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April Music Eximus DP-1 - Page 2

post #16 of 770

A comparison vs. the Empirical Overdrive would be interesting. The Overdrive is more expensive to begin with and goes up from there in a hurry, but the two are still rivals. I wonder how close they are.

post #17 of 770

I should be able to compare the DP1 against a few semi-high end DAC's, as I've found a few other OCD'ed audiophiles in my area...we'll see about that tongue.gif


I like the upsampling feature on movies w/ lossy soundtracks, I need to find the right settings in Reclock and all...but so far 95904Hz(23.976fps@24Hz) in Reclock and 192kHz in the DP1 seems to sound clearer and less "edgy" than 96 or 192kHz in Reclock.


I'm also stunned by how rich and non-bloated the deep bass response is, everything I had heard before basically suffered from a nasty "one note" bass disease in comparison [:w3c compliant]


And I've tried to roll USB cables, some of them were sounding drastically different on the Firestone Bravo....but they now more or less all sound the same, thank you Dr Async! So I ended up picking this WW knock off(that also has separated wires for data and power): http://www.amazon.com/1-2M-Flat-Cable-Carry-Labels/dp/B001NXDQB8

Edited by leeperry - 11/5/11 at 10:28pm
post #18 of 770

I remember when a pretty famous audio engineer in Paris once told me that 5532 was all you really needed for an output stage, because 99% of all the recordings had been recorded/mixed and mastered through it...that's a very valid point, but a pretty lo-fi one. Talk about dumbing things down, this said audiophiles aren't quite the majority as we all know.


Real world facts are IME that many recordings I used to enjoy a lot end up poorly mixed, slightly out of tune, flabby or simply unlistenable on the DP1. When you dig this far into the essence of recordings, you'd better be damn sure that you're not hearing stuff the audio engineers who worked on it completely overlooked ph34r.gif


Those digital 24/88.2 SACD rips sound out of this world, so the more resolving your DAC the more critical your quest to find up to par recordings will become. Tubey stuff from the 60's/70's also sounds amazing of course, as it didn't get colored by an army of cheapo dual opamps.


I also remember this test, where a DVD-A sample went through a loopback on an Asus STX going through a whole bunch of cheapo dual opamps, you can hear how molested the drums have gotten: http://www.head-fi.org/t/502889/so-who-can-abx-this-recording-from-the-source#post_6790330

post #19 of 770

do you think that the amp section can compete against a b22 or something similar? after all 3k buys you a balanced one and a great dac...

post #20 of 770

Can't say that I have no, but the B22 is a monster apparently: http://cdn.head-fi.org/f/f6/f6b0980e_vbattach27211.jpg

The DP1 doesn't do balanced headamping, it's only 3.6kg so you can just take it w/ you and enjoy pristine audio anywhere. Different purposes altogether. Also, the WAF is far higher....good luck w/ the b22 + its dedicated PSU in the middle of the living room[:gusbeef]

BTW, I've definitely pulled the trigger on this thing....I'm now contemplating a few tweaks:

-higher isolation feet coz the stock ones are rather small and the unit runs in Class A so even though it's hardly warm to the touch, I would like to allow the underside to cool down(considering I never turn it off). I guess some thick rubber balls would do, I can't use two parts cones coz my cat has recently realized that it made for an absolutely brilliant cat warmer, each time I tell her to get off she looks at me like "but whyyyyyyyyyyy?"
-some XLR and RCA caps:images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQiL99IIKSbOK9MnC3M-vCueghzPgyWpsofkDc10lAFwYeQTW29RGaZTi2Zimages?q=tbn:ANd9GcRkSj25KAqu5ip1ohinH3iQdgAhKReNrzduq-fJ4BhLrPQyxOxyUbOtRoo


They promise less EMI/RFI and I know my neighbors do play the wifi warfare game, but the 10ft cable of my unbalanced phone prolly picks up far more interferences than those mostly innocent unused connectors ever will ^^


-a shaman blessed gold plated fuse....I know that sounds ludicrous, but last time I rolled silver DC cables on a DAC and a transport I was shocked by how much the sound changed(in bad)! So the idea of letting the power that feeds the DP1 go through an uber cheap hair thin fuse prolly made ouf of a very poor alloy doesn't sound too good to me. OTOH, the guys that are in the business of selling $40 audiophool fuses must be giggling each time an order is passed. A few ppl I trust swore that the SQ improvement had been drastic, the jury's still out I guess.

Edited by leeperry - 11/7/11 at 3:50pm
post #21 of 770
Thread Starter 

Since you are in the process of modding the DP-1, could you take some pictures of the interior of the DP-1? Personally, I haven't seen any pictures of the circuits of the DP-1 and am interested in assessing the build quality of the circuitry (DAC and AMP sections) contained in the DP-1.



post #22 of 770

Well, the fuse can be accessed from the outside, it's right next to the power cable input. The DP1 is spendy and under full warranty for 2 years, I don't plan on cracking it open anytime soon....I'm quite DIY savvy but I can't venture the risk of messing w/ it. A fuse rolling might occur, but I'm not even sure at this point. This said, I too would like to know what's in those "discrete module" black boxes.


And one compilation that's really been killing me these past few days is this one: http://www.liebrand.nl/grand12/index.html


The guy running this serie is collecting legendary and mostly rare/unreleased 12" mixes, but he says he digs for "master quality" copies only....and oh my, oh my! His crystal clear copies of the "Midnight Express" theme song and Cerrone's "Supernature" on the DP1+modded T50RP combo leave me jaded walkman.gif

Edited by leeperry - 11/7/11 at 6:55pm
post #23 of 770
Originally Posted by DarknightDK View Post

Since you are in the process of modding the DP-1, could you take some pictures of the interior of the DP-1? Personally, I haven't seen any pictures of the circuits of the DP-1 and am interested in assessing the build quality of the circuitry (DAC and AMP sections) contained in the DP-1.





post #24 of 770

BTW, I found some impressions about the DP1 on audiogon: http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl_sold.pl?preatran&1324341036

LISTENING NOTES: This is clearly the BEST DAC I have heard on my headphone setup (Cavalli Liquid Fire + Audeze LCD-2 Rev.2). Within 5 hours from cold start, this DAC/pre clearly beat my previous North Star USB DAC32 (which had previously clearly beaten Modwright Platinum-Signature Transporter with Black Treasure tubes). I had previously praised the North Star DAC for being detailed yet unfatiguing and refined. Eximus DP-1 trades in North Star's "comfort level" for MUCH more detail, nuance, and LIVE feeling. Plus, the Eximus adds considerably more dynamics and bass over the North Star, making for such a wide-awake and open sound (still musical). If North Star's sound is the kind that you want to relax to into the night, Eximus' sound is like being in the venue (concert hall, studio). People attend a concert or a studio recording session NOT to relax but to FOCUS ON MUSIC. That's the type of live feeling you get with Eximus DP-1 as a DAC/pre through Liquid Fire.

REASON FOR SELLING: Money. I can't afford to keep both my Cavalli Liquid Fire and Eximus DP-1, even though the two make a fantastic match. Eximus DP-1 was my first serious attempt to reduce my two-box headphone setup to one-box. However, the Cavalli Liquid Fire (a $3250 dedicated headphone amp) sounds sufficiently better than the headphone output of the Eximus DP-1, such that I no longer want to give up the Cavalli and instead want to look for a cheaper DAC solution than the Eximus DP-1.


After several days of jaw dropping, I can certainly assess that the DP1 has that "live sound" even on electronic music. Nothing in the soundstage ever overlaps, It's indeed like a "wide awake" dreamy sound. And the level of details retrieval is just astounding...so much for whining about CDDA being low res, huh. If ppl quit using CD players and DAC's running output stages based on opamps that cost less than $5(AD797 included), they wouldn't fall for that 32/384 nonsense.


It saddens me a bit for my own future to read that he prefers a +3K headamp and prolly a +1k DAC, haha. I guess this never ends, The guys running +5K rigs prolly think about upgrading to +10K rigs too very_evil_smiley.gif

Edited by leeperry - 11/10/11 at 7:22pm
post #25 of 770

Thank you for the link. I saw this on Audiogon a few weeks back. I am very interested in the DP-1, but for the most part I would only be using the DAC section as I already have a headphone amp I like. I do not think it makes sense for me to spend $3200.00 on a Dac/Pre/Headphone amp when for $1500-2000.00 I might be able to get a stand alone DAC that performs almost as well. But this hobby does not always make sense.

post #26 of 770

For the hell of it, I've tried to plug my phone to the RCA line-out, and the sound was a bit less percussive but the magic was all very much there. As usual, it's the output stage that colors the sound the most and I'm expecting a headamp to act as a wire with gain.

Edited by leeperry - 11/11/11 at 5:20pm
post #27 of 770

BTW, that's an interesting discussion: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=90220.0

If you are really worried that much about jitter, then never use SPDIF!


Amen! It takes a lot of money to get OK'ish sounding S/PDIF, and it mostly boils down to polishing a turd due to a million reasons like:

-glitches when switching sample rates due to the receiver that works in slave mode losing sync and needing to readjust

-jitter and impedance mismatches within the cable, connectors, etc

-out of specs emitters, like the stellar jitter and barely understandable waveforms of Toslink(see here), or the m2tech Hiface that requires attenuators in order to output a voltage that's within the S/PDIF specs

-the embedded clock that needs to be extracted, and that's never artifacts-free

-reclockers use a single fixed PLL, and that can color the sound quite a bit


Ah well, USB has always had a bad name because most manufacturers would just use $2 chips like PCM2704 or the now ubiquitous TE7022L....but the latter doesn't do 88.2kHz and only has a 12MHz PLL, so 44.1kHz is a jittery feast.


I will never go back to flawed S/PDIF middle men ever again, and I can see why more and more manufacturers go async USB only(using low ppm clocks) connected to the DAC chip(s) via a short I2S signal path. S/PDIF has always been sub-par and it's pointless to use...much like how PCI is starting to disappear from motherboards layouts.


To get back to the DP1, I'm kinda having a hard time finding recordings that provide enough resolution for its output stage ^^


This one very much does, the SQ is out of this world: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Signing-Off-2CD-DVD-UB40/dp/B00428CPTU/


But this one promised "remastered from the master tapes", and it sounds like it was recorded through a SoundBlaster: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Move-Up-Singles-Anthology-1970-90/dp/B0000259T3

post #28 of 770

Any properly designed DAC should sound the same whether using SPDIF or USB. I won't get into the jitter paranoia....wink.gif

post #29 of 770


Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post

Any properly designed DAC should sound the same whether using SPDIF or USB. I won't get into the jitter paranoia....wink.gif

Yeah, you see....we're not in the science forum but you provide zero information about the real world experiments you would have presumably conducted(because surely, you wouldn't make such a statement without a fair bit of field experience under your belt), and your statement goes against every jitter measurement I could show you.


Look at this paper, and don't forget that the S/PDIF receiver runs in slave mode(unlike async USB) so take it as an "ideal" scenario: http://www.cirrus.com/en/pubs/appNote/AN339REV1.pdf


All DAC chips claim some sort of "jitter resilience" but the real world results many ppl have witnessed is that two low jitter clocks(measured at 0.1~0.3ppm in the U3/DP1 btw) through I2S sound far better than a $2 USB chip or an S/PDIF connection. Compare coax and USB on the DP1, and you'll exactly get my drift.


More and more DAC's(Ayre, Wavelength, etc) only show up w/ USB these days(Wavelength even say "These are all USB DACS they do NOT have antiquated SPDIF inputs like other dacs. These are optimized and superior to the older SPDIF technology"), because the S/PDIF protocol is fubar by design. April Music added a I2S input, this is a far more solid protocol w/ a discrete clock signal and all. You can use VGA on a high end plasma, but there's no point in not using HDMI...this is the same story for S/PDIF IME, this is an obsolete legacy protocol that doesn't deserve much attention these days. We're not in the 80's anymore [:jocev]


And to get back OT, I feel more and more frustrated because it takes excellent recordings to make the DP1 truly shine...weakest link yada yada [:festen]

Edited by leeperry - 11/13/11 at 3:26pm
post #30 of 770

One more testimonial that async USB sounds better than S/PDIF: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Schiit-Bifrost-DAC


"The USB input sounds better (clearer, hear more of the recording) than the optical input. Not light years difference, but noticeable. Both sound better than coax input through the V-Link."


And one music style that never disappoints on the DP1 is clearly DNB, because it always has a very complicated SS w/ many different layers, very clear trebles, highly percussive drums and deep nasty bass lines that really allow its output stage to show where the money is basshead.gif


This track kills on the DP1: http://www.google.com/search?q=Ed+Rush+Optical+Gas+Mask&tbm=vid default.jpg


DNB is all about PRaT.

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