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No love for the TeddyDAC ?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Ran a search - one post mentioned it in passing - beats me. 

 

http://www.teddypardo.com/Products/DACs/DACs.html

 

As usual, I dont own one, and dont have the ~1500 USD I would need to own one, Bizarrely, 12 months ago I would have considered that a crazy figure for a dedicated DAC without a headphone amp - now, its just another DAC in an extremely competitive market. Not terrifically attractive, but that has been a selling point on Head-Fi in the past. Over to the Teddy faithful out there. Ready, Teddy, Go !

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post #2 of 18

My dac is better than your dac because it's mine.

post #3 of 18

definitely not a contender for best for the price award

post #4 of 18
Yes, because the price is the most important thing in a DAC.
post #5 of 18

Naim equipment also rarely gets exposure around here, so it's no wonder that Teddy Pardo's equipment is little known on Head-Fi. After all, his power supplies for Naim used to be his core business. I owned one to go with a CD5X and it was a very fine upgrade.

This does not mean that his dac will also be good of course. On the other hand, every (active) audio component benefits from a good power supply so his dac likely has a good basis there.

post #6 of 18

Did anyone else imagine a teddy bear with a grub dac inside? maybe the USB port in a bellybutton... 

 

Interesting dac. It will need to be a great performer to survive at that price point - it has a lot of serious competition up there. 

post #7 of 18

I agree, competition from a lot of better known brands. If it's just one person building and shipping them though, there is likely way less profit made in various stages of the selling process which is good for the buyer. In other words: a lot of value for money probably.

 

Anyone looking for impressions might have succes on pinkfishmedia. Teddy's products are better known there.

post #8 of 18

The problem for Teddy is that John Westlake from MDAC fame is also a regular on PFM. It doesn't take a lot of calculation time to figure out which of the two DACs is better value for money.
 

post #9 of 18
The TeddyDAC did very well in two HiFi World tests. In one which was a group test spanning budget to c.£1500 DACs it was judged the winner and some very well respected DACs were present by more well known companies. You can buy a one-off subscription to that edition cheap, which is what I did.

I reckon if you're in the market for a DAC in that price range it has to be worth short listing. The lack of asynchronous USB would warrant an Audiophilleo (+PSU if you want galvanic isolation) and I bet it's killer. Word has it it's superb on other inputs without further help.

I tried the MDAC and found it very flat and uninvolving, if otherwise benign in sound. Apparently the TeddyDAC is considered musical, and tonally smooth while losing nothing in out and out detail. I have yet to hear it in person though.
Edited by 3dit0r - 5/16/12 at 12:15pm
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3dit0r View Post

Which would that be?

 

I'd guess he's going after the price point alone - so the Audiolab, which should clock in at about 1/4 the cost. I'm guessing it is way more than 1/4 the performance, hence a better value. 

post #11 of 18
Sorry I hit reply accidentally before finishing my last post- flippin' iPhone!

Hm, depends what you mean by value- as I say, the MDAC was totally uninvolving to me, and that's poor value at ANY price to me in HiFi terms. The absolute minimum I ask for is that I tap my feet to the music and it has emotion and groove. Believe me, I wanted it to be good, as it would have been an easy, and relatively cheap option for me, but there was just no love in it. Now with PSU upgrades, etc., who knows, it could be a very different beast, but in its standard form... The PSU and other 'upgrades' are already done on the TeddyDAC, at least that's one way of looking at it. John Westlake has been on about those and an asynchronous/optically isolated USB interface for a while, but by the time you add those on, not to mention a 1.1ps jitter clock as in the Pardo design, and all the other little details like the WBT NextGen connectors which are true 75ohm and don't mess up your coax connection, I daresay it makes a TeddyDAC look better value overall wink.gif
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3dit0r View Post

Sorry I hit reply accidentally before finishing my last post- flippin' iPhone!
Hm, depends what you mean by value- as I say, the MDAC was totally uninvolving to me, and that's poor value at ANY price to me in HiFi terms. The absolute minimum I ask for is that I tap my feet to the music and it has emotion and groove. Believe me, I wanted it to be good, as it would have been an easy, and relatively cheap option for me, but there was just no love in it. Now with PSU upgrades, etc., who knows, it could be a very different beast, but in its standard form... The PSU and other 'upgrades' are already done on the TeddyDAC, at least that's one way of looking at it. John Westlake has been on about those and an asynchronous/optically isolated USB interface for a while, but by the time you add those on, not to mention a 1.1ps jitter clock as in the Pardo design, and all the other little details like the WBT NextGen connectors which are true 75ohm and don't mess up your coax connection, I daresay it makes a TeddyDAC look better value overall wink.gif

 

While I see your point - I disagree with your assessment, and with the ability for most of the things you mention to audibly affect the sound. Is the Teddy Dac better than the M-Dac? Probably. Is it 4x better? No. That skews the value curve too far for me, especially since I found the M-Dac to be really very very good. But then - I still prefer my D100 to many much more expensive dacs.

post #13 of 18
Which parts of what I said do you not feel can affect sound quality? Power supply? Accurate clocking? True 75 ohm digital connections? These are hardly fringe nut ideas these days are they? Adding a Trichord Clock 3 to an old Marantz KI sig machine I had years ago was the most chalk and cheese upgrade I ever got, and finally convinced me CD had the inherent capability to sound as good as analogue if done right. Red Book standard called for a much more accurate clock than was ever put into most DACs due to cost constraints. I won't even comment on clean power supply making a huge difference. True 75 ohm cable and connections for digital, again, well proven, as far as I was aware.

I don't think either of us is in a position to judge how much better the TeddyDAC is or isn't quantatively, since neither of us has heard it, but besides that I just don't understand that kind of statement in audio terms, such as 4x better? My point was that I wouldn't value the MDAC at any price because it didn't draw me into the music. My old CD player was much more musical and realistic in many ways, to my ears. Now you may well have different subjective taste, that's fine and great, I just think its a bit meaningless to start sticking 4x, 8x, whatever but 1/4 price statements on things when audio value is only in the ears of the beholder, as it were.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3dit0r View Post

Accurate clocking? True 75 ohm digital connections? 

 

Neither of these have been shown to have audible ramifications. Power supply can, but only if the original one was badly realized in the first place, which the M-dac's is pretty good already. 

post #15 of 18
Lol, been shown not to have effects by whom? Are you seriously trying to argue that the entire high-end is essentially a scam, or waste of time, because most of what you pay for are components like better and better power supplies, more accurate clocks, better connectors, etc?

A question: have you actually listened to a component which has been reclocked, or had an upgraded PSU, etc, or are you just working from an inherited blind assumption that 'it can't work', without trying?

Another question: what does a PSU done properly mean? Surely you don't believe there is only one level of good or bad? Aren't there degrees, all of which demand slightly better, more expensive components, and techniques all of which are incrementally more costly? If this isn't the case, why is John Westlake himself, who designed the MDAC, have a PSU upgrade in the works, and a clock-locked transport, etc? By your argument this would mean either that he designed both badly to start with, or that he's on a scam of some sort selling upgrades which are proven to have no effect to unsuspecting, ignorant, punters. I believe neither, simply that he considers them important to incrementally optimise because most commercial products are built down to a price. Almost all the respected magazines include measurements of clock jitter and any PSU related distortions. The HiFi world technical report on the TeddyDAC said something along the lines that it had better PSU and sounded better as a result.

Are you questioning the reality of cable reflection in digital coaxial cable, or the fact that if a connector isn't 75ohm it'll cause an impedance mismatch which reflects the signal back?

The first query into google provided this about impedance mismatch causing reflections in cables:
http://www.belden.com/docs/upload/Part-3-Reflection-Coefficient.pdf

Here's Van den Hul's explanation:
http://www.vandenhul.com/p_B22.aspx

Here's an oscilloscope showing cable reflection:
http://www.hizantennas.com/A%20Quick%20TDR%20Setup%20Using%20a%20Tek%20475%20scope-1%207N%20edits.pdf

This guy talks about impedance mismatch as it relates to reflection in red book transports:
http://lampizator.eu/LAMPIZATOR/TRANSPORT/CD_transport_DIY.html

Here's a trace showing a before/after attenuator minimising reflection due to impedance mismatch:
http://sites.google.com/site/hifacemods/home/rf-attenuators

The best connector is an AES/EBU, but for single ended, a BNC connector rated at 75ohm is the best. AFAIK the WBT NextGen plugs and sockets are the only RCA type connectors to be a true 75ohm connector.
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