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Kramer 6410N Balanced Out DAC for under $50? ($835 Retail?)

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 

Recently I bought a pair of K240 Sextetts and while researching it's acclaim on HeadFi, I decided to sell some other gear to gather funds to get back into headphones and dedicated components. Till now, I was using a M-Audio FastTrack PRO to drive a pair of $15 JBL Reference 430 (anyone heard of these?).

 

Upto now, my mind was set on either Matrix Mini-i, HLLY SMK-III, Audio-Gd NFB-11/12 or something else around $300. However, after numerous days of searching and what-not, I ran into a small little unit called Kramer 6410N DAC going for $40.

 

So I started googling it and somehow it retails for $835 and still sells on Markertek for $635 (WTF?!). Either this was a hoax or I was seeing things. So I pulled the trigger and figure what's the worst that could happen? I get a $35 paper weight? I tried researching on the unit for hours but I got frustrated and came back empty handed. 

 

 

Referencing to the manual, it lists that it:

 

- Has AES/EBU and AES-ID3 transformer coupled inputs.
-Supports multi-standards - AES/EBU, IEC 958, S/PDIF and EIAJ CP340/1201 professional and consumer formats with sampling frequencies up to 96kHz.
-Provides automatic equalization and reclocking of the digital audio stream.
-Supports up to 96kHz.
-Features selectable conversion ratio (D/A) settings: 0dBFS to +12dB, +16dB, +20dB or +24dB
 
INPUTS: 4 digital audio inputs: AES 75; AES/EBU; S/PDIF; TosLink Optical
OUTPUTS: 2 analog outputs: balanced line out on detachable terminal blocks;
SAMPLE RATE CONVERSION: 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 96kHz
CONVERSION GAIN: +12dB, +16dB, +20dB,+24dB
BANDWIDTH (+4dBu/-3dBu): 20Hz to 22kHz
MAX. OUTPUT LEVEL: 11.2Vpp @1kHz
S/N RATIO: 88dB
AUDIO THD + NOISE: -92dB
AUDIO 2nd HARMONIC: 0.003%
CONTROLS: Input selector buttons, 8 gain switches, headphones level rotary control knob, 2 LEDs: ON and LINK
POWER SOURCE: 12V DC/1.25A, 150mA
DIMENSIONS: 12cm x 6.95cm x 2.44cm (4.72" x 2.74" x 0.96", W, D, H)
 
I'm not a audiophile but the specs seem okay but nothing extraordinary. It is very small. But, I just can't seem to figure out why the unit retailed for over $800. Maybe the R/D costs went out of the roof? confused_face(1).gif
 
Anyone have any info. on this unit or better yet the company? darthsmile.gif
 

Edited by JiggaD369 - 12/18/10 at 12:26pm
post #2 of 78
Quote:

I'm not a audiophile but the specs seem okay but nothing extraordinary. It is very small. But, I just can't seem to figure out why the unit retailed for over $800. Maybe the R/D costs went out of the roof? confused_face(1).gif



My guess would be the 88dB SNR and -92dB THD specs are the reason for the low cost.


Edited by IPodPJ - 12/19/10 at 3:07pm
post #3 of 78
Thread Starter 

Do the specs seem low? I'm guessing that is not a good thing?

post #4 of 78

Yes, the specs are below standard CD quality.

post #5 of 78
Thread Starter 

Hey PJ,

 

Yeah the specs seem weird considering the fact this is a studio DAC. I don't know but maybe the specs are misleading.

 

Got the DAC in last night and have been listening to for quite some time today and to my surprise, it sounds..good. I don't have my Sextetts or the Lovely Cube yet but a low impedence headphone (JBL 430) out of the headphone jack out of the DAC sounds better than the Fasttrack PRO. Excuse my use of poor words but it is very detailed and everything seems tighter, controlled, and a more of a 3D soundstage.

 

IMO, I'm not dissapointed with my $35 bucks being spent! I'll hold onto this until I get a very good DAC, then it can serve my Samson Resolv 50A's so I can taste my first balance love! :)

 

I took some internal shots if anyone cares to observe. It uses a CS8416 and CS4271 (twin of the same chip that Apogee and Audiofire uses in some products like the Duet).

 

5281468907_3ab5e48560_b.jpg

 

5281469163_e2b55a3af7_b.jpg

 

5281470023_258aaa33e7_b.jpg

 

5282069490_6b7369d083_b.jpg

post #6 of 78

Hello,

I am considering to buy this DAC for my Apple TV 1st gen (yes it has analog audio output, but it sounds bad.) This DAC uses terminal block connector for analog out (why they didn't use TRS jack? Is it because this was marketed for broadcasters and AV productions?) for around $40, this is cheaper than Digital Audio to Analog Audio Converter. The $835 detail price tag does not make sense to me, but This one uses nice metal casing, and can accept 4 different type of digital connections, this is too good to be true for under $50. It looks like really solid product. 

By the way, how did you connect the DAC's analog out to your receiver? It seems like I have to make converter cable for this DAC.

I've just read the manual, it has gain control too!

post #7 of 78
Thread Starter 

JV,

 

The DAC is built better than alot of stuff I've seen. Build quality is superb!

 

The Euroblock is used for quick connections since it is built for broadcast/studio purposes. It is barely 4" long, like literally fit in your hand! You'd be surprised how much they fit into this thing. I like the blocks better than other connector since all you have to do screw/unscrew the cable.

 

What I would do is make a cable with one side unterminated and the other side with whatever connector your Apple TV uses. The unterminated side just screws into the DAC. Easy!

 

I have yet to use the balanced output since I don't have a balanced amp but I'll use a RCA to DAC for single ended amp. 

 

There is only one seller out there selling it for $40 right now so it might last too long. This is not the retail price right now, just one seller liquidating stock.

 

BTW, could you explain what the "conversion gain" is used for?


Edited by JiggaD369 - 12/23/10 at 1:16pm
post #8 of 78

I did a search on this, and quite a few retailers is selling this in the 650.00 range. I would have been very skeptical if it wasn't for the fact someone has already bought and received this(Jigga369 thanks for taking one for the team). I'm blown away at the price. Even if it's crap, it only cost me 40 bucks.  I don't need a dac, but this was too good to pass up. There was only one left, and surprisingly, someone had made an offer on it. Well I wouldn't was my time on that. Someone could come along and scoop this up for the buy it now price(which is what I did).  We'll see how it compares to what I have now.

post #9 of 78

Wow, it's even on amazon for 668.00

post #10 of 78

Even the cheapest DAC that accept Optical digital would cost more than 45 bucks on amazon.  This is just too good to pass. I already ordered. I'll report the result.

post #11 of 78

Jigga,

 

The gain setting is used for how "loud" or hot you want the output to be. You can think of fixed volume knob for line out. Most of consumer model don't have this. This setting does not (should not) affect headphone output.

post #12 of 78

Wow, what a deal....How are you connecting to an amp?  All I see on the site is that block terminal box.

 

Thanks

post #13 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moodyrn View Post

I did a search on this, and quite a few retailers is selling this in the 650.00 range. I would have been very skeptical if it wasn't for the fact someone has already bought and received this(Jigga369 thanks for taking one for the team). I'm blown away at the price. Even if it's crap, it only cost me 40 bucks.  I don't need a dac, but this was too good to pass up. There was only one left, and surprisingly, someone had made an offer on it. Well I wouldn't was my time on that. Someone could come along and scoop this up for the buy it now price(which is what I did).  We'll see how it compares to what I have now.



Mood, I searched for a good 3 hours before I made a decision to go ahead and order it. I thought I was seeing things. But like I said, how much can $35 hurt? At most, a paper weight. Looking at the insides, they definitely did not skimp on parts. 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jvcforce View Post

Jigga,

 

The gain setting is used for how "loud" or hot you want the output to be. You can think of fixed volume knob for line out. Most of consumer model don't have this. This setting does not (should not) affect headphone output.


THat's what I thought it is but I think "CONVERSION gain" is something else.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post

Wow, what a deal....How are you connecting to an amp?  All I see on the site is that block terminal box.

 

Thanks


I don't have my amp yet but when I do, I will be using a 3 conductor cable that has RCA/XLR/TRS on one side and unterminated on the other side going to the eurooblock (see pic. below).

 

485454.jpg


Edited by JiggaD369 - 12/24/10 at 3:16pm
post #14 of 78

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post

Wow, what a deal....How are you connecting to an amp?  All I see on the site is that block terminal box.

 

Thanks

 

 

 

Looks like I'm going to have to use a cable with no termination on one end and either xlr or rca on the other end. It's pretty simple for me since I make all of my own cables anyway. Since most quality connectors have a body you can unscrew, anyone else that owns aftermarket cables could just unscrew the body and desolder the connector. If all else fail, just get a pair of wire cutters, cut the connector off and just stick the bare wire in the terminal block.

post #15 of 78
Thread Starter 

I prefer the euroblock since all it is simple plug/unplug.

 

Easy as ABC.

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