or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Chameleon DAC listening and modifications
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Chameleon DAC listening and modifications - Page 53

post #781 of 1144

questions questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatOMalley View Post
The differrence between the caps is like apples and oranges. The caps do something desireable. They add smooth flowing detail.

But the transformer just let's the signal through withoy any zing, or extra detail, and with a far higher level of presence.

Puit it this way. I like the the
Denon DL103 cartrdge vs the Benz ACE. The caps are like the ACE. More hyper and cooler. Tran is full as phat can get in the mids and sense a nice extended topend that has a little weight vs tons of airm the CineMag steel is denser but the midrange is more populated ... And none of this constitutes and comprerssion either.

There is a nice sense of ease when a big band just takes off or masses strings spread out. Also nice image placement on orchestral.

If you like NOS I can't see how you won't like what the transformers do.

Maybe you might want a better tranformer but once you hear one at output you will go see.
Hi Pat, I have put the Yaqin back in the chain for a couple of days, and been reminded how it lends a realistic tone to the sound image, but, also strips away too much clarity, sound stage illusion is less convincing.

The Yaquin presents a slightly blurry, nostalgic, colour picture. Sans Yaqin, the Chameleon presents a pushed, low grain black and white picture, fantastically real but monochromatic nonetheless.

What picture do the Cinemags paint for you Pat, the best of both or something entirely different again? (He asked as he edged closer to the Paypal buy button)
post #782 of 1144
Thread Starter 

Yaquin vs CineMags

I liked what the Yaquin did with the VALAB, added an increase in midrange presense. But it did the opposite with the Chameleon.

After direct coupling the Chameleon I then tried putting the Yaquin after it and it thinned things out. And what the Cinemags do is 'allow' the flow better than adding energy like the Yaquin. Also very colorful and populated midrange. I do not sense a rolled off topend, I don't see it that way. But the top does not have infinite air either. There is a texture or a weight to some topend sounds like sticks across cymbals. But sopranino saxes still call out.

I now have the Yaquin sitting there wondering if I should sell it or keep it, just in case. If I buy anotehr transport I may use it with the old CDP + VALAB for a second system.
post #783 of 1144

Hedgehog

Anybody brave enough to try a couple of these as their output TX?


'Hedgehog transformers are occasionally encountered in homemade 1920s radios. They are homemade audio interstage coupling transformers.

Enamelled copper wire is wound round the central half of the length of a bundle of insulated iron wire (eg florists' wire), to make the windings. The ends of the iron wires are then bent around the electrical winding to complete the magnetic circuit, and the whole is wrapped with tape or string to hold it together.' Wiki
LL
post #784 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood View Post
Talking about isolation psu, this is good news for those of us using any kind of usb input.

ADUM4160 from analog devices completly isolates the dac from the polluted computer power supply.

ADUM4160 | Full/Low Speed USB Digital Isolator | Digital Isolators | Interface | Analog Devices

I have ordered a completed product to use on my async device and will try it on the usb input to the Chameleon as well. I got it from here.

Ultravox - SGD60.00 : Welcome to the diyparadise e-store!

Will report back when its up and running.

With an ultra clean usb input to my async device it may even be possible to remove the pulse transformers.
Why not use one of the Analog Devices plug-n-play eval boards (link)? It comes with their associated power isolation IC incorporated, it's not a kit, and it doesn't cost much more than the Ultravox. Check the video right below the board image.

Plug-and-Play Evaluation Board

I can't seem to find a data sheet or pdf for the eval board. If one of you come across it, please post.

Been thinking... Music server > ADuM4160EBZ > M2Tech HiFace > Chameleon w/ Simple Input Board > OMFG!!!
post #785 of 1144

Chameleon simple input daughter card

Michael is interested, actually wants to offer a simple input daughter card but he's rightfully concerned that there won't be enough customer interest to offset cost of production and specifically the cost of a minimum run of PCB. That will cause the customer cost to be higher in the long run. He wants our concept of implementation in detail so a BOM can be estimated and discussion on compromises. He wants to consider modifying the panel to offer Chameleon with the simple input daughter card as an alternative model or possibly just offer the card as an additional part to established owners. At the moment he's most interested in implementation, then materials and cost will come later.

Michael wants to know desired functions, need for Toslink, the possible perspective of fulfilling it the simplest way possible.

I've already mentioned:

- A customer perspective for a simple input card for customers that have a very high quality SPDIF source and may want to place Chameleon with high end equipment.

- A want to lose the TCXO. The TCXO is already part of the existing input board.

- Keeping the pulse transformer.

- The possibility of using the existing Wolfson receiver in clock recovery mode and the possible benefit (my question) when used with a very high qaulity SPDIF source.

- The possibility of using the DIR9001 and Bill Allen and Steve Nugent's mod with pins 13 and 14 tied and connected to 3.3v. I pointed Michael to the original post in the Valab thread. I suggested that a daughter card could be made so the mod could be easily used or disconnected by jumpers or easily soldered point connections on the PCB. Also that the DIR9001 has proven itself to be an excellent receiver in the Valab but we don't actually know how it will perform against other options including the Wolfson in clock recovery mode.

- That most of us would probably consider changing the panel plate unnecessary, an unnecessary expense, and that some of the ports would simply be inactive.
_____________________________

I think it's unlikely we can prove there's a customer base to justify getting past the concept stage. The only way I can think of to prove it one way or another is to have Michael email all of his Chameleon customers and ask if they're interested. Maybe that should be the first thing done and he can ask what features they'd like to see in the simple input daughter card. It should be made clear that the simple input card is targeted at owners that will benefit from it (and why).

I made a point to Michael of looking at Chameleon as a real high end DAC possibility for people with high end systems that wouldn't want the existing input card that better suits Joe Everyman. I'll say again that even Steve Nugent has praised properly implemented SPDIF and uses it in his own equipment. You guys all know Chameleon has the potential and it probably wouldn't require every fine mod you've done to get it up there. Steve N. was impressed with a stock Chameleon with only his I2S mod stating it needs work on the highs. That's the output cap mod.

I haven't suggested it, but Michael could offer a more expensive version of Chameleon with premium output caps, the option of input cards, and sell it as a high end DAC for a lot less than the cost of a high end DAC. The premium caps would be a simple bench mod in his shop.

EDIT: These ideas can be compared to the dB Audio Labs Tranquility DAC. It's a relatively expensive ($1500) premium NOS DAC with very careful consideration given to superior design. It made a big splash at the last RMAF. It uses adaptive USB as its only input with a secret implementation that works very well. Nobody knows or is willing to disclose the DAC chip(s). We know that it uses Mundorf caps in the output. The makers are currently working on developing a model with SPDIF input because they recognize there is a market for it. They say it's taking a while to develop because SPDIF basically can suck and they want it to work as well as their USB version.
post #786 of 1144
Hi guys,

Awesome read up on the new Chameleon dac. I'm thinking of getting one to use via SPDIF out from my Marantz CD67SE player. I liked the NOS sound from the Valab dac and would like to try this updated model.
I've been looking out for one but at this stage i can only find it from the guy who sells the Valab dac via EBAY. However, my concern is that the one from Vintage Audio Lab on his pics has different output caps then the WIMA's (red ones used) from Teradak. Should i even be concerned about this or is it moot difference?

Also, talks about the upsampling board and reclocking board. If i do not wish to use either, is it as simple as removing these boards off the main pcb? I prefer not to upsample and to keep the output at 44.1khz (cd)..

thanks and sorry if these questions seem noobish. I welcome your thoughts, cheers
post #787 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by shogo33 View Post
I've been looking out for one but at this stage i can only find it from the guy who sells the Valab dac via EBAY. However, my concern is that the one from Vintage Audio Lab on his pics has different output caps then the WIMA's (red ones used) from Teradak. Should i even be concerned about this or is it moot difference?
There's a great heads up. I don't remember seeing that there the last time I looked at Valab on eBay and it hasn't been that long ago. Valab Chameleon Gotta love Kevin's English.

Those film caps might be a step up from the base TeraDak. Isn't Michael's Chameleon less expensive?

BTW, in case someone needs the direct link to Michael and TeraDak. Easy enough to Google it but here it is anyway. TeraDak Audio Electric Company

I like that full name.
post #788 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by shogo33 View Post

Also, talks about the upsampling board and reclocking board. If i do not wish to use either, is it as simple as removing these boards off the main pcb? I prefer not to upsample and to keep the output at 44.1khz (cd)..
You have to use the input board but the oversampling board is an option bypassed by jumpers. The input board (and perhaps both boards) is designed as a plug-in daughter card so it can be replaced with alternate cards (that don't exist... yet...)
post #789 of 1144
Thanks for the update and info Newk!..
post #790 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by shogo33 View Post
Hi guys,

Awesome read up on the new Chameleon dac. I'm thinking of getting one to use via SPDIF out from my Marantz CD67SE player. I liked the NOS sound from the Valab dac and would like to try this updated model.
I've been looking out for one but at this stage i can only find it from the guy who sells the Valab dac via EBAY. However, my concern is that the one from Vintage Audio Lab on his pics has different output caps then the WIMA's (red ones used) from Teradak. Should i even be concerned about this or is it moot difference?

Also, talks about the upsampling board and reclocking board. If i do not wish to use either, is it as simple as removing these boards off the main pcb? I prefer not to upsample and to keep the output at 44.1khz (cd)..

thanks and sorry if these questions seem noobish. I welcome your thoughts, cheers
I want to advice you to use the upsampling board when you want to use the chameleon with your CD67SE. Unfortunately the S/PDIF output of this player is far from clean.
I did a comparison recently between my transport and my old cd player, which is the CD67SE.



The first picture is the Advance Acoustic MCD403 transport (quite cheap but very nice build), the second picture is the CD67SE.
As you can see the S/PDIF signal of the Marantz is far from clean which will result in loss. When using the upsampling board the signal will be buffered in de fifo buffer which will (partly) remove the jitter.

p.s. The clean signal of the Advance Acoustic doesn't mean that the jitter is also low. On the other hand: Not having a clean s/pdif signal does mean that jitter is introduced during transport over s/pdif.

I measured more cd players/transports but I don't have pictures of them at hand. I have hardly seen players with a clean s/pdif output.
post #791 of 1144
Rhodes, I'm going to go the Tentlabs volume control route(had tree options; lightspeed, a TVC or this one), does it come with a schematic so I can see which resistors make sense to replace with TXs?
(don't need all 64 steps to be perfect but I guess it is a sort of three stage switch making identifying those resistors in the most used range hard to identify)
post #792 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcelnl View Post
Rhodes, I'm going to go the Tentlabs volume control route(had tree options; lightspeed, a TVC or this one), does it come with a schematic so I can see which resistors make sense to replace with TXs?
(don't need all 64 steps to be perfect but I guess it is a sort of three stage switch making identifying those resistors in the most used range hard to identify)
Well, Tentlabs can provide you the list of used resistors for their design. It is designed by Jos van Eijndhoven and the original design (and schematic) can be found here. It probably won't differ a lot from this design. Of course you can always explain what you would like to do and maybe they will provide you the schematic. If you look at the schematic you will see, it is not big science but smart thinking mostly :-)
post #793 of 1144
thnx! , yeah it is a clever design, I toyed with a similar idea using reed relays and a dedicated pair of resistors per volume step, but this is a tad more convenient.....

I put the order in and send them an email, I really do not need 4 inputs so I'll hardwire one input using HQ input connectors.
post #794 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcelnl View Post
thnx! , yeah it is a clever design, I toyed with a similar idea using reed relays and a dedicated pair of resistors per volume step, but this is a tad more convenient.....

I put the order in and send them an email, I really do not need 4 inputs so I'll hardwire one input using HQ input connectors.
Or just call them tomorrow. They are nice guys :-)
It has a dedicated direct input on the PCB so you can bypass the input selector relays.
post #795 of 1144
sounds like a deal, as I read the direct input was an optional...thnx again !
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Chameleon DAC listening and modifications