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Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC (Read 14725 times)
Steve Deckert
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Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
08/02/09 at 03:33:24
 
I'm posting a preview of my paper on the new Decware Zen Triode NOS DAC.  

http://www.decware.com/newsite/paper119.htm

Something for your weekend reading!

Steve  ;)

Here's a few shots of the Zen Triode NOS DAC on my bench...

I'm hoping lots of you will come to the Decfest the first weekend in October this year and listen to it!  If anyone wants to schedule a private listening session prior to then, please call or e-mail me!  Weekends are fine, as are evenings!

Thanks,

Steve












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« Last Edit: 08/03/09 at 16:21:50 by Steve Deckert »  
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veryoldcat
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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #1 - 08/02/09 at 05:12:09
 
Really really enjoyed reading this, and will reread! In spite of the comments that follow, I'm very interested in this thing.

Vinyl pressings from digital masters have always sounded VERY digital to me, and I really don't care for the way they sound (even though printed to vinyl).  I have quite a few that I listen to regularly, as to liking the music and performance, and so on, but have an aversion to the texture of the recorded sound.

The vinyl pressings from digital masters I have are not quite as metallic/edgy as cd's, on the one hand, but nevertheless they've never sounded as "even" as analog mastered recordings to me.

Karl
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« Last Edit: 08/02/09 at 05:12:58 by veryoldcat »  

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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buzz
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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #2 - 08/02/09 at 05:12:19
 
Wow, exciting!

Are you going to offer each 'block' individually? Making a DIY offering would reduce your bench time.  ;)

I can tell some frustration was vented upon that bad, bad, CD player.  ;D  I'm sure you tried every imaginable idea, but why have you decided upon parallel DACs rather than other options, a step-up transformer for instance?
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« Last Edit: 08/02/09 at 05:17:17 by buzz »  
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #3 - 08/02/09 at 12:52:37
 
paralleled chips increase the bit rate and reduce errors.
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Lon
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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #4 - 08/04/09 at 16:35:42
 
Steve,

Very interesting.  I hope there's a market for this!  It's going to be EXPENSIVE and your friends and customrs are a bunch of cheapskates.

:)

For me, the full unit would likely be overkill. Probably MY favorite version would be one that was stage three with two Coasxial inputs.  The funny thing is that I'm finally at long last happy with my digital again, and I'd be loathe to rock the boat.  Something in the Sony I'm using (and I'd suspect it may be the DSD processing) is damned right.
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Lon
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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #5 - 08/04/09 at 16:37:00
 
Also,

What transports are successful with this/are recommended for this?
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #6 - 08/04/09 at 18:00:09
 
Quote:
Very interesting.  I hope there's a market for this! It's going to be EXPENSIVE and your friends and customers are a bunch of cheapskates.


Yes, I'll be personally hand building these one at a time. As I continue to develop the individual blocks I should be able to come up with a more cost effective way to package them all together at a lower price.

Meanwhile for those who would benefit from a great sounding tube preamp combined with a great sounding and versatile headphone amp and a new DAC with USB capability, the price won't seem so out of line.  

Or for those really serious audiophiles who require the stunning amount of control over how it sounds...  One thing you can be sure of, I wouldn't have wasted my time on something unless I was somewhat certain it would sound better than anything else you can buy for the same money.  By the same money, I mean the price of the item before it goes to the dealer.  

So I'm hoping this becomes a unit that once you spend a night with it and discover all the knobs and switches and what they do, you'd sell your boat to have one.

Especially with a transparent amp like our Zens, the source is everything.    :)

So while you're right, and 90% of you will have no interest in it because of the price, it allows me to set my benchmark in the DAC world and continue to develop less expensive implementations of it.


Steve
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« Last Edit: 08/05/09 at 01:16:57 by Steve Deckert »  
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #7 - 08/04/09 at 18:08:34
 
Quote:
Also,

What transports are successful with this/are recommended for this?


This unit is reclocking the Coax and Toslink inputs so it will perform better on a cheap transport than a unit that is not re-clocked.  That said, I will not be recommending transports or getting in any way involved with them.  It will be no different than any other DAC,. the better the transport the potentially better the sound.

I will be recommending USB or a hi-end sound card for the computer with digital output feeding the DAC.  As you enjoy your 1000's of CD's through whatever transport and this DAC you can take some of your favorites and get an error free wav file on your hard drive and play it back with foobar using the appropriate plug in for bit for bit output and listen to it.  The sonic result will in many cases motivate you to start archiving your CD collection.  Besides, CD's don't last forever.  As the plastic ages they develop errors.

Steve
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« Last Edit: 08/04/09 at 18:10:32 by Steve Deckert »  
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Lon
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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #8 - 08/04/09 at 18:11:54
 
Thanks Steve.

I have absolutely no interest in hard-driving my cds etc. Zilch. Nada. And that is not going to change.  I tried to chnge that.

I really don't play favorites over and over . . . . And a lot of my favorites nowadays are SACDs.  That is good sound.

I'd want a basic version.  Having too many options, tweaking. . . I just can't get into that any longer.  I want something that I can say "this sounds good for almost anything" and then just spin music over and over.  That's where I might be falling from the fold, I'm  not that inten on tweaking til every drop is milked and reveling in the really great sound (only).

Very interesting, I'll definitely be wathing.
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« Last Edit: 08/05/09 at 13:31:40 by Lon »  

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veryoldcat
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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #9 - 08/05/09 at 04:15:21
 
Well, I'm still very anxious to hear impressions regarding this beast.

If I could, I'd be at the Decfest, but as a San Francisco-ite and heavily obligated during that time it's never been possible through the years to get there.

Looking forwards to impressions fr Decware-festers!

Karl
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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #10 - 08/05/09 at 04:38:32
 
Yes, I'm also very interested in hearing further info on this unit.
I particularly want to hear A/B comparisons with the ZCD's DAC.
Don
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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #11 - 08/05/09 at 05:22:30
 
I see the board from the Zen Head in there.  

John C.

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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #12 - 08/05/09 at 08:00:21
 
DL'd Foobar.

Is this the add on I need to grab for the direct bit for bit playback? foo_out_ks, Kernal Streaming support version 1.2.2 ??

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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #13 - 08/05/09 at 08:19:27
 
Is Exact Audio Copy still the recommended software or does Foobar have a component add on that will allow archiving of error free files?

just curios as I am not having any luck with the link for
www . exactaudiocopy . de/
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Re: Development of the Zen Triode NOS DAC
Reply #14 - 08/05/09 at 13:15:08
 
Jason,

 Exact Audio Copy is for the ripping to the hard drive, error free and the Foobar is for play back.

I tried going through Google and I had a problem getting to EAC myself, keep trying it.

BobZ
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« Last Edit: 08/05/09 at 13:15:37 by ZYGI »  

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