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Eastern Electric Minimax Tube Dac (32-bit dac)

post #1 of 1140
Thread Starter 

http://www.morningstaraudio.com/shop/item.asp?itemid=12&catid=6

 

I like how it has every input you could want pretty much (AES/coax/optical/BNC/USB) + a 12au7 tube in amp stage (rollable) + utilizes a ESS Technology 9018 32 bit DAC chip.  

 

 

looks interesting, anyone get a chance to test it out? If so let us know!  


Edited by TigzStudio - 6/5/10 at 9:28pm
post #2 of 1140
Thread Starter 

Ok so I just found a couple threads w/ impressions on it, it is well received / pretty popular over in the audiocircle:

 

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=72820.0

 

 

and a thread from a meet they had

 

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=77174.0

post #3 of 1140

No love for this DAC?

post #4 of 1140

I'm ordering one as soon as they are in stock, which is next week I believe.

 

Another recent review...

 

http://www.stereomojo.com/Eastern%20Electric%20MiniMax%20DAC%20Review/EasternElectricMiniMaxDACReview.htm

 

post #5 of 1140

Rave review at stereomojo:

 

 

http://stereomojo.com/Eastern%20Electric%20MiniMax%20DAC%20Review/EasternElectricMiniMaxDACReview.htm

 

 

This looks like a great product and the people at Morningstar Audio are very nice to deal with.

 

 

post #6 of 1140

I´m very suprised there´s so little talk about this here. Read the 6Moons review... It seems fantastic value, especially if you DON´T run it straight via USB. Its only big weakness is the low tech USB input, but the developer is working on a second version that will be out this year. At least this is what they told me in an email :) Ended up going Audio-GD instead because of the shipping costs/would have wanted the second version anyway. Along with the NFB-1 I´d say (judging by reviews) this is the best value in DAC products right now.

post #7 of 1140

I think the Nuforce HDP is one of the better values in DAC's these days.  Especially considering it has a headphone output and a pre-amp output.  

 

It's a cute little thing, besides.  

post #8 of 1140

I have one :) My bad, should have added it to the list too! I´d make it a top 3 instead and add the HDP to the list...

post #9 of 1140
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

I´m very suprised there´s so little talk about this here. Read the 6Moons review... It seems fantastic value, especially if you DON´T run it straight via USB. Its only big weakness is the low tech USB input, but the developer is working on a second version that will be out this year. At least this is what they told me in an email " class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//smily_headphones1.gif" title=":)" width="" /> Ended up going Audio-GD instead because of the shipping costs/would have wanted the second version anyway. Along with the NFB-1 I´d say (judging by reviews) this is the best value in DAC products right now.


I read that, hmm, should I wait for them to 'fix' the USB?  hmm ...

 

What I'm afraid about Audio-Gd products is, they emphasize too much on Balance and ACSS implementation to the point where it sacrifice the sound for SE.  I know this is comparing orange to apple (DAC to Amp), but judging from the Phoenix that is fully Balance, ACSS etc, I'm far from impressed to its sound quality on SE.  It sound less than ideal for T1 (dare I say horrible), when my friend ask Kingwa, he said, oh, you have to run it balance, otherwise it sound output voltage is half that of Balance connection.  I'm not a big fan for mod (cut T1 cable to make it balance), so this idea is totally out.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodet View Post

I think the Nuforce HDP is one of the better values in DAC's these days.  Especially considering it has a headphone output and a pre-amp output.  

 

It's a cute little thing, besides.  


Yeah, I know :)  but unfortunately I already have a headphone amp, so I don't need to 'spend' money on another headphone amp.  You can argue it's 'free', but nothing's free in this world, right?  ;)  Pre-amp out is cool tho.  I wish MiniMax DAC has pre-amp out too.

post #10 of 1140
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBull View Post


Yeah, I know " class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//smily_headphones1.gif" title=":)" width="" />  but unfortunately I already have a headphone amp, so I don't need to 'spend' money on another headphone amp.  You can argue it's 'free', but nothing's free in this world, right?  " class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//wink.gif" title=";)" width="" />  Pre-amp out is cool tho.  I wish MiniMax DAC has pre-amp out too.


Pre-amp out is VERY cool.   And it's not something I ever would have thought I wanted.  I can't tell you how handy it is having a volume control on my HDP.  

post #11 of 1140
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBull View Post


I read that, hmm, should I wait for them to 'fix' the USB?  hmm ...

 

What I'm afraid about Audio-Gd products is, they emphasize too much on Balance and ACSS implementation to the point where it sacrifice the sound for SE.  I know this is comparing orange to apple (DAC to Amp), but judging from the Phoenix that is fully Balance, ACSS etc, I'm far from impressed to its sound quality on SE.  It sound less than ideal for T1 (dare I say horrible), when my friend ask Kingwa, he said, oh, you have to run it balance, otherwise it sound output voltage is half that of Balance connection.  I'm not a big fan for mod (cut T1 cable to make it balance), so this idea is totally out.
 


If you´d be using it via USB, then I would personally definately wait for the second version. Check the 6Moons review, there´s a good writeout of the current USB solution there (which is far from optimal). As for the Phoenix, yeah, it only uses half of its circuitry in SE mode. There´s no reason to use it in SE, that way it probably matches the cheapest A-GD headphone amp in quality. Due to the ACSS implementation it´s also picky about your source etc, so that could have contributed too (no idea what you tested it with). I´m just writing theory though, haven´t got one yet :) I checked your profile and it seems you have a lot of tube gear, so maybe the Audio-GD sound signature just isn´t to your liking. Especially the ACSS gear, for example the Phoenix should be monitor-like, so almost a complete opposite. 

 

That said, with its tube-output stage the Eastern Electric sounds fantastic if you like tubes :) As an off-topic comment, I definately need to try a good tube amplifier someday! Would be very interesting.

post #12 of 1140

Yup, tube amp is cool, well, hot physically :D  I started with Darkvoice 337, now I crave for more tubes

 

Ok then I will wait for the second version.

post #13 of 1140

I owned this dac for quite some time.  i used it in conjunction with my Thunderpants orthos, and my cavalli CTH.  I found it to be an amazing dac.  i had upgraded to the minimax from a $200 dac and I really noticed a great improvement.  Everything about this dac really impressed me.  the build quality, the look, the myriad input options, and of course the sound.   Having the option to go totally Solid state, or through the tube was really cool, though the tube sound was superior hands down for my setup. 

I felt this dac took my already pristine sounding rig to another level of awesome.

 

I really feel this dac performs quite a bit beyond its price point.  I cant imagine anyone being dissapointed with it. 

post #14 of 1140

Do you notice any sibilance with this DAC for female vocal?  I hate sibilance ....

post #15 of 1140
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBull View Post

Do you notice any sibilance with this DAC for female vocal?  I hate sibilance ....


 

sssssssiblance you say, you hate ssssssssssssssibilance lol sorry couldnt resist. From my experience, excessive sibilance has more to do with cables, speakers/phones, the recording, and power rather than the source. If you have excessive sibilance you might want to start looking for the problem elsewhere in your chain.


Edited by computerparts - 10/21/10 at 7:49pm
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