Author Topic: tuyen; My first taste of the killer DAC  (Read 2603 times)

Offline ozmillsy

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tuyen; My first taste of the killer DAC
« on: September 02, 2010, 07:59:17 PM »
Quote from: tuyen
It started back a year or two again when I was invited to a listen to a pair of Lenehan Audio ML-1 speakers in a house down in Rockingham. I was looking for a good sounding standmount speaker to replace my Hawthorne Audio SSI Duet open baffle speakers.

I rocked up to Mario's house with an open mind but had no real expectations of what sound I was going to hear and if I was going to like/want it as in the past I have always been to a point unsatisfied with stereo gear I have auditioned locally and even with the gear I used to own.

I sat down and a few moments after Mario had press Play on his cd player I knew I was listening to something very special and much different to what my ears were used to hearing.  I was hearing actual music for the first time. Instruments and voices have accurate tones and textures.  I was thinking to myself, wow these small bookshelves sound much bigger then they are, they had the presentation like the floorstanders I owned in the past but with more coherency, balance and detail. Good for me, these ML-1 will make my stereo sound like this !  Happy was that thought for a second.

Mario then informed me it isn't just the speakers, but the heart and soul of his setup is this custom built box with wires hanging out of it. It was the killer DAC.  I told him I had to have one! (I did say please). It did not sound like any of the other DACs or cd players I have owned in the past. I had always found digital playback sounding... well.. digital.
Not a natural flow with detail (especially in the midrange)  like I would hear at the jazz shows or even what a decent turntable setup can kind of do.

In my mind, the killer DAC using the philips TDA1541 NOS chip with valve power rectification and valve output stage did literally kill all the other dacs (and turntable setups I had heard in the past for that matter!) in terms of musical and engagement factor. Just the sound I had been looking for. Music had presense, tonally correct, no hint on digital edginess or harshness, midrange had 'body' and 'weight' that I felt contributed to the sense of realism.

What I had also learnt is that specs and measurements shown in magazines and the internet do not have a positive correlation to what I believe is good sound (who needs upsampling??)   I knew I would not get this same advice from any hifi shop or from anyone who would have some motive to rip money from me).

I had waited a few months before my unit had arrived. I could only afford the 'stock' model at the time, but had plan to modify it myself later on down the track with guidance from Mario.  When it arrived and had it hooked it up to my system, I thought; Mario was bloody right! This killer DAC is the key. This was the first time on my system when I found CDs to not sound digital.

Present: Since then, I have tricked up my killer DAC with some current and vintage and bits and the music that comes out of it moves me everytime I listen to it.  It is still the heart and soul of my system and I will never even contemplate having the thought of selling it  like I have done with all my previous (and current) gear.

Happy listening :)
Tuyen
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: tuyen; My first taste of the killer DAC
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2010, 07:59:53 PM »
Good write up Tuyen !
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: tuyen; My first taste of the killer DAC
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2010, 08:01:23 PM »
Quote from: crazikid
thanks for sharing tuyen.


Quote from: bhobba
Tuyn

Thank you very much for sharing.  The killer DAC is special and it will be an honor and a privilege to hear one at Mike's during the DAC shootout.  I know Mike fears this DAC the most, however I don't look at it that way.  It is built with such love care and attention to detail how it sounds compared to other DAC's is almost an after thought. 

Thanks
Bill


Quote from: kajak12
early 2008 i phoned mike lenehan asking him if he knows anybody that sells valves.he put me onto steven valve.
i rang steve and 2 hours later a killer dac was getting sent to me.( all i wanted was some valves not adac aswell)
funny enough i was eyeing a musical fidelity trivista21 on ebay at the same time.i made a bid on the trivista and lost(thank fuk)
it rolled up in stock standard form.at the time i was using a harmon kardon hd970 cd player.even with that transport it was analogue sounding like no other dac i heard before.but after my visit to sysdney in august 2008 i came to perth with a modded cd50 marantz.
thats when the magic started to appear in my room like never before.
transport is the key that breaks or makes this dac.also the rest of my system was not up to speed with the killer dac.when a new amp was sourced the a new world began.
since i got the dac my 2 close audiophile friends also bought some and the list now is growing and growing

Quote from: Stevenvalve
Nice DAC where do i buy it. I have some mods for the DACs you guys.
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.