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  1. #31
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 16,826
    I'm Martin.

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    Looks like you have spent a few quid on that system, Paul.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200 with Sumiko h/s & Nagaoka MP50 * Firebottle valve MM phono stage * Parasound CDPi1000 * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S Thompson

  2. #32
    Join Date: Jan 2016

    Location: Hull

    Posts: 299
    I'm paul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    Looks like you have spent a few quid on that system, Paul.
    Yes, although non of it was at MSRP (£XXX) i.e. used/b grade/ex demo etc. So, cost about 50% of RRP.

    Kind Regards.
    ARCAM FMJ-A19 + Tacima CS947, Tannoy DC6T Speakers, Tannoy TS10 Subwoofer + Tacima CS947, Sennheiser HD 558 headset, Arcam Miniblink DAC + iFI iPOWER, HP Pavilion G6* - 2382sa D0Y14EA#ABU + Creative BT-D1 [+ Azio BTD-V401]; [*using onboard battery for music listening]. + Audio Software [Room EQ Wizard, Equalizer APO, media players]. I also have a Creative Cambridge DTT2200 5.1 System, & Denon AH-D320 Phones.

  3. #33
    Join Date: Jan 2016

    Location: Hull

    Posts: 299
    I'm paul.

    Cool

    Latest Config:


    Puresound 2A3 amp; "the tubes"...

    2A3 RCA NOS VALVES/OUTPUT (Legendary 'Black Plates' - matched quads.)
    6SN7-GT KEN-RAD NOS INPUT DRIVERS ('Black Glass' - matched quads.)
    5Z4G VINTAGE MULLARD NOS RECTIFIERS
    VALVE DAMPER RINGS/TO REDUCE MICROPHONY + RATTLE

    MonoPulse 'A' speakers.

    REL Stampede Subwoofer.

    Cary Audio 100t Dac.
    M2Tech Hi-Face 2 RCA USB to S/PDIF (co-axial) converter.

    HP Pavilion G6 - 2382sa D0Y14EA#ABU + "The Teddy" 19/3 - 19V 3.5A LPSU.

    The Missing Link Ultra-Pure System ~ EPS-100 ~Audiophile Silver Un-switched Double Wall Socket +
    APC ‘SurgeArrest’ Surge protector - PM1W-UK (Schneider), + AG500P Power Inspired mains – ‘pure sine wave’ re-generator.

    Sennheiser HD 558 headset.

    + Audio Software [Graphic Equalizer Studio PRO 2016 + media players].

    Interconnects: Chord Clearway, QED Reference Audio 1 RCA/Phono (red), QED Reference Coaxial/RCA (purple), Chord Speakon Connector Cable (for REL). Meterware ViaBlue x25 silver power cables + Martin Kaiser 10a C14 IEC Male mains cable connectors silver, + MCRU SILVER IEC female mains power connectors, + silver plated ‘UK mains plug’ MK 655 audio grade (3 pin) with Bussmann Gold fuse.
    ARCAM FMJ-A19 + Tacima CS947, Tannoy DC6T Speakers, Tannoy TS10 Subwoofer + Tacima CS947, Sennheiser HD 558 headset, Arcam Miniblink DAC + iFI iPOWER, HP Pavilion G6* - 2382sa D0Y14EA#ABU + Creative BT-D1 [+ Azio BTD-V401]; [*using onboard battery for music listening]. + Audio Software [Room EQ Wizard, Equalizer APO, media players]. I also have a Creative Cambridge DTT2200 5.1 System, & Denon AH-D320 Phones.

  4. #34
    Join Date: Jan 2016

    Location: Hull

    Posts: 299
    I'm paul.

    Cool

    DAC-100t_front.jpg

    Cary Audio 100T Tube DAC with upgrades.

    Upgrades:

    1) Internal power cable to the mains board has been upgraded to cast stranded copper with PTFE insulation. Earth cable upgraded to solid core copper PTFE insulated. Transformers dampened with Dynamat Extreme.
    2) DC filter cap upgraded from the cheapo Panasonic type to Mundorf Supreme,
    3) Power cable from the power board to the output board upgraded to solid core copper PTFE wrapped.
    4) Dac board support with an acoustic type from used in military tanks. Same foam used as support stilts for the power and output board.
    5) Signal wires from the dac board to output board upgraded to pure cast solid silver, PTFE wrapped and shielded cable.
    6) On the output board, 10 electrolytic caps have been upgraded from Panasonic to Elna Silmic. The Wima bypass caps were removed and upgraded to RelCap polystyrene caps.
    7) Output capacitors were upgraded from Monacor types to Mundorf M-cap EVO Oil capacitors (larger uF for better bass).
    8) AMR Gold 3.15A fuse upgrade.
    9) Output tubes upgraded to 1964 NOS Amperex ECC88 ‘Bugle Boy’ matched/balanced pair.

    ************************************************** *************************************

    USB Processor XMOS Asynchronous processing
    SP/DIF Input Receiver Wolfson model #WM8805
    Digital to Analog Converters 2 X ESS Sabre ES9023
    Digital Inputs 5 selectable inputs: (2) coaxial (gold plated), (2) Toslink, (1) USB
    Analog Output RCA analogue output (gold plated)
    XLR Balanced
    Input Sample Rates Accepted* 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz
    Bit Depths Accepted 16 / 24 bit, LPCM 2-ch audio stream
    Power Transformer Toroidal transformer (Digital Supply)
    Toroidal transformer (Analog Supply)
    Dynamic Range 112dB
    Signal to Noise Ratio 109dB
    Noise and Hum -101 dB below rated output
    Audio Output Level 2.0V RMS
    Frequency Response 20Hz - 22KHz
    Tube Compliment 2 - 6922 tubes
    Finish Black powder coated matte cabinet with silver anodized aluminium faceplate
    Weight 21 lbs
    Dimensions 3 1/2″ H x 17 1/4″ W x 15 1/2″ D


    From the Cary website:

    The Cary Audio DAC-100t is made in the USA and designed to provide high-quality music reproduction from today’s digital sources.

    The heart of the DAC-100t are two high current custom-built toroidal transformers, one each for the digital and analogue sections of the unit. We, at Cary Audio, understand the importance of a good power supply and have spared no expense in designing transformers that perform above their normal requirements. The separate analogue transformer has a Faraday shield to reduce noise, and the audio circuits are designed to drive a wide variety of impedances to better match other associated equipment.

    The audio output section, responsible for providing the actual musical signals, is based on proven Cary Audio designs for the best sound quality. The DAC-100t audio section consists of two (2) 6922 tubes operated in a non-global feedback configuration. The audio section is fed with its own discreet low noise power supply. The digital bitstream is handled by a new front end designed in conjunction with one of the industry’s acknowledged digital leaders. A Wolfson WM8805 chipset is used as the input receiver for the four (4) (2-coaxial and 2-Toslink) SPDIF digital audio inputs, as chosen by many of the finest DACs in the world. The USB input uses XMOS processing for asynchronous processing of USB computer based music, stripping away the computer’s timing and replacing it with a much more accurate master clock for a more stable bitstream. It is able to handle multiple 24 bit/192kHz channels with extremely low latency, all at 500 MIPS.

    Once the digital bitstream is managed it is sent to the digital to analogue conversion section, comprised of two (2) ESS Sabre ES9023 24/192 DAC chipsets. These circuits accurately recreate the analogue musical signals and send them to the vacuum tube analogue output stages, and then out to the gold-plated RCA or XLR balanced outputs.

    MSRP $3000
    ARCAM FMJ-A19 + Tacima CS947, Tannoy DC6T Speakers, Tannoy TS10 Subwoofer + Tacima CS947, Sennheiser HD 558 headset, Arcam Miniblink DAC + iFI iPOWER, HP Pavilion G6* - 2382sa D0Y14EA#ABU + Creative BT-D1 [+ Azio BTD-V401]; [*using onboard battery for music listening]. + Audio Software [Room EQ Wizard, Equalizer APO, media players]. I also have a Creative Cambridge DTT2200 5.1 System, & Denon AH-D320 Phones.

  5. #35
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 70,359
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Lovely stuff, Paul, and a bit of a bargain considering what's in it. Would be great to see an actual image of yours, in situ in your system, rather than just a stock photo

    How would you describe its sound? Would love to hear the Cary in comparison with my Sony, as for me it ticks a lot of boxes, and I've yet to hear a really good tube DAC

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    "Your validity or worth are not defined or determined by the views of others with their own superimposed agendas". - Pharos (on AoS)

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU/Williams Audio NAS linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  6. #36
    Join Date: Jan 2016

    Location: Hull

    Posts: 299
    I'm paul.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Lovely stuff, Paul, and a bit of a bargain considering what's in it. Would be great to see an actual image of yours, in situ in your system, rather than just a stock photo

    How would you describe its sound? Would love to hear the Cary in comparison with my Sony, as for me it ticks a lot of boxes, and I've yet to hear a really good tube DAC

    Marco.
    Hi Marco!

    I've uploaded a pic of it now.

    DSCN2606.JPG

    not got 'the system' setup yet, so it's just placed to one side on my low deck disability bath seat - LOL.

    I bargain? do you know what I paid?

    I don't have the replacement tubes and caps yet, but initial sound is very pleasing to my ear! The Audiolab m-dac (as others have also reported) was a touch too 'metallic' for my personal liking and made my tinnitus worse! This is a lot smoother and more laid back in the attack, great 3D imaging and wide sound stage to boot. The guy I bought it from said it was way too mellow for his tastes and had tried to sharpen it up a bit with more treble like caps and valves (which I don't want!). I always luxuriate in deep bass as well thus the larger uf caps. i.e. he needed something sharper and I needed something mellower. I only had one other valve DAC that was a home made affair by 'MB'. It was a chinese DAC board that had been re-routed through 2 valves, placed in an old case with a purpose built wooden facia for the on/off switch, sauce selector knob and LCD screen, build quality was second rate, BUT THE SOUND just blew me away and ever since then I've always wanted another tube DAC, (but a 'proper' one!) LOL.

    MB DAC-P1.jpg
    ARCAM FMJ-A19 + Tacima CS947, Tannoy DC6T Speakers, Tannoy TS10 Subwoofer + Tacima CS947, Sennheiser HD 558 headset, Arcam Miniblink DAC + iFI iPOWER, HP Pavilion G6* - 2382sa D0Y14EA#ABU + Creative BT-D1 [+ Azio BTD-V401]; [*using onboard battery for music listening]. + Audio Software [Room EQ Wizard, Equalizer APO, media players]. I also have a Creative Cambridge DTT2200 5.1 System, & Denon AH-D320 Phones.

  7. #37
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 70,359
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Hi Paul,

    Nice one - thanks for the picture

    You paid $3000 for it, didn't you? Well, IMO, for a high-end tube DAC, compared with what you could've paid for some other stuff, that's a bargain!

    Interesting description of the sound... I'm not into a warm, soft sonic presentation, but having also heard the MDAC (and how falsely upfront and 'edgy' it can sound), I think I know where you're coming from: the Cary has a richer, more natural tone, and in fact is more musically realistic.

    A similar comparison could be drawn with my own vintage Sony DAC, and that of most modern DACs and CDPs. The 'voicing' of the modern kit often just isn't right and not representative of how real music sounds.

    Anyway, if I'm ever up Hull way (have you ever considered going to the NEBO meets?), it would be good to pop by and hear the Cary and the rest of your system

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    "Your validity or worth are not defined or determined by the views of others with their own superimposed agendas". - Pharos (on AoS)

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU/Williams Audio NAS linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  8. #38
    Join Date: Jan 2016

    Location: Hull

    Posts: 299
    I'm paul.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Hi Paul,

    Nice one - thanks for the picture

    You paid $3000 for it, didn't you? Well, IMO, for a high-end tube DAC, compared with what you could've paid for some other stuff, that's a bargain!

    Interesting description of the sound... I'm not into a warm, soft sonic presentation, but having also heard the MDAC (and how falsely upfront and 'edgy' it can sound), I think I know where you're coming from: the Cary has a richer, more natural tone, and in fact is more musically realistic.

    A similar comparison could be drawn with my own vintage Sony DAC, and that of most modern DACs and CDPs. The 'voicing' of the modern kit often just isn't right and not representative of how real music sounds.

    Anyway, if I'm ever up Hull way (have you ever considered going to the NEBO meets?), it would be good to pop by and hear the Cary and the rest of your system

    Marco.
    The $3000 is the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) when new. Mine was secondhand and cost £700 (GBP).
    The other choice was a WEISS and that was a bit dearer!
    Yes, it is more musically realistic and almost sounds like the band is in the room with me (almost). It can only sound like the band in the room if it was actually recorded IN YOUR LIVING ROOM! A studio album or a live one from a concert hall is never going to sound like your living room, it needs to be recorded in a typical living room for that effect.
    The cary DAC seems to get a lot more from the Puresound Amp. I think the amp in foresight was limited by the M-DAC in some way i.e. the amp can only work with the signal you pass on to it from the dac, the better the DAC - the better the signal to the amp!
    It's not about a quality stereo sound any more, got past that stage some time ago! Now it's about timing, space, 3D image and the width of the sound stage. Everything seems to have a lot more space, you can pick out the instruments from left to right, and the centre channel is sensational bliss to my ears!
    The vocal is amazing in the centre, as is the lead guitar licks, and sometimes the bass and snare drum get right in the centre and you can really hear that snare popping/cracking in your head!
    I was in a band in the early 1980's and if you've been in the band (practice) room you'll know how it sounds compared to a pro stereo master mix. If music was recorded in my living room for example and then played back through my current setup, I think that with sufficient volume it would sound bloody close to the original performance!!
    And of course, it all depends on the quality of the master mix in the first place! If the mix is shit, it won't improve with a fancy stereo! Infact, the fancy stereo often shows up a bad mix!
    I wonder how much more I would have to spend to increase the reality factor beyond what I now have? I think I would have to spend tens of thousands for a tiny 'improvement'. There is a trade off with diminishing returns for the buck! Perhaps someone reading this can suggest some 'exotica' that would surpass my current setup - together with the cost involved?
    ARCAM FMJ-A19 + Tacima CS947, Tannoy DC6T Speakers, Tannoy TS10 Subwoofer + Tacima CS947, Sennheiser HD 558 headset, Arcam Miniblink DAC + iFI iPOWER, HP Pavilion G6* - 2382sa D0Y14EA#ABU + Creative BT-D1 [+ Azio BTD-V401]; [*using onboard battery for music listening]. + Audio Software [Room EQ Wizard, Equalizer APO, media players]. I also have a Creative Cambridge DTT2200 5.1 System, & Denon AH-D320 Phones.

  9. #39
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: North

    Posts: 2,388
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    Fantastic Avatar. My hero.

  10. #40
    Join Date: Jan 2016

    Location: Hull

    Posts: 299
    I'm paul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Floyddroid View Post
    Fantastic Avatar. My hero.
    is keith dead?
    ARCAM FMJ-A19 + Tacima CS947, Tannoy DC6T Speakers, Tannoy TS10 Subwoofer + Tacima CS947, Sennheiser HD 558 headset, Arcam Miniblink DAC + iFI iPOWER, HP Pavilion G6* - 2382sa D0Y14EA#ABU + Creative BT-D1 [+ Azio BTD-V401]; [*using onboard battery for music listening]. + Audio Software [Room EQ Wizard, Equalizer APO, media players]. I also have a Creative Cambridge DTT2200 5.1 System, & Denon AH-D320 Phones.

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