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Calyx FEMTO DAC - Page 9

post #121 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by athenaesword View Post


That is interesting. I own the mytek, and i like it alot, so much so that upgrading hasnt really crossed my mind since i got it. The pretty much unanimous praise for the mytek was what got me to buy it afterall. I would love to try the invicta, to see what the deal is, but it seems they are scarce here in hong kong. Thanks for your input! I'll work hardwr to get one for comparison.

 

 

Well that's exactly the reason why I hardly talk about my experience with the Mytek (until people started asking me recently). I don't want to ruin anyone's enjoyment of their DAC which they find really great. Just cuz I don't like it.... maybe the one I heard was faulty or something, or maybe bad synergy with the system I used. Who knows. 

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #122 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Here's my take: 

 

I had the Calyx DAC 24/192, which is a single ES9018 version of the Femto, without the better power supply the Femto looks to have built-in. Using better power and my Audiophilleo 1/PP I managed to get the Calyx DAC up to the level of my Reference 7.1, but sounding a bit livlier. If I fed it with the new USB32-based Digital Interface, the sound changed a little and they were fairly indistinguishable. The Master 7 is better still, but in being seemingly able to do everything at once -- that is, being detailed, engaging and organic. So if the Femto does more or less what the DAC 24/192 did after I add all my improvements, then great, but it is expensive.

 

I spent some time with the Invicta at a meet and it was a bit too technically-perfect-sounding for me, like the Anedio I'm using at the moment.


Great write up Currawong,

 

For quite awhile now I've been wanting the Audio-gd Master 7 after reading your review countless of times and the views of others on M7 thread, but when it came to finally having the funds to pull the trigger I guess I was like a stunned deer in the headlights blink.gif confused if I would like it or not...... so I started researching again more into sound signature that I would be more incline to like, which I realised now I wasn't focussing enough attention on.

 

Probably the best way to explain what I was looking for "just going by other peoples impressions alone" is the detail of M7, musicality of Eximus DP1, tight refined bass of PWD, and smoothness of Zodiac Gold, which ultimately led me to the Femto

 

I'm really enjoying the sound of the Femto thus far day 3, I feel it has all the above qualities, however the top-end isn't as smooth us I was hopping for, I would dare say this will change overtime with burn-in and better cabling


Edited by Gandah - 8/4/13 at 12:55am
post #123 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Here's my take: 

 

I had the Calyx DAC 24/192, which is a single ES9018 version of the Femto, without the better power supply the Femto looks to have built-in. Using better power and my Audiophilleo 1/PP I managed to get the Calyx DAC up to the level of my Reference 7.1, but sounding a bit livlier. If I fed it with the new USB32-based Digital Interface, the sound changed a little and they were fairly indistinguishable. The Master 7 is better still, but in being seemingly able to do everything at once -- that is, being detailed, engaging and organic. So if the Femto does more or less what the DAC 24/192 did after I add all my improvements, then great, but it is expensive.

 

I spent some time with the Invicta at a meet and it was a bit too technically-perfect-sounding for me, like the Anedio I'm using at the moment.

 

Curious to hear a little more further the about the impression above that I highlighted in bold. 

 

Thanks.

post #124 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Yeah it's definitely not a super high value option, like many people thought their original DAC was. That case on the Femto has gotta cost a pretty penny.

Sounds like someone has figured out my preferred sound signature, at least as far as DACs go. And I think I've got yours down as well. Based on that I don't necessarily think the Femto would replace your Master 7, but you maybe would like it more than the Vega or Anedio or Invicta. Different strokes and all that.

 

In all honesty, I could, if I had started from scratch, taken the Anedio and a pair of Magnums and be done. I think I like a touch of musicality when listening to acoustic music (and I'm listening to Shpongle now from the Anedio to the Adam's).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandah View Post

Probably the best way to explain what I was looking for "just going by other peoples impressions alone" is the detail of M7, musicality of Eximus DP1, tight refined bass of PWD, and smoothness of Zodiac Gold, which ultimately led me to the Femto

 

I liked the Eximus over the Invicta at the meet, despite the sound stage sacrifice. If you liked the Invica you'd like the M7 I think. I haven't ever heard a PWD or Zodiac Gold, but the latter I know I can borrow if I want. I'm a bit scared I wont be so impressed after trying all the others though! They have a DSD DAC now and I've requested a loaner of that when available. There's a guy with the Mytek who brought it round. Probably helped that it was running out of my power conditioner it sounded good, but it is on the "musical" side like the DP1 etc.

 

Redbull: Very roughly, the DACs I've heard or owned have sound signatures somewhere between a NOS DAC, which is far on the "musical" side (using Kingwa's term for it which has stuck in my head) and the "analytical" side, which often describes DACs made more with perfect measurements or performance in mind.

 

Musical: Metrum Octave (NOS), Mytek, Metric Halo ULN-2, Parasound DAC1600HD, Audio-gd PCM1704 DACs, Bakoon, Eximus DP1.

 

Somewhere in the middle: Centrance DACPort, Audioquest Dragonfly, most BB PCM510X or 199X DACs I've tried, Audio-gd NFB-10 series.

 

Analytical/clear: Anedio D2, Invicta, Esoteric, Calyx DAC 24/192 (with caveats), Benchmark, Lavry DA11.

 

It's kind-of a bad list as it covers a huge price range and at least "musical" can mean a broad range of things about the sound. If I had a choice other than the Master 7 it'd be a DAC that sounds like the Parasound DAC1600HD but plays high-res files. If my father were still alive, I'd have given mine to him rather than sell it as he had a heap of CDs. After I heard Bakoon's one-off resistor ladder DAC in Tokyo they said I should get an MSB. They are probably right.

post #125 of 137
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the list Amos. I get the picture now.
I have one of the musical side (Ref. 7.1), now I guess I need to have one of the technical side, Anedio D2, (baby Invicta), since I love some goodness of it. smily_headphones1.gif
post #126 of 137
I arrived at this post while looking up info on the femto, the price seems a bit rich to me though and I'm not convinced that this femto precision really brings an advantage even if it's measured and interpreted correctly. I'm looking for a Dac that will be an upgrade over my Violectric V800. I'm actually quite happy with the vio but my one issue with it is that it doesn't do really well in terms of instrument separation and transparency (to myears). I'll run the dac connected to a FirstWatt F5 clone that's being built for me now, cans are the HE-6, HD-800 and HE-500. The F5 is said to sound extremely detailed and clear. I listen to classical and would like to combine 2 perhaps irreconcilable traits in the sound: a sense of musicality/slight touch of warmth but at the same time clarity and separation, i don't like a cold, clinical sound though and given the fact that one of my cans is the HD-800 that might be a challenge.

Currently looking at the NOS dacs from Metrum but unsure if they will meet those requirements and really mean a substantial upgrade vs the Vio, does anyone have any pointers or suggestions for other amplifiers? Volume control would be nice, else I'll use a passive preamp like the tortuga audio. My budget is about 5k USD.
post #127 of 137

The V800 is a great DAC, despite being a little long in the tooth with regards to the USB input. In order to significantly improve it, you'll need to spend a good amount. The best I've heard is the Resonessence Labs Invicta Mirus which is right at your budget limit. A step down is the Auralic Vega, which is $3500, and the next step down from that is the BMC PureDAC at $1800 or so.

 

In my experience, going much lower than that will not get you a big enough improvement to make it worth the trouble. Anedio D2, Yulong DA8, and Matrix X-Sabre are all a bit better than the V800, but not by a massive amount. 

post #128 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
 

The V800 is a great DAC, despite being a little long in the tooth with regards to the USB input. In order to significantly improve it, you'll need to spend a good amount. The best I've heard is the Resonessence Labs Invicta Mirus which is right at your budget limit. A step down is the Auralic Vega, which is $3500, and the next step down from that is the BMC PureDAC at $1800 or so.

Is the PureDAC so good?

post #129 of 137

Yes, I really like the PureDAC. It's got some of the best tonal accuracy I've ever heard, at any price. Also the balanced headphone output is amazingly good (but the SE output is terrible). 

post #130 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
(but the SE output is terrible). 

SE? (What the the acronym means? I'm not English ;))

P.S. There is a project86's review somewhere?


Edited by Esprit - 3/17/14 at 7:00am
post #131 of 137

SE being Single Ended, meaning the regular unbalanced 1/4 inch jack. 

 

I'm working on a review for Part Time Audiophile, probably finish later this week. 

post #132 of 137

Tnx, I know what's single ended. ;)

post #133 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
 

The V800 is a great DAC, despite being a little long in the tooth with regards to the USB input. In order to significantly improve it, you'll need to spend a good amount. The best I've heard is the Resonessence Labs Invicta Mirus which is right at your budget limit. A step down is the Auralic Vega, which is $3500, and the next step down from that is the BMC PureDAC at $1800 or so.

 

In my experience, going much lower than that will not get you a big enough improvement to make it worth the trouble. Anedio D2, Yulong DA8, and Matrix X-Sabre are all a bit better than the V800, but not by a massive amount. 

Many thanks for the reply, I was travelling hard and forgot about responding.  Bottom line is I think you're right and I'd better keep that cash in my wallet for the time being.  While I was in Japan last week I had the opportunity to try out some high end DAC's.  I spent 1. full day in audio stores listening to gear, with my credit card safely locked away in the hotel.  Apples and oranges of course as the amplification I used there was different from my V200.  I tried the Vega, Ayre QB-9, Yamamoto SoundCraft (tubes), and even (this was before I learned about the price) a TotalDAC D1-reference.  All with my HE-6 which I lugged around and with the DACS connected to the EF-6 amp (in one store, gotta love Japan for that). Despite the TotalDAC's sticker (around 10k USD I think) I preferred the Vega overall.  It's definitely a step up over the V800 I think but I'm not convinced if the performance increment justifies the extra cash outlay.  If I can locate one close to where I 'll have my meetings in Europe from next week on I'll try auditioning the Mirus.

 

I guess the bottom line is that price/quality wise (and to the extent that a short session can tell anything) the V800 is REALLY good.  Just a pity about the USB.  Anyway, they're coming out with some new products (though a successor to the V800 doesn't seem to be on the list) and I'm curious to see what these will bring to the table except (making abstraction about their remote control options which are totally unimportant to me).

post #134 of 137
Bit out of topic but am very curious to hear where you got a chance to hear the yamamoto dac and the totaldac, never ever seen these in a store here! Totaldac has no distributor in japan so it's interesting to hear a dealer purchased one direct for the local market.
Also, am pretty curious to hear more about the comparisons (i have the ss version of the yamamoto dac), pm is ok if this is not the right thread but it's always good to share.
Arnaud
post #135 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

Bit out of topic but am very curious to hear where you got a chance to hear the yamamoto dac and the totaldac, never ever seen these in a store here! Totaldac has no distributor in japan so it's interesting to hear a dealer purchased one direct for the local market.
Also, am pretty curious to hear more about the comparisons (i have the ss version of the yamamoto dac), pm is ok if this is not the right thread but it's always good to share.
Arnaud

 

 

Haven't heard the TotalDAC, but the Yamamoto is very different than the Femto. The Yamamoto is old-school design, not all that advanced from a digital perspective but gets a lot right on the analog side. It's got that rich, creamy sound that probably needs no explaining to an owner like you. I really enjoy it. The Calyx Femto is way more focused on the digital solution and less so the analog. It's oozing with detail and accuracy but seems a bit sterile to my ears. I can see why people enjoy it, but personally it reminds me of the Esoteric D-07 - great for some things, but not my favorite in general. 

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