Grant Fidelity Tube DAC-11
Mar 28, 2012 at 5:31 PM Post #31 of 44

Dutchi MerenGue

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what tubes have you guys tried rolling in so far? i hear the mullard ecc88 is a really good match with the tubedac 11, its actually grant from gf's favorite tube so it goes, also on a related note, i got my hands on a couple of rca branded ecc88 tubes made in britain, not sure, but i think these are the same tubes as the mullard as it was made in the same factory and were just rebranded, can anyone confirm this? i got 2 or 3 of these i can let go for a reasonable price for fellow head fiers but i want to be sure these are the same mullards and not some knock offs (doubt it tho)
 
Mar 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM Post #32 of 44

eclipes

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yeah I wanna know too. The Mullard ecc88 is quite expensive. Thinking of either JJ ECC88 Gold, Electro-Harmonix 6922 Gold or JAN-Philips 6922 Low Noise. All 3 are relatively same price, anyone can share their insight between them?
 
Quote:
what tubes have you guys tried rolling in so far? i hear the mullard ecc88 is a really good match with the tubedac 11, its actually grant from gf's favorite tube so it goes, also on a related note, i got my hands on a couple of rca branded ecc88 tubes made in britain, not sure, but i think these are the same tubes as the mullard as it was made in the same factory and were just rebranded, can anyone confirm this? i got 2 or 3 of these i can let go for a reasonable price for fellow head fiers but i want to be sure these are the same mullards and not some knock offs (doubt it tho)



 
 
Mar 29, 2012 at 3:09 AM Post #34 of 44

estreeter

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project86, I think I speak for all of us when I say you truly rock. And do does your bank balance. 
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Mar 31, 2012 at 3:53 AM Post #35 of 44

brokensound

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Just wanted to start sharing my tube rolling adventures. I will report back with a more in-depth review once all burn-ins and critical listening sessions are complete. The tubes are, going left to right,
1) '60s ecc88 Amperex A-frame w/ dippled getter made in Holland (additional photo at bottom)
2) 1958 ecc88 Amperex Bugle Boy D-Getter made in Holland (additional photo at bottom)
3) '67 Jan Sylvania 6dj8.
4)  '86 military 6N1P from orzep
5) Stock 6N11   
 
These are varied tubes. It can be clearly seen in the internal structures and types of getters.  
 
 With a handful of hours on all the tubes, the Amperex bugle boys are an emerging winner in this group. But we'll see where things eventually land after 100+ hour burn in for each.  
 


 
 
Apr 10, 2012 at 1:32 AM Post #36 of 44

moonsetflies

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Just got the DAC-11 and I am curious if anybody has tested the optical vs usb connection. I am switching between 2 mac computers as my source, so I have the option of either plugging in a toslink to mini-toslink directly into the headphone port on the mac (it has a secret optical out in there) or just use the usb 2.0 from the mac to the dac. I don't have a toslink to mini-toslink cable on hand so I wanted to see if anyone thinks it is worth ordering one or if I should just stick with the USB cable. Also, another random question while I am at it. One of the mac's requires a 10-15ft run, does that effect the choice of optical vs usb as well? Thanks!
 
Apr 10, 2012 at 2:55 AM Post #37 of 44

FlySweep

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I've AB'ed the DAC-11's USB vs. its optical/TOSlink (using my mx-1 as the "usb in"-to-"optical out" converter).. and I noticed a difference.  With the mx-1, the sound was a touch cleaner/brighter.  Not anything big but noticeable to me, nonetheless.  A user on the AudioKarma forum said he experienced fairly noticeable improvement using the DAC-11's SPDIF input with a (custom) HiFace adapter ("USB in"-to-"SPDIF out").  I've been eyeing a HiFace converter too just to reduce desktop clutter so if I get one, I'll post my impressions.
 
Apr 10, 2012 at 6:14 PM Post #39 of 44

FlySweep

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Is the volumecontrol strictly for the headphone amp - or does it work with the dac as well? 
 
Looks like a hell of a dac, tube stuff n' all :) 


There are four outputs : Tube, Line, DAC, and Headphone (1/4 plug on the front).. the "line out," "headphone out," & "DAC out" all bypass the tube buffer.. the DAC out has a fixed output level.. so the Tube Out, Line Out, and Headphone Out are the three outputs controlled by the volume pot.
 
As an aside.. the DAC-11 has a lovely pot too.. very very smooth & precise.  I can use the full range and hear no straining at full blast, either.  I never really appreciated such a feature until I got the DAC-11.
 
Apr 11, 2012 at 12:33 AM Post #40 of 44

project86

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Is the volumecontrol strictly for the headphone amp - or does it work with the dac as well? 
 
Looks like a hell of a dac, tube stuff n' all :) 


There are four outputs : Tube, Line, DAC, and Headphone (1/4 plug on the front).. the "line out," "headphone out," & "DAC out" all bypass the tube buffer.. the DAC out has a fixed output level.. so the Tube Out, Line Out, and Headphone Out are the three outputs controlled by the volume pot.
 
As an aside.. the DAC-11 has a lovely pot too.. very very smooth & precise.  I can use the full range and hear no straining at full blast, either.  I never really appreciated such a feature until I got the DAC-11.


Agreed about the volume pot and knob. To be honest, my Yulong D100 is a little jealous of it's younger sibling the TubeDAC.... I wouldn't mind the D100 having that larger knob and smoother rotation.
 
Apr 11, 2012 at 11:06 PM Post #41 of 44

Dutchi MerenGue

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i wanted to wait until i at least got around 20 hours of burn in on my new tubes (nos rca ecc88 made in great britain in the mullard factory, non gold pin) before i gave my impression
 
 
first let me say i dont really consider myself an audiophile but i do know what i like when i hear it and right off the bat the difference i noticed between the stock tubes and my mullard made rca ecc88's was a drastic one. i dont want to give the impression that the stock tubes where overly bright in fact they're pretty neutral but when held in contrast to my rca tubes they are downright clinical, if i could describe the sound now coming out of my swan m10's it would be "SMOOTH", lush and dark also apply but smooth and buttery are really the only words that come to mind lol
 
 
listening to a 24 bit 96khz vinyl rip of portisheads live at roseland album, its like the vocals were drenched in warm syrup lol, i LOVE my new setup and all i can do now is imagine what it would sound like if i had a more expensive more revealing set up, might even spring for some hd 598's just to get more out of my dac, there is zero harshness and the blackest background known to man with my music now lol, also if anyones interested i can let go of 1 or 2 tubes that i picked up in a lot for a reasonable price, just pm me if interested
 
 
i run an m2tech hiface out of my usb then to my dac via spdif for those curious
 
 
 

 
 
 
Apr 12, 2012 at 2:38 AM Post #43 of 44

project86

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Quote:
I've AB'ed the DAC-11's USB vs. its optical/TOSlink (using my mx-1 as the "usb in"-to-"optical out" converter).. and I noticed a difference.  With the mx-1, the sound was a touch cleaner/brighter.  Not anything big but noticeable to me, nonetheless.  A user on the AudioKarma forum said he experienced fairly noticeable improvement using the DAC-11's SPDIF input with a (custom) HiFace adapter ("USB in"-to-"SPDIF out").  I've been eyeing a HiFace converter too just to reduce desktop clutter so if I get one, I'll post my impressions.



I imagine a nice Async USB to SPDIF adapter would indeed be the way to go, unless you happen to have a really low jitter transport already. The TubeDAC does not have any dedicated hardware in terms of jitter reduction, so the better the signal you feed it, the better the sound coming out should be.
 
I don't own a dedicated USP-SPDIF converter. I had used the Audinst mx1 a few times but it wasn't anything special. I just discovered though that my Violectric V800 DAC will reclock the data through USB in and resend it via coaxial SPDIF out. It should be a very low jitter signal. I tried it with my Yulong D18 DAC and it sounded the best I had ever heard it. I'm not suggesting anyone go out and buy the $1300 Violectric V800 DAC to use for this purpose.... but as a simulation of what a good converter can do, it seems like a promising direction to explore. 
 
May 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM Post #44 of 44

nicholars

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I am thinking of getting one of these... I have a couple of questions...
 
If I run my Asus Xonar D2 spdif out > DAC will this be OK for Jitter because I understand this DAC doesn't have much in the way of jitter management?
 
How is the bass response on this DAC via the tube output? I love the idea of a smoother, warmer tube sound but I am worried about bloated, flabby bass?
 

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