1000+ Head-Fier
Found sound Audio Davio. New interesting tube r2r DAC.
Pros: Analog detailed sound with stunning combination of flavour of tubes and Multibit chip
Cons: Not a small unit, requires some time to warm up - like others tube devices
Initial remarks:

One of my fundamental findings in audio hobby was discovery of multibit DACs from the R2R family with their smooth and analog sound. All (or almost all) of my listening is from digital sources but I have always been looking for vinyl flavour in music. It is not that I like warm sound (I do) but I love vinyl for its naturalness and lifelike impression it makes. This is especially important for classical, jazz and rock music I listen mainly to. For some time I have been using widely recognised MHDT Orchid DAC which I am very happy with. I really enjoy its combination of R2R chip and tube so I have been looking for another R2R tube DAC for my second hi-fi system.

There are many boutique R2R DAC producers nowadays but I was surprised to discover one start up business near Warsaw, Poland where I live, namely Found Sound Audio. I gave a call to Jacek, the owner and shortly thereafter I got Found Sound Audio Davio, the DAC he personally designed and produces, for a trial at home. I was really impressed with the sound, especially with the tube rectified version I got and describe here. I think tube rectification is really value added to this DAC with its hard to describe magic in the sound, increased depth and more organic sound.

Following numerous discussions with Jacek, which really widen my audio experience, I decided to write this review. As Found Sound Audio is relatively unknown brand this review may be of help to anyone who is looking for good analog sounding DAC.

All of my listening of Found Sound Davio Davio DAC were through my headphones system (ZMF Verite, ZMF Atrium & custom OTL amplifier) and speakers system (Haiku Audio Bright 5 & Pylon diamond 25 speakers).

As always please note that the below opinion is subjective and should be read in conjunction with my musical preferences (above).


Found Sound Davio is a medium sized gear (35.5x13.5x27cm) and weights 7 kg. It is made of solid metal plates which give very premium and a very nice “raw” look. It has two versions: one solid state rectified and one tube rectified, which I am describing here. The tubes are 1x 6SN7GT for the buffer and 1x 6C5S for rectification and are hidden inside the chassis which makes them more difficult too damage. Although this make them a bit more difficult to tube roll I think the stock tubes are very decent (not really sure what they are, but it is what I hear) and I felt no desire to tube roll. It makes the Davio DAC different to my MHDT Orchid where I needed some time to find the proper tube to sound its best. However, if one wants to do a tube rolling with Davio, changing the tubes is not particularly difficult. The availability of 6sn7 driver tubes is very good and I expect some good results may be achieved here. Also changing rectifier tube may change a sound, so almost limitless possibilities to adjust the Davio’s sound to one’s taste are available for those who really want it.

Davio has full set of digital inputs: optical, coax and USB B. It uses a 16-bit Philips chip For more technical data You may want to have a look at the Found Sound website: www.foundsound.pl.


This is the key factor one may look for a tube multibit dac. Digital music is sometimes sharp and deprived of emotions. This DAC is very different. As Jacek, the owner, told me, he wanted the DAC to sound as vinyl, and that is how Davio sounds. It is very dynamic, moderately warm and balanced. Details retrieval is very good, maybe not at the level of best Delta Sigma DACs, but that makes Davio sound natural, not artificial. Davio is not a magnifying glass You are happy using only for the first couple of minutes. You may listen to this DAC long hours without being tired and have no impression that You are loosing something in the recording, if particular sound is in the recording You are able to hear it.

The key in Davio’s sound is how it conveys the sound of instruments. And they sound lifelike. This DAC is slightly on the warmer side of neutral but that makes the instruments sound appealing. Nirvana’s “Unplugged” album is a good example here of how realistically Davio can show acoustic guitar and vocal. I almost felt the facture of sounds.

As mentioned Davio is rather dynamic sounding DAC, not overly warmish and certainly not foggy sounding like a stereotype of tube sound. Sure, the sound is a bit bolded but only a bit and not to the extent affecting details retrieval or dynamics. That is how I see it. If You want to hear how the electric guitar with good guitar amp sound Davio will show You that. Same with all other instruments in jazz, blues or rock music. I had no impression of lack of punch even while listening to Rage Against the Machines’ “Bombtrack” or System of A Down’s “Chop Suey”, which really could sound terrible on slow gear. Davio is also perfect for classical music, which can sometimes painfully detect coloured gears. This is not the case here. Itzhak Perlman’s violin sounds as it should while being sweet and pleasant at the same time. This DAC is to give You joy from music while keeping all high technical standards like balance, details soundstage ect You can expect from the DAC at this price.

As opposed to my MHDT Orchid Davio is a little less warm, which makes it more sophisticated and universal. I have also compared Davio against one of the early Lampizator devices (predecessor of Lampizator Amber) and Davio was a little less bright and a bit more analog, which I liked.


With Davio music is not flat but 3 - dimentional. This is something I think only tubes can deliver. I would say soundstage is wider rather than deeper, as opposed to my MHDT Orchid. Definitely nothing is lacking here. Instruments are well separated and structured. Jan Garbarek’s “Officium Novum” sounded just like recorded in a monastery, which I believe was the case in reality.


Only slightly rounded to show there are tubes on the board. Otherwise full and disciplined and for sure present. This is not a bass shy DAC, while certainly bass is not exaggerated. Bass is bolded and well structured. It is not bloated at all, You are able to hear how diverse bass can be. I really like it as it shows that strong bass need not to be loose. Kham Meslien’s double bass on “Fantômes …. Futures” sounds impactful and sharp, so is Billie Eilish’ “Bad Guy”.


The key range for instrumental music. Midrange is where the magic happens with this DAC, but it is not a midcentric DAC meaning that bass and treble are cut off. Mids are a bit creamy but very transparent. Certainly pleasant but also very satisfactory with respect to details and separation.

I think when You write about midrange You need to tackle how human voices are reproduced. And the good news is that human voices are very good with Davio. Full bodied and deep and very well structured. Female vocals are seductive and Frank Sinatra seems to be back with us with his “the best is yet to come”. Take also for example hoarseness, very difficult to reproduce for DAC, but Davio does it very well. All the nuances are there, very vivid and still pleasant. Almost lifelike, although I promised to myself not to overuse this word in the review.


Definitely present. I do not have an impression hights are shimmered in this DAC. This is not a darkish DAC. Trebles are rather golden than silver but well extended. I absolutely did not have an impression anything was missing in the recordings. Music is airy, if hights are supposed to scream they scream. A bit of smoothnes is an addition here, not a stopper. You will like those hights in trumpets but also in harps and other string instruments. Alice Coltrain harp is just as delicate as it should be while Miles Davis trumpet is as dynamic as can be expected. I think Davio found a very fine balance between being bright enough but still being pleasant.

Overall& wrap up

I think it is clear that I very much liked this DAC. It is very tempting offer for those who are looking for a DAC with analog sound but who would not like to compromise on other aspects like bass ad treble extension as well as details retrieval. It is especially stunning performer for instrumental music, like classical, jazz, blues and rock. It would also perform well for other genres (e.g. metal music), as it is technically very proficient performer. However, it will especially excel where the timbre of music is important, which is I guess the main reason people look for multibit DACs.

From what I know Found Sound Davio is working on a bigger, more sophisticated DAC using TDA 1541 chip. While I am keen to listen to it, I think Davio is already a very high level gear that could satisfy almost all audiophiles. I really recommend everyone to try, but before You do be prepared that You may want it!
It's best to butter one's self with charmed rebellion
Anyone have any pictures of the internals im having such a hard time finding any
Stax 7
The Dac chip is the Philips TDA 1541 ?