DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 20422 times.

Turk

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 169
DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #40 on: 21 Mar 2006, 08:24 pm »
Ditto

rajacat

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3133
  • Washington State
DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #41 on: 21 Mar 2006, 11:19 pm »
[


I will very interested in the outcome of this shootout. I'm trying for the most cost effective improvement to the output of my SB3 besides the power supplies. Specifically, the stock SB analogue output vs stock SB + external DAC. The waiting list for SB mods is very long and I am impatient. The price for a good  external DAC is dropping and they are readily available so so this might be the way to go for a quick improvement of SQ.

Wayne1

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #42 on: 22 Mar 2006, 01:52 am »
If you demand a quick "upgrade", without regard to "The Best" sound you can get, than an external DAC would sound "better" than a stock SB3. A linear power supply sounds better, to me, than the stock switcher.

I have compared a modded SB2 analog out to a highly modded ART DI/O. I preferred the modded SB.

As to if a modded SB sounds better than a stock SB with the DAC 60, well you will just have to wait a couple more weeks.  :lol:

rajacat

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3133
  • Washington State
DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #43 on: 22 Mar 2006, 02:58 am »
Quote from: Wayne1
If you demand a quick "upgrade", without regard to "The Best" sound you can get, than an external DAC would sound "better" than a stock SB3. A linear power supply sounds better, to me, than the stock switcher.

I have compared a modded SB2 analog out to a highly modded ART DI/O. I preferred the modded SB.

As to if a modded SB sounds better than a stock SB with the DAC 60, well you will just have to wait a couple more weeks.  :lol:


There will always some tweak or expensive mod that will be offered to achieve  "THE BEST" sound but I think that most people can't afford the best, so they are looking for some happy medium. I agree that the power supply is important and I am taking that into consideration in how I allocate my limited funds. Of course, if you really want " the best" perhaps you should be looking at the $25,000+ speakers and amps recommended by The Stereophile Magazine. :roll:

erlebo

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 4
Are the Sonic Craft mods available?
« Reply #44 on: 22 Mar 2006, 04:49 am »
In an earlier thread, Danny wrote:

"I just confirmed with Sonic Craft and they are offering the mod kit for the DAC-72 and DAC-60 for $190. That is for all the parts."

When I try to order from Sonic Craft, the answer I get is:

"That project was stillborn some time ago.  We have never offered kits
for those units.  Further, there are new mods in the planning stage."

What's going on Danny? All I need is a parts list so I can place an order.

crooner

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #45 on: 22 Mar 2006, 08:44 am »
I believe the DAC60 is in a whole different category compared to an ART DI/O....

I am getting superb results with my stock SB3, linear power supply and DAC-60 (upgraded coupling caps, 1960s Bugle Boy 6DJ8s). Totally sinergistic, a match made in heaven!!!

Danny Richie

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 12705
    • http://www.gr-research.com
DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #46 on: 22 Mar 2006, 04:19 pm »
Quote
"That project was stillborn some time ago. We have never offered kits for those units. Further, there are new mods in the planning stage."

What's going on Danny? All I need is a parts list so I can place an order.


At first there was the idea of offering an upgrade "kit". A bag of parts...

The parts were going to be $190. and the labor to install them all was $100.

It was then realized that there would be a significant amount of time required to draw up instructions, handle support, and the liabilities of helping first timers tear into a piece of electronics.

Jeff, at Sonic Craft, just didn't have the time to do this. In the amount of time that it would take to create good instructions and an upgrade manual he could mod out half a dozen or more units.

So the "kit" idea was dropped and the basic upgrade was offered for $290.

We do have in the works some other upgrade levels. There are a handful of DAC-60's being used as a test bed for new mods. Careful listening sessions will determine the results and assess the value of the mods.

We are going to see how far we can take one with a $190. mod. This includes labor. There are a handful of less expensive tricks to try and see how much can be done for this price point.

Next we are going to try and take the standard mod a step further without getting too carried away with cost. We are going to set a limit of $390. for all the mods and see how far we can take it.

Lastly we are working on a Super DAC version. For this version we offer the DAC fully modded with cost not being much of a factor. This will include replacing all the caps in the signal path to Black Gates or others, by-passing with high quality caps, Sonicaps, Sonicap Platinums, etc. Then shield the power supply with ESR. Rewire the board with continuos caste Copper wire. Replace the inputs and outputs with WBT Nextgen's, Possibly use a new Bybee slipstream filter on the data input. Dampen the chassis with damping material, etc. Then there are a couple of secrete upgrades.  :mrgreen:  Everything it needs it gets.

I think we can do all this and still offer the completed unit for under $1,490.  

This will take a couple of months so don't ask to order one just yet.

Loftprojection

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 443
DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #47 on: 23 Mar 2006, 02:12 am »
Quote from: Danny
Lastly we are working on a Super DAC version.


Don't forget that ideally this super DAC could have balanced out and a USB input that bypasses the windows mixer.

Now, THAT, with all the BlackGates, Sonicaps and other gyzmos could earn the name

Super DAC   :D

Images

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 78
DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #48 on: 25 Mar 2006, 11:44 am »
As of this date, is there any problem with ordering the Dac 60?  On Danny's website it reads "All units are air mailed straight from the factory and takes 7 to 10 business days."  Now, assuming the supplier is DiyClub .biz in Honk Kong, (a big assumption, perhaps) the case is out of stock and no orders are being taken.  They state:  "Due to the large demand and the supply of the case is behind schedule, the DAC-60 is temporately not receiving new orders until further notice."  Sooooo, assuming I want to order a stcck Dac 60 from Danny, is there a supply problem?  For that matter, is there a supply problem if I want to order the Dac 60 with the SC mods?

Danny Richie

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 12705
    • http://www.gr-research.com
DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #49 on: 25 Mar 2006, 11:00 pm »
Quote
As of this date, is there any problem with ordering the Dac 60?


Yep, there is going to be a problem for some people.

I have become a favored customer and was notified by the factory of the up and coming shortage of cases.

I have procured 20 units with an Aluminum top cover and will be having these sent here to me for me to have in stock.

The Aluminum top cover will add $20. to the retail price of each unit. These units will be made available in stock form and fully modded.

These should last me for about 3 weeks (maybe) and until they are once again available.

Charles Calkins

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1612
DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #50 on: 25 Mar 2006, 11:49 pm »
Sure glad I've got mine.

                     Cheers
                     Charlie

spacedghost

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #51 on: 26 Mar 2006, 01:09 am »
Oh sure.... Rub it in... :D

Shaun

Charles Calkins

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1612
DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #52 on: 26 Mar 2006, 01:31 am »
He who hesitates if often LOST!!!

      Cheers
     Charlie

 P.S.
 Going to the RMAF in October?

spacedghost

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #53 on: 26 Mar 2006, 04:41 am »
LOL
Wondering a bit, not quite lost...

I plan to be there... You?

Shaun

Charles Calkins

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1612
DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #54 on: 26 Mar 2006, 05:06 am »
See you there!

                       Cheers
                       Charlie

dcbingaman

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #55 on: 27 Mar 2006, 05:12 am »
OK, guys, I finally got some time to spend with the DAC 60, (no mod.s yet...)  Anyway I compared the DAC60 to the analog output of my Sony SCD-C555ES SACD carousel (which was also used as the transport), my Pioneer Elite DV-38a Super Legato Link CD/DVD-V/DVD-A player, and my VPI HW-19 Mk. III / Hot-Rod Rega / Clearaudio rig.  OK I cheated - I used both the CD and LP versions of Dave Grusin's "Discovered Again"  (One of the best jazz recordings ever made).  First observation - it likes to be warmed up.  Second, it smoked both the Sony and Pioneer players, but still couldn't touch the analog rig.  The Pioneer was subjectively "mellower", but lost a lot of detail.  The Sony was just as detailed but had NO depth.   The DAC 60 has tons of depth and images very, very well, implying decent phase integrity from the reconstruction filters to the outputs.  My guess is the simple 6922-based analog circuit has a lot to do with this.  Quite frankly, I was surprised at just how good this thing sounds.  I have to tell you, though, that the Sony in SACD mode still kicks the shit out of ANY CD playback system I've ever heard....you can't re-create what's NOT on the disc, no matter how good your DAC is.  I for one hope that the boutique labels continue to support SACD and Sony wakes up and realizes what a great medium it has created.

MarkM

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #56 on: 28 Mar 2006, 08:42 pm »
Interesting comparison to SACD.  My take is the DAC-60 modded allows me to forget about the hi-rez format.  SACD selection is so limited, pale's in comparison to redbook choices.  I really wanted to buy into SACD, even spent a few bucks on a good decent player.  DSD done proper is good stuff but....

Upgrade the output caps, power supply caps, (both 110uf, 58uf and 2uf), install a few FRED bridges and you might not find the urge to listen to your SACDs.   I also added Black Gate .10uf NX-HQ bypasses on the signal chain caps, smooths things out and this thing kicks.  Not bad for $225 in parts. :wink:  Stock, the DAC is a bargain.

crooner

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #57 on: 29 Mar 2006, 07:35 am »
After reading dcbingaman's post I decided to do some informal AB comparisons between my Denon DVD-2910 playing SACDs and my SB3 with my slightly modded (Sonicaps coupling caps) DAC-60.

I played material that I have in both 44.1 kHz and SACD, as well as the CD layer from the hybrid discs ripped to my SB3.

I found the sonic signature of both SACD and 44.1 kHz very similiar in many cases. There were instances in which the hybrid layer sounded markedly worse. I assume this was done on purpose to demonstrate the superiority of SACD. Very deceiving and questionable practice IMO.

The widest dynamic range recording I have is not a SACD or even a recent CD release. It's Flim & the BB's  "Big Notes" a very early CD (1984) manufactured in Japan for the DMP label.

The last track on this recording "Born To Love You" is a showstopper. It starts with very very soft solo piano rendition by Billy Barber, it then starts gradually building up with the various instruments, flute, sax and with an explosive climax that will knock your socks off! It ends again with the soft delicate piano by Barber.

Tom Jung probably engineered this to demostrate the capabilities of the [then new] digital medium and it's superiority in dynamics over analog.

Had this be recorded with an analog machine, tape hiss and saturation would have been inevitable, no doubt!

crooner

DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #58 on: 29 Mar 2006, 07:39 am »
Another revelation is how good "needle drop" CD-Rs made from my treasured LPs sound via the DAC-60. Except for a very slight roll off in the highs, they are identical to the source. Easily fools you for the real thing.

Peter, Paul & Mary's first LP sounds so real it's spooky!

I guess this goes to show that the poor sound of some CDs (including the early ones) was due to poor mastering practices rather than the medium itself.

SSassen

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 34
DAC 60 with Sonic Craft mods
« Reply #59 on: 29 Mar 2006, 07:45 am »
/exits from lurking mode

Quote
was due to poor mastering practices rather than the medium itself.


Obviously that's a given; if the source material is not up to spec then the reproduction by your equipment won't be either, regardless of the pricetag attached to your equipment. The real challenge however is to pick out the real gems among the millions of mediocre or plain dull sounding recordings.

Best regards,

Sander Sassen
http://www.hardwareanalysis.com