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db Audio Labs Tranquility DAC - Page 2

post #16 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xan7hos View Post
good to know, but given the nature of the members here, i feel like this is probably going to be for the most part an ignored product given our affinity for bang for the buck
"Bang for the buck" is relative, by the very definition of the phrase.

When you say "bang-for-buck", I'm afraid you actually mean "cheap." Everyone I can find that actually owns this thing (and there are quite a few over at audiocircle) seem to think that it's either a good value, a great value, or one of the best values in audio they've ever found.

I know there are some upcoming reviews for this DAC, and I brought this up with Eric when we spoke last week. He doesn't seem to care what the Tranquility gets compared to, so long as they cost considerably more than $1500. He doesn't think there's any competition under $2k and he's afraid that if it's compared to other DAC's in this price range, people won't understand how good it is.

So he's either crazy, or he's created something awesome. And so far, I haven't uncovered very many signs that he's crazy.
post #17 of 45
I have a Tranquility DAC that I've been burning in with Eric's new USB cable (he offers a one-month cable trial for DAC owners).

I have a DAC1 Pre, Pico DAC, and Oppo BD-83SE as other sources, but I've been traveling so much I haven't been able to do any real comparisons. Maybe this weekend...

I can say that Eric's customer service is excellent.
post #18 of 45
I know I am new around here, but I am slightly skeptical about this product. There are a lot of words on the page, and it talks about low jitter etc etc, but I donno..

I also dont like the fact that this review here The dB Audio Labs Tranquility DAC - Wow! was obviously written in Word and then copied into the post (as evidenced by the ? instead of ' ).
post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsegan View Post
I know I am new around here, but I am slightly skeptical about this product. There are a lot of words on the page, and it talks about low jitter etc etc, but I donno..

I also dont like the fact that this review here The dB Audio Labs Tranquility DAC - Wow! was obviously written in Word and then copied into the post (as evidenced by the ? instead of ' ).
I often wryte my posts (not this won tho) in Word and then copy as I can then doo spel-czeching and so fourth, that signifies nowt.
post #20 of 45
x2. Not so much on threads, but more so on applications/online homework

Regarding the bang for the buck comment, while I'm in no way implicating the Tranquility DAC as a poor dac by any means, it's just relative to what it offers in comparison to others -i.e. Neko, Dan Lavry, and Audio-GD, it's got stiff competition - competition that skip the audiophile fluff and just presents straight up facts.
post #21 of 45
Thread Starter 
Reviving my own thread in hopes that additional burn-in and listening time may shed more insight into the Tranquility's performance. My tax return should be here soon and a great DAC is the last piece of the puzzle for me.
post #22 of 45
Thread Starter 

Update:  I purchased the Tranquility w/ Essential cable a couple weeks ago and have it fully burned in now.  Initial impressions are great.  Unfortunately, full impressions must wait until I get my new Gallo Strada speakers next week.

 

The complete system will be as follows:

Mac Mini -- Tranquility DAC -- Virtue Sensation M901 -- Gallo Strada's

 

I have high hopes!

post #23 of 45

How the impressions coming on this dac mamba?  I am very curious.... (I am deciding if I am going to go All Audio-gd CAST/ACSS for my other speaker room. (most likely yes as it absolutely sounds amazing in my headphone rig, best I have ever heard).  

post #24 of 45
Thread Starter 
Hi TigzStudio, so far I have no complaints about the Tranquility. I have a battery supply for my amp on the way that should solve some hum issues I've been having. Until I get that problem licked, I don't feel qualified to comment. The Tranquility seems to operate at a very high level; it's been a small challenge getting the rest of my system up to equivalent performance.
post #25 of 45

I am potentialy buying this dac when my T1s sell. Reviving this to see what you think.

 

"Originally Posted by lordsegan View Post
I know I am new around here, but I am slightly skeptical about this product. There are a lot of words on the page, and it talks about low jitter etc etc, but I donno..

I also dont like the fact that this review here The dB Audio Labs Tranquility DAC - Wow! was obviously written in Word and then copied into the post (as evidenced by the ? instead of ' )."
 
 
I know tom... He wrote this review you describe. He is an honest audiophile and a good guy. I would not call him a mark twain though.
 
Thanks,
sam-fi
post #26 of 45
Thread Starter 

Hi Sam-Fi, sorry it's taken me awhile to reply.

 

I've been listening to the Tranquility for several months now, and have been pleased with it.  I don't buy dozens of pieces of gear every year, so I cannot offer comparisons to everybody elses favorite DAC's.  My last DAC was the Nuforce HDP, and the Tranquility is a very obvious step above that.  It is very natural sounding to my ears, and reproduces acoustic instrumentation wonderfully.  It can reproduce ambient atmosphere and spacial layering better than anything else I've heard.

 

I am pretty confident that with the Tranquility DAC, you can eliminate the DAC as a source of bottleneck in your system.  I was pleased with this DAC when I first got it, but the more I refine my system, the more I realize that it has much higher potential than I thought.  Example: yesterday I made 3 software tweaks to my Mac Mini to eliminate unnecessary background processes, and I experienced a jump forward in sound quality so large that I don't even need to be in the same room with the system to hear the difference.  Dynamics seemed to double; all instruments have become significantly more clear and focused in quality as well.

 

My Mac Mini still lacks a solid state hard drive and better power supply/power cable, and both these things are said to improve things even more. 
So while I'm pretty sure there's more performance in the Tranquility that I still haven't tapped, for now I'm ecstatic.

 

For reference, my system is is as follows:

 

Mac Mini (OSX 10.6.4) -- Tranquility DAC -- Virtue Sensation M901 -- Gallo Stradas

Interconnects - Virtue

USB cable - db audio labs Essential

 

Incoming mods - Pangea AC-14 SE power cable for the Tranquility DAC

                         Dodd Audio tube buffer + bypass caps for the Virtue amp


Edited by mamba315 - 8/19/10 at 12:55pm
post #27 of 45

After messing around with quite a few dacs.

 

I ended up near the beginning with a NOS tda1541a :) with correct implementation they are simply magic.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Quote:
Specially optimized NOS dac chipset (non oversampling)
I admit after reading Dan Lavry's explanation of these things and switching off the filter in the Ref 1 experimentally to see how it sounds, the idea of an expensive NOS DAC just comes across to me as insane. Mind you, I've never heard a NOS DAC so I'm talking out of my arse here.
post #28 of 45
Thread Starter 

Have had the Pangea AC-14 SE power cord hooked up to the Tranquility for a couple days now.  This seemed to make an immediate improvement, but in a week I'll be doing more back and forth switching to verify my initial impressions.  Changed some of my FLAC files over to AIFF to see if I could hear a difference since the computer would no longer have to decompress the files during playback.  Better note decay and a huge gain in "smoothness" were noticeable.  Also been trying out the Pure Music player on the Mac, which allows RAM buffered playback.  That made a huge dynamic difference over Play, and consumes half the CPU cycles in "Less is More" mode.

 

Bottom line is that the Tranquility continues to scale up higher and higher the more I tweak the transport.  SSD and power cord for the Mac are next.  After that I'm out of ideas on how to make it better, and I've already done everything else I've seen people recommend.

post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamba315 View Post

Have had the Pangea AC-14 SE power cord hooked up to the Tranquility for a couple days now.  This seemed to make an immediate improvement, but in a week I'll be doing more back and forth switching to verify my initial impressions.  Changed some of my FLAC files over to AIFF to see if I could hear a difference since the computer would no longer have to decompress the files during playback.  Better note decay and a huge gain in "smoothness" were noticeable.  Also been trying out the Pure Music player on the Mac, which allows RAM buffered playback.  That made a huge dynamic difference over Play, and consumes half the CPU cycles in "Less is More" mode.

 

Bottom line is that the Tranquility continues to scale up higher and higher the more I tweak the transport.  SSD and power cord for the Mac are next.  After that I'm out of ideas on how to make it better, and I've already done everything else I've seen people recommend.



 

The Tranquility really is that good isn't it mamba.

 

I have also been using pure music and noticed a difference for the better when set in HOG mode. 

post #30 of 45

Care to post pics of the inside of the Tranquility Dac??

 

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