What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?

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TJHUB

Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #100 on: 27 Oct 2009, 11:57 pm »
I've been emailing Chis Johnson from Parts Connexion regarding some DIY mods for the Music Hall.  He has been quick to respond and is being very helpful.  I think I might try the Burson opamps as they seem to be the biggest upgrade for the DAC.  What's scary is that I'm pretty happy with the way things sound now, but at least the socketed opamps are reversible.  If I do pull the trigger, I'll update this thread with some info.


Big Red Machine

Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #101 on: 28 Oct 2009, 12:09 am »
Have you rolled any tubes in that Music Hall?

TJHUB

Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #102 on: 28 Oct 2009, 12:36 am »
Have you rolled any tubes in that Music Hall?

Absolutely!!  I thought I posted what I've all rolled in this thread somewhere.  Nevertheless, I was able to roll 5 different tubes which gave me the ability to contact Brent Jessee at audiotubes.com and describe what I've heard with each tube and what I wanted to hear.  He recommended a few tubes for me, but he really thought a 1972 NOS Mazda 7308 would be the ticket.  It was!  It is amazingly good.  Very balanced top to bottom.  It's the ONLY tube that has it all: balanced and articulate bass, great midbass, a midrange that is very open while not having a tuby sounding midrange, and highs that are extended, airy, with great attack and decay.  With the Mazda tube and this DAC, I have gotten VERY close to the sound I had in my mind as a goal for many years.  As far as system synergy goes, I really think I have something special.  :D

So why change anything?  I don't know.  Why do WE keep changing things?  Good question eh?  :wink:

Cavafy

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Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #103 on: 3 Nov 2009, 04:12 pm »
I've been emailing Chis Johnson from Parts Connexion regarding some DIY mods for the Music Hall.  He has been quick to respond and is being very helpful.  I think I might try the Burson opamps as they seem to be the biggest upgrade for the DAC.  What's scary is that I'm pretty happy with the way things sound now, but at least the socketed opamps are reversible.  If I do pull the trigger, I'll update this thread with some info.

TJ,
    Would you be doing the XLR or the RCA mods? As I understand partsconnexion's description of the two types of mod they replace the existing 6922 tube with a better one ( assuming that the supplied Russian tube is still in the DAC) with a better one in the RCA mods but not in the XLR mods. This suggests that the tube is not used in the XLR path through the DAC, do you think that this is the case? If it is, t'is a pity, as I have now replaced the passive line controller with a preamp that provides XLR inputs so I am now using the XLR outputs from the DAC.

If the tube is not used in the XLR path I guess I won't be tube rolling any more; I was looking forward to putting in a Bugle Boy.

BTW I can't get my FM tuner to work through my set up, and I suspect that it's an impedance matching problem. Does anyone know of an active thread that could help me with this? I'm at the point of  denying that FM signals exist at all.

TJHUB

Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #104 on: 3 Nov 2009, 05:19 pm »
I've been emailing Chis Johnson from Parts Connexion regarding some DIY mods for the Music Hall.  He has been quick to respond and is being very helpful.  I think I might try the Burson opamps as they seem to be the biggest upgrade for the DAC.  What's scary is that I'm pretty happy with the way things sound now, but at least the socketed opamps are reversible.  If I do pull the trigger, I'll update this thread with some info.

TJ,
    Would you be doing the XLR or the RCA mods? As I understand partsconnexion's description of the two types of mod they replace the existing 6922 tube with a better one ( assuming that the supplied Russian tube is still in the DAC) with a better one in the RCA mods but not in the XLR mods. This suggests that the tube is not used in the XLR path through the DAC, do you think that this is the case? If it is, t'is a pity, as I have now replaced the passive line controller with a preamp that provides XLR inputs so I am now using the XLR outputs from the DAC.

If the tube is not used in the XLR path I guess I won't be tube rolling any more; I was looking forward to putting in a Bugle Boy.

BTW I can't get my FM tuner to work through my set up, and I suspect that it's an impedance matching problem. Does anyone know of an active thread that could help me with this? I'm at the point of  denying that FM signals exist at all.

You are correct that the tube buffer is only on the RCA outs and not the XLR outs.  I don't know why the DAC was engineered this way, but it is. 

I LOVE the tube sound I get from this DAC, so I am modding only the tube buffer outs.  I have no interest in using the XLR outs, but I have read many posts where people are equally satisfied with them.  At this point, I am only upgrading the opamps to the Burson's as I'm really very happy with the way things sound right now.  I almost wish I had not purchased the Burson's, so I really hope they make things sound "better".

Sorry, I can't help you with the FM issue.

Cavafy

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Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #105 on: 3 Nov 2009, 05:59 pm »
I've been emailing Chis Johnson from Parts Connexion regarding some DIY mods for the Music Hall.  He has been quick to respond and is being very helpful.  I think I might try the Burson opamps as they seem to be the biggest upgrade for the DAC.  What's scary is that I'm pretty happy with the way things sound now, but at least the socketed opamps are reversible.  If I do pull the trigger, I'll update this thread with some info.

TJ,
    Would you be doing the XLR or the RCA mods? As I understand partsconnexion's description of the two types of mod they replace the existing 6922 tube with a better one ( assuming that the supplied Russian tube is still in the DAC) with a better one in the RCA mods but not in the XLR mods. This suggests that the tube is not used in the XLR path through the DAC, do you think that this is the case? If it is, t'is a pity, as I have now replaced the passive line controller with a preamp that provides XLR inputs so I am now using the XLR outputs from the DAC.

If the tube is not used in the XLR path I guess I won't be tube rolling any more; I was looking forward to putting in a Bugle Boy.

BTW I can't get my FM tuner to work through my set up, and I suspect that it's an impedance matching problem. Does anyone know of an active thread that could help me with this? I'm at the point of  denying that FM signals exist at all.

You are correct that the tube buffer is only on the RCA outs and not the XLR outs.  I don't know why the DAC was engineered this way, but it is. 

I LOVE the tube sound I get from this DAC, so I am modding only the tube buffer outs.  I have no interest in using the XLR outs, but I have read many posts where people are equally satisfied with them.  At this point, I am only upgrading the opamps to the Burson's as I'm really very happy with the way things sound right now.  I almost wish I had not purchased the Burson's, so I really hope they make things sound "better".

Sorry, I can't help you with the FM issue.

Thanks for your reply. I think that I can have my cake and eat it. I'll put a parallel connection in between the MH DAC and my preamp using the RCA connectors on each. Then I'll be able to switch in 'real time' between XLR and RCA enabling me to make a direct comparison of the two paths by switching between the two preamp inputs as I play a CD. What  good excuse to get the bb tube.

 I havn't forgotten the Salk HT-2s, just playing around until I order and get them.

TJHUB

Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #106 on: 3 Nov 2009, 06:34 pm »
Make sure you let me know how the comparison turns out.  Make certain you listen for things like stage width and depth, separation, and extension for both the treble and bass.   

Cavafy

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Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #107 on: 3 Nov 2009, 07:23 pm »
Make sure you let me know how the comparison turns out.  Make certain you listen for things like stage width and depth, separation, and extension for both the treble and bass.

I will do, starting with the two un-modded paths through the DAC.  I would really like to do the comparisons: with the XLR mods applied and then with the RCA mods applied as well.  However, as you and Nuance said in previous posts, I should really get the SALKs in order for such tests to be revealing enough. Oh well!

With respect to FM radio, if I don't get it working tonight THWI.

Vulcan00

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Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #108 on: 6 Nov 2009, 09:14 pm »
Has anyone listened to the Salk's with a TAD  dac or PreDac?

TJHUB

Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #109 on: 7 Nov 2009, 12:11 am »
This is only going to be a brief update for now, but I installed the Burson opamps this evening.  The change is incredible.  I thought things were near perfect before the swap to the Burson's, but there is a big improvement in resolution and separation.  I'm listening to Diana Krall, and while the stage has always been "she's there", it's now more like "she's exactly right there".  Everything sounds more realistic and my speakers have never sounded so transparent. 

This upgrade is much more than I expected.  Anyone with a Music Hall DAC really needs to consider upgrading those cheap $2.00 opamps to these Burson's.  Worth every penny!!!


TJHUB

Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #110 on: 7 Nov 2009, 03:12 pm »
I thought I'd post some pics of the opamp upgrade.

The stock Music Hall DAC:



With the Burson's installed:





As the opamps are staying  in this DAC, I'm going to shorten the leads a bit more and possibly solder a couple of pins to the sockets as they aren't very secure. 


blackscorpio

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Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #111 on: 15 Apr 2021, 07:12 am »
reviving old thread, which deserves some love.


In the market for a DAC which place nice with Song Tower RT <= AVA Omegastar 260EX =< Parasound 2100 pre

Sources/Transport : CD, CCA, squeezebox Touch

so, what DAC? anyone tried Denafrips with their salk speakers?

Another option I see is get a AVA Dac & later change the pre also AVA??

TIA.

TKonrad.NOLA

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Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #112 on: 15 Apr 2021, 12:34 pm »
I think Chord DACs are  amazing.  The Qutest and HUGO 2 are both amazing





reviving old thread, which deserves some love.


In the market for a DAC which place nice with Song Tower RT <= AVA Omegastar 260EX =< Parasound 2100 pre

Sources/Transport : CD, CCA, squeezebox Touch

so, what DAC? anyone tried Denafrips with their salk speakers?

Another option I see is get a AVA Dac & later change the pre also AVA??

TIA.

ddps

  • Jr. Member
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  • Salk SS 9.5 / McIntosh MA8900 / Auralic Altair
Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #113 on: 15 Apr 2021, 11:22 pm »
Well, I have thee different DACs in my system:

In my streamer (original Auralic Altair) , I have an ESS Sabre 9018-based DAC with configurable filters that I would say is the one I use least (I now use my Altair primarily as a streamer).

In my integrated (MA8900), I have the DAC2 module with the ESS Sabre 9028Pro that sounds a great deal richer than the Altair DAC, and which I feed from a dedicated Windows 10 Pro-based PC running Audirvana. No configurable filters, though. Music source is a Synology DS918+ connected via ethernet.

Lastly, I have a standalone DAC, the RME ADI 2 DAC FS (new edition) based upon the AKM4493, with all sorts of filters and configurable parameters. I stick with the new Short Delay Low Dispersion filter, which is just fabulous to my ears. This DAC is my favorite, by a long shot, and the one I use 99% of the time. (https://www.rme-audio.de/adi-2-dac.html) I feed it from the Altair (which is fed from the same Synology DS918+, also via ethernet), and feed the analog out via balanced outputs to my MA8900. It is heaven. I highly recommend you consider the RME.

Drew


reviving old thread, which deserves some love.


In the market for a DAC which place nice with Song Tower RT <= AVA Omegastar 260EX =< Parasound 2100 pre

Sources/Transport : CD, CCA, squeezebox Touch

so, what DAC? anyone tried Denafrips with their salk speakers?

Another option I see is get a AVA Dac & later change the pre also AVA??

TIA.

wilbur_the_goose

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Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #114 on: 18 Apr 2021, 01:47 pm »
I'm using the internal DAC chip in my Monoprice HTP-1.   It's an  AK4493 from AKM, and I really like it.

blackscorpio

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Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #115 on: 20 Apr 2021, 04:21 am »
any schitt or denafrips users?

denafrips getting lot of attention recently.

I am using starting point systems DAC3, which I want to upgrade, and looks I like the NOS sound, though I haven't used/listened any other DACs in my system.

carusoracer

Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #116 on: 1 May 2021, 02:17 pm »
Denafrips Pontus r2r ladder DAC. Outstanding DAC with an analogue sound, superb dynamics. Highly recommended.

pavi

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Re: What DAC are you running with your Salk speakers?
« Reply #117 on: 3 May 2021, 10:03 pm »
i use the rockna wavedream sig/bal mostly. sometimes a chord hugo tt2/m-scaler. mostly the astonishingly good wavedream, though.