Just purchased Entech Number Cuncher 203.2..
Oct 4, 2006 at 12:51 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 27

nichifanlema

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Couldn't resist from wondering how would the sound get better using DAC..

And the group buy thing for Number Cruncher 203.2 didn't work out
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so I just went to ebay and bought one new, along with the Audiogon Glass optical cable.

I can't wait
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P.S. I could've got a better DAC, but I'd decided to save up the money so that when I go back home in winter, I can get a used Stello DA100 for much cheaper than in US...
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Oct 4, 2006 at 3:21 AM Post #2 of 27

hwc

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I just bought one tonight at exactly the same time. I hope we weren't bidding against each other!

Bought a Chaintech AV-710 so I have an optical out to slap in to the computer.

From everything I can figure, the Entech is a better DAC than any of the USB options built into headphone amps. Total Bithead, Cordia Aria, etc.) However, if someone were moving around to different computers, then the USB would probably make sense.

A One-bit DAC with 20-bit resolution is a pretty solid technology. This little DAC, with an original list price of $299, is supposed to be a good performer from all the reviews. I'm not sure that you could have gotten a better DAC, at least without spending tons of dough. Certainly nothing at a couple hundred bucks would outperform the Entech at <$50.

For $100 combined, the Entech/Chaintech combo is a high value deal.
 
Oct 4, 2006 at 3:31 AM Post #3 of 27

nichifanlema

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Hehe was the seller "outletmp3 or something like that? I bought it with Buy-it-now ...Thought the bidding would go upto $49 anyway....but it didn't!
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lol
 
Oct 4, 2006 at 3:35 AM Post #4 of 27

hwc

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nichifanlema
Thought the bidding would go upto $49 anyway....but it didn't!


It would have. I think I put in a max bid of $49.50.
 
Oct 4, 2006 at 5:50 PM Post #6 of 27

hwc

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mcbiff
What kind of PSU does the Number Cruncher come with? Would it be possible for me as a european to use it with 220V in some way?


It comes with a wall-wart power supply that plugs into a DC input jack. I'm not sure of the specifications, but certainly you could substitute an equivalent 220V wall wart power adaptor.

EDIT: DISREGARD INFO ABOVE! I SHOULD HAVE WAITED UNTIL MY UNIT ARRIVED! SEE NEXT POST BELOW ABOUT 16V AC ADAPTOR.
 
Oct 4, 2006 at 7:02 PM Post #7 of 27

kramer5150

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FWIW... my 110V version 205 came with a 16V AC power supply... so your typical DC wall wart from rat shack won't work. Not sure of the 203 accepts AC or DC though.

Its probably nothing more than a step-down transformer. It's not even fused and it doesn't appear to be filtered. You'd have to get a 110-220 adapter (~$30) for use with that outlet.
 
Oct 4, 2006 at 7:46 PM Post #9 of 27

c0mfortably_numb

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mcbiff
What kind of PSU does the Number Cruncher come with? Would it be possible for me as a european to use it with 220V in some way?


Here is a pic of the power supply


Quote:

Originally Posted by mcbiff
Maybe I'll pick one up and get a step-down then. At that price I can't really lose. Anyone know how it would compare to a modded E-mu 0404?


I have mine going from a "stock" EMU0404, and I think it's a pretty big step up in sound. The highs are more open and detailed, and the bass is tighter and better controlled.
 
Oct 4, 2006 at 8:20 PM Post #10 of 27

CSMR

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mcbiff
Maybe I'll pick one up and get a step-down then. At that price I can't really lose. Anyone know how it would compare to a modded E-mu 0404?


I would imagine the 0404 is better. I certainly preferred the 1212m to the 205.2, but I didn't do a rightmark comparison. The Entechs are rather old now and the E-MUs are pretty good.
 
Oct 4, 2006 at 9:14 PM Post #11 of 27

c0mfortably_numb

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CSMR
The Entechs are rather old now and the E-MUs are pretty good.


IMO it doesn't matter how old something is, these DAC's still get pretty high remarks even today. Just about any external DAC would be better then a single embedded chip on a sound card, or cheaper stand alone CD player.
 
Oct 4, 2006 at 9:16 PM Post #12 of 27

hwc

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I think the real comparison is the Entech 203.2 (at say $50) versus the 16-bit non-oversampled Burr-Brown DACs being included with USB headphone amp packages like the Total Bithead or the Cordia Aria and so forth.

Considering that the Entech was initially a $300 product, it is likely a better DAC. Certainly the Cirrus Logic one-bit decoder with 20-bit resolution is a very solid approach to DACs.

For $100, the Chaintech optical out into the Entech 203.2 is a much more sophisticated DAC package than the USB options I've seen for less than megabucks.
 
Oct 4, 2006 at 9:40 PM Post #13 of 27

pbirkett

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Quote:

Originally Posted by c0mfortably_numb
IMO it doesn't matter how old something is, these DAC's still get pretty high remarks even today. Just about any external DAC would be better then a single embedded chip on a sound card, or cheaper stand alone CD player.


Aye, thats true, my DAC is *ancient*, and although modded, and refurbed, would show a clean pair of heals to pretty much any sound card out there (and yes i've owned an EMU).

Quite funny though how this Entech is suddenly gaining recognition on here... people were talking about it 5+ years ago on the UK forums... nobody ever talks about it now.
 
Oct 5, 2006 at 2:17 AM Post #14 of 27

CSMR

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Quote:

Originally Posted by c0mfortably_numb
IMO it doesn't matter how old something is, these DAC's still get pretty high remarks even today. Just about any external DAC would be better then a single embedded chip on a sound card, or cheaper stand alone CD player.


Why is a chip in an external box necessarily better than a chip on a sound card?
 
Oct 5, 2006 at 3:44 AM Post #15 of 27

hwc

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CSMR
Why is a chip in an external box necessarily better than a chip on a sound card?


It doesn't have to be. Many of the external box USB to DAC converters and the built in DACs in headphone amplifiers are pretty basic stuff. No oversampling, etc.

The Entech just happens to use a very high quality DAC -- Cirrus Logic one-bit D/A conversion with 20-bit resolution.

Remember, it sold for $300+ when it was introduced. It was designed by the guys from Audio Alchemy who got favorable reviews for their high-end audio gear.
 

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