Author Topic: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?  (Read 18919 times)

Offline YoungSC

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Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« on: September 05, 2010, 11:01:24 AM »
I haven't had much of a history of the development of this DAC, but by weight of opinion, am interested in looking further.

Where is the KillerDac available to purchase?

3bm

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2010, 11:21:25 AM »
Hi YoungSC,

There is a hell of a lot of information to go up here yet which will detail more about the history, the reasoning etc but it will take a little while to collect and put it all together.

The DACS are built to order by Steven up in Sydney and generally take a while to put together. Most of the dacs are built using particular components which are very hard to find including TDA1541A S1 chips, vintage chokes etc. Because of this, they will never be a commercially available 'product' as such and are better classed as DIY.

Steven does do a basic model which basically lays everything out and then gives you all the direction to hunt down and find the various components which you can then use to build up the DAC yourself. Alternatively he can build something really special, but they are entirely subject to parts availability and time.

Worthy of note, is the transport is critical with this which is why particular CD players are hunted down. Marantz cd94/95, phillips 960 and some Wadia players are very high on the list.

The best bet would be to find a member somewhat local to you and ask to come over for a look/listen.


Offline kajak12

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2010, 11:41:21 AM »
I haven't had much of a history of the development of this DAC, but by weight of opinion, am interested in looking further.

Where is the KillerDac available to purchase?
myself in wa is where you can obtain a killer dac and listen to one
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

Offline YoungSC

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2010, 05:58:12 PM »
Thanks Guys,

Mario,

I've been looking at your system on SNA with interest.  I may just contact you at some time in the future for a listen.

Simon

Offline mcb

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2010, 07:13:48 PM »
Simon, as one of those who has had the pleasure of listening to Mario's system, I strongly recommend that you make sure you do it!

Offline kajak12

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2010, 08:01:26 PM »
Thanks Guys,

Mario,

I've been looking at your system on SNA with interest.  I may just contact you at some time in the future for a listen.

Simon
no problems simon just pm me
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

Offline kajak12

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2010, 08:20:15 PM »
Just to let you guys know ,it looks like Scott Thomson will be making boards again for these dacs .

Cheers
scott thomson boards are obsolete.thease type of dacs are a rave around the world many people making them with diffrent boards and  designs ideas are one of many.scott thomson  hasnt made dacs for 7 to 8 years. the killer dac in the lenehan shootout uses none of scott thomsons parts or boards.THE KILLER DAC HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SCOTT THOMSON
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 08:32:36 PM by kajak12 »
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

Offline set

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2010, 08:34:20 PM »
Wow, I'm surprised to see such a following of my original DAC design (for which I admittedly got ideas from other TDA1541A designs). I must give credit to Steve for taking my original design and enhancing it by means of hours upon hours of listening to select exotic parts, wire, other things and thus taking it that few extra notches better.
I'm happy to continue supplying the original populated boards and transformers, and even the original form of the completed unit with dual 6c45Pi output stage. Consider it a renovators dream, or just leave it as it is to blow away almost all of the competition. Feel free to send me a query.
Scott

I haven't had much of a history of the development of this DAC, but by weight of opinion, am interested in looking further.

Where is the KillerDac available to purchase?

3bm

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2010, 08:44:21 PM »
Hi Scott and welcome.

Should certainly be interesting to see how things go. The killerDAC is certainly receiving a lot of attention at the moment now some structure and information is coming together.

From a design perspective it must be very refreshing to see something you obviously know intimately garnering a lot of interest. Welcome aboard.

Could you perhaps fill in a bit of history here in the other thread (http://killerdac.com/forum/index.php?topic=22.) so we can put it into the history of the design.




3bm

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2010, 09:48:04 PM »
scott thomson boards are obsolete.thease type of dacs are a rave around the world many people making them with diffrent boards and  designs ideas are one of many.scott thomson  hasnt made dacs for 7 to 8 years. the killer dac in the lenehan shootout uses none of scott thomsons parts or boards.THE KILLER DAC HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SCOTT THOMSON

Kajak is very concise with his posting style and I am sure meant no offense so we hope none was taken.

To expand on it a little, the new boards and indeed the whole DAC itself is quite a different animal now from when it all started as is the nature of all ongoing and evolving designs. This is certainly not to take anything away from Scott as his boards were certainly excellent.

As mentioned in the description thread linked above, Scotts DAC's are very special indeed and with the right parts as mentioned, can really become something special. I think obsolete was meant more in the term of their ongoing part of the KillerDAC.

The DAC on display (and all recent DAC's) at the shootout indeed was all the new kit.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 10:39:22 PM by ozmillsy »

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2010, 07:11:46 AM »
Wow, I'm surprised to see such a following of my original DAC design (for which I admittedly got ideas from other TDA1541A designs).

Hi Scott,  can you share with us where you obtained your ideas from on the TDA1541A designs.   There are plenty of TDA1541A dacs around,  I'm just wondering where your own boards evolved from.

Quote
I must give credit to Steve for taking my original design and enhancing it by means of hours upon hours of listening to select exotic parts, wire, other things and thus taking it that few extra notches better.

Would you mind also posting pictures of a current stock assembled version of your boards into a dac, so we can see what your current design looks like in assembled form.  

It would be great if this information was shared in a dedicated thread under "other dacs".   Cheers.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 07:13:29 AM by ozmillsy »
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

tuyen

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2010, 08:25:50 AM »
I have one of the 'current' production dac boards and the type of boards used looks sort of similar to the one below:


But I notice that about only half of the actual board is populated with parts.  So it's not like the majority of designs that use this board I've seen scattered around diy forums.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 08:29:13 AM by tuyen »

Offline set

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2010, 08:36:01 AM »
I don't have a pic at hand, but take this pic -



remove the HT and filament power transformer and replace with two trannies, one for HT and the other for filament, add a choke and additional cap to the HT, remove the valve recifier (I'm not saying valve rect is necessarily a bad thing, I've been meaning to get around to it), add a ferrite around the mains cables, replace the I/V resistors with a 50R Rhopoint (best resistor in existence IMO), replace the load resistors (which are underneath the board in this pic) with the original Australian made IRH non-magnetic ceramics, change a few other resistors, change the mains wire, make it less deadly, put the lid on and Tada! you have my original DAC. I think the original Nippon Chemicon OSCONs have been replaced by Sanyos in the pictued DAC, but I use Sanyos in special situations now. Oh, and the relay de-thump has been removed in this one.

Anyway, I'll post a picture when I get a chance.

I'm not saying that going back to the original form is necessarily a forward step. I'm not detracting from Steve's wonderful work with the DAC - he certainly has taken it to new heights, and put it into the spotlight.

The one in the pic looks like a pretty early one which means I may have actually built it before the aforementioned mods took place, but happy to be corrected.

Enjoy.

Would you mind also posting pictures of a current stock assembled version of your boards into a dac, so we can see what your current design looks like in assembled form.  

It would be great if this information was shared in a dedicated thread under "other dacs".   Cheers.

3bm

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2010, 08:43:52 AM »
Fantastic information Scott. Anything more you have like this please post it up. We might even be able to get a time-line going on.


Offline set

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2010, 08:14:33 AM »
This is my current incarnation of the DAC. And I emphasize 'current'. It is a bit dusty, but I have been renovating (the house).

Big, detailed picture, so I made it a link -

http://setaus.bigblog.com.au/data/5/28673/image/IMG0859333622407489145457120100908080635.JPG

Scott

Would you mind also posting pictures of a current stock assembled version of your boards into a dac, so we can see what your current design looks like in assembled form.  

It would be great if this information was shared in a dedicated thread under "other dacs".   Cheers.

Offline mekr

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2011, 01:31:38 AM »
i would like to contact stevens for his killer DAC

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2011, 07:44:57 PM »
i would like to contact stevens for his killer DAC

Hi Mekr,  I'm sure Steven will see this post in due course, he's a fairly busy fellow.   These dac's are painstakingly assembled by hand, and he's into other things,  so there aren't alot produced at any given time.  There's abit of a wait involved.

In the meantime, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your system.   What are you running,  amps, speakers, volume control, etc.   Do you do much DIY.   How did you hear about the KillerDac?
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

PewterTA

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2011, 11:24:40 AM »
Hi, I'm interested in whether the KillerDAC would be a worth while upgrade for me or not and how to go about obtaining one myself.  Is Steven still building them and or gathering parts for these to be built?

Right now I'm currently using a Windows 7 64-bit laptop with Foobar2000 with ASIO4ALL going through a Wireworld UltraViolet USB Cable to a Musical Fidelity V-Link through a Glass TOS-Link into a Cambridge Audio 840c CDP so everything is upsampled to 24/384Khz.

My components are:
Rotel RSP-1098 Pre-Processor (to be modified, replacing Op-Amps)
Rotel RB-1090 Amp (modified)
B&W DM604s3 Speakers (modified and I'd say they are closer to B&W 803s in terms of quality when I compared them)
Interconnects: Cat Cables Silver Cats
Speaker Wire: Cat Tails Copper cables
Power Cables: Black Sands Audio Violet Z1 MKII (on all three components)

My next project is to replace the speakers with a pair of Jon Marsh's designed 'Ardent' speakers that basically compare to (and from what people that have heard them say best) Avalon Indra speakers.  I'm also thinking at some point of looking at Classe CA-M400 amps for the speakers once the speakers are built.  Though that might change.

Right now I'm looking to either figure out whether to upgrade the CA 840c (which if it had a USB input, then I wouldn't be looking for a new DAC) or look towards a better DAC...

I definitely like detailed and realistic sound from my music and my musical range goes across the board to just about everything once can think of.  If it sounds good and is interesting to my ears... I'm all for it!  I also like it a bit on the warmer side, but the detail has to be there as well, which I've found is the hardest thing for a system to do...be warm and musical....but have the sharp detail necessary to make it sound real.  Trumpets, cymbals, and upright basses are the things I notice the most that are the hardest for systems to reproduce correctly.

And by no means do I think I've come close to audio nirvana...well maybe I'm closer than I give myself credit for with all I've done...but I still feel like there's more levels I'd like to get to (course money is the thing that dictates the direction and level most)...but I love experimenting and fitting the puzzle pieces together to get the best sound I can!

People also think I'm nuts but I'm able to detect (blind tested) very subtle changes in my system and other people's systems once I get used to how the sound is.  Almost every modification and 'upgrade' I've done I've been able to tell differences with, so I tend to think I have pretty good hearing and I'm good with changes.  ha ha.

Anyways, I was just curious if you guys and/or Steven would be able to help me out!

Thanks!
-Dan

Offline kajak12

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2011, 07:30:33 PM »
Hi, I'm interested in whether the KillerDAC would be a worth while upgrade for me or not and how to go about obtaining one myself.  Is Steven still building them and or gathering parts for these to be built?

Right now I'm currently using a Windows 7 64-bit laptop with Foobar2000 with ASIO4ALL going through a Wireworld UltraViolet USB Cable to a Musical Fidelity V-Link through a Glass TOS-Link into a Cambridge Audio 840c CDP so everything is upsampled to 24/384Khz.

My components are:
Rotel RSP-1098 Pre-Processor (to be modified, replacing Op-Amps)
Rotel RB-1090 Amp (modified)
B&W DM604s3 Speakers (modified and I'd say they are closer to B&W 803s in terms of quality when I compared them)
Interconnects: Cat Cables Silver Cats
Speaker Wire: Cat Tails Copper cables
Power Cables: Black Sands Audio Violet Z1 MKII (on all three components)

My next project is to replace the speakers with a pair of Jon Marsh's designed 'Ardent' speakers that basically compare to (and from what people that have heard them say best) Avalon Indra speakers.  I'm also thinking at some point of looking at Classe CA-M400 amps for the speakers once the speakers are built.  Though that might change.

Right now I'm looking to either figure out whether to upgrade the CA 840c (which if it had a USB input, then I wouldn't be looking for a new DAC) or look towards a better DAC...

I definitely like detailed and realistic sound from my music and my musical range goes across the board to just about everything once can think of.  If it sounds good and is interesting to my ears... I'm all for it!  I also like it a bit on the warmer side, but the detail has to be there as well, which I've found is the hardest thing for a system to do...be warm and musical....but have the sharp detail necessary to make it sound real.  Trumpets, cymbals, and upright basses are the things I notice the most that are the hardest for systems to reproduce correctly.

And by no means do I think I've come close to audio nirvana...well maybe I'm closer than I give myself credit for with all I've done...but I still feel like there's more levels I'd like to get to (course money is the thing that dictates the direction and level most)...but I love experimenting and fitting the puzzle pieces together to get the best sound I can!

People also think I'm nuts but I'm able to detect (blind tested) very subtle changes in my system and other people's systems once I get used to how the sound is.  Almost every modification and 'upgrade' I've done I've been able to tell differences with, so I tend to think I have pretty good hearing and I'm good with changes.  ha ha.

Anyways, I was just curious if you guys and/or Steven would be able to help me out!

Thanks!
-Dan
What state are you in???????????
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

PewterTA

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Re: Where does one obtain a KillerDac?
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2011, 02:37:01 AM »
Pittsburgh, PA   :D