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JKenny Audio Ciúnas DAC and Ciúnas SPDIF - Page 32

post #466 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by grunter72 View Post

Hi, I've previously owned jkdac32 and I'm interested in Ciunas.
I found jkdac32 very, very musical and easy to listen to, but I've found its bass a bit on the loose side.
Could you tell me the differences in sound singature between them?
Thanks.

In prerelease production there was a thread on Tir Na HiFi with a few user reviews: http://www.tirnahifi.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2079. I haven't found the bass loose.

Btw, there was a review of the Ciunas dac in StereoMojo that I thought was worthless, but others defended. Not sure if it was on this thread. In any case, at Tir Na HiFi there was a thread in which John explained about the review and its process from his standpoint (he hadn't been offered the chance to respond by StereoMojo) - http://www.tirnahifi.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2349&hilit=ciunas. The result, at least as of the middle of August, was that the review was withdrawn (see pg 3), although it still seems to be there..

Hi Pearse,
I just saw this Stereomojo review today & I wrote to Isaac DaHan, the writer of the review (I didn't know he was doing a review) to tell him that his problem with charging the DAC was probably his misunderstanding of the function of the blue led on the front of the unit i.e when both USB signal & charger cable are both plugged into a PC, the led lights (meaning DAC is turned on automatically) but when the USB charger cable is instead plugged into an external PS, the led doesn't light (no automatic turn on) - the DAc is charging in both of these configurations.

So I think he is mistakenly interpreting the switch led not lighting as a sign that the DAC is not charging? This was all explained in the (old) user guide - I've since changed this operation as it was a bit confusing.

We had corresponded via email in which he said the DAC was not charging except through the PC USB charger cable but he never explained that what he meant was the blue led was not lighting so I didn't cop it until now!

When he initially received the DAC he made this comment "midrange is recessed, dynamics seem constrained, and bass is light."
After some time I contacted him again to see if burn-in had changed the sound - "The sound didn't change noticeably after about 48 hrs of burn-in. I'm still experiencing the same type of sound characteristics that I described before. It's certainly not bad, but I'd have wished for a bit more presence and livelier dynamics while still keeping the Ciunas' smooth sound that is not fatiguing. I'm going to continue to listen though and see what I think. I'm using it mostly with MOG on my PC. I've tried it w/ Foobar playing lossless recordings and it sounds a little better, but not dramatically so."

I asked what MOG was & he said this "MOG is a streaming service that streams music at 320kbps. In terms of USB I use a generic cable that's about 10 ft long." OOps a daisy on a two fronts which I told him!!

I suggested he try Jplay & lossless files - he did but on a Win 7 with 4Gb RAM & found it unreliable & bright sounding.
After many emails he eventually wrote this "After finicking around with JPlay settings and getting xtreme engine to work, I can finally hear what everyone is talking about. I need more time for a more critical listening session, but suffice it to say I couldn't draw myself away from the music until 2am."

But then he tells me that he really bought it for connection to an iPad but he never told me this when purchasing it or I would have advised him that it firstly needed a firmware change before I sent it & that the iPad was no patch on the sound from PC/Jplay

Anyway, just thought I'd give some background to his review & the origin of some of his comments

The sub-text on Stereomojo "Stereo for cheap bastards" has negative as well as positive aspects to it - i.e you can't just throw anything together & expect it to give of it's best but if chosen well & setup with care you can get excellent sound for relatively little money
Edited by highstream - 9/2/13 at 12:16am
post #467 of 595
Thank you for giving the story. Communication causes success or failure and I would expect more from the purchaser. It comes to question the reviewer and experience. The public is such a snare of challenge.

Look forward to hearing it in the near future.
post #468 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by grunter72 View Post


Hi, I've previously owned jkdac32 and I'm interested in Ciunas.
I found jkdac32 very, very musical and easy to listen to, but I've found its bass a bit on the loose side.
Could you tell me the differences in sound singature between them?
Thanks.
Hello there!
I really did not find the bass as loose with the 32 either , maybe it is sinergy with your system , the ciunas is better at sounding more real, transparent , quieter, little more detail but with the same sound signature. I love both even when I know they r not perfect, for the money u will not find better.
post #469 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by che15 View Post


Hello there!
I really did not find the bass as loose with the 32 either , maybe it is sinergy with your system , the ciunas is better at sounding more real, transparent , quieter, little more detail but with the same sound signature. I love both even when I know they r not perfect, for the money u will not find better.

 

This

 

The Ciunas does nothing wrong and it's quite a feat. With a bit more slam and dynamics, it could well replace my NFB-27. It doesn't have the latest detail in the sound but it's still very good and the bass is tight and deep with excellent decay.

 

For 580€, it's a bargain!

post #470 of 595

Thank you very much.

I think that Ciunas could be the new bargain from JK if it maintains the same sound signature of jkdac32 adding more resolution.

post #471 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by grunter72 View Post

Thank you very much.
I think that Ciunas could be the new bargain from JK if it maintains the same sound signature of jkdac32 adding more resolution.
How does the 32 stack against the Hilo?
post #472 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post


How does the 32 stack against the Hilo?

I have got no more the jkdac32 (I've sold it some time after the Hilo's arrive) but during the first days I've compared them.

Jkdac32 has a unique fluency of sound, very very musical, its medium-high frequencies has a sort of liquidity that I miss.

Apart from that Hilo is superior in every aspect, especially in precision and soundstage over the jkdac32.

Hilo is more correct and linear, while jkdac32 is not really neutral but very enjoable.

The aspect, for me, that put me on searching a superior dac is jkdac32 bass: a bit on the loose side.

My taste is for a very tight bass, for example I don't stand Hifiman he500, too boomy for me, I prefer Shure 1840 over he500, even if many many people tell that he500 has good bass and 1840 not.

I prefer a tight even if shy bass (Shure 1840) over an intrusive one (he-500).

But, as I've said, theese are my tastes and I could understand that other people prefer more bass.

So I've sold He500, I use Shure 1840 for second option and have bought Senn Hd800.

De gustibus non disputandum est.

:D


Edited by grunter72 - 9/5/13 at 10:19am
post #473 of 595

Thought I'd C/P the feedback I gave John about the Ciunas DAC:

 

In short: it's a very very fine DAC that does nothing wrong sonically, which, in my book, is quite a feat!
It ticks all the boxes: easy to setup (USB input works flawlessly with EDO, which cannot be said for every USB DACs out there), small (though bigger than expected) and, more importantly, sounds really good!
 
The other DACs I've been comparing it to are the NFB-27, Eximus DP1 and (recently) the Chord QuteHD.
My music preference leans towards rock and its derivatives (classic rock, acoustics, blues, hard-rock), but not quite up to death metal. I also like vocals and OST (Thomas Newman, Eric Serra, ...) and some old pop.
 
Overall - and as a standalone USB DAC - I prefer it over the Eximus, which, for 1/5th of the price, is quite unexpected!
The bass response is much better on the Cinuas (as a result of less jitter?), the sound-stage is wider and the sound is more natural.
The sound is very transparent and has no hint of harshness/hardness and the usual nasty digital stuff. 
Note that the Eximus itself is also very good in that, so are the Metrum DACs. It doesn't have the sweetness and lit-up presentation of the DP1 but, at the same time, it is more neutral.
Tonal richness is excellent in both cases.
 
Compared to the NFB-27 (ES9018-based DAC with very strong power supply) it sounds less dynamic and detailed but the sound-stage is pretty much as big (a feat, again) and the sound has more tonal richness and overall sounds a bit more natural. 
The NFB-27 is my favorite DAC of all times, its sound is very technical (detail retrieval, speed, dynamics, imaging, etc.) but probably not the last word in terms of naturalness (even though all Audio-GD DAC - and especially the 3x r-core ones - sound very organic in the mids). 
The Ciunas comes very close to it in most aspects, except two: dynamics and details. That last point is not dramatic, I only wish dynamics could be the same (remember: rock music :p)
 
The Chord QuteHD is a recent purchase and an happy finding! It is a very musical DAC with excellent PRaT, dynamics and sound very transparent. I run it either through optical or its built-in USB input (which is not the best there is).
In terms of details, both DACs are very close to each other. If I had to give the edge to one, it would be the Ciùnas. Transparency goes to the Chord but, again, it's not night and day.
What is night and day is the dynamics (for the Chord) and bass extension/definition (for the Ciunas). Probably the jitter thing at play, again, for that last point.
The Ciùnas is smoother overall, the Chord has better height in the sound (better than any other DACs here).
In short, the Chord is more involving thanks to its terrific PRaT, the Ciùnas is more natural.
 
Overall, pretty much a full mark for what it's designed to be (a simple USB DAC with no fancy features that sounds great... and a bargain!).
 
 
I ordered the Ciunas converter for my Chord QuteHD, btw. Should arrive in 2-3 weeks :beerchug:
post #474 of 595

Thanks a lot for your feedback, that was a very interesting read!

post #475 of 595

This is most definitely a testament. As I have also order the Ciunas Converter.  My comparisons are between the Ciunas DAC and the Concero.  Both very small DACS, both very capable DACs as well.  I give the Ciunas the nod over the Concero for a few reasons.  

 

First on my Windows 7 and 8 machines the Ciunas was very easy to install, I had some problems with the Concero.  The Concero worked really good on the MAC though.

 

Second the Ciunas has a much blacker background.  And is much more clean sounding.  Maybe that's because the Ciunas use a battery for power to the USB instead of the PC's USB bus power the Concero uses.

 

The Concero is a more livelier DAC while the Ciunas is more smooth.  The Concero can have a etch on female vocals that would make them a tad bit bright at times.  The Ciunas, while being smooth is very detailed and portrays a much more analog sound.

 

Both these little DACS are pretty dynamic for there price range.  Not up to the Master 7 or the PWD2 in those ares IMO.  

 

The bass response on the Ciunas is very surprising for being such a small DAC.  It wins over the Concero in that are.

 

The build quality is in favor of the Concero.  That little DAC is built like a tank.  The Ciunas has the DIY build feel to it IMO.  I have a RCA input that's loose, the cable slips on and off very easy - to easy for my liking. 

post #476 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

This is most definitely a testament. As I have also order the Ciunas Converter.  My comparisons are between the Ciunas DAC and the Concero.  Both very small DACS, both very capable DACs as well.  I give the Ciunas the nod over the Concero for a few reasons.  

 

First on my Windows 7 and 8 machines the Ciunas was very easy to install, I had some problems with the Concero.  The Concero worked really good on the MAC though.

 

Second the Ciunas has a much blacker background.  And is much more clean sounding.  Maybe that's because the Ciunas use a battery for power to the USB instead of the PC's USB bus power the Concero uses.

 

The Concero is a more livelier DAC while the Ciunas is more smooth.  The Concero can have a etch on female vocals that would make them a tad bit bright at times.  The Ciunas, while being smooth is very detailed and portrays a much more analog sound.

 

Both these little DACS are pretty dynamic for there price range.  Not up to the Master 7 or the PWD2 in those ares IMO.  

 

The bass response on the Ciunas is very surprising for being such a small DAC.  It wins over the Concero in that are.

 

The build quality is in favor of the Concero.  That little DAC is built like a tank.  The Ciunas has the DIY build feel to it IMO.  I have a RCA input that's loose, the cable slips on and off very easy - to easy for my liking. 

 

That's exactly what I remember the Concero sounded like by comparison

:beerchug:

I also have "loose" RCA socket on the Ciunas. The Eximus DP1 has the same "issue"...

John said he could improve dynamics and details with an open source software but I didn't try it yet. I'll check and see if it improves the other DACs too (in which case the comparison would still stand).

post #477 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

 

That's exactly what I remember the Concero sounded like by comparison

:beerchug:

I also have "loose" RCA socket on the Ciunas. The Eximus DP1 has the same "issue"...

John said he could improve dynamics and details with an open source software but I didn't try it yet. I'll check and see if it improves the other DACs too (in which case the comparison would still stand).

 

How would you get this open source software?

post #478 of 595
Interesting stuff guys, cheers beerchug.gif
post #479 of 595

What SPDIF cables are you owners using with your Ciúnas converters?

post #480 of 595

 

Interesting comments.  Wonder how much the USB cable is shaping your impressions, vs. using a couple of adapters and ICs alone.  Btw, have you tried the Isotek System Enhancer & Rejunvenation CD?  I just belatedly came across it and found that running the long optimizing files led to big changes in the sound of two pairs of ICs (and maybe other components).

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