Really nice comment about DAC amps

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Really nice comment about DAC amps
« on: 11 Aug 2011, 12:39 am »
A fellow AC member pointed me to this reader comment on The Absolute Sound site.

Thanks for the tip, I never would have seen this otherwise:

With time, I came to suspect (fairly recently, I must confess) that the problem was that 60-100 watts per side tweeter amps were never powerful enough for the actually highly inefficient Tympanis’ tweeters. But, where to find a powerful amp with the required hi frequency characteristic (dear to me) of a quality high end tube amp without the super-premium price, that I actually could try, at home, in my system? Not very easy these days. Fortunately, I stumbled into a couple of reviews of the products from the Digital Amplifier Company. The designer, Thomas O’Brien, does not modify B&O ice modules or anybody else’s. He uses his own and holds several patents in digital circuits (all of this in his website). Prices are extremely reasonable for the kind of power and quality, and there is room for customization (including over 1000 watt monoblocks). More important, he offers a rather flexible 30 day full satisfaction guarantee. I selected two 4800A amps delivering over 640 watts rms for each of the two frequency segments, that is, over 1200 watts rms per speaker, in a vertical biamp configuration. I selected that particular model because a well respected industry player has expressed preference to use that model with his premium tube line stages--I use a Cary Audio all tube line stage.

This configuration, used with a full line level passive x-over (resistors and capacitors, no coils, 6 dB per octave), has completely eliminated the problems that I have been suffering for over 30 years. Now, I have no compression or shrillness, regardless of musical program. Just fully coherent and extended sound, with limitless, distortionless dynamic range and the same mid and high frequency smoothness of my favorite tube amp I was previously using. This in addition to the exceptionally extended and controlled bass that appears to be a trade mark of this brand of amps-- in this case being delivered through the Timpani ID’s bass/mid panels, themselves still considered a benchmark for bass and low mid range reproduction, as Harry Pearson states it in this review (and in Part II, in the current issue of The Absolute Sound). All of this with a phenomenal sound stage of over 19 feet wide, close to 7 feet tall ( I have 12 foot ceiling), and depth reaching far beyond the wall behind the speakers. Plus all the audiophile attributes: musicality, resolution, detail, excellent transient attack and decay, pin-point imaging, three-dimensionality, palpability, etc. I had those elements before to a large extent, just even more of it now. Most impressive is the density of the sound field, to the point that it feels as if one is being transported to the performance itself and drawn into it…actually, it is like one is being immersed into the sound field and engulfed by the body of musical energy filling the performance’s venue. I am sure most of this is related to the immense power response that these amps make possible for my system to deliver in my largish room, in combination with the sheer size and nature of the Timpani 1D’s themselves (fully refurbished by Magneplanar 7-8 years ago, a significant improvement in itself due to improved materials and work techniques, after 30 years), but I have no doubt that all the observed benefits are a result of a synergy or, better said, the ability of these amps to deliver all the driving power with the quality that Magneplanar's very fine speakers evidently require.



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Re: Really nice comment about DAC amps
« Reply #1 on: 1 Sep 2011, 05:11 pm »
While researching on the Lenehan Audio's PDX DAC, a reportedly superb tube DAC from Australia , I found the quote below. It pertains to a review  of Lenehan’s top of the line minimonitors (model ML1--AU$4400 shipped to US, basic model--about US$4800). The ML1s totally wowed the attendance at an audio club meeting in NY (I believe, to audition [interesting enough] some new Bryston amps). The reference to the Digital Amp Co is at end of quote:


'The ML-1s sounded wonderful in every way. Giant killers ? From 50 hz up yes indeed. Even though the ribbons of the Carvers were still connected. When we noticed some upper midrange and lower treble excess energy Mark actually made the discovery. When corrected these little babies stunned us with their tone. Lacking in the low frequencies the bass at 50Hz was spot on in every way.'
'Not much to add onto what others said re the Lenehans - Clear, clean, pure, open, yet for me absolutely subwoofer is a must. Gorgeous cabinetry on the outside and very heavy for their size. A very revealing speaker that in the right hands will sound otherworldly good, but also has the potential to be too revealing of a bad source. I would not want to listen to bad cd through bad SS gear. It's a small tribute to the Digital Amp Co Cherry JR that even though it's a Class D amp, the Lenehans sounded glorious with it.