Anyone heard of the Tranquility Dac?
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aurabullet

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If anyone has heard can you tell me your impressions on it? Compared to the W4S and Benchmark DAC1, Anedio D1
 
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bobeau

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I've been in research mode on this... I'm somewhat dubious on impressions people give, because they almost invariably compare this to oversampled units like you're asking.  Completely different animals.
 
For instance, the only pro review I've found:
 
http://www.digitalaudioblog.com/2010/12/review-db-audio-labs-tranquility-dac.html
 
Which is great, I can say the same thing about my Ack! Dack! 2.0, which is surely outclassed by more modern NOS offerings like the MHDT Havana and Metrum Octave.  Now _that's_ what I would like to know, how does this thing compare to those guys? 
 
EDIT: Forgot about this one which does compare it the Isabellina and declares no winner - http://www.digitalaudioreview.net.au/index.php/audio-reviews/digital-source-reviews/item/169-dblabs-tranquility-usb-dac-signature-edition
 
Otherwise it's one big Audio Circle jerk :) (serious, it's reminiscent of the Schiit vibe we have here), where it seems like a good portion of these people have just discovered NOS DACs for the first time.  It's simply a mistake to make that comparison.
 
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DaveBSC

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The design is quite simple, and I'm not quite sure where all the money goes. If it had a great USB implementation I might be interested, but it doesn't, which is a show stopper for a USB only DAC. The USB is old fashioned and outdated adaptive mode, and the company is a bit wishy washy on why they didn't just license a proper asynchronous system like Streamlength. Instead, they basically demand that you go out a buy a Mac Mini which is apparently the holy grail for crappy USB converters. I'm unsure of exactly which gen was "the one" and whether that even still applies. MacBooks and the like aren't deemed worthy, and you can forget a Windows box. The USB problem would be easy to get around if they gave you a S/Pdif option, but they don't so you're stuck.
 
If you're interested in the Tranquility you should be looking at other NOS DACs and vintage R-2R models, not 24/192 Sabre DACs.
 
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bobeau

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     Quote:
They basically demand that you go out a buy a Mac Mini which is apparently the holy grail for crappy USB converters.

You left out that even more importantly you're supposed to buy one of their $300 USB cables... of course heavily discounted for to $200 when purchased with said unit 
.
 
 
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Cortes

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Quote:
The design is quite simple, and I'm not quite sure where all the money goes. If it had a great USB implementation I might be interested, but it doesn't, which is a show stopper for a USB only DAC. The USB is old fashioned and outdated adaptive mode, and the company is a bit wishy washy on why they didn't just license a proper asynchronous system like Streamlength. Instead, they basically demand that you go out a buy a Mac Mini which is apparently the holy grail for crappy USB converters. I'm unsure of exactly which gen was "the one" and whether that even still applies. MacBooks and the like aren't deemed worthy, and you can forget a Windows box. The USB problem would be easy to get around if they gave you a S/Pdif option, but they don't so you're stuck.
 
If you're interested in the Tranquility you should be looking at other NOS DACs and vintage R-2R models, not 24/192 Sabre DACs.

 
The painful thing is that from all I've been able to gather on internet this DAC sounds really well, probably one of the best in the midrange. From the reviews, probably it beats most of the DACs discussed here on Redbook. However, I really doubt it costs more than $200 to make it. Not a bad business.
 
 
 
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Cortes

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Just to add that if I were for the NOS route I'd probably by a MHDT Havanna. Pretty good from many reliable sources and not a rip off.
 
The Metrum Octve looks really intriguing. I'm waiting for reliable reviews, I don't trust Srajan at 6moons.
 
 
 
 
 
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Quote:
I'm waiting for reliable reviews, I don't trust Srajan at 6moons.

Thumbs up on this! I've tried to read several of his reviews and can't finish them cause of the appalling, self-indulgent, obscurantist waffle of this man! 8 badly paginated pages of prolix, tedious, meandering (I hesititate to use the word) prose ending in 2 lines of an equivocal comparison to some other piece of gear that's invariably 100 times more expensive than the thing he's trying to talk about. Possibly the worst audio writer on the internet!
 
 
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bobeau

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The funny thing is he said this of the Octave on a forum, which is pretty straight shooting:
 
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=93939.0
 
"Revolutionary? I think not. R/2R chips are how digital started before most everything migrated to delta-sigma converters. Cees simply went back to the roots, just not with the usual old Philips chips or even the remaining modern R/2R variants but dug into the industrial sector where he works to find something normally not used for audio purposes.

The plain fact is, well-done digital today doesn't diverge much anymore. If you take 10 competent DACs, level-match them perfectly and run a comparison, you'll find less differences than in most other categories. The Octave DAC is simply well designed, with a minimalist signal path, a direct-sell approach and really good performance for less - but it's not revolutionary  
"
 
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mamba315

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So I had the original Tranquility (and now SE since last fall).  It sounds great to me and I do not believe it is significantly hindering my systems potential.  It is fed via a late 2009 Mac Mini (the 2010 and 2011 are supposedly better sounding by some noticable degree).
 
I do think its fairly sensitive to the quality of the source.  This may indicate that it's "jitter management" could use work.  I couldn't say for sure, but I'm aware of that argument and don't refute it.  There was significant and very noticable increases in sound quality as I learned how to strip and disable unneeded features in OSX and as I tested different players.  Ultimately I was running OSX on the 64-bit kernel and using Pure Music for playback.  Then I switched over to Windows 7 on my Mini and things got much better all over.  Then I stripped down the OS and using Jplay for the playback and things are very clear indeed.  But it could be better with a 2011 Mini running on SSD's and battery supply, I have no doubt.  That's what "they" say, ya know.
 
I'm sticking with computer playback, so the only question is whether its going to be S/PDIF or USB.  Ultimately I want to build a custom solid-state battery powered computer with both connectivity options and start testing the various DACs against each other.  But right now things are tight financially so I'm just enjoying what I have and planning out the future.
 
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