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I want you to experience this ecstasy (Read 6911 times)
Steve Deckert
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If the 1st watt
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I want you to experience this ecstasy
06/29/09 at 04:18:21
 
I want you to experience this ecstasy!  Yes, I'm listening all alone, at night, and getting things honed in for Decfest in October 2009!

I've been deep, deep, deep into the creation process working on a solution to the digital blues in the form of a Decware DAC to end all dacs.  Of course this started 7 years ago, and is now finally coming together in a mind numbing way that is presently exceeding my wildest expectations!

I simply can't wait until this years Decfest to debut this DAC in one of my favorite reference systems.  Imagine a pair of 6 inch full range drivers that are flat and healthy from 20Hz to 20kHz with a sensitivity of 95dB on a world class 5 watt amplifier being directly driven by this DAC and all I can say is that while test driving this system, I'm dumbfounded at what I'm hearing.  I've stumbled onto a way to make digital as satisfying as good analog and I never thought I'd ever hear myself say such a thing, but it's true.  Right now I could almost care less if I ever listen to an LP again.

Be sure to come and experience this with me at Decfest, OR if anyone wants to come between now and then (evenings only, you'll have to spend the night in a hotel (or in the listening room) and get the real treatment by having it all to yourself for the entire evening!!!  

The system demands to be heard.  I would say it's probably twice as good as the best most of us have ever heard, myself included.

God Bless

Steve

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Steve Deckert
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If the 1st watt
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Posts: 2386
Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #1 - 06/29/09 at 04:25:20
 
BTW, I forgot to mention... this digital I'm referring to is 16/44.  My feelings on digital playback has always been grim, but once I discovered how to fix what's wrong with it at the DAC level I decided we all need to re-group and get what we have right before moving on to higher sampling rates.  Before my discoveries, it took 192kHz 32bit live masters to make me happy, and even then there was always a gap between that and good analog.  Now that it's fixed, 16/44 sounds 4 times better than the 192/32 did before this breakthrough.  Yes, 24/96 and higher will just be that much better with this technology (or lack of technology actually) so life is basically really good right now.  :)

Steve
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buzz
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #2 - 06/29/09 at 04:52:48
 
Can't wait to hear this Steve! I've gone through a dozen DACs and none come close to good vinyl. We are SO READY for it! What a long road....

Any more hints as to the topology? Non-oversampling... or what?
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Walter
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #3 - 06/29/09 at 07:25:44
 
I'd also be majorly interested in this DAC. Even though I have a DEC685 and DEC343 and also vinyl setups, recently I've been working on putting together a convenient, compact digital front end based on a mini ITX motherboard. Those motherboards are 6 3/4 square.

I've ordered and received all my parts, except for the Zotac ION-ITX-A motherboard which is back ordered. That's a dual core Atom CPU with the Nvidia ION graphics which would also allow me to use the system to do HD blu-ray playback. My CDs aren't organized and I spend a certain amount of time sometimes just trying to find a CD... so I wanted the convenience of a digital audio server, but still wanted it to sound nice.

A critical piece of the system is the USB DAC. Currently I have Yeo's USB Monica DAC and was planning on using that in the system. But that's also why I purchased the Decware Zkit4 and Zkit5 with the voltage tube regulation to back end the USB DAC.

I think a lot of people are currently using or are going to these sorts of PC based servers for their music.

Steve were you also going to offer a USB input variant of the DAC ?
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SE84CS, Torii-I C, Torii II, Carina, Mardis TA10.1, MLB
CSP2, ZBOX, Dec343, Dec685, Njoe Tjoeb 4000
BIX, Duals 1019, 1219, 701
Graham Slee AMP2 SE & AMP 3, Bel Canto Phono1, Bel Canto DAC2
RL1.5, MG944, Solos, Horns, Hornshoppe Bass Cube
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veryoldcat
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #4 - 06/29/09 at 07:46:44
 
Naturally I find the idea of this exciting! Even if it were SOOO much better than existing digital playback, that in itself would be nice, indeed Cool

As luck would have it, I still have many "can't live without 'em recordings" only available on vinyl. It's unlikely they could be home-digitized at such a quality that would surpass a good vinyl source as I believe the best sounding 16/44 cd's are downsampled from higher resolutions, no?

Every home-brew method I've ever heard that transfers vinyl to digital doesn't come close to a studio level transfer from the original master tape of the same recording.

So, whether I like it or not, vinyl is a permanent fixture stuck in my system, although I would really really like it if there were a dac that could slay vinyl.

I have some cd's that are sacd's, only (which do not contain a redbook layer). I'm assuming you'd have to live without these if the Decware dac plays 16/44, only, or would it be able to deal with sacd encoded data? Just curious, but probably not...?

Too bad Illinois is so far away from me (like the moon) as I'd love to visit and hear that thing.  :'(  

Cheers,
Karl





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SE84CS (vcapped), CSP, zbox, Dec685, ZP 1.0, Sota tt/Well-Tempered Arm/V15XMR, Parker 98's, Parker Audio *Power Chords*, cat 6 wires, OSX; a garage sale of other stuff...
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KimKman
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #5 - 06/29/09 at 15:45:13
 
Wow, exciting. Glad to hear you are traveling down this road Steve. Although I certainly love my vinyl digital does make a lot of sense for my office system and makes it much easier for my wife to listen to what she wants to during the day. I also believe that such things will bring more younger folks into the real world of digital audio coupling with music servers and such. We really need to get them away from iTunes garbage and help them discover what its all about. Look forward to seeing updates as you progress.
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #6 - 06/29/09 at 17:55:01
 
Steve: My equipment list below is that of a very simple 2ch. system.
What can I expect sonically by adding this DAC?
Thanks, Don
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Decware SE34I w/ CCE mod, ZCD, Heybrook/Linn/Clearaudio, Hagerman,
Goertz/Wireworld/cat-5/MarkAudio Alpair 10.2 drivers
(eN) in DIY Mar-Ken cabs
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #7 - 06/29/09 at 19:05:13
 
I'm going to pretend that I didn't ever see this thread. Smiley

(And it should be easy, like Karl I am very fond of SACD and this is not going to decode that, and I'm very happy with my digital playback).
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #8 - 06/30/09 at 02:50:33
 
Steve,

Very, very exciting and interesting .....

As many readers of the forum know, I have owned some very nice DACs including the $10,000.00 Zanden 5000.  It was really good, but IMHO not worlds better than the most recent Camelot Uther.

Much to my disappointment, it was also not as good in an absolute sense as any decent, modestly priced analog rig ..... although for my purposes and listening habits I have continued to enjoy my digital only system with the Decware ZCD doing a very respectable job of putting music in my room.

Many recently released CDs can sound quite good ..... one example being CDs on the German Stockfisch label.  They do not suffer from the "digititus" that afflicts many CDs produced by the larger popular labels.

My biggest complaint has always been with the CDs of some of the best music originally released on vinyl during the 60s, 70s and 80s.

When listening to many of them, you get the feeling that the record companies had the attitude of "just get the music on the little silver disks and out the door ..... don't worry about how it sounds" .....

Some of the music I love most ..... such as Pure Prairie League's "Bustin' Out" is an absolute atrocity on CD and I have never heard it sound good on any system ..... while the LP sounds just fine on a very modest analog system.  The bass on the CD sounds like it has been stripped out and the upper mids and treble are cold and sterile.  This balance is pretty common on many of the CD releases of music from this era.

It will be interesting to see what the new Decware DAC can do for disks like that ..... but if it can just bring the "middle of the road quality" CDs up to the level of decent analog it will be a major advance for the audio hobby .....    

I just may see a road trip to Peoria in my near future .....

Regards,

Randy
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« Last Edit: 06/30/09 at 06:02:09 by Randy in Caintuck »  

CEC TL-2 belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
Decware Model SE84C+ amplifier
Greenvalve Audio Type 10 amplifier
Parker Audio Troll Magnus speakers
"Mini Me" OBs - with Hawthorne Augies, Wild Burro Betsy drivers and Heil AMTs
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Stone Deaf
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #9 - 07/02/09 at 03:14:33
 
Due to the limited time I have left on this earth I may have to be satisfied listening to the wonderful vinyl system I have built. It is great to know technology is still moving forward but I am stuck in the past.
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My system: Decware Taboo, CSP2, ZP3, Pro-Ject RM 10 / Grado Reference Sonata, Adcom 700, ERR Radials, Lots of Mapleshade, Kimber and Herbie's stuff.
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #10 - 07/02/09 at 14:01:56
 
its been a long time since i posted, but my most recent audio epiffany is the importance of pre amps and dacs.

can you make a 12v version of these steve?

hundreds of serious car audio people globally would buy it.
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michkhol
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #11 - 07/02/09 at 20:24:47
 
Personally I'm skeptical about this DAC (or any DAC that claims to be as good as analog). Granted I don't have the Steve's reference gear nor do I have a properly treated room. But so far my measurements confirm my hearing and in due time I sent back the ZCD in favor of Metric Halo. The SE34I.2 has only 40-20000Hz bandwidth when loaded with HDTs and it confirms why I feel that a sub is needed. This may go against the mainstream attitude here but I would hate to discover that the DAC adds something that is NOT in the original signal, like random phase shifts, compression/expansion, dynamic equalization. I admit that all three mentioned are the natural phenomenon accompanying the cantilever moving in the groove. But I don't believe it can be artificially reproduced equally well for all musical genres.
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« Last Edit: 07/03/09 at 04:35:41 by michkhol »  
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veryoldcat
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #12 - 07/03/09 at 03:14:57
 
Hmmm,

Well I sympathize with your skepticism, Michkhol, as I'm also a skeptic, especially when it comes to the comparison of analog and digital playback.

In fact, although I'm skeptical of my own skepticism... shucks, forgot what I was even trying to say. Huh

OTOH, this sounds like a really interesting DAC project that Steve is into, and I have a lot of interest in how it turns out.

I wish I were a little closer to Peoria, as I'd love to cop a listen....

Karl
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SE84CS (vcapped), CSP, zbox, Dec685, ZP 1.0, Sota tt/Well-Tempered Arm/V15XMR, Parker 98's, Parker Audio *Power Chords*, cat 6 wires, OSX; a garage sale of other stuff...
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Doorman
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #13 - 07/03/09 at 03:31:02
 
30 day refund policy Karl! Smiley
Don
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Decware SE34I w/ CCE mod, ZCD, Heybrook/Linn/Clearaudio, Hagerman,
Goertz/Wireworld/cat-5/MarkAudio Alpair 10.2 drivers
(eN) in DIY Mar-Ken cabs
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veryoldcat
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #14 - 07/03/09 at 03:35:14
 

Thx for being my personal shopper, Don!

Karl
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SE84CS (vcapped), CSP, zbox, Dec685, ZP 1.0, Sota tt/Well-Tempered Arm/V15XMR, Parker 98's, Parker Audio *Power Chords*, cat 6 wires, OSX; a garage sale of other stuff...
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