Lavry DA-10 or Aqvox: need some help
Dec 2, 2006 at 9:14 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

brospin

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When confronting both DACs from all the info I've collected, I come to the following conclusion:

DA-10:

Pros: compact size, good feedback for sonic quality, adjustable output level (very important!! allows adjusting the signal according to gain factor of headamp, phones impedance, etc)
Cons: is there technical service in Europe???, only XLR out

Aqvox:

Pros: tweakability (don't know if this is really an imporvement or more a distracting factor), switchable upsampling, good inner construction (made in Germany), technical assistance in Europe (can be easily sent to Germany if necessary), XLR and RCA out, USB input
Cons: is said to be more midrangy, large size, fixed output level

Summing up, I would say that the main advantage of the DA-10 is the variable output level and the main disadvantage of the Aqvox is its size. Being located in Europe, I guess the Aqvox should be the better decision. Prices are similar here in Europe. I will much appreciate any recommendations or user opinions.
 
Dec 2, 2006 at 4:32 PM Post #2 of 18

Cortes

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Hi brospin,

I'm in the same boat as you. However for me the size of the aqvox breaks the deal. The only real advantage I see in the aqvox is the USB and the technical support. There is a quite good thread in the forum comparing both and seemingly the DA10 wins the edge. With the current exchange Euro/dollar, getting the DA10 without paying custom taxes (a friend in US sending it to ou as a gift...) maybe compensates the potential risk of a technical problem in the Lavry.

On the other hand, I've read rumurs about the launching of a new aqvox with control remote. Nothing official so far, though.

Regards.
 
Dec 3, 2006 at 9:57 AM Post #4 of 18

brospin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cortes /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi brospin,

I'm in the same boat as you. However for me the size of the aqvox breaks the deal. The only real advantage I see in the aqvox is the USB and the technical support. There is a quite good thread in the forum comparing both and seemingly the DA10 wins the edge. With the current exchange Euro/dollar, getting the DA10 without paying custom taxes (a friend in US sending it to ou as a gift...) maybe compensates the potential risk of a technical problem in the Lavry.

On the other hand, I've read rumurs about the launching of a new aqvox with control remote. Nothing official so far, though.

Regards.



Your idea is very intelligent, but by now I don't know anyone in the USA who could send me the DA-10. However, the portuguese importer sells it for 890 Euro + shipping, not much more than the Aqvox. As said, the enormous size of the Aqvox is a problem for me, and maybe the only solutrion was to stack a laptop used as source on the Aqvox, not an elegant solution!
Variable output of the Lavry is very attractive since I have lots of classical recordings that are recorded at irreal low levels. But it requires an additional transport (Off-ramp, 1000$ added!), custom-made XLR to RCA cables. I guess rationality would lead me to the Aqvox, emotionality and search for the best to the Lavry.
 
Dec 3, 2006 at 1:52 PM Post #5 of 18

Snacks

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Quote:

Originally Posted by brospin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
When confronting both DACs from all the info I've collected, I come to the following conclusion:

DA-10:

Pros: compact size, good feedback for sonic quality, adjustable output level (very important!! allows adjusting the signal according to gain factor of headamp, phones impedance, etc)
Cons: is there technical service in Europe???, only XLR out

Aqvox:

Pros: tweakability (don't know if this is really an imporvement or more a distracting factor), switchable upsampling, good inner construction (made in Germany), technical assistance in Europe (can be easily sent to Germany if necessary), XLR and RCA out, USB input
Cons: is said to be more midrangy, large size, fixed output level

Summing up, I would say that the main advantage of the DA-10 is the variable output level and the main disadvantage of the Aqvox is its size. Being located in Europe, I guess the Aqvox should be the better decision. Prices are similar here in Europe. I will much appreciate any recommendations or user opinions.



Hello Brospin - Glad to see that you at least have your options down to two; wonder if you were privy to the following review: http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=161032

...if not, it, along with a thorough search should definately clear up most, if not all, of your concerns.
 
Dec 3, 2006 at 2:48 PM Post #6 of 18

slwiser

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Am I reading this right? You think you would need the 1000$ Off-ramp to get the Lavry DA10 to sound right?

I think not....Just my opinion...

The regular RCA cables work fine with the XLR to RCA plugs shown around here in the Lavry threads and on the Lavry forum.

This just demonstrates more misconceptions concerning the Lavry DA10 I guess. Mr. Lavry does need to do some more PR on his audiophile entry level product if he wants to sell into this market. But he sells to the music production world. They know what they want and they know that Mr. Lavry can deliver so he is much less concern with our types.

Quote:

Originally Posted by brospin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Variable output of the Lavry is very attractive since I have lots of classical recordings that are recorded at irreal low levels. But it requires an additional transport (Off-ramp, 1000$ added!), custom-made XLR to RCA cables. I guess rationality would lead me to the Aqvox, emotionality and search for the best to the Lavry.


 
Dec 3, 2006 at 10:38 PM Post #7 of 18

thomaspf

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Lavry has the manual for the DA10 online and you can read all about it including the wiring for unbalanced RCA connections.

In my experience the DA10 does not require a sophisticated low jitter digital source. I have connected the DA10 to a variety of digital sources including a portable Iriver H120 and in crystal lock mode I can not concern any differences. The crystal lock dejittering circuit seems to work well which makes this a great source for computer based systems.

Cheers

Thomas
 
Dec 4, 2006 at 4:17 PM Post #9 of 18

Oliver :)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by slwiser /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The regular RCA cables work fine with the XLR to RCA plugs shown around here in the Lavry threads and on the Lavry forum.


Uh, direct link maybe? No entry on the Larvy site without signing up... I've been looking for decent XLR->RCA adaptors for a while...

The AQVOX is designed in Germany yet assembled in China, as so many things are these days. I won't get political about it, as I bought it nonetheless. I had to use the service a short while ago, and it was excellent in every respect. Right now, there are two versions of the USB 2 D/A, the MKI and the MKII, no remote to be seen, and I would have no idea what to use the remote for anyway.

BTW, if your source is a Powerbook G4 / Macbook Pro it makes for an excellent visual match to set on top of the DAC
biggrin.gif
 
Dec 4, 2006 at 4:40 PM Post #10 of 18

Oliver :)

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Oh boy, I just read the new review of the MKII by "Stereo" that is linked on the AQVOX site, and it did remind me for sure on why I do not buy these magazines anymore. Not only is the article bare of any real critique (not that there's much to complain with the USB 2 D/A
biggrin.gif
), it also dismisses optical connections as "often improper", paising hum-prone electrical connections instead, plus it praises the benefits of high-dollar standalone transports while stating that MP3 via USB do not magically get better with a good DAC, yet fail mention lossless solutions entirely
rolleyes.gif
 
Dec 4, 2006 at 7:02 PM Post #11 of 18

brospin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by thomaspf /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Lavry has the manual for the DA10 online and you can read all about it including the wiring for unbalanced RCA connections.

In my experience the DA10 does not require a sophisticated low jitter digital source. I have connected the DA10 to a variety of digital sources including a portable Iriver H120 and in crystal lock mode I can not concern any differences. The crystal lock dejittering circuit seems to work well which makes this a great source for computer based systems.

Cheers

Thomas



What transport would you recommend for use with the DA-10? Maybe the M-Audio transit? It is unexpensive, 24bit/96kHz and ASIO compatible. It has only optical out, but there are not many USB to coaxial converters in the market at least in Europe (M-Audio Audiophile USB, but it is big an has a lot of features I won't ever use).
 
Dec 4, 2006 at 7:10 PM Post #12 of 18

brospin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by slwiser /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Am I reading this right? You think you would need the 1000$ Off-ramp to get the Lavry DA10 to sound right?

I think not....Just my opinion...

The regular RCA cables work fine with the XLR to RCA plugs shown around here in the Lavry threads and on the Lavry forum.



I must admit it really is a bit decompensated to use the Offramp with the Lavry. Maybe an M-Audio transit would be enough.
I've been looking for XLR to RCA adapters/cables and the ones I've found always are "Wired according to IEC 268-12: pin 2 = signal, pin 1 and 3: connected to ground". Therefore the internal jumpers need to be switched to unbalanced configuration (pin 3 connected to ground) and the polarity must be set to reverse to have pin 2 hot (default is pin 3 hot). Although this is no real problem, I would prefere not to move the jumpers and use a real balanced XLR to unbalanced RCA adapter/cable (pin 3 signal, pin 1 ground, pin 2 unconnected). Do you know where I can find it?
 
Dec 4, 2006 at 10:16 PM Post #13 of 18

slwiser

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I ran my Lavry off my HagUSB fine except my USB signal is flaky so I went with the Juli@.

My next computer with a stable USB may get a new HagUSB.



Quote:

Originally Posted by brospin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I must admit it really is a bit decompensated to use the Offramp with the Lavry. Maybe an M-Audio transit would be enough.
I've been looking for XLR to RCA adapters/cables and the ones I've found always are "Wired according to IEC 268-12: pin 2 = signal, pin 1 and 3: connected to ground". Therefore the internal jumpers need to be switched to unbalanced configuration (pin 3 connected to ground) and the polarity must be set to reverse to have pin 2 hot (default is pin 3 hot). Although this is no real problem, I would prefere not to move the jumpers and use a real balanced XLR to unbalanced RCA adapter/cable (pin 3 signal, pin 1 ground, pin 2 unconnected). Do you know where I can find it?



 
Dec 4, 2006 at 11:03 PM Post #14 of 18

thomaspf

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I have tried the DA10 with optical outputs from my Laptop (Acer Travelmate 8200), a really cheap Audiotrak Optoplay, and the Iriver H120 and they basically all sound the same in crystal lock mode.

The M-audio Transit provides bit perfect playback on XP and should work fine. A couple of people on this forum have reported success with it but I do not have a lot of personal experience with it.

Cheers

Thomas
 
Dec 6, 2006 at 4:03 AM Post #15 of 18

profsbg

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I use the Lavry DA10 connected via optical to M-Audio Transit from a Powerbook. The only issue I have encountered is that even though I have the Powerbook set up for 44.1 KHz (the only option in fact with my version of OSX), the Transit outputs 48.0 KHz regardless of the settings in its Preference panel. I believe the Transit can only do 48.0 and 96.0, whereas the Audiofile can also do 44.1. I am curious if others have same experience.

I use XLR-RCA adapters with pin 2 signal and cannot tell difference with polarity reversed or not (it is frontpanel switchable).
 

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