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The Monkey
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So the Mytek was meh?

Actually I think the Mytek is excellent and is the best DAC I've heard for the money but as I've said before I'm in the school of over-engineering and the DAC3 is just more over-engineered. The noise floor doesn't make a practical difference but it is there and compared to other things I waste my money on in this hobby the couple hundred dollar price difference (I got the DAC3 second hand) isn't worth it to me.

If I was starting from scratch though I would probably just keep the Mytek. I've already recommended it to friends. It is better to my ear and more accurate than the Benchmark DAC1 and every bit as good as the others in all normal usage. The front panel finish is rather "amateur looking" would be my only complaint.

One thing is I am making this statement for the Mytek with the coupling caps jumpered out. I have not listened to it with them inserted in the path. Mytek recommends you jumper them out as long as you are sure your digital signal has no DC in it.

Edited by Dreadhead
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Whoa.

Glad to learn of this development. :o

Yeah. As an update I have discovered if you use either the SE outputs on the back of Weiss the noise is much more in line with the balanced performance. Also I noticed that like a lot of other pro gear if you use XLR->SE converters the Weiss automatically bumps the gain 6bB and uses the SE output stage (much less noise, the DAC3 or Mytek do not do this but my DEQ does). So essentially as long as you use the signal as it was designed you get the very low noise floor (not as low as the DAC3 but very low)

Not sure why Weiss would run that in phase noise along with the balanced signal but who am I to know.

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The north star might have a slightly better soundstage, but it seems to sacrifice some excitement as a result.

Is there a proper way to measure noise floor? The reason I ask is that the ECD-1 seems to be just a touch "hot." Like maybe the mids are emphasized. In comparison, the north star sounds a bit laid back and distant. I'm wondering if that could be a noise floor issue. Any thoughts? Am I talking out of my monkey ass?

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The north star might have a slightly better soundstage, but it seems to sacrifice some excitement as a result.

Is there a proper way to measure noise floor? The reason I ask is that the ECD-1 seems to be just a touch "hot." Like maybe the mids are emphasized. In comparison, the north star sounds a bit laid back and distant. I'm wondering if that could be a noise floor issue. Any thoughts? Am I talking out of my monkey ass?

That seems odd to me -- although I am not sure of your definition of hot -- because I would have put the Northstar as more in your face and the ECD-1 as more laid back when I have heard them. I have to say, though, that I think the Northstar I heard the most was modded by Maui Mods and I have not heard either of them nearly as much as you have. I just think of the ECD-1 as the slower, more rounded and euphonic and therefore cannot associate "hot" with it in my own mind.

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  • 1 month later...

ECD1 has better bass than my 1100HD but the highs were sketchier.

The soundstage was more euphonic (tubey) which is prbly why the midrange on it sounded so awesome.

Overall I like the Parasound DAC better.

It transmits the information of the recording, sounding musical, not sounding coloured like the ECD1.

I prefer that type of presentation.

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In the end, I sold the North Star. It was quieter with a balcker background, but it was a bit recessed in the mids. Conversely, the bass and mids of the ECD-1 were fuller and more satisfying--in some cases by a lot. The North Star had a better sound stage, but the ECD-1 was more musical and euphonic, especially with guitars and female vocals. The ECD-1 is a bit more congested than the North Star, which I attribute to longer decay and a higher noise floor with the ECD-1. In a way, I think the ECD-1 has more "flaws," such as some glare in the mids and the aforementioned congestion, but I found it to be the more musically satisfying DAC. However, I also could easily live with the North Star if I had to. I think it's a fine DAC.

Now in-house are the ECD-1, the HR UDAC, and the Dodson DA 217 mkII. I'll start a different thread.

I am now on to the

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In the end, I sold the North Star. It was quieter with a balcker background, but it was a bit recessed in the mids. Conversely, the bass and mids of the ECD-1 were fuller and more satisfying--in some cases by a lot. The North Star had a better sound stage, but the ECD-1 was more musical and euphonic, especially with guitars and female vocals. The ECD-1 is a bit more congested than the North Star, which I attribute to longer decay and a higher noise floor with the ECD-1. In a way, I think the ECD-1 has more "flaws," such as some glare in the mids and the aforementioned congestion, but I found it to be the more musically satisfying DAC. However, I also could easily live with the North Star if I had to. I think it's a fine DAC.

Now in-house are the ECD-1, the HR UDAC, and the Dodson DA 217 mkII. I'll start a different thread.

I am now on to the

Hi Dinny

I started with a Constantine, then bought a Stello. I auditioned the Neko and have moved on to a brand spanking new North Star, (which I will probably be selling in the near future as I move on to something else.)

Btw, are you going to the NJ meet on the 25th? If you are, I would be interested in comparing DACs. I have a pretty good system for doing it with my dual output Thingee and dual input GS-1. Could probably use your CO2 also.

After comparing the Benchmark to the Stello at the last meet, (with SiBurning) and finding no noticeable difference between the two, I would like to compare your EDC to the Stello and to my new North Star, to see if your initial impressions remain.

Regards

USG

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In the end, I sold the North Star. It was quieter with a balcker background, but it was a bit recessed in the mids. Conversely, the bass and mids of the ECD-1 were fuller and more satisfying--in some cases by a lot. The North Star had a better sound stage, but the ECD-1 was more musical and euphonic, especially with guitars and female vocals. The ECD-1 is a bit more congested than the North Star, which I attribute to longer decay and a higher noise floor with the ECD-1. In a way, I think the ECD-1 has more "flaws," such as some glare in the mids and the aforementioned congestion, but I found it to be the more musically satisfying DAC.

Thanks for the update!

Yeah with female vocals, the ECD1 sounded the best I've heard.

Ahh yes, congestion makes a lot of sense. I never thought of calling it that but yeah I experienced that too.

The bass on the ECD1 was supreme, really solid and extended deep. It may have even been a bit boosted.

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  • 1 month later...
I like your review, it's succinct and doesn't get caught up in the sometimes fatiguing-to-read extensive music impressions people often give. :)

Could there be a Skylab reference in there? :D

I liked your review very much myself Monkey. The DAC that Naaman is building me (Buffalo32) also uses the Sabre chip, although it's the ES9018. I also like a kind of forward, punchy midbase, so it'll be interesting to see how the Buffalo32 sounds. Of coarse my K1000 is already tilted toward that type of presentation, and my β22 is pretty neutral, so we'll have to wait and see. I have no idea what my Pass F5 clone's signature is yet, so that may add to the mix.

A very good read though my friend. And it makes me look forward to auditioning my new DAC all the more.

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