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Abbingdon Music Research DP-777 Thread - Page 34

post #496 of 571

I thought I would chime in as this is my first post on the site. I joined almost a year ago, not because I'm into head fi, but because this was a site with good information on the DP-777. I ordered a 777SE about a year ago, Darren and James were nice enough to loan me a demo 777 since I paid in full for the SE. What we thought at the time was that it would be an end of May delivery. That slipped to the end of June... July... etc. I checked in from time to time with Avatar and AMR, both kept me informed, but I have to say the whole wait was frustrating.

 

Avatar let me keep and use their 777 for the entire time and I loved it. In fact I liked it so much I ended up just hoping the SE would be as good.

 

I'm happy to report the  SE has finally arrived... It came a week ago and is better out of the box than the broken in 777 demo unit.  The unit arrived in perfect shape, thank heavens. It was not double boxed like the 777, but it did have the corner and edge braces tightly wrapped in plastic that served the same purpose. It's flawless, so far!

 

It has a very big, full sound via BNC. I have not tried usb. 

 

I do not have the required permissions to post a picture. It looks the same as the YouTube unit posted. (with a gold "Signature Edition" affixed on the bottom right corner)

 

I hope AMR gets organized and takes care of their backlog soon. Like I mentioned, I've been frustrated, but I'm more than happy with the finished product!

 

Bill

post #497 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loop4fun View Post
 

I thought I would chime in as this is my first post on the site. I joined almost a year ago, not because I'm into head fi, but because this was a site with good information on the DP-777. I ordered a 777SE about a year ago, Darren and James were nice enough to loan me a demo 777 since I paid in full for the SE. What we thought at the time was that it would be an end of May delivery. That slipped to the end of June... July... etc. I checked in from time to time with Avatar and AMR, both kept me informed, but I have to say the whole wait was frustrating.

 

Avatar let me keep and use their 777 for the entire time and I loved it. In fact I liked it so much I ended up just hoping the SE would be as good.

 

I'm happy to report the  SE has finally arrived... It came a week ago and is better out of the box than the broken in 777 demo unit.  The unit arrived in perfect shape, thank heavens. It was not double boxed like the 777, but it did have the corner and edge braces tightly wrapped in plastic that served the same purpose. It's flawless, so far!

 

It has a very big, full sound via BNC. I have not tried usb. 

 

I do not have the required permissions to post a picture. It looks the same as the YouTube unit posted. (with a gold "Signature Edition" affixed on the bottom right corner)

 

I hope AMR gets organized and takes care of their backlog soon. Like I mentioned, I've been frustrated, but I'm more than happy with the finished product!

 

Bill


Impressive!

 

What other DACs have you auditioned/owned? Always helpful to have comparisons.

post #498 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoga View Post
 


Impressive!

 

What other DACs have you auditioned/owned? Always helpful to have comparisons.


Yoga, I've had two different Bel Canto Dacs. The Dac 3vbs and The 3.5 MkIIvbs and the DP-777. I currently have a Lumin S1 and the 777SE. 

 

Shindo equipment. AMG/Etna analog.

post #499 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loop4fun View Post
 


Yoga, I've had two different Bel Canto Dacs. The Dac 3vbs and The 3.5 MkIIvbs and the DP-777. I currently have a Lumin S1 and the 777SE. 

 

Shindo equipment. AMG/Etna analog.


Some nice gear there! S1 especially.

post #500 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loop4fun View Post
 

I thought I would chime in as this is my first post on the site. I joined almost a year ago, not because I'm into head fi, but because this was a site with good information on the DP-777. I ordered a 777SE about a year ago, Darren and James were nice enough to loan me a demo 777 since I paid in full for the SE. What we thought at the time was that it would be an end of May delivery. That slipped to the end of June... July... etc. I checked in from time to time with Avatar and AMR, both kept me informed, but I have to say the whole wait was frustrating.

 

Avatar let me keep and use their 777 for the entire time and I loved it. In fact I liked it so much I ended up just hoping the SE would be as good.

 

I'm happy to report the  SE has finally arrived... It came a week ago and is better out of the box than the broken in 777 demo unit.  The unit arrived in perfect shape, thank heavens. It was not double boxed like the 777, but it did have the corner and edge braces tightly wrapped in plastic that served the same purpose. It's flawless, so far!

 

It has a very big, full sound via BNC. I have not tried usb. 

 

I do not have the required permissions to post a picture. It looks the same as the YouTube unit posted. (with a gold "Signature Edition" affixed on the bottom right corner)

 

I hope AMR gets organized and takes care of their backlog soon. Like I mentioned, I've been frustrated, but I'm more than happy with the finished product!

 

Bill


Hi Bill,

 

That's good news for sure.  Do you still have the old DP-77 with you?  If so / If not can you describe the difference between the two?

post #501 of 571

Hi Brian,

thanks for the update on this matter.

It is very disappointing that the packaging is not done really professionally.

Hopefully evertyhing will work out fine.

Germany still has not received any upgrade kits even though the German distributor keeps telling my guys that they are "on the way".

 

Cheers

Kai

post #502 of 571

I'd say the differences are very subtle at this point. The sound seems a little more "full" in the lower end. Detailed, a little more authoritative bass, and it's just extremely musical, but really, the straight 777 is the same way (just light on the bass).

 

It's easier for me to compare both with the Lumin S1. To my ears, the S1 and the 777 are so close as to be non distinguishable. (That's what sold me on the Lumin S1)  

 

The 777SE has a touch more music and punch in the bottom end. When I use the AMR, I'm using the Lumin to serve and controlling it with the Lumin App via BNC...  Basically using it like an Auralic Aries. It lets me stream from my NAS to the AMR. That route has simplified my digital life and is a more reliable and probably better quality sound than having my Mac Mini/Audirvana+ in the room. I picked up an AMR power cord off Agon, that I'm using. It makes me feel good, but my ears are not good enough to probably hear a difference.

 

When I accidentally select a DSD album, it's easy to tell the difference between the SE and Lumin S1... No sound!   ;)

post #503 of 571

A quick follow-up to my prior post about my own installation of the kit. Darren at Avatar explained to me today that he had made an exception with me and allowed me to install my own upgrade because I had convinced him I was technically able to do it. I didn't realize until talking to him today that this is NOT an option being allowed for others. Sorry if I mislead anyone - I truly thought that others with technical backgrounds would be allowed to self-install, hence my discussion about it here. Home installation had indeed been a part and parcel of the SE upgrade discussion over the past 18 months or so since it was first hinted at, but apparently this mod had become so significant that AMR/Avatar no longer wants to let users do it at home, and frankly, I don't blame them. As I said in my post, the installation is quite involved and if you don't know what you're doing or how to handle static-sensitive components, you could risk damage.

 

As to my problems getting the new XMOS USB boards to work, I was told at order time that they required the latest drivers to function. I therefore had visited AMR's site where the latest driver is given as version 1.6.1. That's what I had already been using for a while. I reinstalled it anyway, and it still didn't work. But today Darren told me that the latest driver is not to be found on the AMR site (silly me), but rather on the iFi site! And there it is, version 2.2.3 and it even lists the DP-777 as a supported device. The AMR site hasn't been updated (as of March 23, 2015) for the SE update except for a teaser link to a YouTube clip. That will change I'm sure. I haven't had the free time to load the new driver yet, but I'm hopeful that it will solve the problem with both new USB cards.

 

Front-panel peel-n-stick badges proclaiming the unit's SE status to the world will arrive later.

 

I will keep you posted on these issues and also more about sound quality later.

post #504 of 571

A question for those who know..

 

Is the new "SE" a Balanced or a SE DAC?  I know it has XLR outputs, but is it a true balanced DAC?

post #505 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by cradon View Post
 

I pray these words are true. I really want to be happy with my updated DP-777.


Based on my experience with the SE you will be happy! I agree with the comments from the press release you quoted. I've put some critical listening time in over the last 24 hours. For me the 777 was a huge upgrade in my system and the SE, I believe, is better still. Having a more musical low end is a real bonus.

 

I hope you get your upgrade soon! 


Edited by Loop4fun - 3/24/15 at 9:13pm
post #506 of 571

Continuing my upgrade saga... As I mentioned above, the correct driver for the new 777 SE XMOS USB card is NOT on the AMR site yet (as of today, March 26, 2015), but it is on the iFi site. AMR still shows version 1.6.1 which won't work with the upgrade. IFi shows version 2.2.3, which does work, at least on my Windows 7 machine. On my other music server, a Windows XP, I needed to retrogress to version 2.20, also on that iFi site ("In the event that any incompatibility issues arise with v2.23, then please download and use v2.20").

 

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************

FIRST LISTENING IMPRESSIONS: With only tens of hours of time on the SE, it's not yet broken in, but I can say that the upgrade seems to be a real success. My listening impressions are with my Apogee speakers so far, but I expect the results to be similar with 'phones. Most of my listening was done with Redbook since the biggest changes were to that DAC pathway, but I also listened to hi-res files up to 192/24. I do think all payback modes showed some degree of improvement, but perhaps the greatest improvements were in the Redbook files. I will have to concentrate more on the various rates later. For now, I was having too much fun with the music.

 

The first word that came to my mind was "incisive". Details are clarified and focussed, as if the proverbial window had been cleaned, but fortunately without adding etch or grain, which I detest in many converters (and speakers, headphones and amps, for that matter). I noted some new sounds that had been less obvious before. These new discoveries in familiar music are always fun. Spatially, there was greater illumination of front-to-back depth. Instruments that had seemed plenty clear enough before, now leap forward of the speakers or fall deeper behind them, as if a zoom lens had been stretched. Some of the 777's warmth character has disappeared, replaced by greater solidity in the lower registers. This may change again with break in, but for now the slightly leaner sound does seem more real, although I may have to redial my crossover settings to accommodate it. I expect that the degree of lower-end improvement will depend somewhat on what the input impedance is of a user's subsequent amplifier/preamp/crossover. The output caps were more than doubled in value from about 2.2uF to about 5.2uF. There would be more phase shift difference for users with amps presenting a 10K ohm load to the 777 than with those presenting 100K ohms, for example. AMR would be quick to remind us that the new 5.2uF cap is a triple composite and is purported to be fundamentally better, beyond the basic value increase. I can't argue. Into my relatively high 80K ohm crossover load, the lower registers were still slightly leaner and more solid, some of the difference perhaps being due to other factors such as lower jitter clocks. The highs, as before, do not call attention to themselves, just as they do not with live music, but I sense some new found openness that could be due to greater reach in the highest octaves. I will have to listen more to grasp this aspect. The highs don't hit you over the head, and that's a good thing.

 

Perhaps the most telling observation was that I had a hard time shutting down for bedtime when my wife reminded me of how late it was. The entire presentation was so engaging, listenable and enjoyable musically, that I could forget about hi-fi and simply luxuriate in music. That is a hi-fi cliche for sure, but it was real for me. This was a trait of the original 777 too, but it's even more so in the upgrade. My stereo has never sounded better.

 

I think AMR has a winner here, again!


Edited by Brian Beck - 3/26/15 at 8:00am
post #507 of 571

Brian-

 

What about the loose caps ?

 

David

post #508 of 571

Brian, Great post. Especially the impedance explanation. I'd agree with all your observations with the exception of the unit sounding slightly leaner. It's a richer presentation to me. That's one reason I'll try to learn something about my equipment's impedance match.

 

Well done!

 

-Bill

post #509 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wino View Post

 

 

What about the loose caps ?

Hot glue! I puts dabs of it at the bottom of the caps' cases along the printed circuit board. That seemed to stabilize them and I figured that this would be reversible if needed, where something like epoxy would not be. They tested OK electrically in circuit (just under 5.2uF), and they sure allow music to pass through quite well. Apparently there was some shipping damage to early shipments to Avatar of these upgrade kits. There are several kits to the crate according to Darren, and so there was some protection in numbers. Mine was separated and shipped in one individual box, which only had a slim piece of shipping foam between caps and box. This might have been how they became loosened from whatever might have been adhering them to the board before. The solder joints looked intact. Maybe I'll post some pics later.

post #510 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loop4fun View Post
 

Brian, Great post. Especially the impedance explanation. I'd agree with all your observations with the exception of the unit sounding slightly leaner. It's a richer presentation to me. That's one reason I'll try to learn something about my equipment's impedance match.

 

Well done!

 

-Bill

In my experience with other electronics, richness versus leanness can ebb and flow during break in. Later, after more hours on the DAC, I might concur with you, or I might not.

 

We might also be describing things differently. The warmth that I heard before might not have been so much as if one had increased the bass control on a preamp, but rather more of a ripeness, even a tiny touch of fog, that slightly obscured instruments. By comparison, with the upgrade, that little bit of fog has lifted and I described that as "leanness", when maybe "tightness", "quickness", "agility", or some other descriptor would be better.


Edited by Brian Beck - 3/26/15 at 9:01am
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