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Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1 (DAC/Amp) - Condensed FAQ and Info Thread - Page 4

post #46 of 710
Thread Starter 
Mambosenior, thank you I get excited when people such as yourself appreciate this thread. When people come forward and say that they appreciate it and made an informed purchase because of it, it makes it all worthwhile. I don't know how much more I can add/update to it but I'll go through it again
post #47 of 710
Just popped in a NOS GE 5670W today. What a nice improvement. Definitely smoother and more lush than stock tube. Highly recommended. Cheap and easy to do!
post #48 of 710
Ordered 2 NOS GE 5670W ($5.50/ea), although the Chinese tube has not been a turkey.

So far the D1 sounds astonishing. At the moment: MBP ---> Trends UD 10.1 (Locus Design "Polestar") ---> Maverick D1 (Coax 1.5.m - Virtual Dynamics) ---> DV 3322 (upgraded tubes) ---> HD-800. I stuck the Trends in there just for curiosity's sake, although, maybe, I can detect a slight improvement with it. (That "maybe," is "very" maybe.)

Enormous sound stage (well, the HD-800 contributes to this also), great imaging, and non-digitatis. Has impressed me enough that I am thinking of buying a second one for another system.

Wow! A hell of a surprise.
post #49 of 710
Mambosenior: your setup is quite interesting. It appears that you use D1 as a pre-amp and use Trend for DAC ? Also, I assume you used the tube output of D1 to connect to DV3322 ? Any comparison between the D1 headphone amp vs. DV3322 output ?

Thanks
post #50 of 710
sfrancis,

The Trends is the "transport" (if you will) the D1 is the DAC (bypassing the volume pot), and I am using the tube output into the DV which controls the volume (cabling I've tried is Ridge Street "Poiema!" and Pure Note "Paragon Enhanced." Prefer, so far, the RS).

The sound from the D1's headphone output is only the SS. When I first tried it, it had excellent sound but the soundstage was more front-back with limited width. I attributed that to the unit being new. It definitely runs my HD-800 (stock cable) with authority, though--top volume setting I could listen at without being forced to reveal my wife's true age from the torture--was 9: - 10:.

I'll connect a cheapo headphone to the D1 soon and see how much it improves with time. Will report later on that. I am also going to try it soon as a full preamp, with a Threshold 400A amp pushing a classic pair of KEF monitor speakers. (I doubt that this last idea would produce good results but I am curious.)

Will also attempt (I am, by nature, too emotional to be a good reviewer) a comparison between the D1 and my only other DAC I have around at this time, the Paradisea 3 (WE tube). Maybe it's the "new toy" syndrome but I haven't hooked up the Paradisea since the D1 showed up.
post #51 of 710
Thanks, Mambosenior. Does not have a good grasp about sound stage yet but I'm curious how my HD650 will sound with a tube amp. Will be interested in your results about using D1 as preamp, headphone amp and DAC.

One question: how does the tube in D1 interact with the tube in DV3322 ?

BTW, I guess you are aware that the gain setting that comes with D1 is still a bit high. I have to change 2 resistors to lower that. See the main post.

Last, I wonder if we should carry this discussion in the main thread ...
post #52 of 710
sfrancis,

My first headphone was the HD-650. The DV 3322 is glorious with that 'phone! In fact, I was itching to buy the DV337 (bigger is better, and all that malarcky) for the HD-800 but the 3322 has been so faultless that my "itch" has gone away. (By the way, my unit never had or developed hum, or other sonic disorders.)

I did read (somewhere?) about the gain being too much in the D1. But mine--arrived a week ago--doesn't seem to suffer from that malady. (Huh!) In other words, I am getting no distortion and can find a good listening spot on the gain pot with any recording or sound file (flac). Could this problem have been resolved on the newer-built units? Maybe Ryan could answer this.

I wasn't aware there was another thread for the D1 since I landed on this one in my search for enlightenment. (Spanky seems to have enumerated all pertinent facts about the D1 except, maybe, the unit's religious affiliation.) If we should transfer this discussion to another Head-Fi train track, let me know which one.
post #53 of 710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambosenior View Post
I did read (somewhere?) about the gain being too much in the D1. But mine--arrived a week ago--doesn't seem to suffer from that malady. (Huh!) In other words, I am getting no distortion and can find a good listening spot on the gain pot with any recording or sound file (flac). Could this problem have been resolved on the newer-built units? Maybe Ryan could answer this.
Most likely you received one of the gain modded ones. I think Ryan reduced the gain by 30 or 40%, I can't remember which.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambosenior View Post
Spanky seems to have enumerated all pertinent facts about the D1 except, maybe, the unit's religious affiliation.
LOL I just had to quote that and put it in my signature
post #54 of 710
Mambosenior: main thread is here:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/mav...4/index88.html

I did measure the resistance of stock R54/R55 on my D1, which according to Ryan has already been reduced. It's 15k ohm. Still a little high for my like. After changing it to 4.75k, I find it's more acceptable.
post #55 of 710
sfrancis,

Thank you for the link. Will follow discussions there with interest.

Spanky,

If mine is one of the lowered-gain units: would it have enough gain to drive an amp and speakers? If not, I'll have Ryan adjust this on the next unit I order so I don't have to mess with the one I have now.
post #56 of 710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambosenior View Post
Spanky,

If mine is one of the lowered-gain units: would it have enough gain to drive an amp and speakers? If not, I'll have Ryan adjust this on the next unit I order so I don't have to mess with the one I have now.
Um, this is pure guesswork on my part but, the gain that's modded is for the headphone out, I don't think it would be ideal to hook up another amp via the 1/4" jack. I think you would want to use the tube preamp out in the back. As for speakers, I don't think this unit is meant to drive them directly, which again, you would hook them up to the tube preamp out, not the 1/4" headphone jack.
post #57 of 710
Spanky,

Thank you for letting me know that only the headphone gain is affected with the mod. I was thinking that it would impact ALL the outputs. I just tried it using it as a DAC/preamp with a Threshold 400A driving KEF 103.2 speakers. To get satisfactory volume with some classical music files, the gain was 2:. On rock music files, 12:-1: was the average setting.

The staging was as impressive as with the HD-800, however, I am not sure that the D1 has the right synergy with this particular amp-speaker set-up. I believe that I am hearing an element of strain associated with the presentation. (After the tube swap, I'll try this again.)
post #58 of 710
Has anyone explored the possibility of impedance-matching the Maverick (used as pre-amp) to an amplifier?

I could realistically get rid of my preamp altogether, but I'm hearing stories from someone with similar gear claiming that using the Maverick as the pre made the music sound flat & uninspiring, lifeless. That description could mean poor impedance matching between the pre & the amp.

Anyone want to take a shot at this?
post #59 of 710
I didn't hear any unpleasantness listening to the D1 as a preamp. The Threshold and KEF speakers are very fine pieces (old fashioned, maybe), and have interacted well with other preamps (previously, with a modified ARC SP-8). My only concern about the D1 is that it doesn't have sufficient gain (impedance matching here?). The music, however, sounded just as spacious and pleasing as through the HD-800. I am wondering whether my perceived "strain" that I mentioned may be due to "knowing" that the gain is set that high.
post #60 of 710
Hi Spanky, I am a bit confused with the layout of which op amp goes where. This is from your first post.

Opamp Swapping: (DAC [U5] - Headphone Amp [U6] - Result)
LT1364CN8#PBF --- LM4562NA/NOPB - Less shrill, more detailed bass, very low DC offset. Warning: The LT1364 is a high-speed opamp and may get warm or have potential to overheat. There are no reported problems but for those handy at DIY, a custom heatsink may be desired.
OPA627 ----------- N/A ------------- Clean and laidback. Great for grainy/bad recordings.
N/A --------------- AD823 ---------- Forward and in your face. Good for laidback or warm headphones. DC offset warning: 120/180mV
N/A --------------- LME49720 ------- Neutral and natural. DC offset warning: 120/180mV

Are the two colums supose to be under the DAC and Headphone headings on top? If so, I think the shift in visual alignment and all the dashes are throwing me off....can't help it, I'm an very visual person. If so again, would this work better?

Combination of DAC and Headphone OpAmps

LT1364CN8#PBF (DAC) and LM4562NA/NOPB (headphone) - Less shrill, more detailed bass, very low DC offset. Warning: The LT1364 is a high-speed opamp and may get warm or have potential to overheat. There are no reported problems but for those handy at DIY, a custom heatsink may be desired.

DAC OpAmp only, position [U5]

OPA627 - Clean and laidback. Great for grainy/bad recordings.

Headphone OpAmp only, Position (U6)

AD823 - Forward and in your face. Good for laidback or warm headphones. DC offset warning: 120/180mV

LME49720 - Neutral and natural. DC offset warning: 120/180mV

Anyway, great job on compiling all this data in one spot. Cheers.
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