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CEntrance DACmini DAC/Amplifier Official Thread - Page 10

post #136 of 1181

iPad 2 with OS 4.3.0 > Camera Connection Kit > DACmini was tested tonight.  No powered hub needed.

 

IT DEFINITELY WORKS, and iTunes on iPad2 shows that it's connected the the CEntrance DACmini in the spot where a volume control would normally show up.  And it sounds very good with my LCD-2.

 

UPDATE 2

 

Also tried DACmini with iPad 1 and iOS 4.2.1 (jailbroken but with no special audio software installed) - this also works fine with DACmini and no powered hub.  Sounds great just like the iPad 2 that I first tested.


Edited by HeadphoneAddict - 4/6/11 at 11:13pm
post #137 of 1181

Thanks a lot! This saves me from buying a dedicated digital dock for my upcoming iPad and DACmini. Can't wait biggrin.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

iPad 2 with OS 4.3.0 > Camera Connection Kit > DACmini was tested tonight.  No powered hub needed.

 

IT DEFINITELY WORKS, and iTunes on iPad2 shows that it's connected the the CEntrance DACmini in the spot where a volume control would normally show up.  And it sounds very good with my LCD-2.

 

UPDATE 2

 

Also tried DACmini with iPad 1 and iOS 4.2.1 (jailbroken but with no special audio software installed) - this also works fine with DACmini and no powered hub.  Sounds great just like the iPad 2 that I first tested.



 

post #138 of 1181

Arghhh i cant wait to get my grubby hands on my mini!! I hope my order gets shipped out with the next batch. :D haha i havent been excited about a new piece of audio gear for sometime now!

post #139 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by elrod-tom View Post

Great thread!

 

I've been using a DACPort for about a week at my office.  I'm using it both as a DAC/Amp and as a DAC with dedicated headphone amp, and enjoying it in both configurations.  Nice detail, Class-A sonic signature with low noise floor, and surprisingly adept as a headphone amp.  Does a very nice job with higher rez files (e.g. Rolling Stones "Let it Bleed" from HDTracks), and I've heard some things listening to the 24-bit Beatles remasters that I've not heard before with my DACPort.

 

I'm using the DACPort as a portable source at the office, and will likely continue to do so.  I'm encouraged by what I'm reading about the DACMini, and will likely pick one up for one of my home rigs.  Nice products!


The above-quoted post is very helpful -- thanks! I'm actually contemplating simplifying my office rig by replacing my Cullen IV DLIII and Concerto with a DACmini -- especially having read how well it pairs with LCD-2s.

 

post #140 of 1181



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olias of Sunhillow View Post




The above-quoted post is very helpful -- thanks! I'm actually contemplating simplifying my office rig by replacing my Cullen IV DLIII and Concerto with a DACmini -- especially having read how well it pairs with LCD-2s.

 



Glad it helps.  I've been listening to it today with AT AD-700's and it's good...but I prefer it with THOSE cans paired with a dedicated headphone amp.  I'd also used it with the B&W P5's, and I think I like it a little better with those.  For me, it seems to pair better with higher impedence cans (I've used it mostly at home with Senn HD 600's and AKG K-240 sextets).  It does a nice job as a headphone amp, but I prefer to use it as a source right now.  That said, convenience will have me using it as a DAC/HPA more often than not I'm thinking.

 

Oh, and I will be buying a DACMini...I really like the sonic signature, especially with higher resolution files.

post #141 of 1181

Does anyone know if DACmini uses the same DAC chip as DACport?

post #142 of 1181

New DACMINI owner and i am pleased with the product's sound quality with USB sources. However want to know if i can improve the sound by adding some USB to SPDIF interfaces like Hiface or Musical fidelity V-LINK?

post #143 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by niranhopper View Post

New DACMINI owner and i am pleased with the product's sound quality with USB sources. However want to know if i can improve the sound by adding some USB to SPDIF interfaces like Hiface or Musical fidelity V-LINK?


I would expect that the Centrance produce is already superior in that regard.

 

post #144 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post




I would expect that the Centrance produce is already superior in that regard.

 


 

Agree. If i am not mistaken Bel canto's usb-spdif converter also uses usb interface developed by centrance.

post #145 of 1181

My Mini was shipped today!! :D

post #146 of 1181
x2
post #147 of 1181

Got my Mini :D Sounds amazing! But one thing that annoys me with a new item is when the finish isnt upto scratch... Literally. Big scratch mark on the top. Underneath has marks like its been dragged or grinded along something sharp. Bit disappointed in that respect.

 

*EDIT*

 

I was able to buff the scratch out of the top panel, the bottom doesnt bother me to much as its never going to be visible :) All good imo!


Edited by Townyj - 4/18/11 at 1:08am
post #148 of 1181
For those of you on the fence about getting a Dacmini I came across an interesting case study article on the Centrance site outlining their features and how they translate to performance. http://www.centrance.com/products/dacmini/ I purchased one but haven't received it yet but this case study made me feel better about my purchase. Now I just need tot hear it for myself. Should get it here in Korea by next Monday with my LCD-2's. Waiting is just so hard sometimes. Hopefully this is helpful for others.
post #149 of 1181

^ That's an interesting piece of product literature.  The main thing that caught my attention was the drop guard.  I've seen a few expensive pieces of heavy equipment get damaged because a knob was bumped and crushed the pot.  I never understood why some companies make a blast proof chassis with such fragile knobs.   Still waiting on my mini....

post #150 of 1181

Well, so far I am still quite pleased with the DACmini since I posted my last impressions here in March. It's definitely a permanent fixture in my home.  

 

Since my last report I hardly use any of my other home gear, because the DACmini in my bedroom Macbook Pro rig is so convenient and accessible.  I've been using the DACmini with my LCD-2 mostly, and I also feed the analog out into my SR-71b amp for my balanced IEM and HE-6.  I still use the DACport when I'm moving my Macbook around, but that's about it for the past few weeks.  Since I got the DACmini I've rarely been down to use my high-end rig in the basement.

 

Don't get me wrong - my high-end rig with Perfectwave DAC & Bridge (aka PWD) > Eddie Current ZDT or Woo WES is still glorious sounding with my re-cabled HD800, Stax O2 or Baby Orpheus.  But they sit in my basement rig away from everything else and I don't get to spend much if any time down there, at least not without being a recluse and feeling detached from my family.  Plus my health problems make going up and down the stairs repeatedly a daunting task.  While the DACmini is not as good as a $3000 DAC plus a $2500 - $5000 tube amp like the above, it's relatively faultless and quite enjoyable.  With the DACmini I don't feel like I'm missing a lot when I can't make it downstairs to the big rig, making it a great bang for the buck.  If it had the weight and impact of my ZDT, it would carry it to a whole new level, but what it offers is still quite good.

 

If I had to guess based on my previous experiences, I'd say the S/PDIF DAC section is on par with other similarly priced DACs like the Apogee mini-DAC, Stello DA100 or Digital Link III (via single ended output).  The DACmini's USB input actually sounds better than I recall the DA100 or DLIII sounding via USB, but the Apogee mini-DAC has a very nice sounding 24/48 USB input.  Last time I checked, the mini-DAC USB sounded as good as its 24/96 optical S/PDIF with my Macbook Pro.  The DACmini's amp section is not very different sounding from my more expensive maxed Woo WA6 (depending on the tubes), except that DACmini has more power than the WA6.  I haven't fired up my WA6 in weeks!  On the other hand the WA6 can be tuned via tube rolling if you want - If you are one who finds the HD800 to be bright then you can roll in darker sounding tubes to compensate.  In comparison to the more expensive ALO Amphora, the biggest difference is that the Amphora sounds a little more laid back and relaxed with a little deeper soundstage (better suited for HD800), although the Amphora is also less powerful like the WA6 and has more hiss with IEM.  If I had to guess again, the DACmini amp section might perform similarly to the Grahm Slee Solo SRG II and PSU1 that I had on loan for two weeks a year ago, except the SRG II is only $150 less with no DAC and was useless with most IEM due to noise. 

 

 

The only thing I'm really left wishing for is balanced XLR line-out for my balanced SR-71b and eXStatA amps.  Also, since I have the fixed RCA outputs going to another headphone amp, it might be nice if the RCA-output wasn't deactivated when I plug in a headphone.  Sometimes I will be listening to the DACmini amp and want to switch to my SR-71b + balanced IEM, and I get no sound until I remember to unplug the LCD-2 rather than just turning down the volume.  I can see where this is an advatage when feeding the DACmini into a set of powered speakers like my Audioengine A2 or A5, so that the speakers shut off when plugging in headphones, but if I were doing that I would go for the optional variable level outputs.
 
 
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