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TOTALDAC DAC

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by khaos974, May 12, 2011.
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  1. preproman
    MUCH RESPECT GOING OUT TO THE YGGDRASIL:
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     ​
     
    This is not a review, just a few impressions of how I hear the gear I have, specifically the Yggdrasil and the TotalDac., so YMMV.
     
    The Yggdrasil landed at my home on Monday May 4th.  I plugged it in and had music playing through it from Monday May 4th through Tuesday May 12tn continuously. 
     
    The TotalDac landed at my home on that Tuesday May 12th.  I had music playing through it all of two days.  Vincent – the TotalDac creator said to give the Dac 8 hours to stabilize  - Yes, 8 hours – that’s it.
     
    I used the Abyss, LCD-3F and the HE-6 headphones.  My HD800s are out on loan.
    The amp used is the Pass Labs INT-30A.
     
    I used all kinds of music:  From Hard Core Rap to Classical to Jazz to EDM to Rock.
     
    Again YMMV.
     
    First up the Yggdrasil. 
     
    I’ve been one of the skeptics of this DAC as soon as “Captain Hype a lot” and the “Hype Master” started ranting a raving about this DAC. 
     
    Hype Twins:
    “I can hear things I never heard before”
     
    Me:
    Yeah Right – the same ole cliché.
     
    Hype Twins:
    “I can hear the band members farting at each other” 
     
    Me:
    Get the F%^ outta hear. 
     
    Lots of red flags went up and the "BS" meter went crazy.  All the technical talk about bits, burrito filters and Delta-Sigma vs. Ladder DAC chips don’t really concern me. 
     
    How does the damn thing sound?
     
    Well, I’ll be the first to say, “Pass me a slice of that crow pie”
     
    While I can honestly say I don’t hear band members farting at each other -  but yeah, this is a DAMN good DAC.  It’s good at reproducing music in a sort of natural kind of way.  It has very good dynamics, the bass hits hard when it’s suppose to.  This puts “some” of my previous DACs to shame.  I wish this DAC were around a few years ago.  I may have never gone on the DAC hunt I did. 
     
    A few things I don’t quite like about the Yggdrasil:
     
    I find the tone a little lean.  It doesn’t have that magic with female vocals like the AMR did.  However, it beats the AMR in just about everything else. 
     
    Will sound bright / analytical with the wrong amp.
     
    Background is not ink, pitch or midnight black. 
     
    Midrange does not pop
     
    To my ears it sacrifices natural instrumental timbre for resolution.
     
    Not as engaging as I would like.
     
    I‘m experiencing a clicking noise after each sample rate change.  About 1 second is cut off the start of each track after each sample rate change. 
     
    Things I do like about the Yggdrasil:
     
    Price / Performance – you really can’t beat it nowhere in the audio industry.
     
    The edges are nice and sharp, very good dynamics, good soundstage depth, fast bass that hits hard and very resolving. 
     
    Next up the TotalDac (TD). 
     
    When listening to the Yggdrasil before the TD came, I was all ready to send it back.  The Yggdrasil had me thinking like yeah – this is it, those F$%&ers was right - better than all my other DACs in just about every way, but I was missing the midrange of the AMR. 
     
    One great thing off the bat was Vincent said the TD only needed 8 hours to become stable.  He had no issues with turning the DAC on and off.  
     
    What I don’t like about the TD:
     
    Price
     
    Edges not as sharp as the Yggdrasil.
     
    Soundstage width is not very expansive
     
     
    Things I like about the TotalDac:
     
    Tonality - An obvious difference between the TotalDac and the Yggdrasil is a richer tonality in favor of the TotalDac.
     
    Deep bass that’s fast, agile, hefty and hits hard when asked
     
    It’s deep black, midnight background.  Maybe because of the separate PSU
     
    This DAC has an amazing timbre and sounds extremely fluid
     
    The TD has an organic and natural treble presentation.
     
    The 3D presentation compared to the flat 2D presentation of the Yggdrasil
     
     
    Rapping this thing up:
     
    I never heard a more realistic sounding DAC that’s highly resolving – airy, intimate, effortless and very engaging. (Other than the Audio Note 5 Signature)
     
    If you like the sound of female vocals – the TotalDac D1-Dual is the DAC for you.
     
    I prefer the Total DAC for its more lifelike approach. This DACs biggest advantage to me and why I like it so much seems to be its vivid tone. It has amazing timbre and sounds extremely fluid. It doesn’t sacrifice resolution for natural instrumental timbre it gives you both.
     
    yage, darkless, dan.gheorghe and 4 others like this.
  2. yellowblue
    The Totaldac is a DAC that wins in the long run - especially when you pair it with the reclocker (I own the D1-server with reclocker).
    I had the Auralic Vega before which was really impressive in the beginning. I got an exciting feeling listening to it all the time but it was difficult for me to relax because there was something in the tonality which didn´t sound right to me (especially piano-music).
     
    The Totaldac dual with reclocker sounds just right. There is no reason anymore to "mistrust" the music you hear because the timing of the DAC is right in every millisecond of the complicated structure of a piano-tone and a the clicking-tone of a guitar-string. It is this kind of "trust" that makes me feeling relaxed. 
     
    And yes, the Totaldac is fluid-sounding with fantastic midths, treble och detail. And with the Master 9 and the LCD-3f it has a wide soundstage. But you will stop judging the sound of your music after midths and soundstage and all that when hearing with the Totaldac in the long run. Because it just sounds right - many people say the DAC is analog sounding. Maybe they mean the same thing.
     
  3. listen4joy
    thnx for impressions looking for the real review (roundup) beetween these two great dacs! [​IMG]
     
  4. arnaud Contributor
    I did nit spring for the reclocker but using Wyrd > TotalDAC usb cable/filter atm. I have tried to remove the wyrd from the setup but found I was drawing too much power on the USB port. It did not seem to sound different over brief listen (at least not different enough to notice on short term listening after 30s delay to swap).
     
  5. Sorrodje
     
    Funny your impressions match mine : vivid, punchy , rich but not slow or mushy.  http://www.head-fi.org/t/693798/thoughts-on-a-bunch-of-dacs-and-why-delta-sigma-kinda-sucks-just-to-get-you-to-think-about-stuff/2970#post_11397103 [​IMG]
     
  6. yage
     
    Ha ha... there are some details better left buried in the noise floor...
     
    Nice impressions. Very informative. Now I'm curious to try Yggdrasil in my own system.
     
  7. nepherte

    Would you say the DAC improves significantly with the separate reclocker? I got my D1-dual for about a week and I am really liking it. In the future, I was thinking of adding a server solution and specifically have the D1 server in mind. I like the fact that it uses mpd. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the server too. Is it easy to use, etc...
     
  8. paparazzi mano


    I have checked the price and it's almost EUR9000. Wow. Wonder if I can get it check on the used market ?
     
  9. nepherte
     
    As a matter of fact, there's a d1-dual for sale over here (no affiliation): http://www.head-fi.org/t/759866/totaldac-d1-dual
     
    gameon likes this.
  10. goobicii
    please,Metrum Pavane vs TotalDAC dual or Yggdrasil.             Why nobody have the pavane,it looks like best dac ever made,its NOS and 384 capable,for DXD producent like me sounds perfect
     
    preproman,witch one woul you choose for studio mastering,Yggy?       the way you described totaldac sounds like tubes,less sharp edges,warmer,organic...  does it really sound littlebit tube-ish? 
     
  11. preproman
    I don't think I said it was warm did I?  It's not warm nor does it sound like tubes.  It's not as warm as the AMR DP-777.  The TotalDac edges are nice - just not as sharp as the Yggdrasil.  I find that as a good thing, because on the wrong amp the Yggdrasil will sound etched on the edges while the TotalDac will sound just a bit more sharper on the same amp.  So that's a plus for the TotalDac..
     
    I don't know what the requirements are for studio mastering..  At this point I don't care what it is - I'll pick the TotalDac every time.
     
    I was really interested in the Pavane as well.  I would like to read some user impressions on it.  
     
  12. magiccabbage
    So are you sending back the yggy?
     
  13. preproman

    It's Sold already..
     
  14. listen4joy
    schit! .. hope we get decent review about this two (-:...
     
  15. yellowblue
    I never heart the D1 dual without reclocker because the D1 server is the only source I use. I don´t have NAS, only a SSD-drive into the server (seperately powered from 5V battery - I ordered a Uptone Regen to clean up the USB data).
    I don´t like the fact that you have to use different apps as MPad and Ipeng for different sources coming from NAS, SSD or Tidal/Qobuz. MPad is really basic and it has some bugs. Hoping for a better app in the future. There are other servers with better ease of use for sure, but everything sounds really nice from the D1 server.
     
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