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TOTALDAC DAC - Page 2

post #16 of 30

While I agree that cost wise this DAC is in a different ballgame I don't really understand how it would sound much different from any mid-fi or pro audio DACs as most are already perfectly transparent and in many cases indistinguishable? confused.gif

post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SebastianL View Post

 

Now these two dacs are both using standard converter chips. The totaldac is a discrete r2r ladder design not utilizing a converter chip but resistors. If you haven't heard a r2r ladder dac you're in for a surprise. It's a whole different ballgame.

Well, I've spoken with a few people and have heard a few other's thoughts. In most cases the Cantata is either their fav DAC, or best DAC they've ever heard.

 

So firstly, I'd like to ask if you've personally heard the 2 aforementioned? And secondly, what are we talking about here 1a and 1b, or is the difference much more stark?

post #18 of 30

No, I haven't heard the two dacs. I'm sure they're both great dacs and I wouldn't mind owning one of them.

However I have heard a great many 'traditional' chip dacs in different price ranges and I've always felt just like zenpunk that many of them are quite indistinguishable. And many of them have a transparant sound. But what struck me about the totaldac was its ability to be 'lifelike', to convey depth and 3D, to really hear the ambience of the recording space, the feeling of being there. It just sounded so natural and effortless.

I must admit that I'm mostly interested in acoustic recordings such as classical and jazz with no or few overdubs and no artificial reverb added. Just a good acoustical environment and proper placing of the mikes. If rock/pop/dance is your type of music then a discrete dac might not be for you.

One's taste may vary. For my listening preferences a r2rladder dac like the totaldac is hard to beat.
 

"And secondly, what are we talking about here 1a and 1b, or is the difference much more stark?"

Not sure what you mean by that but maybe I answered your question already.

post #19 of 30

The Ed Meitner dacs and EMM Labs (same thing) are made that way too. If you get a chance go listen to them (I haven't heard them either though).


Edited by SebastianL - 1/17/13 at 2:43am
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SebastianL View Post

 

Not sure what you mean by that but maybe I answered your question already.

Not really. But you did offer your 2cents. Thanks,

post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post

While I agree that cost wise this DAC is in a different ballgame I don't really understand how it would sound much different from any mid-fi or pro audio DACs as most are already perfectly transparent and in many cases indistinguishable? confused.gif

 

While at one of the headphone festivals last year I sat down at Bakoon's table to try one of their amps. The only source that was on the table appeared to be an old and battered CEC CD player. Given that Bakoon's amps are quite expensive, this was a surprise.  Usually I flick through about 30 seconds of a few tracks with any piece of equipment and listen (with my own headphones). That time, I listened through a whole track, mesmerised.  I'm not an idiot and assumed a good DAC was under the table, so I asked what it was. It was a hand-build resistor ladder DAC (similar to the TotalDAC). After that experience, I couldn't listen to anything else at the show without thinking about what I'd heard. The experience ruined me for the rest of the show, rather like ribbon tweeter speakers have ruined me for speakers that don't have one.

post #22 of 30
I understand that the headphone out jack in the back of the D1-dual is quite good and very powerfull. Is it correct ?

Is someone using it successfully ?

Does this mean that i should not have bought an Eddie Curent 445 tube headphone amp ( at least for dynamic Headphones) that...I should (finally !) receive it tomorrow redface.gif
Edited by bmichels - 11/19/14 at 11:27am
post #23 of 30

I am listening to my new amp EC 445 for 2 days right now. The source is totaldac streamer/reclocker + dual DAC. The HP are abyss and lcd xc.

Firstly i had some good cd players as accuphase 75 v krell 280, docs puccini and auralic vega (from macbook air and jcat) and i must say totaldac is IMHO the best source to hear instrumental music. It has marvelous scene, instrument separation, no digital harshness at all and this something that i can hardly describe but would call it fluidity and what makes you think you hear to a real instruments. Detail is very good too, you can hear anything you want to hear but it is not that type of hyper detailed source that lets you ears bleed and have nothing to do with a life music IMO.

I have tried it HP output too, and drove my abyss directly throw xld outputs and it was very good, but not better then a very good tube amp, such as EC 445 which matches totaldac very, very good. 

I this has something to say i do not feel any need to change my source, and i am seriously ill (audiophile nervosa ;-)) and had the money to buy maybe something more expensive.

post #24 of 30


This is a very good combo indeed. You can see it on my face ;-)

post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cortazar View Post

 

This is a very good combo indeed. You can see it on my face ;-)

 

Cortazar, I am happy for you that you enjoy your new toy.... and I am reassured when you say "EC 445 matches totaldac very, very good" :D 

 

- Does the 445 sound "tubey" enough for your taste ? not too analytic  or  too SS type of sound ? 

 

 

- Is the 445 better than your kondo to drive your Headphones ?  or how does it sound different ?

 

 

- Can you elaborate when you say "the Total-DAC drove my abyss directly throw xld outputs and it was very good, but not better then a very good tube amp..." ?  Is the 445 still much better than the Headphone "direct from the XLR of the totalDAC" ?  In other words, when you owe a TotalDAC D1-Dual, is the extra 4000$ for the 445 worth it ? (Expecialy with dynamic headphone easier to drive than your ABBYS : I have TH900, Ultrasone ED5, and I am thinking buying a HD800...all recabled balanced)

 

thanks for your feedback


Edited by bmichels - 11/20/14 at 11:28am
post #26 of 30

Look what I received today...  :D    :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   

 

Listening impressions later...

 

Quite a step-up from my previous tube amp....at least in size !!

 

  

 

Now I really need... a decent DAC. It should be a TotalDAC D1-Dual (or.... an AMR777SE ? or... :rolleyes: )


Edited by bmichels - 11/20/14 at 9:21am
post #27 of 30

I am happy that your waiting is over ;-). So to your questions:

 

I find 445 tuby as it is very clear, detailed and has a exceptional stereo scene. Meantime it has (with acoustic music) not a weakness of for example 300 B as it has good bass and clear highs.

It is not ''tuby'' in the sense of thick and slow. With totaldac i do not find it lean either, it sounds simply naturally. 

 

I find kondo souga warmer and very slightly slower. It was not a matter of class but taste. I prefer 445 with abyss.

 

I can not answer your questions concerning dynamic HP good, as i only have one pair (LCD-XC). Here i do not think it is pretty similar. (with and without 445). Totaldac drives abyss very good (via xlr) assumed you do not hear too loud. But if you want to hear what abyss really can you have to hear it pretty loud IMHO, and i find if you can afford 445 the difference is worth that money.

I have contacted many known audiophiles (some reviewer, and people who heard many expensive DAC-s) before i bought totaldac.

See f.e. here:

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?6905-Totaldac-Reference-D1/page16 

 

and keep in mind that was ''only'' the DAC without reclocker and streamer which really make a difference.

I have not heard streaming clients throw it, but i find app /application and ease to use it simply excellent.

 

The only thing to criticise an 445 is how it looks (but on the other hand it fits abyss which are not a beautiest HP too ;-)) 

post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cortazar View Post
 

I am happy that your waiting is over ;-). So to your questions:

 

I find 445 tuby as it is very clear, detailed and has a exceptional stereo scene. Meantime it has (with acoustic music) not a weakness of for example 300 B as it has good bass and clear highs.

It is not ''tuby'' in the sense of thick and slow. With totaldac i do not find it lean either, it sounds simply naturally. 

 

I find kondo souga warmer and very slightly slower. It was not a matter of class but taste. I prefer 445 with abyss.

 

I can not answer your questions concerning dynamic HP good, as i only have one pair (LCD-XC). Here i do not think it is pretty similar. (with and without 445). Totaldac drives abyss very good (via xlr) assumed you do not hear too loud. But if you want to hear what abyss really can you have to hear it pretty loud IMHO, and i find if you can afford 445 the difference is worth that money.

I have contacted many known audiophiles (some reviewer, and people who heard many expensive DAC-s) before i bought totaldac.

See f.e. here:

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?6905-Totaldac-Reference-D1/page16 

 

and keep in mind that was ''only'' the DAC without reclocker and streamer which really make a difference.

I have not heard streaming clients throw it, but i find app /application and ease to use it simply excellent.

 

The only thing to criticise an 445 is how it looks (but on the other hand it fits abyss which are not a beautiest HP too ;-)) 

 

thanks for your answer.  it is now 95% certain that I will buy a totalDAC D1-Dual, and 50% certain that I will but the TotalDAC Server  (still need to understand if it can easily stream CD Quality Qobuz & TIDAL).

Re the look of the 445, I agree with you, but I will try to improve it with some Transformers covers.  

 

Still hesitating which model; and wonder if I should not use aluminium finish one instead of black ? 

 

  

post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 

 

 

Still hesitating which model; and wonder if I should not use aluminium finish one instead of black ? 

 

I'd go for the natural alu ones, just for the sake of sheer contrast.

 

With that said, I'm pretty sure that this below would look amazing :

 

post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cortazar View Post

This is a very good combo indeed.


I think that's a minor understatement.

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