The Lavry DA11 - a review
Oct 1, 2009 at 4:55 AM Post #46 of 52
For anyone interested, the headphone output on this unit sounds great with the JH13. I haven't compared it to any other standalone headphone amps, however. With that said, it blows away the headphone amp on my Emu 1820M, and of course, other devices including my laptop, phone, receiver, etc. That should go without saying though.

However, I think it has a hard time driving the DT880s (original version). But, nothing I have sounds nearly as good with those than wired directly to my Adcom GFA-535's speaker outputs.

As far as the D to A conversion goes, to my surprise, it's no better than the output coming out of the 1820M. I did extensive blind testing with two other people the other day, and the conclusion was that there was no preference between the two. In fact, I'm confident that I could switch back and forth between both units multiple times during extended sessions with consistent mixing results. Granted, the 1820M is better than most people realize, in part due to its low price.

So why do I own the DA11, other than for its headphone experience with the JH13s? I needed a very well built, somewhat portable transparent solution with USB capability so that I could have a consistent mixing environment in varying locations. I also mix projects with varying bit depths/sample rates. Oh, and the high quality D to A doesn't hurt either.
Oct 1, 2009 at 8:56 PM Post #48 of 52

Originally Posted by thisbenjamin /img/forum/go_quote.gif the comunity at large it doesn't translate to much of anything.

Speak for yourself. I own both units, both of which I've paid for in full, and regarding the manufacturers, I have no affiliation or bias with/toward either. Furthermore, the 1820M is discontinued as far as I know and obviously caters to a different market.

I will be glad to justify my comments in another thread at a later time, but I assure you the tests are valid. In fact, they go well beyond any formal testing methods available today IMO, for the sole purpose of providing the most truthful and accurate results possible.

Over the past four years, I've developed a strong interest in this subject (audio comparative techniques and psychoacoustics) and have been developing an alternative application/platform to be used in an extended scientific study and to provide a marked increase in comparative testing accuracy. I feel something like this is really needed and will open a lot of eyes (and ears).

Back on topic: My DA11 isn't going anywhere. It's a solid, well-built unit that serves its purpose well. For anyone that needs high end portable conversion with a decent and transparent headphone amp, you can't go wrong.
Jan 20, 2010 at 3:21 PM Post #49 of 52
Let me revive a pretty old thread, with some impressions of my own.

My DA-11 is part of my computer rig, feeding out to either my graham slee solo or my big joe power amp (powering my travagans 3").

Just a couple of days back, I sent my Solo in for an upgrade, to the SRG II. I'm guessing i wouldn't get it back for a couple of weeks.

While I have other amps, they all have pretty big footprints, which I think would be pretty out of place for a computer rig.

Then I noticed/remembered that the Lavry has a headphone out, and decided "Eh what the heck, let's give it a shot." I was expecting to be underwhelmed since when I first got the unit like 5 months ago, the headphone out wasn't very impressive.

I took out my Denon 5k and plugged them in.


It was a different beast from what I had remembered. The bass extension went down nice and low, vocals were crisp and I could actually place the instruments in the piece. To be honest, I liked the d5k better with the DA11 then with the Solo! What could have caused this transformation?

Then I realised that in my months of burning it in as a DAC, the headphone amp section would also have been burnt in as well (Duh, but I simply forgot about the amp section).

So to the other owners of the Lavry. give it a try. You may well be pleasantly suprised.
Nov 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM Post #51 of 52

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