Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 25790 times.

pardales

Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)
« on: 20 Jun 2008, 11:55 pm »
I feel I have reached a pretty definitive conclusion about the sonic differences between the Audiosector USB DAC and the Altmann Attraction DAC, which I had owned for 2 years. As always, YMMV, these are my opinions based on my experience in my room and my system, etc., etc.

Here goes: These DAC's are equivalent from the standpoint that one is not superior to the other in a majority of different sonic properties (enter your favorite categories here). So, I believe it is a matter of personal and system preference which one is more desirable. I have made these comparisons using both the SPDIF version and the USB version of the Audiosector DAC -- though I am using the USB version in my system. Amp used for comparisons is the Altmann BYOB, and my Lowther DX-3-based speakers.

Here are the key differences in my estimation:

1. Voices are more palpable/real through the Audiosector.
2. Altmann has slightly better definition on the bottom end - notes are more rounded.
3. Altmann has slightly better tonal balance and a bit more refinement in the sound (air if you will).
4. Audiosector is slightly more forgiving on mediocre recordings, yet, I feel I can hear just a bit deeper into recordings than on the Altmann.
5. Audiosector has a more engaging presence while the Altmann, with its refinement, is just a bit more distant.

Incidentally, member Bucky mentioned that he believed there to be very minor differences between these two DAC's in the "which DAC for my 30.2 thread" on the RWA forum.

In conclusion: The similarities between these two DAC's is greater than the differences. The differences that exist are subtle. The noted differences will be important to some while others will consider them unimportant.

I hope this comparison is helpful to some of you out there.
« Last Edit: 22 Jun 2008, 08:27 pm by pardales »

mca

Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC.
« Reply #1 on: 21 Jun 2008, 12:02 am »
I don't see anything about this DAC on the Audiosector website. Where can I find out more about it? What's the cost?

Thanks!

pardales

Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC.
« Reply #2 on: 21 Jun 2008, 12:15 am »
Here is one review:

http://6moons.com/audioreviews/audiozone5/system.html

An assembled USB DAC is $380, the SPDIF version is less. You can email Peter Daniel through the Audiosector website and he will send you specific info (and pictures). He is a fine person to deal with. The DAC comes standard on a wood platform but Peter has some nice enclosures that are extra.

Also, if you scroll down a little in his site to where it says, "latest news", there is some info about the DAC.

04dgmsilv

Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC.
« Reply #3 on: 21 Jun 2008, 12:17 am »
Could'nt agree more, I've been running his NOSDAC for two years and is excellent for the $$$ spent.  Peter is a great guy to boot, VERY helpful!

poseidonsvoice

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2107
  • Vector - I've got Direction & Magnitude! Oh Yeah!
    • 2 channel/7 channel setup
Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC.
« Reply #4 on: 21 Jun 2008, 03:57 am »


Me too. There are dacs that are better, but far more expensive as well. Peter has a nice unit with a great price point. How much is the Altmann by the way?

Anand.

arthurs

Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC.
« Reply #5 on: 21 Jun 2008, 04:58 am »
Man your stuff is beautiful Anand!  Hope all is well with you.

poseidonsvoice

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2107
  • Vector - I've got Direction & Magnitude! Oh Yeah!
    • 2 channel/7 channel setup
Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC.
« Reply #6 on: 21 Jun 2008, 09:12 pm »
Art!

Thanks for the compliments. Too bad my photography sucks (partially cause my camera sucks too). Of course your entire SYSTEM is the one to die for. I'm so jealous I don't live in Dallas. I would bring loads of beer and just veg in front of those LS9's.

Next time I visit my in laws...I'll be knocking on your door  :thumb:

Regards to you and your family,

Anand.

arthurs

Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC.
« Reply #7 on: 21 Jun 2008, 09:37 pm »
The invitation is always open to you sir!  :thumb:

Have any of you guys compared the Altman or Audiosector to the Ack! 2.0 High Res?  I'm really of the mind to add a non/os DAC to run my MBL through when I'm in the mood and really haven't heard any of these....I have a line on a 2.0 High Resolution Ack! but then one of Peter's came up here today...

pardales

Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)
« Reply #8 on: 22 Jun 2008, 08:31 pm »
The Altmann starts at 750 Euros for the stock model (www.mother-of-tone.com). There are several options worth having though so it can go up to 1400 Euros. I still believe it to be one of the very best DAC's out there regardless of price (of course, I have not heard them all). I did own it for 2 years and loved it.

For the price, the Audiosector is hard to beat (I have not heard all the DAC's in this price range either though). As you can see from my comparison above, I believe the Audiosector and the Altmann share many great strengths. 
« Last Edit: 23 Jun 2008, 01:33 am by pardales »

anubisgrau

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 382
Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)
« Reply #9 on: 27 Jun 2008, 11:04 pm »
pardales, this could be OT but i can't avoid noticing that you still have BYOB which is IMHO (no matter of mods done) much inferior product (compared to other amps) than altmann's DAC.

Paul_Bui

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 472
  • Rode NTK and S-1 microphones
Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)
« Reply #10 on: 27 Jun 2008, 11:57 pm »

For the price, the Audiosector is hard to beat (I have not heard all the DAC's in this price range either though). As you can see from my comparison above, I believe the Audiosector and the Altmann share many great strengths. 

Having owned both DACs until recently, I agree.  Especially after the AC in my house has been improved, the gap between these two DACs is much shorter.

Pardales, I wonder which power (AC/DC) are you using to feed the DAC?  I've been using a Red Top Optima.  Also, I am thinking of getting a BYOB amp although have been using an AS Patek SE for a while.  Maybe it (the BYOB amp) will drive a Bob Brines DX3 based speaker.

pardales

Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)
« Reply #11 on: 15 Jul 2008, 02:18 am »
Paul_Bui: I was using the Optima Red Top to drive my Altmann components. I Have wondered if a better PS might close the gap between the two....your comment about better AC makes me think it might. How to get a better PS for the Audiosector....I wonder......Also, the BYOB will drive a Brines DX3 based speaker just fine as it had plenty of power for my DX3 based speaker and was a great match.

Anusbisgrau: Nope, don't have the BYOB anymore (see signature line).....I don't completely agree with you though....I thought the BYOB bettered many a big name amp I had in my system. Could be my taste though, I also preferred the Attraction DAC to the Dodson 218.
« Last Edit: 27 Jul 2008, 10:41 pm by pardales »

pardales

Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)
« Reply #12 on: 27 Jul 2008, 10:42 pm »
bump for some follow-up I made.

t-head

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 184
  • 'I am sure that I am sure of nothing'
Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)
« Reply #13 on: 20 Aug 2008, 08:04 pm »
Late post...

Peters NOS USB DAC has been playing for more than a year in my 'system'...many enjoyable hours listening to this little wonder... :thumb: :thumb: (2 thumbs up).

t

Mijknarf

Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)
« Reply #14 on: 20 Aug 2008, 08:49 pm »
I'll third the AudioSector USB NOS DAC.  It has been in my system for many months and it's the best digital I've owned through my Bob Brines DX-3 speakers.  Previous digital was Jolida JD-100, RA Audio Opus 21 & Consonance CD-120 Linear.

Will2

Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)
« Reply #15 on: 22 Aug 2008, 01:45 pm »
I can't contain my excitement - mine is on its way - Peter was kind enough to send me a picture (hope this works .... I'm not finding it easy to post a picture)  .... ok, that didn't work ... so here's a hyperlink to the picture in my gallery.

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?action=gallery;area=browse;album=1542&pos=0

viggen

Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)
« Reply #16 on: 17 Sep 2008, 05:13 am »
I just received mine yesterday.

It's been plugged in and been fed a signal from my laptop since I received it.  Out of the box, it sounds very good.  I haven't noticed any changes in the way it sounds yet.  I thought the DAC would go through a transition stage since it is loaded with Blackgates.  Will the DAC experience any burn in down the road?

I have an USB Monica that probably didn't settle down until about a month and a half.  I've complained about the way my system sounded after I added the Monica in another thread.  I should have been more patient and waited before making too many judgments about it.  It really sounds quite good now.  And, I really should refrain from making too many comments about the Audio Sector now, but I can't contain myself.  It sounds great right out of the box.  It would be gravy if the DAC can actually improve on its current sound quality after burn in.


t-head

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 184
  • 'I am sure that I am sure of nothing'
Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)
« Reply #17 on: 17 Sep 2008, 06:14 am »
most audible changes occur in first 24 hrs. keep plugged in to mains 24/7/365 for best sound...

after one year, I made a PC from Supra lo-rad cable and wattgates...improvement over volex PC was noted...

t

wilsynet

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1175
Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)
« Reply #18 on: 17 Sep 2008, 06:56 am »
Agreed.  Some changes from 0 - 20 hours or so, but seriously, it sounds great right out of the box. 

In general, I think it sounds best with an active preamplifier, but was really quite quite good with the passive on my Red Wine 30.2 Integrated too.

The AudioSector is one of my favorite DACs period.

viggen

Re: Audiosector USB DAC -- my new DAC--(and comparison)
« Reply #19 on: 17 Sep 2008, 05:19 pm »
I am using 47 Labs' OTA wire with Furutech IEC ends as powercord.  This was the best cord out of many when I was doing a shoot out back when I first started using my Nixon DAC.  I still have an Eichmann PC I can plug it into.  I will probably do that after I go home this evening.

Also, my amp is a tube integrated with passive attenuation and really don't have an active pre at the moment.  It would be interesting to hear the improvements with an active pre.  However, it is already sounding very good at the moment.