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Thread: Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC (VERY early impressions)

  1. #31
    Join Date: Apr 2010

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    The Mullard used is New Old Stock. So that might be a contributing factor to it's lack-lustre performance. I've read somewhere that even vacuum tubes needs some time to burn-in as well, though I'm clueless as to how much burn-in time is needed for optimal sound

    The initial sense of openess to the sound has been retained and it's been satisfyingly fatigue-free to listen to, in spite of the very good detail on offer. Past experience with CD has given me the impression that the "emphasis" on detail tends to be associated with listening-fatigue. I'm assuming that the "unforced" manner in which the EE DAC presents the detail has a lot to do with it's listenability

    Having said that, I believe that the tube used in the DAC may make or break the sound. And rather than use an unsuitable tube, I would to stick with the solid-state output which is actually pretty good once a significant amount of burn-in has transpired...
    Last edited by PRYML; 03-12-2010 at 07:10. Reason: grammar error again :D
    MALEK
    There is no way to happiness... Happiness is The Way...

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRYML View Post
    ...the solid-state output which is actually pretty good once a significant amount of burn-in has transpired...
    In fact, for some recordings, where "RAWness" is a critical element to the music, I actually prefer it over the tube output!

    I'm beginning to see the many dimensions of the DAC's music making; solid-state/retrofit-friendly tube output, phase-inversion, power cable retrofit etc i.e. highly customisable/versatile, to suit individual tastes...

    My only possible reservation is the transparency of the pre-amp section (both onboard and outboard); not that the current quality has interfered with my overall enjoyment of the music at all I'm just wondering how much better the sound quality would be, if the DAC was directly connected to a power amp instead of the added "obstacle" of the triode pre-amp section of my hybrid amp etc

    It's no wonder that John Westlake has chosen the same ESS Sabre 9018 DAC module to be implemented in his current Audiolab project for IAG! In fact his upcoming DAC only unit should be sub-GBP500 range. CD has really come a long way at this price range; more so for me (value-wise) having acquired my unit from HK. I believe it's similarly priced in the US

    p.s. I'd be very interested to hear from other owners of the Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC on this forum (are you out there?); see what tweaks they're able to implement to eke out the very last ounce of musicality out of the DAC, short of opening it up to remove the pre-amp section
    MALEK
    There is no way to happiness... Happiness is The Way...

  3. #33
    Join Date: Sep 2010

    Location: West Midlands, UK

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    I'm Lee.

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    Ive got one installed on the mac, Ive done no tube rolling as of yet but was wondering if any other people on here had one installed on a mac and what method they were using

    USB
    Optical
    SPDIF via a converter

    From the mini tests Ive done so far I prefer the USB method of connecting all beit there aint that much in it to be fair, for the spdif I use a hiface, has anyone else tried this method or an alternative, be interested to hear from you.

    Lee
    NAS Spacedeck / OL 250 arm / EAR 834P modified / Ortofon Rondo Bronze / Mastersound DuVenti / Mac Mini / Bel Canto Dac 2.5 / Audionote AN/K-SPe

  4. #34
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    Hmmm... after reading...

    http://www.stereomojo.com/Eastern%20...xDACReview.htm

    ... I'm tempted to get a dedicated CD transport to mate the EE DAC with...

    Any suitable candidate to suggest?
    MALEK
    There is no way to happiness... Happiness is The Way...

  5. #35
    Join Date: Apr 2010

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    I recently had a query by a fellow forum member, who was fortunate enough to purchase his EEA DAC in Hong Kong (where it's much cheaper than the UK), as to how to change the voltage to comply with UK standards (or the US for that matter)...

    So I've taken the liberty to "paste" a portion of my email correspondence with Alex (the designer) as a guide

    "The unit that you picked up at Hit Audio should have been set up for 230V. The DAC is however switchable to 240V which is much ideal for your country. If you open the top cover, you will see a plastic jumper box nearly by the IEC with label clearly indicated 3 different voltages namely 120V, 230V and 240V. You can simply open the plastic cover of the jumper and connect the wire to the 240V position. Please note that there is an arrow, on the plastic cover, which should be pointing to the front of the DAC."
    MALEK
    There is no way to happiness... Happiness is The Way...

  6. #36
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: Malvern

    Posts: 57

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    Hi Malek

    I found this AES/EBU to RCA cable today (http://www.awdiy.com/index.php?page=...-digital-cable) and I think this might give us better performance over the coaxial out from the dac. It does make sense to me. What do you think?

    BTW, I was so enjoyed with the music through the EEDac using the coax out and haven't had a chance to try the USB yet. What was your thought on the USB?

    I also found this review (http://www.headphonista.com/eastern-electric-tube-dac/) yesterday and thought you might be interested if you haven't already seen it yet.

    My experience with the dac so far (only two days) has been amazing. The sound is defintely more 3D and my wife said it has more depth and she said it before I could find any word for it.

    I was going to get the Young dac initially but decided to go for the EE instead and I am so glad I went down this route and am very happy with my purchase.

    What I also like to point out is that the EEDac is not just a dac, it has got a valve buffer and this will also sort out any impedance mismatch in most systems and hence gives you the good sound with good system matching. I think a lot of reviewers didn't take this into account when they reviewing the dac.

    I bought an Amperex ECC82 for tube rolling later on as this was recommended to me by the Hong Kong dealer (a high end tube gear specialist) as the best valve for this dac, they'd also recommended RCA as the second best.

    I shall report my findings later.
    Stephen

    My Systems:

    1) Amp: XTC Pre Power 1,
    Source: Theta David II CD Transport/ S2S Twindac+ / JKeny Modded HiFace.
    Speakers: KEF 107/2 R Cooke Special Edition
    Interconnects: Silver Foil
    Speaker Cables: Verbatim VSA
    Mains Conditioner: Belkin PF30

    2) Amp: Copper Dac Pre / Audio Smile Monos
    Source: Spotify with William Audio Copper Dac
    Speakers: Modded Wimslow Gemini 2
    IC: DIY Silver
    Speaker Cable: VDH Hybrid

  7. #37
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: west mids, UK

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    I'm Phil.

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    today i got one of these dacs in my system , only a week old so needs lots of running in . what does the phase button do? what setting should it be on.

    i normally use a weiss dac2 [the same dac in the 6 moons review] which is very very transparent, crisp and dynamic. my initial comparison is the minimax is not as transparent as the weiss but we shall see.
    audionote M-one, MSB s200 , msb cd4/bel canto 3.5, vbs , bel canto fm1
    sonos, martin logan summit x . sigmas . coherant/isotek / back promo /ref fidelity /chord epic cabling

  8. #38
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: North Cambs UK, Earth, Sol, Orion - Cygnus arm of galaxy

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    I'm MadeOfDeadGiantStarsThatExplodedEonsAgo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hifinutt View Post
    what does the phase button do? what setting should it be on.
    Strangely it reverses the phase, IE makes it 180 degrees out of phase compared to normal. This can be useful as you might have a pre amp or power amp that is inverting, if so then set it to 180 degrees or out of phase. If not then leave it on 0 (or normal).

    The thing to do is investigate what either your pre amp, power amp or integrated does. At the end of the day though not too many people can detect out of phase signals. As long as both speakers are wired up correctly as in "in phase" that is, it's difficult to detect a phase reversal on both channels
    Bests, Mark



    "We must believe in free will. We have no choice" Isaac Bashevis Singer

  9. #39
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: west mids, UK

    Posts: 565
    I'm Phil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PRYML View Post
    Hmmm... after reading...

    http://www.stereomojo.com/Eastern%20...xDACReview.htm

    ... I'm tempted to get a dedicated CD transport to mate the EE DAC with...

    Any suitable candidate to suggest?
    bel canto cd2 , cracking transport , built like a tank and sounds fab
    audionote M-one, MSB s200 , msb cd4/bel canto 3.5, vbs , bel canto fm1
    sonos, martin logan summit x . sigmas . coherant/isotek / back promo /ref fidelity /chord epic cabling

  10. #40
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: west mids, UK

    Posts: 565
    I'm Phil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid Malenfant View Post
    Strangely it reverses the phase, IE makes it 180 degrees out of phase compared to normal. This can be useful as you might have a pre amp or power amp that is inverting, if so then set it to 180 degrees or out of phase. If not then leave it on 0 (or normal).

    The thing to do is investigate what either your pre amp, power amp or integrated does. At the end of the day though not too many people can detect out of phase signals. As long as both speakers are wired up correctly as in "in phase" that is, it's difficult to detect a phase reversal on both channels
    thanks mark
    audionote M-one, MSB s200 , msb cd4/bel canto 3.5, vbs , bel canto fm1
    sonos, martin logan summit x . sigmas . coherant/isotek / back promo /ref fidelity /chord epic cabling

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