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Maverick Audio DAC/Amp - Page 61

post #901 of 2616
I may get chastized for this but I figured a WTB post isn't a conflict of interest. I'm looking to buy a D! new version of the Maverick to take to meets for others to compare it side by side with the Zero and Compass I already have.
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f42/wt...ac-amp-469834/

MODs please free to delete if you feel this is improper.
Boomy
post #902 of 2616
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajuztam View Post
imported and piad 18 euros customs to DHL.

tested a couple of different opamps and found AD8599 for analog out and 627BP for headphone amp sound a lot better than stock ones.
I know there's only 2 opamps and one of them is for the DAC so... I'm not sure what you're saying. I don't think the analog out uses a opamp but I could be wrong on that.

& Hi Boomy Still got your Zero huh? I don't think the Maverick has been around long enough to have people wanting to re-sell theirs, I could be wrong though. There's either DOA ones (haven't heard of any) or people that are still listening to it. Good luck though.
post #903 of 2616
Thanks.. Just thought I'd give anybody suffering from upgraditis a chance to sell me thiers before I have Ryan ship out a new one.
post #904 of 2616
Ah, well, in case you haven't read the entire thread, there's technically 3 versions out.

The first is the basic unit without opamp sockets (probably the one you would receive if you bought a used one).
The second has a design change including a line-in jack in the front and opamp sockets (has been out for maybe a month and a half?).
The third has the gain mod added.

I believe the 3rd is shipping now but I would ask Ryan before ordering just in case he has a few of the old ones left.
post #905 of 2616
I think I may just " Bite The Bullet" and get the newest version new from Ryan. I really want to be able to give the people at the meet a chance to hear the latest version side by side with the Zero and Compass.
post #906 of 2616
I took my D1 to a SMAC(Southeast Michigan Audio Club) meet yesterday and there where 20 guys there that all liked it. I thought a friend of mine was going to bring over a Raytheon and WE 5670 tubes but he forgot them.

we A/B the D1 with a very expensive Rotel tube CD player. We were playing the CD and a laptop hooked up to the D1 playing the same song in FLAC. Everyone agreed the D1/laptop sounded better than the CD player.

Ryan: you should have some orders coming your way!!!

I am in the middle of designing and building a 6SL7/GM70 SET amp so the opamp upgrade will have to wait. That said, I'm not sure it needs it. I am digging this little guy as is. Cheers.
post #907 of 2616
Thanks Danny. I am starting to understand what you said. I am an old vacuum tube guy so the whole digital music server is new to me. Also, I really like my headless computer next to my system going into my D1. Sounds better than my CD player. Didn't mean to be snippy. I just reread my post and it sounded that way.

Anyway, thanks for the explanation. Cheers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyBuoy View Post
Sorry that my message seemed to be aimed to helped you in great detail, it was not meant that way. I had read several threads where people seemed to be grasping at understanding what they should focus on and believe in from people suggesting upgrades and tweaks and my hope was to give them feedback to do the listening themselves and reach their own conclusions.

That said, you question about volume is a good one because it is easy to think of the software in Windows not getting involved in the signal path since we are sending 1's and 0's through the USB to the external sound card/DAC.
Truth is though that we are not sending the FLAC or MP3 file through the USB port as we would if we were say copying a file to an external drive.

What we are doing is we are opening the audio file (say MP3) in Media Monkey as a buffered data stream. That data stream is handled by your DSP setting of let's say Direct Sound. Direct Sound is handed the data stream header packets and identifies information about the file that helps it determine what it should do with it. It checks your audio device you set in Media Monkey and reads that it supports 24 Bit/96 KHz and it begins to convert the buffered data stream into data packets which include clock timing info, USB packet data and of course your digital audio and sends it to your chosen audio device (USB Sound card).

In the features included with the DSP you choose whether it be Direct Sound, WASAPI, KMixer or whatever, you have a set of filters, transitions, and among many other things volume settings that can be exposed and manipulated.

So while it appears that we are bypassing Windows when we connect a USB DAC the truth is we are just extending out our sound card from being an on-board or PCI based device subject to all the EMI and RF issues of having the sensitive audio device crammed into your PC (as well as the lower quality components) to having it tethered off the USB port.

And this is why we have issues with jitter on the USB port (I don't have any audible jitter but I am using Direct Sound and a $5K 8-core workstation) because we are sending musical information in data packets in real time from Media Monkey's DSP to the USB port and reassembling the info from data into an analog tone while trying to keep the timing of the waveform in tack with all the variations that can happen in a time slicing based operating system. As systems get faster and with 2008 and Win7 there is better dedication to the threads (strands actually) that are dedicated in sending data or running the DSP (which the replacement for Direct Sound handles nicely as they splintered off from being part of the DirectX subsystem).

Hmmm...looking back across this, I hope I addressed your question this time and did not miss the mark again!

Take care.
post #908 of 2616
Well, though I have not pulled the trigger yet, I have decided to stick with the maverick D1 as my first amp when I'm done saving up for it. Even after a lot of people gave me plenty of good suggestions it came down to this and the hifiman EF2. The deal breaker was the diversity of the D1 and the ability to be future proof. If I ever wanted another amp in the future, this could still be a standalone DAC. That and the combo of solid state and tubes gives me a chance to try two kinds of amp sound. The DAC in the D1 also seemed to have stronger approval than the EF2. All and all, I just couldn't say no to this beauty. Next step is the D1 and a new pair of headphones that offer me a different side of sound and a more "fun" listening experience.
post #909 of 2616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollonius of Perga View Post
I run my Maverick into an integrated amplifier from the tube out, mostly to run my speakers. But sometimes I use headphones through my integrated's headphone amp. Works very well, and I can definitely hear the difference from the Maverick's own (un-tubed) headphone amp.
Thanks for the input, I figured this much but I wasn't completely sure.
post #910 of 2616

Update

I've been playing around with my D1 for almost two weeks now, and I'm ready to post my final conclusions. Hint: I like.

My "old" setup was a Sony DVD player patched through a Behringer equalizer and then input into my amp. The combination of my speakers and DVD player as my music system left the music a little wanting. It sounded dry, muffled, flat, and too bright. The sound stage was only as big as the speakers. So, I patched the equalizer so I could custom edit certain bandwidths to make the music more listener friendly. While this helped and was more tolerable, it wasn't what I would call accurate or pure.

So, then I added the D1. I ran the DVD player into the D1 to do the D/A conversion. This immediately helped, although small and subtle. When I hooked in the D1, I decided to still patch in the equalizer because it had a tone defeat button, so I thought I could just hit the button to hear a pure D1 signal and then compare it to my own custom edited sound.

The D1 did help. Sounds were more laid back. The sound stage was a little better. The D1 did make subtle changes. They were changes for the better, but still nothing to send home postcards about.

Then, this weekend, I was playing around with my system. I decided to put better audio interlinks between the D1 and my amp and speakers. Then, I decided to not run cables through the equalizer.

This made a huge difference. I did several other tests and configurations, including using the equalizer and not using it.

The bottom line is this: While the equalizer helped my system at first to make the best of a flat on board DVD DAC and bright speakers, the equalizer became the weak link in my D1-based system. It was literally a signal stealer. It noticeably degraded the audio signal.

When not using the equalizer, and running the tube-out into my amp, the sound is much better. It sounds more natural. It sounds more pure. While I'm still limited by not using $4000 speakers, I think my system is as good as it can be. The D1 really does bring out the best in my system.

The sound stage isn't wider from left-to-right, but it's definitely thicker. I can hear and feel all kinds of sounds between me and the speakers. Before adding the D1 (and then when using the D1 with the equalizer), the sound stage had no thickness. The sound was only "on" the speakers.

Voices are more clear. Before, they were buried in the background tones. Now, there is clear separation from the background music.

The bass isn't as overpowering. Before, I cranked up the 60 hz equalizer slider to hear some bass (it was a poor signal). Now, the bass is there, is more refined, but does not overpower. This is more musical. It's how the artists intended their music to be.

I don't have all the terminology and lingo, but in the end, the way my system is set up is more musical. More pure. More like what the artists intended it to. I did some comparisons, and it's now very close in sound to using headphones. Everything seems balanced and like it should be.

So, the take home lesson is this:
Signal-robbing devices like patched-in equalizers and lower quality interconnects really do make a difference. Ditch those possible sources of degradation to really get the most out of your D1. I never thought interconnects made a difference on sub-$4000 systems. I thought wrong. Now my system is singing.
post #911 of 2616
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post
So, the take home lesson is this:
Signal-robbing devices like patched-in equalizers and lower quality interconnects really do make a difference. Ditch those possible sources of degradation to really get the most out of your D1. I never thought interconnects made a difference on sub-$4000 systems. I thought wrong. Now my system is singing.
As someone on this thread suggested many pages ago, mid-fi is a much bigger step up from lo-fi than from mid-fi to break-the-bank hi-fi. Good quality interconnects can make a very noticable difference from the crappy ones that come with consumer grade components. But the differences between $40 and $400 interconnects are probably much harder to hear.
post #912 of 2616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollonius of Perga View Post
As someone on this thread suggested many pages ago, mid-fi is a much bigger step up from lo-fi than from mid-fi to break-the-bank hi-fi. Good quality interconnects can make a very noticable difference from the crappy ones that come with consumer grade components. But the differences between $40 and $400 interconnects are probably much harder to hear.
I went from the $0.05 interconnects that come with consumer electronics to the "premium" $2.00 interconnects from Monoprice, which by all accounts are the same cable type and quality as those $40 "Monster" cables. I can definitely hear a difference. But, like you said, with my system, I would never hear the difference when using $400 interconnects.
post #913 of 2616
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post
I went from the $0.05 interconnects that come with consumer electronics to the "premium" $2.00 interconnects from Monoprice, which by all accounts are the same cable type and quality as those $40 "Monster" cables. I can definitely hear a difference. But, like you said, with my system, I would never hear the difference when using $400 interconnects.
Didn't know about Monoprice. Their products look pretty good. I saw that they sell the same optical cable that I got from Parts Express for about $5.00 and seems to be of rather good quality -- sounds great at least!
post #914 of 2616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollonius of Perga View Post
But the differences between $40 and $400 interconnects are probably much harder to hear.
More like nonexistent.

I want to make this extremely clear. If you're buying interconnects to make your mid-fi system sound better, skip it.
post #915 of 2616
I came across another thread where they made custom icons for Windows Vista/7's sound panel. I thought I would share the one I made for the D1:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/wi...ml#post6364286


*EDIT*
Back on the topic. I was feeling crafty and decided I needed some nicer interconnects since the ones I had patched were ones that I had laying around. So I made a Markertek order and dropped $25 on parts to build me a DIY SPDIF with RG-6 and Neutrik RCA connectors, mini-RCA analog with Mogami Neglex and Neutrik connectors, and 12' headphone extension cable again with Mogami Neglex and Neutrik connectors. I don't know if they make a difference but in doing that I know I won't get upgradeitis at least for a long time since I know I not only spent money but time on them I mostly bought them since I had never really made cables before and thought it would be fun, also now I have cables the exact length I need.
Here's a pic of my D1 cable lines if anyone is interested:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/464376/websi...o/DSC05219.JPG
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