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ZDAC Review - Against other DACs if U have them. (Read 4663 times)
mpanwar
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ZDAC Review - Against other DACs if U have them.
05/24/10 at 13:04:36
 
Ok so I am one of the original DECWARE SET owners. Fine love it.

But still,

I am looking into the ZDAC 1.

I have read some of the reviews but I do not see how anyone has compared it to any of the following:

YBA WD 202
Shanling DAC 50
Musical Fidelity VDAC
Cambridge Audio DAC Magic etc.

I currently have PC feeding a E-MU 0404 to VDAC. Both 16/44.1 and 24/96 via ASIO and I love it.

But being that DECWARE has a DAC I would like to hear what it would do for me.

So some comparisons please.

Thanks.

M.
Wink
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« Last Edit: 05/24/10 at 13:10:59 by mpanwar »  
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Lon
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Re: ZDAC Review - Against other DACs if U have them.
Reply #1 - 05/24/10 at 13:44:55
 
I can't help you my friend, I've no experience or access to any of those DACs.

I'm quite happy indeed with the ZDAC-1 is really all I can say.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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mpanwar
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Re: ZDAC Review - Against other DACs if U have them.
Reply #2 - 05/24/10 at 14:39:57
 
No problem ...   Perhaps someone has done some analysis with some other DACs.

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mpanwar
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Re: ZDAC Review - Against other DACs if U have them.
Reply #3 - 05/26/10 at 12:35:06
 
Fine. I will do it when I get mine.

I ordered one this week. I know it will sound good. Steve does good but still we need a decent review. Not just .. this is my first DAC and I love it.

FYI .. This will be my 3rd DAC.

Started 20 years ago with a PS Audio Digital Link II
Then a Audio Research (struck by lightening!! Dang it was beautiful)
Back to PS Audio
Current a Musical Fidelity VDAC.

The VDAC is so far the best:

On Kind Of Blue I can hear faint voices in the back during the initial song start. Listen for it. U can hear it on good CD players but with the DAC is is just there.

However, I still feel the VDAC is unable to separate instruments when the music gets busy.

I had high hopes for Peter Frampton's  Frampton Comes Alive in 24/96 (HD Tracks).

So I bought it and let the VDAC have a shot.

Nice going but some congestion when the guitar and drums kick in.
Now I know this is a 70's recording so I was not too concerned.

On other 24/96 material ( DAD from Elusive Discs ) it just shines.

Specially on the Jazz DAD (24/96) Sonny Clark Cool Struttin' DVD
http://www.elusivedisc.com/prodinfo.asp?number=DAD1037

The drums just are there in your room.

Anyway the wait begins and the VDAC is listed on ebay.

If there is much of a delay in the delivery of the ZDAC I will have to use my trusty old E-MU 0404 as a player rather than a digital out source or even the TASCAM used typically for digitizing LPs.
Cool

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« Last Edit: 05/26/10 at 12:35:29 by mpanwar »  
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Lon
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Re: ZDAC Review - Against other DACs if U have them.
Reply #4 - 05/26/10 at 13:28:30
 
Just to point out that neither Randy or I (those who have reviewed the unit so far) have been virgin DAC owners before this. I may not have gone on about it, but I've owned a Cambridge Audio DAC before, and heard a few others belonging to friends.

I'll look forward to your impressions, indeed.  I'm not one to do this sort of A/B listening much at all, it's interesting to read about.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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agustinf
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Re: ZDAC Review - Against other DACs if U have them.
Reply #5 - 05/31/10 at 16:20:33
 
Hi everyone.

I´ve compared and preferred the Zdac to the Wavelength Proton, which I own. Also to the Music Streamer, and the Music Streamer II.

I found the other DACs to have a rather "portable" sound, compared to the Zdac that I found more authoritative, especially at the lower end. I think spacially the ZDAC does a better job, and that it conveys details and nuances at higher resolution.

Finally I was scared about bad sound with low rez files, but that hasn´t been a problem yet.

Best
Agustín
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Lon
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"Love without
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Re: ZDAC Review - Against other DACs if U have them.
Reply #6 - 05/31/10 at 17:39:57
 
Agustin,

Thanks for posting your impressions and comparisons.

Your findings. . . don't surprise me. Smiley  I'm VERY happy with the ZDAC.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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mpanwar
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Re: ZDAC Review - Against other DACs if U have them.
Reply #7 - 06/03/10 at 01:53:47
 
Will review the ZDAC against these once I get it. Here is what I have thus far.  
FYI - Ordered ZDAC. Sold VDAC. Currently using E-MU PCI 0404 Analog out. Will eventually use ZDAC with PC via E-MU 0404 Digital Out (44.1/16 and 24/96) cannot really use ZDAC w USB due to layout of system.

Speakers - Carver Amazing Platinum (Original Owner from 1991) Amp Depending on mood (CJ MF 200 Carver M4.0T Manley Stingray) [the Decware SET is in a different room]. Preamp is an ARC.

Hasaan's Dream (Lee Morgan - Blue Note 92746)

VDAC (fed by PC->Media Monkey->ASIO->E-MU 0404 PCI->SPDIF Coax)
Nice warm sound. Rounds out the edges in CD. However, it really shines on good material like well recorded Jazz or Piano. The Trumpet on Hasaan's Dream is right there in your room along with the cymbals. No roughness on this recoding.

E-MU 0404 (PCI) Analog Out (W X10D)
Lee Morgan's trumpet is just a tad shrill. Nothing that most folks will not like. I put my trusty Musical Fidelity X10D between the E-MU and the Pre Amp and it is about as good as the VDAC. The air over the cymbals is back too.

ZDAC
TBD

Bad Company - Bad Company
VDAC (fed by PC->Media Monkey->ASIO->E-MU 0404 PCI->SPDIF Coax)
Mid-range to die for on this track. I always loved it and now it has a new life of it's own. The drums and the shin shin of the cymbals are what music ia all about. If u like mid-range also check out the B-52's Loveland (Mesopotamia - Warner Bros. Prod by David Byrne). Both these are reproduced just like the album by the VDAC.

E-MU 0404 Analog Out (w X10D)
Really nothing to complain about. The E-MU costs about $159. It gives you 80% of what the VDAC does. Why would you want more? OK forget that. Audiophiles want more. Anyway if a PC person want great sound they need this card. It can grow with them. It will decode 16/44.1, 24/96, and 24/192 via the analog. On the Digital Out (how I choose to use it when the ZDAC arrives) it puts out a untouched 24/96 when asked. Actually this is odd, I am not missing my VDAC right now. Still listetening to Bad Company's The Way I Choose) which is another fine recording on this album. Anyone have the DCC gold version of this album ?  They were hit or miss. Once Steve Hoffman moved away some were just raised volume. Anyway I have both the LP and the original CD. The CD is really nice.

ZDAC
TBD


The Jimmy Cobb Quartet - Cobbs Corner (24/96)

E-MU 0404 (PCI) Analog Out (W X10D)
I am really really shocked that this E-MU sounds so good. Track 04 - "John Charles" has a very high degree of presence and live experience to it. The trumpet sounds like it is right coming out at you from the speakers. Bass a tad shy but that might be due to the tube stage, I doubt it though it does not stop other bass. Must be the recording. It is 'unprocessed' so to speak not like commercial stuff. Drums and cymbals are very clear and this PCI card is able to resolve all the instruments (4!).

VDAC
Sorry I have packed it up for shipment just yesterday so I cannot remember how it sounded. I know it did well since I listened to this album often using Foobar 2000.

ZDAC
TBD (get thine self here post haste ZDAC) Smiley
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« Last Edit: 06/03/10 at 11:57:41 by mpanwar »  
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Lon
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"Love without
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Re: ZDAC Review - Against other DACs if U have them.
Reply #8 - 06/03/10 at 12:16:41
 
Cool. Just remember:  the ZDAC is going to take time to sound its best. At least two weeks, Steve notes in the "manual" three weeks. Mine sounds very different now than it did when it first arrived, good both times, but really much better a month down the road. . . .
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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mpanwar
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Re: ZDAC Review - Against other DACs if U have them.
Reply #9 - 06/03/10 at 16:31:43
 
Yes for sure !  Will make sure it gets burned in and things settle down.

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Lon
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Re: ZDAC Review - Against other DACs if U have them.
Reply #10 - 06/03/10 at 19:52:49
 
Hope yours arrives soon!
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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Mx-6
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Re: ZDAC Review - Against other DACs if U have them.
Reply #11 - 04/05/11 at 01:45:07
 
Guess the guy loves it so much that he has no time to provide the promised review.

LOL.

Well, I am in the process of ordering, I think. Not really sure if it's a good time for me to spend so much on several items here but it is incentive to find a new job since I am retiring in a month and have been lazy.
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