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my first dac review: maverick audio d1

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

a simple review for the maverick audio d1.

A.my sources:
Macbook Pro
AIAIAI tracks
ue700panasonic hje900yuin pk2
speaker (active/powered speakers):
audioengine a5 and audioengine s8 subwoofer

B. tracks to test with:
i will not be picking a particular track, but gonna test most of my favorite tracks.
the important thing here is not the kind of tracks im playing currently but the changes in the sound, wether it is an improvement or not to the sound quality.
i will try to measure the difference of the two.

here i will be stating the changes from the sound of the iems, hp, and the speakers thru the laptop's headphone out vs. the dac hp out.
will define here if there is a big improvement or not. we will know...

the build and the impression from the dac.
all tracks are 320kbps/wav format.
i will also be stating here if the item is a bang for the buck regarding the use/function  to the price.
i will also define here the changes in the iems...if a particular iem is affected or not.



for the earbud/iems and headphone thru the hp out of mav d1.
exception for the audioengine speakers, thru the ANALOG out /tube preamp out.
all USB out in macbook and OPTICAL-in on the maverick audio d1

C. build/body and whats included in the box

it is solid in build.
i like the black color.
looks attractive and sleek.
it looks like a one serious audio gear for me.

a bit heavy, only a bit...
maybe around 1 1/2 kilos.

upon use, i smell the unit...something wires. electronic...like that.
dont know whats it for, or whats happening here but i smell it.

the included accessories are the 3.5mm jack at both end, a usb-optical end for the computer.
a one piece of paper stating how to use the item, the connectors, and how to set it up.

...nothing more.


2 volume knobs in the front:
one for the volume, and the other for the source(coaxial, optical, usb, analog, line-in) 
2 push button in the front:
one for the power, one for the direct (for the volume, either control it thru the dac or the source, its up to you)
2 jack in the front:
one for the line in and one for the hp out.
at the back, all the important connections:
digital in: optical, coaxial and usb.
analog in: L and R
analog out: L and R, and an analog preamp out.
volt switch and power ac.

E. A and B changes on headphone out (macbook pro out vs. d1)

the macbook pro sounds good already in my ears.
using different gears, we will know what the DAC can do.

AIAIAI tracks:
you all know the tracks...being so cheap headphone with a nice warm sound. many headphilers did like its sound...some compared it to the grado sound.  a competitor to the px100ii and the koss porta pro.

here i hear the clearness of the sound.
there is a bite at every end of the note that seems to be compelling.
it becomes more detailed. more warmer and airy.
and i hear the ugliness of my mp3s even at 192kbps... 

...but im liking the sound more.

it doesnt sound natural to me.
a lot of echo is present.
and it sounds relaxing overall.

the song i wouldnt be here if i didnt love you, you will hear some parts of the song where there is a small distortion present. maybe it exist because of my song or the capability of the hp to handle complicated instruments.

for the price of the tracks, its not the best sounding hp...i know.
maybe one of the reason why it sounded like that.

or maybe it is a call for me to replace to a bit higher end portable hp.

still more pleasant to the d1 compared than the usual hp out of my macbook pro.

i think it synergies well with any hphones. and i really like the tracks now more than ever with the use of the d1.
its like the sound quality of my tracks has been doubled.
i never imagined my tracks would sound this good.

a dual balanced armature driver made by ultimate ears, after the famous triple-fi 10.
called it the audiophile iem by ue. to me it got the beautiful highs ive heard... ive named it the musical pill due to its build and look and the way it sound. my first serious iem.

track: Promise/So at Last, Butch walker

the one thing i found out here is the DISTORTION.

laptop hp out, there is a part of the song here where there is a distortion present...maybe limited by the sound of a dual ba driver...the song is very intimate, airy. the iem can reproduce that. even the parting lips sound.

mav d1 out, adding more volume makes my ue700 more spacious. the distortion i mentioned above is not very audible here... not as audible as the one ive heard on the macbook out. the sound is more smoother, more addicting, makes me want to listen to butch everyday. the "plong" sound of the song is very very magically done. the beat is deeper than the macbook. the instrument is more defined here. in short, its a more of an upgrade to the ue700 sound. 

a single dynamic iem, made or zirconia...
known to be a bang for the buck iem.
because of how good it is in details and in build...the resolution is not something present in its price range..

track: I've Got To Make It To Summer, Billy gilman

i just found out one thing here:
the HIGHS.

laptop out, this iem sounds nice. nothing to complain about. smooth in the mids. yummy. more energy than the mav-d1... more sparkly, making my panny sibilant. i hate that highs...
its got the ear piercing highs. the highs seem to be blurred and it will make you yank out, and lower the volume a bit to make it sound right. the hp out of my macbook gives me a more energetic sound than the mav.

mav d1 out, the sounds is right.
the energy that is present on the laptop is cannot be heard here, making this iem more "DREAMY". no sparkly highs. nothing to worry about that highs. its clean in total...even when you add more volume... there is no sibilance. that's a good news!!!

YUIN pk2

this is not an earbud at all.
the sound coming out here is something i didnt hear even at my iems.
its just bigger in a way.

its like im listening to a big speakers/ headphones.
tried listening to the LARGER THAN LIFE by backstreet boys, and i hear a lot of air that pushes through out of this earbud...the stomping, the scream, the people singing at the background...terrifically beautiful.

its like this earbud is transformed into a monster/beast.

the highs becomes crispier. more airy. 
more life to be short.
something that you will make you enjoy your music more.

i am thankful to own this earbud.
it has been a fun to own one.

listening right now on the corrs, WHEN THE STARS GO BLUE, and there's a lot of change in the overall sound. it becomes more dramatic, the airy feeling helps a lot.
the separation of instrument is not changed at all, maybe due to the natural build of this earbud.  

the DAC really helps a lot in changing your music.
here, i learned that the headphone sound can be more improved thru the help of the D1...it becomes more bigger, more airier and is truly and improvement to overall sound of this earbud.

however, the pk2 hasnt changed into an accurate sounding earbud.
its sound becomes more fun. making it more extended. more dynamic.
a plus to the sound sig of the gear, in short.


as you all guys know...i had a small trouble in the TUBE PRE OUT, LEFT PART...but that doesnt me it would stop me reviewing this dac..

now on the SS part, using the USB DIGITAL IN, and NORMAL OUT, the speaker audioengine clearly sings to all my tracks...meaning no matter what encoded of mp3s  or aac you played, even if its a 128kbps mp3, you wont notice a big difference in degradation in sq.
i think somewhat the quality of the music is like being RESTORED...a little. not full. but you will hear it clearly even a 128kbps sings...

i think i sorted out my problem with my audioengines using only the ipod docked on apples universal dock....
i am limited by the amount of quality using the ipod dock.
i thought of buying an nd-s1 onkyo docked...to improve the sound im hearing on the ipod.
tried using my macbook pro as source and notice the big difference thru hp out.
and finally decided on using the macbook pro then usb connection out then optical in to the MAV dac d1, and....the magic happens.
just like that.

i listen now to my beautiful music.
i call them beautiful now because i hear so many nuances, i hear crispy highs, a big improvement on voice-instrument separation, the dynamic of the sound is just so pleasant to listen to... 
i hear my music in another league. everything seems new to me. everything is nicer, fresher, crispier and richer.

this is the one ive been looking for so long..and im glad i found it.
i think this is the end in my speaker journey...and im happy with the outcome.

the loss in details in my 128kbps/320kbps tracks had been healed.
they sounded very very close to a cd quality.
the lack of clarity in nowhere to find.
all is very right.
all is satisfying...

using HP OUT of the dac and still digital USB in, the sound is almost the same from the NORMAL out. to my ears...both has the same quality.

ill do a follow up update by using the TUBE PRE OUT, once i fix this issue.

a dac is necessary for those serious to their music listening.
i am one of them.
it is clearly an upgrade in audio listening.
i tried most of my gears, and here in headphiles i have tried to express them here on how they sound...i tried to define their strength and weaknesses and also tried comparing them all.

i did not regret shelling out p11k for an audio upgrade.

through the d1, i learned that the music more defined.
more detailed.
more cleaner.
more smoother.
more full sounding. dynamic at its best.
more volume.

more than the hp out of my laptop or my ipod or the apple universal dock.
i thought my laptop sounds great, yes, it is...but with the maverick audio d1 is the processor, my music sounds greater!

it makes me want to listen to all of my collections of music more...
its like everything seems new to me.

it is what it is...a digital to analog converter.

it affects most of my gears, its either making the sound crispier, livelier, killing the sibilance in the sound sig of the iem, making the earbud bigger sounding, a lot of improvement in total.

so if you want something more with your music...
i can recommend the MAVERICK AUDIO DAC D1 to you.
i did not regret ever by buying this DAC.
for the love of music, i would do anything to help improve the sound im listening into.

be reminded that you are buying this DAC to improve your music listening.
to improve the sound of your gears. 

in the end, most of my gears sound sig is not changed but improved by a bigger margin.
making most of my gears a really fun to use more, and making my music sounds new to me.

its like in mathematics, the D1 is like the ADDITION (+).
it just adds more.
it doesnt MULTIPLY, it does not DIVIDE and it does not SUBTRACT (-).
what it does, it does it good.

youll be happy just like me in the end.
a happy owner of the D1.

Edited by pinoyman - 12/2/10 at 6:01pm
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 


^should you really consider buying one?
well, the answer is yes, if you have the budget, the passion for listening to music, and if you want your music to sound at its best...an upgrade to your listening...an upgrade to the level of your quality.

that i think is important... 

it is important as investing into a good pair of headphone.
it is important as investing into a good amp...

the dac will nourish the mp3s back to their health.
and its a good thing to know, there is maverick audio d1 for a few dollars.
...with that amount you will be surprised to your music more.
they sounded good thru this dac.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 


what really makes this dac more special is the capability to be multi performing dac.
it has a tube out.
a normall ss out.
many digital ins, hp out, usb analog coaxial optical line in...
all in one package.

i think very few dac are like this...
for a small fraction of amount with many uses.

that makes it worth it, i believed.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 


to make the review short, all of my gears do benefit from this DAC.

it is really an overall improvement to the sound quality and sound sig of my gears.

it makes the yuin pk2 sounds bigger.
warmer for the aiaiai, and detailed.
no sibilance on the panny...(why is that?)
ue700 sings more...but still limited.

but what benefits a lot is my speakers...audioengines.

it is really a plus in the music.
the dac is something worth an investment, worth the money...
as long as youre serious with this habit, there could be no wrong in buying one for yourself.
« Last Edit: Today at 10:09:41 by mbc0528 »
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