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AudioNoteKits DAC 4.1 Success!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

MLG DAC 4.1 (2 of 2).jpg

 

I finished wiring up a new kit from AudioNoteKits - DAC 4.1 Special Edition.  Worked like a champ this afternoon.  I had previous issues with a bad regulator in the power supply that I had remedied earlier in the process.

 

The image is the DAC section to the left, I/V transformers, 5687 driver board, and the triple C core output transformers on the right.

 

Coax and AES SPDIF inputs, Balanced, and Single Ended outputs.  Audio Note Copper film caps in the PSU and Driver board.  Blackgates on the DAC and 5687 Driver board.  AN tantalum resistors all around.

 

Very nice sound right off, good highs, low lows, smooth midrange even in my Son's system of my hand me downs, using an old DVD player for transport.

 

Once I finish the case alterations I need to do, I will put it in my main system with a PC server and a Halide Bridge.

 

This is the second kit I have built from AudioNoteKits, my first is an EL34 PP stereo amp, and both have been a joy to build, fun to customize along the way and sound wonderful.

post #2 of 11

Congatulations! I'm envious!

 

I built an Audio Note 2.1B DAC earlier this year and am very pleased with the results. Will be upgrading it to a level 3 this summer.

 

I don't know why Audio Note products don't receive more attention around here. The DAC kits especially are killer "bang-for-the-buck" products. If you're an analog guy, there really isn't anything that I'm aware of that's better at any price. 

 

 

post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankCooter View Post

Congatulations! I'm envious!

 

I built an Audio Note 2.1B DAC earlier this year and am very pleased with the results. Will be upgrading it to a level 3 this summer.

 

I don't know why Audio Note products don't receive more attention around here. The DAC kits especially are killer "bang-for-the-buck" products. If you're an analog guy, there really isn't anything that I'm aware of that's better at any price. 

 

 


Bang for buck?  The 4.1 is over $3000...

 

post #4 of 11

Hey, you gotta be kidding. That 4.1 DAC will eat any DAC out there at 4 times that. It is a great tubed design stuffed with quality parts.

I challenge you to match it at anything like the cost.

 

You will find many 'hi-end' DACs out their by big name manufacturers filled with cheap parts, but have a fancy case. Get some fact first!

post #5 of 11
They commented on price not performance. When I get the price, I'll be following this trail as most kits are packaged on cost, not performance. The AN kits are unique. I have only one beef and that's not giving better computer source interface. There are options but that's what it is. What kind of time does it take to build the DAC with SE and Bal. outs?
post #6 of 11

Hi Bones13

 

Yeah, I can't understand why there aren't more guys talking (and buying) these AN kits.

 

I have  factory Audio Note M3 pre and 300b mono blocks, and had a 1.1 DAC which I sold (and loved)

and am to build a new 3.1SE this month.

 

I can't wait to do that, I love the built thing, and the manual is very informative. It's cool to 'create' the thing

with your own hands, and then like you say, tweak it later on as money or parts become available.

 

Good luck with your new DAC Bones13.

 

The discovery of None Oversampling Tubed DACs.

As regards price on Audio Note kit Dacs, I see the parts list taking up 50% of the cost of the DAC. How many manufactured DACs

can claim that? Looking inside many mass produced 'high end' products often reveals poor quality parts in an oversized case.

 

Anyway, aside from the parts list, I have found the sound from Audio Note DAC kits to be superb.

Really close to vinyl or real music. Forget the folk saying these tubed none oversampling units are soft

or rounded off in the frequency extremes. Rather I find them VERY detailed and having tons of ambient

information plus I can listen all day. And they have KILLER bass impact and extension as well.

My old oversampling solid state DAC had me diving for the volume control on half my CDs due to the dreaded digital etch.

 

I had been using a CEC TL51 transport with the old 1.1 DAC, but will be using a Mac Mini and M2Tech EVO with external clock box

for the 3.1 DAC. I'll post back photos and a review late January once I have built up the DAC and the Mac Mini server. 

 

I STRONGLY recommend more folk try Audio Note gear. The sound is so natural. You will find you stop looking for more metal boxes

and talk more about the music, I promise you. I didn't look back, and if I had more dough, I would just buy further up the Audio Note

line.

post #7 of 11

I know that I'm in the DIY subforum but what do you guys think of the entry-level audio note cd players?

 

I'm looking for something rather cheap (less than 1000$, I'd happily buy used), and that sounds smooth without being "tubey" or "warm" etc...

 

Thanks a lot

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Don't know anything about the AudioNote gear, as the only AN things I have ever touched are the 2 pieces in my system, having built them myself.

 

Be sure you are buying a CD player that has line outs, and not just a transport that will have to go through a DAC. 

 

I have an Oppo 95, and find it to be pretty good in the 2 channel audio outs.  Since there is a new version, you might start seeing some deals on the 95.

post #9 of 11

Hi Customcoco

That is a tricky question. It it was me, and I love Audio Note gear, BUT, I would source a second hand transports for around 500 US then buy a NEW Audio Note kit 2.1 DAC kit.

they are easy to build, and woyld provide a top notch source (tubed output and None oversampling and no filter, which s key to the natural smooth sound and lack of treble edge

that plagues Oversampling DACs unless you spend crazy money. And why bother? An AN DAC will see you right, you will love the sound I promise.

 

Or you ditch the CD transport idea, buy the Musical Fidelity V-Link USB cxonvertor, and hook up the AN DAC to your laptop, PC or Mac. If set up right, it will outperform a good CD transport and it is MEGA convienient!!

 

Hope this helps.

 

BTW, you can tube roll in the 2.1 DAC, to tweak the final sound signature to suit your tastes and speaker set ups.

post #10 of 11

Thanks to both of you for the replies

 

I'm probably going to buy a decent used cd player (maybe an oppo) and a metrum quad.. NOS, no filters.. audio note kits are too expensive..

post #11 of 11

Hey,

I'm interested in this KIT. I'm gonna build it and I have some questions. I see there are no Black Gates everywhere, I would prefer to build this KIT with Black Gates only.

Can anyone give me a list of electrolitic caps used in this project? I'll try to hunt for these values.

 

How does it sound compared with 4.1 signature stock one?


Edited by robeeert1 - 5/14/13 at 11:09pm
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