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Review: Anedio D1 DAC - my new reference DAC - Page 19

post #271 of 951

After many years of professional classical recording experience, I could not imagine a better DAC or headphone amp for anything under 10K. Enjoy

post #272 of 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by veritas aurum View Post

After many years of professional classical recording experience, I could not imagine a better DAC or headphone amp for anything under 10K. Enjoy



Hello veritas aurum,

 

I would like to know which headphones do you use with your Anedio ?

 

Are they good headphones for orchestral music ?

 

Thanks.

 

post #273 of 951

 Posted by TwoEars View Post



One of the flat out best DACs I've heard is the Norweigian Hegel HD10, it's pretty popular here in scandinavia. Very "easy flowing but yet dynamic and neutral with silent background" is how I'd describe that one, it's a real gem and a bit of a bargain too. Apperently their secret is a pantented method of filtering noise between the internal steps in the DAC, it seems to be working I have to say.

 

But as you can see the Anedio will be my first own real "high-end" DAC if you can call it that, I'm hoping to be blown away of course.... What really swayed me towards the Anedio was the Sabre chip, which I believe to be very well engineered, but also the the capability for a good headphone out directly from the DAC. I'm a bit of a minimalist in my approach to audio, for me there's no component in the signal path that can improve the sound if it doesn't need to be there. So to have a good headphone amp on the same circuit board as the Sabre DAC looks like a very interesting combination.

 

Basically - if the D1 delievers detail, bass texture and neutrality without sounding forced, analytical or harsh I think I have a winner and expect to keep it for many years to come.


Looking forward to your comparison of Hegel and Anedio DAC-s. Hegel is on my shortlist too. HD20 would not be much more expensive here in EU, but it's definitely a better DAC than HD10, especially if used with a PC.

 

post #274 of 951
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc87 View Post

Well I just got my D1 today, and HOLY CRAP this thing is so crystal clear it's ridiculous.  At first it sounded like I had lost a lot of bass punch, but then I realized that it was just better separation of the bass from the mids and highs giving an illusion of less bass.  All the audio is completely pure out of a totally empty background.  The DAC in the D1 is just incredible.  The headphone amp, I'll have to do a lot more listening to before I make any judgments on, on first impression, though I'd say that the headphone amp is very close in sound quality to my m902, but the DAC is so much better that it sounds like it's in a completely different class.  The highest impedance phones I have are my HD650's and at 300 ohms it seems to drive them quite well.  I will say this though, the Grado's really sound great with this Amp/DAC and is slowly tempting me to sell the HD650's and get some RS1's.


Thanks for the impressions. I almost get a bit nervous each time someone is about to try the D1, because I sort of feel it is my baby.... and I imagine a new user like yourself getting one and posting something like "It seems decent, not a huge upgrade, Project86 was exaggerating everything." But then each time people receive there's and have this experience, I am reminded that I'm not crazy.

 

I do look forward to continued comparisons with the amp section of the Grace though. Which, again, is a very good amp. Just if you get the time.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by singh View Post

yeah the first thing you notice with D1 is the exceptional clean sound !!

 

I have not been getting much time with D1 , but it sure is an excellent DAC and great Amp ( for low impedance Hps and IEMs .)



Too busy to listen much at home lately? In that case I hope your Miracles arrived by now.



Quote:
Originally Posted by veritas aurum View Post

After many years of professional classical recording experience, I could not imagine a better DAC or headphone amp for anything under 10K. Enjoy


Thanks for posting. Which headphones or speakers are you using?
 

 

post #275 of 951

Well you've certainly caught my attention.  I wish they had a model in black.

 

I know this is highly unlikely but is there any chance anyone's compared this to the AVA Hybrid DAC?  I was looking at the AVA but I didn't want a full-sized DAC and it was really pushing what I was comfortable paying for.  I do like the idea of a hi-res tube DAC though.

post #276 of 951

Im actually surprised such a perfectly sounding DAC comes with a headamp.  My preference would be that it was an option that I didn't have to get.

post #277 of 951


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoEars View Post


 


I've had a few DACs but not too many; swedish company Harmony Design makes the DA9 DAC which is good, but not spectacular. Then the Icon HDP which was quite a dissapointment, it may be good for a $400 do it all thingy if you're used to listening to your motherboard.... but I know better than that... Then a number of high end sound cards which actually sound better than you think, the biggest thing holding them down is probably electronic interference and cheap op-amps and capacitors.... there's a reason modding the asus essence is so popular, for the money it's prettty much unbeatable.

 

One of the flat out best DACs I've heard is the Norweigian Hegel HD10, it's pretty popular here in scandinavia. Very "easy flowing but yet dynamic and neutral with silent background" is how I'd describe that one, it's a real gem and a bit of a bargain too. Apperently their secret is a pantented method of filtering noise between the internal steps in the DAC, it seems to be working I have to say.

 

But as you can see the Anedio will be my first own real "high-end" DAC if you can call it that, I'm hoping to be blown away of course.... What really swayed me towards the Anedio was the Sabre chip, which I believe to be very well engineered, but also the the capability for a good headphone out directly from the DAC. I'm a bit of a minimalist in my approach to audio, for me there's no component in the signal path that can improve the sound if it doesn't need to be there. So to have a good headphone amp on the same circuit board as the Sabre DAC looks like a very interesting combination.

 

Basically - if the D1 delievers detail, bass texture and neutrality without sounding forced, analytical or harsh I think I have a winner and expect to keep it for many years to come.


I'd like to know your impressions about the HD10 vs D1 if possible.

 

post #278 of 951

Ok, so after doing some more listening I've come to a few conclusions:

 

1. The DAC in the D1 is just wonderful.  I've never head an MBL or any other $5,000+ stuff like that but in comparison to the m902 it's just so clear and articulate.  There was once a time when I thought digital music was just numbers and barring any data errors it all sounded the same.  Over the past few years I've slowly discarded this belief, the the D1 just completely erases that ideal altogether.  Don't get me wrong the m902 sounds really really good.  It is a $1500 DAC/Amp afterall but it doesn't strike me as anything special.  Yeah it's nice and clear and decodes music well but that's about it, nothing stands out.  Now I know that truly good audiophile equipment shouldn't stand out a lot at first listen because if it does it usually means it's colored in some way, but the D1 is an exception.  It instantly jumps out as being very clear and spacious while still being neutral and non-fatiguing.  Now on to the headphone amp.

 

2. The headphone amp is very very very neutral.  Some may like this, some may not.  I believe project86 quoted Anedio by saying that the amp was designed to preserve the neutrality of the DAC.  I believe it does this extremely well. The DAC just completely blows me away, and the amp doesn't take anything away from it.  Does it add anything to it?  Perhaps not but in my opinion the DAC is perfect enough that it doesn't need anything else.  I don't have any high impedance headphones, but the amp seems to work well with both my Grado SR225i's (32 ohms) and my Sennheiser HD650's (300 ohms).  It's my understanding that the amp isn't quite powerful enough for 600 ohm cans or ortho's.  Not sure about how it handles low sensitivity ones like the K701's.  That might be an interesting test sometime if I could get my hands on some.  

 

Perhaps I'm being a little unfair to the Amp.  I don't mean to suggest that the amp is in anyway underpar for a $1200 unit, maybe it's just that the DAC is so good in comparison the amp seems less significant.  After listening to the amp for a while I don't think the amp has any major flaws, but it also doesn't seem to have any characteristics that make it stand out above other amps, but maybe this neutrality and lack of coloration is what makes the D1 sound like the amazing device it really is.  Everybody's ears are different, all I can say is, if you have the money and are looking for a great amp/dac combo this it's probably the best choice out there for the price.  If I was a tube lover would I  dislike the D1?  I think if I had a the money and loved tubes the D1 would go really well with a Zana Deux or some other high end tube amp like this.  Really the DAC is good enough that I don't anticipate me ever needing to upgrade DAC's, unless they come out with 64 bit music or something like that.

 

3. Comparing the unit as a whole (amp and DAC) the mids sound at the very most just a tiny bit recessed.  That or all my other amps are mid heavy.  Either way I prefer the sound of the D1 more because certain tracks vocals almost sound forced inside your head, and the D1 manages to take vocals and set them out in front of you.  The D1 is very detailed and yet seems to avoid sounding harsh.  The sound is just butter smooth, yet never muddy.  I know they're supposed to be mutually exclusive.  Let me put it this way, sounds in music that sometimes sound harsh still have the aggressive tone that they did before but they don't hurt now.  Also it has an incredible jitter reduction system which seems to work fantastically, because I could listen to this thing for hours with no fatigue.  Imaging is just killer on this unit.  I've actually heard two cellists off in the right ear and thought, "oh I hear that one is in front of the other instead of side by side."  The soundstage is nice and wide but I think what impresses me the most is how deep it sounds.  Even my Grado's which aren't know for their soundstage, have this incredible feeling of vocalists waaay off in front of you instead of just, in the center.  Also some amps have kinda artificial soundstaging where they sound big, but they sound big in all 3 dimesions, as in stuff above and below and behind as well.  The D1 doesn't do this, at least not that I can hear.  Sounds from the D1 are laid out in a nice semi-circle in front of you.

 

Overall I'm very glad I bought the D1, for the time being it seems pretty upgrade proof.  The only and I mean the ONLY reason I would consider buying another piece of audio equipment (aside from some more headphones with which to enjoy the d1) is maybe getting a tube amp.  That being said, any amp I'd buy would have to be at least $1500, $2000 otherwise I don't think it would do the DAC justice.

post #279 of 951

My current system consists of the Anedio driving Antique Sound Lab "Monsoon" tube monoblocks (120watts pentode, 60watts triode) into Paradigm Signature S1s. Custom silver cabling, As to headphones, in the past I have owned Stax Lamda Pros. I am currently testing headphones, So far Denon 2000, with Fostex 50s and MB Quart 400s on the way. I will be modifying the phones and will probably keep the Fostex as I am accustomed to Monitor type sound and listen primarily to classical. I have modded the Monsoons with all teflon caps and hexfred rectifiers. Felt no need to modify the circuits as they are already reference class. Regards

post #280 of 951
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc87 View Post

Ok, so after doing some more listening I've come to a few conclusions:

 

1. The DAC in the D1 is just wonderful.  I've never head an MBL or any other $5,000+ stuff like that but in comparison to the m902 it's just so clear and articulate.  There was once a time when I thought digital music was just numbers and barring any data errors it all sounded the same.  Over the past few years I've slowly discarded this belief, the the D1 just completely erases that ideal altogether.  Don't get me wrong the m902 sounds really really good.  It is a $1500 DAC/Amp afterall but it doesn't strike me as anything special.  Yeah it's nice and clear and decodes music well but that's about it, nothing stands out.  Now I know that truly good audiophile equipment shouldn't stand out a lot at first listen because if it does it usually means it's colored in some way, but the D1 is an exception.  It instantly jumps out as being very clear and spacious while still being neutral and non-fatiguing.  Now on to the headphone amp.

 

2. The headphone amp is very very very neutral.  Some may like this, some may not.  I believe project86 quoted Anedio by saying that the amp was designed to preserve the neutrality of the DAC.  I believe it does this extremely well. The DAC just completely blows me away, and the amp doesn't take anything away from it.  Does it add anything to it?  Perhaps not but in my opinion the DAC is perfect enough that it doesn't need anything else.  I don't have any high impedance headphones, but the amp seems to work well with both my Grado SR225i's (32 ohms) and my Sennheiser HD650's (300 ohms).  It's my understanding that the amp isn't quite powerful enough for 600 ohm cans or ortho's.  Not sure about how it handles low sensitivity ones like the K701's.  That might be an interesting test sometime if I could get my hands on some.  

 

Perhaps I'm being a little unfair to the Amp.  I don't mean to suggest that the amp is in anyway underpar for a $1200 unit, maybe it's just that the DAC is so good in comparison the amp seems less significant.  After listening to the amp for a while I don't think the amp has any major flaws, but it also doesn't seem to have any characteristics that make it stand out above other amps, but maybe this neutrality and lack of coloration is what makes the D1 sound like the amazing device it really is.  Everybody's ears are different, all I can say is, if you have the money and are looking for a great amp/dac combo this it's probably the best choice out there for the price.  If I was a tube lover would I  dislike the D1?  I think if I had a the money and loved tubes the D1 would go really well with a Zana Deux or some other high end tube amp like this.  Really the DAC is good enough that I don't anticipate me ever needing to upgrade DAC's, unless they come out with 64 bit music or something like that.

 

3. Comparing the unit as a whole (amp and DAC) the mids sound at the very most just a tiny bit recessed.  That or all my other amps are mid heavy.  Either way I prefer the sound of the D1 more because certain tracks vocals almost sound forced inside your head, and the D1 manages to take vocals and set them out in front of you.  The D1 is very detailed and yet seems to avoid sounding harsh.  The sound is just butter smooth, yet never muddy.  I know they're supposed to be mutually exclusive.  Let me put it this way, sounds in music that sometimes sound harsh still have the aggressive tone that they did before but they don't hurt now.  Also it has an incredible jitter reduction system which seems to work fantastically, because I could listen to this thing for hours with no fatigue.  Imaging is just killer on this unit.  I've actually heard two cellists off in the right ear and thought, "oh I hear that one is in front of the other instead of side by side."  The soundstage is nice and wide but I think what impresses me the most is how deep it sounds.  Even my Grado's which aren't know for their soundstage, have this incredible feeling of vocalists waaay off in front of you instead of just, in the center.  Also some amps have kinda artificial soundstaging where they sound big, but they sound big in all 3 dimesions, as in stuff above and below and behind as well.  The D1 doesn't do this, at least not that I can hear.  Sounds from the D1 are laid out in a nice semi-circle in front of you.

 

Overall I'm very glad I bought the D1, for the time being it seems pretty upgrade proof.  The only and I mean the ONLY reason I would consider buying another piece of audio equipment (aside from some more headphones with which to enjoy the d1) is maybe getting a tube amp.  That being said, any amp I'd buy would have to be at least $1500, $2000 otherwise I don't think it would do the DAC justice.


Wow, excellent summary Joel. I agree completely and I really couldn't add anything to the discussion. 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by veritas aurum View Post

My current system consists of the Anedio driving Antique Sound Lab "Monsoon" tube monoblocks (120watts pentode, 60watts triode) into Paradigm Signature S1s. Custom silver cabling, As to headphones, in the past I have owned Stax Lamda Pros. I am currently testing headphones, So far Denon 2000, with Fostex 50s and MB Quart 400s on the way. I will be modifying the phones and will probably keep the Fostex as I am accustomed to Monitor type sound and listen primarily to classical. I have modded the Monsoons with all teflon caps and hexfred rectifiers. Felt no need to modify the circuits as they are already reference class. Regards



Very nice! Paradigm Sig S1 is an excellent mini-monitor, and that setup must sound amazing.

post #281 of 951

I took a chance on the Sig1s, not having heard them. I had their Active 20s at one time which I though were exceeded in SQ only by ATC actives which were 4 times the price. I have not been displeased by the SIgs. They are the most accurate reproducer I have ever heard-not quite the speed of ribbons or electrostats but so close I do not care. They do so many other things right. This by the the way is the pick of the litter of the Sig line. The lack of box talk and the fact that small speakers get in their own way less (how about that construction from a PhD) That is the only way I know to put it. I also had AE-1s(the original) which I really liked. I do not like their re-make. Regards

post #282 of 951

I've read parts of the thread, the D1 sounds like a great high end DAC. 

 

How do you think the D1 will fare with a Schiit Lyr amp (6N1P tubes atm) + Hifiman HE-6?

post #283 of 951
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorgDK View Post

I've read parts of the thread, the D1 sounds like a great high end DAC. 

 

How do you think the D1 will fare with a Schiit Lyr amp (6N1P tubes atm) + Hifiman HE-6?



I haven't heard the Lyr or the HE-6, but it shouldn't really matter: A good DAC that delivers startlingly clear high resolution sound should work well with any amp. Basically any coloration would be left up to the amp itself, and obviously the headphones. I believe at least one D1 owner has plans to get a Lyr at some point in the near future, to pair with the LCD-2. So maybe keep an eye out for updates. 

post #284 of 951

^^ i will be getting HE6 soon , and i have secured myself a nice vintage amp , the sansui AU-999 , in good condition.

 

The D1 will be used in the system as a DAC , i hope it works out well. I will be trying out the HE6 with the HP out of the au999 ( as i have heard the HPout of vintage is also sufficiently powerful ), If not then they deliver 80 watt at 8ohms , should be plenty for HE6 .

 

 

About Lyr, from what i have read they have enough power for HE6 but synergy wise they are bight, so more suited with LCD-2. For HE6 something warm is more suited ( just my opinion )

 

post #285 of 951

Ok, I've now had my D1 for about 4 days and can offer some initial impressions. Listening was done with my trusty HD650 headphones but also Shure 115 ear buds which I use when going mobile. Here are some impression:

 

1. It's a very good DAC. One of the best I've heard in any price range, if YOU like it may depend on your equipment and listening habits.

 

2. It's very detailed, if it's on the recording this DAC will bring it out. Amazing on good recordings, less so on sloppy ones.

 

3. I would say it's very neutral, doesn't add any coloration that I can notice.

 

4. It's a very clear and quiet DAC with a black background, sort of to be expected in this price range but just in case people are wondering.

 

5. It's great at bringing out texture from the bottom end, deep bass, bass guitars, guitars, drums etc get several layers rather than just flat notes.

 

6. It's got great depth and stereo perspective, not only can you sense where the drummer is but on good recordings you can even place individual drums.

 

7. It's not at all harsh, I've heard several DACs that bring out more sibilance. I have some Depeche Mode tracks where Gahan is almost half snake but this DAC didn't make a mess of it at all.

 

8. I would say it's more of a musical and smooth stereo perspective kind of DAC than a in-your-face PRAT kind of DAC. (in my experience there's often a trade off between those two, they're hard to combine). I'm not 100% sure of this though, would have liked some more headphones to test with.

 

9. It places voices quite far out in the room, this can be good or bad depending on your equipment. With the HD650 I felt it contributed to the Sennheiser veil which wasn't ideal.

 

10. The headphone amp section I feel is not up to snuff of driving my HD650s, in fact I'm afraid I feel it contributes to the infamous sennheiser veil. Something I know is a sign of the headphones being under driven. If you listen to the drums at the beginning of "money for nothing" there was almost no PRAT to speak of, I know the Burson 160D with its inbuilt amp will make the headphone membranes touch your ears during this passage.

 

I really would have liked some Grado's handy since I instinctively feel that they would be a good match, bringing a little bit more PRAT and intimacy to the game.

 

So to summarize I'm both impressed and a bit disappointed with the Anedio D1. I feel that it's a great DAC but sadly I can't recommend it to anyone who plan on driving any "difficult" headphones with this unit alone. If you plan on driving 50 ohm headphones (regular membrane ones that is) you will probably be fine but my 300 ohm HD650 didn't fare too well.

 

Me myself - I'm somewhat torn. I'm thinking of either getting a headphone amp for the D1 or simply getting a Burson 160D instead, which I've heard and know is more than capable of driving my HD650s.

 

I also feel that the D1, while a great unit by its own merit, may perform best with classical, jazz and orchestral music due to its (as I experienced it) smooth, revealing and precise nature. I feel that the Burson H160D is more suited to pop, rock, electronica and such music that I usually favor. Don't get me wrong, the D1 is a great DAC and as any great DAC it can play all kinds of music. I just feel that pop, rock and electronica isn't its strongest card.

 

Once again - these are my initial findings when using my HD650s from the headphone out jack. I would appreciate if you others who also have the D1 could tell me if I'm onto something here or if you think that I'm off riding the bicycle in the loony field.


Edited by TwoEars - 5/9/11 at 3:19pm
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