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New Audiolab DAC - Page 34

post #496 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post

The M-DAC just won the EISA's European D/A Converter 2012-2013 award (EISA) Well-deserved in my opinion too biggrin.gif

Wow. I'm impressed with my unit but didn't know it was rated so highly against its peers.
post #497 of 857

Does anyone know the specifications for the head amp? 

Does anyone know how good is the amp section? from what I read everyone is using mdac with a dedicated head amp.

post #498 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by soberspine View Post

from what I read everyone is using mdac with a dedicated head amp.

 

 

M-DAC is first and foremost a great DAC. It just happened to have a headphone out built in.

 

Hence, majority of the users use it as a DAC.

 

Simple.

post #499 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe-Siow View Post


M-DAC is first and foremost a great DAC. It just happened to have a headphone out built in.

Hence, majority of the users use it as a DAC.

Simple.
If it has an average head amp then its not really that good of a deal. Missing quality PSU is already a big handicap.
post #500 of 857

Tried it.  Returned it.  Didn't strike me as particularly special, given it's price point.  Nice Sabre signature, but I imagine the headphone out is the culprit in rendering it insufficiently unique.

post #501 of 857

absolutely. i pair it with the spl auditor and it is great. i demo'd HD800 with just MDAC last week in a store and the amp just cannot

power them...and gets really distorted when you try. Can't wait to try HD800 or T1 with SPL and MDAC at some stage for a home

demo. 

post #502 of 857

I am driving my MDAC with portable amps such as RX Mk3 (balanced in) and Portaphile 627 (RCA in) and they sound great.   Much better than the default headphone out.    

post #503 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel_hokkaido View Post

absolutely. i pair it with the spl auditor and it is great. i demo'd HD800 with just MDAC last week in a store and the amp just cannot

power them...and gets really distorted when you try. Can't wait to try HD800 or T1 with SPL and MDAC at some stage for a home

demo. 

 

What? Something must have been wrong with the setup then. They most definitely don't get distorted even at very high levels.

post #504 of 857

Quote:

Originally Posted by daisangen View Post

What? Something must have been wrong with the setup then. They most definitely don't get distorted even at very high levels.

Agreed, I have used a Beyer T1, various Audio Technicas, a Fostex TH900 and even an LCD-3 with it and while you could argue the finer points Head-Fi-style, none of them were ever distorted with any kind of music up to the volumes past which no one should listen to for any length of time... The furthest I had to dial up was unsurprisingly the LCD-3, at about 3-4 o'clock and again while they may not have been "fully driven", they certainly were not distorted sounding. Given the HD800's specs I don't see why that one would have any particular issues. I can only think of the source signal/material being weak/unstable or really low-gain to cause audible distortion.

 

...At least when it's working correctly, which alas from my own experience and others on the PFM forum seems to be not the case quite a few times.

 

(P.S.: I have moved my M-DAC out of my main rig recently for a somewhat better "pure" DAC (no hp out, volume etc.), but I have listened to plenty of combos using various DACs & amps, incl. the M-DAC balanced, unbalanced and headphone out and it's getting a bit tiring to hear this frankly elitist "oh, it's an integrated hp out so of course it can't be any good" prejudice. If you're on a budget getting the M-DAC and a good headphone is a very viable solution barring known "difficult" headphones, planars mostly)

post #505 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by khatch View Post

Tried it.  Returned it.  Didn't strike me as particularly special, given it's price point.  Nice Sabre signature, but I imagine the headphone out is the culprit in rendering it insufficiently unique.

HP out feature on the MDAC is like the fries that came with your burger. Let's focus on the quality of the burger.
post #506 of 857

Nope - can't do that.  Wanted it as a single box solution for my office.  The headphone out on the Anedio D2 was spectacular by way of comparison.  If I've got to run the output of the MDAC to a $1000 Lehmann BCL just to get decent sound, then I've kind of lost the price point advantage the MDAC appears to have.

 

Of course, I don't eat burgers OR fries....so that might explain the pickle I'm in.  wink_face.gif

 

The MDAC is a wonderfully competent single box solution for a head-fier.  I don't disagree with that general conclusion at all.  I never experienced any distortion with it.  But neither did it seem to drive my HD650 to their full potential like the BCL.  Hugely surprising?  No.  Disappointing?  A little.  If I didn't already own the BCL and was none the wiser, I'm sure the MDAC is all I would need.


Edited by khatch - 9/14/12 at 10:17am
post #507 of 857

hmm maybe distortion was the wrong word for me to use. I just felt that there was increased background hiss and highs got peaky when i went over 0 db on the 

MDAC HP out with HD800s. hmm i am using audirvana..a very transparent player. Anyway I am borrowing a pair of HD800s from shop friday, and will use with

my setup of MDAC and SPL Auditor..will chime in and do some comparisons MDAC solo and with amp. 

post #508 of 857

If you managed to reach 0db without blood coming off your ears there was definately something wrong with this set-up confused.gif

post #509 of 857

I wouldn't go past 0dB on the M-DAC, I know it can be pushed past it, but it's a bit like an overdrive mode, only if there is no other choice.

 

Obviously hiss in the source will be amplified as well if you really push it. And as far as Zenpunk's comment goes, it is quite possible to go that high if the source volume/gain is very low. And that seems to be at the heart of Daniel's issue... thus it makes sense that using any external amp as a second stage amplification will alleviate the problem, but again, not really so much an issue with the headphone section per se.

 

(I've had to turn up my Woo amps pretty far in an earlier chain until I put in a new DAC that outputs a strong clean signal on both balanced and RCA, and the volume setting on the amps is noticeably lower for the same perceived loudness...)

post #510 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by khatch View Post

Nope - can't do that.  Wanted it as a single box solution for my office.  The headphone out on the Anedio D2 was spectacular by way of comparison.  If I've got to run the output of the MDAC to a $1000 Lehmann BCL just to get decent sound, then I've kind of lost the price point advantage the MDAC appears to have.

Of course, I don't eat burgers OR fries....so that might explain the pickle I'm in.  wink_face.gif

Ha. Well put. When I first got he MDAC I experimented a little and found myself closer to nirvana when the signal went through my SR71B. And it's been like that ever since. Now I am wondering if I should pick up a Mjolnir. A one box solution would have been practical but in an environment where space is not an issue, i find that having to pay money up front, for a capable but non-swappable amplifier seems a little limiting.
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