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TOTALDAC DAC

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by khaos974, May 12, 2011.
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  1. romaz
     
    Thanks for chiming in, Paul, and welcome to head-fi.  I've read your posts on this matter on the What's Best forum and it was some of these similar statements that convinced me to give the monoblocs a try.  Based on my own experience, I will concur with all you have said and because the Twelve is not a practical option for me since it won't drive headphones directly, I will do my best to avoid hearing it [​IMG].
     
  2. paul79
    I don't blame you. However, if you are using a very good headphone integrated amplifier, the Twelve still has a place in even your system  :wink:  I recently heard a1uc's upgraded WA-22, and with the Twelve driving it, it knocked my socks off. To describe, it sounded perfect with the HD-800's. Absolutely perfect.
     
    Just glad others are hearing what I am hearing in the Totaldac gear. It really is special, and worth the prices considering the enjoyment I get from these pieces. That in itself is worth allot to me, price be damned.
     
  3. Yoga
    Stop making me want the monoblocs :D
     
    romaz likes this.
  4. Yoga
    Has anyone directly compared the d1-dual to the tube mk2?
     
  5. romaz
    Yes, Michael Lavorgna reviewed each of them separately on AudioStream.  I believe he preferred the tube mk2 for his tastes.  He felt the d1-dual was more incisive and the tube mk2 had richer tone.  The tube mk2 will not drive headphones directly, however, and so this was the deal breaker for me.  
     
    Here are each of those reviews by Michael:
     
    http://www.audiostream.com/content/totaldac-d1-tube-mk2-dac#ciFqfUDYfbQaXtr0.97
     
    http://www.audiostream.com/content/totaldac-d1-dual-dac#kfWEMaRj9qF4GTRb.97
     
    Both d1-dual and d1-tube (mk1) were reviewed side to side on 6 Moons.  Here is that review:
     
    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/totaldac/1.html
     
  6. Pale Rider Contributor
    Same here. Am generally moving away from tubes anyway, but that lower output sealed the deal. I hope to upgrade to the twelve eventually, depending on evaluations of the MSB Analog and V, but for now plan to spend as much time as possible listening to the dual.
     
  7. a1uc
    Paul did a great job upgrading my WA22 and I was floored when I got it back , after rolling some tubes and upgrades it took it to a higher level .
     
    I sent my D1 Dual to Vincent for some upgrades and while its there he is getting it ready for monobloc's  , hope to own monobloc's in the near future if things permit .  
     
  8. Yoga

    How do you find the Lumin A1 compared to the d1-dual?
     
  9. Yoga

    Thanks buddy!
     
  10. Pale Rider Contributor

    My Dual isn't here yet, so I can't say. I like the Lumin a lot, though I find the PSA DirectStream [with Yale firmware] a discernibly better DAC on both PCM and DSD. Depending on the Listening with the NADAC and the Dual, one is going to go in the Stax listening station, and the other is likely for the dynamic headphone station.
     
  11. romaz
    I used to own the PSA DirectStream with Yale and I liked it quite a bit.  It was an improvement over Pikes Peak.  Your opinion that it is better than the Lumin is of interest to me as I have been curious as well.  I'm confident you will find the d1-dual to be easily in a higher class compared to your DirectStream.
     
  12. fabiodeluca
    k

    Romaz any update about testing N10 and the other servers?
    Please be aware that putting Finite Cerapuc anti vibration feet under the N10 case had a terrific additional effect on the definition and robustness of the sound.

    Regards
    Fabio
     
  13. preproman
     
    I'm looking for a second DAC as well.  I'm interested at the Metrum Pavane or the PSA DirectStream.  Any thought?
     
  14. Pale Rider Contributor

    It's important to understand a significant bias on my part. One of my first functional criteria for a DAC is its ability to retrieve or play music over a network. I personally detest dealing with USB, and if I can avoid it, I will. Hence, for example, my current order for a NADAC and the Totaldac Server, and why I am setting up a listen for an MBS Analog and Signature.
     
    I have read good things about the Pavane, but have never heard it. I have had a couple of requests for my assessment of the DS, and i am working up a few comments to share with @preproman. I love the DS. Smooth, airy, highly resolving, excellent soundstage, and what it does for PCM is really almost magic. Micro detail and transient info on PCM is eye-opening. DSD is excellent as well, though not as universally wonderful as PCM. Lumin and DS DSD are a closer call than PCM for example. The DS is an entirely different approach to conversion, as I know you all know. And it really seems to work well. The PSA team is dedicated to improvement, and has regularly released firmware updates, which are very easy to do. Those updates have steadily improved the SQ of the DAC, and what's pretty cool, is that there is no real limit to just how good that improvement might be, other than the ears and will of the team. For all of this, i see the PSA DS as a relative bargain, particularly with some of the incentives they have offered. In many ways, an ideal DAC for a headphone listening station, though it is truly a full-sized component.
     
    One caveat I should note to the DS is that PSA does not supply its own playback software for the DS. They did at one time, but UPnP software development proved a larger distraction for them I think than they had anticipated. Network users are left to sort through a variety of network alternatives like NAS, JRiver, UPnP, etc. I use a Synology NAS, so prefer the UPnP route; I do not enjoy JRiver's complexity, nor its closed system. The Bridge 2 on the DS has proven fairly reliable. Not as reliable as I would like, a 7 or 8 on a 1-10 scale perhaps, but reliable enough, especially for extended listening on my speakers system. So for me, it is a bit frustrating that a DAC I like so much falls slightly short of ideal on a criterion that I value highly.
     
    Conversely, although I like the SQ of the DS better than the Lumin A1 [but only incrementally; the A1 is a very fine machine], the Lumin's network performance is rock solid. And Lumin has been fantastic about firmware updates. They are accomplished so easily, it is scary [PSA and MBS, take note; you may call your methods convenient, but they are not in Lumin's league]. Lumin has a very good iPad app [wish they had an iPhone app, though], which makes me wonder why everyone else's has to be so clunky and flaky.
     
    So, I am looking forward to auditioning the MSB units, and receiving the NADAC [a completely different network approach] and Totaldac.
     
  15. Yoga
     
    Can you elaborate a little about the DS and A1?
     
    When will you have the MSB and TotalDAC with you? :¬)
     
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