spent most of my time at about 1/4 volume. I dunno if that gives you any indication of its power. As for sound, I thought it was very clean at any volume level below bleeding ears. There seemed to be additional space to the music but this may simply be a function of being able to hear a broader range of frequencies. Live recordings sounded very good with the instruments seemingly in and around the room with me. In one case I noticed some ambient noise (foot scrape on stool, mumbling in background) in the recording that I'd never heard before. I didn't notice any additional warmth but again, I don't really have a good reference. Most of my audio comes from my computers and the Maverick is connected to my PC via the USB. No drivers required. Plug and play. Eventually I'll see if the S/PDIF connection makes any difference. Overall I'm impressed with it and I'm anxious to spend some quality time listening to my favorite tunes. Hopefully in spite of my limited vocabulary on the subject I was able to convey some useful info.
post #49 of 2656
I have HD600s. I've had the same pair for maybe 5 years now and really like them. I don't think there's anything to worry about as far of running out of volume.
post #50 of 2656
Thanks gents! Man oh man I want one. I just got a Total Bithead today and it improved the sound out of my computer, but it didn't do anythign noticeable to the sound of my Clip (which is about as good as it gets straight to efficient headphones). It has been said a couple times that my SRH840's don't really respond to amping and that seems to be the case as neither the E5 nor the Total Bithead really showed me anything noticebably new. So at this point I think I have maximized my system. I KNOW I will want a "better" pair od headphones, almost certainly the K702's, and I am looking at the Maverick to be the dac/amp that will scale up to the K702, as I am almost certain the Total Bithead will not be able to properly drive them.

Only problem is that I don't have the K702's, and I don't know when I will get them. Could be next month, or next year. But I only have a few days to decide if the Maverick will be good enough for them and then buy it, not knowing when I will have the cans to exploit it.

post #51 of 2656
Anyone know if you can the opamps are socketed? That way one could tweak the sound to match headphones better. I think that is my main concern. The AKG's are supposed to be really picky so just having the power isn't enough, there needs to be "synergy."
post #52 of 2656

dac manufacturer?

Hi, has anybody finally found out what DAC is used inside or at least how it looks like, BB, Wolfson, etc.. Thanks.
post #53 of 2656
There are pictures on the first page. This is basically the same dac/amp as the Grant Fidelity DAC-09 and the Xiangsheng DAC-01. None of them list the actual chips used. All the labels are erased on the board. The only things you have to go by are the reviews of the other two as well as the thoughts posted on this board.

Seems to be a good dac/amp for a good price. It certainly strives to do a lot for the price.
post #54 of 2656
Any ideas on changing out that tube yet? I've got mine, and I'm finding the vocals to be a little shrill, and fatiguing. anyone else get this?
post #55 of 2656
The tube can be swapped out. Pacific Valve sold an "upgraded" one with a better tube in it. I think a NOS replacement tube only costs about $10-15 on ebay and should make it sound better. It is a similar style tube to many tube amps out there so you can get some ideas of sounds from those.

Also, has it burned in yet? Everything I have read about tubes indicates a need for a burn in period.

All that being said, the headphone out doesn't connect through the tube buffer, it is straight solid state. Unless someone can confirm that, a) it uses opamps, and b) that they can be rolled, you won't be able to change the sound of the headphone out.
post #56 of 2656
well I was hoping to get like an equivalence for the tube. I'm running this on a line out to a little dot mkiii, so tube rolling is a favorite for me :-)

Tubes have a nice burn in time. Close to 100 hours. So I'm at 50 hours or so. But after 30, I always feel you can get a nice feel for the sound.

I don't know about the headphone out. I'll try to post some more impressions later.
post #57 of 2656
From the Pacific Valve website: "As we say on all of these, the Chinese supplied 6N3 tube is not worth it. It is very hard and rasps female vocals. The trouble is, there are only NOS 5670 tubes available. Go with the upgraded version and get this tube installed. It is well worth the money."

There is a seller on ebay who can hand select and test a NOS 5670 tube for something like $10 shipped if I remember correctly. You probably want to ask some of the gurus like Skylab as to what brand if you are particular.

In exchange for this information, you must give your impressions on the headphone amp
post #58 of 2656
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post
In exchange for this information, you must give your impressions on the headphone amp
But it comes with a 5670 tube in it. At least he said it did. I haven't opened it to check. I don't find your information sufficient to write up a report on the in built amp.

But seriously... what kind of headphones do you use / have you heard. And what sources, so we can compare a bit.
post #59 of 2656
Hmm. I did not know that the Maverick is already supposed to have the 5670 in it already. I thought it came basically standard with the Chinese tube. Not sure what else to say.

And I don't have this dac/amp. In fact, all I have is the Total Bithead and my SRH840's. All the info I have is from scouring the web and emailing people for information. The product is pretty well reviewed on audiokarma.org and canuckmart something or other. Not many people are using it as a headphone amp, but just as a dac or preamp. The few people who have used it as a headphone amp have said it has a lot of power, but not so much on headphone synergy.

I am looking at the DT990 600ohm or the K702 as my next headphone and am trying to speculate as to whether or not this will drive them well AND sound good. From what I understand they both need lots of power and a warmish source so I think an amp that can deliver those two things should suit either just fine.
post #60 of 2656
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post
But it comes with a 5670 tube in it. At least he said it did. I haven't opened it to check. I don't find your information sufficient to write up a report on the in built amp.
This was my impression as well although since according to Ryan at Maverick the tube does not play a part in the headphone amp so I haven't bothered looking.
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