Introducing Overdrive SE

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audioengr

Introducing Overdrive SE
« on: 1 Apr 2012, 12:29 am »
This is a culmination of the optimum upgrades to the Overdrive, combined with the new Substation AC, all with a new look.  This is the first completely fanless, AC-powered Overdrive.  The Overdrive SE has these options standard:

USB Hynes reg
D/A Hynes reg
Turboclock
Fanless

This is the DAC that outperforms Weiss 202, dCS Debussey, Ayre QB-9, PSAudio PWD, LessLoss, Wired for Sound DAC2 and other top contenders.  We know this from customer and reviewer feedbacks.

Both the Substation AC and the Overdrive SE have new front panels and a custom knob for the Overdrive.  New top covers and heatsink for the Overdrive.  The new Overdrive SE package retails for $5999.00

Here are some internal photos of the Overdrive SE and Substation AC:




The Overdrive analog section is wired point-to-point using cotton-covered OCC silver wire from Japan.  The power devices are hanging because they connect to the top heatsink of the chassis.  There is a baseboard and two daughterboards. Also notice the BNC input connector.  The circuit boards on the Overdrive are silver-plated.  More expensive than gold, but worth it.  Better solder joints with less contaminants.  We are the only audio manufacturer to use silver plating to my knowledge.



As you can see, they are both packed with electronics.  The Substation AC is enabled by the Hynes regulators.  I could not previously do this kind of supply.  It has three high-efficiency switcher modules followed by three Hynes regulators.  Sounds better than any supply I have used, including the Monolith.  Talk about detail, vocal smoothness as well as slam!!

It has Furutek gold-plated input IEC jack and a grounding thumbscrew on the back.  Replaces the original Substation and 3 AC adapters.

More photos of the finished chassis coming soon. This will all be on the website as soon as I get the finished panels and knobs and take pro photos.

This is what I will show at the Newport Beach show June 1,2,3.  Great show, don't miss it if you are in CA.  We will be in the Atrium Hotel room 239.

Steve N.


« Last Edit: 9 Oct 2013, 07:05 pm by audioengr »

Newk Yuler

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Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #1 on: 1 Apr 2012, 07:05 pm »

OMG.

[Drooooooooool]

DaveBSC

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Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #2 on: 2 Apr 2012, 08:44 pm »
NICE Steve! Particularly the new substation. One thing I'm curious about, are the switch-mode supplies generally immune to power supply noise and voltage issues, as on other switch-mode components (Class D amps and the like)? That would be an advantage to the toroids and R-cores in the competition. Any downsides to not using those more traditional linear supplies?

Considering the upgrades that's a great price too, undercuts the Weiss, Meitner, Bricasti, etc.

audioengr

Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #3 on: 3 Apr 2012, 01:29 am »
NICE Steve! Particularly the new substation. One thing I'm curious about, are the switch-mode supplies generally immune to power supply noise and voltage issues, as on other switch-mode components (Class D amps and the like)?

There is some level of voltage variation rejection by the switching supplies.  The Hynes Regs also reject noise extremely well.

Quote
Any downsides to not using those more traditional linear supplies?

Yes, they are too slow responding, and to match the current capacity of the switchers, the linear supplies would be 10X the size of the Substation.   Linears are also very inefficient.  Switchers have come a long way in the last 10 years.  Many high-end manufacturers are using them now.

Quote
Considering the upgrades that's a great price too, undercuts the Weiss, Meitner, Bricasti, etc.

We try not to gouge.  We also dont have a staff of sales and marketing guys to pay, and we only sell direct so there is not a lot of margin built-in.  Minimal advertising too.

Steve N.

DaveBSC

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Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #4 on: 3 Apr 2012, 02:58 am »
Gotcha. One other thing I've always wondered, what are the actual DAC chips that you use in the Overdrive? I've always been a fan of quad PCM1704 DACs (Levinson 360, etc), but I assume you're not using an R-2R. I've also seen great results with Analog Devices and AKM Delta Sigmas. Wolfson and Burr Brown, not as much. I don't know why the PCM1792 was so popular for so long.

audioengr

Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #5 on: 3 Apr 2012, 04:38 am »
Gotcha. One other thing I've always wondered, what are the actual DAC chips that you use in the Overdrive? I've always been a fan of quad PCM1704 DACs (Levinson 360, etc), but I assume you're not using an R-2R. I've also seen great results with Analog Devices and AKM Delta Sigmas. Wolfson and Burr Brown, not as much. I don't know why the PCM1792 was so popular for so long.

That's something that I would rather not divulge publicly.

Steve N.

serengetiplains

Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #6 on: 4 Apr 2012, 01:17 am »
Really nice work, Steve!

REShaman

Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #7 on: 5 Apr 2012, 03:55 pm »
This is a culmination of the optimum upgrades to the Overdrive, combined with the new Substation AC, all with a new look.  This is the first completely fanless, AC-powered Overdrive.  The Overdrive SE has these options standard:

USB Hynes reg
D/A Hynes reg
Turboclock
Fanless

This is the DAC that outperforms Weiss 202, dCS Debussey, Ayre QB-9, PSAudio PWD, LessLoss, Wired for Sound DAC2 and other top contenders.  We know this from customer and reviewer feedbacks.

Both the Substation AC and the Overdrive SE have new front panels and a custom knob for the Overdrive.  New top covers and heatsink for the Overdrive.  The new Overdrive SE package retails for $5999.00

Here are some internal photos of the Overdrive SE and Substation AC:




The Overdrive analog section is wired point-to-point using cotton-covered OCC silver wire from Japan.  The power devices are hanging because they connect to the top heatsink of the chassis.  There is a baseboard and two daughterboards. Also notice the BNC input connector.  The circuit boards on the Overdrive are silver-plated.  More expensive than gold, but worth it.  Better solder joints with less contaminants.  We are the only audio manufacturer to use silver plating to my knowledge.



As you can see, they are both packed with electronics.  The Substation AC is enabled by the Hynes regulators.  I could not previously do this kind of supply.  It has three high-efficiency switcher modules followed by three Hynes regulators.  Sounds better than any supply I have used, including the Monolith.  Talk about detail, vocal smoothness as well as slam!!

It has Furutek gold-plated input IEC jack and a grounding thumbscrew on the back.  Replaces the original Substation and 3 AC adapters.

More photos of the finished chassis coming soon. This will all be on the website as soon as I get the finished panels and knobs and take pro photos.

This is what I will show at the Newport Beach show June 1,2,3.  Great show, don't miss it if you are in CA.  We will be in the Atrium Hotel room 239.

Steve N.

I am interested in the SE version of Overdrive, A for entry, F or spelling. Wired For Sound Dac2?
Good fortune with the SE. I started my SE effortless savings account. Please don't raise the price and make it longer to afford one. :)
BHearNow,
Richard

highfilter

Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #8 on: 7 Apr 2012, 03:41 pm »
Looking really good Steve.

Question... On the previous Overdrive, it mentions "wall-type power supplies were chosen for best sound quality. They eliminate the need to purchase a $1200-2K power cord." - Does this new design bring back those $1200-2K power cords? Or have you extensively tested the new Overdrive to minimize the effect of power cords?

audioengr

Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #9 on: 7 Apr 2012, 05:52 pm »
Looking really good Steve.

Question... On the previous Overdrive, it mentions "wall-type power supplies were chosen for best sound quality. They eliminate the need to purchase a $1200-2K power cord." - Does this new design bring back those $1200-2K power cords? Or have you extensively tested the new Overdrive to minimize the effect of power cords?

Good question.  I am using a really good power cord with mine, but have not tried the cheap "rubber" one yet.  I'll try it today and report back.

Steve N.

audioengr

Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #10 on: 14 Apr 2012, 06:23 pm »
Okay, I did the power cord swap today.

I compared my $1200 silver-plug cord that is my DAC reference and a $12 Home Depot 14Gauge rubber cord, both 6 feet.

The difference is not audible on most tracks.  It is tiny on the best tracks.  Slightly more HF focus and 3D with the expensive cord.  Bass, "liveness", weight, detail and music body are identical.  This difference is so small that there is little incentive to spend more than $100 on a cord IMO.

Steve N.

highfilter

Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #11 on: 14 Apr 2012, 07:03 pm »
Okay, I did the power cord swap today.

I compared my $1200 silver-plug cord that is my DAC reference and a $12 Home Depot 14Gauge rubber cord, both 6 feet.

The difference is not audible on most tracks.  It is tiny on the best tracks.  Slightly more HF focus and 3D with the expensive cord.  Bass, "liveness", weight, detail and music body are identical.  This difference is so small that there is little incentive to spend more than $100 on a cord IMO.

Steve N.

Thanks for doing that Steve!

Are there any plans for remote control or has that already been done?

I gotta try one of these units some day.  :thumb:

audioengr

Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #12 on: 14 Apr 2012, 08:36 pm »
Thanks for doing that Steve!

Are there any plans for remote control or has that already been done?

I gotta try one of these units some day.  :thumb:

If it had a remote, you would need two of them, one for selecting music and one for volume.

Better IMO to use an iPad to control both.  All you need is about 6dB to adjust for differences in all tracks, so once you have the manual volume set, digital volume works fine without any degradation.

Steve N.

DaveBSC

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Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #13 on: 30 Apr 2012, 08:15 am »
Hi Steve, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on this puppy. Really interesting design: R2R DACs, custom XMOS based USB input, DSP volume control, no I/V conversion, etc. Definitely more expensive than the Overdrive SE, but still an interesting competitor.







audioengr

Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #14 on: 30 Apr 2012, 06:52 pm »
Hi Steve, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on this puppy. Really interesting design: R2R DACs, custom XMOS based USB input, DSP volume control, no I/V conversion, etc. Definitely more expensive than the Overdrive SE, but still an interesting competitor.







R2R is a great idea, however in order to do it right, one must use precision resistors and tune all of them.  Very expensive and time-consuming.

DSP volume is a bad idea IME.  Even the very best static software for changing gain and redithering leaves audible artifacts.

I also see here what appears to be some three-terminal regulators on heatsinks.  Also something to avoid.

Wiring is not what I would expect to see in an expensive DAC either, or the use of Molex connectors etc...

Steve N.

DaveBSC

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Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #15 on: 30 Apr 2012, 09:06 pm »
Understood. Yeah there's 100 individual Vishay foil resistors per channel. As I understand it there's a dual differential upgrade available, does that mean 400 resistors? Yikes, that has to take awhile. I was curious because Srajan at 6moons described it as a significant step up from the Meitner and other delta-sigma DACs in the $5-10K class below mega stuff like the DaVinci and MSB Diamond.





audioengr

Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #16 on: 1 May 2012, 12:09 am »
Understood. Yeah there's 100 individual Vishay foil resistors per channel. As I understand it there's a dual differential upgrade available, does that mean 400 resistors? Yikes, that has to take awhile. I was curious because Srajan at 6moons described it as a significant step up from the Meitner and other delta-sigma DACs in the $5-10K class below mega stuff like the DaVinci and MSB Diamond.

Is curious to me, the choice of the Vishay resistors.  These are great for analog, but the goal here is accuracy, not so much reduction in inductance that is the benefit of the Vishays.  I would have chosen .1% thin-film surface-mount resistors for this application.

Steve N.

Audioexcels

Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #17 on: 3 May 2012, 07:56 am »
That thing looks ridiculous :lol:  From everyone I have seen post about the Vishays, they use them along with something else.  They never use them everywhere, especially not in this manner.  This said, parts are parts and all that really matters is the sound.  What is that mess of wires in the smaller box???...looks super fugly and ugly:))

DaveBSC

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Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #18 on: 3 May 2012, 10:51 am »
Yeah certainly not your typical looking outboard power supply. I'm not sure what's going on there.

dallasjustice

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Re: Introducing Overdrive SE
« Reply #19 on: 12 Jun 2012, 09:29 pm »
Steve,
You said:


"I also see here what appears to be some three-terminal regulators on heatsinks.  Also something to avoid."

I think you are mistaken.  Here is a link to Vincent's website about his DAC:
http://www.totaldac.com/principles.htm

Go down to the part where he talks about his power supply. 

Anyway, I think it looks like a very interesting DAC.