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transport for da10


mjb
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i'm assuming "home source components" qualify as anything that needs to be plugged in or is too heavy to transport...so i'll post here :-)

i used to own a lavry da10, feeding an hd650 balanced through a moon audio blue dragon. sold it off a while ago. it has always been my favorite headphone rig, partially for the transportability of it. i think i'm going to pick one up again...

i fed the da10 with either a cheap dvd player via coax or an airport express via optical, depending on the situation. now that i have a macbook, i plan on using optical out of the laptop directly. just wondering if anyone has any experience using the macbook's optical out and how it compares as a transport with other stuff (namely squeezebox, airport express, cheap optical transports, etc). anyone ever have any problems with their mac optical out? any anecdotal feeling on its reliability?

thanks,

mjb

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if the Macbook's optical out is like the MBPs optical out, it's very good as long as you use a decent cable. i use it with my Capitole, and since i bought a nice cable the optical input sounds the same as the cd transport.

now what really qualifies as a nice optical cable?

i bought one at the mac store a while back...cost me a buttload

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a lot of people like the glass ones...there are a couple on ebay, but require the mini adapter (from radio shack or whatever) and there's another glass one you can get that is made with a mini on one end (can't remember the site off hand and can't search hf for it at the moment :-)

i used the monster one that came with the airport express stereo connection kit, since i figured that if the stereophile jitter measurements of the airport express were done using that cable and the measurements were good, then the cable must be ok.

some have been concerned with the fragility of the glass cables...not sure how founded that concern is, since i haven't heard of anyone damaging it...

mjb

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PartsExpress carries those glass optical cables for about the same price that you'd find them on eBay, but they come covered in luxurious techflex. Since it's recommended that all your cables must look amazing, it should be an easy choice. Otherwise you stand to lose 3-4 cool points and/or 1-2 endurance.

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PartsExpress carries those glass optical cables for about the same price that you'd find them on eBay, but they come covered in luxurious techflex. Since it's recommended that all your cables must look amazing, it should be an easy choice. Otherwise you stand to lose 3-4 cool points and/or 1-2 endurance.

I guess I'm way down on points then, all my cables these days look anything but amazing (by techflex standards anyway). ;D
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well, the one i heard was stock, and while i wouldn't say it was great (i'm admittedly pretty jaded when it comes to sources), it was definitely very good for the money, certainly better than the Dialogue II i once owned (though that was mostly because the DAC-AH had a much lower noise floor, they sounded pretty similar, otherwise).

Hi Reks

I have 3 unmodded DACs, a DAC-AH, Zhaolu D-2 and a Constantine. While reading through granodemostasa's DAC search thread I A-B'd the DAC-AH and the Constantine. (I use a Dayton glass cable btw, for no particular reason. >:D) I never heard the Dialogue II but the Constantine sounded much better than the DAC-AH through the GS-1, foobar 9.5, 32bit, KS, Bob Dylan, Modern Times, 320kbps, 650s. :)

Not much of a test, but there it is.

USG

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I used to own a Dialogue II and currently have a Constantine USB and Lavry DA10. I think the Constantine is much better than the Dialogue II, which was too warm and thick-sounding and lacking details. The Constantine also lacks details vs. the DA10, but it can sound very pleasant sometimes with jazz music or slow female vocals.

I use an AirPort Express, MacBook optical output and an old Sony CDP as transport with the Constantine and DA10. Overall I prefer the DA10's clearer and more detailed sound over the Constantine.

An Audio-Technica optical cable with mini-plug on one end and standard toslink on the other works well, no adapter necessary.

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I used to own a Dialogue II and currently have a Constantine USB and Lavry DA10. I think the Constantine is much better than the Dialogue II, which was too warm and thick-sounding and lacking details. The Constantine also lacks details vs. the DA10, but it can sound very pleasant sometimes with jazz music or slow female vocals.

I use an AirPort Express, MacBook optical output and an old Sony CDP as transport with the Constantine and DA10. Overall I prefer the DA10's clearer and more detailed sound over the Constantine.

An Audio-Technica optical cable with mini-plug on one end and standard toslink on the other works well, no adapter necessary.

E

What amp are you using with the Constantine/DA10?

USG

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PartsExpress carries those glass optical cables for about the same price that you'd find them on eBay, but they come covered in luxurious techflex. Since it's recommended that all your cables must look amazing, it should be an easy choice. Otherwise you stand to lose 3-4 cool points and/or 1-2 endurance.

This, of course, is correct. As such, my cables are now all covered in genuine Corinthian leather.

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What amp are you using with the Constantine/DA10?

I'm using the Constantine and DA10 in a bedroom rig. Amps are Lehmann Black Cube Linear and Stax SRM-T1W.

I use a HeadAmp KGSS as my primary amp in another room, along with the Raptor and AT-HA5000 for dynamics.

I haven't heard significant differences between various toslink optical cables I've tried.

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Does anyone really think that glass cables make a difference?

TBH, I've no idea. There's a thread over at HF where people are talking about this question.

With analog ICs, I can hear differences without trying hard. With optical cables, someone left behind a plastic optical cable at a meet and I tried it with my setup. I later bought the glass cable that I linked in an earlier post, and I didn't hear a difference. I paid $10-15 more than the cheaper cables, and after reading some people's comments, I wanted to hear for myself.

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I'm using the Constantine and DA10 in a bedroom rig. Amps are Lehmann Black Cube Linear and Stax SRM-T1W.

I use a HeadAmp KGSS as my primary amp in another room, along with the Raptor and AT-HA5000 for dynamics.

I haven't heard significant differences between various toslink optical cables I've tried.

You have some nice stuff E...........

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TBH, I've no idea. There's a thread over at HF where people are talking about this question.

With analog ICs, I can hear differences without trying hard. With optical cables, someone left behind a plastic optical cable at a meet and I tried it with my setup. I later bought the glass cable that I linked in an earlier post, and I didn't hear a difference. I paid $10-15 more than the cheaper cables, and after reading some people's comments, I wanted to hear for myself.

That's my experience regarding optical too.

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I think the Lavry DA10 is a great value. The Benchmark DAC1 is also good at around the same price range, but I prefer the Lavry's slightly warmer sound over the Benchmark.

The Chord DAC64 is better than the DA10 or Benchmark. How much better is difficult to describe. I think source differences are difficult to evaluate and almost impossible to place a percentage number on, especially at this level or higher. I also use the Accuphase DP-500 CD player and have been tempted by an Esoteric SA-60 playing SACDs several times, both of which I feel are close to each other and the Chord in terms of sound quality.

One DAC I've heard that I thought was better than the Chord is the Lavry Gold DA924. I listened to it at an audio show, amp was a Graham Slee Solo driving the HD650 with stock cable. The sound was amazingly clean and clear and I almost placed an order for the Lavry Gold right then and there. It definitely made me think about my gear choices. Fortunately, back at home listening to the Chord > Lehmann BCL > HD650 rig, I was able to convince myself that I didn't really need a Lavry Gold.

The Chord DAC64 is more detailed than the Lavry DA10 and also more liquid-sounding, or "organic." It seems to flow more easily and has a greater sense of air and more realism. The edges of notes during attack and decay are clearer and better-defined. Imaging, separation and layering are better. Soundstage size is not very different, but I think soundstage coherence is better. There's a better sense of the recording's soundstage for single-microphone acoustic recordings. There's less treble harshness and glare, though this can also be dependent on the recording and other associated gear.

The more listening time and the more experience I have, the greater the difference seems to be. I'm beginning to reach a point where I don't want to listen to the DA10 anymore. This is very sad.

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While i haven't heard the Benchmark in a long time, I did own the Lavry for over a year. That said I think it's a good budget source, but it's just that, a budget source. IIRC, alot of it's problems deal wit the fact that the output stage are the OPA 275s like on the Meridian G08. If someone changed that and/or modded the circuit to improve it, then who knows.

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While i haven't heard the Benchmark in a long time, I did own the Lavry for over a year. That said I think it's a good budget source, but it's just that, a budget source. IIRC, alot of it's problems deal wit the fact that the output stage are the OPA 275s like on the Meridian G08. If someone changed that and/or modded the circuit to improve it, then who knows.

Hey PFK

Wondering what would you recommend as one step up from a budget DAC? ???

USG

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