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Thread: NOS DACs

  1. #11
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: Coppull

    Posts: 80
    I'm Robert.

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    I have an Audio Note 0.1x DAC and it is superb. Very analogue sounding.

    Have had Chord and Audiolab DACs in my system and none of them come close to the AN DAC.

  2. #12
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

    Posts: 2,892
    I'm Neil.

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    For me there's a naturalness that comes with a multibit DAC with no digital filtering / oversampling (NOS). The issue with NOS DACs tends to be at the top end, which is rolled off (dark tonal balance), as well as overall refinement at the top end. It's more sins of omission though, unless you are a detail freak. However, there are some NOS DACs that are fantastically open and resolved at the top end, like my Audial Model S. Audio Note DACs are more coloured in comparison, and TDA1543 DACs, like the Audiosector DAC I owned, just don't have the resolution at the top end. Doesn't stop them being non-fatiguing though. There are also some new discrete NOS DACs from Soekris & EC Designs, and the new Metrum Amethyst which are very interesting.

    ...if you want, you can also use a computer setup to do the oversampling in DSP, I experimented with this, 2x oversampling up to 88.2kHz sounded most natural to me, and yes there was a tad more at the top end, but in the long term I preferred no oversampling.
    Mana Acoustics Racks / Bright Star IsoNodes Decoupling >> Custom Silent Media Server >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Pedja Rogic's Audial Model S DAC + Pioneer PL-71 turntable / Vista Audio phono-1 mk II / Denon PCL-5 headshell / Reson Reca >> LFD DLS >> LFD PA2M (SE) >> Royd RR3s.

  3. #13
    Join Date: Aug 2013

    Location: Isle of Wight, UK

    Posts: 35
    I'm David.

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    Many thanks everyone for your comments. As I expected there is a range of opinions but quite a few in favour of the Audionote DAC's and also Metrum. I'll try to hear a few and see how I feel about them. I'll report back when I have made my mind up. Just a quick question for ijrussell, you have heard all three makes I originally listed, which of them, or which models, do you prefer?

    David Whistance

  4. #14
    Join Date: Mar 2011

    Location: Readimg

    Posts: 74
    I'm George.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwhistance View Post
    Hello, I'd like some advice/thoughts on NOS DAC's please? My current DAC is a Mytek Brooklyn with an external power supply which is OK but I'm looking for something more "musical". From reading I suppose I am most interested in the SW1X DAC's, AudioNote's and perhaps the DDDAC. I doubt that anyone has heard all three but any comparisons/thoughts you could give me would be very welcome.

    David Whistance
    David,

    What I coincidence I have just completed a review of the SW1X, an AN DAC2.1x (and I used a Metrum). Surprising winner.

    http://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/revi...ac-ii-special/

  5. #15
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

    Posts: 2,892
    I'm Neil.

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    Interesting review, the Audio Note 4.1, mentioned as better than the other units in that review, doesn’t sound as good as the Audial Model S though, unless you like a bit of added warmth and added bloom to the sound.
    Mana Acoustics Racks / Bright Star IsoNodes Decoupling >> Custom Silent Media Server >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Pedja Rogic's Audial Model S DAC + Pioneer PL-71 turntable / Vista Audio phono-1 mk II / Denon PCL-5 headshell / Reson Reca >> LFD DLS >> LFD PA2M (SE) >> Royd RR3s.

  6. #16
    Join Date: Oct 2015

    Location: Nr Coventry

    Posts: 69
    I'm Ian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwhistance View Post
    Many thanks everyone for your comments. As I expected there is a range of opinions but quite a few in favour of the Audionote DAC's and also Metrum. I'll try to hear a few and see how I feel about them. I'll report back when I have made my mind up. Just a quick question for ijrussell, you have heard all three makes I originally listed, which of them, or which models, do you prefer?
    That’s an impossible question to answer as they are all fantastic in the right systems. As a general rule with valve output DACs, spending more money gets you a less characterful and better sound and they work best with valve amplifiers. You really need to find a way to listen to a range of DACs, ideally in your system, to give you a better idea of what suits and don’t get hung up on NOS over other types. There are loads of great sounding DACs that aren’t in your face. Others to consider include Border Patrol, Aqua La Voce and Audiobyte Black Dragon plus Metrum, Lindemann and Exogal. We’ve never been so spoiled with great DACs.
    Orbe + SME IV + Accuphase MC-5 + Trilogy 907, Bluesound Node2 + DIY DDDAC, DIY DCB1 pre + DIY Aleph 60 monoblocks, Graham Audio LS5/9.

  7. #17
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Ryedale, North Yorkshire.

    Posts: 53
    I'm Justin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ijrussell View Post
    There are loads of great sounding DACs that aren’t in your face. Others to consider include Border Patrol, Aqua La Voce and Audiobyte Black Dragon plus Metrum, Lindemann and Exogal. We’ve never been so spoiled with great DACs.
    That's true. I'm not looking for a DAC at the moment but if I was, I would also include the strangely named Denafrips Terminator on my audition / consider list, out of interest.
    Last edited by jusbe; 08-03-2018 at 14:13.

  8. #18
    Join Date: Aug 2013

    Location: Isle of Wight, UK

    Posts: 35
    I'm David.

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    ljrussell - Thank you thats good advice and exactly what I was going to do.

    George 47 - Thank you, I must admit I had seen the review which, not surprisingly given your conclusions, has a link on the SW1X website. I must say I don't envy you the job of reviewing hi-fi equipment however appealing it might seem at first glance - I have neither the words or most probably the hearing to do the equipment justice.

    David Whistance

  9. #19
    Join Date: Mar 2011

    Location: Readimg

    Posts: 74
    I'm George.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwhistance View Post
    ljrussell - Thank you thats good advice and exactly what I was going to do.

    George 47 - Thank you, I must admit I had seen the review which, not surprisingly given your conclusions, has a link on the SW1X website. I must say I don't envy you the job of reviewing hi-fi equipment however appealing it might seem at first glance - I have neither the words or most probably the hearing to do the equipment justice.

    David Whistance
    David: I am always surprised at how easy people actually find it to hear how good an audio system is. The trick seems to be to stop behaving like a reviewer/geek and analyse the sound; pellucid high frequencies, clear bass etc. just relax into the music. Does it sound like real people making real music, even from studio music. It does not matter if you can't express it, if it 'works' then it is good. Go with your gut, after listening to a lot of your favourite tracks.

  10. #20
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: London

    Posts: 2
    I'm Darren.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazjam View Post
    If your looking to get analogue sounding digital can I recommend PS Audio ?
    Recently picked up one of their Directstream dacs and frankly I've not listened to vinyl since I've got it.
    I have a pretty decent turntable setup...

    Bit more expensive but worth pushing the boat out for, if your looking for a non studio sounding dac...just puts musicians in the same room.
    Love mine, had to sell a kidney to get one though.
    I'd be interested in your thoughts on this dac - don't want to hijack this thread, willing to discuss over PM. Dacs I would be considering would be something Audio Note, Border Patrol - but concerned about the flexibility and inputs - for both of those, Yggdrasil just because of a non NOS but R2R implementation and of course the DirectStream. The DirectStream is more than I was willing to spend but what is attractive is the flexibility of being a streamer and dac in one - I can forget about streamer alternatives and go with 2 box (dac/amp) solution (assuming I use the Bridge II board). Possibly I'd downsize to the Junior but would be interested on your thoughts.

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