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Review of the Audio-GD FUN - A modular Dac / Headphone amp / Preamp - Page 8

post #106 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pricklely Peete View Post
I think his main hesitation is threefold...cost number 1, a module like this will likely be 90-110USD. Number 2 if he spends the time and money to develop the module he needs to sell a fair number of them to recoup those costs which is totally understandable and number 3...he's worried about number 1 and 2 making the offering a losing prospect although initially there will be a number of us that will buy the module. Is that enough ? The other possible line of thinking is how much would such a DAC cut into sales of the DAC19 ? That may seem silly but IMO the FUN already competes well with the older C-2C (amp wise) so it's not a crazy thought by any means to think the DAC section thus equipped with a 2 chip pcm170UK module might give one 75% of the DAC19's resolution. IMO that's a positive for the FUN as it would clearly destroy any combo unit made today (if it hasn't claimed that spot in the under 600USD category already).

Anyway I still hope Kingwa decides to make an effort. He could adopt a group buy methodology for such a module thus guaranteeing a certain amount of money coming his way for his effort. Say lots of 10 units at a time. No discount of course.

Just throwing some thoughts and a suggestion or two out there.

Peete.
I would be game for that. I really like the FUN. I do think he owns his price point as it is now. This would kick it up a notch price wise.
post #107 of 1242
Count me in if he ever makes such a module.
post #108 of 1242
I would be with you but first I need an answer for the question I already asked in the nuforce HDP thread.
It is possible to compare an audio-gd fun with an nuforce HDP or is one of them clear better ? Thanks
post #109 of 1242
Well the HDP is pretty new, so it may be difficult to find any kind of comparison. The HDP was actually one of the Dacs I was considering initially but I didn't like some of the stuff I read up on it. The glowing reviews for the audio-gd stuff and the fact thats it's a small independent, owned by someone with some serious audio passion... more my cup of tea!
post #110 of 1242
Well thanks for everyone's input and thoughts on a PCM1704 module. Turns out its against forum rules for me to do a census on who would be interested. Either way I shot him an email and let him know that there was some genuine interest in the idea. Now I'll just keep my fingers crossed... and enjoy music until that time!
post #111 of 1242
muad: He reads the threads on his products.

I'd be interested to see the Fun + HDAM go up against a Pico DAC and AMB y2. Both are a similar price and have a good reputation.
post #112 of 1242
If you provided the two pcm1704uk chips to kingwa and the DF1704 digital filter, wouldn't he be able to replace the chips that he uses in the Fun with these?

Or is it that the Fun needs to be redesigned to accommodate the pcm1704uk?

I'm planning to get a Fun so that I can have a DAC+amplifier that I can use as I gradually buy my actual system. If anything, I was hoping that the Fun would make me forget about needing to get a better system
post #113 of 1242
Anybody owns this baby and D10? how big is the improvement over D10 with optical 24/96?
post #114 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
However, it was a totally different story when I put back the ACSS gain modules. The sound improvement was such that I found the FUN in the ACSS mode alone outperformed the FUN+C2C or the FUN alone with the musical mode.
Putting back the ACSS gain modules brought a new level of low level details, extension throughout the frequency extremes and refinement over the voltage gain modules. The sound was smooth not because it rolls the highs like the musical gain module but because it has less distortion.
Those improvements were noticeable with the FUN used as a headphone amp as well as a DAC/preamp. In fact, when I paired the FUN with the C2C headphone amp I thought for a moment that the sound was as good as I had with the dac19mk3. When I did some A/B comparisons it was apparent that the dac19mk3 still had the edge but I was impressed about how good the FUN was sounding. If I didn’t have a better DAC to compare it with, it would be hard to find weaknesses listening to the FUN alone.
This part is very interesting. I wonder what would happen if you spent 100 extra dollars on capacitors instead of the pcm1704uk module... I believe that you would have a very formidable unit.
post #115 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nautilus983 View Post
If you provided the two pcm1704uk chips to kingwa and the DF1704 digital filter, wouldn't he be able to replace the chips that he uses in the Fun with these?

Or is it that the Fun needs to be redesigned to accommodate the pcm1704uk?

I'm planning to get a Fun so that I can have a DAC+amplifier that I can use as I gradually buy my actual system. If anything, I was hoping that the Fun would make me forget about needing to get a better system
I don't think that the problem is in providing the pcm1704 chips and a digital filter. I think that it will take Kingwa a little bit of time to design and produce the pcm1704 modules.

Also, I don't think the FUN needs to be redesigned to fit the pcm1704uk chips. Hopefully, the FUN is upgradable enough that it won't be replaced any time soon. For example, if Kingwa decides to change the usb module (to a 24/96 for example), he just have to replace that specific module and keep everything else the same. Not many components have that "upgradability".
post #116 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by nautilus983 View Post
If anything, I was hoping that the Fun would make me forget about needing to get a better system
I am afraid that whatever we have there is always a better system, be it an upgrade or a newer model!
post #117 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nautilus983 View Post
This part is very interesting. I wonder what would happen if you spent 100 extra dollars on capacitors instead of the pcm1704uk module... I believe that you would have a very formidable unit.
Upgrading the capacitors will probably yield another jump in performance. I have noticed that the FUN is very sensitive to power filters and power cords, so by using high end (expensive) capacitors, it might reduce the need for those accessories.

Anyway, I think that the FUN is already a formidable unit as it is today. Once you use it as a DAC/headphone amp, you realize that you have to spend a lot on separate DACs, heaphones amps and interconnects to better its performance.

Of course, if Kingwa can make a "Signature version" with the pcm1704uk and perhaps some Black Gate capacitors, ... it might end being the ultimate one box solution.
post #118 of 1242
I'm not so sure a PCM1704 version would result in a great deal of benefit for the costs involved, especially if you're only using the built-in headphone amp. For me, the AD1852 already sounds great. Don't forget that quite a few high-end Meridian CD players used it and its measurements are excellent. I believe (though Kingwa would have a better idea to be sure) that the all-round improvements in the DAC section to the power supply and digital input sections and options made more of a difference than a different DAC chip would have.
post #119 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosgr63 View Post
I am afraid that whatever we have there is always a better system, be it an upgrade or a newer model!
That's true, but we also need to have the capacity to understand when enough is enough, or that is, when upgrading your components is yielding a different sound signature instead of a better one, and many people mix the one with the other. Moderation is the key to better sound

Otherwise, you end up either buying (if you have the possibility) or designing (if you don't have the possibility) Kondo, Zanden, or Feastrex components or speakers - people who care more about themselves than of others, sad as it is to say

Anyways, one other upgrade that I'm planning to make is replacing the volume control with an optical one - ala the Lightspeed attenuator, which is described here Lightspeed Attenuator a new passive preamp - diyAudio. It is apparently the culmination of the attenuator, where no moving contact points are present in the signal path. People have described it as "destroying" very expensive TVCs, which are supposed to be a good deal better than the DACT stepped attenuators and the like.

I think that it should probably work with the ACSS circuit, even though I would need to email Kingwa to confirm that. Here dvb-projekt (also a member of head-fi) sells the pcb - Optical Volume Control Professional PCB - diyAudio. Here he states that he will also sell the completed kit, excluding the LDRs - Optical Volume Control Professional PCB - Page 27 - diyAudio . Here instead you can get the LDRs already matched, Build An Amp . The person behind buildanamp, Uriah, Lightspeed Attenuator a new passive preamp - Page 296 - diyAudio , also sells the "Lighter Note", of which he told me in email he thinks is even better than the Lightspeed, although he didn't specify how.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
Upgrading the capacitors will probably yield another jump in performance. I have noticed that the FUN is very sensitive to power filters and power cords, so by using high end (expensive) capacitors, it might reduce the need for those accessories.

Anyway, I think that the FUN is already a formidable unit as it is today. Once you use it as a DAC/headphone amp, you realize that you have to spend a lot on separate DACs, heaphones amps and interconnects to better its performance.

Of course, if Kingwa can make a "Signature version" with the pcm1704uk and perhaps some Black Gate capacitors, ... it might end being the ultimate one box solution.
Indeed I'm going to buy a Kaplan inline power conditioner cord so that I can use it too for my other system that I'm slowly building - the Kaplan H.E. is said to be a very good power cord, better than the Lessloss and many other power cords under 1500 us dollars. It has been compared favourably to a Synergistic T3 and a Kubala Sosna Emotion (1000 USD for 6ft) - AudiogoN Forums: PC Recommendation for Furman Conditioner.

As for capacitors, people have been talking very highly of the standard Mundorf Supreme - the Mundorf silver oil and silver gold oil apparently produce a smoother sound, while the standard supreme could be taken as being harsher sounding, but only when compared to the silver oil and silver gold oil versions (here is a description of their differences Humble Homemade Hifi). Thus arrives the point, as always, where the standard Mundorf Supreme could be a better option in some systems as it would display a less colored and more neutral sound. I'm not too sure that I would want a much smoother sound - what I'm after is the most proper sound, smoothness is a desirable quality, but only if it is to be perceived as being natural.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
I'm not so sure a PCM1704 version would result in a great deal of benefit for the costs involved, especially if you're only using the built-in headphone amp. For me, the AD1852 already sounds great. Don't forget that quite a few high-end Meridian CD players used it and its measurements are excellent. I believe (though Kingwa would have a better idea to be sure) that the all-round improvements in the DAC section to the power supply and digital input sections and options made more of a difference than a different DAC chip would have.
This is great to know
post #120 of 1242
I've just received mine and plugged it in with HiFace and right now stock RCA cable (waiting for my Oyaide DR5-10), and the sound is so mesmerizing compared to my Audigy 2 ZS.
Edit : having just compared the stock RCA cable of the FUN with a "bit better than cheap" one and the difference is here, now waiting impatiently for the DR-510.

I now have to compare the stock OPA2134 and Earth module, and Audio-gd power cable to the stock one.

What setting do you use regarding gain switch?
If I use low gain setting (button pushed in) I have to raise the volume knob at 3/4 of the max with my DT880 32 Ohms, while at high gain I'm around 12h00.
By the way, except low and high gain, is there any difference using the two? I guess that both settings use ACSS and there are two to suit with cans of different impedance?
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