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DAC - DACs synthetic reviews
Thank you « Mr SCARF » for allowing us to publish this review !

I- DACs reviews, first part.

The configuration we used for these reviews is described herebelow:

    * Drives: JADIS JD1 using a CDM 9 PRO mechanism, and a METRONOME TECHNOLOGIE T2A.5.
    * 75 ohms RCA digital link undertaken by a MARIGO APPARITION 3A cable.
    * Preamplifiers: CONRAD JOHNSON PV 11 and AUDIO RESEARCH SP11.
    * Amplifiers: CONRAD JOHNSON EVOLUTION 250 and PREMIER TWELVE XS monoblocks.
    * loudspeakers: TAD EXCLUSIVE 2401.

All the devices were turned on 24 hours before listening.
I-1. AUDIOMAT TEMPO 2 Evolution DAC.

    * A bad and poor "electronic sound" with a lack of life.
    * The mid frequencies have an excessive presence.
    * The soundstage has no deep.
    * The bottom bass frequencies are not enough present.
    * Lack of dynamic.


    * Beautiful mid frequencies.
    * Good dynamics.
    * The soundstage has not enough deep.
    * The bottom bass is not enough present.
    * The listening is globally a pleasant experience.
    * The output level is too low.

I-3. METRONOME TECHNOLOGIE C1A DAC (version with a window on front).
Tube output listening:

    * The soundstage is extraordinary opened, with a lot of deep, and a lot of matter.
    * Extraordinary musical, with a lot of brief.
    * EThe bottom bass is "physically" there, gorgeous.
    * This device is the one having the best dynamics and speed.

Transistors output listening:

    * The bass goes deper with even more dynamics.
    * But the mid-frequencies loss a bit of their musicality, and have less deep in their presentation.


    * Superb soundstage.
    * Sweet and full bodied sound, good dynamics, a lot of matter.
    * Globally not as speed as the METRONOME.
    * The bass is less punchy.
    * The overall sound presentation favors majestic and musicality.
    * The extreme bass is less present than with the METRONOME.
    * Never tiring: you can listen to it for a long period at a high level with pleasure.
    * The output level is very high.  

II-. DACs reviews, second part.

The configuration we used for these reviews is described herebelow:

    * Drive METRONOME T2A.5
    * RCA 75 ohms MARIGO APPARITION 3A digital cable.
    * Loudspeakers: TAD EXCLUSIVE 2401.
    * Basement METRONOME C1A.

II-1. VIMAK DS 1800 DAC  (21/04/01)

    * The output level is a bit low.
    * The overall balance is OK.
    * SThe soundstage is not enough present.
    * The dynamics could be better, from top to bottom.
    * The voices are "flat" at high levels.
    * Not enough life: we would like to turn the volume up, expecting more life and more feeling.
    * The various notes are not enough separated one from the others.
    * Not enough punch, not enough life.
    * Transparency is not enough.

II-2. WADIA 25 DAC  (24/04/01)

    * The output level could be higher despite it uses a digital preamplifier.
    * The SP11 input stages are saturated at higher levels...
    * Overall balance is OK.
    * The sound is sweet with a lot of details.
    * The "atmosphere" and "mood" are OK.
    * Dynamics could be better, the punch is not there.
    * The voices are too flat.
    * The extreme bass is not there, and does not provide the required physical impact.
    * No emotion, not enough life. It is worst when using the optical ST link...
    * The remote is not pleasant to use, the DAC functions are not enough separated from the other (the remote has been obviously designed for a drive, not for a DAC).

II-3. ORPHEUS One DAC  (24/04/04)

    * The first contact with this device is pleasant, with a good building quality. But when we look deeper, we become very frustrated ! It is definitely not acceptable that a such expensive device only offers 2 XLR outputs and nothing else !...
The inputs are a bit more acceptable with 1 RCA and 1 XLR.
    * When I first lessoned this DAC, its owner provides me with his set of very expensive cables: the 3.000€ Synergistic Research Designer référence). I later lessoned to it with more regular cables.
    * This DAC puzzled me ! After a few days to leson to it, I am still trying to find a good reason to love it... It is clear and precise, it has good dynamics, the soundstage is high but lacks of deep. The sound is not enough bodied. the bass has not enough power and punch.

More sadly, this DAC does not offer enough musical pleasure...

    * I hope that the drive is the opposite of this DAC...  

Can be pleasant for the lyrics and classical listeners, for the others, no way.

A dedicated topic is opened on our Forum to discuss about these devices and this review: please follow this direct link.

Article written by Florent with the permission of SCARF.

Creation date : 11/07/2010 @ 11:38
Last update : 12/01/2016 @ 19:18
Category : DAC
Page read 923 times

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