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New high end M2Tech Vaughan : 3 in 1 DAC / head amp / pre amp impression and appreciation thread - Page 8

post #106 of 119

Great write up and story.   beerchug.gif

I am so glad you went all the way with the amp. 

It is obvious that music and its enjoyment is important to you.

Could you please comment more on the sound with the amp .

 

I always wonder whether I am hearing everything that is on the disks we buy .

Thankfully, as I upgrade I hear more ( resolution ) and enjoy more ( saturation of sound / timbre ).

Every time I upgrade I tell my wife I am saving as I am rediscovering my music collection and not buying new music,   

for a while. 

 

Would love to hear the Vaughan. tongue_smile.gif

PM me .

post #107 of 119

Very nice write up. Would love to hear for myself what that 7 and half thousand USD sounds like. 

post #108 of 119

Living With the M2Tech Vaughan DAC
 

My First Experience

 

Unfortunately my first rave review of the Vaughan DAC was inaccurate and misleading basically because there was a severe mismatch between the XLR output and the Sennheiser HD800 headphones and this caused bloated bass.  A quality headphone amplifier was required.

 

Enter the Headroom Blockhead Balanced Head Amp & Other Toys

 

This head amp http://www.stereophile.com/headphones/614/index.html  is no longer in production but I purchased one from a Head-fier here with gratifying results.  In an experimental mode I purchased a new Yulong D100 + a Slee Solo amp to use with Sennheiser HD650’s for a secondary system.  Unfortunately this combination produced a rather flat an uninvolving sound, well resolved, but a bit too hot at the top end for my liking. Various combinations were trialed with the Yulong feeding through the Blockhead in balanced mode to the HD800s but the audio quality was not to my liking so both the Yulong and Solo were sold.

 

Next items to arrive were a used Woo WDS-1 DAC http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue61/woo_audio.htm  and a demo BUDA Headamp http://www.headphone.com/headphone-amps/amplifiers/headroom-balanced-ultra-desktop-amp-buda.php  – progress was being made.  On some pop material the Woo was close to the Vaughan but as soon as a group was involved, particularly with classical music, the differences between the Vaughan and Woo, using the Blockhead and HD800s, became obvious.  The Woo managed a very creditable sound, well resolved and well balanced but when replaced by the Vaughan the music opened up with more air, space and musicality. This is difficult to accurately describe and, to be fair, many would wow and be very satisfied at the digital to analog processing of the Woo.  But the Vaughan is consistently better, yielding a velvet touch to the music, seeming to extract every last ounce of magic from the input.

 

Now the Woo/Buda is capable of balanced use with the Sennheiser HD650s so I decided to construct my own cabling with Neutrik and Cardas plugs using Cat 7 LAN cabling in between.  And it worked well.  No, the Woo/Buda/HD650 combo was not close to the Vaughan/Blockhead/HD800 combo but was capable of impressive sound with good input.  If someone had not heard better, they would be very satisfied with the audio quality.

 

And that is the catch22 with this whole “hobby” with an important lesson to learn.  That is that there will always be something better out there BUT if you like the AQ of what you have, sit back and enjoy the music with it.

 

There is another aspect of all this that can be overlooked – the quality of cabling feeding into the DAC. For some time I had been using what looked like reasonable quality 110 ohm cable to take feed from the Meridian server to the Vaughan.  It was a shielded twisted pair so appeared capable of handling the digits over a 3 meter length – wrong!  When it was replaced with much better Electrus Disribution WB-1534 cabling http://www.electusdistribution.com.au/product  The difference to the bass that the Electus cabling made was astonishing.  The bass had always been there and was clean but lacked weight.  With the Electus cable it suddenly appeared in full glory, still articulated but now with the weight and punch one would expect with a quality system.

Is the Vaughan worth the high price?  Possibly not for most in the context of other financial demands, but if you can afford one you will be rewarded with superb AQ provided you feed in a clean signal and use high quality headphones.  And of course this is the catch 22 with the Sennheiser HD800s – GIGO applies with a vengeance.  That is why I did not like the AQ using the Yulong.  They are highly resolving headphones and deserve the best input.  Conversely the difference between the Woo and the Vaughan was not great using the Sennheiser HD650s. So, IMHO,  spending heaps on DACs and amplifiers is a waste of money if all you have is the HD650s or similar.

 

 

So I am now one happy camper with the Vaughan/Blockhead/HD800 system fed from a Meridian server to my man cave chair.  I guess that yes, there are better DACs out there than the Vaughan, but the law of diminishing returns has already set in severely and anyway, I’ll be highly unlikely to hear anything better.

 

post #109 of 119

Apologies for the double posting.  It was coming up as not yet posted - not awake yet, too early in the morning here!!!  Is there any way to delete it?

 

John

post #110 of 119

You can only delete the text, not the post. Just write (double post or something)

 

Anyway - thanks for sharing - you make me want one :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tassie Devil View Post

Apologies for the double posting.  It was coming up as not yet posted - not awake yet, too early in the morning here!!!  Is there any way to delete it?

 

John

post #111 of 119

A postscript on digital 110 ohm cable.

 

 

It is apparent that cable quality can be hugely important and it seems there is a lot more to it than meets my uneducated eye. An engineer at Canford (the UK firm which supplied me with a passive 3 way AES/EBU splitter) sent me the following email in response to my enthusiasm, of the Electrus cable:

 

This cable is essentially a microphone cable and is wholly inappropriate for AES/EBU digital audio. Whilst analogue cable such as this can carry digital audio over short distances the impedance mismatch introduced rounding of the square wave signal and the very high frequency attenuation is detrimental to the reliability of the signal being transferred.

 

The results of using innapropriate cabling are never easy to determine due to error correction in all digital processors ...... until it fails completely.   Digital either works  or it doesn’t.  The thing that people don’t realise is that by using inappropriate cabling, especially over longer cable runs and at higher sample rates, the error correction in your equipment is more than likely working harder than it should.

 

But you would not know this unless your devices have the ability to show the Block Error Rates and the Cyclic Redundancy Checks, (and only the very high end equipment used in professional broadcast and recording would have this facility).  The harder the error correction has to work, the closer to the ‘cliff edge’ where you fall over and fail completely.

 

As stated previously for your system you would need a cable to AES/EBU spec with an impedance of between 100 – 110 ohm.  Cables such as:-

30-396 CANFORD DST CABLE 1 pair, 110 ohms, Turquoise, 31-966 CANFORD DFT CABLE 1 pair, Turquoise,

.... also hybrid digital/analogue cables such as 31-001 CANFORD FST CABLE 1 pair, Black

 

If you are using microphone cable in your system and your equipment is handling high sample rate digital audio then you can increase the reliability of your system by replacing such with appropriate digital cabling.

 

Now I must confess I have had problems using the Canford splitter with poorer microphone cabling (the reason I contacted Canford in the first place) and even the better Electrus WB-1534 could still be challenging the error correcting capacity of the DAC.  This also suggests my appraisal of the Yulong DAC was unfair because it might not have been able to handle the error correction required for the inferior mic cabling deftly enough, so opinion might have been very different if the correct digital 110 ohm cable had been in place. The more sophisticated M2Tech Vaughan appears to be coping well but I will invest a few more dollars in some Canford cabling.  It will be interesting to see if there is any difference in the AQ, particularly in the treble, although the Canford engineer appears to be laying more emphasis on reliability than on AQ.

 

Wow, getting it right is proving a much longer learning curve than anticipated!!

 

John

post #112 of 119

edit

post #113 of 119
Very nice setup you have there. smily_headphones1.gif
post #114 of 119

Vaughan sounds very well  thru HD800 without any external headphone amp.

Would be interesting to try it with LCD 3 though

post #115 of 119

Just wanted to report some problems that I'm currently having  with m2tech vaughan hooked up with my Mac Pro 2011 (6 core)

When the DAC switches to STANDBY mode it crashes my Mac Pro even when all audio application are closed.

 

The log screen reads :

 

"Your computer was restarted because of a problem....

 com.velodm.driver.Young(1.0.48).... "

 

Tried my macbook pro - same issue!

 

FYI,  the driver for mac has not been updated since 2011 and the Dac would not work with OS X 10.9

post #116 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by vovkinson View Post
 

Just wanted to report some problems that I'm currently having  with m2tech vaughan hooked up with my Mac Pro 2011 (6 core)

When the DAC switches to STANDBY mode it crashes my Mac Pro even when all audio application are closed.

 

The log screen reads :

 

"Your computer was restarted because of a problem....

 com.velodm.driver.Young(1.0.48).... "

 

Tried my macbook pro - same issue!

 

FYI,  the driver for mac has not been updated since 2011 and the Dac would not work with OS X 10.9


You should contact M2Tech for this matter. OS X 10.9 Mavericks is a new OS, and the old driver probably is not 100% compatible with newest OS, this issue have few DACs from other companies too.

post #117 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKu View Post
 


You should contact M2Tech for this matter. OS X 10.9 Mavericks is a new OS, and the old driver probably is not 100% compatible with newest OS, this issue have few DACs from other companies too.


My current OS X is 10.8.5 not 10.9

post #118 of 119

my vaughan dac does the exact same thing..crashes all the time I turn it off…I have switched everything, nothing helps…bought a new mac around same time OS 10.9 was released which does not support the dac so now nothing works….instead I go back to old computer and old software 10.8 and it "only" crashes" all the time…what can I say??? Italians...

post #119 of 119

still waiting for mac driver. Those guys don't seem to give a $hit about their customers

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