Pots can have a severe effect on transparency. Apparently CEntrance says the difference between the LX and regular DACPort is just the addition of a pot. If you AB the two next to each other the difference is clearly evident even if you adjust the DACPorts pot to it's 'magic' sweet spot. I'm even contemplating removing the pot in my Super7 and using my PWD but the acceptable range will be limited from 60-100%
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Leckerton Audio Slimline UHA-4 - Page 66
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It is the necessary evil, and a designer will choose whatever is the lesser among his option.
Edited by ClieOS - 8/21/12 at 8:09pm
I always wonder if a fully open attenuator such as Alps is the same as no pot or is there such thing as a "magic sweet spot"? I have heard people suggesting 2-3pm as the optimal position but it could be another one of those audiophile nonsense that get repeated.
It probably is an deliberated choice not to use digital pot. Nick is more than capable when it comes to circuit design but to implement digital volume means an extra layer of signal processing, which in a way will lower the over transparency. It might not be much in real life, but given the customer are mainly audiophile, the attention to detail can pay off. I rather like how volume control is implemented on StepDance / QuickStep - the analog pot is digitally measured, then the position of the pot is digitally translated back onto analog switches for the actual volume control. It is kind of a digitalized analog volume control where you get the transparency and the fine control. But that in a way is much more complicated design that might not be feasible on such a smaller amp when there is already a DAC stuffed inside.
Meier's got the PCStep coming out in a few months...
Yeah, I know. I kind of posted it first in the forum . But PCStep has a much more limited DAC section when compared to the UHA-6 MKII though. It will be a direct competitor for UHA-4 - digital volume control, PCM270x based USB DAC solution and dual OPA209 amp section.
Quickstep is almost twice the price, I would think PCStep, given it is a step down model, should be more comfortably around $200~$300. Still, it is likely going to be more expensive than UHA-4.
Around $260~270, I believe.
I bought a UHA-4 from a fellow head-fier. As I already have the E17, I'll try to post some impressions of both. Will be using it to drive Westone 4, ER4S and Velodyne Pulse... I hope UHA-4 makes me get back to IEMs...
Got my UHA-4 in the house. It works fine out of my phone through USB OTG. Go Nokia!
EDIT: one day later. Fanboyism out of the way, I'm definitely hearing a refinement of bass in everything I own, especially the 2 orthos I own. And probably some larger soundstage, but not too sure about that.
Edited by jgray91 - 8/24/12 at 7:28pm
Finally listening to my new UHA-4. Wooooow, this is so good. I'm listening to Communiqué, by Dire Straits, and it never sounded so warm and full. Having a hard time levaing home to work now. The bass on W4 doesn't seem so recessed as has always been to me. I'll be honest: I'm liking this little combo more than Icon HDP + PS500 for example, as I was testing this ealier.
You guys think the UHA4 (OPA209AID) would pair well with my Senn HD25-1 ii? I'm not looking for any added coloration. Increased soundstage and transparency would be great. If it could pull out some more detail that'd be desirable.
P.S. - I'd be running it through my Macbook and iPhone 4.
Edited by Origin89 - 9/15/12 at 11:06am
I've been using the UHA-4 as a portable amp for a little while now with my IEM's. Enjoyed it! Now, I am getting the AKG Q701 very soon and wanted to know how would it perform as a dedicated DAC.
I'll be using the Little Dot I+ as the amp.
My setup will be; MacBook Pro --> UHA-4 (as DAC) --> Little Dot I+ --> AKG Q710
Or would I be better off getting a separate dedicated DAC. Don't want to spend much currently so if the UHA-4's doing a great job as a DAC then I'll be completely set.
- Leckerton Audio Slimline UHA-4
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