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CEntrance DACmini DAC/Amplifier Official Thread - Page 11

post #151 of 1243
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

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.
 
 


Have you had any experience with Burson HA-160/ 160D? I was wondering how these two would compare.

post #152 of 1243

Hi everyone,
I am looking for a new dac/headphone combo to use with my es5 iems. My budget is about 1500 dollars but cheaper is always nice. I need a dac with tosslink and usb input so the dacmini fits that bill. The only thing for me that is not so good is that it has no xlr output. My preamp and poweramp are connected to xlr and my preamp has only xlr inputs so I would need to get an adapter cable and i worry that this would degrade the sound. I now have a dacmagic which has xlr outputs and i wonder if a fully balanced dac wouldnt be better in my case.
Greetings, Anouk,

post #153 of 1243

Hi everyone, another question, is the dacmini usb-implementation asynchronous or adaptive? Asynchronous usb seems to be all the rage for the last year or so. Greetings, Anouk,

post #154 of 1243


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anouk View Post

Hi everyone, another question, is the dacmini usb-implementation asynchronous or adaptive? Asynchronous usb seems to be all the rage for the last year or so. Greetings, Anouk,



 

Specs and reviews say asynchronous.

post #155 of 1243

I thought it is adaptive. Centrance always claims that adaptive is as good as asynchronous when the implementation is right.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Szadzik View Post


 



 

Specs and reviews say asynchronous.



 

post #156 of 1243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Szadzik View Post

Specs and reviews say asynchronous.

 

No, it's adaptive, they call their solution AdaptiWave. Their tech has been licensed by Benchmark Media, Empirical, Belcanto, Lavry and many other manufacturers.
 

 

post #157 of 1243


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elnero View Post

No, it's adaptive, they call their solution AdaptiWave. Their tech has been licensed by Benchmark Media, Empirical, Belcanto, Lavry and many other manufacturers.


 

You're right and I am wrong - I do not know what I was thinking about when writing that :(

post #158 of 1243

I have been listening constantly with my RE-262's! I'm actually having trouble getting stuff done around my house since the Mini has arrived :) Such an amazing little unit! I have never been really good with writing up comparisons and reviews etc. Im taking it for a hike soon to try with a pair of LCD-2's. Hopefully it will do better then the Talisman T-33H i heard them through the other week.

post #159 of 1243

I also received my mini two days ago. It is really nice-looking. I like very much the tick-tack sound when I switch among the input sources. The volumne knob is also very comfortable.

 

Sadly my hd600 fail to work so I try it with my ATH ad700. It provides a better soundstage and low response than my dacport. It also sounds a bit warmer to me than the dacport.

 

I also try it with the apple's headphone ( i mean the little white in-ear headphone comes with the ipod...). I have to say that I can hear a very low background noise when no music is playing. It is so small that it does not affect my listening experience. (actually I do not use any IEM so it is not a problem for me.)

 

I will verify my impression after my hd600 come back from the sennheiser service center. Hopefully they will make a good pair.

post #160 of 1243

Is anyone still waiting for their shipment notification? No news if my unit has been despatched, in transit etc..

post #161 of 1243
Quote:
Originally Posted by stugrammer View Post


I also try it with the apple's headphone ( i mean the little white in-ear headphone comes with the ipod...). I have to say that I can hear a very low background noise when no music is playing. It is so small that it does not affect my listening experience. (actually I do not use any IEM so it is not a problem for me.)


Sounds like another report of hiss.  Oh well, at least it sounds like the channel tracking is still better than average.

 

It'll be interesting to compare this to the HDP with the linear power supply.  I assume the power supply of the dacmini can be upgraded as well, though it sounds like they claim it won't really make a difference due to the internal regulation.  But it seems like changes in power supply always make a difference regardless of what manufacturers claim.

 

post #162 of 1243

I received an email from Michael on the 13th saying "all outstanding orders should be complete next week"

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tktran View Post

Is anyone still waiting for their shipment notification? No news if my unit has been despatched, in transit etc..



 


Edited by pekingduck - 4/20/11 at 6:06am
post #163 of 1243
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcwang View Post




Sounds like another report of hiss.  Oh well, at least it sounds like the channel tracking is still better than average.

 

It'll be interesting to compare this to the HDP with the linear power supply.  I assume the power supply of the dacmini can be upgraded as well, though it sounds like they claim it won't really make a difference due to the internal regulation.  But it seems like changes in power supply always make a difference regardless of what manufacturers claim.

 


Hi bcwang

 

I think the hiss is low enough so no problem for me. The power cord that I am using is a very cheap one taken from an old PC, and the electric power in my office is not so clean.

Or you might try the DACport. At least to me the background is completely quiet, no hiss at all.

 

It is a bit weird that the dacport sounds quieter than the mini to me. Maybe the electric circuits here are not properly grounded or something... I will test it in my home again.

 


Edited by stugrammer - 4/20/11 at 4:40am
post #164 of 1243
Quote:
Originally Posted by tktran View Post

Is anyone still waiting for their shipment notification? No news if my unit has been despatched, in transit etc..


I'm still waiting as well although I requested a modification to the unit so that might delay things a bit for me...

 

post #165 of 1243

Hi guys!!!

 

Thanks for your patience as we try are hardest to ship out all pending backorders as rapidly as possible. If you have any questions about a specific order please PM directly.

 

We really appreciate all the great feedback and are excited about more customer reactions in the upcoming weeks. If I missed a question please send me a PM and I can address it personally.

 

Thanks again for your business, we truly appreciate it!

 

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-Jonathan

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