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CEntrance DACmini DAC/Amplifier Official Thread - Page 62

post #916 of 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

 

 

For me, the ideal headphone for the DACmini CX is the Audeze LCD-2.... It must be a matter of synergy - where the DACmini CX just "gets it right" with the LCD-2.

 

I have to add, that HeadphoneAddict (Larry) once wrote that if he had to sell the majority of his headphone inventory, he would not part with his DACmini CX and his LCD-2 (nor his RSA SR-71B).  It was his experience and affection for the DACmini CX for use with the LCD-2 that led me to buy the DACmini CX....

 

Mike

 

I typed a big long post and lost it, and I'm in no condition to type it again.  Sorry.

 

Agreed to always having the DACmini, especially for my orthos like LCD-2 and HE-500 and all my IEM. It seems to be great with everything including all my IEM, but I though that the T1 and HD800 need a little more warmth from an amp (but it's better with HD800 than T1, which is why I didn't buy a T1 after trying it out).  Keeping the SR-71b isn't nearly as important as the DACmini.

 

The SR-71b is slightly warmer and darker sounding than the DACmini, and sometimes with the orthos the SR-71b might seem to have a little more low-end punch; but overall it's not quite up to the same level as the DACmini although surprisingly good for such a small portable amp.  I feel like I get slightly less ambience and air out of it with my LCD-2 and HE-500.  So, I use it mostly for my balanced HD800 with Black Dragon cable to tame the slightly fatiguing nature of the HD800; but the SR-71b could be replaced as my HD800 amp with other amps, such as my WA6 and the right tubes or with the ALO Amphora. 

 

Since the Nuforce DAC-100 is better with HD800 than my other mid-level amps, that could take the place of the SR-71b, but it's frustrating that it lacks the analog input or the power of the DACmini and SR-71b.  And it has a bit of hiss with low impedance IEM or sensitive full-size phones.  So DAC-100 is not nearly as versatile as the DACmini in how many headphones it has synergy with.  DAC-100 sounds a lot like the WA6 with almost as much power, but the WA6 and DACmini can be used with IEM unlike the Amphora or DAC-100 that hiss.  That's why WA6 is still on the list of possibilities to pair with DACmini as source HD800.  

 

The Nuforce HAP-100 is also very good with HD800 and has analog input, sounds slightly more forward than DAC-100 with power that fall closer to the DACmini - but it's output impedance and hiss is still too high for very sensitive IEM although it's noticeably less than the DAC-100.  So the HAP-100 might still make the cut over the SR-71b, but it isn't quite up to replacing the DACmini for everything.  It's also not as good with HE-500 as the DACmini, although with LCD-2 it's closer.  I'd say the HAP-100 is a closer match to the WA6 with HD800, better with LCD-2, but neither is as good with LCD-2 or HE-500 as the DACmini.

 

Overall, the DACmini is just such a well rounded jack of all trades, and even with the HD800 it's very enjoyable.  At the 2011 RMAF show CEntrance borrowed my HD800 at their table to demo the DACmini, and it cleanly beat out the Beyers they had there.  I still wouldn't use DACmini for the original HE-5 orthos or the current HE-6 (fairly underpowered with either which makes these 2 phones brighter and less punchy).  

 

So, I could trim my bedroom rig down from 20+ pieces of gear that I rotate through, down to the DACmini + one amp.  The main rig in the basement is tougher to thin out, but I'd be happy if all I had was my Perfectwave DAC feeding the KGBH, ZDT and EF6 amps. Between those three amps I can enjoy every headphone and IEM in the house including a couple of vintage normal bias stats (the ZDT is driving a transformer through the speaker out for those).  That means only parting with the KGSS or Marantz 2240 receiver down there.

post #917 of 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

 

I typed a big long post and lost it, and I'm in no condition to type it again.  Sorry.

 

Agreed to always having the DACmini, especially for my orthos like LCD-2 and HE-500 and all my IEM. It seems to be great with everything including all my IEM, but I though that the T1 and HD800 need a little more warmth from an amp (but it's better with HD800 than T1, which is why I didn't buy a T1 after trying it out).  Keeping the SR-71b isn't nearly as important as the DACmini.

 

The SR-71b is slightly warmer and darker sounding than the DACmini, and sometimes with the orthos the SR-71b might seem to have a little more low-end punch; but overall it's not quite up to the same level as the DACmini although surprisingly good for such a small portable amp.  I feel like I get slightly less ambience and air out of it with my LCD-2 and HE-500.  So, I use it mostly for my balanced HD800 with Black Dragon cable to tame the slightly fatiguing nature of the HD800; but the SR-71b could be replaced as my HD800 amp with other amps, such as my WA6 and the right tubes or with the ALO Amphora. 

 

Since the Nuforce DAC-100 is better with HD800 than my other mid-level amps, that could take the place of the SR-71b, but it's frustrating that it lacks the analog input or the power of the DACmini and SR-71b.  And it has a bit of hiss with low impedance IEM or sensitive full-size phones.  So DAC-100 is not nearly as versatile as the DACmini in how many headphones it has synergy with.  DAC-100 sounds a lot like the WA6 with almost as much power, but the WA6 and DACmini can be used with IEM unlike the Amphora or DAC-100 that hiss.  That's why WA6 is still on the list of possibilities to pair with DACmini as source HD800.  

 

The Nuforce HAP-100 is also very good with HD800 and has analog input, sounds slightly more forward than DAC-100 with power that fall closer to the DACmini - but it's output impedance and hiss is still too high for very sensitive IEM although it's noticeably less than the DAC-100.  So the HAP-100 might still make the cut over the SR-71b, but it isn't quite up to replacing the DACmini for everything.  It's also not as good with HE-500 as the DACmini, although with LCD-2 it's closer.  I'd say the HAP-100 is a closer match to the WA6 with HD800, better with LCD-2, but neither is as good with LCD-2 or HE-500 as the DACmini.

 

Overall, the DACmini is just such a well rounded jack of all trades, and even with the HD800 it's very enjoyable.  At the 2011 RMAF show CEntrance borrowed my HD800 at their table to demo the DACmini, and it cleanly beat out the Beyers they had there.  I still wouldn't use DACmini for the original HE-5 orthos or the current HE-6 (fairly underpowered with either which makes these 2 phones brighter and less punchy).  

 

So, I could trim my bedroom rig down from 20+ pieces of gear that I rotate through, down to the DACmini + one amp.  The main rig in the basement is tougher to thin out, but I'd be happy if all I had was my Perfectwave DAC feeding the KGBH, ZDT and EF6 amps. Between those three amps I can enjoy every headphone and IEM in the house including a couple of vintage normal bias stats (the ZDT is driving a transformer through the speaker out for those).  That means only parting with the KGSS or Marantz 2240 receiver down there.

 

Hi Larry, it's been a while since I see you.

 

Anyway, excellent review, as always beerchug.gif

post #918 of 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by czqdtc View Post

Hmm, I found the T1, Dac-mini combo too be a bit too bright ... Anyone feel the same way?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

 

Slightly, yeah I'd agree.  Same with HD800, not bad, but not quite optimal synergy since the HD800 can occasionally be fatiguing without just the right amp.  With everything else DACmini is quite good.

 

Agreed!  I've got the DACmini CX with 1-Ohm output impedance mod, which I understand to be a little more neutral than the standard (10-Ohm) DACmini CX, and the Beyerdynamic T1 is pretty much unusable with so neutral a DAC and amp - for my tastes, it's way too bright.  But the LCD-2, with its shelved highs, sounds absolutely wonderful with the very neutral DACmini CX (1-Ohm), and no doubt, with the standard DACmini CX, too, which CEntrance describes as being more "musical" than the 1-Ohm version.

 

What amazes me most about the DACmini CX is how much slam it has for its power rating of 480mW into 50 Ohms.   The dynamics are actually better with the DACmini CX into LCD-2 than when using the DACmini CX DAC section with the Burson Soloist. Though very detailed, the Soloist is laid back, almost lazy in terms of dynamics, and somewhat analog sounding for a solid state amp, which helps the T1 a little bit, but the T1 needs a tube amp (or a tube buffer + solid state amp) in my opinion. 

 

Mike

post #919 of 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

 

I typed a big long post and lost it, and I'm in no condition to type it again.  Sorry.

 

Agreed to always having the DACmini, especially for my orthos like LCD-2 and HE-500 and all my IEM. It seems to be great with everything including all my IEM, but I though that the T1 and HD800 need a little more warmth from an amp (but it's better with HD800 than T1, which is why I didn't buy a T1 after trying it out).  Keeping the SR-71b isn't nearly as important as the DACmini.

 

 

[snip]

 

 

Overall, the DACmini is just such a well rounded jack of all trades, and even with the HD800 it's very enjoyable

 

[snip]

 

Larry,

 

That's a shame you lost your original post - I always feel compelled to redo the whole thing when that happens.  I can't just walk away from it, but I empathize with how frustrating that can be.

 

Thanks for reinforcing you original comments to me regarding the DACmini CX + LCD-2.   I'm so grateful I came across your many posts on that subject about a year ago, and the PMs we exchanged that eventually led to my ordering the DACmini CX.   Your assessments have proven to be very, very credible - beyond just our having the same taste in audio signatures.  I don't want to embarrass you, but I've often told others that you are among a very short list of people whose opinions I trust - having so much experience AND the ability to communicate what you hear, accurately.

 

Long live the DACmini CX and LCD-2, my favorite combo!

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

post #920 of 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bostonears View Post

 

Can Custom Mods be applied to these units?


Yes you can add the mods into the cart the same as you would normally. There are black units available also.

post #921 of 1107
I just ordered up one of these to use with my LCD's and Heir CIEMs..and of course I am stunned that Michael personally helped me answer questions, etc. Not like he's busy, right? LOL

Some stellar customer service. It will be interesting to compare this with the M8 when that ships...
post #922 of 1107

I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE HELPFUL IF I CONSOLIDATED MOST OF MY IMPRESSIONS OR LINKS TO IMPRESSIONS FROM 2 YEARS AGO THAT HAD A LOT OF INFO, WITH MY RECENT POST:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

I'm surprised I never saw this thread before.  It will take some time for me to read it all, but in the meantime, here are some links to other posts I've written about the DACmini.

 

RMAF 2010 Impressions Thread has basically a mini-review of the DACmini:

 

 
DACport review thread with list of things the DACmini improves upon:
 
 
LCD-2 headphone amp recommendations thread:
 
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

MORE IMPRESSIONS:

 

I posted some of this in a PM to another head-fi member, but wanted to say that since I got the DACmini in February I've listened to the LCD-2 headphones more in the past 4 weeks than I did in the previous 6 months because of the improved synergy with LCD-2 over my other amps.  Prior to this my $1000 ALO Amphora was my best amp with the LCD-2, followed by the HDP.  But the DACmini has taken the lead.

 

I just didn't have anything with synergy this good with the LCD-2 (I was using HDP > ALO Amphora or HDP alone before).  And since I received the DACmini 4 weeks ago I have put maybe only 5 hours on my Apogee mini-DAC > WA6/eXStatA/SAC/EF5 in the bedroom rig, mostly just for comparisons but not personal listening.  I've also been using the DACmini line-out > SR-71b > HE-6 about as much as the LCD-2, followed by my JH13Pro and ES5.  My basement rig with PS Audio PWD > Woo WES and EC ZDT > HD800, HE60 and O2 Mk1 has been getting ignored too, not because it sounds bad but because the Macbook > DACmini in my bedroom is more convenient.

 

After spending all this time feeding the DACmini into the SR-71b amp for the HE-6 headphones, the big surprise tonight is that the DACmini drives my HE-6 to normal listening volumes at 2 o'clock, and it plays music at volume levels louder than I like when max'd at 5 o'clock, without having the sound turn south like it's running out of steam.  It still has about 4-5 dB less headroom than my balanced SR-71b at full power, but it's power is now closer to the HDP or EF5 with HE-6 headphones vs the lower gain pre-production model shown at RMAF.  That's totally useable, although I'd like more power with the HE-6 to improve bass impact just a little, but bass depth/presence is still excellent.  So I can't discount the DACmini for people with the HE-6 anymore, and it can always be used to feed a more powerful amp when money becomes available later for an upgrade.  The new DACmini PX model with 25-watt speaker amp might be even better for the HE-6 headphones which like to be plugged into the speaker outputs of powerful amps.  But for now I'm really digging the CX model with my HE-6.

 

My SAC KH1000 amp for the AKG K1000 headphones has the extra power for the HE-6, but the aggressive nature of the SAC amp means it doesn't sound as transparent/good as the DACmini because it's better suited for the mellower sounding K1000 headphones.  If I didn't want to use extremely sensitive IEM all the time then I might go for the gain of 10 like Austin's modded DACmini instead the standard gain of 8.  I just worry that more gain could increase the noise floor and that might make it less enjoyable to use with my ES3X.  That fear may be unfounded, but I don't want to take the chances, especially when I have been listening to the HE-6 with it for the past couple of hours with the volume only at 2 o'clock and no urge to turn it up more (nor do I want to disturb my sleeping wife).  I still think the more efficient LCD-2 are a better match with the DACmini than HE-6, but this amp can definitely please both camps as well as making HD800 owners happy.

 

And a few other observations:

 

1) While the SR-71b has a little better dynamic headroom with the HE-6, I was experiencing some bass clipping and doubling (not sure which) with the HE-6 when using 30Hz test tones and below; and bass notes of 20Hz were difficult to hear while the doubling was much louder than the actual tone.  Switching to the DACmini amp and listening to the test tones I find the DACmini does not exhibit this doubling effect, nor any distortion or bass roll-off.  I was using the DACmini line-out to feed SR-71b, so it was the same source.  The deep bass with the difficult to drive HE-6 is clean and extended through the DACmini, although with headphones other than HE-6 the SR-71b didn't do as poorly.  Note - I only use the SR-71b with full-size headphones if they are balanced, and my balanced LCD-2 cable should ship today.  The SR-71b didn't do very well with my single ended LCD-2.

 

2) The HDP DAC line-out made the SR-71b amp slightly more aggressive sounding in the upper mids and highs by combining their similar traits and multiplying the effect.  Feeding the DACmini into the SR-71b results in a more refined and balanced/transparent sound out of the SR-71b.  So, I am finding the DACmini is a little better as either a DAC or an amp.

 

3) I used to feed my Pico DAC-only into my ALO Amphora and SR-71b with my Macbook, but switching to the DACmini as the source also results in a more open and deep soundstage, more so with native 24/96 music where the extra micro-detail adds to the transparency, air, and ambience.  I am one of the earliest loyal buyers of the Pico DAC, and it's a great DAC for the price and obviously more portable, but I don't see myself going back to it very much in this rig.  I like the Pico too much to sell, but not enough to use it in place of the DACmini.  If I need a slightly more laid-back sounding amp I can feed the DACmini into my Amphora, and if I want a slightly more aggressive sounding amp I can feed it into my balanced SR-71b.  But so far I am quite pleased with the DAC and the Amp section alike.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post


The low volume tracking is excellent, and I can go much much lower than with the HDP or uDAC-2.  The best volume knobs I've had are on my DACmini, ZDT, WA6, HR Micro Amp, Meier Headfive desktop amp, and RSA SR-71b.  Amphora doesn't count because it's a Goldpoint stepped attenuator.

 

I should note that with your very sensitive ears you will likely hear the quiet background hiss with your IEM.  For me I can barely notice it except with my ES3X, and even then it's 3-4x quieter than my Amphora.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post


The DACmini is more spacious sounding like my WA6, although I would not call the HDP closed in or anything - it doesn't seem to get as wide when using the stock PSU.  The HDP is maybe a little more forward at times, while my Amphora has a little deeper stage vs the DACmini.  With the Sigma11 PSU the HDP gets closer to the DACmini with a more holographic sound that becomes more transparent, but not quite to that level.  If you already had a HDP then a S11 PSU upgrade is likely worth it, but if you didn't then going directly to a DACmini makes more sense than picking up the HDP with an S11 PSU for a similar price.

 

Sorry, it was late and I was sleepy, the Pico Slim belongs in the list of amps with good low volume channel balance.  I seem to recall that my old RSA Predator also had good channel balance, and I've checked my Protector which is also very good.

 

BC, I don't think every knows yet that you have bat-like or dog-like hearing ability.

 

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.

 

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.
 
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

 

I typed a big long post and lost it, and I'm in no condition to type it again.  Sorry.

 

Agreed to always having the DACmini, especially for my orthos like LCD-2 and HE-500 and all my IEM. It seems to be great with everything including all my IEM, but I though that the T1 and HD800 need a little more warmth from an amp (but it's better with HD800 than T1, which is why I didn't buy a T1 after trying it out).  Keeping the SR-71b isn't nearly as important as the DACmini.

 

The SR-71b is slightly warmer and darker sounding than the DACmini, and sometimes with the orthos the SR-71b might seem to have a little more low-end punch; but overall it's not quite up to the same level as the DACmini although surprisingly good for such a small portable amp.  I feel like I get slightly less ambience and air out of it with my LCD-2 and HE-500.  So, I use it mostly for my balanced HD800 with Black Dragon cable to tame the slightly fatiguing nature of the HD800; but the SR-71b could be replaced as my HD800 amp with other amps, such as my WA6 and the right tubes or with the ALO Amphora. 

 

Since the Nuforce DAC-100 is better with HD800 than my other mid-level amps, that could take the place of the SR-71b, but it's frustrating that it lacks the analog input or the power of the DACmini and SR-71b.  And it has a bit of hiss with low impedance IEM or sensitive full-size phones.  So DAC-100 is not nearly as versatile as the DACmini in how many headphones it has synergy with.  DAC-100 sounds a lot like the WA6 with almost as much power, but the WA6 and DACmini can be used with IEM unlike the Amphora or DAC-100 that hiss.  That's why WA6 is still on the list of possibilities to pair with DACmini as source HD800.  

 

The Nuforce HAP-100 is also very good with HD800 and has analog input, sounds slightly more forward than DAC-100 with power that fall closer to the DACmini - but it's output impedance and hiss is still too high for very sensitive IEM although it's noticeably less than the DAC-100.  So the HAP-100 might still make the cut over the SR-71b, but it isn't quite up to replacing the DACmini for everything.  It's also not as good with HE-500 as the DACmini, although with LCD-2 it's closer.  I'd say the HAP-100 is a closer match to the WA6 with HD800, better with LCD-2, but neither is as good with LCD-2 or HE-500 as the DACmini.

 

Overall, the DACmini is just such a well rounded jack of all trades, and even with the HD800 it's very enjoyable.  At the 2011 RMAF show CEntrance borrowed my HD800 at their table to demo the DACmini, and it cleanly beat out the Beyers they had there.  I still wouldn't use DACmini for the original HE-5 orthos or the current HE-6 (fairly underpowered with either which makes these 2 phones brighter and less punchy).  

 

So, I could trim my bedroom rig down from 20+ pieces of gear that I rotate through, down to the DACmini + one amp.  The main rig in the basement is tougher to thin out, but I'd be happy if all I had was my Perfectwave DAC feeding the KGBH, ZDT and EF6 amps. Between those three amps I can enjoy every headphone and IEM in the house including a couple of vintage normal bias stats (the ZDT is driving a transformer through the speaker out for those).  That means only parting with the KGSS or Marantz 2240 receiver down there.

post #923 of 1107

Excellent!

 

All in one place, for future reference.

 

Thanks again, Larry!   

post #924 of 1107
Originally Posted by roker View Post

Totally ridiculous and unnecessary.  I bring to you my CEntrance DACmini unboxing video.  I usually say this is pointless but I find my self looking for them on youtube all the time. I noticed there were barely any CEntrance DACmini vids in general and thought I'd give it a stab.  Now I know it won't top that Auditor vid posted last week, but I'll try my hardest.  Enjoy!

 

 

I don't usually watch unboxing videos, but I just happened to watch this one posted a long time ago by Head-Fier roker.

 

I was laughing out loud at this exchange between roker and the camerawoman.

 

camerawoman: What is this?

roker: This is an amp/DAC, baby.

camerawoman: Another one?

roker: I sold the other ones. This is a disease. We’re all afflicted by this disease on Head-Fi.org.

camerawoman: That means I can buy another pair of shoes?

roker: You’re gonna buy ‘em anyway. 

 

Thanks for sharing, roker, and thanks for giving me the best chuckle of the day.


Edited by Bostonears - 4/5/13 at 8:46am
post #925 of 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

With the Sigma11 PSU the HDP gets closer to the DACmini with a more holographic sound that becomes more transparent, but not quite to that level.  If you already had a HDP then a S11 PSU upgrade is likely worth it.

Would there be an improvement to the Dacmini as well, if you replaced the original switchmode PSU with a linear PSU like the S11?

post #926 of 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bostonears View Post

 

I don't usually watch unboxing videos, but I just happened to watch this one posted a long time ago by Head-Fier roker.

 

I was laughing out loud at this exchange between roker and the camerawoman.

 

camerawoman: What is this?

roker: This is an amp/DAC, baby.

camerawoman: Another one?

roker: I sold the other ones. This is a disease. We’re all afflicted by this disease on Head-Fi.org.

camerawoman: That means I can buy another pair of shoes?

roker: You’re gonna buy ‘em anyway. 

 

Thanks for sharing, roker, and thanks for giving me the best chuckle of the day.

 

+1   Yeah, give your gal a hug from all of us Roker!  She made my day, too!   biggrin.gif

post #927 of 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calypso View Post

Would there be an improvement to the Dacmini as well, if you replaced the original switchmode PSU with a linear PSU like the S11?

 

Hi Calypso,

 

It's unlikely you would enjoy any sonic improvements by doing that, going by my experiments, at least. The DACmini CX practically re-manufactures the power coming in.  I've done A/B testing between the switch mode AC adapter and several different battery rigs, running DC voltages at 19V, 15V, 12V and 9V - and it all sounded the same at the other end - using the hiss-sensitive Shure SE530.   

 

Mike

post #928 of 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE HELPFUL IF I CONSOLIDATED MOST OF MY IMPRESSIONS OR LINKS TO IMPRESSIONS FROM 2 YEARS AGO THAT HAD A LOT OF INFO, WITH MY RECENT POST:

Holy smokes that's a lot of useful information....also the stuff you posted over on the LCD-2 thread.
Thanks for consolidating it here!

"Headphone Addict" is quite the suitable moniker!

You have just made me very excited for the Dacmini/ LCD-2 combo I have lined up. Also fairly confident that I made a good choice. Then with the Hi-FiM8 as a mobile solution I should be a happy camper!
post #929 of 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrobe View Post

[snip]

You have just made me very excited for the Dacmini/ LCD-2 combo I have lined up. Also fairly confident that I made a good choice. Then with the Hi-FiM8 as a mobile solution I should be a happy camper!

 

Yeah, I'm really looking forward to your feedback, thegrobe.   

 

I had planned to attend the Austin, Texas meet about a month ago, but got sick and couldn't go.   I was really looking forward to setting up the DACmini CX with my Burson Soloist on its output.  A/B testing the two amps then becomes very easy, as all you have to do is move the headphone cable back and forth between the DACmini CX and the Soloist, with relays inside the the DACmini CX toggling as you do so, to route the DAC appropriately.  

 

I wish everyone could hear the difference between the DACmini CX and Soloist, using LCD-2.  Dynamics and resolution are actually better with the DACmini CX than with the Soloist. It's very subtle - not huge, but noticeable.  The Soloist is laid back, with smoother highs, which are surprisingly smooth for how detailed they remain, but they are not as detailed as the DACmini's highs, which with the LCD-2, have just the right amount of sparkle.  Bass extension is about the same, but bass impact is slightly better in the DACmini CX.  It's somewhat a matter of taste - as I prefer a more forward, aggressive, detailed, yet still organic and natural sound (that I get with the LCD-2 with truly neutral and transparent sources), than the more analog, laid-back, smoother sound of the Soloist, which works better with my Beyerdyamic T1, and I suspect, with something like the HD800.   But anyone who is using the LCD-2 with a Burson Soloist, really needs to hear the DACmini CX.

 

Long live CEntrance! 

 

Disclaimer:  I now own the DACport, the DACport LX, and the DACmini CX - so I might be biased.  redface.gif

 

Mike

post #930 of 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calypso View Post

Would there be an improvement to the Dacmini as well, if you replaced the original switchmode PSU with a linear PSU like the S11?

I am told it won't make a difference, and the DACmini will regulate the power internally regardless of PSU. I believe the amps use a different power cable so I can't try it.
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