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Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by khaos974, May 12, 2011.
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  1. paul79
    Technically, the Six has one more DAC for each channel. Three, where the Dual has two ladder DAC's per channel. Another improvement in the Six is an improved output stage. This is all on the website, and the Six is now the best one chassis DAC from Totaldac.
    Sonically, although never comparing these two DAC's, it should be about more of everything you like about the D1 Dual. More transparency, lower noise floor, more dynamics, more dimension, etc. I had the Monobloc DAC's before, and they were better than the D1 Dual, but the Six is likely very good, and is safe to assume the reason Vincent dropped the Monobloc, as I do not see it listed as an option to buy anymore, so I think the Six should be very good!
  2. arnaud Contributor
    - the dual has 2 ladders per channel working in differential mode (hence you wasting half the dacs boards if you're using unbalanced or headphone out)
    - the six has 3 ladders per channel working in parallel (the balanced signal is generated by an additional discrete circuit)
    - for vincent, there is more benefits to running several dacs in parallel (reducing noise floor etc) than differential mode without inverter circuit
    - for me, It was just the itch to upgrade that made me go for it when my dual power supply gave up the ghosts (indeed newer dacs all ship with revised power supply as I understood)
    - in terms of sonic difference, I have to admit this is extremely difficult to judge as weeks have passed between the auditioning of the 2. With this disclaimer, I recall I found the six to have even more punch / more dynamic sound and deeper staging. (Am pretty sure I posted in this thread at the beginning of the year).
    - now,really, I am curious to hear the twelve lol (dual power supplies, 6 dacs per channel in parallel / differential, no output stage)

  3. arnaud Contributor
    Memory did not fail me :wink:
  4. nepherte
    I am actually very happy now with the d1-dual. Having listened to a variety of high-end dacs (e.g. the MSB Select II, Chord Dave, ...), I never felt the urge to upgrade. Though, admittedly, I share that same itchiness to upgrade and can't help but wonder what else Totaldac has in store for me. The d1-six seems like the logical upgrade, 'cause let's face it, the d1-monoblocs / d1-twelve are 1) way out of my budget 2) more than I want to spend on hifi gear and 3) probably overkill for the BHSE that is arriving this Thursday.
    I don't quite comprehend the 3 ladders per channel. Haven't put much thought into it though. You say the balanced signal is generated by an additional differential circuit. Care to elaborate?
  5. arnaud Contributor
    Nepherte, I can totally vouch for the BHSE with D1, phones are omega2, sr009? I use the sr009 and it truly is sublime.

    I am no EE expert but, as I understood, the six uses 3 dacs per channel that do the same thing in parallel (generating an unbalanced analog version of the data feed). After I/V stage, signal gets balanced by additional discrete circuitry.

    The D1-dual has no such unbalanced > balanced splitter, it generates both signals by individual dacs. I believe you get different benefits from the 2 topologies, the D1-twelve uses both (3 dacs in parallel for + signal, 3 dacs in parallel for the - signal)...

    cpzzy likes this.
  6. paul79
    I will say this, the jump from the Monobloc to the Twelve was much greater than the jump from D1 Dual to Monobloc... The Twelve is just special, very special sounding. Not only more DAC's per channel, but also omitting the output stage, make this one very transparent sounding DAC.
  7. cat6man

    hi arnaud,
    were you running the d1-dual in balanced mode previously?
    and are you also running the six balanced?
    since the six no longer has differential dacs across a channel, in wonder if something was lost in balanced mode.
    also, i know that there is a new improved output stage, and that this is necessary to drive amplifiers directly.
    with only 3 dac/channel in the six, i wonder if vincent could also run the six without an output stage (like the twelve) for users who are going to have a pre-amp stage?
    and would there be any further advantage to doing that?
  8. arnaud Contributor
    Good questions cat6man, I had the same :wink:.

    I was running the dual and am still running the six balanced into the bhse (that'd be a shame otherwise when driving truly balanced transducers like stats...).

    I did ask vincent if he could get rid of the output stage in the six but that was not recommended (you could check with him by providing information on the preamp such as input impedance). Apparently, one needs to further double the the number of ladders to have a solid enough output which the twelve has...

    Note that the six has the upgraded output stage but vincent says the main difference with the dual comes from the additional dac board, not the output stage (no way for me to confirm or infirm...).

  9. cat6man
    doubling the # ladders doubles the voltage, so that would gain 6dB.
    on the other hand, with 3 ladders all on one side of a channel, you would have to go single ended into a pre-amp, and have the pre-amp do the conversion to balanced.
    i would hope (i'm not an expert) that a top line preamp could deal with the 6dB drop from the twelve's output, but who knows.
    it's just very exciting to see the reports of sound from the twelve with no output stage compared to with the (selectable) output stage, then wonder how we mere mortals could get that sound from a six
  10. paul79
    I think it can surely be done, but the preamp will have to accept the lower input voltage (approx. .5-.7V GUESSING), and make up for it with enough output gain overall. You are asking the preamp to deal with this compromise of which is not standard by any means with regards to line level, and I fear that there are not many that will like this, under-driving the input stage of the preamp.
    Best bet is to use the Six as is, with its very nice output stage  :)
  11. astrostar59

    The challenges of driving the next device is not just about current level, more about output impedance and input impedance. It ideally needs to have an output impedance of 100 ohms or lower and the standard input impedance of a power amp for example is usually 50K. Variances of these, particularly the output impedance from the DAC will kill dynamics and bass response.
    This is partly why some notice an advantage in using an active pre-amp between a DAC and power amplifier. Using output transformers can avoid a lot of the challenges and give the ability to drive longer interconnects (handle capacitance).
  12. nepherte
    Right now I'm using it with the Stax SR-009. I'm in heaven...
    arnaud likes this.
  13. cladane
    Just posted to Vincent my D1 Integral for the update to D1-four. New version. 4 ladders instead of 6. I will get the same SQ on RCA and XLR at a lower price. No server, no headphone amp. Just a DAC.
    Vincent sells also SR fuses and a customized power Esprit cable.
  14. arnaud Contributor
    So, essentially, the d1-four is a d1-dual rewired to get the two dacs per channel working in parallel rather than differential mode and I guess the output stage is the newer one with the discrete circuit to convert unbalanced signal from the dacs to balanced?
  15. paul79
    I believe you got it arnaud!!
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