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Eastern Electric MiniMax PLUS - Page 2

post #16 of 33
Thread Starter 

Hi AVU,

 

I agree with you and in a sense, it creates a dilemma for me. Do I get the Anedio D2 which by all accounts "should" sound amazing, or do I get the MM+ because I can customize the sound if I'm not happy with the stock sound.

 

With the D2, there is no customization, what you hear is what you get.. and hopefully, it's a sound I like, in my system.. otherwise, I'm screwed.

With the MM+ if I don't like it, I change stuff (tubes, opamp), but that can also become the "search for the holy grail" and expensive, trying a bunch of tubes and opamps and maybe "never" finding that perfect sound after all the mods or feeling like it will never be as good as the D2 in some respects.

 

Hard decision for sure.. in the meantime, I have to save up some coin no matter which DAC I end up with :-)

 

 

 

post #17 of 33

Yeah, I can't help you beyond what I said, because I haven't heard the D2.  From what I can piece together out of the reviews of the D1, the D2 is going to be better than the WFSII.  

 

As to the minimax, the sound characteristics aren't all that random - people have worked them out pretty much over time, especially over on the other forum.  I think there's a fair amount of agreement that the 49990 opamps are the best overall, with the exception of the (incredibly expensive) discrete opamps from burson.  Tubes vary, but there's a good bit of agreement about general sound characteristics there as well.  

 

There's a good guy selling 49990s on ebay from NY, cost would be $40 for the duals if you wanted to use a tube, or $60 for both sets if you went without a tube (which many prefer.)  That would be the most detailed, precise route.

 

For tubes, like I said, there's more choice, but honestly, I think in terms of price for performance, it's hard to beat the tungsram e80cc (about $30) if you want both richness and detail, and a NOS mullard if you want more warmth, richness, analog sound at the expensive of a bit of detail (about $20).  My personal favorites, which are a bit more expensive, are the amperex e80cc (more richness, a bit less detail than the tungsram) (about $60-$80) or the NOS Siemens "silver plate" (around $60).  So I think you're only looking at $100 more, tops.

 

I'm sure you'd be really happy with either unit in the end.   wink_face.gif

 

EDIT - corrected my mistaken listing of a mythical "e90cc" tube.   Sorry, tired. 


Edited by AVU - 3/18/12 at 5:18pm
post #18 of 33

What the heck is a E90CC? Do not use that tube, I've never even heard of it.

 

 If you mean E80CC that is ok. Just trying to clarify so folks don't get the wrong tube and throw it in there that would harm the DAC

post #19 of 33

You might want to investigate the Metrum Octave as well... Good Luck.

post #20 of 33

I own the original Minimax and I have tried to "upgrade" but I can't find a better dac.  The beauty of the Minimax is its ability to fine tune your sound.  I haven't found a 'goldilocks' dac that works for me off the shelf but I can make the Minimax sound great regardless of other changes I make to my system.  I am surprised other manufacturers haven't gone this route.

post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morningstar View Post

What the heck is a E90CC? Do not use that tube, I've never even heard of it.

 

 If you mean E80CC that is ok. Just trying to clarify so folks don't get the wrong tube and throw it in there that would harm the DAC


 

Oh, for heaven's sakes - yes, of course, the e80cc - I was just tired. There's no such thing as an e90cc.  Thanks, Bill.  rolleyes.gif


Edited by AVU - 3/18/12 at 5:18pm
post #22 of 33

Just got this DAC 3 days ago and have it running daily...even out of the box is has a very good sound and is a noticeable upgrade to the HRT II Music Streamer(also a lot more expensive).

Have already ordered a Mullard and Telefunken tube because as you all know, there is always a little bit more of sound improvement to squeeze out of a different tube,cable etc.

Sometimes I don't know if it is the music or the eternal search for better sound,that I am into all of this....both I guess!Apart from this I am very relaxed and without any ambition!!!Back to the sofa now!!!L3000.gif

post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVU View Post


 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morningstar View Post
 

What the heck is a E90CC? Do not use that tube, I've never even heard of it.

 

 If you mean E80CC that is ok. Just trying to clarify so folks don't get the wrong tube and throw it in there that would harm the DAC


 

Oh, for heaven's sakes - yes, of course, the e80cc - I was just tired. There's no such thing as an e90cc.  Thanks, Bill.  rolleyes.gif


FYI, there is most certainly a tube known as the E90CC - American designation 5920.  It happens to be one of the finest tubes you can put into a Torpedo headphone amp.  It's pretty much a direct equivalent (but much higher quality) for the almost ubiquitous 6J6 tube.  The Starving Student Millett Hybrid headphone amplifier was based on the 19J6 - same tube as 6J6, but with different heater voltage.

 

In any event, the 5920/E90CC is a great tube in circuits designed for the 6J6.

post #24 of 33
I used a mmax plus for the last 2 years and I'm very happy with it. It sounds pretty good ootb but the real cake is in the modding. There is so much to try and so easy that it never gets boring.

Tried about 20 tubes, including the telefunken 802 unobtanium. Which is good but imho grossly overpriced. My favourites are the e80cc tubes. Very powerful, very detailed and just a smidge of tube color over the ss output. Using a valvo tube now but I think the cheap tungstens (€20-30 om ebay EU) are same as good.
In the opamp area tried the LME49990s first which add more detail and extra bass. Not night&day but pretty easy to hear the diff and definitely worth the price (about €40 from ebay for both duals and singles).
And lately I bought a pair of duals from Sparko Labs. Kinda expensive but very good and highly recommended. They are small and fit without issues. They add even more detail and a very welcome "weight" to the whole audio spectrum. The soundstage is more consistent, more detailed, musical and also more upfront.
A gustard U12 I just introduced a few days ago also adds extra clarity and weight.

As said ... lots of modding fun... not particularly expensive either. I cannot recommend it highly enough. And seriously doubt that any other DAC has a better price/perf ratio than an used mmax plus from ebay (under $800 nowadays).

Btw, the new mmax supreme launched a few months ago but havent seen much noise. Anyone who has it and can comment on the improvements?
Edited by prot - 3/6/15 at 7:29am
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by prot View Post

A gustard U12 I just introduced a few days ago also adds extra clarity and weight.


Btw, the new mmax supreme launched a few months ago but havent seen much noise. Anyone who has it and can comment on the improvements?

 

MM Supreme is really useful for those with good amount of DSD files to play.  I doubt most folks fit in this category, thus the lack of interest.

 

As far as Gustard U12, are you saying Computer->Gustard USB input->spdif input of EE DAC sounds better than Computer->USB input EE DAC?  EE already has a nice M2Tech asynchronous USB board which is powered by the DAC not the USB cable.  

post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post

MM Supreme is really useful for those with good amount of DSD files to play.  I doubt most folks fit in this category, thus the lack of interest.
Not interested about DSD either ... but I'd like to try it.
And I'm wondering if the supreme brings any SQ improvements. The power stages seem to be improved, new Usb input, etc.
Quote:
As far as Gustard U12, are you saying Computer->Gustard USB input->spdif input of EE DAC sounds better than Computer->USB input EE DAC?  EE already has a nice M2Tech asynchronous USB board which is powered by the DAC not the USB cable.  
Yap, it sounds better with the gustard in the middle. I think the mmax has a pretty good usb impl, e.g. I never heard those diffs in Usb cables that everyone talks about. Printer cable to pure silver does sound the same in my system.
But the gustard does something better...may be about the better clocks, may be the xmos chip...no idea. And I'm definitely not the kind who hears night&day diffs after any change. Plus, it's only about $130 with free shipping from china ... less than "audiophile" cables smily_headphones1.gif

P.S.
of course YMMV...this is just my exp and may very well be setup dependant.
Edited by prot - 3/6/15 at 11:13am
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVU View Post
 

Yeah, I can't help you beyond what I said, because I haven't heard the D2.  From what I can piece together out of the reviews of the D1, the D2 is going to be better than the WFSII.  

 

As to the minimax, the sound characteristics aren't all that random - people have worked them out pretty much over time, especially over on the other forum.  I think there's a fair amount of agreement that the 49990 opamps are the best overall, with the exception of the (incredibly expensive) discrete opamps from burson.  Tubes vary, but there's a good bit of agreement about general sound characteristics there as well.  

 

There's a good guy selling 49990s on ebay from NY, cost would be $40 for the duals if you wanted to use a tube, or $60 for both sets if you went without a tube (which many prefer.)  That would be the most detailed, precise route.

 

For tubes, like I said, there's more choice, but honestly, I think in terms of price for performance, it's hard to beat the tungsram e80cc (about $30) if you want both richness and detail, and a NOS mullard if you want more warmth, richness, analog sound at the expensive of a bit of detail (about $20).  My personal favorites, which are a bit more expensive, are the amperex e80cc (more richness, a bit less detail than the tungsram) (about $60-$80) or the NOS Siemens "silver plate" (around $60).  So I think you're only looking at $100 more, tops.

 

I'm sure you'd be really happy with either unit in the end.   wink_face.gif

 

EDIT - corrected my mistaken listing of a mythical "e90cc" tube.   Sorry, tired. 

Just picked up a NIB minimax (not plus) for $450. I'll just bet it cannot drive E80CC with twice the filament current as the 12AU7. I'll probably have to go cascaded on the tube section. Any thoughts? I am going to order the dual sparkos, though. :D  Looking at the quiescent current requirements of the sparkos, both single and duals, i'll bet any version of this dac can drive both at the same time.


Edited by ggetzoff - 4/5/15 at 4:41pm
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggetzoff View Post

Just picked up a NIB minimax (not plus) for $450. I'll just bet it cannot drive E80CC with twice the filament current as the 12AU7. I'll probably have to go cascaded on the tube section. Any thoughts? I am going to order the dual sparkos, though. biggrin.gif   Looking at the quiescent current requirements of the sparkos, both single and duals, i'll bet any version of this dac can drive both at the same time.

E80CCs work very well with the plus, no idea about the old mmax. IIRC, audiocircle has good tube rolling threads for both mmaxes.
The sparkos are also a very good match for the plus: more detail, more 'weight'. Should work fine with yours too
Edited by prot - 4/6/15 at 10:46am
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by prot View Post



E80CCs work very well with the plus, no idea about the old mmax. IIRC, audiocircle has good tube rolling threads for both mmaxes.
The sparkos are also a very good match for the plus: more detail, more 'weight'. Should work fine with yours too

Any brightness with the Sparkos Lab's duals? I'm guessing it just sounds "right" with the Sparkos'. I tried the LME49990 (SOIC x 2) in U1/U2. Way too bright for my system, lots of detail, though. Also tried a Gold Lion 12AU7, more detail than stock but not as smooth. However, I only tried it for a few minutes.

post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggetzoff View Post

Any brightness with the Sparkos Lab's duals? I'm guessing it just sounds "right" with the Sparkos'. I tried the LME49990 (SOIC x 2) in U1/U2. Way too bright for my system, lots of detail, though. Also tried a Gold Lion 12AU7, more detail than stock but not as smooth. However, I only tried it for a few minutes.

I do not hear any annoying brigthness in my setup. I'd say the Sparkos are less bright than the LMEs but those were also fine in my system ... guess the only way to know for sure is to test on your gear.
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