Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Best DAC from $1500 to $2500 (or so) Can anything beat the Eastern Electric Minimax?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best DAC from $1500 to $2500 (or so) Can anything beat the Eastern Electric Minimax? - Page 2

post #16 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by computerparts View Post

 

I agree, though I wouldn't say the the Audio Note has a rolled off top end. More like an even tonal balance with no spotlighting. In my AN dac detail is there in spades, it's just not emphasized and calling attention to itself.

 

Couldn't have said it better myself!

post #17 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by bixby View Post

I would be curious to hear your thoughts on the Calyx as well.  I respect NAD but their digital amp at RMAF with PSB flagship speakers sounded awfully bright.  I know, not the place to judge, but more times than not it gives a good taste.

 

I am going to be spending more time trying to get a few of the other usb spdif bridges in for audition / review.  My recent trip to my friends with my dac and bridge vs his Ayre was eye opening.  I liked lots of what my dac did vs the Ayre, yet liked some things on the Ayre.  But a simple power cord swap to one I brought got things very close indeed.  Actually the BC did better int he hall ambiance and depth dept on some cuts.  Sometimes there is less diff in dacs and more in OS.  The new Mountain Lions running Audirvana Plus sounded great vs Lion.  Much bigger diff than the two dacs.

 

I ended up posting a review here: Review: Calyx DAC 24/192

 

Much of it comes down to the S/PDIF bridge. I would have preferred to get the NAD I think, but there isn't a 100V Japanese version and an imported one might not work properly.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by computerparts View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by colinharding View Post

I've heard/owned most of those and I can personally guarantee that the Audio Note, whichever fits your price range, will blow the others out of the water.  Different sound sig tho.  The others will all be brighter and thinner, leaning toward a more spatial and audiophile sound...all about the details and airy top end.  The Audio Note will be heavy and rich, with lush overtones and rolled off top end.  More more fun to listen to and non fatiguing.  The only downside is that you won't get a USB connection if you need that.  If you can stretch your budget to 3500, you could get a synthesis matrix.  Dual mono, 12ax7 tube dac (two per side) with opamp buffers, two optical, two coax, usb, should have everything you need.  Both of the DACs I've mentioned will not sound like your other choices, just to be clear.  They are heavily involving and emotional, not detail retrieval hounds.  Think Sennheiser HD650 (lush, midrangy, emotional) vs AKG 701 (detail oriented, dry, sparkling), becomes and exercise of taste one is not technically better than the other.  Just my two cents.  

 

I agree, though I wouldn't say the the Audio Note has a rolled off top end. More like an even tonal balance with no spotlighting. In my AN dac detail is there in spades, it's just not emphasized and calling attention to itself.

 

I was just wondering where you'd gotten to the other day. I ended up getting a Metrum Octave NOS DAC which has made for an interesting contrast to the other DACs I own, being especially appreciable in presenting instruments in a more natural tone, albeit requiring a good transport or bridge to get great results.

post #18 of 256
The AN dacs and orthos? Too lush? Would like to give one of these a run but am concerned about the possible synergy issues.
post #19 of 256

It will have the same sound sig as your Cal Sigma, had one of those a number of years back and loved it the Alpha was even better.  So no, not too lush it will keep a lot of the same qualities as your Cal DAC but the sound will be on another level.  It will be much more dynamic and punchy rather than lush.  Based on your sig it seems like lush would be a welcome reprieve with the Grados and AKGs.

post #20 of 256
Thus the HE-6.

Thank you for a comparison I can relate to. The resolution is missing from this old CAL compared to the newer DACs. But it still has an easy flow that belies a digital source. I've resisted moving on because of the newer DAC sound being pretty hard. I've wanted a tubed DAC now that I've gone to a SS amp based system. I think the AN is really a good fit. The only thing I'd need is a volume control as I have no need of a pre. There are line volume controls out there but would love to have it in the digital realm.

The Ks and RS's were played on a tube amp and I could roll the signal tube to taste. Grados are what they are, an in your face guitar can. The Ks aren't used and the RS are only used for portable purposes. Home has gravitated to the HE-6 only. I am going to build around the HE-6 for an end rig and I believe AN gives me future upgrades as digital evolves. The joy of building it will be satisfying and the lucky one to get it when I die will have a story to tell. That DAC 3.1 Sig. looks to be right in this thread's wheelhouse for best sound for the money unless you go for the C core transformers. That can always be an upgrade option down the road.
post #21 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

I ended up posting a review here: Review: Calyx DAC 24/192

 

Much of it comes down to the S/PDIF bridge. I would have preferred to get the NAD I think, but there isn't a 100V Japanese version and an imported one might not work properly.

 

 

I was just wondering where you'd gotten to the other day. I ended up getting a Metrum Octave NOS DAC which has made for an interesting contrast to the other DACs I own, being especially appreciable in presenting instruments in a more natural tone, albeit requiring a good transport or bridge to get great results.

 

I'm still around. Mostly trying to piece together the rest of my system. Welcome to the world of NOS smile_phones.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

Thus the HE-6.
Thank you for a comparison I can relate to. The resolution is missing from this old CAL compared to the newer DACs. But it still has an easy flow that belies a digital source. I've resisted moving on because of the newer DAC sound being pretty hard. I've wanted a tubed DAC now that I've gone to a SS amp based system. I think the AN is really a good fit. The only thing I'd need is a volume control as I have no need of a pre. There are line volume controls out there but would love to have it in the digital realm.
The Ks and RS's were played on a tube amp and I could roll the signal tube to taste. Grados are what they are, an in your face guitar can. The Ks aren't used and the RS are only used for portable purposes. Home has gravitated to the HE-6 only. I am going to build around the HE-6 for an end rig and I believe AN gives me future upgrades as digital evolves. The joy of building it will be satisfying and the lucky one to get it when I die will have a story to tell. That DAC 3.1 Sig. looks to be right in this thread's wheelhouse for best sound for the money unless you go for the C core transformers. That can always be an upgrade option down the road.

 

Sounds like the AN is right up your alley. I have the DAC kit 2.1B and it made a good match with the Raysonic tube integrated I used to own as well as the Rotel receiver I'm currently temporarily using. So I'd say it's fairly versatile in that regard. The 3.1 sig will be my next upgrade, just can't imagine it getting much better than it already is. That's what's great about these AN dac kits is that you can always upgrade them. 

post #22 of 256

Building is quite fun (I answered your kit question in another thread), but if you really like that AN sound and want something comparable I would seriously check out the Synthesis Matrix DAC.  It will beat out AN until a DAC 3, which is 10k or so.  Matrix is about 3500 by comparison, but is absolutely phenomenal.  24bit, usb, upsampling, etc but it is directly tube driven in a dual mono setup with two 12ax7's per channel and philbrick opamp buffers (the original opamps from the 50's or 60's) with a 2uF capacitor output.  So roll tubes, change caps, to get whatever sound you like but it is a fabulous DAC if you're looking for that sultry, 3D, organic AN sound.  Very big punchy sound that is as far from thin and lean as you can get, very AN in this way which is why I still think it is the best DAC under 10k (AN DAC 3 beating it out by quite a large margin).  If you want some more comparisons let me know as I've had over 20 different DACs haha.  I've mentioned the Matrix a few times on Headfi but nobody's taken the bait yet devil_face.gif

post #23 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by colinharding View Post

Building is quite fun (I answered your kit question in another thread), but if you really like that AN sound and want something comparable I would seriously check out the Synthesis Matrix DAC.  It will beat out AN until a DAC 3, which is 10k or so.  Matrix is about 3500 by comparison, but is absolutely phenomenal.  24bit, usb, upsampling, etc but it is directly tube driven in a dual mono setup with two 12ax7's per channel and philbrick opamp buffers (the original opamps from the 50's or 60's) with a 2uF capacitor output.  So roll tubes, change caps, to get whatever sound you like but it is a fabulous DAC if you're looking for that sultry, 3D, organic AN sound.  Very big punchy sound that is as far from thin and lean as you can get, very AN in this way which is why I still think it is the best DAC under 10k (AN DAC 3 beating it out by quite a large margin).  If you want some more comparisons let me know as I've had over 20 different DACs haha.  I've mentioned the Matrix a few times on Headfi but nobody's taken the bait yet devil_face.gif


Just wondering, have you ever owned any from mbl? I owned an mbl 1511D and that was very close to live music. I'm wondering how it would compare to the Dac kit 3.1 sig. I would say the mbl 1511D and my current AN are easily the best dacs I ever owned.

post #24 of 256

I have not heard that model but auditioned a 1611F for a while from my local HiFi store.  I did enjoy it but for the price tag was not as impressed as I think I should have been.  The AN DAC 3 was very close if not better and the DAC 4 absolutely surpassed it in every way.  The MBL line has too much of a HiFi sound for me.  Where the AN is saturated with emotion and dynamics the MBL is a tad austere and thin by comparison, but again it was a very nice DAC especially for a solid state piece.  I could have also done without all the gold accents.  

post #25 of 256

I own the Anedio D1 and it is very, very good.

 

Comparing DACs is very hard because they are so far up the signal chain and by the time you add amps and speakers/headphones you're listening to a sum of parts and not the DAC alone.

 

But I can assure you that I'm hearing things from my D1 system that I've never noticed before on any other system - amazing details, clarity and texture.

 

You should look into the Anedio D2.

post #26 of 256
We have a local head fier that has the D2 on order. We're hoping it ships before our meet.

Has anyone had a listen to the Jkeny DAC32?
Edited by Happy Camper - 8/22/12 at 12:59pm
post #27 of 256
.
post #28 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

We have a local head fier that has the D2 on order. We're hoping it ships before our meet.
Has anyone had a listen to the Jkeny DAC32?

 

I hope i do as well, but i seriously think that Anedio is overestimating their timeline on when the next batch will be ready. If you go look at the original estimates for the second batch from back right after the first batch shipped, they were like 2 or 3 months late, so im thinking i may not get mine till like november or december :/

post #29 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by colinharding View Post

I have not heard that model but auditioned a 1611F for a while from my local HiFi store.  I did enjoy it but for the price tag was not as impressed as I think I should have been.  The AN DAC 3 was very close if not better and the DAC 4 absolutely surpassed it in every way.  The MBL line has too much of a HiFi sound for me.  Where the AN is saturated with emotion and dynamics the MBL is a tad austere and thin by comparison, but again it was a very nice DAC especially for a solid state piece.  I could have also done without all the gold accents.  


That's interesting. The 1611F is quite the step up from the 1511D I had. I can't say I remember it sounding thin at all but then again I was using B&K separates at the time which gave it a warm sound. I remember the presentation being very vivid. Maybe it was the ideal match. Do you remember what the rest of the system hooked up to the 1611F consisted of?

post #30 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoEars View Post

I own the Anedio D1 and it is very, very good.

Comparing DACs is very hard because they are so far up the signal chain and by the time you add amps and speakers/headphones you're listening to a sum of parts and not the DAC alone.

But I can assure you that I'm hearing things from my D1 system that I've never noticed before on any other system - amazing details, clarity and texture.

You should look into the Anedio D2.

How many other DAC's have your DAC beaten:devil_face:
no serious, I agree with you about the synergy thing.
I would never color the sound of my vintage Luxman amp
with a tube DAC
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Best DAC from $1500 to $2500 (or so) Can anything beat the Eastern Electric Minimax?