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Thread: DCB1 unity gain pre-amp and spotfire interconnects - ongoing review

  1. #51
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 25,948
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hornucopia View Post
    DCBs are nice, I had one running for quite a while. Now using a 'Stereo coffee' LDR unit which is pretty straightline too.
    The KISS principle here.
    As to using a better CD player......running lossless iTunes is possibly better.
    Quite a lot of first-time deniers are coming round to thinking that; the ones that have got past the 'vinyl is best' phase?
    I'm sure it can probably be as good if it's all set up right, there's no reason why not, but CD does the job for me without all the mucking about. I just need to get a small cross-head screwdriver from somewhere and I can get my Parasound CDi1000 working again.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Sony SCD XB790QS* Nelson Pass DCB1 / Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  2. #52
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: Northern Ireland

    Posts: 1,059
    I'm John.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    I just need to get a small cross-head screwdriver from somewhere and I can get my Parasound CDi1000 working again.
    You might get one in a Christmas cracker if you're lucky.

  3. #53
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 25,948
    I'm Martin.

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    Good idea, I'll hang on for that then.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Sony SCD XB790QS* Nelson Pass DCB1 / Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  4. #54
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 25,948
    I'm Martin.

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    Okay so here we are 3 months on almost. Had the chance over the past few days to do some more 'serious' listening.

    I didn't get a flathead screwdriver in an Xmas cracker so the Parasound still has a disc stuck in it so still using the Sony XB790QS SACD player.

    Any reservations I had expressed previously about the sound of this pre-amp (slightly dark and less open) have gone. Maybe this is the Spotfire interconnect burn in I have been told about (the cables were brand new when I got the DCB1), maybe this is just acclimatization, I don't know.


    In any case sound quality now is practically at the level of 'joke good' - which is my highest rating level. Obviously this is not all attributable to the DCB1 but the combination of DCB1-Spotfire-Krell KSA50S really does hit the spot for me. This is the sort of sound I was looking for when I went out and bought my first separates system back in 1988.

    It's a sound I have rarely heard even listening to systems at shows where you are into the plus 100K level. Although some of them do manage it, you never think you are going to be able to get that sound in your own home on a sensible budget. But now you can!


    I'll grant you that this is very much a 'studio console' sort of sound. If you like EL84 valve amps or SETs with horns you won't be so keen; although it certainly won't offend your ears it might be a bit full on for you. I don't know. All I can say is if you are looking for an absolutely top quality sound and don't know where to go next, get yourself a Krell, a DCB1 and some of the Spotifre cables (that lot will cost you about 1500 all in), hook it up to your speakers and spend the rest of your life wondering why you didn't do this sooner.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Sony SCD XB790QS* Nelson Pass DCB1 / Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  5. #55
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 88,411
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Sounds ace, mate. Can't wait to hear it next time I'm down! And you've still got the Tannoys to come

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "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.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  6. #56
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 25,948
    I'm Martin.

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    Indeed. I'm also advised that there's a bit more that can be done to the DCB1 to 'max it out'. Can't imagine what that would be like.


    I think it is just one of those situations where all the components come together. Like matching five reels on a slot machine.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Sony SCD XB790QS* Nelson Pass DCB1 / Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  7. #57
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 9,255
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    Okay so here we are 3 months on almost. Had the chance over the past few days to do some more 'serious' listening.

    I didn't get a flathead screwdriver in an Xmas cracker so the Parasound still has a disc stuck in it so still using the Sony XB790QS SACD player.

    Any reservations I had expressed previously about the sound of this pre-amp (slightly dark and less open) have gone. Maybe this is the Spotfire interconnect burn in I have been told about (the cables were brand new when I got the DCB1), maybe this is just acclimatization, I don't know.


    In any case sound quality now is practically at the level of 'joke good' - which is my highest rating level. Obviously this is not all attributable to the DCB1 but the combination of DCB1-Spotfire-Krell KSA50S really does hit the spot for me. This is the sort of sound I was looking for when I went out and bought my first separates system back in 1988.

    It's a sound I have rarely heard even listening to systems at shows where you are into the plus 100K level. Although some of them do manage it, you never think you are going to be able to get that sound in your own home on a sensible budget. But now you can!


    I'll grant you that this is very much a 'studio console' sort of sound. If you like EL84 valve amps or SETs with horns you won't be so keen; although it certainly won't offend your ears it might be a bit full on for you. I don't know. All I can say is if you are looking for an absolutely top quality sound and don't know where to go next, get yourself a Krell, a DCB1 and some of the Spotifre cables (that lot will cost you about 1500 all in), hook it up to your speakers and spend the rest of your life wondering why you didn't do this sooner.
    Told ya!

    Seriously, the burn in effect is 100% real and not a trick of the mind. I can replicate this now with regularly. The SPOTFIRE do require 100hrs to open up and settle down.

    The DCB1 is possibly my best find. Thankfully, there is more to get from yours. Judiciously replacing 8 resistors with some very select 0.1% resistors (no, not telling anyone what brand they are) will yield a step forward in resolution. However, the trick to really allowing the DCB1 to shine, is to push it up past 700mA. If you can get to 1.2A, or near it, the difference is in the soundstage with superb air and space. Honestly, it's worth it. I am happy to bring mine up and you can hear for yourself.

    As for your Krell, well, it inspired my own purchase of one. The Krell is on par with anything I've heard under 20k. Call that bullshit if you like but it's how I feel. I love mine.

    The combo of DCB1, SPOTFIRE and Krell is divinity. It's not limited though to having a Krell like amplifier. I've had the DCB1 on Valve amps and Solid state amps and never has it failed to impress.

    I won't discuss the SPOTFIRE as I am entirely biased

    Well done for bring brave enough to to step out of the big brand umbrella. It's where all the value is.

    Now, when do you want to hear the Phonostage
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+/Allo Boss 1.2/Isolator 1.3 & Firebottle LPSU with Volumio & JRiver
    Amplification: Nelson Pass Derived DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Neurochrome Modulus 686 Amplifier
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

    Alternative reading: http://www.audioaddictsforum.com

  8. #58
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 25,948
    I'm Martin.

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    Yes the burn in! I don't know. I've not got 100 hours on them I don't think anyway. Lost track.


    I don't know about all Krells but certainly the KSA100 mk2 and the KSA50s are as good as anything I've heard at any price.


    I'll look at maxing out the DCB1 in the fairly near future, certainly before I 'retire' next year. As for the phono stage that's like offering crack to an addict whose just got out of 12 harrowing months in rehab...I'll have to try to resist the temptation.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Sony SCD XB790QS* Nelson Pass DCB1 / Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  9. #59
    Join Date: May 2017

    Location: West Sussex, UK

    Posts: 742
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    Yes the burn in! I don't know. I've not got 100 hours on them I don't think anyway. Lost track.


    I don't know about all Krells but certainly the KSA100 mk2 and the KSA50s are as good as anything I've heard at any price.


    I'll look at maxing out the DCB1 in the fairly near future, certainly before I 'retire' next year. As for the phono stage that's like offering crack to an addict whose just got out of 12 harrowing months in rehab...I'll have to try to resist the temptation.
    Hi Martin,
    Any time you'd like your dcb1 maxing just let me know and ill pop up and max it for you.
    I have the parts and heatsinks required already

    Regards Steve...
    Project 2experience sb dc, Cart: At33ptg
    Aragon 4004 dual mono
    Monarchy Audio SM70
    CD Player: Cyrus cd8se
    Spotfire Speaker Cable

    Steve...

  10. #60
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 9,255
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by STD305M View Post
    Hi Martin,
    Any time you'd like your dcb1 maxing just let me know and ill pop up and max it for you.
    I have the parts and heatsinks required already

    Regards Steve...
    Yes Steve. You know the craic. It's well worth doing isnt it.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+/Allo Boss 1.2/Isolator 1.3 & Firebottle LPSU with Volumio & JRiver
    Amplification: Nelson Pass Derived DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Neurochrome Modulus 686 Amplifier
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

    Alternative reading: http://www.audioaddictsforum.com

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