- 207 Posts. Joined 9/2012
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I currently own a Dragonfly which I'm playing though an early 2009 MacMini. I just learned my Cuinas is in the mail. The DF was my first foray into DACs as I've been a vinyl man mostly.
I use OTL tube amps from Transcendent Sound and my speakers are 117dB Altec 288s on top with 515Bs on the bottom. I will certainly be able to hear whatever differences there are. Looking forward to it!
I got mine at the end of April. 2 weeks between order and delivery. Really good. You can email John Kenny and he'll give you a realistic turn-around time.
I ordered yesterday and got an email stating it will be shipped in 2/3 weeks.
That's the hardest part after pulling the trigger, so I'll be waiting impatiently :-) I have also heard that it requires 48 hours of burn-in before any critical listening. Need to put that SB touch on a continuous loop for a couple of days.
When I first installed it, my MacMini was seeing is as a 384 device and I wasn't getting any sound. I few quick emails with John got it going. I had to go into my Midi utilities and physically turn it down to below 192. For some reason Macs don't pick up the source sample rate automatically. If anyone knows about this I'd appreciate some tips. This is really my first toe dip into the digital pool. I know next to nothing.
So while trying to figure out why I wasn't getting any sound, I was going back and forth between my Dragonfly and the Ciunas. Once I got the settings right, and sound started dripping out, I was amazed. My first impression to John was that it was like walking from the shallow end into the deep end of the pool. If you can describe audio in three dimensions, it was a little taller and a bit wider, but significantly deeper. It was most noticeable in reverb trail-offs and piano sustain. Notes just seemed to hang longer in the air. Cymbals rang on and on. I haven't had enough time to really analyze instrument separation and details of image yet.
Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of big music files to really take advantage of what the Ciunas can do. This is going to cost me money revamping my library! But it will be fun money. Like buying a new album used to be.
FWIW, the audio chain is an early 2009 MacMini, Transcendent Sound Ground Grip preamp (Tube), TS Son of Beast OTL amp and Altec A6s (288-16Ks on top and 3156s (4) on the bottom). So the sound is very transparent, uncolored and detailed. OTL amps hide nothing.
Now if I can only find a way to get paid for listening to music, I wouldn't have to go to work now...
Hi HC, I've got jkdac32 prior to buy Hilo and I must say that jkdac32 has got an unique musicality, a sort of liquidity in the highs that Hilo doesn't have.
For all others parameters Hilo is a superior dac.