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April Music Eximus DP-1 - Page 3

post #31 of 752

Just wanted to add that I've salvaged elevation feet from an old tape deck, and it has drastically lowered the temperature of the underside! Granted I had installed the DP1 on a wooden desk, but still I like it much cooler ^^

 

I could use 1" high silver feet in order to match the color of the DP1 case, but so far so good normal_smile%20.gif

 

I've also compared the DP1 to a few other units today, and it was a blood bath tbh...of course, these were quite cheaper so it'd only make sense to compare the DP1 against other similarly priced units I guess. I'll try to make this happen in my pending review. This said, the 6moons review hit the nail right on the head so it's gonna be tough to not paraphrase it.

 

And I'm still not sold on upsampling of lossless music, I prefer to upsample lossy audio movies only to 24/192 directly within Reclock...so I don't have to keep pushing the "upsample" button, and one upsampling pass is more than enough. Surround soundtracks become hard to believe w/ the combination of the uber-low XMOS board jitter, the clearer sounding after-effect of 192kHz upsampling and the astonishingly 3D sounding output stage of the DP1, that's fosho!

 

Bottom line is: don't listen to the DP1 if you can't afford it. That's the very reason why I never went to demo the latest pj's from JVC, coz I know they have CRT-like native CR but also other drawbacks I'm not willing to settle w/(misconvergence due to having 3 discrete panels, poor CMS, very poor ANSI contrast, etc..). Still, once you've seen a live JVC I guess it must be impossible to erase its CRT-like native CR off your brain...same story w/ the DP1, it'd break your heart [:loglouis]

 

PS: these might be perfect w/ some dual sided thermal tape and a disc of acoustic foam underneath: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aviation-grade-Aluminum-Audio-Case-Isolation-Feet-01-/260880240840


Edited by leeperry - 11/15/11 at 6:56pm

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #32 of 752

BTW, a friend of mine just sent me a link to a thorough review of the DP-1 including an internal pic: http://www.soundstage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=346:eximus-dp1-digital-to-analog-converterpreamplifierheadphone-amplifier&catid=55:full-length-reviews&Itemid=4

After several weeks of sonic amazingness, my only gripe would be that the headamp gain is a tad too high for my 50Ω/89dB T50RP but I guess there no way to find a fixed gain that would make both the 600Ω K240DF/HD800 and low impedance/high sensitivity headphones users simultaneously happy...so fair enough! I would have welcomed a low/high gain switch but it's still entirely usable as is and I hardly ever feel stuck between a too low and a too high volume step anyway.

I also wish it had a lower jitter chip on its coax input such as WM8804, but it's got a top of the line USB input and an I2S input so who cares about S/PDIF? WM8804 sounds colored, just like all those S/PDIF chips that are asked to do the impossible(that is extracting the embedded clock).

In the next weeks I plan on trying an XMOS based USB transport that provides an isolated I2S output and use the balanced output of the DP-1 to feed a discrete balanced headamp, it's gonna be good normal_smile%20.gif


Edited by leeperry - 12/25/11 at 1:28pm
post #33 of 752
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

In the next weeks I plan on trying an XMOS based USB transport that provides an isolated I2S output and use the balanced output of the DP-1 to feed a discrete balanced headamp, it's gonna be good normal_smile%20.gif

 

It seems odd to pay for a lot of stuff you won't use in that case. Curious, what's lacking with the DP-1's own USB input? Isn't it also XMOS based? It seems to me that a very credible alternative to the DP-1 for those not interested in a built in headphone amp is the Calyx DAC. The USB input is similar, but the rest of the Calyx design is quite different. It's Sabre 9018 based, and the power supply is external. With the new Calyx linear supply, its about $1200 less than the Eximus DAC. I've seen it described as considerably better than the $2700 Ayre, and one reviewer said its quite close to the $7K Weiss DAC202 so I'm quite curious how it stacks up against the Eximus.
 

 

post #34 of 752

The USB input in the DP-1 is first class(two low jiter discrete clocks, native ASIO drivers, etc), I just wanna play around w/ the I2S input especially when feeding an isolated signal because sadly you cannot galvanically isolate 480Mbit USB, and S/PDIF is up to no good(due to the embedded clock signal), isolated I2S sounds exciting especially when that XMOS based USB transport allows feeding an external PSU(the built-in Stello U3 is USB powered)...I think this PSU would do wonders: http://www.teradak.com/en/product_view.asp?ID=200

 

Besides that XMOS board costs 99€ and it'll be easy to sell at no loss locally, so it's a virtually free test.

 

And I get a 2 weeks cooling-off period on the balanced discrete headamp, I guess these are the only two logical steps in order to somewhat improve on the already killer sounding DP-1. That guy on audiogon says that you can do better than the built-in headamp, and many ppl rave about balanced headphones so it's time to put all this hearsay to the test normal_smile%20.gif


Edited by leeperry - 2/22/12 at 11:33am
post #35 of 752

The XMOS chip is indeed the real deal. I have a loaner Ayre QB-9 (latest version, ie, with the XMOS chip) here right now. It´s technically the best USB I have heard. Imaging is superior to any SPDIF I have ever heard. I´m comparing it with a Hegel HD20 DAC (I got one for very, very low price with a special scandinavian H200 integrated amp deal). Yeah I don´t even have a headphone setup right now - speakers only :) They reveal sources so much more than headphones ever can.

 

The Ayre has two filters: listen and measure (there is a white paper about them on the Ayre site). The "listen" filters damages the imaging in my experience, and sucks out the energy. With the "listen" filter, the HD20 is far superior in pretty much everything in my experience. It seems these minimum phase filters are just not my cup of tea, as I didn´t like them on the Audiolab Sabre32 8200CDQ either (prefered the "optimal spectrum" filter). The "measure" filter, however, is much better. With it enabled, the comparison goes:

 

Ayre: 

 

+ Glorious imaging, so 3D and precise. Instruments can even appear a few meters to the outside of the speakers (Amphion). Very very impressive. This is the XMOS async magic.

+ Extremely nice dynamics and resolution - you can hear what the musicians are trying to do on stage (this is rare)

 

- Has a "wet" sound that is always slightly bright and fatiguing. I can´t listen to it for an hour in a row in a row. And with the "listen" filter I can, but   the Hegel HD20 DAC wins so easily there´s no point.

- Only one input, yes I know an SPDIF input wouldn´t have been as good, but I need one for TV/Gaming (and there I´m not 100% OCD about SQ)

 

Hegel:

 

+ Zero listening fatigue or sibilance, ever (just effortless)

+ Sounds like "high resolution vinyl" (this can be a minus too!)

+ On par resolution wise

+ Very good PRAT even though it lacks in dynamics compared to Ayre (always tapping toes)

 

- Imaging not as precise

- Lacking in dynamics, trades some for the effortless non-fatiguing completely "non-digital" sound

 

Both tested via USB, so it´s XMOS async vs Tenor into two different AKM upsampling chips, including the new expensive one that costs around 12 dollars (expensive for an IC). 

 

EDIT - leeperry: where did you find the information about the Eximus output stage? Checked the April Music website and couldn´t find anything about it there (the usual questions: is it NFB etc etc)


Edited by vrln - 12/26/11 at 3:46am
post #36 of 752

 

Originally Posted by vrln View Post

where did you find the information about the Eximus output stage? Checked the April Music website and couldn´t find anything about it there (the usual questions: is it NFB etc etc)


The only infos available are in the 6moons review, and they don't say much apart from the fact that it's fully discrete. I'm not too keen on cracking open my unit considering that it's under full warranty, sounds amazing and I would get utterly mad if I somehow goofed up while opening it ^^

 


Edited by leeperry - 12/27/11 at 6:02am
post #37 of 752

I am a believer now in the Eximus DP1. A friend loaned me his new one. The Dac sounded good, but dry. The dryness went away after breaking in and now it is so musical, yet detailed. It beats a lot of higher priced Dacs that I compared it to, I sent the Eximus off today to a friend that owns a Weiss Dac 202. He will receive it tomorrow. I am now definately buying me one.

post #38 of 752

It looks like Srajan at 6moons made the Eximus his personal pick of 2011. I agree!

 

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/bo2011/srajan.html

post #39 of 752
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzarkTom View Post

It looks like Srajan at 6moons made the Eximus his personal pick of 2011. I agree!

 

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/bo2011/srajan.html



That page is GOLD ! Srajan even looks like a Gypsy ! All we need is a shot of his gold teeth and covered wagon ....

post #40 of 752

Personally, I really didn't like his reviews from two years ago, it was all meaningless purple prose to me...and at the end, I still hadn't learned anything useful about the unit being reviewed. Then his reviews have improved over time, and I've been really impressed by his latest reviews such as the DP-1 for instance. He has managed to put words on stuff I could hear but had no clue how to explain(the "tall man walking his brown dog under a very hard rain" is a fantastic metaphore, because that's one of the smartest way I have ever read to explain how detailed the output stage of the DP-1 sounds).

 

Well, with his name he wasn't gonna be asian or african, get a clue.

 

To get back on topic, the DP-1 still sounds fantastic here and I couldn't picture myself regretting its acquisition. It drives all the phones I throw at it w/ a disconcerting ease and it simply sounds exquisite to my ears. This is an all-in-one no fuss dream factory, no lessbackfire.gif


Edited by leeperry - 1/7/12 at 6:47am
post #41 of 752
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzarkTom View Post

I am a believer now in the Eximus DP1. A friend loaned me his new one. The Dac sounded good, but dry. The dryness went away after breaking in and now it is so musical, yet detailed. It beats a lot of higher priced Dacs that I compared it to, I sent the Eximus off today to a friend that owns a Weiss Dac 202. He will receive it tomorrow. I am now definately buying me one.



What higher priced DACs did you compare it to ? I would be curious to find out how the Eximus performs against some reference DACs.

post #42 of 752

Not really directed as Eximus, but I find it funny how every single decent to good DAC is said to perform "at multiple times its price range". It´s actually almost impossible to find a DAC that isn´t like that. It´s a cliche in every single new major/hyped review. There must be a huge factory full of these mediocre expensive DACs somewhere hidden away! My quess: the Eximus performs at its price level, so it´s better than the 2k DACs out there, but loses against the 5k ones. I´d love to hear the Eximus someday though, no real dealers here it seems though.

post #43 of 752
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopkins View Post



What higher priced DACs did you compare it to ? I would be curious to find out how the Eximus performs against some reference DACs.



Weiss Dac 202, Zodiac Gold + Voltikus. My friend with the Weiss Dac 202 has it listed now on Audiogon.

 


Edited by OzarkTom - 1/8/12 at 11:16pm
post #44 of 752

 

Originally Posted by vrln View Post

Not really directed as Eximus, but I find it funny how every single decent to good DAC is said to perform "at multiple times its price range". It´s actually almost impossible to find a DAC that isn´t like that. It´s a cliche in every single new major/hyped review. There must be a huge factory full of these mediocre expensive DACs somewhere hidden away! My quess: the Eximus performs at its price level, so it´s better than the 2k DACs out there, but loses against the 5k ones. I´d love to hear the Eximus someday though, no real dealers here it seems though.


Quite frankly, there are many high priced DAC's from self-proclaimed audiophile manufacturers(that have been in the business since forever) that really lack technically speaking...Before shelling out on the DP-1, I asked many manufacturers what was in their big shiny boxes, and they were simply asking ridiculous amounts of money for PCM270x USB controllers and LM4562 opamps. When you want top of the range async USB(and I'm not talking about a jellybean Tenor TE7022L either) and amazingly clear sounding output stages, the competion seems to lag behind the DP-1 in this price range IMO. I'm not the one to waste money when I can get the same level of audio quality for 10X or 5X or 2X cheaper....it just doesn't seem to exist atm, and I'm kinda done w/ S/PDIF...let it die already evil_smiley.gif


Edited by leeperry - 2/22/12 at 11:35am
post #45 of 752
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

 


Quite frankly, there are many high priced DAC's from self-proclaimed audiophile manufacturers(that have been in the business since forever) that really lack technically speaking...Before shelling out on the DP-1, I asked many manufacturers what was in their big shiny boxes, and they were simply asking ridiculous amounts of money for PCM270x USB controllers and LM4562 opamps. When you want top of the range async USB(and I'm not talking about a jellybean Tenor TE7022L either) and amazingly clear sounding discrete output stages, the competion seems to lag behind the DP-1 in this price range IMO. I'm not the one to waste money when I can get the same level of audio quality for 10X or 5X or 2X cheaper....it just doesn't seem to exist atm, and I'm kinda done w/ S/PDIF...let it die already evil_smiley.gif



I am sure that in its price range the Eximus is very good. There are obviously also higher priced items that may not be that good. However, it is too bad the reviewer from 6moons did not bother comparing the Eximus to some reference DACs just so we know how it positions itself with respect to top quality gear and what its strenghts and weaknesses are.

 

While I'm willing to take a chance at purchasing a 300$ piece of gear that is advertised as an absolute bargain (for example, most recently the SPL volume 2, reviewed in 6 moons by Joel Chevassus - a much better review than the Eximus IMO), 3000 $ is a significant amount and any claims that it outperforms much pricier items should really be substantiated.

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