DAC DAC

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AmpDesigner333

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DAC DAC
« on: 30 Oct 2015, 08:28 pm »
Introducing the Digital Amp Co Digital to Analog Converter!

Photos of our prototype board, more reactions to the unique sound of this DAC, and other info to follow.

Clement Perry heard it and says "Surprisingly liquid with some extra density/resolution. I'm pleasantly surprised. Very nice!!"

We have invented a way to simulate the tube effect in the output stage.  This gives a warmer, sweeter sound than other SS DACs, well deserving of the Cherry name....  Thanks for reading this, and have a great weekend.

-Tommy O

SteveMiller

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #1 on: 30 Oct 2015, 09:10 pm »
I would like to add my voice to the many that have found Tommy O's Digital Amplifier Company products to be just the right antidote to the endless pursuit of high-end sound.

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be offered a chance to hear Tommy's new DAC DAC.  Having been so taken with the sound, power, and unflappable prowess of the Marashinos, I was of course expecting good things. I know that Digital Amplifier Company knows how to do things right.  When I saw how simply the circuit was (prototype unit arrives in it's birthday suit :) and the tiny switching adapter power supply I thought ok, computer desktop dac......  Ive been fortunate in my pursuit of sound to have owned and longterm tested quality items from big name brands, $2500 dac's to $8500 cd players and many in between.  What I heard, from cold out of the package from the DAC DAC was astonishing.  I hoped simply for a sign of life, that the parcel arrived undamaged. What I heard was actually sounds of life.  As in the DAC DAC can playback regular music files in such a way that the breath of the performers sounds real. Not hyped, not exaggerated, but actually what real music sounds like.  2 other well know dac's that I have on hand, that have received glowing reviews in mainstream mags both suddenly sound a little grey, and little faded. 

The DAC DAC plays music from a simple iTunes file and not for one minute do you feel the need to reach for an expensive software player. You don't wish for more bass. You don't strain to hear more air. This dac breaths the music in such a way that going back to what I thought were great players now makes them sound a little off. they take a bit of effort to listen to. The DAC DAC just sounds right.
I professed to Tommy that I would be happy to buy this sample, as it is.  Its so good, it doesn't matter that its too new to even have a box yet. Its so good my other dacs are up for sale. Its so good that if you hear it you'll want it, so I want to secure my own.

All my remarks are made concerning a system consisting of a simple USB bridge feeding the DAC DAC, which in turn is wired directly to DAC Marashinos driving Zu Audio Speakers.  In all the years and all the expensive components.... I've never heard something so simple sound so good.  It's not good for the price.  Its just plain good.

Who will appreciate this product. 
1. If you are on a budget and want a simple, straightforward desktop dac that isn't fussy, sounds good and wont break the bank, youre on the right track.
2. If you want a minimalist system and have good amplification and speakers you like, buy it.  you'll be surprised how your music sounds better
3. If you have a big dollar budget, a transparent pre-amp, expensive interconnects, clean strong amps, and high resolution speakers... buy it.  and buy Tommy a beer for the money he just saved you.
4. If you like spending big money because stereophile says so, if you believe that good things don't come in small packages, if your system has to look better than it sounds, please look elsewhere. We don't need you. get out of the way and let people with real ears buy what really sounds good.

Thanks Tommy for building the great sounding products you have so far. And for the rest of you, if the DAC DAC doesn't make your jaw drop a little bit, then there's something wrong with your system.  ( infact, when I tried putting an expensive pre-amp between the DAC DAC and the Marashinos, it lost a little magic. ) This means that Tommy's DAC DAC may well be better than your current dac, and your expensive pre-amp.  Try it!  Let it run naked.  Its waaay more fun.

SteveMiller

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #2 on: 30 Oct 2015, 09:24 pm »
To all the listeners who might like to A-B the DAC DAC with their current system.....

Prior to DAC DAC I honestly was very happy with how my system sounded. I was running an expensive well reviewed sabre dac directly into mono Marashino amplifiers into high efficiency speakers.  Bliss.

BUT THEN......Every time I would try and A-B listen between the DAC DAC and any of the other dacs I own or could borrow.... I just kept wanting to put the DAC DAC back in circuit. 

I didn't care about the others anymore. So what they cost more, they just don't sound this good.  I'd switch back to DAC DAC and the sound would be more alive, more present, more REAL.  More right. Maybe its the extremely short circuit length from dac chip to output? Maybe its the bandwidth? Maybe its some other magic Tommy O has that most of us haven't experienced yet.  But its turned my expectations of my music inside out, and I'm not looking back.

It's a tried it, lived it, loved it kinda thing. 

AmpDesigner333

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #3 on: 30 Oct 2015, 10:02 pm »
To all the listeners who might like to A-B the DAC DAC with their current system.....

Prior to DAC DAC I honestly was very happy with how my system sounded. I was running an expensive well reviewed sabre dac directly into mono Marashino amplifiers into high efficiency speakers.  Bliss.

BUT THEN......Every time I would try and A-B listen between the DAC DAC and any of the other dacs I own or could borrow.... I just kept wanting to put the DAC DAC back in circuit. 

I didn't care about the others anymore. So what they cost more, they just don't sound this good.  I'd switch back to DAC DAC and the sound would be more alive, more present, more REAL.  More right. Maybe its the extremely short circuit length from dac chip to output? Maybe its the bandwidth? Maybe its some other magic Tommy O has that most of us haven't experienced yet.  But its turned my expectations of my music inside out, and I'm not looking back.

It's a tried it, lived it, loved it kinda thing.
Thanks, Steve.

I'll mention more soon, but one key factor is the very short signal path.

Now on to handing out Halloween candy (trick-or-treating is the Friday before Halloween in our neighborhood)....

Enjoy!   8)

mfsoa

Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #4 on: 31 Oct 2015, 12:41 am »
C'mon man let's hear about it. Chip? Inputs? Outputs? Probably has variable out which I know you like. Size? Power supply? Discreet out or which opamp?  :scratch:

What about the magic tubamafier output thingy?

Personally I think it should have a USB input. I know your amps prefer XLRs but not everyone has DAC amps (tho they should) so I'd like to see RCAs too, maybe as an option.  DSD capable?

Thanks.  Can't wait to hear it in my system (wink wink nudge nudge)

JLM

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #5 on: 1 Nov 2015, 08:37 pm »
Volume control?  Kickstarter offering?

AmpDesigner333

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #6 on: 1 Nov 2015, 08:53 pm »
C'mon man let's hear about it. Chip? Inputs? Outputs? Probably has variable out which I know you like. Size? Power supply? Discreet out or which opamp?  :scratch:

What about the magic tubamafier output thingy?

Personally I think it should have a USB input. I know your amps prefer XLRs but not everyone has DAC amps (tho they should) so I'd like to see RCAs too, maybe as an option.  DSD capable?

Thanks.  Can't wait to hear it in my system (wink wink nudge nudge)
Simplicity is the key!  This enables us to offer amazing value.

Coax S/PDIF Input
XLR Outputs
PCM only (192k max)
Dual PCM1794As
Double Differential Output Circuits
External Power Supply (small)


Regarding the "tube like" output circuits, you just need to hear it to "get it".  We also have a version with "superior bench specs" for comparison.  Here's proof that lower THD+N doesn't necessarily sound better!

I'll post photos separately....

Thanks for your kind post.

AmpDesigner333

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #7 on: 1 Nov 2015, 08:59 pm »
Volume control?  Kickstarter offering?

No volume control.  We agonized over this one.  Too much of a compromise regarding signal path length.  Our circuit is the most direct.  We rely on digital volume control at the source for direct connection to amplifiers.  Max output level is tuned to take advantage of the Maraschino Cherry Amplifier's input range for maximum dynamic range and super-low noise floor.

Kickstarter?  We're thinking about it!

Listening tests will be going on this week comparing the high-spec version to the tube-like version....

Thanks.

AmpDesigner333

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DAC DAC photos
« Reply #8 on: 1 Nov 2015, 10:29 pm »
DAC DAC in a system with Desktop Maraschino Cherry amps and Zu Message speakers:


DAC DAC Board and possible enclosure:


60V Hanging Maraschinos driven by DAC DAC driven by Logitech Squeezebox Touch (yeah, I know):


DAC DAC driven by Windows 8.1 Pro Tablet and U192S Nuforce USB-to-SPDIF (yeah, I know about Nuforce too):


dognort

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #9 on: 1 Nov 2015, 10:32 pm »

Tommy O was kind enough to send me a prototype of his new DAC DAC to have some fun with. My digital configuration consists of a nice CD player and a Raspberry PI running Volumio Linux and a HIFIberry Digi+. This DAC is great a revealing the differences between the various sampling rates of my FLAC files. I have several collections by the same artist in digital format. This allowed me to go back and forth at the swipe of a finger. I also utilized the DACS ability to over sample at the direction of the software at twice its native rate. Some digital recordings can become fatiguing depending on their volume. The DAC DAC did a great job not letting this happen. The lower the sampling rate the brighter things sounded the bass was noticeably more articulate and yet nicely placed within the soundstage overall. The higher sampled source was warm verses the somewhat raspy almost noise like high frequency sound common to many CD players and inexpensive phono cartridges. The image had real depth, and when the instruments were recorded in different locations within the sounds stage it was very obvious front to back and right to left. It was a fun afternoon, and I’m not looking forward to shipping it back. Even without the case! Thanks Tommy O.
« Last Edit: 2 Nov 2015, 02:15 pm by dognort »

mfsoa

Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #10 on: 2 Nov 2015, 12:40 am »
For me, no volume control = good, as I need to use a pre for phono and source switching.

Unfortunately my pre has no balanced ins/outs as the designer feels that a properly executed RCA is superior.
It'd be nice if the DAC products could be custom-ordered w/ RCAs for troglodyte neanderthals like myself.

I already have to use RCA to XLR adapters to use my Maraschinos (and as you heard Tommy the quality of the adapter can make a significant difference in SQ, so it'd be best to not have to use them at all).. So just a vote for RCAs here to appeal to the unwashed masses.

Shear Bliss VMPS

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #11 on: 2 Nov 2015, 07:26 pm »
Hello Tommy, I hope my email reached you ok regarding the Cherry Ultra rebuild, its totally stunning to listen to thru my VMPS ST/R speakers.

On the Dac Dac I hear there isn't going to be a USB port ??? Please offer it even as a added option, to use your Dac Dac from my Gateway PC I surely will need it!!

Thanks again for taking the time regarding my rebuild, its done to perfection!

DW

SteveMiller

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #12 on: 2 Nov 2015, 11:25 pm »
Re USB.   I found a nice solution for USB into DAC DAC. 

Halide Bridge   

Sounds amazing and it's dead simple to use.   


mfsoa

Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #13 on: 2 Nov 2015, 11:55 pm »

OzarkTom

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #14 on: 3 Nov 2015, 05:30 am »
 :duh:

sHeez! More money to save up, and I have been so happy with my system since the Marashino's have been hooked up.

I have always wondered why a DAC has so many parts in it.

Shear Bliss VMPS

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #15 on: 3 Nov 2015, 05:57 pm »
Thanks Steve for easing my mind, had hoped there was something like the USB/sp bridge you show, very glad there is!

AmpDesigner333

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #16 on: 3 Nov 2015, 08:44 pm »
Thanks Steve for easing my mind, had hoped there was something like the USB/sp bridge you show, very glad there is!
We are considering the Peachtree X1:
http://www.peachtreeaudio.com/x1-usb-spdif-converter.html

It's only $149, and supports up to 192k.  Amazon sells it, too.  We asked Peachtree about buying these in bulk for shipment with the DAC DAC.  We have one on order for testing/demos.

We were originally planning to recommend the Nuforce U192S, but there is no longer support (can't even find Windows drivers ANYWHERE!) for that device.  In fact, in case you haven't heard, there is no more Nuforce.  Luckily, I had drivers stashed, and it is currently in use.  We asked Nuprime, and they recommended a product that's over-featured, not out yet, and likely at a much higher price:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=137910.0

Thanks for your kind post.

SteveMiller

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #17 on: 3 Nov 2015, 09:25 pm »
Regarding the Halide, I think retail is 450.  I paid 225 USD for a gently used one. 

It installed without drivers on my iMac and sounds great. There are more affordable options out there, but I wanted to get this particular piece because of the dozen or so reviews and feedback a I could read, every one of them was positive. Like everything, the different bridge products probably are system dependant as far as how they sound. But this particular combo, the DAC DAC with Marashinos fed by Halide is the best I've heard so far.  And that's a long list.

AmpDesigner333

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #18 on: 3 Nov 2015, 09:34 pm »

OzarkTom

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Re: DAC DAC
« Reply #19 on: 3 Nov 2015, 09:53 pm »
 :duh:

A computer dummy here, would this thing help on the dac dac? I love that name, dac dac.

http://uptoneaudio.com/products/usb-regen