DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions

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perkster

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Hello All,

New to AudioCircle.

I currently have a set of 3i's located in a small room.  They are spread 6ft. apart and I am 6ft from them in my sitting position.  I listen to jazz old country and older rock like Cat Stevens and so on.  I have a Kingrex UD384 DAC which runs on battery power.

I just bought these speakers a month ago used and the fellow that sold me both the Clones Audio 25IR and the 3i's said he had put on these units about 200 - 300 hrs as he bought them new in early summer.

I find on some music the highs sometimes get a bit distorted as this happens usually when I turn it up more.  I was thinking it maybe my DAC as it on an other system did run a bit bright.

I was thinking of maybe stepping back in time and looking for a good NOS TDA 1543 chip breed of DAC.  Would this DAC help smooth things out?  Would I loose detail that newer DAC's have?

Maybe its the 25IR and it just has this sound.

Any advise would be appreciated.  I know there is alot of variables that can effect this as in Power Cords, Interconnects and so on.

Mike

Canada Rob

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: 7 Dec 2017, 07:33 pm »
Hello perkster and welcome to the Omega AudioCircle.

I've had the KingRex UD384 with UPower battery and loved it - very 3D sounding.  It was in a highly resolved desktop system (Parasound Zamp Pre/Power and RBH MC4C speakers).  You have a great amp, great DAC, and great speakers.  I say "great amp" going by what I read, as I've never heard the Clones.  Class A/B chip amps like the clones work well with Omegas, at least in my experience.  I've had the Audio Zone Amp STi, Audio Sector Integrated, Firestone Big Joe V1.3, and Audio Engine N22 all with great results on various Omegas, and all sounded great.

When you say you turn your system up more, is it to party volumes?

What are you running for interconnects and speaker cables?

What is the condition of your DAC battery?

perkster

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: 8 Dec 2017, 08:49 am »
Hello Thanks for your reply.

I do not turn it up to party level.  Just a bit louder than a reasonable listening level.

I have brought the highs down a bit with using Jriver MC 23 DSP options.  Using the EQ as well as effects for bass and the room setup help a bit.

I use Cardas Microtwin interconnects 1 meter long.

I built my own speaker wire using Kimber Kable 4VS and babana plugs.  Cables are 10ft in length.

Mike

rollo

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: 8 Dec 2017, 04:27 pm »
  Now that you have great speakers and a quality amp the source will be exposed more. Get the best DAC you can afford. you may also want to try a dedicated transport in lieu of computer.

charles

Canada Rob

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: 8 Dec 2017, 04:57 pm »
Kimber and Cardas are both good brands and your system is made up of good gear.  However good the gear, if synergy between the components isn't there, the system won't sound it's best.  The Super 3i is a very transparent portal and will reveal everything taking place upline.  In trouble shooting I start with the simplest first. 
1) Speaker wire and/or interconnects.  QED Profile 79 Strand and Supra Classic 2.5 are very affordable and work well with your type of gear.
2) Amp.  See if you can borrow a good SET amp.  SETs are one of the top choices for Omegas.
3) DAC.  I have a hard time believing your KingRex could be the problem, but all our ears are different.  To this day the Audio Sector or Audio Zone TDA1543 NOS DACs are some of the very best I've heard.  The Resonessence Lab Concero HD is also a great DAC and from listening to it I would say it's sound is on the warm side.

Maybe Dave from ZenWave could come on here with some of his insight as I believe his cabling is voiced on Omega speakers, as are Wolf Ear Audio's.

perkster

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: 8 Dec 2017, 08:55 pm »

Thank you Charles for reply

  Now that you have great speakers and a quality amp the source will be exposed more. Get the best DAC you can afford. you may also want to try a dedicated transport in lieu of computer.

Yes there's the rub!  Finding the best DAC I can afford.  I like to buy second hand.  The Clones and Omega's were both bought at 1/2 of what they were CAD.  The original owner only bought in early summer. Once I get a few suggestions on DACs I will look around for a second hand one.

Did you mean a CD Transport? If so,  I moved to computer-assisted audio as I am legally blind and find using my Mac with magnification better than fumbling through CD's as I used to do.  My current source is a 2007 Mac mini standalone music server with everything ripped out of it to improve audio.

Mike

perkster

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: 8 Dec 2017, 09:03 pm »
Thanks for reply,

Kimber and Cardas are both good brands and your system is made up of good gear.  However good the gear, if synergy between the components isn't there, the system won't sound it's best.  The Super 3i is a very transparent portal and will reveal everything taking place upline.  In trouble shooting I start with the simplest first. 
1) Speaker wire and/or interconnects.  QED Profile 79 Strand and Supra Classic 2.5 are very affordable and work well with your type of gear.
2) Amp.  See if you can borrow a good SET amp.  SETs are one of the top choices for Omegas.
3) DAC.  I have a hard time believing your KingRex could be the problem, but all our ears are different.  To this day the Audio Sector or Audio Zone TDA1543 NOS DACs are some of the very best I've heard.  The Resonessence Lab Concero HD is also a great DAC and from listening to it I would say it's sound is on the warm side.

I suppose I could try better interconnects and speaker wire.  This should have some sort of improvement in SQ no matter what.

I am considering an under 1000.00 CAD SET Amplifier from a local builder here in BC called Space-Tech.  What will I do with my Clones???  Sell it  lol

I will look into those DAC.  More examples of NOS Dacs would be great.

Mike

Canada Rob

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: 10 Dec 2017, 06:14 am »
You might check out Wolf Ear Audio based out of Calgary.  He makes nice single ended amps.

rar1

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: 11 Dec 2017, 01:15 pm »
Hi Mike -

I believe that your interconnects and speaker cable are just fine.  The only combination that my Omegas ever hated were silver interconnects with silver speaker wire. 

I have owned Omega speakers for almost 15 years.  First were the 3i (narrow baffle), then the 3T, and for the last 2 or so years, the Super 7 Monitors MKII.

Omegas sound at their best with the best downstream components that you can afford.  Very simple.

If you already have good equipment, then maybe you are driving the speakers a bit too hard.  The 3i's will only play so loud.  I found that as I cranked the volumes, vocals would break up a bit.  It is why i went with the Super 7's, which can play louder with more ease.

Have you experimented with moving the speakers around a bit (farther apart, farther from the rear walls or alternatively closer).

The Canadian dollar and goods pricing, in general, are real constraints when you like audio.  USD 300 Audio Technica turntables cost CAD 450 (equivalent to USD 550) in Toronto (Sonic Boom Records).  I would be looking to tweak first, live with lower volume, or possibly upgrade to the Super 7s. 

Rich

rollo

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: 11 Dec 2017, 05:50 pm »
Thank you Charles for reply

Yes there's the rub!  Finding the best DAC I can afford.  I like to buy second hand.  The Clones and Omega's were both bought at 1/2 of what they were CAD.  The original owner only bought in early summer. Once I get a few suggestions on DACs I will look around for a second hand one.

Did you mean a CD Transport? If so,  I moved to computer-assisted audio as I am legally blind and find using my Mac with magnification better than fumbling through CD's as I used to do.  My current source is a 2007 Mac mini standalone music server with everything ripped out of it to improve audio.

Mike

   The Clones is not broken in yet. 300 hours is just not enough. Give it another 200 and report back. We sell Clones and are very familiar with such. Those chips just need time.
   Saying that the Clones is a neutral component which will reveal ALL before it. I would start with cabling first. Our favorite is TWL who sells direct with MBG within 30 days.
   I would also play with speaker location and toe in. High frequencies can be adversely affected by speaker placement.  Eliminating the first reflection point may also be a benefit.
   You have wonderful speakers a VG amp and VG DAC. Have you tried different USB cables. Now there is a game changer. Using a USB that separates power from signal has a huge advantage in sound. Then there is that iFi 3.0 USB galvanic isolation device. Nice improvement as well.
   Time to fine tune in lieu of changing gear now that I thought about it. Are you using any power conditioning ??

charles




perkster

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: 13 Dec 2017, 06:33 am »
You might check out Wolf Ear Audio based out of Calgary.  He makes nice single ended amps.

Ya i have checked out their site.  Mike

perkster

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: 13 Dec 2017, 06:42 am »
Hi Mike -

I believe that your interconnects and speaker cable are just fine.  The only combination that my Omegas ever hated were silver interconnects with silver speaker wire. 

I have owned Omega speakers for almost 15 years.  First were the 3i (narrow baffle), then the 3T, and for the last 2 or so years, the Super 7 Monitors MKII.

Omegas sound at their best with the best downstream components that you can afford.  Very simple.

If you already have good equipment, then maybe you are driving the speakers a bit too hard.  The 3i's will only play so loud.  I found that as I cranked the volumes, vocals would break up a bit.  It is why i went with the Super 7's, which can play louder with more ease.

Have you experimented with moving the speakers around a bit (farther apart, farther from the rear walls or alternatively closer).

The Canadian dollar and goods pricing, in general, are real constraints when you like audio.  USD 300 Audio Technica turntables cost CAD 450 (equivalent to USD 550) in Toronto (Sonic Boom Records).  I would be looking to tweak first, live with lower volume, or possibly upgrade to the Super 7s. 

Rich

Hi Rich

I am now running at lower volume also with more easy listening jazz and country. I have my speakers 17 inches from wall.  My speakers can only be 6ft apart.  I sit 6ft away from speakers and they are toed into my head fully.  I see no sides of speakers.  Sounding better.

Mike

perkster

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: 13 Dec 2017, 06:47 am »
   The Clones is not broken in yet. 300 hours is just not enough. Give it another 200 and report back. We sell Clones and are very familiar with such. Those chips just need time.
   Saying that the Clones is a neutral component which will reveal ALL before it. I would start with cabling first. Our favorite is TWL who sells direct with MBG within 30 days.
   I would also play with speaker location and toe in. High frequencies can be adversely affected by speaker placement.  Eliminating the first reflection point may also be a benefit.
   You have wonderful speakers a VG amp and VG DAC. Have you tried different USB cables. Now there is a game changer. Using a USB that separates power from signal has a huge advantage in sound. Then there is that iFi 3.0 USB galvanic isolation device. Nice improvement as well.
   Time to fine tune in lieu of changing gear now that I thought about it. Are you using any power conditioning ??

charles

I am actually building some sound panels to try to get rid of some of the reflection throughout my little room.

I run elijah audio usb cable eith seperate ground leads.  I also use battery on 5v coming from computer to clean up sq. I do not have a line conditioner.

Mike

perkster

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: 13 Dec 2017, 11:49 pm »
Hi All, UPDATE

Thanks for all the comments.  I am learning alot.

I would like to know more about some DAC's that are being used with Omega 3i.

The comment made about break-in for the amp I am using is probably so true.  I also have amongst my stuff a Lafayette 224 Push Pull amp with ECL86 Outpot tubes.  I like this integrated amp but I feel the tone controls ( Bass/Treble ) take away from the true sound and thats why I invested in Clones 25IR.  On the Lafayette the SQ is warm and with no stinging highs.  I like its sound but probably I will have a better sound in Clones once break-in passes.

I know you all said that my interconnects and speaker cables were fine.  After doing some reading and wanting to always improve or seek out new SQ I have bought some DIY prokects.

After an earlier comment about Silver interconnects/speaker cable I decided to purchase some wire for both interconnects and speakers.

Speaker Cable: Belden 9497 6 ft pair Deep Cryo Treatment.
I am going to try the Bare Wire Theory and not use bananas but if the theory sucks I have for backup Multi-Contact LS4 Banana Plug Deep Cryo Treated.

Interconnects: Belden 8402 3 ft pair Deep Cryo Treated
I also purchased Neutrik NYS373 Male RCA Deep Cryo Treated

I am interested in this cable if will give warmer sound to Clones Audi 25IR amp.

Mike


rollo

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Re: DAC for Clones Audio 25IR and 3i Speakers Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: 14 Dec 2017, 04:36 pm »
  Have fun trying. That what our hobby is all about. Good luck.


charles