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Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder (Read 45159 times)
stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #100 - 03/05/15 at 14:26:03
 
ILance, sweet! If you like the PS Audio DSD better-still for Redbook-I will have to buy another one with the latest firmware and compare again. I have my notes to go on for now. I did not like the omissions in Redbook it presented.

Nice to have two others on the Forum getting the ZDSD!  After 50 to 60 hours on her...I think you guys will like her a lot.

ILance, nice to see you're using JansZen's. Super high effish' Speaks make me want to puke. An Audible Illusions Pre....sweet classic. How does it compare to the CSP3? I'm assuming you have Jupiter Caps in it.
.....good Cables too....look forward to your impressions in due time.
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« Last Edit: 03/05/15 at 15:14:40 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #101 - 03/05/15 at 14:57:15
 
Quote:
I did not like the omissions in Redbook it presented.


I'm curious what you mean by this.

By the way, I feel like my DS and/or my Blue Zu bloomed last night. I had such a wonderful night of listening that has surpassed all days previous. The sound is still a little "dry", but the detail and PRaT is there in spades. And the soundstage opened up so much!
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Chris K
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #102 - 03/05/15 at 15:38:32
 
Stone I have always wanted to hear the Polk SDA line. When it came out a I was a poor 20 something and could not afford. They were exotica to me back then.  ;D
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #103 - 03/05/15 at 15:54:39
 
Same here Chris, I was a poor 20 something as well back in the day. I bought them used. I still need to have them rebuilt. The upgrades are supposed to serve them well. However, great stock, and of course using the SDA function. As time passes, they continue to increase in value. I will not part with them. Unless, a Polkie, as they are called on their Forum, made me an offer I could not refuse.

Hey, where's your Signature? Where's the beef?!  ;D Cool
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Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
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Chris K
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #104 - 03/05/15 at 16:13:22
 
stone_of_tone Quote:
Hey, where's your Signature? Where's the beef?!  ;D

You got me. There is too much. I collect old gear as a hobby which has little to to with the hair splitting effort to have ultimate fidelity. I should put together a list of what stays in the system most starting with speakers.
I have many Decware amplifiers and they go in revolving through from time to time. I also have a fetish for solid state amps and have class A designs and A/B as well. I will thin out the heard soon enough. Nothing is losing value right now though.
Zygi's HR-1 is just the best speaker I've ever had in my listening history. I'll put that sig list together soon. Wink
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« Last Edit: 03/05/15 at 16:21:26 by Chris K »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #105 - 03/06/15 at 17:22:54
 
Cool Chris. Do you have any Pass or First Watt (A or A/B)?

Enjoying some music today. -20 Ref Level OUTPUT is on to stay with the ZDSD. As is keeping the Volume INPUT at flat 0.0; maintains all the Air around my Sax Players: Sonny Stitt, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Air/tone around my Pop Jazz Player's, for example, Euge Groove's Tenor an Soprano.

I find my CSP3 indispensable. No loss of music detail in my System with it. My Telefunken input tube is at 10 (each half of course) an my 6N1P-EV output pre tubes at 8 out of 10 setting for each tube. The volume setting is kept at 50% constant, up from 0 volume. I love driving this higher voltage output of the CSP3 into my ZMA.

The ZMA is used at 15 to 25% up from 0 volume/gain. I use the 15 to 25% gain exclusively on the ZMA for Volume adjustment. At 25% and my CSP3 kept at 50% constant up from 0 volume, I'm at 83.5db SPL with Peaks of 90.5db SPL with no clipping/rock solid on the ZMA meters.

Weight, density and dynamics....and not at the expense of my midrange or highs. Tonal balance aplomb.
Certainly my muse/bliss.



Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Decware DSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 16/96 or 16/176.4)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/CCa/7308 for input tube)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (NOS/Platinum/Matsushita / National PCC88 / 7DJ8 in A12 an B12 inputs)
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Vintage Polk SDA1 Speakers in Stereo (91db)
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/118 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)
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« Last Edit: 03/06/15 at 21:43:20 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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Palomino
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #106 - 03/07/15 at 12:43:01
 
I found this quote from Paul McGowans daily blog
To be interesting:

My friend Arnie is now fascinated with listening to tracks on SD cards which he swears sound better than the same, captured from the polycarbonate discs they came from.
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i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 2, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Chord QuteHD with LPSU, DIY Belden ICs, Torii MKIII, SE34I.32, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Vintage Western Electric 16g Speaker wires, DIY Speakers
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #107 - 03/07/15 at 15:26:39
 

I read that as well, and you know I agree. When I first played music ripped from CD and dumped to USB stick, I heard an immediate difference on my Oppo. I even wrote them to ask if I was crazy (because the math and measurement guys gave me shit for this) Oppo completely agreed with me.

I'm done with spinning media. I'm a little saddened that Paul is doing physical media only, but it sounds like it will be easy to dump it to my hard drive and put the physical media in storage.

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lLance
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #108 - 03/07/15 at 15:27:58
 
Looks like Steve is a trail blazer with the SD cards.

Stone, not to get too far off topic but to answer your question. My CSP3 with Jupiter caps and a Telefunkin in the input is a better preamp than the Audible Illusions and at half the price. The AI has an excellent Phono stage which is what I use it for. More tube rolling flexibility with the CSP3. The AI is hard on tubes.
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ZMA, ZTpre, VPI Scout 1.1 & Soundsmith Zepher Cart, Janszen zA2.1 Speakers, PS Audio DSD, Berkeley Audio Alpha USB, PS Audio P10, Win 8 & J River app, Morrow Cables Triode Wire Labs #7 & Lessloss PC, voodoo AES
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Lon
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #109 - 03/07/15 at 15:29:43
 
Well, Paul is using his PWT which improves the sound compared to other transports imo. (And his). Makes playing discs sonically rewarding and lets those of us who prefer discs reap the benefits. I don't want to "stick it." Or rip it. Waste of time for me.
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HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,ZROCK2,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,SamsonV2+V3;CambrAudi CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #110 - 03/09/15 at 05:09:29
 
I have resisted recording for 16 days of my ownership. Now, with a handle on her as a DAC play through with burn in an Steve's OT Stage, I am ready to record tomorrow an hear for myself from SD card playback. If it is like the SD card Steve sent, I am in for a treat.
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Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
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Guillaume Bougard
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #111 - 03/09/15 at 08:52:45
 
I have a very basic question:

1. how does one hook up this device to a macbookpro?

1.a to play music on my computer
1.b to record from computer
1.c to record from other sources

Can someone please post a photograph showing how the device is linked to the computer and to the amp to better illustrate the answer to my question?

2. I think I have an idea, but might as well ask: what other sources can feed this device and using what connection?

thanks for clarifying and simplifying
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Palomino
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #112 - 03/09/15 at 14:17:33
 
Guillaume, I'm not sure about recording, but to play, you will need a USB to SPDIF converter.  This unit does not have USB or optical inputs, the two Mac digital outputs.  It would be Mac USB out --> USB/SPDIF USB input --> SPDIF output -->Decware Direct Stream.

lLance, people in the Computer Audiophile Mac community have been using SD cards for some time now.  Lots of experimentation there.  Some people even run their operating system off an SD card.  What Steve is doing is cool, just not the first.
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i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 2, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Chord QuteHD with LPSU, DIY Belden ICs, Torii MKIII, SE34I.32, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Vintage Western Electric 16g Speaker wires, DIY Speakers
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #113 - 03/09/15 at 20:29:17
 
I did some recording from CD at 16 an 24/192. I like it. The gap is narrow though between SD record an playback vs. transport in using 196 for both comparisons. However, I will toy around with my Lexar 8GB card some more. It is fun an easy. You're enjoying/listening while it records anyway... . Takes two seconds to quick format the card and record. The remote is nice too.

For playback of SD, shut the monitoring off. You can't switch sample rates while recording-no surprise their. To change sample rates while playing from transport, you do need to hit record and then stop-even though you are not recording. Go to info to see that it is changed.

Now, putting Steve's DSD SD Card back in. Oh yeah, a step up. Of course we're splitting hairs and yes they are worth splitting. However, when you move into 16/ 176.4 an 192, using the ZDSD as a direct DAC via SPDIF, it is in the company of DSD....and it beats my Chord QuteHD. Remember too, we have Steve's analog output stage modification as well=awesome sonically! For me, it is official, this is my new DAC ....(and recorder too/possible future endeavors with her capabilities in DSD with the Sony future proof standards DSD/inputs an ADDA for my Vinyl).
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« Last Edit: 03/09/15 at 20:49:23 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
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Guillaume Bougard
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #114 - 03/10/15 at 11:12:01
 
Thanks Palomino, makes more sense now.

The next obvious question are:

1. Which USB/SPDIF USB input --> SPDIF output unit is the best money no object
and
2. Which USB/SPDIF USB input --> SPDIF output unit is the best under 100/250/500 bucks?

thank you all for advice!
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Palomino
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #115 - 03/10/15 at 14:11:29
 
I'm not that familiar with the various manufacturers.  I have heard about Berkeley and Offramp as two higher end solutions that are well reviewed.

http://www.berkeleyaudiodesign.com/

http://www.empiricalaudio.com/products/off-ramp-converter

For the low end, I went with a $250 Martrix Audio converter.  I think the key technonolgy in these low end units is the XMOS chip so look for one with this chip.

http://www.amazon.com/MATRIX-X-SPDIF-32bit-192khz-Co-axial/dp/B00A2QKDMC
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i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 2, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Chord QuteHD with LPSU, DIY Belden ICs, Torii MKIII, SE34I.32, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Vintage Western Electric 16g Speaker wires, DIY Speakers
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #116 - 03/10/15 at 21:21:56
 
Okay, I'm done (yeah, famous last words).

What I'm getting out of the ZDSD + CSP3 + ZMA...I know I can't beat.

Time to do some Spring cleaning:
Anedio D2 DAC
Super Zen CKC
Zen Styx
Chord Chordette QuteHD
Some Svetlana NOS original/not knock-off SV83's.

I will put them in the Classified's soon.
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Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #117 - 03/10/15 at 21:40:33
 

I might still want your Svetlana - I don't think you got back to my last PM on that. But it wasn't pressing and I forgot to follow up!

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #118 - 03/11/15 at 15:41:50
 
Cool, I need to dig them out an see how many pair I'm willing to part with.
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Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #119 - 03/12/15 at 13:18:06
 
Off topic, but I'm excited about it. I kept the Acoustic Zen Adagio's-hoping 250+ hours on them would pay off (four months on Solid State). It has paid off. Now, back in my Listening Room, the damn under-hung woofers have finally loosened up an the X-over's burned in, they are giving up the goods. Now, as in speed, detail an transparency with micro dynamics.
Macro dynamics, through the transmission line are killer too!

My Polk SDA-1's (in Stereo) an Adagio's @ a 89db SPL @ 1 watt/1 meter are kickin' it!



Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Decware DSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 16/96 or 16/176.4)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/CCa/7308 for input tube)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (NOS/Platinum/Matsushita / National PCC88 / 7DJ8 in A12 an B12 inputs)
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Vintage Polk SDA1 Speakers in Stereo (91db)
***********~OR~********************
Acoustic Zen Adagio/Black Pearl's (89db SPL @ 1watt/1meter)
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/118 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)


Decware SE84CS (w/NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs).....when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!


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« Last Edit: 03/12/15 at 14:19:26 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #120 - 03/13/15 at 18:01:49
 
Well, I finally hear what Chip Stern hears in these Speaker's. They will not be removed from the Room anytime soon.

Chip/about the Acoustic Zen Adagio's:
"these speakers are so harmonically correct and uncolored, and depict such clearly defined images across a broadly balanced, transparent soundstage that they surely rate a serious audition. Best of all, because the relationship between these underhung drivers and the amplification is so constant; because the Adagios present such an easy load to drive; they sound superb at low volumes yet you can push the piss out of them without dropping a bass bomb on your immediate neighbors or removing most of the skin on your scalp".

My sentiments exactly!


Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Decware DSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 16/96 or 16/176.4)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/CCa/7308 for input tube)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (NOS/Platinum/Matsushita / National PCC88 / 7DJ8 in A12 an B12 inputs)
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
***********~~************************************
Acoustic Zen Adagio/Black Pearl's (89db SPL @ 1watt/1meter)
***********~~************************************
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/118 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)


Decware SE84CS (w/NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs).....when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!

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« Last Edit: 03/13/15 at 18:11:50 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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beowulf
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #121 - 03/13/15 at 21:46:23
 
@ stone ... I thought you sent those back no?
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #122 - 03/14/15 at 03:39:20
 
I was going to trade them back for a REL Sub. Glad I did not.
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Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #123 - 03/16/15 at 20:47:41
 
My Vintage Polk SDA 1's (in Stereo-no sda function needed), are back in Beowulf an the Adagio's are out.

The AZ Adagio's are wonderful speakers. However, they do lack the efficiency that my SDA's have and are also lacking an octave or two in the low end/that my SDA's so have. Steve's ZDSD output stage is perfect coming through the SDA's, with MORE detail an grace. Plain out more real!  I have come to really appreciate these Vintage Polk's, since I've had several pair in of various manufacturer's.

Well, no worries, off to ebay the Adagio's go. If I did not already have killer Speakers in my Solid State Rig....I would keep them for sure. This sale (an a few other things I'm going to part with) will provide me some funds for Steve's new Preamplifier coming in October!  He might put the 6C33 Mono's out too.
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« Last Edit: 03/16/15 at 20:51:33 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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beowulf
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #124 - 03/17/15 at 00:10:06
 
Well you gave them a shot at least.  Do you feel its hard to find a true full range speaker that is also very efficient and with a smooth impedance curve?

The Legacy Audio Aeris seems to come very close with a frequency range of 16Hz–30k (+/-2dB), 4 ohm ipednace @ 95.4dB.  They're pretty pricey though.
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analogwave
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #125 - 03/17/15 at 02:58:12
 
The ZDSD came on Friday so I've had three nights with it in my system (ZDSD -> TORII MKIII -> DM947 Monoliths), and it's incredible -it surpasses every expectation I had.  The ZDSD is the first DAC that made me forget I was listening to a digital source -it is that involving, engaging, and real.  My reference point for realism and musicality in recorded media is 1/4" 15 IPS 2 track magnetic tape, and some well mastered LP's.  That is about all I can say -the ZDSD sounds like master tape.

I also have a MINI TORII, and since the ZDSD has such a high output, the MINI TORII drives the Monoliths like never before.  It's astounding the SPL levels and dynamics I can reach now with the 4 watt MINI TORII.

The other amazing thing with the ZDSD->TORIIMKIII->DM947Monoliths combination is the bass response.  The bass is deep, tight, fast, and authoritative like magnetic tape.  I didn't realize how much bass could come out of those Monoliths until I had the ZDSD as a source.

The ZDSD is a game changer in my system -a digital source that sounds like analog!
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #126 - 03/17/15 at 04:51:50
 
Beowulf, the Aeris is pricey. My SDA's seem like 95 compared to the 89 1 watt 1 meter Adagio. My sound stage depth destroy's the Adagio's too with my Vintage SDA's.

Stereophile reviewed the Tekton Enzo this month. But, they don't breathe air like my SDA's-which is my biggest criticism of high efficiency. All slam, with no nuance texture. Herb makes that clear in the review. This is why I'm firmly in the camp of those of us here that use Martin Logans, Monitor Audio, Magnepan an JansZens with our Decware.

So no, you probably can't find a flat imp. curve. No matter, it is all in how it sounds.

Their are attributes of tone with air~ air~ air ~I need with my Decware an my Speaker choices that you can't get with high eff. Speaks. You might as well use a Crown PA Amp for 95-96 or above 1 watt 1 meter Speaks, far as I'm concerned.

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« Last Edit: 03/17/15 at 14:56:29 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #127 - 03/17/15 at 10:55:29
 
Great! Glad you are enjoying it so much!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #128 - 03/17/15 at 14:38:37
 
????????

Lon, did you get a ZDSD?


Analogwave, great news! Yes, analog~ detail~ an grace ~open. My ZDSD is burning in nicely...keeps improving where I have my CSP3 now at 7 (down from 8) out of 10 for the output tubes set at 65% gain. I use my ZMA gain as my master volume between 15 an 25% up from 0 gain.
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« Last Edit: 03/17/15 at 14:42:19 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #129 - 03/17/15 at 14:48:10
 
No, I don't see what would lead you to that conclusion, I was reporting my happiness for this other new owner's enjoyment. As we have wrangled over before I'm leery of the "density" of sound and what Steve thinks is the ultimate analog playback sound as I have not liked it as much in the past, and I'm very very happy with my DirectStream. I'm waiting for several comparisons to the DirectStream before I might consider ordering Steve's. . . and I'm pretty much out of audio dollars for a while anyway.

Looking at the way you are using your CSP3. . . have you tried running the ZMA turned fully up and turning the output levels of the CSP3 down and using the CSP3 as the master volume? That is the way I get the clearest, most open, least compressed sound from my CSP2+ and Torii Mk III combo for the sources connected (and I use my DirectStream to control volume straight into the fully turned up Torii Mk III).
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« Last Edit: 03/17/15 at 14:52:45 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #130 - 03/17/15 at 15:08:50
 
I have tried as you described with my CSP3 an ZMA. However, the ZMA is a different animal. Run direct at -20 output from the ZDSD, the ZMA has the sweet spot of only using 15 to 25-35% max of its volume gain from 0.
As well too, when using the CSP3 @ 7 out of 10 voltage gain an set at 65% gain/volume from 0 running into the ZMA. It provides the most open least compressed this way. My input Telefunken on the CSP3/both sides at 10 full.
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« Last Edit: 03/17/15 at 15:13:58 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #131 - 03/17/15 at 15:22:15
 
Cool. Very different. Would be weird to just use that much power, and every amp I've owned has sounded best towards wide open! I guess that's one way to control the treble, with the "natural compression" of having the preamp pumping more volts into the amp with the amp set at a lower level. Doesn't sound best with my amps but then I don't have ZMAs.
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« Last Edit: 03/17/15 at 15:24:01 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #132 - 03/17/15 at 15:32:00
 
Also, taking into account my Speakers. Actually, for the longest time I was using the volume all the way up on the ZMA an driving with the CSP3 as master volume. However, when I got the ZDSD (using -20 output), usable volume on the ZMA was at only 15 to 25% an sounding great an dense an detailed. So, I said, lets get the CSP3 back in the chain an continue to use this 15 to 25 as master volume on the ZMA with the Pre at a fixed volume an higher voltage output. Bam, it is all there?! I'm scratching my head at only using this little gain on the ZMA? However, the ZDSD tipped me off to this and it is even better with the CSP3 than using just the ZDSD alone direct in to ZMA.

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« Last Edit: 03/17/15 at 15:38:08 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #133 - 03/17/15 at 15:37:03
 
Whatever works! When I got my best interconnect it showed me that no matter how I tried the most transparent way (not that I'm hooked on transparency, it's sometimes my enemy, but still this was the most all around best sounding way) was without the CSP2+. . . which added a subtle something which I didn't need. Before the DirectStream and this interconnect I felt differently about the sound and had the amp down and used the CSP2+ to pump volume in. It's amazing how things change from component to component in a system with components of these qualities.

All systems are different and as you know tinkering lets you know your best ways and your not so hot ones. I'm at a point now where the only thing I want is a couple more of those best interconnects. . . but unless I sell some things I don't have the dollars! Ultimately for the bulk of my listening and watching/listening (through the DirectStream) I have sound I never dreamed possible before and I'm trying my best to just stand pat and enjoy.
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« Last Edit: 03/17/15 at 15:41:58 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #134 - 03/17/15 at 15:40:33
 
I completely understand. I have a few things to sell. But do I really need anything else?  No.

Plus, you're absolutely right Lon. It does act as a treble control for me in this manner too.

You would think I must be losing some of the music, the way I have it?
However, I grabbed several recordings that I know when a mouse piddles on a cotton ball in the back of the studio...and it is all there an musical.

As the ZDSD burns in some more: I will try it direct only again and backing the CSP3 off an the ZMA up....incrementally.
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« Last Edit: 03/17/15 at 15:52:25 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #135 - 03/17/15 at 15:43:47
 
Right. I keep reading audiophiles ranting against compression. Some compression is great. Some recordings sound awful and the compression really helps! Sure gobs ruin dynamic range, but we need less of that than we think we do for many types of music and many recordings, especially with the gear we have that gives us what's there.
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« Last Edit: 03/17/15 at 15:51:33 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #136 - 03/17/15 at 19:03:47
 
Exactly Lon-I could not agree more, the audiophile recordings I have are obviously great. Don't we wish they all were like that. Or, SACD came first before CD, with great mastering, etc...etc.... . But, we need to live in the world the way it is-not the way we want it to be-with compression good and bad!

The CD came first for digital, so my Listening Room an System are maximized to play my Redbook Collection at its best (now, with the ZDSD at 16/176.4 up-sampled for me an CSP3 as a great adjustment tool for my ZMA). I'm sure you would agree, with your maximization of your vast CD collection with the use of your PS Audio DSD for Redbook. You play SACD too an Vinyl, I know.

A System that can only create involvement for 29 DSD downloads is not for me. I don't do duplicates either.

Far as being done.... . Steve's new Pre coming in October interests me because with multiple inputs.....I might want it in front of my downstairs Solid State Amp with my Vinyl too. Fortunately, I have a few things to sell...so, I hope to be able to swing it.



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« Last Edit: 03/17/15 at 19:14:32 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #137 - 03/17/15 at 19:47:39
 
Living in the real world. . .

Sounds like a song, doesn't it! Smiley

Yes, I'm getting so close to just forgetting about equipment and being set up for all my formats. Hate being a slave to only the best sound, obsessing about the sound, or being upset about the quality of recordings offered. I can certainly see the satisfaction in being more obsessed and seeking out the very best sound but I'll settle for just playing my recordings willy nilly and making them all sound musical and enjoyable.

The great thing about Deware (especially the flexibility of the treble cut circuit and other controls on amps, and the controls on the preamps) is you can go either way, obessively room treatment software futzing for perfection, or for an all-encompassing musicality. The PS Audio regeneration and front end were the pathway to the latter for me. I'm blessed. Can't wait to set up in my new room this summer!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #138 - 03/17/15 at 20:34:56
 
Blessed the same. With regeneration an the ZDSD synergy, with the rest of my Decware from Steve. I am a happy camper.

Don't forget cables! I put my Diamondback IC and Audioquest Rocket 33 full range speaker cable in the other day. Great combo, as is my Kimber KCAG, Kimber Silver Streak, Kimber Timbre or Kimber Hero IC with my 8TC speaker cable. However, it can't do what my Kimber 1030 IC's an 3035 Speaker Cable can do! I know you enjoy your Evo IC's.....an Stradivarius speaker cable.

Today, I went back to 20% vol. on my CSP3-output tubes at 8-input tube at 10 always. ZMA used as master volume at 60 to 80%. Best tonal balance an best dynamics! I love my ZDSD, CSP3 with my ZMA.
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« Last Edit: 03/18/15 at 16:41:54 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #139 - 03/18/15 at 18:28:46
 
Hi Stone and Lon,

I've been reading this forum for almost 7 years now so I feel like I know most of the "power posters".  So I'm a "longtime reader, first time poster"(actually 3rd time now).  I bought my first Decware product (Mini Torii) without having ever heard it in large part because of this forum.  The audio knowledge of the Decware forum members has been invaluable in my quest to improve my home audio system.  Last year, with the purchase of the ZP3 and Monoliths I completed my all Decware analog system, and now with the ZDSD I have a Decware digital source.

I originally got into analog (13 years ago) because of a rare Jimi Hendrix LP I could not find on CD.  I traveled a lot for work back then and was on a project in Austin when I found a HiFi shop that still sold turntables (in 2002 when the death knell was sounding for analog).  I brought the Hendrix record there and put it on a Nottingham Analogue Hyperspace TT in their $200,000 audio room -to say the least that experience got me into analog.  I bought a Nottingham Analogue Horizon TT from that shop and enjoyed it for many years with SS amps.

With SS amps I still divided my listening between CD's and LP's, it wasn't until I got the Mini Torii, 5 years ago, that I almost exclusively turned to analog sources.  That Mini Torii brought my LP's to a level that far exceeded any digital source I could afford.  For me the Mini Torii brought out the true magic of analog, how clearly the emotional content of performances comes through, the realism, and how relaxing and engaging it is.  So over the last 5 years with 4 visits to Steve's, including going to Decfest last year I've become well acquainted with the best of analog and digital.  

After hearing the analog tape that Steve played at Decfest 2014 I have a new reference point for analog.  I always knew analog master tape would have to exceed LP's as an analog source, since LP's are mastered from them -I just didn't understand by how much until I experienced it at Decfest.  1/2 track tape running at 15 IPS is an entirely new experience -a different world for analog playback.

Fast forward to 2015 and the ZDSD.  When I talked with Steve about the ZDSD and he said it was getting very close to analog tape as a source I ordered one immediately.  So when I got the ZDSD last Friday, connected it directly to my Torii MkIII and hit play -I knew within a few seconds that I had a source that far surpassed anything I had before on my home system.  Like I said in my previous post, I forgot I was listening to a digital source -within a few seconds I was fully immersed into the performance.  And for me that is the only thing that matters, it is why I got into analog in the first place.

With the ZDSD I now have the convenience of digital and the fully immersive experience of analog.  I've started to go back through all my CD's too and they sound better than I could ever imagine.  I realize now that I hadn't heard the best out of my Decware amps at home until the ZDSD.  I think the ZDSD is the best improvement I've made to my system since getting a Decware amp.  Having this good a source has brought my system up to a level I didn't think I could achieve before in my home listening room.

The ZDSD->TORII MKIII->Monoliths synergy is an exhilarating ride that has greatly enhanced my audio buzz/high.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #140 - 03/18/15 at 18:49:02
 
Thanks for that analogwave. What store in Austin?

I am quite familiar with the sound of analog tape from the 'seventies and the early 'eighties and I've said often, before Steve started talking about tape, that I thought reel to reel was the ultimate sound.

The way you describe the ZDSD put into your system is how I felt when the PWD Mk II and the DirectStream hit my system, so I think I know what you are talking about and I'm happy to hear you are having such a great experience!

I'm eager to hear what a DirectStream owner would feel about the ZDSD.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #141 - 03/18/15 at 22:19:48
 
Lon, as a Direct Stream owner and fan I am eagerly waiting on my ZDSD to be delivered and share the comparison with you.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #142 - 03/18/15 at 23:23:58
 
Enjoying this thread. Thanks everyone.

Analogwave and Stone,

Analog...sounds exciting. You mention listening to CDs. Can you tell us how you get to the ZDSD from the CD? I am wondering about your experience, SD versus other???

Stone, it seems you like your transport just fine, compared to the SD. Any further thoughts?

Thanks,

Will
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #143 - 03/18/15 at 23:44:14
 
I know ILance, I'm waiting eagerly too. Smiley Or maybe I shouldn't be. . . . Wink
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #144 - 03/18/15 at 23:51:46
 
Quote:
Don't forget cables! I put my Diamondback IC and Audioquest Rocket 33 full range speaker cable in the other day. Great combo, as is my Kimber KCAG, Kimber Silver Streak, Kimber Timbre or Kimber Hero IC with my 8TC speaker cable. However, it can't do what my Kimber 1030 IC's an 3035 Speaker Cable can do! I know you enjoy your Evo IC's.....an Stradivarius speaker cable.


Stone, actually in my system I'm using one of the first versions of the VooDoo Stradivarius interconnect from the DirectStream straight into the Torii, and VooDoo Ultralinear from the two other sources into the CSP2+ and out of the CSP2+ into the Torii. I moved the VooDoo Evolution cabling (lower tier than the other two) into the system at Dad's. I'm using MapleShade Audio Double Helix Plus speaker cables, I'm very happy with these cables, they are the best I've ever used and I never thought I would enjoy them so much more than the Zen Styx but I do.

Today Bruce Davidson of VooDoo Cable offered me an incredible deal (40 percent!) on the most recent version of the Stradivarius interconnects, the Cremona, and I'll have that later this week in place of the one going to the Torii from the DirectStream. He says I can expect a significant improvement and I don't doubt he's right!

I'm right with you on the importance of good cables and the synergy they can have with the components. I used to grumble at spending money on these, but they're my form of room treatment. . . I can't really do room treatment but I can do cabling improvement.

Glad you were experimenting with the gain and settings of the preamp and amp, it's surprising what differences these can make.
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« Last Edit: 03/19/15 at 12:58:13 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #145 - 03/19/15 at 00:30:37
 
Lon,

It was Sound Mind Audio of Austin, but they are closed now.  They couldn't compete with the onslaught of surround sound systems and wannabe HiFi coming out of the big box chains.

Will,

I use Exact Audio Copy to get a bit perfect copy of a CD, and then copy the wav file on a 32GB SanDisk card that I got for $23.  I think playing the CD from the SD card in the ZDSD is the best I've ever heard a CD sound.  There is something about the decay time of notes and the overall cohesiveness of the sound coming from real instruments that I hadn't experienced before from a CD.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #146 - 03/19/15 at 00:46:33
 
Thanks, I remember that place. Nice people too.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #147 - 03/19/15 at 15:26:12
 
analogwave, thanks for the update. I've done business with Galen Carol Audio down in San Antonio...great guy.
You have me thinking about getting a ZP3 and movng my TTable in my Listening Room.

Will, I'm recording direct from Transport/CD to SD. As analogwave said, it is awesome. But, most of the time running direct from transport up-sampled an loving it. I will keep my Chord Chordette QuteHD, because it is a very good DAC....but the ZDSD bests it. I would have had no problem sending the ZDSD back if it did not.

Cool Lon, I wish cables did not matter! However, as you know-they do.
Great deal from Voodoo! You have the HR-1 Omni's too....so as you know/hear, room treatment is not so critical.... .

Ilance, look forward to your comparison. I need no more than the ZDSD. However, Musicdirect has a deal on the PWT with DSD DAC that is tempting.......
.......I could own both once again. Delving back in to the Firmware updates for Redbook would be fun. However, I'm interested in Steve's new Preamp an the 6C33C Mono-blocks too. Not that my ZMA will ever go anywhere... . However, the 6C33C is a special tube...and in Steve's hands....could be some serious magic! I still very much enjoy my SE84CS with NOS Svetlana SV83's at lower SPL's on my preferred Speakers. The magic lit from within' still gets me.
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« Last Edit: 03/19/15 at 15:54:05 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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will
Seasoned Member
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Posts: 1833
Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #148 - 03/19/15 at 15:56:45
 
Thanks folks.

Will
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PSA P5/modified Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen> modified Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; Decware-Jupiter CSP3, Torii MKIV, HR1-all modified; DIY Speaker Cables; feet-Madscientist, Archie's, isocups, DIY
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stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
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Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2641
Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #149 - 03/19/15 at 17:11:50
 
I'm getting in one heck of session this morning with her (ZDSD). As analogwave mentioned in #145, as I, in reply #92....the decay of notes and the cohesiveness with ease is so crazy good. I am listening to a Live recording that was not compressed to narrow piss, and I'm being floored! Steve, you digital to analog animal. ...enough of this Forum stuff for today...........music, music and more music.
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Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
  IP Logged
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