Well, I just pulled the trigger and ordered one of these:
I'll be using it exclusively for my redbook CD's. Being so spoiled by SACD sound, I wanted a dedicated DAC to squeeze the most out of the large collection of regular cd's I've got. Selective SS or tube output.
This second version of the EE DAC also has a hi-rez USB input for any future downloaded music (if that day ever comes for me...) Will be running Better Cables Silver Serpents in and out.
More to come.
Last Edit: Mar 18, 2012 7:12:05 GMT -5 by roadster
Post by Dr. Feel Good on Mar 13, 2012 21:21:48 GMT -5
Looks very nice.. where do you usually get your tubes from? I just picked up your tubes from? know any good discount place? I just got me a tube buffer looking forward to experimentation....just not expensive ones
My current system: PreAmp: Denon AVR 4308CI; CD PlayerA: Rotel CD 991 ae; Vinyl: Technics SL 1200 Stream: Olive One + Tidal Tubes: Yaqin Tube Bufferv(removed up for sale) Amp: Carver A 500x; Speakers: DCM Time Window 7 ==== Old System that I Sold ====
I'm not a high roller (tube roller that is) and don't know that much about them. I did however spend some time reading on a few forums and the Psvane already gathers much concessus from the EE DAC+ users. It's said to have all the good traits of the stock Shuguang with a good dose more resolution. All the detail of it's Russian counterparts but with a warmer midrange.
Personally, I'm specifically looking to take the edge and excessive brightness out of the countless redbook rock/pop cd's I already own, so I tried to select a tube that would roll some of that brightness down while still maintaining solid and deep bass.
Quality doesn't come cheap however, $100. a pair in this case for the Collection Grade "A". You can find them here: psvanetube.com/wordpress/. or you can find the non grade "A" cheaper if you Google.
Last Edit: Mar 14, 2012 7:01:17 GMT -5 by roadster
Roadster, let's get that detail review when you get the Dac. Looks good I remember the tube rolling with my Jolida JD-9 and Belles 20 A. It is good reviews and trial and error, but at those prices there can't be too many errors.
Time to report back on my initial comments about the new DAC. This is indeed a first impression as I'll be sharing more distinct differences with my Sony XA5400ES once I've received my Psvane tube in a few weeks. The SS and tube outputs are much closer in sound than on would expect, so it's all to the designer's credit that he was able to have a tube output come as close as SS in dynamics, while still offering the slighthly warmer midrange tube outputs are knowned for. The point of me purchasing this DAC was in fact to have the opportunity to switch between both, depending on how much I needed to tame the CD I was playing.
Some members here already own the same Sony player and others have certainly read about it in previous reviews. The XA5400ES is an outstanding player in all respects, especially at it's price point.
So before you skip to the bottom of the post to see if I heard an improvement of redbook CD over the EE, let me say right away that this was a no contest. The DAC Plus was superior to the Sony's DAC's in all respects: more body, more detailed and 3D sound, more impact and realism from kickdrums and spirited acoustical guitar playing, more of everything finally. In both SS and tube, it's ultra smooth on top, with a silky backdrop. There is simply more going on, more to hear.
Details, ambience and spatial cues that were slightly audible on the Sony (or my OPPO BDP-93) are now clearly audible. Female vocals have lost all traces of nasal coloration all too often heard from lesser DAC's. Some of the more subtle elements and overtones of instruments that I'd not heard clearly are now crystal clear. Among other things, cymbal crashes are more natural and realistic, dynamically and in their harmonic balance and airiness.
So it's quite easy to conclude that I'm all smiles with this new acquisition. I'll try to be a little more specific by making comparaisons between the Psvane tube and the Sony on a few of my reference albums later on.
EDIT: I've now had my Psvane tube running for several hours in replacement to the stock tube and it's been an eye opening improvement, to say the least. The Grade A Psvane simply blows away the stock tube in midrange resolution and warmth, dissipates any residual signs of HF shrillness that remained and tightened up the bass to an even more realistic degree. I'm now all ;D
Last Edit: Mar 30, 2012 6:41:58 GMT -5 by roadster
A little piece of advice, connect it to a silent computer using a cheap USB printer cable and play some 24/192 files containing decently recorded songs. You will be completely blown away!
Also, have you considered Op Amp rolling? It voids the warranty but... Anyway. Please read comment #39 at the bottom of this page (I know the thread title mentions only the predecessor of the MiniMax DAC Plus but if you click the guy's signature link to his stereo system specs you'll find he uses the Plus):
Those LME 49990 Op Amps mounted on Brown Dogs aren't exactly cheap but this kind of info definately makes one curious, wouldn't you agree? lol Bill O'Connell of Morningstar Audio has recently reported in the "part two" review discussion thread of the Plus (it's a locked thread, on that same forum) which Op Amps are safe to use in which sockets, and how to do it without bricking the DAC. According to him, he got the compatibility confirmation via e-mail from Alex Yeung (the designer of the DAC) himself.
• UMC-200 • XPA-2 • Airmotiv 5 • Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC Supreme • Canton Vento 890.2 DC • Westone ES60 • Astell & Kern AK240