DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods

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Charles Calkins

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DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« on: 14 Mar 2006, 11:22 pm »
Got mine yesterday.
 Hey Guys!!!
 Run don't walk to Danny's and put your order in for one as soon as possible.
 This thing is an absolute killer!!!! Never and I mean never have I heard such great music playback in my house as I'm hearing now. I've got it hooked up to an SB3 and as I've said before the SB3 is by itself a great system. With the addition of the DAC 60 with S.C. mods it's almost out of this world.
 Two things I've noticed so far. Besides all the instruments and vocalists sounding much better I hear a deeper and fuller bass. I also hear a much wider sound field.
 Before I bought my D-200 amps I had a pair of NAD 218THX amps in mono. Nothing out there could reproduce the bass like the NAD's. I gave some of that up when I switched to the D-200's. Now that big deep bass is back because of the DAC 60.
 I just finished listening to Brian Culbertsons "It's on tonight" He and the other main guys are dead center. But I'm amazed at how the other backround instruments are reproduced like to the far outside of the speakers.
 One more time. This DAC with S.C. mods is a KILLER!!!

 Cheers
    Charlie

DeadFish

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #1 on: 14 Mar 2006, 11:30 pm »
Man, Charlie, it isn't even broken in yet! :mrgreen:  

Glad to hear you are liking it.

Keep us updated!!

Regards,
DeadFish

Charles Calkins

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DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #2 on: 14 Mar 2006, 11:49 pm »
Deadfish:

 Are you telling me it's going to get better?
Hard to imagine it getting better than the way it sounds now.
 The bottom line is it's a jaw dropper!!!!

 Cheers
 Charlie

arthurs

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #3 on: 14 Mar 2006, 11:51 pm »
It is an awesome DAC with the upgrades....Charlie I think I might prefer it with the DIP between the transport and the DAC 60 per previous posts....soundstage seems larger, and seems to look depper and more detailed into the music somehow...need a few mnore days with it in, then I'll pull it out and verify....

Charles Calkins

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DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #4 on: 15 Mar 2006, 12:22 am »
Arthurs:
 Keep us up to date on the results. I can't imagine it getting any better than what I'm hearing now. But Hey!! Audioadvisor needs my bucks! Gota keep them happy!

                     Cheers
                     Charlie

spacedghost

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #5 on: 15 Mar 2006, 12:25 am »
You guys are making the wait even more unbearable.... :D

I can't wait to hear this in my system...

Shaun

Charles Calkins

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DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #6 on: 15 Mar 2006, 12:36 am »
spacedghost:

 It took four weeks from the day I ordered it until I got mine.

 Cheers
 Charlie

MarkM

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #7 on: 15 Mar 2006, 12:55 am »
Quote from: Charles Calkins
Deadfish:

 Are you telling me it's going to get better?
Hard to imagine it getting better than the way it sounds now.
 The bottom line is it's a jaw dropper!!!!

 Cheers
 Charlie


Charlie,

Yup :!:

Stock, it is an awesome deal.  Throw in the mods and I believe it contends with some of the best DACs, especially when you factor in price to performance, which is most important imo.

crooner

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #8 on: 15 Mar 2006, 02:07 am »
Congrats on your new DAC-60 Charles!

My stock unit with late 50s square getter halo Bugle Boys is in a completely different league as well. Just imagine your modded unit with some nice vintage Amperexes!

Loftprojection

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DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #9 on: 15 Mar 2006, 02:25 pm »
Charles, could I ask what was your source before the DAC60?  You say you use a SB so I assume what you are saying is the DAC60 is a great improvement versus your SB direct in analog?  But did you compare the SB/DAC60 combination to any CD player?  

You seem pretty happy, it's always so rewarding when you buy a piece of equipment and the result is better than what you had before.  Unfortunately for us (not for the manufacturers!), it's a never ending cycle, there is always something better and more expensive!  haha

Cheers.

Charles Calkins

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DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #10 on: 15 Mar 2006, 03:34 pm »
Loftprojection:
 I compared the SB3 to my APLhifi sacd 1000 fully modded with Crystal DAC's and built in volume control. Top of the line back then. This was done by Alex(Genius)Pecheyev in mid 2004. When I compared them I couldn't tell hardly any difference in playback. If anything I thought the SB3 had a teeny bit better high end. I can't hook the DAC up to the SACD 1000 because Alex says it won't work as a transport. Something about DSD and ABC's and XYZ's. A lot of mumbo jumbo tech stuff I don't understand. But all I can say if the SB3 and the SACD 1000 were very close then now the SB3 plus the DAC are far superior.

                   Cheers
                   Charlie

dcbingaman

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #11 on: 16 Mar 2006, 04:13 am »
Just received a DAC 60 from Johnny Chan at Diyclub.biz.  Concur with all the above comments, this thing is very well-built, quiet, and sounds great already, can't wait until it breaks in.  The stock output coupling caps LOOK just like Wima FKP polypropylenes, which are really not bad caps, (certainly no worse than Solens.)  If you want to improve on these, I would go to Reliable Multicaps, (either PPFX or PPMFX series), which have been personally designed by Richard Marsh, (the same guy that wrote the film capacitor article in Audio.)  Also, the Black Gates are expensive as hell because they are out of production.  If you find them, buy them for their low ESR, but film-bypassed Nichicon's are as good for a lot less $.  You can find all this stuff at Micheal Percy's website, www.percyaudio.com.  He also has a good stock of RAM Labs and Amperex NOS 6DJ8 / 6922 twin triodes.  BTW, Johnny Chan sells some drop-dead gorgeous casework for low cost ($ 37.50 for a standard preamp case) - same quality as the DAC-60 casework.  Good luck, Modkateers !!

Danny Richie

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DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #12 on: 16 Mar 2006, 02:40 pm »
Quote
The stock output coupling caps LOOK just like Wima FKP polypropylenes, which are really not bad caps, (certainly no worse than Solens.) If you want to improve on these, I would go to Reliable Multicaps, (either PPFX or PPMFX series),


I'd go Sonicaps by-passed with a Sonicap Platinum.  :mrgreen:  This is what is being used in the upgrade from Sonic Craft.

Quote
Also, the Black Gates are expensive as hell because they are out of production. If you find them, buy them for their low ESR


Actually they are not out of production. You just have to buy a lot of them at a time to get any of them. Sonic Craft has plenty of them in stock.

http://www.soniccraft.com/products/capacitors.htm

I think that you'll find that Sonic Craft offers some of the same caps as Michael Percy but has a better price on them.

crooner

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #13 on: 17 Mar 2006, 12:26 am »
I've just ordered a bunch of caps from Sonic Craft. As suggested by Danny in  an earlier thread, I am going for the Gen I 3.3 uF SoniCap bypassed with a 0.1 uF Gen II. I hope it's not too shabby compared to the Platinum bypass :-)

I also ordered several SoniCaps and Black Gates to recap my SX-1980's line level preamp stage. This circuit is all discrete bipolar SEPP Class A. The higher grade caps should take it to the next level.

Can't wait to get them and heat up the soldering iron!!

Best,
crooner

Charles Calkins

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DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #14 on: 17 Mar 2006, 11:49 pm »
arthurs:
  Waiting,Waiting,Waiting,Waiting for your review of the DIP with the DAC.

               Cheers
                Charlie

arthurs

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #15 on: 18 Mar 2006, 02:47 am »
Charlie, here's my "review"  I'm not sure after a week of listening with it in and removing it that I can tell a significant difference with the DIP.  So, that being the case, I'm not going to keep it.  My initial thoughts were it was expanding the soundstage, and improving detail, but I think that was placebo.  After a few consecutive days of alternating I reached a stalemate on it sonically and can't honestly say it's doing anything for me.....I'm sure that couldn't be less help, sorry.

Charles Calkins

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DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #16 on: 18 Mar 2006, 03:05 am »
arthurs:
  Thank you arthurs you just saved me at least $350.00. I won't bother getting one now. Do I owe you anythng? Like $$$$$$$ for the info.

                          Cheers
                         Charlie

arthurs

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #17 on: 18 Mar 2006, 04:53 am »
LOL, you're a good egg Charlie....enjoy your new DAC :thumb:

tigzstudio

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DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #18 on: 18 Mar 2006, 05:16 am »
what is the DIP??>  are you saying you dont like the DIP or the dac itself????

chadh

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #19 on: 18 Mar 2006, 06:19 am »
The DIP is a "digital interface processor" (I think that's right), manufactured by Monarchy.  It's a jitter reducer to be placed between the transport and dac.

Since the DIP is designed to reduce the jitter introduced by your transport, I would have imagined that its effectiveness in a given system was determined by the characteristics of the transport, not the DAC.  For example, I used to use one when my transport was a Rotel multi disc player, and it passed the digital signal on the a modified DIO.  In this situation, the DIP had a significant effect.  And I suspect it would have continued to have a significant effect if I had been using a completely different DAC.  But if my transport had produced lower jitter levels, the DIP would have provided less impact.

If arthurs found that the DIP had little or no effect, then this should be a reflection of low jitter coming from the transport.  For somebody else, using a different transport, the effects of using the DIP prior to the same DAC might be significantly greater.

Having said that, I would guess that the SB3 is a pretty low jitter-producing transport.  So it would seem unlikely that Charles would get much from using a DIP.

Chad