Ask Paul - Paul McGowan says Modwright dac one of the best he has ever heard

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jtwrace


http://www.enjoythemusic.com/RMAF_2019/Videos/Ask_Paul.htm

Start of dac talk at 30 min, mention of "one of the best dac's I've ever heard" 31:34" 


So Dan, which model dac is he talking about? 

jriggy

The Elyse, probably?


Sam-fi

He is probably talking about those impressive output stages Dan puts on everything,  :thumb: 30:10 to 31:03

The analogue smoothness of Dan's output stages I think make the difference, but yeah it still begs the question what is the DAC front end he's talking about there. My personal favorite dac is still the XA5400es (very "analogue" presentation)

wushuliu

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He is probably talking about those impressive output stages Dan puts on everything,  :thumb:

The analogue smoothness of Dan's output stages I think make the difference, but yeah it still begs the question what is the DAC front end he's talking about there.

More and more I'm coming around to how critical tube output stages are to DACs. The synergy there is undeniable and need to be thought of more like two halves of a whole.

Sam-fi

Kind sounds like he's talking about a texas insturments dac, one of the non-oversampling kind that used to be so popular like the one in the Elyse comes to mind
« Last Edit: 16 Sep 2019, 09:07 pm by Sam-fi »

SlushPuppy

More and more I'm coming around to how critical tube output stages are to DACs. The synergy there is undeniable and need to be thought of more like two halves of a whole.

Yes! I couldn't agree more!  :thumb:

modwright

Interesting! I would expect that he is talking about the Elyse DAC. It uses a TI current output DAC and a quite advanced tube output stage. Arnie Nudell owned this DAC and it was his Reference. My guess would be that Paul heard it through Bascom King and Arnie. Arnie and Bascom were good friends. Arnie is truly missed as a great character and mind in the audio business. I consider myself fortunate to have known him in the years before his death.

The Elyse DAC was produced some time ago and was discontinued truly, because it lacked DSD, MQA, etc. It only could handle digital up to 24/192 SPDIF format. This because during the time it took me to complete the design, the technology lapped me.

The digital design was out-sourced as I am not a digital engineer. The data was buffered and clocked via FPGA and precision clocks before being fed to the TI DAC. It was not handled entirely in firmware like PS Audio's DACs and those by Chord. Rather, the digital signal was simply well treated for jitter and clocking errors before being received by the DAC chip.

The analog stage is truly where the magic took place! It was fed good and clean digital signal, but the Lundahl coupled in and out, differential analog signal with 6922 tubes was and is special!

That same analog stage was further refined and is used in our Reference LS 300 preamp:

http://modwright.com/products/ls300-balanced-tube-preamplifier.php

It uses expensive transformers that take up some space and the LS 300 features a dual-mono power supply with outboard transformers and chokes to keep noise down.

I considered doing another DAC, but the time and money spent on the Elyse and the tech gap that we experienced left a bad taste in my mouth. A variation on the Elyse DAC tube analog stage did find its way into the Oppo 205 mods, less two large Lundahl transformers that never would have fit. This also owes to the fantastic sound that we were able to achieve with the 205 mod!

What made the analog stage special was the use of an all tube and inductive based (transformers and chokes) analog stage. The power supply was tube rectified and SS regulated, but that was because I preferred the faster sound of the SS regulation in this design. I did NOT use SS voltage regulatoin in the LS 36.5 DM preamp however, where the synergy with the tube regulation was IDEAL!

I hope this helps answer some questions and to be honest, I can only guess that it is the Elyse that Paul is speaking about. I am honored that he said this as I have great respect for Paul McGowan and what he has done with PS Audio.

Thanks,

Dan Wright

cheech

Dan, since you discontinued the Elysee , will you provide ongoing service to those of us who purchased them should the need arise?

modwright

Yes of course.

Thanks,

Dan

Rock Ball

I was in the audience for that presentation.  Before I left for RMAF 2019, I shipped my Oppo UDP-205 to Dan to get the mod.  When Paul brought up ModWright and talked about Dan's work, I was completely thrilled with my decision to get the mod done and knew my 205 was in great hands.

A variation on the Elyse DAC tube analog stage did find its way into the Oppo 205 mods, less two large Lundahl transformers that never would have fit. This also owes to the fantastic sound that we were able to achieve with the 205 mod!

This part of the history of the mod was nice to know.

By the way, when my wife and I were in the PS Audio room listening to the AN3's, Paul just sat down and started talking to us like we were old friends.  He and his wife couldn't have been nicer to us.

modwright

Paul is a good man and I have great respect for PS Audio.

Dan