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TOTALDAC DAC

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by khaos974, May 12, 2011.
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  1. astrostar59
    Yes, I can imagine that is where TotalDAC sits. Trouble is I can't get to try one without paying the 100% cost first (10 day return deal).
     
    My thoughts are my Audio Note DAC 4 which is tweaked up may well be close to the Audio Note DAC 5 Special. How far ahead the TotalDAC will be I have no idea.
     
    A lot of the impact and sound improvements from users here sen to be folk leaving the DS camp and entering the R-2R camp. I am interested in hose who have heard other top R-2R DACs alongside the TotalDAC.
     
    My curiosity over the MSB may be the wrong road for me on reflection. I don't need more detail as that could start to sound unreal and digital. I note that MSB has taken a rather risky strategy recently and dropped the Platinum IV unit which was around 10K. So they now go from the Analogue DAC at 8K to the 24K Signature DAC. Seems like they have lost a busy middle budget area there IMO.
     
    On TotalDAC, has anyone heard the D1 Single to the D1 Dual, or D1 Six, and how is the more costly DACs sound different? I can never afford a Six, maybe not a Dual either unless used, but the Single is attractively priced. But not if it is well below the Dual for example.
     
    Any insight would be very useful to me.
     
  2. cladane
    Hello Astrostar59,
     
    For the trial, is the check cashed ?? I thought Vincent kept the check until the buyer decided to buy or return the DAC.
     
    Having the D1 Integral-Headphone (which is a D1 Single with the server and headphone amp), I can say that sound is detailed, transparent, not at all digital (no brilliance on highs).
    Very fast DAC, zero noise and digital volume on 69 bits making it a very good preamp (for amps driving sensitive headphones).
     
    Owning an SE amp, the D1-Dual is not mandatory moreover listening to headphones.
     
    If you go balanced with headphones or mono blocks for speakers, the D1 Dual can be an improvement (particularly for speakers) but I listened to it (with headphones) and difference isn't huge.
     
    With TotalDAC be aware that you can upscale the device at any time.
     
  3. astrostar59
    Couple of questions.
     
    1. How does the D1 Single compare to the Dual or Six in sound quality? Is it a big jump or is it more flavours and subtle?
     
    2. Has anyone migrated from an MSB Platinum IV and is so how did the MSB compare to the TotalDAC? Both are R-2R but MSB do up sampling and filtering I believe?
     
    3. Has anyone compared the TotalDAC to an Audio Note DAC 4 or a Lampizator Big 7 or Golden Gate?
     
    I like warm, fluid and smooth with enough detail (not detail mad).
     
    I wonder how much it would cost to have a D1 single upgraded to a Dual after purchase?
     
    Any insight would be great.
     
  4. paul79
    As you move up the Totaldac line, you simply get more good and nothing bad.
    More dynamics, deeper, wider, more refinement in detail, imaging, lower noise floor..... They are all very good, but as you move up, you get more. It is tough to explain, but the D1 Dual is the best bang for buck I think if you want only a DAC from Vincent. The D1 Six with Server option is a great option for an all in one chassis very high end solution.
     
    I love these products so much, I now have the Twelve, and it has been most incredible.
     
    Vincent typically upgrades for the cost difference in the DAC's only, so pretty simple math.
     
    I know of one person who compared the D1 Dual to the Diamond MSB and said that in testing with a group, more people preferred the Totaldac.
     
    arnaud likes this.
  5. cat6man
    when i was dac hunting, the msb diamond (with femto clock) and the D1-dual were head and shoulders above any of the others i listened to in my house (ayre, aeshetix, wadia, viola, bricasti).
    since i did not have them under equivalent testing conditions, i cannot give a comparison between the msb and the D1-dual but both were magical.
     
    i plan to upgrade the d1-dual to d1-six in the coming year.
     
  6. a1uc
    The diffrence for me from the dual to the monoblocks was not anywhere as huge as from the monoblocks to the twelve , I would like to hear the six also curious
     
  7. paradoxper
    In the same boat. Also interested in comparisons with the Kalliope. Seems an in-home trial is the only way to go, which seems rather difficult.
     
  8. paradoxper
    This may be a long shot, oh well. Any TotalDAC comparison with the likes of EMM, Playback Designs, MSB, or CH? I've arranged some demo units, however, this won't be in motion until my T2 is completed. So any tidbits would be appreciated to help streamline my process.
     
  9. cat6man
    i have a sonore microRendu feeding the D1-dual via usb and it is astonishing, even before i've put a decent power supply on it.
    i wouldn't be surprised if this matched or exceeded the totalDAC server, but then i've never heard the totaldac server.
    i hope someone out there with the totaldac server can get their hands on a microRendu and give us a comparison
     
  10. a1uc
    I tested the Rendu it did sound better than the Totaldac Server but once I had an upgrade done on the
    Totaldac server the Rendu wasn't even close .
     
  11. astrostar59
    From talking to folk who have a TotalDAC I would hazard it sounds warmer and possibly more natural than the EMM and MSB. There seems to be 2 camps of high end DACs and the detailed camp seems to contain MSB, EMMlabs with Audio Note and some of the Lampizator units at the other warmer camp. The TotalDAC is probably in the middle. IMO the challenge is to find the type of DAC that sounds right to you. Hearing in your system is a perfect way to do that.
     
    I am committed to the Audio Note DAC 5 now, but if I moved again I would look at the TotalDAC for sure. If more budget, then the C1.
     
  12. paradoxper
    That doesn't quite help and there's a lot of generalizing there. I am interested in context tied to the chain.
     
     I knew it may be a long shot, but I'm looking for anyone who may have stronger reference points.
     
    The TotalDAC options are overwhelming and gives me the feeling to skip it. Want to make sure I avoid regrets.
     
  13. paul79
    I wouldn't be put off by the multiple Totaldac offerings. He provides different options for different budgets and people's needs. IME, just getting your foot in the door at your budget with a Totaldac, and you are in some seriously fine company. They are just right sounding no matter which one you can get. They are different from other DAC's in that they are like choosing a turntable that fits your budget, and I mean this in the best way. They are special. They are Analog in digital form.
     
    As you move up the line, you get more of what the entry level Totaldac's offer. More separation, lower noise floor, more dynamics, more focus, more transparency, more more more.  :) Even the entry level are completely musically satisfying.
     
    His best bang for buck is the all in one D1 six DAC with Server. IMO, there is no finer all in one DAC/Server than this. Not cheap, but one listen and there is no remorse. NONE.
     
  14. paradoxper
    They seem like a great value for what you're getting in the entry. To be fair, everyone seems rather satisfied with the offerings. Like, the Analog > Diamond, for example. I am certainly looking for a comparative viewpoint.
     
    Thanks for your input, though.
     
  15. astrostar59
    I can't find ANYONE who has not liked the TotalDAC which ever model, reviewers or owners. Many owners do upgrade in the TotalDAC family, but that is a good thing not bad IMO. I have stayed in the Audio Note family because it gives me everything I want. TotalDAC would be my second choice for sure. The Dual is £7.5K as has been compared to many DACs at 20K. 
     
    Paradoxper, you could try PM'ing Preproman as he had a TotalDAC dual on a 2 week home demo and also owned the EMMlabs DAC 2X for a long time.
     
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