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Audio-gd Compass 2 amp/DAC Impressions thread - Page 8

post #106 of 380
Me too, looking forward to see a proper review of compass 2, vs real contenders like yulong d100, audiolab m dac, benchmark dac1, minimax dac. They are all in $300 ~ $600 range (used), well reviewed.
Without any detailed review I dont see why should I buy compass 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by jalva View Post

Thread bump - I am in the market for an amp/dac combo that could drive my active speakers and let me add some good headphones (HE-500, LCD2) later on. Would this be the device to go for in the $500 range? Other options are GF Tubedac 11, Yulong D100 mk2, NFB-10 etc.

Or should I just buy a $1000-1500 device and be done with it?

Sorry for digressing...
post #107 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by yfei View Post

Me too, looking forward to see a proper review of compass 2, vs real contenders like yulong d100, audiolab m dac, benchmark dac1, minimax dac. They are all in $300 ~ $600 range (used), well reviewed.
Without any detailed review I dont see why should I buy compass 2

As far as I can tell this amp and the Maverick D1+ are the only ones under 600 with rca and digital inputs. That is the major reason it was on my list, except the Maverick had a lot more input and readable info even if it was from the previous D1. And it was 200-300 less then the Audio-GD. (The money part is a pain always.) 

 

But yes I agree with both of you. A great review would have probably pushed me to spend the extra money.

post #108 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hailin View Post

As far as I can tell this amp and the Maverick D1+ are the only ones under 600 with rca and digital inputs. That is the major reason it was on my list, except the Maverick had a lot more input and readable info even if it was from the previous D1.

 

Lots of connectivity options here as well:

http://shop.grantfidelity.com/Grant-Fidelity-TubeDAC-11-D-A-Converter.html

 

But a comparative review of Compass 2 would be good.

post #109 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by jalva View Post

Lots of connectivity options here as well:
http://shop.grantfidelity.com/Grant-Fidelity-TubeDAC-11-D-A-Converter.html

But a comparative review of Compass 2 would be good.

Considerably weaker than the Compass 2...
post #110 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post


Considerably weaker than the Compass 2...

 

Thanks! I am ready to pull the trigger on Compass 2. Let me restate my assumptions for your very valuable inputs:

- The DAC is excellent and can drive active speakers and provide volume control for them

- The DAC/Amp combo is good enough for the likes for HD650, 800, HE-500, LCD2, custom IEMs etc. HE-6 could use Compass's DAC connected to an external amp

 

Right? My intent is to have a largely future-proof, compact device around which I could build my system. Am I getting too ambitious to be realistic?

post #111 of 380

Got a couple of questions for Compass 2 owners:

 

-When using it on DAC out only through RCA outs to an amp, does the gain switch affect the level out?

 

-When using HP out, is there still a very very faint signal coming from the RCA outs?

 

These are both flaws in the design of the NFB-12, so I was wondering if the Compass 2 has them as well.

 

Cheers

post #112 of 380

How is the dac portion(sabre primarily) compared with the BiFrost?  I won't even ask about my amp as its probably better by default.

 

Seriously contemplating an all in one unit.  Downsizing and change in needs~

post #113 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrywild View Post

Got a couple of questions for Compass 2 owners:

 

-When using it on DAC out only through RCA outs to an amp, does the gain switch affect the level out?

 

-When using HP out, is there still a very very faint signal coming from the RCA outs?

 

These are both flaws in the design of the NFB-12, so I was wondering if the Compass 2 has them as well.

 

Cheers

 

Hi lawrywild,

 

I'll soon be heading back home with the Compass 2. Will connect the Compass 2 with the main amp + speaker system to test out how good the Sabre DAC is with the transports I've got.

 

For the first question, I believe there's no affect by the gain switch to the level output when using the RCA outs. Logically the gain switch should only affect the headphone output. I can test for this.

 

Will be able to answer the second question easy enough.

 

Steve

post #114 of 380
The gain switch affects everything. Had some speakers attached, and it does affect them.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 3/6/13 at 4:40am
post #115 of 380

Anyone did a comparison between D100 mkii, Compass 2 and Bitfrost + Asgard combo? I am thinking of an upgrade from Audinst HUD-MX1.

post #116 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by WatCult View Post

Anyone did a comparison between D100 mkii, Compass 2 and Bitfrost + Asgard combo? I am thinking of an upgrade from Audinst HUD-MX1.


I'm in a similar position, and leaning toward the D100 MKII. It has so many positive reviews and is cheaper than the bifrost+asgard, especially if want USB + you live outside the US. I plan to use it just as a DAC rather than use the amp in it though. I think the only problem with it could be reliability and getting returns/support, but considering you live in singapore that's probably not as much of an issue for you.

post #117 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrywild View Post


I'm in a similar position, and leaning toward the D100 MKII. It has so many positive reviews and is cheaper than the bifrost+asgard, especially if want USB + you live outside the US. I plan to use it just as a DAC rather than use the amp in it though. I think the only problem with it could be reliability and getting returns/support, but considering you live in singapore that's probably not as much of an issue for you.

 

Yes, I am also leaning toward D100 MKII because there are more review on it. However, I am interested to try out the Sabre ES9018. Maybe I should just go for the cheaper NFB-11.32 first and see how it goes with my headphones.


Edited by WatCult - 3/10/13 at 5:13am
post #118 of 380

Just on specs alone it all depends on the headphones your gonna use on it.  The compass 2 has a good voltage output for headphones that want a little more(LCD-2), it also outputs a ton of power for any headphone from orthos to 600ohm Beyers.

 

In short the compass 2 should theoretically function well with everything you throw at it.

 

That doesn't say anything for how good it sounds... but I only take subjective reviews with a grain of sugar so I don't become a diabetic. King-wa's analysis of sound profile at least for the base dac is rather accurate.  For instance the wolfson in the NFB 2 really was more forgiving without loosing too much neutrality(hence neutral with a tinge of warmth).


Edited by ninjikiran - 3/10/13 at 7:25am
post #119 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveting99 View Post

 

Hi lawrywild,

 

I'll soon be heading back home with the Compass 2. Will connect the Compass 2 with the main amp + speaker system to test out how good the Sabre DAC is with the transports I've got.

 

I'm back home and digging the Compass 2 + HE400 connected various equipment lying around. Really enjoying the music for hours without having to worry about the neighbors complaining its too loud.L3000.gif

 

Anyway, connected the Compass 2 with the Oppo BDP-93 transport. Tried both the coax and optical connections - both sound the same. Oppo makes awesome universal players. When comparing to the USB input of the laptop and using the same music tracks, there is a noticeable improvement in sound quality with the BDP-93. It's more louder (by about 1dB) and music contains more details is the best way to describe it. I've also tried connecting the Compass 2  to another transport - the WD Live TV using optical. Listening to the same music tracks, the WD Live TV is much softer (by about -1.5dB) compared to the laptop.

 

I'm going to try foobar again with replay gain off to see if it makes any difference.

 

Will also connect the desktop PC via optical and USB to the Compass 2 and compare with the USB input of the laptop. I'm thinking it should be identical results - will soon find out.

 

Steve

post #120 of 380
Anyone using the dual WM8741 set instead of the Sabre ES9018? I wanna know how much warmer the wolfson dac chip is compared to the Sabre. My LCD2 sounds almost perfect off the Compass 2, but I would love just that extra bit of warmth if it was worth it. I don't wanna pay $75 to get it shipped to me, only to find that it's so subtle, it'd be a waste of money.
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