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Old 31st July 2008, 07:54 PM   #1
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Location: london
Default pink triangle DAC versus pioneer pd2028

To date the Pink triangle had been my all time favourite DAc

In the past I have enjoyed Trichord Research DAC, chord DAC 64, many TDA 1540 especially the revox b225 and nakamichi oms-7, probably about 10 models of tda 1541 (inc Marantz 94, grundig cd9009), and Audio Note DAC4.1, and many modern 24/96 dacs with and without tube output stages.

I wanted to push the Pink triangle further and see what could be had from it. During this mini adventure i obtained a pioneer pd9700, the findings turned out to be very eye opening for me.

I managed to get a signal from the Pink triangle very close to the first IC next to the DAC can, not sure if I bypassed it though as the Can is sealed and difficult to easily open. Anyway volume output was much reduced so a good sign that i had bypassed some if not all of the output stage. Next i amplified/filtered the signal through a very simple valve gain stage using 6sn7 tubes with valve rectified power supply.

It was evident that there was a clarity in the bypassed circuit but it also lacked a lot of the dynamics from the usual DAC output. Close contest overall. I tried to help improve the by passed output dynamics by adding a high quality transformer between the raw analogue-stage output signal and the valve out put stage. The passive transformer unit is manufactured in Taiwan and is called the 'enhancer', which i believe helps to act as an inductance matching unit. However with this in place there was no contest the valve output signal produced a clarity and transparency far beyond the reach of the normal Da Capo output. This was allied to the now much improved dynamics which were now able to match the original DA Capo sound. So once again a purer simpler output stage wins hands down. And I will also let you into a little secret, if you want more distortion more analogue like artificial warmth stick with opamps , as the valve output stage is fundamentally far less coloured and more refined in sound. Now that is a turn up for the books, the complete opposite of what you would expect!!!


After exhaustive reading on the internet forums it was becoming apparent that the pioneer stable platter mechs were potentially something special. I bought a PD9700 for 50 and am awaiting the legato linked PDs904 due any day now. As a transport the pioneer matched my discmagic and had an overall slightly warmer more natural tone to my ears albeit slightly less dynamic and exciting sounding. Via the pioneers own analogue outputs quite Frankly i was amazed at how analogue it sounded and in many respects bettered the Da capo. However, it lacked that last ounce of transparency/clarity and detail to outdo the Da CApo in the realism stakes. So yes once again I by passed the analogue output stage and sent the signal straight from the pioneer DAC chip into my impedance matching??? transformer and onto the valve output stage. Goodness me clearer and even better and more refined sounding than the Da Capo/transformer/valve output !!!!!!

Does anyone have such high regard for these integrated pioneer dacs and has anyone else tried to push them any further? I know the stable platter is very good, but I am at present not interested in its performance but that of its associated DACS which i can find very little written about. I have now heard the pioneer cd players with pd2028 (twin) and the PD2029 and both are equally excellent if anything the legato link improves the sound even further in the PD703 although i am talking unmodded unit here. I am shortly getting the pd904 which i understand is 'the one to have'.
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Old 8th August 2008, 01:20 PM   #2
CFT is online now CFT  United States
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Default dac 7 vs pcm 1704

Hi,

Would you recommend dac-7 over pcm1704 sonically?

Thanks!
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