Aries Cerat Kassandra II Mk2 DAC
Sep 3, 2016 at 9:09 AM Post #16 of 34

astrostar59

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Apr 11, 2017 at 6:00 AM Post #17 of 34

cladane

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Hello,
Quote:
$35,000 retail...will be on our audioprana.info if it isn't already.

The Kassandra II retails for €18000, priced as the Metronome Technologies C8+.
The Kassandra was compared by reviewers (Haute Fidélité) to the TotalDAC Twelve (€30000) and judged possibly better sounding.
 
Difficult to ask for a loan (60Kg). I think I will have to move to Paris (080 shop) to listen to it with some headphones and the VIVA 2A3.
 
Apr 11, 2017 at 6:41 AM Post #18 of 34

astrostar59

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  Hello,
Quote:
$35,000 retail...will be on our audioprana.info if it isn't already.

The Kassandra II retails for €18000, priced as the Metronome Technologies C8+.
The Kassandra was compared by reviewers (Haute Fidélité) to the TotalDAC Twelve (€30000) and judged possibly better sounding.
 
Difficult to ask for a loan (60Kg). I think I will have to move to Paris (080 shop) to listen to it with some headphones and the VIVA 2A3.


It is 35K USD according to the dealer posting on WB Forum. Then the Signature is 55K USD and the top spec Kassandre 82K USD. It is key to ensure the DAC used v the TotalDACis the 35K unit to be fair.
 
Apr 11, 2017 at 7:24 AM Post #19 of 34

FredSD

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That would be a great excuse to head to Paris. You might also hear it in Texas, at IBelieve Audio. I think he's outside of Austin in Hutto.
EIther way, it would be a great listen.
 
Apr 11, 2017 at 8:08 AM Post #20 of 34

cladane

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Hello,
 
Fact is I am not too far away from Paris and that the comparison was involving the Kassandra II which here costs €18000, the TotalDac Twelve €30000.
I will be able to bring my TotalDAC Four at least when listening at the Kassandra.
 
For headphones I am looking at rich harmonics in the audio signal since unlike speakers they lack 3D soundstage.
 
Apr 11, 2017 at 8:54 AM Post #21 of 34

astrostar59

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  Hello,
 
I will be able to bring my TotalDAC Four at least when listening at the Kassandra.
 

I am curious about the Kassandre, as it takes a few cues from Audio Note as in AD1865 NOS, I/V stage using a transformer and also output transformers on the line stage, plus tubes. IMO tubes in the line stage can aid getting digital sound more real / organic. It is no mistake so many high end systems have both HPs and speaker systems have tubes in either the DAC, amplifier or both.
 
Have you considered the Lampizator Golden Gate? That has a lot of tube rolling (45s, 101s on the output and 274B on the rectifier) potential that could help get the sound you are after. The Kassandre is tubed but fixed' no real way to modify the sound signature (if required). I have tube rolled my DAC quite a bit (and the caps) and it has got a great sound to be fantastic in my system. I find in digital, the treble in particular is absolutely crucial to be happy long term.
 
And also IMO high end headphones do present many challenges as regards the extra detail and transparency they bring v perceived hardness.
 
Apr 11, 2017 at 9:08 AM Post #22 of 34

FredSD

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for rich harmonics, you may like our new all out headphone amp from Trafomatic. There will be two versions, one for
planars and dynamic drivers and another for Stax and the like. We were going to have an outboard transformer for the Stax, but after hearing
one purpose made, it crushed us...so no outboard transformer.

The layout of the amp is 4 EML20b tubes feeding 4 NOS Type 50 tubes. Talk about tone density and harmonics. the type 50 having more drive and tone than even a 45 tube. It kills. It's a 2 chassis affair with nano tech in the transformers. Basically, no cost was denied if it improved the sound. The idea was to best the sound of the Eimac 75tl head amp made for me. (the 75tl is so rare, it can't be a commercial product...try finding a matched pair on line) well, based on my last trip to serbia, the new design is better than the 75tl...it is also larger. but it plays with such tone and density, you forget whether you are listening to speakers or headphones. you're just listening.

no other specifics just now. we haven't priced it out yet nor have we finalized all the parts, but it will be costly. it was made for someone like me, who has too many headphones and too many sources, and needs to hear all of them. I'm sure I'll get the stax model too, as i like my Take-T and 009s, but that will be another 6 months.
 
Apr 11, 2017 at 12:49 PM Post #23 of 34

cladane

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@astrostar59, yes the Lampizator can be also a good idea. My problem is that I will have to travel to Poland to listen to it and on another side rolling the tubes change the tone but have no impact on the harmonics.
 
The Audio Note DAC you own is yet a big provider of harmonics through its design like the Kassandra which ADN, like you pointed out, is similar.
Changing the tubes is a plus for tune ation but it is not what I'm looking for a DAC.
 
I am aware of Trafomatic since Auris, HA 2 headphone amp, has the output transformers built by Trafomatic.
I own the Egoista 845 and end of month I meet the Schembri brothers in Nîmes (France). I have just purchased their 2A3 with KR Audio HP tubes.
 
I think that another DAC is worth putting an ear at: the Rockna Wavedream. A lot of east people !!
Will ask to the French importer.
 
Apr 11, 2017 at 1:50 PM Post #24 of 34

astrostar59

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  @astrostar59, yes the Lampizator can be also a good idea. My problem is that I will have to travel to Poland to listen to it and on another side rolling the tubes change the tone but have no impact on the harmonics.
 

Ask at the WBF Lampi thread. The change of tube type, not just make in the GG radically changes the whole sound, dynamics and harmonics included.
 
Apr 18, 2017 at 9:46 AM Post #25 of 34

cladane

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Hello,
 
Quote:
for rich harmonics, you may like our new all out headphone amp from Trafomatic. There will be two versions, one for
planars and dynamic drivers and another for Stax and the like. We were going to have an outboard transformer for the Stax, but after hearing
one purpose made, it crushed us...so no outboard transformer.

The layout of the amp is 4 EML20b tubes feeding 4 NOS Type 50 tubes. Talk about tone density and harmonics. the type 50 having more drive and tone than even a 45 tube. It kills. It's a 2 chassis affair with nano tech in the transformers. Basically, no cost was denied if it improved the sound. The idea was to best the sound of the Eimac 75tl head amp made for me. (the 75tl is so rare, it can't be a commercial product...try finding a matched pair on line) well, based on my last trip to serbia, the new design is better than the 75tl...it is also larger. but it plays with such tone and density, you forget whether you are listening to speakers or headphones. you're just listening.

no other specifics just now. we haven't priced it out yet nor have we finalized all the parts, but it will be costly. it was made for someone like me, who has too many headphones and too many sources, and needs to hear all of them. I'm sure I'll get the stax model too, as i like my Take-T and 009s, but that will be another 6 months.

Makes two amps at no cost prices. Something to follow.
 
How do the Type 50 tube compare to the 845 triode on those aspects, tone density and harmonics ??
 
Apr 18, 2017 at 10:49 AM Post #26 of 34

FredSD

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The Type 50 and the 845 are both great tubes.  A lot depends upon the circuit in which they're placed.  Properly used, I prefer the Type 50.  It is used far less than  
the 845 due to it's much lower power.  However the power curve of the Type 50 is better suited to headphones, is I believe more toneful, and has more power than a 
2a3 and less than a 300B....in pp mode the perfect headphone amplification tube.  
 
Apr 18, 2017 at 11:05 AM Post #27 of 34

cladane

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Thank you @FredSD for those explanations.
 
​The 50 looks sexy but perhaps it won't be easy to listen to the amps when finalized ??
I am aware of Trafomatic since they are making the output transformers for AURIS and their nice HA 2 headphone amp.
 
Also looking for the Rockna Wavedream I will get this week to test.
 
Apr 18, 2017 at 12:58 PM Post #29 of 34

cladane

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Yes, I have noticed also you import the VIVA 845.
Yet owning the 845 and 2A3.
 
End of month I meet with Amedeo and Giampietro.
Let's see how the Rockna performs with the VIVA amps in headphones rigs. Then I will compare with the Kassandra, I think mid-May.
 
Apr 18, 2017 at 1:22 PM Post #30 of 34

FredSD

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All good choices. The lesser to your ears will still be very good I imagine.
To be clear, Bob Clarke of Profundo imports Viva (as well as Transfiguration,
Trenner and Friedl, Heed, and Silent Source.) All excellent gear. We're happy to
cooperate with him.

We import Trafomatic, Boenicke, Goebel, Klimo Turntables, Crayon, Grandinote,
Hemingway Cables, Soul Sonic, Rockna, Tobian Audio, and Audionec, (their server/dac should also be on
your 'must hear' list.. We also work with
Viking Acoustics (formally DC-10) here in the states.
 

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