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Starting Point Systems portable NOS DAC

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by cjg888, Mar 12, 2014.
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  1. automojo
    Interesting!
    As I mentioned before, I would not call the NOS DAC's sound analog per se, but musical, and thoroughly enjoyable. I think analog is just a easy description. They aren't perfect by any means. What Dac is?!?! But their faults are more of omission. Along with common sense isolation, I think if you use good, quiet and 'quick' (fast rise times etc) plentiful amplification, and sensitive sealed bass speakers, NOS can really shine. The "soft" or "rolled off" highs won't be apparent, and the bass will be full and tight. If you have tuned your system to DS DAC's or similar sounding DAC's, I don't think you can totally appreciate the sound. I think audio went a weird route with inefficient flat sounding speakers for years to cut the harsh edge of digital. Then turned around with overly bright speakers with little bass. Called them HD ready. Huge floor standers that STILL required subs?!?
    NOS DAC's IMHO are a good way of keeping you grounded, and enjoying music again, instead of listening to your equipment. Who really cares about the specs, and technical aspects? As long as your enjoying you music, not your equipment, that's all that matters.
    Equipment, specs etc are just a means to a end. For this cat anyhow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
    richard51 likes this.
  2. richard51
    Also my thought, best wishes to you Automojo...
     
  3. automojo
    You too my friend!!
     
  4. sodasoda
    I know this thing, I used it with MDR A21 through my iriver140 to some Chinese amp, I think this DAC requires a solid warm or lush amplifier to make it enhance tonality. By itself, it doesn't do anything good for $100. But with a warmish amp, and with a very bright phone, the realism, atmosphere and flak is prominent as acoustic guitars and vocals begins to sound realistic. Not a versatile DAC, so I sold it off.

    The maker uses the DT880 with it
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  5. kvik
    Which version did you have? Considering the age of MDR A21 and iriver 140, and your comment/review about owning the MDR A21 a million years ago, I am inclined to think you had a very early Starting-Point-Systems model. I am not sure the current DAC3 is comparable to the early ones.
     
  6. sodasoda
    DAC 2. I don't have anything besides old earbuds and vintage headphones now, I'm not into buying expensive phones. I used to have cool headphones, like k501 or Thunderpants but I really think it wasn't worth it in the end.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  7. richard51
    In my system Dac2 does not sound like you described at all....With this dac with my Sansui and Akg the sound is so realistic, natural,organic,3-D, that my other dacs sound like trash... The first and foremost reason is not the supremum quality of my amp. or the headphone, that are already TOTL, BUT the treatment of vibrations and cleaning of the electrical grid, I know that for a fact because I had listen to my system treated and untreated... Nobody pay any attention to that fundamental fact and prefer to upgrade with a credit card...The same amp and headphone and dac I own does not sound the same at all, without these precautions ....I does not consider now seriously ANY subjective review by anyone here or at any place except for information....Trust me the greatest upgrade is not buying multi thousand dollars dac, it is taking some low cost measure to put any system in his working potential first before thinking to upgrade.... Upgrading from my actual system (around 1000 bucks paid), a real upgrade, will cost me with actual product as an example: a Chord Dave, a Sim audio amp for headphone+ an amplifier for the speakers, and a new totl headphone able to crush my AKG K 340, + new speakers better than my mission cyrus : around 20 thousand dollars... It is an example....When an already good system is cleanly implemented, the upgrade is mature and real but very costly, particularly if your actual links are high quality already... I think the Dac2 is the best buy in audio in term of Price/Quality ratio ....I know that for a fact....Think before selling it...I apologise if my word seems rude, I say all that in the hope to convince you that, a system sound is not higher in quality than his least quality link, and more than that nothing sound at his potential quality level without treating the mechanical vibrations, and the electrical grid where it is embedded.... :L3000:

     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  8. kvik
    Nothing wrong with vintage and diy stuff, I have an affection/preference for this as well, hence my interest in this DAC. I just wasn’t sure about the context of your impressions (specifically which model), now I know.
     
  9. automojo
    I guess I wouldn’t necessarily think it would be a super good match for abtube based system, since it has many of those same qualities particularly in the mid range.
    Too much of the same thing isn’t always a good thing.
    I would really think it would be a a better match to a dry sounding solid state system.
    I think the “quicker” and more efficient your system is, this DAC will really shine.
    Along with the previously mentioned noise treatments etc.
    Like noise, and damping treatments, it’s good to have a mix, And that actually works towards your benefit. Same with tubes, tube leaning equipment,solid state, high res.
    I also agree you don’t have to spend a ton of money on getting a system like this you just have to do some research and be a careful shopper, not that big a deal
     
    richard51 likes this.
  10. sodasoda
    Yeah, that's what my MDR A21 did, it was one of the most natural sounding things I heard and it came off from vertical earbuds. But I prefer more analytic nature off the PCM D50 sound in order to listen to multiple genres
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  11. headpfizer
    Could anyone help me, I'm getting "Unrecoverable playback error: Incorrect function. (0x80070001)" when I try to use the DAC3. Using foobar via USB on Windows 10, no issues with any other usb DACs. The DAC shows up in audio devices and is selected.
     
  12. richard51
    Write to Christophe mariac at starting point systems the designer of this dac or on ebay... His is willing to help and are a great guy....
     
  13. gvl2016
    Try connecting through a powered USB hub.
     
    headpfizer likes this.
  14. headpfizer
    I have sent him a message thank you.

    Powered USB hub works. Thank you. Another power socket in use, unfortunately.
     
  15. gvl2016
    I had a similar issue on one laptop, could only get it to work through a hub.
     
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