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REVIEW (more to come) - CEntrance DACport 24/96 USB DAC Amp - Page 31

post #451 of 472
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe Tag View Post

Yes, the DACport has an amp... but the DACport LX is just a pure DAC. Why does it need an amp? The role of the DAC is to deliver low level signal into the actual amp, in my case a Tralucent T1. 

 

Are you saying that, the DACport LX, even though its small, its really a desktop amp. Even though it looks portable, its not. Its actually a desktop amp, that sucks down a full 2.5 watts... 500 milliamps at 5V. It just happens to be small, but we shouldn't be fooled by its size into thinking its portable. And since its not portable, and would be used on a desktop, they don't care about USB OTG which comes with Android phones. What about tablets though? I guess they don't care about tablets either. 

 

Yeah I will look into the Glacier or the Leckerton. Or just a portable DAC. Don't need the amp part, already have the Tralucent, which runs cool and delivers more than enough amplification. Still not clear why a D/A converter burns more power than an amp, or why it even needs an amp. 

 

If you only need a DAC I can recommend the Stoner Acoustics UD100 that work great on my Samsung S3 with OTG cable. It only does 16 bits/44.1 no 24 bits here.

post #452 of 472

The Dacport it is then. Cos i carry my macbook to the office, and at home upstairs and downstairs (the studio is downstairs). And i cant keep lugging a desktop amp and dac, its bad enough that i have to lug my grado sr325i (but thats just me bitching). I have power sources on all three venues. Guess i do need an integrated amp for the dac

post #453 of 472
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinteddy7 View Post

The Dacport it is then. Cos i carry my macbook to the office, and at home upstairs and downstairs (the studio is downstairs). And i cant keep lugging a desktop amp and dac, its bad enough that i have to lug my grado sr325i (but thats just me bitching). I have power sources on all three venues. Guess i do need an integrated amp for the dac

 

The DACport is a great device for between office or just easy to relocate in the house. I use my DACport everyday at work and carry it back home everyday. The DACport work great with Grado sound. I recommend the 1 Ohm output option for better bass but the standard still good. I use my DACmini with 1 Ohm option with my SR325.

post #454 of 472

Testing the Dacport with volume control (not LX) and a bit surprised. 

 

I tested them with two headphones: 

1. HD650

2. ZMF Modified Fostex T50RP. 

 

I do not listen to music very loudly so both have MORE than enough volume - my knob is about at 50% to 60%.   However, the T50RP sounds TERRIBLE (weak, thin, distant, lacking bass punch etc)  while the HD650 sounds wonderfully warm and huge with wide soundstage.  Almost too warm - unlike my desktop unit that has much better resolution and transparency.  So it is very litenable with the HD650. 

 

Volume is not the problem.  So why does this not drive the Fostex T50RP?

 

I'm looking for a solution for my travels and the Dacport was going to be it. 

 

Thanks,

UL

 

ps: This thing sure runs HOT!!  Does that not affect its long term durability?

post #455 of 472
No issues with durability/longevity that we know of. DACports have been in loyal service since 2009 and we don't see them coming back for repair that much. They just work.

For truly portable applications with laptops and iPhones, check out the brand-new HiFi-M8.
Edited by mgoodman - 7/21/13 at 12:39pm
post #456 of 472
I don't know for sure, but your HD650 might be more efficient (requiring less power) than the T50RP. It's possible the DACport just doesn't have enough powe for the T50RP. Your description of its sound supports my suspicion.

If you are using a laptop, try improving the current supplied to the DACport by...

1) blacking out your laptop display
2) reading music from an SD card reader instead of from the hard drive
3) plugging into mains power
4) unplugging other USB-powered devices
5) trying different ports for the DACport
6) use external power: http://www.head-fi.org/t/615548/do-the-dacport-and-the-dacport-lx-really-sound-different/20_20#post_9292387
7) get a portable amp

Regarding heat - that's normal for these Class A DACports. :-)

But I believe longevity could be improved by running cooler with a heat sink, as shown at the link, above. My DACport runs a LOT cooler on the passive heat sink.

Mike
post #457 of 472

Quick update.  I think it is the USB source.  Swapping laptop, the T50RP sounds fine. So I think it was a temporary mismatch due to the USB of the original laptop not providing enough power. 

 

This sounds remarkably nice, for how small it is, with the HD800.  Yes, it does not have the last word in detail but there's a warmth and width of soundstage that is pleasant and listenable - takes the edge off the HD800 which I'm not sure I like. I could wish for a bit more edge detail without loosing too much of the warmth it imparts to the HD800.  Decent enough for a travel rig. 

 

Thanks,

UL

post #458 of 472

Hey, I'm glad you figured out where the noise was coming from - and that you like the performance you're now getting.  

 

Mike

post #459 of 472

Thanks zilchOmd.

 

Now I wonder if they can improve the amp section of the Dacport so that its resolution matches that of the LX - in other words, get closer to the DAC's potential.  Perhaps a Dacport II.

 

UL

post #460 of 472

UL,

 

That's appealing, but I don't think they could make that happen without using external power - something that can provide more current than what can be pulled from a USB port.  I'm conjecturing that the DACport's "fuzziness" relative to the LX with an external amp, is due to insufficient power - an inability to tightly control the motion of transducers, except perhaps with efficient IEMs.

 

It's pretty impressive just as it is, though.

 

Mike

post #461 of 472

Actually, our DACport LX is using the same exact amp as our regular DACport, only fixed at line level. The only thing that could make any difference is the fact that the signal has a potentiometer in the signal path with DACport. People claim to be able to hear that small difference when DACports output level is matched to LX.

 

-Kenny

post #462 of 472

Thanks Kenny!

 

Even so, would you agree that a DACport might sound as if it has less resolution than a DACport LX + Meier Stepdance, for example, when driving power-hungry headphones that can't be tightly controlled by the DACport's amp (running on USB power)? 

 

Given that the DACport and DACport LX have the same internal amp section , but the latter without a volume pot, I would think it would be very hard to detect a difference in resolution using efficient IEMs - where the DACport's amp has sufficient power to compete with DACport LX + Meier Stepdance, for example.

 

Mike

post #463 of 472

Tanks Kenny.  Did not realize that the manufacturer is on this thread.  Excellent. (I've not read through everything.)    Super.

 

Yes, based on my reading, there seem to be pretty good agreement that the LX has more resolution.  And that is really the only thing that I would wish more of from the Dacport..  It is already pretty remarkable for its size compared to my full sized rig.

 

Thanks,

UL

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksef10 View Post

Actually, our DACport LX is using the same exact amp as our regular DACport, only fixed at line level. The only thing that could make any difference is the fact that the signal has a potentiometer in the signal path with DACport. People claim to be able to hear that small difference when DACports output level is matched to LX.

 

-Kenny

post #464 of 472
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Thanks Kenny!

 

Even so, would you agree that a DACport might sound as if it has less resolution than a DACport LX + Meier Stepdance, for example, when driving power-hungry headphones that can't be tightly controlled by the DACport's amp (running on USB power)? 

 

Given that the DACport and DACport LX have the same internal amp section , but the latter without a volume pot, I would think it would be very hard to detect a difference in resolution using efficient IEMs - where the DACport's amp has sufficient power to compete with DACport LX + Meier Stepdance, for example.

 

Mike

Yes, there are some limitations that exist when running from USB power.

 

Many people have noted that our DACmini, while having a similar sound signature, has a more powerful and controlled low end compared to DACport. That is due to the fact that it runs off of wall power and has more juice to use.

 

-Kenny

post #465 of 472

Kenny and All,

 

yes, I'll second that motion.  as I'm an owner of the DACport (on the go) along with a DACmini CX at my primary desk.

both can drive my HD600 well, and on the rare moments to listen super-critically some ears would be able to pick out the low end difference you mention.

(track and source dependent of course, etc etc.)

 

the whole "USB Power" limitations for DAC/Amp in relation to sound quality-->HP  would vary between vendor I'd suspect.  

there are some early raves about the Concero HP, a small unit that is USB power driven and provides a headphone amp which might be underpowered for certain HP?

I'll never be able to A/B test that unit, but for some reason I feel audible results will be more consistent, and better across varying headphone lines IEMs-->full sized

if the amp has a dedicated power source.

 

Sorry for the lack of absolutes here.  maybe there are none?

;-)

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksef10 View Post

Yes, there are some limitations that exist when running from USB power.

 

Many people have noted that our DACmini, while having a similar sound signature, has a more powerful and controlled low end compared to DACport. That is due to the fact that it runs off of wall power and has more juice to use.

 

-Kenny

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