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AK4490 USB Dac with dsd support.
AK4490 USB Dac with dsd support.
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:53 AM   #1551
Grunnet is offline Grunnet  Denmark
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Location: Denmark
Default Fine tuning the DAC

Hi. I have now used Sonnys DAC for almost 6 months, and want to share some experience. I use it exclusively for CDs (thats all I have) and mostly for classical music, so there may be a bias in favour of the troublesome upper tremble performance.
I have found Panasonic capacitors in the PSU and a filter setting of F1 to work best, especially with my new regulator. There I have installed a fantastic voltage regulator(mk2) from DEXA Newclassd, cost 32 euro (available at Hificollective). DEXA will at no extra cost make a +5.5V regulator for the digital power supply. I have only added the new regulator for the 5.5V digital supply, nor for the 15V analog supply. But with the effect being so good I may do the same for the analog later. Changes after adding one regulater are a little hard to describe, but it has given a dead quiet background , which in turn has made the music stand out and the recording room easy to define. i recommend the iinvestment highly.
(Sorry for the unstructured language, but I got carried away)
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:57 AM   #1552
sonnya is offline sonnya  Denmark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darbost View Post
Hi Sonny
Sent you an email


Hi darbost and vitalie.

I have a lot of work in the background on the dac together with Aboe. We will very shortly come back to the emails sent.

Br

Sonny
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Old 18th April 2018, 10:50 AM   #1553
Matt_PL is offline Matt_PL  Poland
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Dear Sonny,
When will be the shipments of purchased dac's?

Regards
Maciek
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Old 19th April 2018, 05:34 AM   #1554
pinnocchio is offline pinnocchio  Canada
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I guess I'm falling into ignorance here from my previous post but anyways...

Having played with Sonny's DAC, all output stages and his preamplifier I wanted to give my impressions regarding his latest creation output stage, the discrete op-amp version.

First I'd like to say big thank you to Sonny for supporting the DIY community. Since he's already very involved with the commercial side of his business, the fact that he share his goods with us and at a very affordable pricing is extremely welcome. Thanks Sonny!

My journey with this DAC started with the very first iteration, which I still own and use but now with the latest OPS. There was quite a good jump from the op-amp chips OPS and the first discrete OPS that was released and I wrote my review about this in the thread. I was also very skeptic that this new OPS would be even greater, I mean... Sure I thought there would be some improvement but I was expecting something very small over the previous discrete OPS. I was actually in for an unexpected good treat!

What I did to compare both OPS was the following:
1- all equipment in the chain remained the same except for change of OPS.
2- Measured the output voltage of both OPS
3- Played a 1K sine wave and adjusted volume level so both sources matched
4- Played exactly the same music tracks
5- Tracks are all rendered through Roon audio and converted to DSD256 and played through
the Mirand DAC natively (no DoP)

Equipment used:
- USSA 5 Class A amplifier
- Mirand Audio Preamplifier
- Mirand Audio DAC
- Roon Audio music server
- Roon Bridge on Pi 3, powered by AMB Sigma 11
- Troels Gravesen ATS-4 speakers, bi-cabling
- DH-Labs Signature Q10 speaker cable
- The Link Interconnect between amplifier and preamplifier

Music tracks used:
- Jorane, Battayum II (16mm) - 16/44.1
- Jorane, Helo (16mm) - 16/44.1
- Jen Chapin, You haven't Done Nothin' (Revisions : The songs of Stevie Wonder) - 24/192
- Vanessa Fernandez, Here But I'm Gone (Use Me) - 24/48
- Yamina, Do Nothin till you hear from me (Love Letters EP) - DSD 128

I'm not going to post graph since it is a subjective review and not an objective one. So I guess a question of personal taste.

Jorane, Battayum II - I've done a few reviews for amplifiers and preamplifiers and I usually use the same tracks since I know them very well. This track is actually a very complex track and a challenge to render on many systems, especially near the middle of the song, where so many instruments join in. This is where I've heard many times the render becoming unbearable to listen to, even on high end commercial systems.

At the beginning of the song, you can really feel the scene surrounding you, as if you are part of it, not in front of it, this is how it was intended to be displayed. At the beginning only a handful of instruments are playing and as the song advance, more and more instruments join in, to a point where there are so many that you really have to replay the song many times to capture all the nuances. Once you know you can really enjoy it to its potential. If I have to compare to the previous OPS, which was already outstanding, this new OPS adds a lot to the scene which seems to be very large and deep but now adds a bit more details and manages to keep its musicality so you don't focus just on this. I've noticed that in the complex passages, there's even a hint more air in between instruments, which also seem to display them in real proportions and positions, makes the scene very palpable.

Jorane, Hello - This song has a lot of micro details and so much fun to listen to. In the first few seconds you will feel the scene, subtle voice coming from the upper left corner almost as floating, a microphone gain being brought up, someone breathing faintly and sound of lips. All fun details! Percussion were brought up with proper timbre and proper size, never exaggerated. The snap of fingers on the cello had more impact and could be felt and dynamics were definitely better.

Jen Chapin, You haven't Done Nothin' (Revisions : The songs of Stevie Wonder) - Not a fan of the album but love the jazzy side and how Chapin remade Stevie Wonder songs for her album. This particular song I use because it make use of saxophone which I find very pleasing and meaty when played at lower octaves. This is exactly what has been done on this song. Saxophone is also very well recorded and standing on the utmost left side of the scene, basically on the left side of the left speaker, a good foot, foot and a half beside! The timbre is right on the money a tad more convincing and little more meatier on the new OPS, more enjoyable to my ears. Jen's voice seem to be unchanged but presented a bit higher to a more realist height but nothing that would make you go hmmm...

Vanessa Fernandez, Here But I'm Gone (Use Me) - Here's a very well recorded studio album from an artist I recently discovered reading a music article from the web. It is actually one good example of well positioned mics at proper recording levels, someone knew what he/she was doing. Strangely enough, the scene seems to be recorded in a very shy way, meaning narrower than other recordings (mainly staying between the speakers) but not with less care. The song presents very nice dynamics, punchy bass. This is an area were this new OPS seems to shine over the previous one and presents a superb control, well noticed. Talking about dynamics, give a listen to the album 11:11 from Rodrigo y Gabriela and you will hear what I mean! Vanessa's voice is very nicely recorded with no echo just her nude voice, plain and simple but very effective. I love the light raspy "softened" tone of her voice.

Yamina, Do Nothin till you hear from me (Love Letters EP) - This recording was recorded directly to DSD and I bought the DSD128 album version. I don't know if is because of how it was recorded but the background is really black, very silent. Again some details you'll hear is the piano pedals sound, which can clearly be heard. Piano timbre is just spot on and decay is so natural, very similar to the previous OPS but more natural on the decay side. If you're used to a real piano you will immediately notice it.

To sum it all up, this newer OPS from Mirand is just a must if you own their DAC. I was skeptical at first, now I'm a believer!

Do
__________________
PREAMPs : Bal AMB α10 + JC-80 | Bal DCB1 | Bal LDR3x | AMPs: AMB β24 | USSA3 & 5 | FO v1.4 | TGM8 | VZ Audio NS OPS | NX Amp | FC-100
DACs : TPA Buffalo II + OPC's NTD1 I/V | JLsounds | Mirand AK4490 + Discrete Output Speakers : Troels Gravesen ATS-4 | Sagwee LT V3
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Old 19th April 2018, 05:32 PM   #1555
pistollero is online now pistollero  Portugal
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: portugal
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinnocchio View Post
I guess I'm falling into ignorance here from my previous post but anyways...

Having played with Sonny's DAC, all output stages and his preamplifier I wanted to give my impressions regarding his latest creation output stage, the discrete op-amp version.

First I'd like to say big thank you to Sonny for supporting the DIY community. Since he's already very involved with the commercial side of his business, the fact that he share his goods with us and at a very affordable pricing is extremely welcome. Thanks Sonny!

My journey with this DAC started with the very first iteration, which I still own and use but now with the latest OPS. There was quite a good jump from the op-amp chips OPS and the first discrete OPS that was released and I wrote my review about this in the thread. I was also very skeptic that this new OPS would be even greater, I mean... Sure I thought there would be some improvement but I was expecting something very small over the previous discrete OPS. I was actually in for an unexpected good treat!

What I did to compare both OPS was the following:
1- all equipment in the chain remained the same except for change of OPS.
2- Measured the output voltage of both OPS
3- Played a 1K sine wave and adjusted volume level so both sources matched
4- Played exactly the same music tracks
5- Tracks are all rendered through Roon audio and converted to DSD256 and played through
the Mirand DAC natively (no DoP)

Equipment used:
- USSA 5 Class A amplifier
- Mirand Audio Preamplifier
- Mirand Audio DAC
- Roon Audio music server
- Roon Bridge on Pi 3, powered by AMB Sigma 11
- Troels Gravesen ATS-4 speakers, bi-cabling
- DH-Labs Signature Q10 speaker cable
- The Link Interconnect between amplifier and preamplifier

Music tracks used:
- Jorane, Battayum II (16mm) - 16/44.1
- Jorane, Helo (16mm) - 16/44.1
- Jen Chapin, You haven't Done Nothin' (Revisions : The songs of Stevie Wonder) - 24/192
- Vanessa Fernandez, Here But I'm Gone (Use Me) - 24/48
- Yamina, Do Nothin till you hear from me (Love Letters EP) - DSD 128

I'm not going to post graph since it is a subjective review and not an objective one. So I guess a question of personal taste.

Jorane, Battayum II - I've done a few reviews for amplifiers and preamplifiers and I usually use the same tracks since I know them very well. This track is actually a very complex track and a challenge to render on many systems, especially near the middle of the song, where so many instruments join in. This is where I've heard many times the render becoming unbearable to listen to, even on high end commercial systems.

At the beginning of the song, you can really feel the scene surrounding you, as if you are part of it, not in front of it, this is how it was intended to be displayed. At the beginning only a handful of instruments are playing and as the song advance, more and more instruments join in, to a point where there are so many that you really have to replay the song many times to capture all the nuances. Once you know you can really enjoy it to its potential. If I have to compare to the previous OPS, which was already outstanding, this new OPS adds a lot to the scene which seems to be very large and deep but now adds a bit more details and manages to keep its musicality so you don't focus just on this. I've noticed that in the complex passages, there's even a hint more air in between instruments, which also seem to display them in real proportions and positions, makes the scene very palpable.

Jorane, Hello - This song has a lot of micro details and so much fun to listen to. In the first few seconds you will feel the scene, subtle voice coming from the upper left corner almost as floating, a microphone gain being brought up, someone breathing faintly and sound of lips. All fun details! Percussion were brought up with proper timbre and proper size, never exaggerated. The snap of fingers on the cello had more impact and could be felt and dynamics were definitely better.

Jen Chapin, You haven't Done Nothin' (Revisions : The songs of Stevie Wonder) - Not a fan of the album but love the jazzy side and how Chapin remade Stevie Wonder songs for her album. This particular song I use because it make use of saxophone which I find very pleasing and meaty when played at lower octaves. This is exactly what has been done on this song. Saxophone is also very well recorded and standing on the utmost left side of the scene, basically on the left side of the left speaker, a good foot, foot and a half beside! The timbre is right on the money a tad more convincing and little more meatier on the new OPS, more enjoyable to my ears. Jen's voice seem to be unchanged but presented a bit higher to a more realist height but nothing that would make you go hmmm...

Vanessa Fernandez, Here But I'm Gone (Use Me) - Here's a very well recorded studio album from an artist I recently discovered reading a music article from the web. It is actually one good example of well positioned mics at proper recording levels, someone knew what he/she was doing. Strangely enough, the scene seems to be recorded in a very shy way, meaning narrower than other recordings (mainly staying between the speakers) but not with less care. The song presents very nice dynamics, punchy bass. This is an area were this new OPS seems to shine over the previous one and presents a superb control, well noticed. Talking about dynamics, give a listen to the album 11:11 from Rodrigo y Gabriela and you will hear what I mean! Vanessa's voice is very nicely recorded with no echo just her nude voice, plain and simple but very effective. I love the light raspy "softened" tone of her voice.

Yamina, Do Nothin till you hear from me (Love Letters EP) - This recording was recorded directly to DSD and I bought the DSD128 album version. I don't know if is because of how it was recorded but the background is really black, very silent. Again some details you'll hear is the piano pedals sound, which can clearly be heard. Piano timbre is just spot on and decay is so natural, very similar to the previous OPS but more natural on the decay side. If you're used to a real piano you will immediately notice it.

To sum it all up, this newer OPS from Mirand is just a must if you own their DAC. I was skeptical at first, now I'm a believer!

Do
Hi pinnocchio ,
Excelent review. How about pcm?
Do you prefer render all to dsd?
What are the major differences in sound quality between the two modes?

Nuno
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Old 19th April 2018, 06:05 PM   #1556
pinnocchio is offline pinnocchio  Canada
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Location: Montreal
Quote:
Originally Posted by pistollero View Post
Hi pinnocchio ,
Excelent review. How about pcm?
Do you prefer render all to dsd?
What are the major differences in sound quality between the two modes?

Nuno
At first I just wanted to test if DSD 256 was natively supported by the DAC and working with Roon Audio. After finding out that it was going to work I decided to give it a few listening sessions and compare everything. For me, up-sampling to DSD 256 gives a more natural feel (more organic), and especially to CD quality content and believe it or not, some of the compressed stuff (yes I have some Apple music stuff unfortunately that I have not yet bought in CD or high res). On PCM 96/24 and other high resolution format it is not as much of an impact, some very little if at all but my collection is mostly CD quality (also using Tidal HiFi) and I hear great benefit up-sampling to DSD 256. There's also great improvement using the software to upsample PCM CD quality to PCM high resolution (192/24 +) but I prefer DSD for my taste. This DAC can do it all so why not!

Do
__________________
PREAMPs : Bal AMB α10 + JC-80 | Bal DCB1 | Bal LDR3x | AMPs: AMB β24 | USSA3 & 5 | FO v1.4 | TGM8 | VZ Audio NS OPS | NX Amp | FC-100
DACs : TPA Buffalo II + OPC's NTD1 I/V | JLsounds | Mirand AK4490 + Discrete Output Speakers : Troels Gravesen ATS-4 | Sagwee LT V3
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Old 27th April 2018, 12:54 PM   #1557
vitalica is offline vitalica  Europe
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Sonny, I've sent several emails to you.
When you have time, can you please answer me?
I'm stuck with my TSSA V8 and TSSA V1.6 project
Thank you.
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Old 4th May 2018, 08:39 AM   #1558
nikosokey is offline nikosokey  Greece
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Location: Αrta-Greece
Hi my friends
there is someone who has kept this archive first edition dac 1.1 with simple frontpanel

AK4490 USB Dac with dsd support.



Firmware for USB Audio DAC V1.2 with simple frontpanel:
Dropbox - SITO USB DAC V12 - Firmware - 20170921.bin

AK4490 USB Dac with dsd support.

I would be obliged..
pm please for my email ...
BR Nikos
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Titan 2000 ,Cressendo Millenium 2000, P3A ,VSSA ΤΟ3 ,B1 Buffer ,Golmund Mimesis 9.2 Clone ,Preamplifier Dispre 2 - JFET, DCB1 SALAS, D-Reflector, BibFet, Buffalo II,ES9018K2M, Arduino LDR Volume, AK4490 Discrete Mirand Audio,SSHV2, 6V6 Salas Preamp.

Last edited by nikosokey; 4th May 2018 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:14 AM   #1559
Joseph K is offline Joseph K  Hungary
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: gran sasso
Nikos,

I'm a bit confused, Your's two links are in contradiction..
Do You search firmware for the original Mirand model + frontpanel
or the new model (multiple digital inputs) + simple frontpanel?

Maybe I have some things saved..

Ciao, George
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:20 AM   #1560
nikosokey is offline nikosokey  Greece
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Ηi George
firmware for the original Mirand model + frontpanel yes looks like

AK4490 USB Dac with dsd support.
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