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Starting Point Systems portable NOS DAC

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 
Has anyone tried this DAC? It seems to be the only commercially available portable (i.e.small, self-contained and battery-powered) NOS DAC out there:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Non-Oversampling-DAC-TDA1543-DIR9001-96kHz-SPDIF-Coax-Optical-9V-NiMH-charger-/200858459050?

I am considering using it between a DX50 and a Tube Amp BL-2.
post #2 of 87

No, but I'm thinking about it ordering one for comparison to my Metrum Octave MkII.  

 

A former owner of the Metrum Quad, the Octave, and even the $3100 Hex really likes this little NOS DAC.

 

Here's a link to the U.S. eBay page.

 

 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Non-Oversampling-NOS-DAC-TDA1543-DIR9001-SPDIF-Coax-Optical-dual-9V-NiMH-w-charg-/201003880227 

post #3 of 87

Enhanced photo...

 

 

 

32ed44b8_TheBatteryDAC-tweak-x960.jpeg

post #4 of 87

I just got one - it's an exceptional little unit, I'm quite shocked by how good this thing is.  More later after more listening.

ZMF Headphones creates custom orthodynamic headphones. By implementing wood cups, high production tolerances, and truly american handmade quality,...
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post #5 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by zach915m View Post
 

I just got one - it's an exceptional little unit, I'm quite shocked by how good this thing is.  More later after more listening.

 

Excellent!  Do let us know...

 

:D

post #6 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

 

Excellent!  Do let us know...

 

:D


Well, did some more listening today, the impact, cohesion and separation + timbre it brings to music is VERY lifelike and natural.  I need to buy a USB > SPDIF converter so I can listen from my computer, but from my Ipure via Ipod classic it sounds incredible.  I'm running it into a Mjolnir and Marantz 2220b right now and it's a major improvement over the wolfson dac that I was using with that set-up.  I'll definitely write more soon but I want to listen and burn the unit in before making and finite statements.  Would love to hear a comparison to the Metrum should you get one.  For the price they go for there's really almost no risk and all reward IMHO.

ZMF Headphones creates custom orthodynamic headphones. By implementing wood cups, high production tolerances, and truly american handmade quality,...
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post #7 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by zach915m View Post
 


Well, did some more listening today, the impact, cohesion and separation + timbre it brings to music is VERY lifelike and natural.  I need to buy a USB > SPDIF converter so I can listen from my computer, but from my Ipure via Ipod classic it sounds incredible.  I'm running it into a Mjolnir and Marantz 2220b right now and it's a major improvement over the wolfson dac that I was using with that set-up.  I'll definitely write more soon but I want to listen and burn the unit in before making and finite statements.  Would love to hear a comparison to the Metrum should you get one.  For the price they go for there's really almost no risk and all reward IMHO.

 

Thanks for the early feedback.  

 

If you want an affordable USB > S/PDIF converter, I highly recommend the Teradak Teralink X2 used with a 5V battery pack (Energizer or Anker) to keep the power noise down - or - you could use the excellent Teradak X1/X2 PSU - that's dead quiet, if you'd prefer to power the converter with AC power. 

 

I'm on record in the OPPO HA-1 forum as having suggested that I consider the Teradak Teralink X2 USB-to-SPDIF converter to be superior to the OPPO HA-1's built-in USB receiver. 

 

 

 

This PSU has both 9V (user-adjustable) and 5V power jacks and includes a USB Y-cable (below) that allows you to pull only data from your PC or laptop. I love this cable - it's worth $80 all by itself, in my opinion.  Just try and find the equivalent from any other source.  

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TeraDak-TeraLink-X1-X2-DC8-5V-1A-USB-DC5V-port-external-Linear-Power-Supply-AQ-/141260082725

 

 

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Teradak-X2-24Bit-96KHz-USB-to-Coaxial-Converter-/251196489331

 

I use Coaxial Out from the X2 - I've never tested the other possibilities.

 

Mike

post #8 of 87

Thank you for all that great info!  I ended up getting a very basic Peachtree T1 spdif converter for now and it seems to be working well.  The sound is very good, I don't have a fancier SPDIF converter to compare it to though, and I thought it was pointless to get their X1 since I don't need 24/192 on this.

 

Are you basically saying the X2 has too much signal noise when plugged into a standard outlet?  I see you can get the X2 by itself for a little over 50 bucks on ebay!  Shipping probably takes quite long though.

 

Anyways - I've had the DAC for 10 days or so now and it continues to impress me.  I'm running it into a Mjolnir and sometimes into a Decware Taboo MK III as well.  It performs beautifully with both of them and although I know measurements show a slight decrease in DB at 10K and above on NOS Dac's I really don't feel it's lacking any air for me.  The sound has terrific balance and the imaging is remarkably better than otehr sources I have had/tried and it nearly keeps up with my audio gd ref 10.32 although the 10.32 has it beat in refinement, but not in musicality.

 

I am certainly going to hang on to one of these, I actually ordered another thinking I'd have a use for it, but I may not, I'm going to try and find a use for it though, if not I will pass it on to another lucky head-fier.

 

I also emailed back and forth with the maker of these, and it seems he is developing more DAC's down the line, very exciting to find such a great unit for such a great price.

ZMF Headphones creates custom orthodynamic headphones. By implementing wood cups, high production tolerances, and truly american handmade quality,...
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post #9 of 87
I ordered one of these this morning. And now, the 7- to 14-day wait....

biggrin.gif
post #10 of 87

Will be interesting to hear about any comparison on this against another well known, similarly prices NOS DAC, the Teradek V3.1D.

post #11 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by xuan87 View Post
 

Will be interesting to hear about any comparison on this against another well known, similarly prices NOS DAC, the Teradek V3.1D.

 

I had considered the TeraDak V3.1D, but took the plunge with The Battery DAC, instead. I was persuaded by a Head-Fi member who told me via PM that he has had the Metrum Acoustics Quad (discontinued) and the $2900 Metrum Acoustics Hex.

 

I've got the Metrum Acoustics Octave MkII (little brother to the Hex) and wouldn't have considered comparing it to The Battery DAC, but for my friend telling me that he now uses The Battery DAC exclusively, including with his Metrum Aurix amp, which I also have.

 

I'll be comparing these chains:

 

  FiiO X5 Coaxial Out > The Battery DAC > Metrum Acoustics Aurix > HD800

 

     vs.

 

  FiiO X5 Coaxial Out > Metrum Octave MkII > Metrum Acoustics Aurix > HD800

 

 

ba9d321d_FiiO_X5_Coaxial_Out_to_Metrum_Acoustics_Octave_MkII_and_Aurix_to_HD800_x800jpg.jpeg

 

I won't hesitate to replace the Metrum Acoustics Octave MkII if The Battery DAC does a better job in this chain.  In the absence of an expensive AC power conditioner for the Octave MkII, the battery-powered DAC might have a bit advantage for that reason alone, depending on how noisy my AC power is.

 

Waiting...

 

Mike

post #12 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

I ordered one of these this morning. And now, the 7- to 14-day wait....

biggrin.gif

 

i guess there are still 3-10 days on your waiting time.   i'll be very interested in seeing your evaluation of this device.
post #13 of 87

I'll be sure to report here.  Thanks!

post #14 of 87
Thread Starter 
Well, for what it's worth, I think you may have had a lucky escape with the Teradak V3.1D - my humble Hifiman HM-601LE walks all over it!

The Teradak sounds rather thin and anaemic in comparison (lacking the typical NOS solidity and fluidity).

Nothing I have heard so far comes close to an Audio Note prototype which Peter Qvortrup demonstrated to me at the Bristol Show back in the late 1980s (I suppose it must have been around 1988 or so - he also brought along his first 300B kit, and paper in oil capacitors were the new fad!).
post #15 of 87

^ Oh, that's a relief.  I really like TeraDak's USB-to-SPDIF converter, but I suppose they can't get everything right (not at those prices).

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