Buffalo Dac original vs Buffalo II - diyAudio
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Old 23rd August 2010, 12:07 PM   #1
mrtakib is offline mrtakib  United Kingdom
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Default Buffalo Dac original vs Buffalo II

Hi, I have an original Buffalo Dac. It's great sounding, but I am wondering how much better the new 32bit Buffalo II would sound against it and if it is worth upgrading (re building) ?
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Old 23rd August 2010, 12:25 PM   #2
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Well, that's the question, isn't it?

It will be very difficult to answer it if you haven't had the chance to hear the same exact setup with just the two boards replaced. I can only speak from my experience, I had the Buffalo I and Ivy which was good but the new one with a tube output stage is times better, I upgraded to Paul Hynes and it is even better now, the difference was not subtle at all ( with all my respect and love to TPA guys' work).

I would like to stress that thing about using the same setup to compare the two - somehow the Buffalo II is the most sensitive piece of equipment regarding placing, cabling and stands - it is probably highly microphonic as different types of legs alter the sound, different digital cables sound different, placing some kind of weight on the box of the DAC changes its sound and I cannot attribute that just to the tubes as I have an IVY that I tried with it too (for sale BTW in the Swap meet, the tubes might not be optimal but sound is better for sure).

If I am in your position I would definitely go for the II if you can get one, the Sabre chips IS fantastic, I have owned and still have some digital gear at and above 5000USD. Just my 2 cents, no affiliation with TPA btw.
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Old 23rd August 2010, 01:35 PM   #3
mrtakib is offline mrtakib  United Kingdom
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I also heard a lot about that chip. There a few companies like Wyred 4 sound and Eastern Electric that have started using it and have had good reviews.

Im not sure if it would be better to try and update my original Buffalo and Ivy with the new board or just build a new one completely ?
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Old 23rd August 2010, 07:29 PM   #4
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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well the V2 dac requires an entirely different power supply and a different outlook, because all supply pins and direct output are easily accessible. it is much more responsive to power supply upgrades, as the onboard regs can be easily bypassed allowing you to use other regs like PH, or the A123 lifepo4 batteries. I havent heward v1, but I have the 32 and compared to that, with the right PSU and output stage its a superb dac at any price.

i'm using it as part of a portable balanced headphone system, doesnt quite measure up to my ackodac though yes I like the sabre chip
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Old 23rd August 2010, 08:34 PM   #5
joemana is offline joemana  United States
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[QUOTE=Nikola Krivorov;2280799]
I can only speak from my experience, I had the Buffalo I and Ivy which was good but the new one with a tube output stage is times better, I upgraded to Paul Hynes and it is even better now, the difference was not subtle at all ( with all my respect and love to TPA guys' work).

Nikola,

Would you mind if I ask you which tube type/output stage design did you use? Did you disign it or somebody else? I have the Lampizator on my Buf II but looking for a better one. Thanks,


Joe
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Old 23rd August 2010, 11:04 PM   #6
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I have the original. 2 things make a big difference to the SQ of this DAC.

1. PS for everything: I'm using some individual Salas shunts for each supply and it makes a large difference. Ignore what you may have read about the PS ripple rejection etc etc being excellent. It makes a difference

2. The output stage. I had the IVY - not nearly as good as the counterpoints when PS fed by a shunt reg. Yes, I am using them SE, with a cap on the outputs.No turn on or off thump and they simply sound very good. A good discrete output stage with something like shunt or battery supplies is where you are aiming at.

I was under the impression that the sonics of V1 and V11 were much the same, except that you had much more access to tweak all the bits on the V11, ie feed both the same PS and sound will be very similar?


Fran
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Old 24th August 2010, 01:32 AM   #7
leo is offline leo  United Kingdom
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I've played about with all three versions, I'm still working on BII but found the B32 to be a worthwhile step up in performance over the original Buffalo + IVY (both had regulation upgrades )

Original Buffalo + IVY with PH regulation

Click the image to open in full size.

B32 with PH regulation

Click the image to open in full size.

BII + IVYIII (still work in progress)

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 24th August 2010, 07:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joemana View Post
Nikola,

Would you mind if I ask you which tube type/output stage design did you use? Did you disign it or somebody else? I have the Lampizator on my Buf II but looking for a better one. Thanks,


Joe

Hi Joe,

I used that:

audio-talk :: View topic - Buffalo DAC output stage

But it was adapted to use 5687 tubes and Lundahl 1689 PP transformers. I am quite satisfied with the result.
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