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REVIEW (more to come) - CEntrance DACport 24/96 USB DAC Amp - Page 3

post #31 of 479

Hi guys - I bit the bullet and dropped by the importer to get a DACport today. Ran it in for 5 hours in the office to burn in, but only a short listen before heading home. When driving the notoriously difficult but wonderfully detailed AKG702 from the DACport which was plugged into my Macbook, the DACport volume control is about 2:30 pm on the dial.

 

cheers Vincent

post #32 of 479

I hope they'll have some 4sale @ Can Jam next weekend!

post #33 of 479

Very informative review, and subsequent thread. Thank you. 

Is it possible to feed the USB in of the Dacport directly from an Ipod? This would be a huge plus. If not, does anyone know of any Can Amps that have a usb in that could be driven by the USB out of an Ipod?


Edited by guerillaw - 6/7/10 at 12:38am
post #34 of 479
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by guerillaw View Post

Very informative review, and subsequent thread. Thank you. 

Is it possible to feed the USB in of the Dacport directly from an Ipod? This would be a huge plus. If not, does anyone know of any Can Amps that have a usb in that could be driven by the UDB out of an Ipod?


Nope. I even tried it with the iPad and USB camera connection kit and got no sound.  iPad is the only one Apple makes that supports USB DAC, and only when using the camera connection kit.  The iPods do not.  It seems the iPad only has drivers for 16 bit DACs.

post #35 of 479


Nope. I even tried it with the iPad and USB camera connection kit and got no sound.  iPad is the only one Apple makes that supports USB DAC, and only when using the camera connection kit.  The iPods do not.  It seems the iPad only has drivers for 16 bit DACs.

 

 

 

Thanks for the reply. This seems like a brilliant idea waiting to be executed by some smart headphone hi-fi manufacturer. If a portable product could take a USB line out directly from an Ipod or Iphone--bypassing the Ipods built-in Dacs--and amp that signal into headphones I think it would sell like mad. 

Imagine, just an Ipod, its USB cable and your headphones. Now that is portable rig. 

 

The technology is in the highly acclaimed Wadia Ipod dock, I hope someone brings it into the headphone arena. 

post #36 of 479

............."If a portable product could take a USB line out directly from an Ipod or Iphone--bypassing the Ipods built-in Dacs--and amp that signal into headphones I think it would sell like mad. Imagine, just an Ipod, its USB cable and your headphones. Now that is portable rig.  The technology is in the highly acclaimed Wadia Ipod dock, I hope someone brings it into the headphone arena. ".............................

 

While you can't do that yet, for a halfway-there improvement, I see that NuForce and HeadRoom both sell little gizmos that you plug into the bottom jack of the iPod, to bypass the iPod's amp section, and then plug into the usb or mini input of a battery-powered amp (like the Bit-Head or the iCon Mobile (or you could use it in a desk-top rig, I guess).   Having such a gizmo pass the digital signal would be awesome.

post #37 of 479


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post




Nope. I even tried it with the iPad and USB camera connection kit and got no sound.  iPad is the only one Apple makes that supports USB DAC, and only when using the camera connection kit.  The iPods do not.  It seems the iPad only has drivers for 16 bit DACs.


I spoke to Michael Goodman about the iPad issue at Can Jam.  He had explained that the issue is not really driver support, but power.  In order to drive the proprietary USB interface, it requires 9V of power, far more than the iPad dock connector can offer.  That is why quality DACs--aside from your run of the mill $10-$20 16-bit chip sets--do not run out of an iDevice unless they supply their own battery pack, such as the upcoming Algorithm Solo.

 

Michael had a sale of $50 off at Can Jam and after auditioning it, I've bought one on the spot even though I've never heard of it before.  It's my favorite DAC/Amp out of the MacBook Pro now, I enjoy it with its built-in Class A amp using TWagged JH13 or JH16s.  The quality is noticeably better than what I was able to get out of the Pico DAC-only + Protector or TTVJ Slim.  Great product, highly recommend it!

post #38 of 479
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by warp08 View Post


 


I spoke to Michael Goodman about the iPad issue at Can Jam.  He had explained that the issue is not really driver support, but power.  In order to drive the proprietary USB interface, it requires 9V of power, far more than the iPad dock connector can offer.  That is why quality DACs--aside from your run of the mill $10-$20 16-bit chip sets--do not run out of an iDevice unless they supply their own battery pack, such as the upcoming Algorithm Solo.

 

Michael had a sale of $50 off at Can Jam and after auditioning it, I've bought one on the spot even though I've never heard of it before.  It's my favorite DAC/Amp out of the MacBook Pro now, I enjoy it with its built-in Class A amp using TWagged JH13 or JH16s.  The quality is noticeably better than what I was able to get out of the Pico DAC-only + Protector or TTVJ Slim.  Great product, highly recommend it!


I agree with you on the sound - it's great.

post #39 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincents View Post

Guys - Hi - could I ask for some guidance for someone who is not so familiar with the head amp bits...

 

I have just purchased some new AKG702 (still burning in !) which many say need a good amp source. These will run nicely on my new iDecco but I also wanted something more portable for the holiday unit.  My listening is mainly female vocals, instrumental, etc and definitely not heavy rock.

 

The reviews of the Pico say it has plenty of grunt and works well with the AKG702.  Given what you know of the Pico versus DACport and the impedence etc of the AKG701/702 will the DACPort drive these fine and any other differences you expect to be noticeable ?

 

many thanks 


I am currently breaking in and getting to know a DacPort and new pair of AKG 702. For the music you listed, the pair should work perfectly. The inherent lack of power reserves and the notorius bass-lighteness of the 702 are showing through so far on bass heavy music, but in every other area the combo is stellar. A highly portable high quality rig. For the music you listed, this bass shyness should not be an issue, so it might be a good fit. You certainly cannot beat the convenience. 

post #40 of 479
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by guerillaw View Post

I am currently breaking in and getting to know a DacPort and new pair of AKG 702. For the music you listed, the pair should work perfectly. The inherent lack of power reserves and the notorius bass-lighteness of the 702 are showing through so far on bass heavy music, but in every other area the combo is stellar. A highly portable high quality rig. For the music you listed, this bass shyness should not be an issue, so it might be a good fit. You certainly cannot beat the convenience. 


That is a similar issue with the HD800 - listening to some jazz and classical, and especially stuff like my 24/96 recordings by Carla Lother or Nancy Bryan, the DACport and HD800 sounds wonderful and can even play fairly loud at 100% volume.  Normal listening for me is with the volume at 75-80%.  But with rock the HD800 demand more power and they tend to get bright and fatiguing at higher volumes.  If you push it too hard at 100% the soundstage closes in and the dynamics get a little softer.  With some of my electronic music it does better than with rock, and with Infected Mushroom or Bella Sonus it will drive the HD800 to moderately loud levels with tight snappy bass, good dynamics and no clipping - but it wont make your ears vibrate like other amps driven by AC power.

 

NEW INFO - the DACport drives the new HiFiMan HE-5 LE to sound very good, and possibly drives them better than the HD800, although not louder than HD800.  Nevertheless, the bass is a bit stronger and the HE-5 LE are not fatiguing at max volume with the DACport like the HD800 can be with some music.  I like these HE-5 LE much better with rock on the DACport.  The DACport had a bit of difficulty driving the original HE-5 because they demanded a lot of current.  While the HE-5 LE are still very inefficient, the higher impedance is a better match with the DACport and I can turn it to max volume with moderately loud sound, and not over-drive the DACport's amp section. (note - HE-5 LE with stock cable but grill clothe removed)

 

And, I'm still using the DACport as a 24/96 DAC/pre-amp to feed my Audioengine A2, because it's easy to hear the improvement in sound over driving the A2 directly from the Macbook Pro headphone out. So you could easily use it as a source to feed a more powerful portable amp too, like the RSA Protector in balanced mode.

post #41 of 479

Larry - Hi

 

Any comment on how it might compare to the Matrix dac-hamp ?  Also CEntrance are releasing the DACmini - will be very interested to hear your reviews if you get one to review.

 

cheers Vincent

post #42 of 479
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincents View Post

Larry - Hi

 

Any comment on how it might compare to the Matrix dac-hamp ?  Also CEntrance are releasing the DACmini - will be very interested to hear your reviews if you get one to review.

 

cheers Vincent


I have no experience with the Matrix, so I can't say.  If I get a chance to try the DACmini I'll be sure to post my thoughts about it.  I expect it to sound just as good, but hopefully with a little more power for some full size phones.

 

post #43 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post



 So you could easily use it as a source to feed a more powerful portable amp too, like the RSA Protector in balanced mode.


Using the DACport as a preamp to the Protector is an awesome combination, especially with a TWag mini-to-mini in between them and TWagged JH13/16 hooked up to the Protector.  Best of both worlds.

post #44 of 479

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post #45 of 479
Thread Starter 

At the Colorado meet this weekend we'll be using my DACport as preamp into a Travagans Red, to drive gspot's Stax SRD-6/SR-Lambda.  I have a special ALO Audio cable with 1/4" plug for the DACport output and RCA plugs to connect to the amp.

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