Grant Fidelity Tube DAC-11
Mar 26, 2012 at 6:39 AM Post #16 of 44

estreeter

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The biggest barrier for the Chinese audio industry, IMO, is Chinglish. I know that Chinese manufacturers are increasingly looking to their domestic market, but surely they could hire a recent grad to rewrite their marketing blurbs for an English-speaking audience ? I absolutely understand that the people behind Audio-gd, Yulong and other companies are technically gifted, and they want to pass on every technical detail of their products, but they could learn a great deal from way Schiit and others hide the majority of the technical detail in the Specifications. For the hardcore audio brigade, the Chinglish is all part of the charm of these products, but these guys arent selling $99 toys - they are aiming their products at the high-end of the hobby (entry-level high end, but high end nonetheless). The Audio-gd site has been an eyesore for as long as I can remember, and clearly no-one gives a hoot - I guess I'm a voice in the wilderness.
 
Who ya gonna call ?
 
http://schiit.com/
 
OR
 
http://www.audio-gd.com/En%20audio-gd.htm
 
Guess which one has the more expensive products. No idea how Schiit do it for the money, but I salure them.
 
Mar 26, 2012 at 7:32 AM Post #17 of 44

nigeljames

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Quote:
The biggest barrier for the Chinese audio industry, IMO, is Chinglish. I know that Chinese manufacturers are increasingly looking to their domestic market, but surely they could hire a recent grad to rewrite their marketing blurbs for an English-speaking audience ? I absolutely understand that the people behind Audio-gd, Yulong and other companies are technically gifted, and they want to pass on every technical detail of their products, but they could learn a great deal from way Schiit and others hide the majority of the technical detail in the Specifications. For the hardcore audio brigade, the Chinglish is all part of the charm of these products, but these guys arent selling $99 toys - they are aiming their products at the high-end of the hobby (entry-level high end, but high end nonetheless). The Audio-gd site has been an eyesore for as long as I can remember, and clearly no-one gives a hoot - I guess I'm a voice in the wilderness.
 
Who ya gonna call ?
 
http://schiit.com/
 
OR
 
http://www.audio-gd.com/En%20audio-gd.htm
 
Guess which one has the more expensive products. No idea how Schiit do it for the money, but I salure them.

 
I agree the Audio-GD website could do with a complete makeover

But which one has the better products, that's a no brainer in my opinion. Schilt have yet to produce anything of note above the budget price range.
I am looking forward to their new statement and midrange gear and may be in the market myself for one but at the moment Audio-gd are playing in a higher division with some of the best value products, many of which are still not actually cheap, in the audio market.
 
Mar 26, 2012 at 10:12 AM Post #18 of 44

blairfrischx

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I find the Chinese hi-fi market to be altogether fascinating. It always seems that when I'm looking for something rather specific (say, a DAC with a tube stage) at least a couple of the leading contenders will be from Asia. The same cant be said for speaker systems, but it's hard to avoid in headphone systems.

As for this particular DAC, I think it's great that all of the outputs are active simultaneously. Makes it a lot more simple to identify which one is the most pleasant to my ears. It's also nice having both a tube and a solid state headphone out option. I've yet to see a downside to this product, honestly. :p
 
Mar 26, 2012 at 11:12 AM Post #19 of 44

eclipes

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currently have around 80hours of burn in on the tubes, and it is sounding extremely good. The stock tube is actually really good for what it is, usually I would have to switch out the stock within 30hours but this is one is a keeper. The unit definitely is a huge improvement over my NFB-12 + Yaqin CD3 aimed to achieve similar results but the TubeDAC-11 performs at a much higher level. I guess Ian from GF was right, the TubeDAC-11 does have 2 tubebuffers inside and its smoothness can definitely be heard in the music. Continue to burn in that stock tube, many people have said that 100-150 hours is needed in order to reveal its full potential. 
 
Mar 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM Post #20 of 44

kingoftown1

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Quote:
The biggest barrier for the Chinese audio industry, IMO, is Chinglish. I know that Chinese manufacturers are increasingly looking to their domestic market, but surely they could hire a recent grad to rewrite their marketing blurbs for an English-speaking audience ? I absolutely understand that the people behind Audio-gd, Yulong and other companies are technically gifted, and they want to pass on every technical detail of their products, but they could learn a great deal from way Schiit and others hide the majority of the technical detail in the Specifications. For the hardcore audio brigade, the Chinglish is all part of the charm of these products, but these guys arent selling $99 toys - they are aiming their products at the high-end of the hobby (entry-level high end, but high end nonetheless). The Audio-gd site has been an eyesore for as long as I can remember, and clearly no-one gives a hoot - I guess I'm a voice in the wilderness.
 
Who ya gonna call ?
 
http://schiit.com/
 
OR
 
http://www.audio-gd.com/En%20audio-gd.htm
 
Guess which one has the more expensive products. No idea how Schiit do it for the money, but I salure them.

 
The great thing about Ian & Rachel at Grant Fidelity is that they'll overcome the language barrier for you
biggrin.gif
.  They really do have excellent customer service.
 
 
 
Mar 26, 2012 at 11:43 AM Post #21 of 44

eclipes

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not only that, Canadians save A LOT on warranty issues when we need to ship back and forth. Saves time and money.
 
Quote:
 
The great thing about Ian & Rachel at Grant Fidelity is that they'll overcome the language barrier for you
biggrin.gif
.  They really do have excellent customer service.
 
 



 
 
Mar 26, 2012 at 6:08 PM Post #24 of 44

estreeter

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Quote:
 
I agree the Audio-GD website could do with a complete makeover

But which one has the better products, that's a no brainer in my opinion. Schilt have yet to produce anything of note above the budget price range.
I am looking forward to their new statement and midrange gear and may be in the market myself for one but at the moment Audio-gd are playing in a higher division with some of the best value products, many of which are still not actually cheap, in the audio market.


You've driven home my point 100% - Audio-gd ARE trying to cater to a more expensive segment of the market, and I dont deny the VFM proposition. This isnt about Schiit vs Audio-gd - I just picked two websites to illustrate how effectively one conveys the image of fun, affordable audio while the others would be more at home as the homepage for an electronics nut, I totally understand that many of these operations are one-man shows when it comes to the design and, in many cases, construction of their products, but if they are serious about reaching an international audience they need to look long and hard at the image they are projecting. I'm not talking Fortune 500 - I'm talking boutique audio. The old 'we pass the savings on to you guys' is all well and good, but if these companies want to reach a wider audience ....
 
Many years ago, a guy I knew ran a business centred around rare spare parts for classic cars. He told me that the biggest single mistake he saw with others trying to get into the same game was that they confused their passion for the hobby with the reality of running a profitable business. All these years on, and his website lists every single part in his inventory, all neatly organised and easy to find, while his competitors have disappeared - one guy still runs small classified ads in an 'Auto Trader'-style mag but the rest are gone. A niche within a niche market - hmm, sounds familiar ..... 
 
 
Mar 26, 2012 at 7:55 PM Post #26 of 44

eclipes

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do let us know your impressions especially compare it to the stock tube. I'm finding the stock tube sounding quite decent so not sure if its worth rolling tubes. The stock tube actually sounds quite good.
 
Quote:
I just got the Amperex Bugle Box D-getters and Amperex 6DJ8 Orange label in the mail. Jan Slyvania 6DJ8 in transit. It's time for some tube rolling fun. 
k701smile.gif



 
 
Mar 26, 2012 at 8:43 PM Post #27 of 44

FlySweep

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A couple of weeks ago, I commented on initial impressions of the Electro Harmonix 6922 tube on the audiokarma.org GF sub-forum.. here's the copy/paste of what i wrote:
 
Just rolled the Russian EH 6922 into the DAC-11.. been listening for approximately two hours with the Sennheiser HD580..this tube's got a lovely sound.

The stock tube's bass is more lush & 'punchy' in comparison to the EH tube. The stock tube's midrange sounds a tad more forward. Where the EH tube's midrange is clean, crisp, and neutral, the stock tube's midrange offer more of the stereotypical 'tube flavor' with it's warm, thicker, liquid mids (almost ortho-like). The stock tube's treble is smoother by comparison; the EH tube offers a crisper, brighter treble.  To my ears, gain levels seem even between these two tubes.

mickster1972 described the EH's sound as "accurate, involving, and dynamic".. that couldn't be a more apt description. I'd add 'clean' to that list. Bass is tight, fast.. but has a nice, natural decay. The midrange and treble has astonishing clarity, balance, & detail. There's a noticeable improvement in instrument separation, resolution, & soundstage (the stock tube has a bit more depth, while the EH has noticeably more width) vs the stock tube. The sound from the EH tube is more expansive and lively while the stock tube is a more intimate & 'closer to the stage.'  Tonally, the EH tube's sound is on the cooler, crisp side neutral.. but music sounds very full and dynamic. The DAC-11's famed, uber-'black background' is in full 'show off' mode with this tube too... that's one thing that jumped out at me immediately.. very very impressive.

All this being said, the stock tube is really quite superb. The EH offers more of a different flavor than any kind of glaring, outright improvement, as a whole. I definitely see myself rolling both in when the mood demands.  I've only got a few hours on the EH tube so we'll see where it takes me as they burn in.. but I'm certainly impressed and for the ~$15 or so I paid for them, I couldn't be happier.

 
Mar 26, 2012 at 8:44 PM Post #28 of 44

FlySweep

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Here are my impressions of the EH 6922 tube as of a few days ago after more burn in:
 
I've logged approx 20 hours on the EH 6922.. my initial impressions about the sound remain largely intact.. what I'm hearing now is refinement.

Treble has smoothed out & articulated.. the sparkle-to-smoothness ratio is perfect. Treble is crisp, highly detailed, but impressively controlled & extended.

The positioning of the midrange seems almost dead neutral, perhaps ever so slightly recessed. Instrument separation is excellent.. and that slight, tube-y warmth (present in the lower-to-center midrange, but it's quite subtle.. almost imperceptible) blends the mids for a very pleasant listen.

Bass is taut, clean, and neutral.. texturing is impressive.. definitely more nuanced & soft than outright punchy & aggressive.

What truly blows me away is the soundstage of the EH tube.. wow. Enveloping would be an understatement. Imaging is excellent, too. As previously stated, this tube shows off the DAC-11's super 'black background' quite impressively, too.

The EH tube's sound is more airy & clean than lush, liquid, & warm.. its neutrality reminds me of the DAC-11's HO & line out in some ways, in fact.. but the EH sounds more open, immersive, slightly more colored, and possesses a much wider soundstage. The EH is really a fantastic tube, highly detailed, quite neutral with a very very subtle touch of warmth.. all this, while remaining incredibly non-fatiguing.

 
Mar 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM Post #29 of 44

brother love

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I got tired of waiting for a Schiit Bifrost & after reading some favorable reviews, I ordered a TubeDAC-11 thru Grant Fidelity earlier this year. The turnaround time from Hong Kong was much faster than cables ordered at the same time in the states thru Amazon! 
 
The Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-11 w/ 6N11 stock tube sounds very nice via USB, esp. so w/ 24/96 tracks … organic, slightly warm, airy, non-fatiguing.  I added a J Kenny MK2 USB-SPDIF converter, & an Electra Cable B-5 power cord; coupled w/ the tube buffer this thing is exceptional for the money (I listen thru main system GR Research N3 transmission line speakers).  I call it the "swiss army knife" of DAC's.
 
StereoMojo gives the Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-11 a "specific recommendation" ...

http://stereomojo.com/Grant%20Audio%20Tube%20DAC11.htm/GrantAudioTubeDAC11.htm


& front cover of StereoMojo New Reviews... Can $325 sound this good?  http://www.stereomojo.com/
 
Mar 28, 2012 at 9:19 AM Post #30 of 44

Bogan

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Quote:
The biggest barrier for the Chinese audio industry, IMO, is Chinglish. I know that Chinese manufacturers are increasingly looking to their domestic market, but surely they could hire a recent grad to rewrite their marketing blurbs for an English-speaking audience ?


 
That's the problem--they probably did hire a recent grad. Lol  If a sentence doesn't include "like," "having said that," "actually," and the misused contraction, "you're," most people nowadays have no idea what you(re) talking about. Sad, but true.
 

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