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Review and discussions - Audioengine D1 24/96 USB and Optical DAC/amp for laptops and computers - Page 22

post #316 of 342

Maybe it's time to update the title of this thread?

post #317 of 342

I have a $100 gift card at Crutchfield, I'm thinking of spending it on a D1. I haven't been able to find anything else there that interests me.

post #318 of 342
I really like my D1. I still haven't found something I like to replace it at any sane price.
post #319 of 342

I enjoy my D1 as well (use it in the bedroom).  Audioengine builds some pretty damn incredible components considering their cost!

 

But I would look into the HRT microStreamer IF you're looking to upgrade without spending ridiculous money.

 

post #320 of 342

The gift card kind of limits me, plus I would be getting the D1 for just $70 out of pocket. The other option I'm considering is the TEAC HD-01, but that's another $230. I think I'd rather put that money toward some portable devices.

post #321 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by paddycrow View Post

The gift card kind of limits me, plus I would be getting the D1 for just $70 out of pocket. The other option I'm considering is the TEAC HD-01, but that's another $230. I think I'd rather put that money toward some portable devices.

gotcha, and a D1 for 70 bucks new is a killer deal

post #322 of 342
thanks for the great in depth review! bought one to go with my ath m50s and fidelio x1's sounds great! biggrin.gif
post #323 of 342

Hi all,

 

Thanks for all the useful info.

 

After struggling whether I should get the D1 or Xonar XTS to hook up my A5+ speakers, I decided to get the D1.

However, I have a Xonar SGX in my computer system. A friend of mine gave me long time ago.

 

Should I connect my D1 using a usb or a optical to the SGX?

I noticed that D1 using optical can run up to up to 192KS/s but I just checked my SGX card is only able to output 96k?

 

Little confusing here so if anyone able to clarify, that would be great.

 

Thank you

 

ND

post #324 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdpeck View Post
 

 

I think the D1 pairs nicely with Audioengine speakers. I use mine with a pair of Audioengine A5s, and I feel like it makes a nice difference over running them directly from the headphone jack of my macbook pro. I believe it would do well with the Audionengine 2s as well. I have access to a pair of those, but have never used them with the D1 DAC. I don't know how it will do with the Audio Technica headphones as I don't own those. If they are very sensitive, it could pose a problem. I don't use mine with headphones very much, but when I do, I have some trouble keeping the volume at a low enough level that it doesn't blast my ears. I use Westone 3s and Alessandro MS-1s, and both headphones are pretty sensitive, and the amp provides too much gain for them. I either have to turn the volume down in software at the player level (MOG interface, squeezeslave interface, iTunes volume control, etc.) or use an in-line attenuator. One issue I run into, which has been mentioned in this thread is that right before the volume on the D1 gets to it's minimum setting the audio will cut out completely. I actually prefer this to channel imbalance, but the problem becomes, the headphones are either too loud or silent.

 

As for how the volume knob works, sound is only sent to the speakers through the line out jacks when there are not headphones plugged in. So when you have headphones plugged in, the volume knob controls the headphones. When you unplug the headphones, the volume controls the line out jacks, which really are pre-amp out jacks instead of line out (they are variable with volume control). Also on my computer, the system volume (Mac OSx volume control) is disabled when the computer is using the D1 as it's audio device.

 

Hopefully this clears things up a little bit for you.

 

Thanks!

George

 

I'm reading this and it feels like I'm not going to get optimal results with a pair of Sennheiser Momentums? I hear they are 'sensitive'

post #325 of 342

Anyone tried any mods on the D1?  At this price point I don't have much guilt opening one up and digging around. The fundamentals seem pretty good in there: AK4396, NE5532 opamp.  I'm thinking of trying an Analog opamp and lowering the output impedance slightly.

post #326 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digitalchkn View Post
 

Anyone tried any mods on the D1?  At this price point I don't have much guilt opening one up and digging around. The fundamentals seem pretty good in there: AK4396, NE5532 opamp.  I'm thinking of trying an Analog opamp and lowering the output impedance slightly.

 

 

Well I couldn't resist and tried out the mods.  First stop, I replaced the NE5532 opamp (the one actually used in my box was JRC 5532) with an ADA4075-2. In the process I found there is what appears to be a ferrite bead and ESD protection diode right before the headphone jack. I I chose to bypass those as well.

 

Now, on to the results. The biggest difference to be seems to be a noticeable increase in brightness/airiness. Secondary effect is apparently in a expansion of sound stage. The stock configuration felt more pressed toward the center. I would say there is generally an slight improvement in overall accuracy, however it does feel less warm than before.

 

The headphone used for these tests is a Grado PS500.

post #327 of 342
Thread Starter 

UPDATE 10/14/2013:  

 

I have one of the first production D1 units, and I'm told that the newer units have upgraded opamps.  I did not ask if they do exchanges as I assume they don't, and I don't recall what the old and new opamps are. Nor do I know when they transitioned to different opamps.  I'll try to ask them soon.

 

However, I've been pretty happy to leave the D1 un-modded for now, with the stock opamps.  The D1 is still one of our most used tiny DACs, and when my son and I went to RMAF this weekend we only took the D1, DACport, and Pico DAC/Slim with us.  He used the D1 with his macbook in the hotel room, and I used the DACport.  While wandering around the show I used the Pico DAC with Pico Slim amp and iPad camera connection kit with an iPhone 5s and iPad mini.  

 

At home my son keeps swiping the D1 to use as an optical DAC between his Samsung HDTV optical out and his Audioengine A5 speakers, but I want to keep the D1 available for travel so I may just give him my Headroom MicroDAC or Nuforce HDP instead.  At home I've been using an Audioengine D2 to connect my Macbook to the optical input of my Stello DA-100 signature DAC that feeds my Woo WA6 and KGSS amps (with the D2 RCA output into an HEV-70 amp that loops out into a HiFiMan EF5 amp). I connect a Marantz CD player coax digital out into the Stello as well.  Amazingly the D2 RCA out compares quite well to the Stello DA-100 signature RCA outputs, but I haven't done lengthy in depth comparisons.

 

Now I have a demo unit (production version) of the new Audioengine D3 that I will be posting about in a new thread, and I'll post a link here when I do.  Needless to say, when used as a preamp to feed my A2 speakers or a portable amp the D3 easily matches the D1 RCA outputs, but when driving headphones I have to say the D3 sounds a bit better than the D1 headphone out.  I need to do more comparisons, but the D3 is actually pretty darn close to my $399 DACport so far, as a preamp or headphone amp!  I can't say yet how the power output levels compare to the other mini USB DAC/amps around here, but it's strong enough to drive the LCD-2 rev2 and HE-500 to very reasonable volume levels (about the same power output as the Pico Slim with LCD-2 rev2.

post #328 of 342
I took advantage of one of the group buy websites and bought one of these plus a Bravo Ocean tube amp (amp is still in transit). Have to say I am loving this little DAC/amp it drives my Q701 perfectly and is awesome with my demo pair of K545 I am preparing to review as well as all my IEM's. It was smaller than I thought from pictures but should be great for my laptops as well because of its size.

thanks for the review HeadphoneAddict, well done as usual smily_headphones1.gif
post #329 of 342

Been listening to my D1 with some ATH-M50's all day now. Nice little unit for the price, but really it sounds like every other DAC/Amp combo I have tried with these cans. Havent played with it as a DAC alone enough to compare to the other, but Id say if you wanted a small, portable USB DAC/Amp for a set of low impedance cans, this one is just as capable as the rest.

post #330 of 342
I found it much better as a DAC
in my main two channel system, than as a headphone amp, which seemed a bit harsh and much too loud to me.
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