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Old 18th August 2010, 10:14 PM   #31
Scabiko is offline Scabiko  Argentina
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Thank you for the information. I was referring to the 10uf caps "made in Mexico". I noticed that the picture of the d2a mk2 had a different shape (larger value?). I didnīt know that it used caps in signal path. I fell in love with the mids of the d2a but found that bass is not as good. In the past, I had a cambridge 640 v2, with oscons, opamps and cables changed but found it too analitycal. I even lampizized it with 12ax7 tubes. With my acurus, a steinway piano in the Cambridge sounded like an electronic piano and a violin, like a Jean luck ponty one. would it be possible to obtain schematics on the retrofit? I wrote to Indy labs on the subject. Regards, Sebastian
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Old 19th August 2010, 09:06 PM   #32
hihopes is offline hihopes  South Africa
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The 10uf caps are in the signal path and they are the main culprits where the bass problems are concerned.
Sorry, I don't have a schematic of the retrofit output board. It isn't complex. It is a simple jfet buffer. Any decent jfet buffer would do the job. Or you could do yourself a big favour and lampizate the Aragon. The chip is quite good. If I hadn't gone on to a better DAC, I would definitely do that to mine.
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Old 8th June 2011, 08:25 PM   #33
DrDyna is offline DrDyna  United States
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I have a D2A also, it's stamped MKII on the rear. I'd be very much interested in any types of upgrades as well.

Lampizate? Perhaps. I enjoy the output stage as it is for the moment, but what I'd really like to accomplish is perhaps adding support for higher sampling rates, such as getting it up to 24/96.

Anyone ever do anything of the sort with new dac chips or anything?
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Old 9th June 2011, 06:59 PM   #34
DrDyna is offline DrDyna  United States
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Nobody huh? is it really that bad of a d/a converter?
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Old 9th June 2011, 07:29 PM   #35
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I have the older version (not Mk.II) and yours is the 'better' version. This thing had serious bang for buck factor back in the day.

Some things at fault (whatever those may be) were addressed and some components upgraded and modernized in the Mk II.

I've had mine for a L O N G time, and have been pleased with it overall. Unless you A-B it against something significantly better, it holds its own reasonably well. It certainly sounds better than most mid-90's players. I was hoping for an easy up-grade to this unit as well, and beyond the caps as noted above, I don't think there is one.

Up-rating the possible sample rates for example requires a complete redesign to support newer chip sets. To my knowledge, there is no 'drop-in' chip that provides for higher sampling rates than originally designed. If there was, I would have expected it to appear in this thread. I could be completely wrong too, and if so, I hope someone tells me so! The down-side is, just because it can accomodate higher sample rates, does not in any way indicate it will have a better sound to it. In other words, you could go through a lot of trouble to have a worse sounding unit!

That brought me to one of the eBay special board kits a while ago, with the output op-amps bypassed in lieu of transformers (there is a big thread on it here somewhere). I have the bits, but no time to complete assembly and packaging. I MAY sacrifice my D2A chassis to accommodate this board and transformers... I will call it the R2-D2A (Revision 2- Digital 2 Analogue converter)! [copyright 2011 Jim Leach]

Meanwhile, I am just getting my rig up and running again, as I have been remodeling. Therefore, it is more important to have sound at all, than to have the 'latest and greatest' for the moment...
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Old 9th June 2011, 08:00 PM   #36
DrDyna is offline DrDyna  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Leach View Post
I will call it the R2-D2A (Revision 2- Digital 2 Analogue converter)! [copyright 2011 Jim Leach]
Hahahaha! I love it!

Yeah, I've been quite pleased with mine as well. It's currently hooked up to my blu-ray player's dig out (very careful to shut it off before popping in a blu ray disc) as well as to my original xbox with the optical cable (XBMC) and to a PC.

It flat out crushes the output stage in just about any digital source that's sub $1000 and seems to play along great with my LS11 preamp and Anthem MCA-2.

I think I paid about 150 bucks for it because it's got the cheesy power supply rather than the fancy one, but I love it and I'll never part with it.

Edit: oops
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Old 9th June 2011, 08:12 PM   #37
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It is definitely a sweet unit, and the upgraded power supply (if you can find one) is a worthwhile upgrade to the unit you have.

That Mk. II is the one to have for sure. Add the IPS (I think that is what it was called) and it is even nicer.

I guess that for you, do the cap upgrade and find an IPS or the schematics of one and build it yourself. Beyond that, I think you are at the point of diminishing returns for the old war horse.

PS I also have a 47K phono preamp (they were not the most creative with naming; however arguably the most clever) and that also is a very sweet unit. Internally adjustable for loading and gain. Very cool (not even a knob on that piece!) and the same power supply (and upgraded power supply option). I could see me keeping the 47K long after the D2A is history (or gutted to become the R2-D2A).

I think in their prime, the Aragon stuff was looked down upon, and there really was no reason for it. It was/is solid stuff that really gave the 'esoteric' stuff a run for the money at the time.
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Old 9th June 2011, 08:27 PM   #38
DrDyna is offline DrDyna  United States
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Hm, the innards of the IPS look surprisingly identical to the power supply section in my LS11.

Stick with what works I guess. I'm going to try and brew one of these up, I'm sure I've got the parts around here to cobble one together.

Edit: What's the cap upgrade consist of? Just the 10 uF --> something else?
Edit2 Ah, just "better" ones. Black gate maybe?

Last edited by DrDyna; 9th June 2011 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 9th June 2011, 09:03 PM   #39
DrDyna is offline DrDyna  United States
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I had to take a look inside, we're talking about the output coupler caps, right? Mundorf has a nice 10uF cap..expensive as sh-- but nice.
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Old 9th June 2011, 09:32 PM   #40
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I believe those are the ones in question. They are in the signal path apparently, and therefore most audible when changed.

As to the replacement, I suppose that is up to your personal taste...

The last time I did a cap upgrade it was to a pair of Advents and I used Wondercaps!

Peter Daniel, who did the CD transport thread (and many others) has an opinion I respect and he has tested many types of caps in his personal projects.

If you contact him, he might have some more educated guidance for you.

I'm sure asking the question will get a hundred answers from the group, so...

I'm more of the "replace this as shown in this picture" type of upgrade guy, so if you find some true value in replacing those caps (as seems to be the case) then from your pictures I will do the same!

Also, it seems from the eBay DAC I have and the thread supporting it, that replacement/upgrading of the power supplies of the board is well worth the effort. Well above my pay grade, but if you are not intimidated by it, a super-regulated clean power supply does wonders for digital stuff it seems. Beyond the IPS I imagine the regulator circuits within the D2A could be improved upon as well, with 21st century components.

AND I bet replacing the output buffers with transformers would also be a sweet upgrade to try...

Maybe there is still some life left in the 'ol girl...

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