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TOTALDAC DAC

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by khaos974, May 12, 2011.
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  1. bmichels
    Simple: the 12 cannot drive headphone direct 
     
  2. prot
    That stuff probably makes very good sense if you do not have a tech background. May also make pretty good sense for an electrical or even audio engineer. However, if you ask a computer expert you may not like the answer :).
    Dont wanna spoil the totaldac fun here so wont go into any details. If you want to know some, send me a PM. And if you insist on buying that kind of pc, better ones cost less than half of that "amazing" (copy)CAT.
     
    preproman and nepherte like this.
  3. Beolab

    The nice thing is that you just need one compact case that contains it all, you do not have the option or in need of any external power base,
    re-clocker, or anthing like it, and i like simplicity.

    But as you saying the DAVE will probably have the Chord house sound , but whe can wish its richer than the TT and have a more TotalDAC Dual signature to the sound instead of the harsh neutral Hugo sound signature.
     
  4. romaz
    This is a natural question to ask and I did ask because once you go to the level of the monobloc, the twelve is not much more money.  The problem with the twelve, which is both blessing and curse, is that the noise floor and impedance are so low that an output stage was not necessary and so Vincent did away with it.  Consequently, it cannot drive headphones directly like the dual or monobloc can which for me is a deal breaker.  For direct-to-headphone use, the monobloc is as good as you can get with TotalDac.  
     
  5. romaz
    I don't disagree with you.  I think we're all looking for the magic product that can do it all for less but unless you've heard a product and have had a chance to compare it, it makes no sense to make judgement statements because the proof is in the listening.  Show me something that sounds better for less and I would be happy to buy it but the problem with a lot of DIY stuff is they're not user friendly and often not very attractive or reliable.  Most DIYers also don't take into account user experience.  Having built a few dozen PCs since the days of DOS, I've experienced my share of headaches and have learned to be tolerant of them but I simply don't want to deal with such issues when I'm listening to music.  As for "copy Cat", all computers are copy cats, unless of course you have an ENIAC that was built in 1946.
     
  6. romaz
    This is definitely the appeal of the DAVE for me.
     
  7. bmichels
    yes.  Simplicity is a good positive point for DAVE.  But... is DAVE at the TotalDAC sonic level ?
     
  8. preproman

    Why is it a deal breaker if the Studio is still in the works? 
     
    Rotijon likes this.
  9. nepherte
     
    I kind of misused the term reclocker here I suppose. I agree with the sentiment of doing it properly at the source rather than attempting to fix it afterwards.
     
  10. nepherte
     
    I respectfully disagree with respect to MPD :) I should probably say rightaway that I only use MPD to play music directly from hard disk straight to the audio hardware device (exclusive mode). I don't use Tidal or other streaming services. I'm also not aware of support for that within MPD. I could not discern any sonic difference between my Windows 10 running Roon versus Arch Linux running MPD, with the caveat of not being able to do a direct comparison because it's the same computer. Whether any difference is discernible if you try it on a d1-server or CAT, I have no idea.
     
    I can somewhat agree that MPD and its clients could come across as not user friendly. Then again, I find the command-line client npmcpp the summum of usability, so I may not be your average user.
     
  11. nepherte
     
    I have yet to hear the CAT, d1-server and consorts, so I remain sceptical as well (being both an electrical engineer and a computer scientist).  And I still believe that is the right attitude the approach these matters. Who is right? I have no idea. The truth might be somewhere in between the 2 domains. but as Romaz says, in the end it all boils down to what we (believe to) hear.
     
    PS And it is much appreciated that you show no desire to derail this thread. Further discussion can be taken to PM (although I have not much else to say on these matters, I am happy to listen to your take on this)
     
  12. prot
    Everything builds on something else. But in this case copycat means exactly that (also not a good one).

    One thing I find kinda funny: noone will go to a dermatologist for teeth treatment .. however, a PC/OS configured by an audioengineer seems to be quite the rage :)
    Anyway, you seem happy with that stuff so I'll let you go on with the interesting experiments.

    nepherte
    for details you know my pm number :)
     
  13. Rotijon
    Thats the one romaz, arent you in the studio queue?

    Why is there a sudden inclination here towards directly connecting headphones to the dac instead of adding an amp? 
     
  14. romaz
     
    Interesting perspective.  It sounds like you have a personal problem with Scott so I will leave that one alone.  To my knowledge, the CAT has not violated any patents and is competing in this market legitimately.  I have tried to evaluate the CAT or any other piece of equipment I am looking at on its own merit, irrespective of whether its creator is a programmer, IT specialist, audio engineer or just tinkerer but at their core, to succeed, I believe they have to be a music lover who views himself as more of an instrument maker than a computer specialist.  I do find it helpful to know what I can about the company behind a product, to make sure they'll be around for a while and are responsive and easy to deal with.  Ultimately, I run from arrogance, from people who trash the products of others for their own personal gain.  If you have a good product, then you have a good product and so let it speak for itself.  If you have something for me to try, I will try it and I will judge it fairly.
     
  15. romaz
    Good question, Darryl.  Like you, I have owned quite a bit of head-fi gear over the years although I have sold most of my gear and am close to starting from scratch.  The only thing I know for sure is that I will be staying with my HE-1000.  After that, what my audio chain will look like is anyone's guess.  You are fortunate because you have already found your end game DAC and hopefully your end game amp once your BHSE arrives.  I remain on my journey of discovery having earnestly evaluated a lot of gear this past year, as you know, and while the journey has been enjoyable and has provided me a wealth of perspective, I am more than ready to be settled.  
     
    What I have learned thus far is this.  The TotalDac is the finest DAC and the EC Studio is the finest non-electrostatic amp I have experienced thus far.  The Studio will also serve as an excellent tube amp for my high efficiency speakers.  Having experienced the benefits of this direct-to-headphone experience with my Bricasti and with your TotalDac d1-dual, I knew there was something to this and yet I wasn't convinced it could completely replace a headphone amp, especially an amp as good as the Studio.  I believed that if there was a DAC that could, it would be something like the monobloc.  When I first began looking at the monobloc seriously a few months ago, I knew the only way I could justify it was to have it serve as both DAC and headphone amp and so if I ended up with the monobloc, I knew it had to be so damn good that I could then give up the Studio.  During this time, I investigated the d1-twelve also but immediately crossed it off my list when Vincent told me it was incapable of driving a headphone directly and so yes, this was a deal breaker.
     
    While I feel fortunate to have assembled the gear that I currently have for evaluation, I want to emphasize that I presently own none of it and am not obligated to any of it.  While the combination of TotalDac monobloc + CAT + Entreq Poseidon + DHC cable + HE1000 is easily the best sound I have heard, I struggle to justify its price tag and so nothing has been decided. At the end of all of this, I may end up with both a d1-dual + EC Studio but I will tell you the monobloc is becoming harder and harder to resist.  Also, as good as the CAT is, I refuse to count the Aurender N10 out and it will get a fair shake once it arrives tomorrow.  There is also the remote chance that a Nagra HD DAC evaluation unit will arrive soon as this has been promised to me by the U.S. distributor.  As it has been too long, I am trying to get back to southern California soon to listen to the Studio again to see if the magic is still there.  How this all ends, I don't know yet but it will end soon.
     
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