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Calyx FEMTO DAC - Page 7

post #91 of 137
I have the chance to hear my friend brand new Calyx Fempto DAC last week .

Source : Denon Cd Player as transport

DAC : Calyx Fempto

Head amp : RSA Dark Star

Headphone : Hd 800 and HE 6

My personal impression :

High : very clean and detail

Mid : a bit thin and for me to digital

Bass: impact not as deep what I expected , but clean and detail,

Separaration : very good , that we can hear the instrument very clear and detail , a bit dry for me

Soundstage : wide , the depth is o k , I want more from so expensive DAC

Overall : very detail and clean and clear DAC , but for me a bit dry and thin specially in the mid
bass is clean and detail , but less impact .

I hope next month I can compare woth the M2Tech Vaughan in the same price range $ 8000 Usd vs
Calyx Fempto $ 6500 Usd DAC only .
Edited by rudi0504 - 9/16/12 at 8:33am

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post #92 of 137

I really want the black one...Mmmm...

post #93 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

I really want the black one...Mmmm...

 

That's what she said.

post #94 of 137

just got my femto in black last week , with Taket H2+ for headphones & full range horns & Esl speaker

superb unit for the money

post #95 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

I've found DAC reviews most anywhere to be very hard to glean anything from (that includes those on HF.)  It's actually easier to review a DAC as it relates to headphones as anyone plugging in an HD800 into an Invicta is hearing the same thing.  But a review about how a DAC affects one speaker system is really not something to rely on, especially if you use different transducers.  That's why demos are essential.

 

The differences between good solid state SD DACs are way smaller than reviewers make them out to be.

 

Very much agreed! 

post #96 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by athenaesword View Post

 

 

I agree. at this point it looks like much of the review seems to favor the femto simply because it's priced at its current price point and therefore has to be "better". there seems to be no technological breakthrough here or revelation in terms of how certain elements are being implemented. even that USB line seems to have been thrown in just because. 
 

in contrast, I'm finding significantly more information on the invicta. not to digress, but 2 days of visiting another pro audio forum, gearslutz, has revealed a list of dacs that don't seem to have found their way here but seem to be very highly regarded there. they just don't seem to have been marketed as well. these include the lynx hilo and the forssell mdac-2. both are also in the 2-4k price range and as far as I can tell, are very loved by the folks on that forum.

 

To add to what we have been discussing via PM - Gearslutz people tend to have certain criteria for the DACs they love. Have you noticed how they generally gravitate towards "studio" oriented units? Or units that look somewhat basic, where (as DaveBSC mentioned) you are spending more for the guts than the caswork? In contrast, some other forums have the opposite preferences - I've read a few places where basically I could determine which DAC they would like most simply by looking at the exterior.

 

I tend to think at HeadFi we have a somewhat good mix of preferences, though extra weight is given to value for dollar. On the downside we tend to demonize the more popular DAC brands (Benchmark, DacMagic, Audiolab) in favor of obscure brands (then again sometimes the obscure brands are simply better). 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

Probably because half of a product's sound and ranking against the competition is a result of collective mind reinforcement ;)

 

This is very true. I always applaud when I hear of someone who totally dislikes a popular DAC, for whatever reason, as it takes some courage to go against the crowd like that. I might disagree with their opinion on the DAC but I'm glad they are thinking for themselves and trusting their own ears. 

 

Allow me to drag up some less recent but interesting thoughts from this thread. I don't think people demonize the Benchmark quite so much. For a few years it, and the Lavry DA10 were the go-to DACs for many. The older Benchmark my friend owned sounded great until you compared it to a something like a Parasound or other old-school over-build ladder DAC, whereupon the treble glare became obvious and instruments didn't sound as natural. Many people were likely using them with warmer-sounding tube amps, so likely it all balanced out in the end.

 

I agree though about certain gear being popular on certain forums.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by athenaesword View Post

 

in contrast, I'm finding significantly more information on the invicta. not to digress, but 2 days of visiting another pro audio forum, gearslutz, has revealed a list of dacs that don't seem to have found their way here but seem to be very highly regarded there. they just don't seem to have been marketed as well. these include the lynx hilo and the forssell mdac-2. both are also in the 2-4k price range and as far as I can tell, are very loved by the folks on that forum.

 

That's where I discovered Burl's B2 Bomber DAC, which has me quite interested. What I like about the Burl (and the Forssell seems quite similar) is that they are no nonsense. You don't get a fancy enclosure or gold plated feet, but you don't have to pay for that either. The downside is some of these "studio" DACs can be quite analytical and sterile in nature - designed to spotlight recording flaws rather than be enjoyable to listen to. The Burl seems to not be in that group.

 

I have a ULN-2 here which totally doesn't match that description. If anything, as a DAC alone, it isn't as detailed as what you can get for similar money nowadays. Maybe to look impressive to those types of people, many of those DACs would be designed to measure as perfectly as possible, which seems to lead to distortion that doesn't show up in the usual measurements, but only during playback.

 

I keep wondering about the Femto though, as it uses the same, awful-sounding XMOS chipset for USB as the Calyx DAC does. What would put me off buying one (if I was ever in the market) would be that. It's as if the special femto-clocks are needed to fix the awful output of that XMOS chip. It would be fascinating to compare my digital set-up with the Audiophilleo etc. with the DAC 24/192 against the Femto using the USB input.

post #97 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

I want to hear what people think of this DAC vs the PWD mkII...Or even the Cantana.

 

I heard the Femto vs my PWD MK II a couple months ago. 

It was pretty brief, but the Femto made my PWD sound like a toy (and I really like my PWD). 

It was warm and rich, without being rolled off or dull. Could have listened to it all day. The bad part was the price, but I'm thinking of ways to afford one. 

post #98 of 137

Wait a sec.... awful sounding XMOS chipset? Since when did that happen? I've had nothing but good experiences with XMOS, and it is used in lots of really nice gear.

 

What is your specific problem with it?


Edited by project86 - 12/9/12 at 6:51am
post #99 of 137

After hearing the PWD mII myself finally I can say that the FEMTO would probably out do it (at least I'd hope so). I wasn't impressed by it compared to my 851C (it was better but not anywhere near 2k better). 

 

I liked the signature of my Calyx DAC quite a bit (slightly warmer side of neutral) and I'd still like to hear this one. 

 

I've also recently heard the Resolution Cantana and it put the PWD mkII on blast along with my 851C. That's the current comparison I'd like to hear (along with Moon 380 DAC).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R View Post

 

I heard the Femto vs my PWD MK II a couple months ago. 

It was pretty brief, but the Femto made my PWD sound like a toy (and I really like my PWD). 

It was warm and rich, without being rolled off or dull. Could have listened to it all day. The bad part was the price, but I'm thinking of ways to afford one. 

post #100 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Wait a sec.... awful sounding XMOS chipset? Since when did that happen? I've had nothing but good experiences with XMOS, and it is used in lots of really nice gear.

 

What is your specific problem with it?

 

Using the USB input into the Calyx, the sound, while detailed, makes instruments sound dead and lifeless, especially using the computer's USB power. I was expecting far better given the comments from reviewers about how much better than the S/PDIF it was supposed to be. It makes me wonder if people think this is how computer-based digital playback sounds, since so many people prefer vinyl.

post #101 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

Using the USB input into the Calyx, the sound, while detailed, makes instruments sound dead and lifeless, especially using the computer's USB power. I was expecting far better given the comments from reviewers about how much better than the S/PDIF it was supposed to be. It makes me wonder if people think this is how computer-based digital playback sounds, since so many people prefer vinyl.

 

I see. I thought you had some specific issue with XMOS and the way it does things. I totally understand not liking a specific DAC or a specific input on said DAC.... but you can't necessarily blame the XMOS as a blanket statement. I haven't heard the Calyx so I don't have an opinion there. 

post #102 of 137

astin trew concord dac one & mytek dsd 192 are also very nice ones to try as well

post #103 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

Using the USB input into the Calyx, the sound, while detailed, makes instruments sound dead and lifeless, especially using the computer's USB power. I was expecting far better given the comments from reviewers about how much better than the S/PDIF it was supposed to be. It makes me wonder if people think this is how computer-based digital playback sounds, since so many people prefer vinyl.

 

Currawong, could you please tell us what other transport or converter did you use, and in which input type of the Femto, so that it sounded so much better then the USB input in your experience?

post #104 of 137

Wasn't the Femto. I own the DAC 24/192.

post #105 of 137

  Any further updates on the Femto?

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