The Lavry DA11 - a review
Jul 20, 2009 at 10:29 PM Post #2 of 52
Thanks for a great review! It's always good to hear the thoughts of somebody who has done the extensive amount of research that you did before jumping into a purchase - if only we could all be so patient...
Jul 20, 2009 at 11:58 PM Post #4 of 52
I agree with the reviewer in every way. I recently upgraded from the Apogee Duet to the DA11 and I am very happy with my choice. I auditioned several DACs at home for extensive periods before finally deciding on the Lavry for all the same reasons he states here. The DA11 is also transportable, a big bonus for me, and has an excellent built-in headphone amp that will be very useful while traveling.

I'm now trying to narrow down my choice of amplifier upgrade to compliment the DA11. Right now it's between the Stello HP100 and the Donald North Audio Sonnet.

BTW, shouldn't this thread be in the Dedicated Source Components Forum?
Jul 21, 2009 at 6:14 AM Post #6 of 52
I've had my DA11 for a couple months now and my sentiments basically echo those of the OP's. The DA11 is all business, no fancy faceplate just top notch DA conversion. Solid construction, no jumpers inside to make adjustments as everything is adjusted through the front interface, etc. Just a solid all-around high-quality DAC.

I'm not clear though why some folks feel the need to purchase a separate headphone amplifier? The one built into the DA11 is a discrete high-power design that has no trouble driving my HD800's. Maybe it's too neutral and they're looking for something warmer? More power to ya. I've enjoyed it and love being able to control the headphone volume with the remote control support.
Jul 21, 2009 at 4:42 PM Post #8 of 52

Originally Posted by thisbenjamin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks for the feedback USAudio, have you tried different cables outside of the stock HD800? I haven't yet, but I have tried the HD800 on the Lavry and it's wonderful - i'm not into the HD800 as I was the PS1000, but I would say it's amazing can if you like the sound.

I haven't tried any different cables on the HD800 and don't plan on doing so. I'm not much of a believer in spending a ton on cables, just good quality solid cables. I buy most of mine from Blue Jeans Cables, who also happen to be based here in the Seattle area like Lavry is.
Jul 21, 2009 at 8:57 PM Post #11 of 52
Awesome review Benjamin. I really enjoyed reading it. And I can't be more amazed of how many sources you have tried, even ps3 and xbox360. Oh, I suppose it was so much fun for you
Jul 22, 2009 at 3:14 AM Post #12 of 52
Your headphone odyssey is noteworthy. You preferred the HD600 to the HD650, you found Cardas aftermarket cables improved on the Sennheiser sound, and you now have settled on higher-end Grados and the K701s. That is good color, because it suggests you prefer a forward sound.

Personally, my odyssey has gone in the opposite direction: I much prefer the 650s to the 701s and Grados give me a headache after about 20 minutes. I tried a supposedly "musical" aftermarket cable for the 650s (an Equinox) and found it made the 650s unlistenable. This suggests that the Lavry might not be a good choice for those who prefer a more tube-like, laid back sound signature.
Jul 22, 2009 at 4:02 AM Post #13 of 52
Nice review, Now I now what to look forward to with the Seattle meet. The Lavry's are scheduled to be there and I am picking up a new source tomorrow to try it out on. Don't know what CD player I am taking home yet.
Jul 22, 2009 at 5:27 AM Post #15 of 52

Originally Posted by minimus /img/forum/go_quote.gif
... This suggests that the Lavry might not be a good choice for those who prefer a more tube-like, laid back sound signature.

Exactly, Dan is going for transparency and accuracy:

"The DA11 is very transparent (true sounding) DAC. The headphone output is also very transparent. That is what I like. But if you are after a warm sound, you can have the DA11 drive an external warm sounding amplifier and/or headphones. With external tube amplifier, you can have both - The DA11 phone jack for transparent sound, and the external amp for warm sound."

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