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Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder (Read 44845 times)
stone_of_tone
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Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
01/25/15 at 21:56:13
 
Sweet machine Steve!  I look forward to receiving it.

Ordered.

Boy, am I glad I did not waste countless hours and money, on Computer Audio facilitating!   Cool
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lLance
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #1 - 01/25/15 at 22:41:56
 
Stone, I can't wait to hear your impressions. I've been wanting to start ripping my extensive Vinyl collection.
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beowulf
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #2 - 01/26/15 at 01:22:20
 
Quote:
stone said,
Boy, am I glad I did not waste countless hours and money, on Computer Audio facilitating!  


I love the user interface of JRiver MC 20, the playback preferences, the tweaking, DSP and all the other features that are included.  There is a visual sense and feel to JRiver with album artwork, liner notes, playlists, etc., etc. that makes it more interesting to me and that I don't want to give up.

Also a computer will still be required to transfer music to the memory cards and USB sticks.  First you'll have to rip your CD's to a hard drive, then rip it back to USB/Memory sticks, or you could rip it directly to a USB/Memory stick, but then you are limited to space if you have terabytes worth of music like I do.  You should also use specific software to make sure you are ripping bit perfect lossless files such as FLAC or other lossless/uncompressed file formats ~ so it's not like it bypasses the use of a Mac or PC altogether ... it only bypasses the playback chain if memory cards are used instead of files being read through something like a PC/JRiver/DAC combo.

Other than that it looks like an interesting piece of equipment and coming from Decware I have little doubt that it will sound good.  Had this product had a USB or even SPDIF inputs, it would have been something that I would more likely consider ... just not my cup of tea if it's limited to memory cards and USB sticks, etc.

Edit: it looks as if I misread and it does have SPDIF inputs, so the possibility of using in a Windows interface is there as long as the drivers are available.
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« Last Edit: 01/26/15 at 23:39:39 by beowulf »  
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Lon
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #3 - 01/26/15 at 01:28:11
 
I may be misinterpreting this, but it seems to have both coaxial and BNC inputs in single-ended and also has balanced AES/EBU digital inputs.

Digital Input      
S/PDIF, Cascade:
Connector: RCA Pin Jacks, unbalanced
Format: IEC60958-3 (S/PDIF)
Input Impedance: 75 Ω
Input Frequency with SRC Off: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 176.4, 192 kHz
Input Frequency with SRC On: 32 to 216 kHz
Allowable Frequency Deviation: +/-100 ppm (when SRC OFF)

AES/EBU:
Connector: XLR-3-31 (1:GND, 2:HOT, 3:COLD), balanced
Format: AES3-2003/IEC60958-4 (AES/EBU)
Input Impedance: 110 Ω
Input Frequency with SRC Off: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 176.4, 192 kHz
Input Frequency with SRC On: 32 to 216 kHz
Allowable Frequency Deviation: +/- 100 ppm (when SRC OFF)

SDIF-3:
Connector: 2x BNC, unbalanced
Format: SONY SDIF-3/DSD-raw
Input Impedance: 75 Ω, +/- 20%
Clock Synchronization Frequency: 44.1 kHz
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« Last Edit: 01/26/15 at 01:28:37 by Lon »  

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beowulf
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #4 - 01/26/15 at 01:34:49
 
Hmm, I see I was mistaken on the inputs ~ thanks Lon.  If there are Windows drivers for it there may be hope for people who like to use playback interfaces such as JRiver. At any rate the price is pretty darn good for state of the art DSD playback. Cool
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« Last Edit: 01/26/15 at 01:35:56 by beowulf »  
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Kboe
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #5 - 01/26/15 at 02:27:01
 
Let the penny pinching begin!
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #6 - 01/26/15 at 06:11:35
 
I want it for its best attributes:  CD Redbook via BNC Input, Upsampling an Steve's Adjustable Output Stage. Playing with the rest of its capabilities comes much later.

I also have the best of both options, running it direct into my ZMA with the Adjustable Output Driving the ZMA with Authority and through my CSP3 to ZMA.
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« Last Edit: 01/26/15 at 06:29:16 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #7 - 01/26/15 at 16:28:56
 

I'm more interested in being able to dump studio master tapes to DSD128. I'm betting Steve's got some great rips that I'd like to hear! I'd want to play them back on the DirectStream and see if they sound like I remember them at Steve's shop.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #8 - 01/26/15 at 16:34:34
 
It will have big shoes to fill however. The fixed gate array sound of my Chord is truly exceptional. If it can match the Chord via direct to my ZMA and/or through my CSP3 to ZMA.....it will be a keeper.

Once it passes this litmus test....then I will explore recording some Vinyl and put some Flash Drive through it an SD cards too from Rips an Downloads.

I have no problem with the restocking fee an shipping round trip on my dime....if it does not work out.
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« Last Edit: 01/26/15 at 16:36:05 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #9 - 01/26/15 at 16:38:10
 
Good point LR! Getting those Rips from Steve would be awesome.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #10 - 01/26/15 at 16:52:21
 
Note: Steve addressed the issue of Voltage Output that the PS Audio DSD lacks when running direct into the ZMA. Kudos Steve..... .

Back in 1995, I purchased my Audio Alchemy Front End. The 3.0 DAC has adjustable voltage output (internal) that enabled me to drive my SE84CS (purchased in 2001) DIRECT. Furthermore, although not a direct input from DAC obviously, the CSP3 is adjustable for voltage output. I think you're all understanding the importance of adjustable voltage output.... . Once again, Kudos Steve. Plus, the addition with valid Upsampling for Redbook...I rest my case. It still needs to beat my Chord as stated in previous reply. Fun, to have in the Listening Room!


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« Last Edit: 01/26/15 at 17:50:52 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lon
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #11 - 01/26/15 at 17:53:51
 
Steve's cd players have had this adjustable voltage feature as well from the beginning, as had the original CSP2.

I confess I could never get my Decware CD player to sound a way I could live with no matter what the output voltage. Nor do I find the best sound with my CSP2, or my three CSP2+ preamps in the high end of the voltage output, but the lower end, so it seems that not all amps need this (the Torii Mk II and Mk III sure don't).

Just saying. I'm VERY happy with my DirectStream and have no need to try out this new Decware source but it does look promising for those on the hunt. Smiley
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #12 - 01/26/15 at 18:06:31
 
Good points Lon. For me, I have enjoyed the output voltage usage on my CSP3 so much; I have to try this direct approach. I like my Chord better than the PS Audio DSD. So, I returned the PS. The Decware DSD has big shoes to fill against my giant killer Chord Chordette QuteHD (Redbook vs Redbook) and my Cabling.  Will see....fun!
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« Last Edit: 01/26/15 at 18:25:30 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #13 - 01/26/15 at 18:19:43
 
Plus keep in mind Lon, your experience makes sense regarding the voltage output, because you're running a little more efficient than me, with your HR-1's at 92.5db. Me at 91, and we know to stay away from the awful ear fatigue of super high eff. Speaks.  
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« Last Edit: 01/26/15 at 18:25:16 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lon
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #14 - 01/26/15 at 19:01:54
 
Yes, I really haven't felt the need to have high-efficiency speakers. I am in love with the Decware speakers with omni-directional drivers, and they are not fatiguing.

The "high output thing" goes beyond just aiding lower powered amps. It also adds a sort of natural compression that I sometimes like but for the most part don't, I'd rather have the signal from the source less jacked up. I find it mostly depends on interconnects: the more transparent and clear the interconnect, the more I do NOT want high output applied to the signal from my source. We all have different tastes here as well though.

I bet you like the new Decware source--what I understand as the difference in taste we have it should fall right in your direction based on my experience with Decware sources. Will look forward to hearing your impressions, as always.
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« Last Edit: 01/26/15 at 19:50:23 by Lon »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #15 - 01/26/15 at 20:43:44
 
Yes, this output design different from Steve's CD Player will be interesting to hear.
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Acetone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #16 - 01/26/15 at 22:34:00
 
Stone,  I have held off on going the computer - digital route because of lack of knowledge and not wanting to deal with: what computer? what software, what works with what? etc etc...this device might be the answer. I will keep an eye, and ear, out for your comments. Much of my CD and vinyl collection have been ripped to lossless WAV files on a terrabyte stand alone drive which, if I understand correctly, I'd be able to plug and play into this new decware offering....something I'd very much consider.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #17 - 01/27/15 at 19:36:17
 
You're ready to roll Acetone on a stick or SD card.

3-4 week lead time on the unit. I will receive mine after the 15th of Feb.

Toys! Got to have Toys!    Cheers, Stone
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #18 - 01/28/15 at 18:38:48
 
Lon, I reread your posts in reply #11 an #14. To remedy any issues using the higher output voltage of my CSP3, I have my ZMA turned down 40 to 45% from full. This maintains the density an weight, soundstage, imaging, tone/timbre through the ZMA. It is an incredible Amp! All the detail is still there too! Enables me to drive the ZMA loud when I want as well without fatigue.
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« Last Edit: 01/28/15 at 18:39:14 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lon
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #19 - 01/28/15 at 19:17:22
 
Cool. Those preamps are awesome. I still prefer the DirectStream straight into the Torii, but that's likely because of the amazing quality of the VooDoo Cable Stradivarius interconnect. (Wish I had two more!)
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #20 - 01/28/15 at 19:43:42
 
I hear you about great Cabling. We are both on the same page. My Kimber Select 1030 IC's (2) with my Kimber Select 3035 Speaker Cable, allows me to maintain amazing musicality, running through this awesome CSP3 into my ZMA.

I do look forward to running my Decware DSD with Steve's floating transformer balanced type output design direct and also, with my CSP3.
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« Last Edit: 01/28/15 at 19:44:16 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lon
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #21 - 01/28/15 at 19:58:12
 
Glad you are looking forward to it. Me, I love what i have now and I know when to stop. In time I'll get more Stradivarius interconnects to replace the two VooDoo Cable Ultralinear cables I have in my system rom the Universal Player into the CSP2+ and out from there to the Torii. And later another to connect the ZP3 to the CSP2+. The Ultralinears are the best cabling I've ever heard . . . until the Stradivarius. I love my source and amp and speakers so much that I want to give them the best. The best cabling is the best move for me to make now as the next on my audio journey. These components will reward having the very best cabling thrown their way.
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« Last Edit: 01/28/15 at 20:14:10 by Lon »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #22 - 01/29/15 at 16:44:48
 
Lon, you love what you have now and know when to stop? Heck, you have more Decware than me. (Joking with you).

All kidding aside, auditioning this DAC and the 6C33C Mono's if Steve makes um'......are going to do it for me (with intentions of owning them for a long time~restocking fee's are not fun-but it does keep the tire kicker's at bay).

Like you, I run more than one System. The Listening Room is of course my primary spot.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #23 - 01/29/15 at 17:28:35
 
I'm hoping I stop and even downsize. When I move in with my darling this July I can probably do away with the system I put together for her. I am so looking forward to having a nice big room for audio again!

The DirectStream has been sounding better and better and getting the PS Audio P5 Power Plant has really solidified my sound in a way i hadn't imagined. I think cabling improvement is the right path for me, until I have the time to get more serious with vinyl, then maybe a new turntable (the ZP3 is going nowhere!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #24 - 01/30/15 at 14:42:43
 
I am going to downsize too, a few things starting next month:  Four pair of Speakers, SS Mono-block Amps, two DACS, some Tubes (NOS SV83's), two Coax Digital Cables an probably my CKC and Zen Styx.
Read: make way for my Decware DSD/Steve's adjustable output stage an 6C33C Mono's.

I use my CSP3, ZMA an SE84CS all the time. The CKC has been sitting an should find a home elsewhere/good Karma to her an me, out there to someone else.

Yeah, you will get no argument from me about the PS Power Plants. My P3 I will not ever part with from my Listening Room.

I'm in a casual relationship with my Vinyl. My Pro-Ject Debut Carbon III, Pro-Ject Phono Box II and Record Cleaner resides in my He-Man HT Rig = fun.  I spin Vinyl on Friday early evenings, when my girlfriend comes home from work-it puts a smile on her face when she opens the door. We enjoy it together. I also just scored on some prestine Classic Rock her brother had stored away.
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« Last Edit: 01/30/15 at 14:48:16 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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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #25 - 01/30/15 at 19:15:44
 
Downsizing will be good.

The ZP3 keeps blowing me away. . . it is making me want to be more serious about vinyl, but I just don't have the time to dedicate to it. . . yet. Maybe later in the year. I think the ZP3 is not "sung" enough, that alone would turn a lot of heads to Decware if it were more widely heard.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #26 - 01/30/15 at 20:57:17
 
I do not doubt it Lon. 1 hour left on a 3 on eBay with 34 bids!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #27 - 01/30/15 at 21:17:47
 
34 bids. . . Popular item!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #28 - 01/30/15 at 22:55:14
 
That ZP3 went for $810, a 42% discount, but the "Reserve " was not met.  I wish I needed one...I'd make an offer.  This is brand new (Dec. 2014) with Bees Wax Caps...you likely won't see another this good for years.  This is what I have...sweet!!  Mark.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #29 - 02/04/15 at 22:29:01
 
Stone,

Thanks for digging in on this new DAC. I really look forward to your impressions. Steve's descriptions are compelling! A lot of the talk is about how easy the DAC is compared to computer audio, but I am more interested in the DAC with computer, so am looking forward to your sound with your transport.

And it is true, if you need to reinvent the wheel, computers can be a big deal. But I don’t think it is bad now that a lot of us have finally winnowed through maze and found the important necessities. A lot of it is like other components...good power, a quiet computer (including known settings for quiet operation), vibration management, quiet cables....then you can do a USB power source to DAC or SDIF converter, a RAM disk for decent player software..and a really good DAC. The right basic stuff sounds really good here and might take a few hours to set up.

Most of the effort is converting files, which direct play from Steve's DAC needs.

Considering that, like Beowulf, I enjoy the computer interface quite a lot, hundreds of error corrected albums with nice album graphics, easily adjustable (and seen) playlists, and potential for very good tonal adjustments.

For me, subtle EQ across the spectrum for final system/room adjustment and tastes is a big deal. Aligned with the player software, it is transparent and easy, applied directly on the music data before DAC, basically mastering the whole collection to system, room and tastes. This took experimenting and effort, but here it is actually beyond a serious component upgrade in sound refinement because it is working within the framework of the sound everything else has arrived at…pulling it all together with finesse, and then taking it further.

The Torii MKIV adjusts really well with the switches, knobs and with five tube sets, but little EQs across the spectrum take my sound to places the amp alone can't go. And the whole computer rig can cost less than good EQ boxes. So for me, the computer is not just a nice interface, it can be an articulate refinement tool.... a "finishing" tool.

I wonder how Steve's DAC would sound with it?????

When it gets this good, I can't imagine getting Redbook much better than my current setup with the Tranquility DAC, but so far I am impressed that things can always get better. To make Rebook like analog masters, blind-tests by smart folks with good ears created the Tranquility. In the face of Hi Rez popularity, they could not get better sound than that of a really well implemented NOS chip, knowing this would limit their market. But it worked, they made Rebook great when most didn’t think it possible. Just a few years ago, that seems ages in DAC time.

Then the Torii MKIV was an unexpected and crazy connection, pulling more of what was already extraordinary micro detail from the DAC. Like they are made for each other, the balance, tonal density, open spaciousness, smoothness, ultra-complex micro detail, and associated lucidity....every phrase grabs me. I think this is from a number of improvements on the Torii, but with the new reconstructive feedback…if the DAC has the fine detail, the MKIV can pull it.

So like you with your Chord, for the new DAC to win.....may be difficult.... But also like you, I hope it does! The output transformer is bound to be great, and voicing to match Steve's tape rig...well......that could blow our minds!

I have not been tempted by High Rez or a new DAC my Redbook is so satisfying. But when Steve comes up with something.....I get tempted.

Really glad yours is coming soon! Looking forward to what you hear! Cool
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« Last Edit: 02/04/15 at 22:32:27 by will »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #30 - 02/04/15 at 23:09:04
 
I have not been tempted by High-Rez either. My Redbook has been so satisfying as well. I have enjoyed up-sampling in the past and with Steve's output transformer's/voicing, this could be something special.

If this DAC falls short of my over-achieving Chord QuteHD gate array, it will still be a keeper for my Vinyl to DSD on many multiple cards. My 430 Albums are not duplicated in my 1150 CD collection.  Of course, I will put quite a few  hours of Music lossless WAV on a SD card too/to be rotated in/on an off/out....SD card. Or create a bunch of multiple cards here too.

Excited to receive it and put my 2 cents on here.  Cheers.
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« Last Edit: 02/04/15 at 23:16:33 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #31 - 02/05/15 at 17:12:19
 
Sounds good Stone.

Looking forward to hearing more.

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #32 - 02/16/15 at 16:52:39
 
She ships today!  I should have it by Thursday night. All components in my System are burned in. The ZDSD will the one that needs hours on it.

Look forward to the adjustable output stage in conjunction with my ZMA's gain control. I will be driving the ZDSD/upsampled, direct to ZMA from Redbook/CD/Coax. I enjoy my CSP3 (Jup' capped), with input tube at 10 setting and the output tubes at 8 setting. My ZMA is turned down 50 to 55% from full. This is a testament to the resolution of the ZMA and the dynamics it's providing with 91db Speakers. Testament to the CSP3 too. So, driving the ZDSD direct and then adjusted to drive through my CSP3 will be fun.

I will put 100 hours on it direct to ZMA, before using through CSP3 to ZMA.


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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #33 - 02/16/15 at 16:55:59
 
Exciting!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #34 - 02/17/15 at 14:39:17
 
Very excited I am.

This will be my 8th Decware Product:

SE84CS
Super Zen CKC
Zen Styx Speaker Cable with Silver Banana's
Zen Mystery Amplifier
CSP3 w/Jupiter Bee's Wax Caps
EL34 Mono-blocks with Solid State rectification
(I think you owned a pair of these Mono's too Lon-if my memory serves me correct?.....)
Torii MKIII
...I also bought a Oak base for my SE84CS...after I tried out one of Steve's tube buffers way back when... .

and now: Decware Direct Stream DAC / Recorder.

I can't wait to get her in here! I'm certainly not missing anything outside. But, I will take sub-zero lows/no snow fall and clear roads over the horrific winter my brother is having out east!  
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #35 - 02/17/15 at 15:43:53
 
Yes, I had the same EL34 mono blocks, good amps but the Toriis slay them silly. But I had many a good hour with those.

Just a few more days and your ZDSD will be there! I am betting you'll get a lot of enjoyment out of it!

I'm spending so little time with my main system these days (not by choice, just the logistics of my life as a caregiver and the fact that I want to spend whatever time I can with my fiancee) that it's almost like coming home to something new when I do!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #36 - 02/18/15 at 04:03:07
 
Here is the Quick Start Guide for the ZDSD that will be shipping with each unit.  The first unit that went out did not have one, so you can get it here!

http://www.decware.com/newsite/ZDSDGUIDE.pdf

Can't wait to hear your impressions!  On my ZMA or TORII the ZDSD sounds great with the reference level set as high as it will go (-20dB).

Please keep us posted of your "holy shit" moments as they happen!

Happy listening,

Steve  :)
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #37 - 02/18/15 at 13:36:43
 
Thanks Steve, an thanks for the memory card with music from the Otari!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #38 - 02/19/15 at 14:27:42
 
http://tascam.com/content/downloads/products/800/e_da-3000_om_vb.pdf

Steve, for playback via SPDIF input from CD Transport...using the sampling rate converter for D to A conversion (no A to D recording or D to D)....following page 22 & 23 should get me there? I suppose I'm being premature, not having the Player at hand to experiment with....but I'm curious.
Section 6/Playback does not cover this either.

I just want to burn her in running Redbook in Up-sampled, an Analog out.

Otherwise, Tascam did a good job it seems with this Manual. The Media Capacities and Recording Times chart (Page 31 in Manual) is nice, along with their PDF's.
http://tascam.com/content/downloads/products/800/da-3000_tested%20media_list_r1_...

http://tascam.com/product/da-3000/downloads/

I should have her today for some evening Listening.
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« Last Edit: 02/19/15 at 23:22:36 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #39 - 02/19/15 at 18:27:10
 
Or, I'm misunderstanding the functionality here?

Maybe I can only record AD and DD at higher bit an sample rates, an cannot pseudo dither to 24/96 (for example) an incoming 16/44.1 SPDIF from transport to DA to Output........ .

you wrote:
"Up-sampling can be turned on or off from the front control panel, but once you hear the difference it makes when playing 16 bit files (or CD's), you certainly won't ever want to turn it off! If you have a CD player connected to this machine and have up-sampling turned on, your CD's will sound like super audio files (DSD) and this may be where this offering from Decware is cheered the most"!  

Do you mean CD's through the Analog inputs or the SPDIF? Maybe I'm over thinking this and need to use the Unit. However, I can't find a stitch of info about it in the Manual, Online, your Quick Start an this quote from the product info has me just assuming.
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« Last Edit: 02/19/15 at 18:30:07 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #40 - 02/19/15 at 22:58:14
 
Not knowing that much about it either, I would assume he means through the SPDIF connection which can be upsampled to as high as 96/24.  Which in most cases is the max SPDIF can do (whereas a USB connection is much higher).
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #41 - 02/19/15 at 23:19:06
 
Got it, thanks Beowulf. I am hoping this to (at least) be the case.

Well, wishful thinking my ZDSD was arriving today = not. Maybe tomorrow, or by Saturday. I won't be able to get to it till Monday night.

I made the mistake of using USPS. Monday was the holiday, so I got screwed there... . Tracking number stated: out for delivery today. I called the Post Office...it had not even arrived in St. Paul. Out for delivery today my ass!  Oh well, use UPS from Steve. I wish they did not offer USPS this time. I clicked it and you get what you pay for!  I forgot about the frigin' Pres day too. Peoria to St. Paul is just two days/always/pretty much. I will get over it eventually.  ;D
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« Last Edit: 02/19/15 at 23:35:46 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #42 - 02/20/15 at 22:59:42
 
Okay, I will not need cheese with my whine  ;D !

The ZDSD has landed. Impeccably packed. She is in perfect condition an immensely beautiful an solid! Ice cold right now...so she is warming to room temp in the Listening Room per static display. Sweet Output posts on her Steve... . Furthermore, the SD card with the Otari Music contained within, came in a very nice Silver Case with the Decware upcoming 20th Anniversary Emblem on it. Very nice. The Case can hold 3 SD cards for transport/ hold.  Thanks DeVon an Steve.

Now the bad news. I have social obligations until Monday! I can't use her till then!  It will be like Edgar Allen Poe's, "Tell Tale Heart" weighing on me, until then! Okay, maybe not the best metaphor-( a little morbid) but you get what I mean.

I will follow-up with my first impressions then. I have a feeling Steve's recording through it might ruin me for anything else. But, I will have to handle it.  Till then.......... .
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« Last Edit: 02/20/15 at 23:03:43 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #43 - 02/21/15 at 02:00:57
 
Well, it's safe and sound and thawing out! It will be hard not to be glued to it, but think how cool it will be to devote time to it on Monday!

Enjoy your weekend and keep us posted.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #44 - 02/21/15 at 17:46:27
 
I carved out 3 hours this morning to hook her up. I had to do it!

Steve, I don't know what to say. The soundstage is bigger deeper wider. The tone and detail an decay of notes are just incredible. Even the tone of Floor Tom's is more there. The overall ease of...an involvement is wow...I don't know what else to say right now? This your/Output Stage with your Trannies is just so musical. The weight an bass line(s) definition is blowing me away too. You sir, know how digital to analog through output should sound! Their must be some burn in on her too. I am honored to have #0001.

I have her at -16 so far I prefer. I can play it louder than I would ever need with no compression/clipping on the meters. At any level of volume it is stunning. I have not even tried your SD card yet. I have to shut her down now until Monday. However, I want to add: I've had PS Audio's PWT with PWD, an the PS Audio DSD DAC, NADS M50, I own the Chord QuteHD, Anadio D2 and Audio Alchemy for 22 years. So, not my first Rodeo. I have also heard mega buck DACS at the Audio Society of Minnesota. I have been in this Hobby for 35 years.

Once again, this is how Digital should be reproduced. Thank you. Monday I will get to play your SD an do some Recording too, later in the week I hope. Right now though, an absolute success at Redbook playback. Purchase for this alone with your Output Stage design is so synergistic driving my ZMA direct...it is just sick.
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« Last Edit: 02/21/15 at 18:00:37 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #45 - 02/21/15 at 17:57:05
 
Wow. Good news. Thanks, looking forward to hearing about Monday.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #46 - 02/23/15 at 15:59:58
 
Listening to Steve's Otari Reel to Reel to SD card DSD DSF 5.6 right now. How sweet and the ease of musicality. Depth an timbre with soundstage is so right! Very intuitive Player! ...told me to turn the In-monitoring off (even though I new that)...to play SD card.

Thanks Steve for solving issues I had with the PS Audio DSD DAC:

1) The Output volume from the PS driving direct into my ZMA was not adequate. The ZDSD has no issue with this with your adjustable Output Stage.

2) Your ZDSD has the resolution the PS DSD DAC does not have!
(See my post in: PS Audio about to....thread.)

3) Your ZDSD, with your Output Stage, matches the Analog ease without digital artifact (like the PS)....but with the resolution that needs to be there an is! My other DACS including my Chord QuteHD can't match this. With Redbook 16 bit / 44.1 through your Output Stage an your incredible DSF 5.6, I'm listening to right now/all the goods are delivered.

Come to Together right now over me!  ;)

Later in the week I hope to get to some DD recording and then some ADDA of my own.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #47 - 02/23/15 at 16:12:20
 
Holy Shit Steve!  Jimmy is reincarnated in my Room right now!
I'm in the Studio!

Voodooooooooooooo CHild!   ....from Steve's Otari to SD card.

"Jimmy: F me' I broke a string"!
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« Last Edit: 02/23/15 at 16:22:43 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #48 - 02/23/15 at 16:30:05
 
Cool. Glad you are enjoying this.

I don't believe Atkinson's comment about measurements of the DS says what you think it does.

I'm hoping that LR gets a chance to hear this, I'm very interested in his impressions in comparison to the DirectStream.
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« Last Edit: 02/23/15 at 22:14:11 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #49 - 02/23/15 at 16:44:46
 
Stone...sounds awesome! I do not have any computer based audio. Just CDP and TT thru ZP3 and Zen 2w.  DDSD seems the next best logical step.
Do you know if it is possible to hook up a stand alone drive with USB output the to Decware DDSD ?
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #50 - 02/23/15 at 20:45:17
 
No USB.

This unit had to meet two criteria for me:
1) Stellar playback of 16 bit/44.1 from CD transport. As you can read above...it does this beautifully with Steve's Output Transformers. He knows how Music should sound. This is not an up-sampling DAC for straight playback of SPDIF.

2) The unit has a built in SRC (sample rate converter). You can record at a sampling frequency that is different from the sampling frequency of the digital input source; PCM 44.1 - 192kHz. I can format a compatible SD card an cherry pick CD's from my 1150 collection, an wring some more sonics out of them. However, as stated in 1), it sounds so damn good as is-this should be an interesting comparison.

I've read some mixed bag info about ADDA for Record Albums. I might not ever do this. So, since it has met my 1) an 2) criteria-I love it.
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« Last Edit: 02/23/15 at 21:00:59 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #51 - 02/23/15 at 23:36:31
 
Quote:
I don't believe Atkinson's comment about measurements of the DS says what you think it does.


I have to read this, because I don't recall anyone saying anything about lack of resolution.

Quote:
I'm hoping that LR gets a chance to hear this, I'm very interested in his impressions in comparison to the DirectStream.


I've been too busy with work to pester Steve - but after Stone's excitement, I'm going to have to make time now!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #52 - 02/23/15 at 23:55:52
 
I very much want to hear your impressions as you basically hear in the DS what I hear.

This is what Atkinson is quoted as saying on the Stereophile webpage:

In many ways, PS Audio's DirectStream DAC measures superbly well. But I was somewhat bothered by its ultimate lack of resolution with data capable of higher-than-CD resolution, which I suspect lay behind AD's finding the processor to sound "a bit rounded off" and lacking in immediacy.

It's unclear from the text whether this was his original measurements or an updated conclusion after he had been sent another unit that did measure better after the 1.21 firmware change (sounds to me from the comments it's from before 1.21). The page above with Art Dudley's comments is dated February 2015. I don't have a copy of the Stereophile issue. . . because I long ago gave up on that mag.
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« Last Edit: 02/23/15 at 23:59:26 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #53 - 02/24/15 at 05:44:49
 
I wonder if the new PP OS which is supposed to be more forward is a result of them knowing about that review.  When I spent time with McGowan at the demo, I never noticed any resolution lacking but it was only a couple of hours and to top it off the hi res music that he did play I thought blew Redbook away in the detail end of things.

@ LR, wow I would love to hear some comparisons of the PS DS to the Decware ZDSD.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #54 - 02/24/15 at 12:40:41
 
Actually I think that the previous 1.21 was inspired by that review; the story is (I'm a skeptic) that in correcting the measurements with new better instruments better sound quality was found. I agree that the sound was improved, I like 1.21 a lot after some time with it. It was hard for me to be decisive about the former software as I had the machine out of commission for a month.
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« Last Edit: 02/24/15 at 13:21:46 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #55 - 02/24/15 at 14:01:08
 
Stone, I'm interested in your comparison to the Chord (albeit without the LPSU).  My offer on the LPSU was if you didn't like it, I'd use it on my external HD.  You probably won't be tossing any money at the Chord now.

Will it play FLAC?  I read something about it not playing compressed MP3.  Maybe that applies to all compressed formats.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #56 - 02/24/15 at 14:53:51
 
John Atkinson's summation paragraph (page 117 March 2015 Stereophile). I've been a subscriber for 22 years an read pretty much all of JA's Follow-ups an the other Reviewer's.

He wrote: "The measurement reduction in low-frequency distortion with the v.1.2.1 firmware is dramatic, the improvement in resolution less so but still worthwhile".

Far as Redbook is concerned: I, a gentlemen on Audioshark and a Reviewer noticed the omissions in the pleasantry of its Redbook reproduction.  

......does not stop it from being a wonderful player....just me and some others hear what we don't like about it.
**********************************************************

Pal, no FLAC or MP3.
I will compare my ZDSD to my Chord for sure an with my CSP3. ABA it a few times.
I have her on right now. Steve, certainly spent some time fine tuning his Output Stage. The smoothness with the dynamic detail/all encompassing is so damn right. It grabs you without being forward or to laidback. Balanced, is so right!
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« Last Edit: 02/24/15 at 14:55:54 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #57 - 02/24/15 at 15:32:28
 
Okay, but the "resolution" he was talking about was of higher than Redbook formats. You may have been hearing what you didn't like (or not enough of what you liked) when listening to Redbook but it wasn't from a lack of resolution, according to Atkinson.

I listen to my DVR (compressed higher than Redbook format) through the DirectStream and a few other high resolution items on DVD-R and they sound wonderful to me. Anyway, I'm sure the Zen DSD is more to your tastes; I think my idea of "neutral" and Steve's are different, I tried for a long time to like the ZCD and just couldn't, and I preferred all the incarnations of the PS Audio DAC and the Sony 5400 ES to the ZDAC. Just a matter of taste at this point I think. I can't stomach the treble energy these put out.
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« Last Edit: 02/24/15 at 15:45:30 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #58 - 02/24/15 at 15:55:22
 
Exactly Lon, as I stated it is still a wonderful Player.

I also made clear the resolution was in the higher formats. For Redbook,  made clear as well - I can find the Review and the Audioshark post to corroborate the omissions issue we had with the PS Audio DSD. It is a matter of taste though - agreed.

But consider this: and I mentioned in an above post. The ZDSD addressed the output volume direct (to ZMA) issue the PS Audio DSD has***....and it addressed/the ZDSD does what the PS Audio DSD does in neutrality (I mentioned above too a few posts up)***. The main reason I'm so estactic about it too...is this! This Output Stage for the ZDSD, is not the ZCD or ZDAC Lon? I think that is clear....with voicing from the Otari = ZDSD.

Moving on....I had put 4 hours on the ZDSD Saturday morning, an 12 yesterday. I thought it came pretty much burned in because of the musicality I was getting. Oh no, she is blooming her brains out this morning. No Hyperbole.

*** See post/reply # 46, 1), 2) and 3).
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« Last Edit: 02/24/15 at 16:22:52 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #59 - 02/24/15 at 16:34:14
 
Again, I think it's tastes, I think you and Steve like more treble than I, and so your "balance" isn't MY balance. For instance I think the DS is pretty damned neutral, you don't seem to. And those previous digital products aren't this new one, but they shared a signature sound that I bet is represented in this unit. "Voicing from the Otari' means doodle to me.

And as far as output, I run my DS direct with no problem, for Redbook I have to turn down the gain on either the DS or the Torii, only my DVR output being a little challenged--it's loud enough for me, but not one friend who sometimes visits, at its "Normal" DSP setting; when he visits I switch to "Narrow" and it's more than loud enough, so the "output" issue isn't one. The output issue with the DS seems to be with the ZMA not the Toriis I use. I'm not interested in a ZMA as Steve won't put a treble cut circuit on one.

I'm glad you're having a great time with the Zen recorder, but it doesn't mean that it's a better source for ME as you did not like the DS and I am very happy with mine, and I don't have to load my Redbook onto an SD card, which sucks imo. LR's opinion of the unit would tell me more.
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« Last Edit: 02/24/15 at 16:46:14 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #60 - 02/24/15 at 16:37:04
 
I think I get what he's saying.

This is all IMO -

The resolution the DS pulls out of CD is pretty damn amazing. I honestly rediscovered all my CDs at least *twice* with the DS.

Again, IMO -

24/88 24/96 sound good - but not much better, if at all to CD

24/192 doesn't sound like much of anything - certainly not the improvement the sampling would have you assume you'd hear.

36/384 - I think that's the correct highest resolution PCM, right? I have no source music in this format so I can't really comment.

DSD 64 Sounds good - Better than CD, but not hugely

DSD 128 Sounds pretty amazing and I've been seeking out and upgrading any albums I can in DSD 128. It's the closest to tape so far.


So maybe he's saying the resolution in CD is clearly improved, but the HD formats just don't seem to have the same jump in quality/resolution?

Of course, all this is even assuming the source files aren't upsampled or converted in some way. Which is hard to know the history and origin of many files. If something was recorded in 24/88 in the early days of digital recording, I'm very, very skeptical of higher resolution recordings. Hell, I'm skeptical of the original! LOL But it seems there has been a push to dump original master tapes to DSD 128 - so I'm seeing some better stuff out there all the time. Opus3 comes to mind - they have some amazing digital recordings from tape.
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« Last Edit: 02/24/15 at 16:39:52 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #61 - 02/24/15 at 16:39:31
 
Maybe that's what Atkinson is saying. My biggest interest in hi-res is SACD, and I have other players for that. Also Blu-ray audio, and because of copyright restrictions on digital output of that, I have other players for that. So all I get out of the DS is fantastic sound. . . and nothing disappointing in the formats I listen to. Since I have 100 times the material in Redbook than other higher resolution formats, the fantastic Redbook sound is my meat and potatos.
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« Last Edit: 02/24/15 at 16:40:09 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #62 - 02/24/15 at 17:51:17
 
"The SD cards suck imo" Lon (paraphrasing). Hey, that is a pretty       up childish response. That is on YOU. Steve designed a great product with me in mind and many others.

And please stop copying an pasting for the 100th time, your canned response about the Treble cut on the Torii III. You don't own a ZMA and have never heard one.  The redundancy on that has to go, in every other one of your responses. I know I speak for many.

My points still stand about the PS Audio DSD an for Redbook too. You can rationalize things all you want. Just mine an others written an documented opinions.

Moving on, I got the ZDSD at -20 Reference Level now. Loving it!  8-)

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« Last Edit: 02/24/15 at 21:24:54 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #63 - 02/24/15 at 18:15:32
 
Umm excuse me? I think it sucks to load stuff onto cards and play them. A pain that is completely unnecessary for me.  A personal opinion of mine. You're full of your own! Just explaining this is a feautre that does nothing to attract me.

And every amp I've heard from Steve benefits from a treble cut circuit, and I've needed them on my amps; I have the treble three quarters of the way down! They are ear bleeders for me otherwise. So I know I would need one on the ZMA, Steve says he can't do it, I don't buy a ZMA, that simple. I'm happy with the Torii, very very happy, love the sound I get, using the treble cut circuit.

Don't mean to be upsetting Larry, I'm just stating my viewpoints here as everyone else does. I think the treble cut circuit is one of the best things about Decware amps, and I'll keep saying so, I've actually drawn people to Decware by mentioning it to them outside of this forum. Glad you are enjoying the Zen DSD. I'll post whatever I want to and don't need you telling me what to do.

Sorry, I'm bowing out of this thread for now.
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« Last Edit: 02/24/15 at 18:31:24 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #64 - 02/24/15 at 19:21:55
 
children, children, children... "hearing" is a perception, and an "individual perception" at that.  Nobody can tell anybody else what sounds best to them - nobody.  And there is no "one" component that sounds best in all systems, all rooms, with all speakers, for all people - it does not exist.  All this is merely personal preference.  There are NO absolutes.  Everybody's hearing sensitivity is different, especially as we age.  I guarantee you that if you put a group of people age 50+ in a room, listening to a given system, everyone of them will have vastly different opinions about the overall sonic personality of the sound - too much highs, not enough, etc., etc. etc.

I happen to share Lon's opinion about the treble shunt control on the Torii  - given the following dependencies.  Steve once told me, face to face, that the Torii was designed for high-efficiency, full-range, crossoverless types of speakers.  Nearly all the speaker drivers in this category have a rising frequency response starting in the 1-2khz region.  The Torii was designed to alleviate this and to allow the frequency balance to be adjusted to a flatter response.  I have heard the ZMA Stone, and at length, and I prefer the Torii on full-rangers over the ZMA.  If I thought the ZMA sounded better on full-rangers, I'd have one.  
In over 35+ years of chasing the holy grail of audio, I have never heard a speaker that produces more life-like, realistic sound than a crossoverless, full-range, high-efficiency speaker - at any price.  This is my Opinion and my Preference - only - not anybody else.  So given my choice of speaker(for the last few years), the Torii provides the best synergy I have heard so far - to me.  If I find something that "I think" sounds better, I'll own it - $$ is not an object.  
I have never seen a musical instrument that has a crossover.  Just like the "best wire insulation" debate, no insulation is the best insulation (i.e. air), and the best crossover is no crossover.  Putting all those passive parts in series between a power amp and the actual sound transducer cannot be a good thing from any electrical engineering perspective and can only be subtractive and serve to alter the signal.
Now if you want to talk about other types of speakers, with multiple drivers and/or crossovers, less sensitive, etc.  I have found other amps to have better synergy w/them than the Torii - to my ears and preferences.

Lon it seems you've reached a level of satisfaction and contentment with your system that very few people ever do.  I congratulate you!  I'm almost there with you.  For those who are more into the constant churn of component of the month rotating thru their system, and never finding contentment and satisfaction, I do not envy you.  I, for one, would never try to tell anybody what they like, or should like, or try to convince them that my opinion about any audio component is the only opinion, or the right opinion.  That would just be insane....  This forum should only be about "sharing" impressions, opinions and preferences.... not dissing somebody for expressing their preference or opinion.  Get over yourself Stone... you're not the omnipotent being.  You don't have to share anybody's opinion or agree with them, and neither do you have the right to bash anybody for their opinion either.

I'm sure Steve's new DSD player sounds excellent!  Has anyone every heard a Decware product sound bad?   Wink  I plan on checking it out, at length at Zen later this year.  There is one "functional" requirement for me, that I don't think it has.  That being able to control it remotely from my listening chair via my iDevice.  I don't think it has this capability, but I could be wrong.  If it does, I'll probably have to have one, cause I'm sure it sounds excellent.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #65 - 02/24/15 at 19:56:03
 
Quote:
I'm sure Steve's new DSD player sounds excellent!  Has anyone every heard a Decware product sound bad?   Wink  I plan on checking it out, at length at Zen later this year.  There is one "functional" requirement for me, that I don't think it has.  That being able to control it remotely from my listening chair via my iDevice.  I don't think it has this capability, but I could be wrong.  If it does, I'll probably have to have one, cause I'm sure it sounds excellent.


I'm pretty sure this is a modified piece of studio gear. I wouldn't count on any modern features like that. It's a high end tool rather than a feature laden consumer piece.

Stone, please - now is not the time to poke at Lon. He's been pretty cool lately, and I think it's because his home life is getting better and he's less stressed. No reason to go stressing a fellow Decware family member out!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #66 - 02/25/15 at 02:53:54
 
Just wanted to make sure about a few things as it doesn't seem absolutely clear to me ...

1. Can the ZDSD be used as a straight Windows/Mac DAC via USB?

2. If so, is the USB asynchronous and is the max resolution 32/384 and capable of processing DSD128 natively?

3. If not, then the max that SPDIF can process is only 192kHz ... is that correct?

4. Are there drivers for it and can it be used with something such as JRiver Media Center?

From the specs it seems as if USB input is not an option (unless it is a USB Hard Drive or Memory Stick, but not PC/Mac).  I don't want to copy files over to an SD card or USB HD either ... I have 2TB of hi-res music in PCM and DSD with resolution up to 32/384 stored on a Network Attached Storage device and need a PC connection via USB to access these files.  So as good as this thing must sound I would not be able to use it in the fashion I would want to.  Otherwise I would have seriously considered this as my next DAC.

Thanks guys! Cheesy
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« Last Edit: 02/25/15 at 08:08:29 by beowulf »  
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #67 - 02/25/15 at 14:24:20
 
No USB other than stick as far as I can tell.  I have a good USB to SPDIF converter so I can use that with this unit.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #68 - 02/25/15 at 15:39:14
 
Beowulf, yes the max through SPDIF is only 192kHz. That is all I need it for. If and when I get around to its other capabilities...... eg...ADDA etc... .

Main reason I got it is to hear if Steve's implementation of everything that the new Tascam 3000 is....with his Output Transformer Stage; could beat the 3 DACS I own and the 3 others I've had in my Listening Room (3 + 3 + now 1 = 7 ...own 4). It does.  If it did not......I had no problem with boxing it up and paying freight to an from + 10%.

The 3 others I had in: NAD M51, PS Audio PWT with PWD an of course the PS Audio DSD DAC. Purchased by me an OWNED....not a stop in by a friend for one night or a visit from a Leprechaun.

I now have 31 hours on her...she is a winner. I've described a few times above about her. Steve knows what it should sound like and what he was competing against. I had high expectations and it delivered. In a couple weeks I will compare to my Chord QuteHD and run thru my CSP3 for further confirmation.

A very fair price for this unit when you consider the Ref Level gain that essentially is a Preamp from Tascam economies of scale...then out of Steve's OTStage. The PS Audio DSD is charging you $2500 for the Preamp/with inadequate output/witnessed by many, in their DAC (then $2000 for the DAC portion and $1500 for recoup of R&D passed to early adopters+including multiple firmware updates). The ZDSD has no omissions in Redbook detail either.


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Decware DSD DAC / Recorder (@ -18)
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Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Vintage Polk SDA1 Speakers in Stereo (91db)
XLO Pro Power Cord to ZMA
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« Last Edit: 02/25/15 at 20:08:12 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #69 - 02/25/15 at 20:57:44
 
Thanks Stone, I have no doubt of the value with Steve's modifications, the price is great and it has some cool features too ... but unfortunately out of all those features it cannot be used as a straight PC or Mac DAC via USB and that is the main thing I would want from it.

I appreciate your thoughts and enthusiasm on it though and will be waiting to hear some feedback compared to the Cord as well! I just read a really good review of a stock one (thanks LR), so with Steve's mods I would assume this thing must sound even better. 8-)
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« Last Edit: 02/25/15 at 20:58:32 by beowulf »  
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #70 - 02/26/15 at 00:23:31
 
I discussed the following with Steve yesterday before placing my order. My idea was to put an excellent albeit value minded USB to SPDIF convertor from my MAC mini to get the appropriate digital signal via SPDIF from the convertor to the ZDSD. So far what I've come up with online searches is $100 to $300 dollar units that go up to 192. That in and of itself is not DSD is my brief but incomplete understanding. Do I understand that correctly? if not lets get some in the know clarification on this. I'm not sure I understand DSD as it pertains to SPDIF. So is the only way to hear DSD files natively with the ZDSD/Tascam unit off of the SD cards? Or if your computer has a SPDIF out and you have DSD files on your hard drive will the SPDIF translate that digitally out to the ZDSD/Tascam unit as a DSD native stream? if not what can one do to make that connection so DSD can be streamed off the computer drive to the ZDSD. These relationships are cloudy to me as I do not understand the capability of the digital outputs/inputs of the Tascam, my computer, any other computer, or any of the available USB to SPDIF convertor boxes. It would be great if we could start a thread detailing these capacities and features and how they work together. Understanding this digital domain is really somehow seems critical to successfully getting to know just what exactly you are listening to. By getting the collective knowledge base out on the table maybe we can make more sense of this for digital dummies like me. Grin

Palomino what USB/SPDIF convertor do you have?
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« Last Edit: 02/26/15 at 00:27:06 by Chris K »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #71 - 02/26/15 at 00:39:15
 

Chris, I kinda got lost in your paragraph - but let me respond.

Due to legal and licensing reasons - DSD can't be sent via Fiber or Coax.

You have two ways of getting DSD to your DAC - either your DAC needs to understand it native (in the ZDSD that would be provided by Memory Card or Hard Drive), or you need to use what's called DoP, or DSD over PCM - which is a clever trick where they take the unaltered DSD bits and hide them in a PCM stream. The DAC sees this is really DSD hidden in PCM (DoP) and pulls those unaltered bits out. That's something a DAC like the DirectStream does but the ZDSD doesn't.

Again, this is a studio piece that's Steve's worked into an audiophile piece. It just doesn't have the features that a consumer device would. Speaking of which, the TEAC UD-501 is their consumer device - and it's also Steve's preferred DAC before the ZDSD.

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #72 - 02/26/15 at 00:49:33
 
So there is no USB/SPDIF convertor that can output the DSD/PCM stream to the SPDIF input of the ZDSD/Tascam? At least not yet. Smiley
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« Last Edit: 02/26/15 at 00:51:39 by Chris K »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #73 - 02/26/15 at 00:52:26
 
I have the Matrix.  About $250.  Compared to Optical or USB straight into the Chord it was much better.  Bigger soundstage for sure.

http://www.matrix-digi.com/en/products/22/index.html

Not a lot of reviews out there so I based my purchase off a Chord review.  http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/561-chord-electronics-qutehd-review/

As an aside, the first Chord QuteHD did not have a very good USB implementation.

It does do DoP which is nice.  The newer Chord EX and the latest 2Qute does have a decent USB implementation from what I have read.
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« Last Edit: 02/26/15 at 01:01:04 by Palomino »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #74 - 02/26/15 at 01:08:30
 
@ Chris - I'm not sure how that would work or if its even possible ... I still see SPDIF in the chain and like LR said there is a licensing issue involved.  But interesting ...

@ Palomino - the Matrix is one overbuilt, solid chunk of aluminum!

@ LR - now begs the question ... why didn't Steve just mod out the UD-501 which is much more consumer friendly in the first place?  There must have been a reason to choose the Tascam ... perhaps because it doesn't do the converting like the Tascam does?
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #75 - 02/26/15 at 01:15:01
 
One of the reasons I recall steve said the 1PPM clock is as good as it gets.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #76 - 02/26/15 at 02:52:41
 
Quote:
@ LR - now begs the question ... why didn't Steve just mod out the UD-501 which is much more consumer friendly in the first place?  There must have been a reason to choose the Tascam ... perhaps because it doesn't do the converting like the Tascam does?


A while back Steve and I were talking about how he wants to record to reel to reel and DSD in his listening room. The idea was to hear it live, knowing what it sounded like, then compared the recordings. It's also helpful when building amps to know what the original sounded like. I mentioned to Steve that I know Korg and Tascam have some DSD recorders for $1k-$2k range.

I have a feeling he was looking into this and one thing lead to another.

I've been wondering/waiting for him to figure out how to get DSD recordings to sound like his original Master Tapes - if this does it, then it's a winner even with it's very utilitarian design.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #77 - 02/26/15 at 03:03:56
 
There are long debates about which is the better format, 24/192 PCM or DSD.  For streaming music from the computer to the ZDSD I felt that 24/192 was more than acceptable for most things.  

The ZDSD has the actual SONY specified DSD digital inputs, SDIF-2 and SDIF-3 so certainly if your computer interface supports this format you would be fine. Problem is, a USB to SDIF-3 converter is not commonplace. That will probably change soon enough, but right now they are hard to find.  

I look at it like this. I have heard what a $1600 power supply does to a mac mini used as a music server and the change is not small. I have head what a $1500 asynchronous USB to SPDIF converter does when it has good clocks replacing the clocks in the computer and itself has a good power supply. Again the difference is not small. I have heard what a $1500 digital cable does when installed between the SPDIF COAX output and the COAX input of the DAC and the difference is not small.

This is why I liked the TEAC UD501 because it basically has all this internally with a USB that supports 384K.  And I have played many a DSD file through it using my mackbook air with solid state drives running on battery power.  Placing the same DSD file on a memory card and putting it in the ZDSD is a noticeable improvement in sound quality.

Even a USB cable that has the power split into separate runs makes a noticeable improvement despite the USB to SPDIF converter having it's own hi-end power supply. And then there is the software and theoretically it should all sound exactly the same, but yet it doesn't.

This is all fine and dandy but like stone_of_tone pointed out, a modest priced USB to SPDIF converter is all I really need for most of my listening.

When I want to know what all of the aforementioned items in the previous paragraphs might sound like if money was no object, I copy the files to an SD card and stick it in the machine.  Even if the items mentioned above cost twice as much as the ones I've heard, they can not be better than eliminating them and the computer completely.

I can copy 6 hours of DSD128 music onto a memory card and have it in the machine playing music before most computers can load their playback software, find the song and play it...  assuming their computer is already booted up.

So I do both.  The majority from the computer, but when I get in the mood for something better, something close to vinyl and tape, I play DSD128 files from memory cards.  It's not as cool as cleaning a record or threading a tape, but what's a man to do.  

Smiley

-Steve

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« Last Edit: 02/26/15 at 03:04:55 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #78 - 02/26/15 at 03:12:56
 

I forgot to mention that when I live stream from the internet from high bit-rate sites I find it very easy to press the record button on the ZDSD and again capture a better recording on the memory card then if I would have highjacked it from the computer. That way even if I copy the file back to the computer from the memory card, it sounds better played back on the computer then if the computer had done the recording(hijack).

Steve
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #79 - 02/26/15 at 12:33:39
 
Hi Steve! Just a question about SPDIF converters vs direct USB:

The trend in the last couple of years has been for USB to gradually and successfully replace SPDIF conversion, especially because in many cases that conversion is bitrate limited, whereas USB devices have the capability of up to 384 at same or even better sound.

I'm just surprised to learn from your comments that you prefer the sound through the converters, a conclusion that is inconsistent with what seems to be taking place in the market these days ...

Could you please explain why you still prefer SPDIF converters nowadays instead of the evolved USB devices?  

Thanks for your always valid feedback.
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« Last Edit: 02/26/15 at 12:34:47 by Fireblade »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #80 - 02/26/15 at 13:30:50
 
Another question for Steve, I have a usb device. Usb from computer to device and then AES/EBU from device to my current DAC and I use the Jriver remote app from my iPad. Could I use the ZDSD in this fashion for playback from server?
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #81 - 02/26/15 at 15:55:32
 
Fireblade wrote:
Quote:
The trend in the last couple of years has been for USB to gradually and successfully replace SPDIF conversion, especially because in many cases that conversion is bitrate limited, whereas USB devices have the capability of up to 384 at same or even better sound.


Please elaborate on this bitrate limitation. Limitation of Coax/SPDIF?
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #82 - 02/26/15 at 18:22:23
 
Yes, I'm reading an learning here too.

But heck, I like the ZDSD as a straight through DAC via SPDIF, direct to ZMA. I hooked her up to my CSP3 to ZMA....love it as well. I love my CSP3 density, voltage-gain an staging.  My Tele' input tube is blowing my mind as well in the CSP3...... .
http://www.upscaleaudio.com/telefunken-e88cc-6922/


I guess I'm a DEC-head and DAC-head:
ZDSD direct to ZMA
ZDSD to CSP3 to ZMA
Chord Chordette QuteHD to CSP3 to ZMA

Audio Alchemy DTI Pro-32/Silver Prophecy i2s ...to AA 3.0 DAC
or
Anedio D2 .....Direct to SE84CS or Super Zen CKC.

High end cable nut too - in 3 Systems  ;D Cool

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« Last Edit: 02/27/15 at 13:46:54 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #83 - 02/26/15 at 21:18:02
 
Quote:
I'm just surprised to learn from your comments that you prefer the sound through the converters, a conclusion that is inconsistent with what seems to be taking place in the market these days ...

Could you please explain why you still prefer SPDIF converters nowadays instead of the evolved USB devices?  

Thanks for your always valid feedback.


I didn't mean to imply that I prefer SPDIFF over USB.  I think asynchronous use of todays faster USB ports has much better performance potential than SPDIFF.  

I always take it on a case by case basis.  In the case of my own system, the dedicated battery powered mac USB connected to the TEAC UD501 and a ZBIT output transformer as good as it is, does not sound as good as the ZDSD being fed a stream on it's SPDIF input.

Success in the hobby comes from taking everything on a case by case basis and being willing to accept what sounds better even when in your mind, it's not suppose to.

Steve
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #84 - 02/26/15 at 21:21:14
 


Quote:
Please elaborate on this bitrate limitation. Limitation of Coax/SPDIF?


Here is an article that gets you up to speed through 2012.

http://www.audiostream.com/content/dop-open-standard
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #85 - 02/26/15 at 22:11:33
 
Edited:
Success in the hobby comes from taking everything on a case by case basis and being willing to accept what sounds better even when in your mind, it's not suppose to.

Steve


That's gospel right there!   Grin
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #86 - 02/27/15 at 12:07:31
 
I understand, Steve. It makes sense now. Thanks for clearing that out.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #87 - 02/27/15 at 16:57:07
 
I have her burned in where -20db Ref Level is locked in and Listening at 16/176.4k, with my CSP3 in the chain. Oh, how involving/sweet it is...... .

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« Last Edit: 02/27/15 at 17:31:05 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #88 - 03/02/15 at 15:57:55
 
Over the weekend, I compared the ZDSD to my Chord Chordette QuteHD. I prefer the ZDSD. Proof their is a lot of something to Steve's Output Stage. Competent DAC Chips and bitchin' Clock in the ZDSD as well. However, it is Steve's implementation that opens up the sound stage with nuanced detail at 16/96 or 16/176.4, with excellent tone/timbre an imaging against the QuteHD.  I had a hunch Steve would nail the Analog output on this........ .   He did.

Without getting into more superlative adjective's/audiophile speak...I love it as a DAC. The fun to be had recording, is an added benefit. This is a great stand alone DAC I want, whether or not I do a stich of Recording fun. So, get one an put 50 hours on it and compare it to your DAC. Steve having voiced it to play with his Amps direct and I'm enjoying with my CSP3 too...she is a keeper!

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« Last Edit: 03/02/15 at 16:21:03 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #89 - 03/02/15 at 16:06:56
 
Thanks for the updates Stone. Much appreciated. Time for me to start saving $$.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #90 - 03/02/15 at 17:03:52
 
You bet Acetone.

The P.R.a.T., with Analog ease, depth, an tone/note(s) delineation coming forth is just impressive. I am a jaded curmudgeon too. I can afford the 9k DAC down to the 2k. I've had them in here. The ZDSD is all you need.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #91 - 03/02/15 at 17:59:12
 
Thanks Stone.

I am interested in hearing one of these.  I do think the LPS on the Chord opens up the sound stage and helps in some other areas too.  Not sure it would sound better though.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #92 - 03/02/15 at 19:19:14
 
The LPS might bring it closer Palomino. But, I tell you, I'm listening deeper into the mix with the ZDSD. The decay of notes have entrails like the visual equivalent of Halley's Comet in 1997, that entertained us across the sky-viewed through/telescope, looking wide an deep at it.
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« Last Edit: 03/02/15 at 19:32:02 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #93 - 03/04/15 at 16:04:00
 
You would not think you had a smidge left of digitis' in the Chord or PS Audio DSD for Redbook either. Unless, you compare it too the ZDSD where digitis' is now officially gone. Steve's output transformer analog stage obviously at play here with the stellar clock in this unit with up-sampling. I like 16/176.4kHz.

Added bonus I've found with the ZDSD-wonderful feature of Pro-Audio modified for Audiophile Home Consumer via Steve's OTStage:
I enjoy the maximum OUTPUT Reference Level of -20. However, use the INPUT Volume @ -5 or -1.0, to drop her out of the "Red" on the channel max meters. Say, for a recording that is a little to forward. Beautiful feature! Puts that Disc and/or track-song, in the DSD zone in PCM 176.4k. Not needed to often, but their when you do.
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« Last Edit: 03/04/15 at 19:52:50 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #94 - 03/05/15 at 00:56:44
 
Add ZDSD to your sig. Stone. Cant wait to get mine Smiley
Thanks for the updates Smiley
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« Last Edit: 03/05/15 at 00:57:27 by Chris K »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #95 - 03/05/15 at 01:11:14
 
OK, I just ordered it based on stones reports and a conversation with Steve. If it performs like I'm hearing it will replace the Lynx Hilo DAC I have. i originally bought the the Lynx to rip my vinyl collection but I found the computer and software too complicated for me so just been using it as a DAC and its a good one.

Once I get the ZDSD burned in I can also get a good side by side comparison to the PS audio Dirct Stream DAC I have in a dedicated room. I really like the PS DSD so if the ZDSD can best it, well, what an incredible bargain.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #96 - 03/05/15 at 01:13:44
 
@ ILance - wow a side by side comparison ... I'll be waiting for that! Cool
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #97 - 03/05/15 at 01:14:51
 
Congrats! Looking forward to your impressions, especially as you know the DirectStream so well.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #98 - 03/05/15 at 02:19:47
 

Wow, looking forward to that review!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #99 - 03/05/15 at 14:10:20
 
Chris, that's right you ordered one too. I brain farted and forgot to comment to you. My signature, I keep as the original from 2001...as a homage to my #76 Select. This Amp is significant then and now! The System Sig. listed still exists today as my 2nd System. I also have a third System like most, consisting of Rotel, Emotiva, HSU Mid Bass Sub with my Polk SRS SDA 1.2's.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=polk+sda+srs+1.2&qpvt=Polk+SDA+SRS+1.2&qpvt=...
(not me in the photo-I'm a skinny marathon runner-just a cool chap that loves his 1.2's like me-as far as Solid State is concerned for me)

If the house was burning, after my gal Sue was safe....I would grab the 1.2's and my Decware ...the rest can burn and get turned to Insurance.
The 1.2's though, need Solid State. They have a cult following over on the Polk Forum for good reason....they are that good!

I post my current System in Posts...because it fluctuates a little.

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: 03/05/15 at 14:38:22 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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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
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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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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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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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
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
360 degree Rm Treats
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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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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
360 degree Rm Treats
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Guillaume Bougard
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Posts: 37
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 »  

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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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analogwave
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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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stone_of_tone
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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 »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #148 - 03/19/15 at 15:56:45
 
Thanks folks.

Will
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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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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #150 - 03/20/15 at 20:29:23
 
I put the Adagio's back in again. I do have to say I'm keeping them. They are their own wonderful animal. I still occasionally rotate my Genesis Genre II's in as well. Thus, Adagio's an Polk SDA-1's (in stereo) it is! They both bring something different to the party that I like; brunette an a real red head respectively. The Genre II's are blonde.  8-).  ;)

Furthermore, the coherence an transmission line in the Adagio's, when you want to take them up to pounding levels of dynamic range-does make you say: "Oh yeah-I'm keeping them".  

Peace, everyone have a great weekend. Other than a little snow coming Monday morning.....I think Spring might be here in the Upper Midwest.
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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
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #151 - 03/20/15 at 21:20:09
 
Wow, my new interconnects (VooDoo Cable Stradivarius Cremona with Xhadow connectors) arrived and are installed. Bigger difference than I imagined. I have to wrap my brain around this, it's a big change and an improvement. Now how do I get the 1.5 or 2 meter pair I need to complete my main system!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #152 - 03/21/15 at 13:27:50
 
I wrapped my brain around the new Cremona cable rather quickly! Wow. Even quieter noise floor, even smoother yet detailed treble, tight and dynamic lower frequencies.

I need one more cable to complete my system, a longer one. I wrote to Bruce Davidson of VooDoo Cable to thank him for the deal on this one and to say that I am saving up for the one other cable I need, and he offered me another Cremona in the length I need at dealer cost. So I had to go for it. I'll have a few uncomfortable financial moments but I'll sell a few things and make it work. Exciting to have sound like this for all my sources! Smiley
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #153 - 03/21/15 at 14:23:11
 

Nice! It's great when the shops that make the gear help you get into that gear.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #154 - 03/21/15 at 14:44:42
 
Yes, and these cables are ridiculously expensive even with this sort of break! But, in my opinion after a lot of comparisons, worth it both for their R&R and build quality and material quality, AND what they have brought to my system. Wow. And I get to trickle down better cables to my next system (a few times).

Planning for my next location, I may end up with just ONE main system, and spend time with headphones again. So I may be selling one or two systems and buying a great headphone rig to use with one of my CSP2+. Exciting stuff ahead, but getting these Cremonas really solidifies my main system (unless you and iLance tell me that the ZDSD made the DS their bitch! I might have to give the ZDSD a try then!)
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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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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #155 - 03/22/15 at 21:27:52
 
I meant to type "R&D" above. . . not "R&R!" Wink
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #156 - 03/30/15 at 07:12:14
 
Hey Lon,

You might find this little story amusing - I have looked at the Mapleshade Double Helix Plus cables for a long time, read all the reviews about how they shouldn't work, but do, etc. Then I read what you have to say about them, and decided that the next used set that came up, I would check them out. So last week I got a pair off US Audio Mart, just in time for a listening session with a couple of guys who have been into hi-end audio a lot longer than I have. They weren't familiar with the cables, so as you might expect, they laughed at the "wimpy" little cables. Until I cranked my system up, then their eyes bugged out. Pretty amazing the detail and clarity that come out of them. Smoked my Transparent Audio Musicwave cables. But then one of the other guys got the last laugh - he had brought his HiDiamond 4 power cable with him. I put it on my TEAC UD-501 dac that Steve had recommended. YOWZA!! I had always been suspicious of audio reviewers who say that one cable (especially a power cable) changed the whole sound of their system, but I guess I was wrong. Now I'm digging in the cushions of my couch, trying to find an extra $1200 for a power cable. (And cursing my friend).

Randy
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #157 - 03/30/15 at 11:58:28
 
Randy, very interesting! Isn't it surprising what cable can do? Glad you enjoyed the speaker cables. I really like mine, they're the best I've heard yet.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #158 - 04/01/15 at 15:19:04
 
40 days in on the ZDSD and still wowed by its shear musicality signaling through its Decware counterparts! Kimber 3033 back in System too.





Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Decware DSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 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 KS3033 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, 119 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)

Decware SE84CS (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!



*****Decware ERRx Speaker's coming in 3 to 4 weeks!********

**Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modded/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-an resistors on Tweets/5 or 10k cross**....should have in a week-finished

*****Pending: UFO MOD to my Decware Super Zen CKC

*****Pending: 6C33C Decware Mono-blocks
(Note: ZMA not for sale = Masterpiece)
*****Pending: Steve's new Preamp to be released approx. in October
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« Last Edit: 04/01/15 at 17:15:40 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
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #159 - 04/16/15 at 03:29:07
 
The ZDSD was delivered today. I put it into my living room system: Torii MK3 to ERRx and this thing sounds really really good. It crushes my Lynx Hilo DAC that I just sold. the DSD Steve provides is very good but right now I have it connected from computer server to USB device then to the ZDSD using an AES/EBU cord. Playing through Jriver and playing standard redbook files, it's just awesome sounding. I will get some break in hours on it before taking into my dedicated listening room (spare bedroom) and running it, and my DS DAC into the ZMA.
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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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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #160 - 04/16/15 at 11:15:55
 
Glad it got there iLance and that it sounds so good! Keep us posted.
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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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will
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #161 - 04/16/15 at 21:45:01
 
Good news ILance. Looking forward!
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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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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #162 - 04/17/15 at 20:47:07
 
Hi Stone and others,
given the high output of the ZenDAC, does having an additional pre-amp still improve the sound? Or is it just adding lots of additional complexity without much gain?
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- Stefan
---------------------
Rega rp6, Lounge Audio phono pre-amp, Torii IV, ERRx, Woo WA-3, Senheiser HD600
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #163 - 04/17/15 at 23:17:16
 
Stefan, I have not put a preamp into the chain yet but the ZDSD has an incredible amount of gain. Still running it straight into the Torii MK3 to ERRx speakers. If I had the stepped attenuator I it would be on 3 and with my last DAC it was at 10. So much more volume I had to back it down some on the amp. I Have the ZDSD on Ref level -18. I don't see  a need for a preamp although I will try it to see what flavor the CSP3 adds.

If you just don't have quite enough power with your amp to get the volume you desire, this ZDSD might put you there. I will have time this weekend to get more familiar with unit. So far I'm very happy, very warm, analog sounding. Everything Stone says is true.
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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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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #164 - 04/18/15 at 01:19:52
 
Thanks ILance!
Please share once you tired it with the CSP as well, would be interested in how that compares to directly going into the Torii.
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- Stefan
---------------------
Rega rp6, Lounge Audio phono pre-amp, Torii IV, ERRx, Woo WA-3, Senheiser HD600
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #165 - 04/18/15 at 21:05:55
 
For me, comparing both ways, I need/want my CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps. The added gain with weight is impressive. I lose no transparency either with my two pair of Kimber Select 1030, then running to my choice of Kimber 3033 or 3035. My newly modded Acoustic Zen Adagio's with Mundorf Mcap Supremes, are remarkable.

Might be more personal preference for me. I need more palpable timbre's/tones, that are not lost or compressed with higher volume increases (density as Steve would put it/the ZDSD in conjuction with the CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps). That is what the CSP3 brings to my System, between ZDSD and my ZMA. Soundstage depth is increased too.
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« Last Edit: 04/19/15 at 15:02:37 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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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #166 - 04/19/15 at 15:12:51
 
Another interesting thing too (adding to above reply),  flexibility of adjustment is had with the -20 to -18 on the ZDSD Ref Volume. Not used often but available. I also adjust the input volume for some recordings to -.5 to a -3.0, on the ZDSD. Most of all though, having the Voltage Output flexibility of 7 or 8 (out of 10) on the Output Tubes of my CSP3 is key. I stay at 8 consistently driving the ZMA set at 85% Volume up and CSP3 Volume, as my Master Volume control from 0 to 30%, that will Envelope you and Rock your World. My arm an a leg Input Tube (Telefunken), in the CSP3 is worth every penny too.

Best of all, I have two pair of modified Speakers to alternate with in my Listening Room System. The Adagio's are now awesome. I have the ERRx coming and they will run with Mundorf Mcap Supremes too. The ERRx gives me a 3rd pair, in a 4 to 6 week rotation/each. Each pair gives a different perspective on the Music. Each pair is now modified/optimized, to play well with my Decware. Obviously, I have yet to optimize the ERRx. I know I will like the Mcap Supremes and might put Silver/Oils in them. Also, placement/moving the ERRx around the Listening Room will be Interesting.

Different Speakers gives me more insight on getting the most out of my Decware and Cables.






Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport ****(DVP-NS57P)****
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC
Decware DSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 16/176.4)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC 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 KS3033 Speaker Cable
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable (alternated in)
Acoustic Zen Adagio (Modified)
~or~
Vintage Polk SDA1 Speakers in Stereo (91db) (Modified)
~or~
Decware ERRx (coming soon!)
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, 119 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)

Decware SE84CS (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!



*****Decware ERRx Speaker's coming in 2 to 3 weeks!

*****Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modded/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-on Tweets/4.5 cross
(Gutted: 3rd order Linkwitz R's....with all crappy parts = gone).

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« Last Edit: 04/19/15 at 16:54:38 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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Posts: 164
Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #167 - 05/04/15 at 00:31:23
 
It's slow going playing with the ZDSD because I've been working seven days a week, got to get it while the gittin's good. I moved the ZDSD into my listening room. Surprisingly good next to the PS audio DS. I have the DS and ZDSD both going into the CSP3 so I can just flip from A to B. I am playing from SD cards and on the DS I'm playing the same file from the network with bridge via USB. These are just early impressions but with the ZDSD playing double DSD, well it's closer than I thought. I think the DS with PP firmware is more detailed but doesn't have the weight, body of the ZDSD. I tried playing 16/44.1 PCM and from a USB stick but heard some distortion but I don't hear it playing directly from my server so still futzing with it.

I ripped an LP onto a SD card using double DSD and wow. Mind blowing good and easy to do. With Steve's mod this thing really does sound analog. No digital edge/ fatigue at all. I'm playing Jean Luc Ponty from an SD card it sounds just like the vinyl LP I recorded it from. Not to mention Steve's SD card is awesome.

This isn't an either or decision for me, I'm keeping both. The ZDSD will reside in my lift with the Tori MK3 and my ERRx speakers. Rest assured Stone the this unit sounds great with the ERRx speakers.

Im a big fan of the DS DAC and now the ZDSD. If my funds were more limited I could easily live with the ZDSD, an incredible bargain. I'm thinking if Steve's custom Analog output stage was in the DS my head might explode.


Dedicated Listening Room 13.5 x 13.5 x 9
Decware Zen Mystery Amp
Decware CSP 3 Preamp
PS Audio - Power Plant P 5
JansZen zA2.1 electrostat hybrid speakers

Morrow MA 6 RCA interconnects
Synergistic Research Element Tungsten Speaker Cable
Triode Wire Labs #7 PC (P5)
Lessloss Signature Power cable (ZMA)
Sablon Audio Petit Corona Power Cable (CSP3)

DIY Corner Bass Traps
Decware P1324K Diffusers
Assorted Mapleshade tweaks
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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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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #168 - 05/04/15 at 00:37:41
 
Thanks for weighing in, I was waiting for your impressions. Sounds like the ZDSD is a winner. I'm in love with my PWT / DS (and the PWT has an amazing synergy with the DS via HDMI) AND my Rega/ZP3 sources and I'm soon only going to have a main system and a headphone system and have an excess of gear, which is perhaps an enviable situation but . . . .

Glad the ZDSD is getting such good results!

Just a note about Pike's Peak: at first I would agree with you. But then I did an interconnect upgrade and ran the DS through the CSP2+ and have to say the weight and heft are just right. . .surprised me how much these two factors added for me.
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« Last Edit: 05/04/15 at 16:43:46 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #169 - 05/04/15 at 01:51:17
 
Lon, I was at first using balanced interconnects from the DS to the ZMA, sounded good but a little thin. Eventually I tried the CSP3 in the mix and yes it did help give more weight to the DS. The ZDSD however has the weight already without the preamp. Don't get me wrong I still love my DS and am imagining what it will sound like with Steve's new preamp and back to balanced cables.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #170 - 05/04/15 at 03:04:48
 
I'm with you Ilance. I can't wait for Steve's new Pre and you would not miss the PS Audio DSD. I would still own one if I did miss it. I'm getting Steve's new Mono"s too. The ZDSD IS JUST THAT GOOD. Herron Audio's Pre is making a visit too.....to my Listening Room. Long live the ZMA on the High Current Output ONLY, on my PS......all it needs.   Cool
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #171 - 05/04/15 at 03:09:17
 
Cool. My experience with other of Steve's sources are that sometimes there's too much weight and too much drive for the rest of my system. Diffferent tastes, different synergy. . . DS works just fine for me, glad there are other options.

I liked the DS straight into the amp with 1.21, and through the CSP2+ I prefer Pike's Peak. . . it took some getting used to Pike's Peak but I have learned to love it.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #172 - 05/04/15 at 17:18:37
 
I've read some good things about Pike's Peak. It is a good Player no matter how you slice it. I'm going to stick with all Decware.....so no Herron.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #173 - 05/05/15 at 16:01:54
 
Now, with 10 weeks of Seasoning on my ZDSD... . I'm using the Reference Level Volume Output from -20db, to -18 an -16 to great affect. Allowing me to turn my CSP3 up, up, an up/when desired to go there'- while maintaining tonal balance and a deep soundstage. Detail with no hype, Tone an Timbre are just exquisite.

The marriage of this Unit with your Output Transformer Design....plus the Recording capability.... + Up-sampling through an through.....trumps everything I've had in here the last 3 years.

The capabilities of ZDSD with Input Volume control as well.....Kudos Steve....Kudos.....for another hour.....before I'm off to the Dentist.
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« Last Edit: 05/05/15 at 16:48:35 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #174 - 05/05/15 at 17:50:07
 

Wow, it's been 10 weeks already?

Awesome follow up!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #175 - 05/06/15 at 16:08:48
 
Yes LR, and almost 4 weeks on my Mundorf Mcap Supremes in my Adagio's. Serendipity was had here for me. Completely freed-wonderful Speakers now!

I should have my head examined for thinking about changing anything in my System.

I want the new Mono's up against the ZMA. It should be a great different perspective to some degree. Please share your thoughts if you get a chance to hear them at Decware.

Well, I would not be changing anything.....just rotating in the Mono 6C33C's.  The ZMA goes nowhere....I think you would agree.








Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC
Decware DSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 16/176.4)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC .....for Input Tube)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (NOS/Platinum/Matsushita/National PCC88/7DJ8.....in A12 an B12 Input Tube positions)
Kimber Select KS3033 Speaker Cable

***Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)

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, 119 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)


Decware SE84CS (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!

Pending: Decware SE TRIODE 6C33C Mono-blocks




***Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-on Tweets/4.5 cross
(Gutted: 3rd order Linkwitz/Riley's....with all crappy parts = gone).

[Mr. Lee's custom - w/less distortion under-hung neodymium shielded woofer's designed to his specifications in Germany & his in-house designed and made tweeter's.....Floor Spiked/78lb's each and at 48 inches tall.....can cause a Quake in the Room through these Transmission Lines when desired. Bass: deep - tight & musical at any Volume level with tonal balance].
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« Last Edit: 05/06/15 at 16:19:25 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #176 - 05/06/15 at 16:21:06
 
1. Curious if anyone knows what DAC chips are used, or if it uses FPGA , etc. in the ZDSD?

2. Another thing I'm not quite grasping is it has balanced outputs, but uses Silver RCA jacks?

If that's the case will this mean that you will have to use special cables (one end RCA the Other XLR) or adaptors if you were to pair this with the new Decware Balanced Preamp? Huh
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #177 - 05/06/15 at 16:27:39
 
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« Last Edit: 05/06/15 at 16:30:07 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #178 - 05/06/15 at 16:37:39
 
Quote:
I want the new Mono's up against the ZMA. It should be a great different perspective to some degree. Please share your thoughts if you get a chance to hear them at Decware.


Yeah, I'm thinking the same thing...if the new monos can bring the Zen transparency, but a little more grunt and consistency like the ZMA, then I'd really have to figure out how to get a pair in my listening setup. I wouldn't give up the ZMA anytime soon though. It would have to take some serious amp to make me even consider that.  Like Decware OTL or to that level.

Quote:
1. Curious if anyone knows what DAC chips are used, or if it uses FPGA , etc. in the ZDSD?

2. Another thing I'm not quite grasping is it has balanced outputs, but uses Silver RCA jacks?

If that's the case will this mean that you will have to use special cables (one end RCA the Other XLR) or adaptors if you were to pair this with the new Decware Balanced Preamp? Huh


Dude, this is a studio Recorder/DAC; it's a workhorse that happens to sound above and beyond it's paygrade. It just uses a Burr Brown 1795 DA chip.

As far as I know, Steve doesn't mess with the XLR outputs, they are just stock units. Steve creates the unbalanced outputs. If you needed balanced outs, you use the balanced outs the Recorder comes with.

I think you're overthinking things a little bit.    ;)

http://tascam.com/product/da-3000/
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« Last Edit: 05/06/15 at 16:39:49 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #179 - 05/06/15 at 17:11:48
 
Got it, thanks guys ... the part that was confusing me was in the copy ad Steve said the following:

These Silver Jacks are the output of a fully differential balanced circuit driving a fully floating pair of high gain, wide bandwidth transformers. The result is between two and five times the standard 2 volt output of the stock RCA jacks. The amount of output is adjustable from the front control panel.

When I think of balanced I guess my thoughts automatically think XLR connections. Wink
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #180 - 05/06/15 at 17:26:18
 
Yeah, basically he is trying to give you what the balanced (XLR) can do. However, I think Steve took it a step further.... . His RCA Output Tranny Stage is Analog sounding...through the Wazooooo! Thus, maximizing what the DA Chip has to offer = big time my friends.

I listed both MALE an FEMALE XLR Adaptor's because, this is what I will do to run out of Steve's Output Analog Tranny Stage=to hell with the XLR Outputs of the ZDSD, not when his stage is this good! Then, into the new Pre. Then I need the XLR Adaptors to get into my ZMA. Plus, I would not abandon my RCA/WBT Kimber Unbalanced IC's. Once again, with Steve's Output Stage.....this is the way to do it very well. Anything less than Kimber Select would not do it for me and I don't want to sell (or have Terminated to XLR) my Unbalanced to get XLR Selects....not necessary as detailed above. Of course, it needs to be Cardas quality XLR Adaptor's for me.

Yes LR, I might have to sell my Paine Boston Mass. Antique Table & Rocking Chair to get both the new Pre and the 6C33C Mono's.....but I gotta do what I gotta do  ;) Cheesy Grin.

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« Last Edit: 05/06/15 at 18:06:27 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #181 - 05/06/15 at 18:03:56
 
Furthermore, I will add:

PS Audio PWT & PWD = 6k (the two together)
PS Audio DSD DAC = 6k (you can get it for $4500)
NAD M51 DAC = 2k
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC = $1395 (you can get it for $1195 new now or look for used)

......all were in my Listening Room. All are gone, except the Decware ZDSD remains. Before anyone gets their underwear in a bunch.....the above DACS are very good (Duh, right).....I think the ZDSD beats them all however and I would still own the above if it didn't.  One mans opinion.

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #182 - 05/06/15 at 18:05:22
 
Quote:
Got it, thanks guys ... the part that was confusing me was in the copy ad Steve said the following:

These Silver Jacks are the output of a fully differential balanced circuit driving a fully floating pair of high gain, wide bandwidth transformers. The result is between two and five times the standard 2 volt output of the stock RCA jacks. The amount of output is adjustable from the front control panel.

When I think of balanced I guess my thoughts automatically think XLR connections. Wink



From what I'm reading there - Steve basically built a ZBIT inside the DAC. So he's taking the output from the XLR, running it through those fantastic little balanced transformers, then out to the RCA outputs. I don't know if he's got anything else in the circuit to tweak the sound or output, but it sounds like it's a ZBIT built in to me.

Looking forward, I'm also assuming the future preamp is going to have that ZBIT style transformer built in as well. (I'd check with Steve first, but...) if that's the case, and you're for sure going to get the preamp - then maybe it would make better sense to buy a stock Tascam, and then let the preamp do the Balanced to Unbalanced conversion. But if you need that conversion now, get the Decware DSD DAC.

Balanced XLR cable is less sensitive to noise - so it's best to keep your signal in that balanced state as long as possible.

Again, check with Steve on all this. The preamp might be all you need though.

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« Last Edit: 05/06/15 at 18:09:11 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #183 - 05/06/15 at 19:11:33
 
Thanks guys for the further clarification.  I guess by the ZDSD output stage being RCA jacks, it negates the need for that balanced feature to be on an amplifer (if you were to use the ZDSD as a preamp/source combo) and if you were to use the ZDSD with the new Zen Preamp then you would need adaptors or a cable with RCAs on one end and XLR's on another ~ that is if you wanted to use the ZDSD's awesome output transformer, otherwise you would have to use the stock XLRs on the ZDSD which in that case you would be better off getting the non-modded Tascam.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #184 - 05/06/15 at 21:50:56
 
Lon wrote on 03/21/15 at 13:27:50:
I wrapped my brain around the new Cremona cable rather quickly! Wow. Even quieter noise floor, even smoother yet detailed treble, tight and dynamic lower frequencies.

I need one more cable to complete my system, a longer one. I wrote to Bruce Davidson of VooDoo Cable to thank him for the deal on this one and to say that I am saving up for the one other cable I need, and he offered me another Cremona in the length I need at dealer cost. So I had to go for it. I'll have a few uncomfortable financial moments but I'll sell a few things and make it work. Exciting to have sound like this for all my sources! Smiley


I just am still having a bit of a shock wrapping my brain around the improvements these cables have brought to my system. I thought the other versions by the same manufacturer were excellent and they are but these. . . it's like they just get out of the way at any frequency and let everything flow. I've never just spun music and not thought about hardware the way that I have the last few weeks. I now feel I have comparable excellence with sources, preamps, amps, speakers, cabling. . . .And I'm enjoying things as I haven't before. Too bad I have to move in a few months and start set up all over again!

Anyway, I'm feeling the bite of the finances drained for these cables, but glad I bit the bullet.
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« Last Edit: 05/06/15 at 21:51:34 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #185 - 05/06/15 at 23:28:46
 
Great news Lon, best of luck on the move.

JD
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #186 - 05/07/15 at 00:06:47
 
Thanks JD. It's going to be a tremendous effort to move and a draining experience in many ways, and I'm moving my Dad just before I move. Sigh. I'm stocking up on Wheaties.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #187 - 05/07/15 at 00:15:07
 
Lon, you seem to like the Stradivarius Cremona Cable. I wonder what the XLR version would sound like? I'm already saving for the new preamp and will need another set of XLR cables.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #188 - 05/07/15 at 00:30:27
 
I would be very surprised if they didn't sound excellent. I haven't explored XLR cables for many years. . . if I were in the market I'd try the Cremona Edition if I could afford it.

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« Last Edit: 05/07/15 at 00:30:50 by Lon »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #189 - 06/26/15 at 19:21:11
 
Oh, the Schiit Yggdrasil is going to have its work cut out for it?!

I have my ZDSD @ 16/176.4, playing Ramsey Lewis right now from Transport via Illuminati D-60 of course.....oh so good. Steve has his output stage so well voiced....it is just sick, it is so good!

Of course, the Schiit Yggy, will need 200 hours on her before any judgement is cast (160 minimum is recommended).

I'm working on having a PS Audio DSD DAC in with the latest 1.21 and Pikes Peak. Although I had over 180 hours on my PS before I returned it-I did not have the latest Ted/tweeks on the Firmware input (PCM). .....How could I pass up comparing these three DACS all seasoned in later this Fall?!






Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 16/176.4)

Yggy coming! (Schiit Yggdrasil)
*************************************************

Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC .....for Input Tube)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA

Decware Torii Junior coming!
*************************************************

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (NOS/Platinum/Matsushita/National PCC88/7DJ8.....in A12 an B12 Input Tube positions)
***NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 pending in my A12 an B12 positions***
http://www.upscaleaudio.com/ediswan-cv2492-6922/

Kimber Select KS3033 Speaker Cable
Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)

Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3rd order Linkwitz/Riley's....with all crappy parts = gone)


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, 119 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)


Decware SE84CS (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: 06/26/15 at 19:40:48 by stone_of_tone »  

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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 #190 - 07/13/15 at 19:35:40
 
I've been playing around with the Input Volume feature on the ZDSD for quite some time now. I can't say enough about it! I now leave it at +3.5db. IT CREATES DETAIL DENSITY TO THE DETAIL THAT IS ALREADY THERE. Of course while, not messing with soundstage depth, tone & timbre, imaging or Tonal Balance. Completely optimizes my Transport. A great tool.....found in no other.

ZMA turned up fully to its useable Volume
-20db Output Volume @ 16/176.4 ZDSD
+3.5 Input Volume ZDSD
+ 10 out of 10, for Input Tube half's of Telefunken of CSP3
+ 8 out of 10, for Output Tubes 6N1P-EV's of CSP3
(the +8 creates a pretty quick sensitive gain for the CSP3 driving into the ZMA = Heaven spot on)!
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« Last Edit: 07/13/15 at 20:47:53 by stone_of_tone »  

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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 #191 - 07/13/15 at 20:03:46
 
I take that back: "I now leave it at +3.5". No I don't. When I want to play louder....I turn the Input Volume back to 0.0db which maximizes the CSP3 providing dynamics to the ZMA's dynamic capability. Allowing more usable Volume up from the CSP3.

However, for a third of my Listening at lower volumes (SPL), I've discovered using the Input Volume from +2.5 to +3.5, is a nice tool as described above. All other parameter's above kept equal/listed above.

I love this DAC!
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« Last Edit: 07/13/15 at 20:45:06 by stone_of_tone »  

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Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #192 - 07/28/15 at 19:57:14
 
Anyone do any ADDA of their Vinyl? I'm saving this project for a -17F night in the not so distant future.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #193 - 07/28/15 at 23:11:21
 
Stone, I too have planned on winter vinyl ripping. I did make a test double DSD recording of one of my favorite LP's (Stanley Clark "if this bass could talk") I need to increase volume level next time and getting the tracks to record separately is difficult for me but I'm not the most technically savy. Overall recording is easy and the sound....... Well... It sounds just like the vinyl or really close.

I sold some gear so I'm waiting for a ZP3 to be built then I'll be able to listen to vinyl again. I have quite a vinyl collection from the last 40 years so I can't give it up but I'm loving the digital lately.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #194 - 07/29/15 at 14:21:05
 
Ilance, great tunes. I have "if this bass could talk" on CD.

I've only dabbled in Redbook to Redbook. Doing some DSD is next and of course from Vinyl too. Fun great machine!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #195 - 07/29/15 at 15:09:34
 
I will add, I'm very excited to get my Auralic Vega soon. However, I'm just as excited about keeping this great DAC with Steve's Output Stage.
Recording with it is the icing on the cake.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #196 - 08/18/15 at 22:38:12
 
I had the opportunity this afternoon (to pit my Vega against my ZDSD/PCM).......man, I so appreciate the ZenMaster-Steve.
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« Last Edit: 08/18/15 at 23:15:28 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #197 - 08/27/15 at 21:57:20
 
I think it is time to pull the trigger and order my ZDSD.  I currently stream with a Logitech Transporter, it's analog outs going to my preamp.  It also has a full assortment of digital outputs: SPDIF, BNC, AES, optical.  So an external DAC like the ZDSD can be used I assume.  So my question is, it won't matter that my rips on the Mac are stored as AIFF, since the output will be SPDIF from the Transporter to the ZDSD?
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« Last Edit: 08/28/15 at 04:02:01 by JeffS »  

Current system: Modwright Logitech Transporter, WTL Amadeus w/ Dynavector XX-2 Mk2, CJ Premier 17LS, Sanders Magtech, Magnepan 3.7i

Previous: same sources, CPS2+, Torii Mk3, SE34I.3, Coincident Super Eclipse 3
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #198 - 08/27/15 at 22:56:33
 
I also am enjoying the ZDSD to ZMA to ERRx and with the recent acquisition of an Uptone Regen the sound has jumped up another notch, an excellent tweak if you're using USB. Really sounding sweet right now.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #199 - 08/28/15 at 02:20:26
 
I am new to Decware I just ordered the monoliths with a 946 driver, the superzen UFO, and this will be my next purchase.  My past equipment did not have gain adjustment so riding gain will be a new to me, I know it is going to be mostly personal sound preference, but is there a good baseline to maximize the amount of volume I can get out of the superzen before it starts clipping?  I hope this question makes sense...
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #200 - 09/02/15 at 15:59:14
 
Just trial an error, Tinman. You will know when it is clipping. With those Speakers and the adjustable volume OUTPUT AND volume INPUT of the ZDSD (completely awesome features-I use)! You should be able to go pretty darn loud when you want....without clipping at all.....ever really.

The Harmonic richness of Steve's transformer output stage, is kicking the tush out of my high-end DAC right now as I write. You are going to love your System!
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« Last Edit: 09/03/15 at 13:45:59 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #201 - 09/03/15 at 14:00:54
 
Tinman, get your order in on the ZDSD. I've had mine back in/Vega out, the last 24 hours with OUTPUT volume down to -16db from 20, and INPUT volume down from flat 0.0 to -1.0db. I use the CSP3 too. However, you will be running direct and will love these adjustable tools to great musical sound!

When you add Steve's output stage and run it at 16/176 (best for me)...she is giant slayer of a DAC. The recording aspect, is a bonus of fun and sound quality.





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« Last Edit: 09/03/15 at 14:39:40 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #202 - 09/03/15 at 17:19:40
 
Stone, I see that you are planning on getting a SE84CKCS.  Given the ZDSD's output transformer stage (I think) and the $700 upcharge for the balanced inputs on the SE84CKCS, would you get the balanced inputs?  Of course, they may be needed for other input sources?

I'm toying with the idea of a SE84... but I don't know which, the standard or the delux model?
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #203 - 09/04/15 at 13:40:10
 
Hi Archie, for me, I plan on not getting them (XLR Inputs on CKCS). Steve designed his RCA output stage to best both the stock RCA an XLR outputs, coming out of the ZDSD.

http://decware.com/newsite/ZDSD.html
"As seen in the picture above the rear of the Model ZDSD is outfitted with a pair of Silver RCA output jacks that work independently of the stock balanced and unbalanced outputs on the machine. These Silver Jacks are the output of a fully differential balanced circuit driving a fully floating pair of high gain, wide bandwidth transformers".

After extensive listening and modifying a pair of XLR adapters for my Vega, (per Auralic spec's~great service/timely from Auralec tech via email to me),....I prefer Steve's Output Stage~period.

I also prefer Steve's Output Stage over:
PS Audio DSD DAC
NAD M51 DAC
PS Audio PWT/PWD Combo
Anedio D1 DAC
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC.

Furthermore, because of Steve's output stage from the ZDSD and my CSP3 and using the Input gain, Output Reference Level/ZDSD, Volume and Voltage adjustment from the CSP3.....I have everything that Balanced XLR has to offer.....into my ZMA.

Those that question this: Can bring over there best recordings and they will hear the mouse piddle on the cotton ball from the back of the Studio if so desired! Cabling matters too. Yes, the CSP3, is very transparent, used in high gain/voltage (8 out of 10 setting) output....to ZMA. The Alchemy Steve has created in my chain (ZDSD/PCM to CSP3 to ZMA) is stunning.

So why the: SE84CKCSelect/UFO & Caintuck Loudspeakers/Alpha Baffle w/Audyn Plus Caps?
Why not? It will be......a fun form of comparison to my Listening Room involvement/musicality.

Next up for my ZDSD:
PCM to DSD Recording needs to be done! I've only done a little PCM to PCM. The SD Sample Card/DSD, Steve sent with my ZDSD is stunning!
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« Last Edit: 09/04/15 at 14:00:22 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #204 - 09/04/15 at 18:50:04
 
Quote:
Next up for my ZDSD:
PCM to DSD Recording needs to be done!


From what I understand, and from my testing with the DA-3000, you will not be able to do this if I understand your comment.
If you select any of the PCM inputs (all inputs but SDIF-3 and analog), you cannot SRC to DSD. You CAN SRC PCM to any other rate PCM than what is input.
As soon as you select DSD as the recording format, the DA-3000 auto-switches the digital input to SDIF-3 or DSD-Raw.
If I interpreted this incorrectly I would surely like to know as I have read all I can find and received no feedback from Tascam when I asked the question.
Now you can definitely record the analog inputs to a DSD file (and PCM) at all rates.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #205 - 09/05/15 at 14:39:54
 
True, Sample Rate Conversion to any PCM up. My record collection to DSD or from Reel to Reel.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #206 - 09/05/15 at 18:39:36
 
Thanks Stone, you have confirmed my feeling about the balanced inputs on the SE84CKCS.  I like Steve's approach especially since it means I don't need more cabling and extra equipment!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #207 - 09/10/15 at 18:00:02
 
You know it Archie.

Well, Auralic gone and Steve's Output Stage wins!
With the ZDSD, the Input volume adjustment and Output Reference volume with Steve's Output Stage is indispensable!

I have the Kimber Select KS6063 (8 ft pair), coming with WBT-0681 Ag Spades!
Sorry, Anticable and Belden......Kables matter, even when running a single Mundorf Mcap Supreme Cap in each Speaker!

The best Alchemy is Kimber Silver IC to Kimber Copper Speaker for me.

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********************************************
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« Last Edit: 09/10/15 at 19:06:07 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #208 - 09/11/15 at 03:15:13
 
Just have to clean up a little bit of noise from the tranny's in the ZDSD, with a Shunyata Research's Ztron Alpha Digital AC. I will be good for a couple years.  ;D Cool
http://www.thecableco.com/Product/Ztron-Alpha-Digital-AC

......completion of mind blowing System.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #209 - 09/11/15 at 18:37:10
 
http://audioshark.org/shunyata-research-78/review-shunyata-zytron-alpha-digital-...

From this account and others; plus my experience finding the right Power Cords for my CSP3 and ZMA.....and as good as the ZDSD is running out of my P3. I might be in for a little treat with the Ztron Alpha into the the ZDSD, on and off the P3 regen.  

First, the addition of my 6063's next week then the Alpha in 2 or 3 weeks arrival.............. .
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #210 - 09/12/15 at 00:07:31
 
stone_of_tone wrote on 09/11/15 at 18:37:10:
http://audioshark.org/shunyata-research-78/review-shunyata-zytron-alpha-digital-...

From this account and others; plus my experience finding the right Power Cords for my CSP3 and ZMA.....and as good as the ZDSD is running out of my P3. I might be in for a little treat with the Ztron Alpha into the the ZDSD, on and off the P3 regen.  

First, the addition of my 6063's next week then the Alpha in 2 or 3 weeks arrival.............. .


@ stone, did you see this video I posted in regards to the Shunyata Alpha HC?  If you're considering the Alpha Digital you should check this out as they are in the same model range.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rM1CRHciEsE
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« Last Edit: 09/12/15 at 00:14:07 by beowulf »  
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #211 - 09/12/15 at 01:07:58
 
Cool, thanks Beowulf.  L/S.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #212 - 09/13/15 at 16:23:38
 
I must add, I've been down the Preamp and Power Amp road with Power Cords. My XLO Pro's are still the ones for me. However, I'm so pleased with Steve's ZDSD (I returned the Vega)....I want to run the Shunyata to her on and off my P3 Power Plant.....will hear how it goes... .

Since I loathe Solid State for 2 channel Listening (in any price range/thus-why I own Emotiva & Rotel Preamp)....but, of course own SS for HT & Sat viewing downstairs, etc... . I did pick up an Kimber Palladian PK10 for half price (6 years ago/Dave Weinhart Design-cool guy~next time I'm in LA...I'm stoping in his place). I use the Palladian into my XPA-1/Emotiva (3 years old) Rock Concert from a Box Amp! The Palladian completely transforms this Solid State Amp for the way~way~better. The Palladian on Tubes....not good.

I will be seasoning in my Kimber KS6063 Speaker Cables, starting this Wednesday night. I won't get the Shunyata Ztron Digital Alpha AC in the System for another 2 or 3 weeks.
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« Last Edit: 09/13/15 at 17:03:56 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #213 - 09/13/15 at 20:55:51
 
@ stone, you may want to consider filtering power cables after the PS3 as well.  

I read a review for the Blue Horizon Mains Noise Analyzer over at 6 moons and Marja & Henk found that the P10 they were analyzing was very noisy, noisier than most of the other gear the were testing including a Mac mini and notebook, which is ironic as most people buy extra LPSU to cut down on noise.  Anyways, they found the problem did not arise when using the older PS Audio PPP unit, just the P10 ... putting that together and the P3 that you're using has similar tech to the P10, it would  make sense that some additional filtering would be beneficial because it is a probability that the P3 may be introducing additional noise into your system to whatever is hooked up to it ... so additional power cords that can filter such as Shunyata and/or Wireworld may be quite useful.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #214 - 09/13/15 at 23:14:24
 
If that is the case. Adding this Shunyata digital AC cord, will be a very good thing coming out of my P3 to ZDSD.

Today, on my CSP3, I dialed my Telefunken Input Tube down from 10 to 9 and dialed my Output Tubes up from 8 to 9. ZDSD at Ref Level Output of -20 and Input at 0.0db. Talks about a lock on clarity/imaging/soundstage, at some extreme SPL's I am pushing today!  ZMA, at 90% of volume/used as full power amp. Volume output adjusted with CSP3 from 0 to 40%.

You just know when it is right/involving.....and of course no fatigue at these higher Volumes too!  

I love this ZDSD/CSP3/ZMA combination!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #215 - 09/14/15 at 02:52:07
 
I wouldn't be surprised if that cable had a positive effect on your entire system that is plugged into the P3.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #216 - 09/14/15 at 14:21:29
 
It should create some overspill, maybe.

I am so pleased with the P3 and it does not squash dynamics! Not surprised though....P3, P5 and P10 are not perfect and that is where the Shunyata comes in. I will also run it to my CSP3 and ZMA separately. Designed for digital or what not/it's a noise squashing Power Cord......it will be interesting to these components and from the wall to these components each..... .
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #217 - 09/15/15 at 01:14:23
 
Stone, have you compared listening to tracks on SD cards and tracks on thumb drives?
Is it really easy to navigate through your music like Steve says? 64 gigs of 16/44 music is a lot of music to find stuff.
Steve also said he'd used really big USB thumb drives, like 256gb and even 512gb. Any experience?
Thanks.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #218 - 09/15/15 at 15:15:51
 
Someone else will have to chime in about that marcocolo. I've done little recording since March and only have scratched the surface. I have been enjoying the great DAC it is in 16/176 through Steve's RCA Output Stage.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #219 - 09/15/15 at 15:52:05
 
I was referring to listening to tracks that were put on SD cards or USB thumb drives and listened to through this unit. Wondering if the playback was different sounding based on the input of SD or USB.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #220 - 09/16/15 at 16:10:22
 
SD cards are great to create playlists and convenience. Subjectively, the sound is the same for me, either from my CD Transport or SD card. But, I also have a pretty tricked out transparently (K)abled through Speakers System.

I think first and foremost: Buy the ZDSD for Steve's Output Stage from this very, very competent DAC! I would still own and have owned the DAC's listed below. I own the ZDSD AND NOT the below DAC's-because Steve's machine is better~period.

From my previous POST:
"After extensive listening and modifying a pair of XLR adapters for my Vega, (per Auralic spec's~great service/timely from Auralec tech via email to me),....I prefer Steve's Output Stage~period.

I also prefer Steve's Output Stage over:
PS Audio DSD DAC
NAD M51 DAC
PS Audio PWT/PWD Combo
Anedio D1 DAC
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC.

Furthermore, because of Steve's output stage from the ZDSD and my CSP3 and using the Input gain, Output Reference Level/ZDSD, Volume and Voltage adjustment from the CSP3.....I have everything that Balanced XLR has to offer.....into my ZMA".

PS-soon, through my Audio Club.....I will hear a Yggy DAC. I wish it luck, up against Steve's Output Tranny's! You can talk to me all day about change of architecture with Pro's and Copy/Yggy designer's....at the end though: HOW DOES IT SOUND!





Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

Shunyata Ztron Alpha Digital power cord....coming for ZDSD!
Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/176.4)
{also @ kept/-20 Ref Level & -.5db or -1.0 Input volume Level}
{ also @ -18 Ref Level & -1.0 Input volume Level}
{ also @ -16 Ref Level & -1.0 Input Volume Level}

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC .....for Input Tube)
**********************************************
10 of 10 for Input tube & 8 of 10 voltage for Output tubes
Volume adjustment used at 0 to 40%
**********************************************
WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
***NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 in my A12 an B12 positions***
ZMA used as straight Power Amp, at 90% of Volume

***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************
Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)

REL T5 SUB, Neutrik connection from ZMA
{30Hz @ 35% of volume~0 Phase}
Auralex Subdude II

Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)

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/120 ~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)
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« Last Edit: 09/16/15 at 18:35:04 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 #221 - 09/25/15 at 15:34:44
 
I have the Shunyata Ztron Alpha Digital power cord from my PS P3 Power Plant to my Decware ZDSD. I must say with only 3 hours on it....the already great voicing of the ZDSD is taken a step further in mid-bass and bass definition especially. Wow, if my initial impression continues....what a very worth while upgrade! .....the Midrange? ....Sweeter, while maintaining tone/timbre with attack. Highs are all there and extended at a better rate.

I was leery of my P3 when I got it a year ago because I did not like the P300 (I think it was called) from PS Audio back in 98 or 99. It squashed dynamics. The P3 is awesome in NOT squashing anything, but of course lowering the noise floor and noticeable and musical. Same here out of the box and running for the Alpha Digital-I was leery/but it is just making improvements and staying out of the way of the Music.  

I'm still leery about changing my XLO's that run to my CSP3 and one RUNS to my ZMA. Others I've tried did get in the way.... . The XLO's are superb...but now, I think I want to Cable Bank/from CableCo, some Shunyata Alpha Series in......for these two guys.

But, my budget is shot....so I'm going to appreciate and be thankful for what I've sold this year and have been able to purchase and just enjoy.

I've only had my Kimber KS6063 Speaker Cables in for 10 days too!  It will be nice to have all well burned in for my Torii Jr. arrival in November!  Maybe, some more Shunyata late 2016.





Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

Shunyata Ztron Alpha Digital power cord
Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/176.4)
{also @ kept/-20 Ref Level & -.5db or -1.0 Input volume Level}

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC .....for Input Tube)
**********************************************
10 of 10 for Input tube & 8 of 10 voltage for Output tubes
Volume adjustment used at 0 to 50%
**********************************************
WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
***NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 in my A12 an B12 positions***
ZMA adjusted at 50% to 90% of Volume

***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************
Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)


Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)

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/120 ~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)
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« Last Edit: 09/25/15 at 16:04:02 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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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #222 - 09/26/15 at 20:03:53
 
It is to nice out to be inside right now. However, the two new additions to my System, the Shunyata Ztron Alpha digital power cord to ZDSD, 2 days ago, and my KS6063 Speaker Cables, 11 days ago.......are blowing my mind right now, thru my Decware and modified Adagio's! SLAM and higher SPL's....just locked in your seat. You could go there before....but not like this!

..........and without my REL Sub!   I have that downstairs for a MADMAX 3D Experience tonight.....(also run an HSU MBM down there for the Visual medium).

......just finished The Rippingtons ~ Fountain of Youth. Russ plays 14 different Vintage Guitar's with some nice  sub bass additions. Once again, without my REL....so good, so good.
Right now I have NYC Records, Produced by Mike Mainieri, Come Together ~ Guitar Tribute to the Beatles.....just stunning. I will eventually get outside today.....maybe.
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« Last Edit: 09/26/15 at 20:07:41 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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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #223 - 09/29/15 at 19:31:33
 
Did some ABA'in of my KS6063's and 3033's before they sell on Audiogon. The 6063's are not going anywhere! Same with the Shunyata power cord to ZDSD....not going anywhere!

Well, until I get my Jr. in............ .
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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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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #224 - 10/01/15 at 01:43:19
 
Ok so I have had my zdsd for awhile now and finally took a look at the recording option and I have to say its really neat.  and being able to take my songs from the computer and put it on an sd card and play it is just really nice and simple...man I love simple.  Oh yeah and it sounds really nice..detail warmth imaging and just get lost in the music...who could ask for more Smiley   I am using Csp3 --Torii MKiv--Omega outlaw speakers
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #225 - 10/07/15 at 22:05:05
 
Did some more ABA'in with the Shunyata Alpha Digital.....man, wowy powwy..........and no bull' man.............she be worth every penny!

Sucks you in and grabs you my the Kahuna's!....clearly, cleanly and musically......SERENDIPITOUS that it coincided with my KS 6063 Speaker Cable.....delivering the goods! ...........back to my Tunes!
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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 #226 - 10/14/15 at 14:54:26
 
Another week on the Shunyata Alpha, made for digital high frequency hash squashing....without mucking up the MUSIC.

Verdict: indispensable.

So yes, is $922 buckaroo's, worth spending and adding to this great machine from the Zen Master. A resounding YES!

Everything down stream is benefiting.....right thru to my 6063's being maximized to my Modified Adagio's.

I've been playing around with Power Cords since 1995. This Ztron Alpha finally got it right for me into digital then to my XLO's for PRE and Amp.
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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 #227 - 10/15/15 at 20:48:33
 
With the addition of my new additions, I'm able to Play sample at 192kHz (now, to my satisfaction)! NOW, you want to talk about a Stage.....!

My hardware quest(s) are over!  Highly recommended Player...this ZDSD I tell ya!  Voiced for Redbook.....the way it should be!
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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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Core32
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #228 - 10/15/15 at 21:20:42
 
Quote:
My hardware quest(s) are over!  


Stone! You expect us to believe this statement? LOL.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #229 - 10/16/15 at 16:40:56
 
Okay, okay.....almost done. LOL   Grin
Plus, I so look forward to reading Steve's posts about his new Preamplifier!

I ordered the Cambridge CXC.
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_779CXCCDB/Cambridge-Audio-CXC-Black.html

It has been out for 10 months now (give or take). I did own a good Transport/Servo that died. This CXC unit: Audio S3 Custom CD Servo™ drive mechanism provides maximum data retrieval with state-of-the-art error correction and minimal jitter.... . Spinning at Audio CD speed and all about the SERVO.

Don't laugh at what I have been using.....it kicked to the curb quite a few. However, time to bring in a dedicated Tport/Servo again that my DECWARE deserves.....and is everything a 2 to 5k Transport is of yester-year and today. Thank you my British brethren!
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« Last Edit: 10/16/15 at 22:02:48 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 #230 - 10/21/15 at 17:28:00
 
Holy Snikey's!  UPS came early with my Cambridge CXC!
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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 #231 - 10/21/15 at 20:38:16
 
She sounds promising. I'll report back about her in a couple weeks.
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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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christianerichs
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Posts: 11
Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #232 - 12/04/15 at 16:03:20
 
I have had the ZDSD for a couple of months now and have to agree with all the compliments stone_of_tone and others have given it.  The ZDSD has completely changed how I view digital music.  I never knew digital recordings could sound this good.     

If you have the money, I would highly recommend buying the ZDSD.  
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Equipment: McIntosh MC2300 amplifier; McIntosh C33 preamp; McIntosh MCD7007 CD player; McIntosh MR78 FM tuner; and Definitive Technology BP2000 speakers.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #233 - 12/09/15 at 15:23:21
 
No doubt Chris. I would OWN the higher price spread if it was musically superior. But, guess what; it isn't and I don't?! I have had quite a few DACS through here the last 2.5 years (most recently the Yggdrasil).  The Decware ZDSD still wins!  

Does Steve know how to Voice those Output Trannies of his or what?!!!

ENJOY!




Listening Room:



Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation

Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

****Shunyata Research ZiTron Alpha Digital Power Cord****
{you need to experience the next level it can take your DAC}

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the curb quite a few superb DAC'S!
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)
{also @ kept/-20 Ref Level & -.5db or -1.0 Input volume Level}


WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
(NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube~Russian 6N1P-EV's for Output Tubes & 5U4G-C Rectifier)
****************************************************
10 of 10 for Input tube & (8 or 9) of 10 voltage for Output tubes
Volume adjustment usage at 0 to 40%
****************************************************

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
(NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 in my A12 an B12 positions~6N23P-EV's for Inverter Tubes~JAN Sylvania 0A3's & Tung-Sol KT66's)
ZMA adjusted at 50% to 70% of Volume

***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************

Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)




Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)

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/120 ~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)

PS=the: NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /Inputs = ZMA are breathtaking.............. .

NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube/CSP3 ~ not taken for granted neither......... .
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« Last Edit: 12/09/15 at 17:21:49 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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Archie
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Posts: 688
Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #234 - 12/09/15 at 16:47:17
 
Has anyone directly compared the ZDSD with the ZCD-240?  I think Steve said they were very similar but the ZDSD added more "weight" to the music.  I'm not 100% sure I know what that means or if a CSP3 would make up for that difference.

I'm leaning toward the ZCD since I need to play discs but in the long run the sound is the most important thing even if I had to add a trasport to the ZDSD.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #235 - 12/17/15 at 01:31:11
 
@stone_of_tone:

How well does the Cambridge CXC transport pair with the Decware ZDSD?  

I currently use an old McIntosh MCD7007 CD player (sold from 1988 to 1994).  While the MCD7007 still plays well, I often wonder if it would be worthwhile to upgrade to a newer CD player (or transport).  I have read great reviews of the Cambridge CXC but do not know anyone who owns one.  The MCD7007 has issues when playing CD-R's and CD-RW's.  

Would you recommend the CXC?

Thanks,

Christian  

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Equipment: McIntosh MC2300 amplifier; McIntosh C33 preamp; McIntosh MCD7007 CD player; McIntosh MR78 FM tuner; and Definitive Technology BP2000 speakers.
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #236 - 12/22/15 at 15:31:52
 
Welcome to the Forum Christian.

Ultimately, I prefer/preferred my over achieving Sony as a Transport to get the bits to my ZDSD. Some would say....with the rest of my line-up downstream in my System: "How can you use that, as a Transport".....this particular unit beats the half dozen I've had in ($$)....and I own two more prestine in their boxes, for the future.

When people listen to my Rig....they don't doubt this over achiever and scratch their heads.....because most of this ilk, stink.... . Not this one.
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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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i8on
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Posts: 7
Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #237 - 12/31/15 at 19:23:37
 
A question for all ZDSD users: Does anyone use its input monitoring (with ADDA off) to adjust volume feeding direct to amp? I asked Steve about this and he said it's doable but potentially risks damage to system.

I would be pleased if I could do this, but I don't want to risk any damage. Perhaps there is a way to offset the danger Steve mentioned?
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #238 - 04/06/16 at 19:56:36
 
I find that when running my DSD into my integrated amp (tube pre-amp + solid state amp sections) the VOLUME is too loud even when reference level is set to -9db and volume dial set to 9-9:30, and I also hear some clipping. Question: Would an in-line attenuator, say 12db, HELP?
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #239 - 07/11/16 at 21:42:35
 
I put my order in for the ZDSD last. So now it's the waiting game.  8-)
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HDT Alt Tuning, ZMC1, ZDSD, ZSB, REL Subwoofer, Audio Electronic AE-3 Preamp, Audio Electronic PH-1 Phono Preamp, Audio Electronic SE-811 Amp, (2)Otari MX-5050Bii-2, Otari MTR-10, (2)Otari MTR-12, Linn Sondek LP-12 with Krystal MC cartridge
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #240 - 08/16/16 at 18:28:12
 
Order status for my ZDSD is "On the Bench", should have it soon  8-)
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HDT Alt Tuning, ZMC1, ZDSD, ZSB, REL Subwoofer, Audio Electronic AE-3 Preamp, Audio Electronic PH-1 Phono Preamp, Audio Electronic SE-811 Amp, (2)Otari MX-5050Bii-2, Otari MTR-10, (2)Otari MTR-12, Linn Sondek LP-12 with Krystal MC cartridge
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Posts: 137
Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #241 - 09/11/16 at 13:39:36
 
Just received my ZDSD.  About 5 hours with it playing red book CD.  

To put my comments into some context, a little about my background in this hobby.  Over 40 years ago it started when I heard and more importantly experienced what a Linn LP-12, Audio Research, and Magnepan Tympani system could do... convey the emotion that the musicians were putting into the music.

Over the years I have heard systems that I could not afford, not just in passing or at shows, $24,000.00 DACS, $60,000.00 speakers and so on.  I've also owned good systems that I could afford.  

Regardless of price, very few systems could produce the emotion in music.  The emotion that causes goose bumps or just causes one to become so involved that one starts to move rather emphatically in response to what one is hearing.  What I refer to as the "experience".

Well... the ZDSD produces the emotion in spades.  It does what very few systems that I have heard at any price were able to.  

Stone said that his hardware quests were over.  Quite a statement.  When it comes to a DAC, so are mine!
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #242 - 09/11/16 at 13:57:48
 
Congrats! I am glad you are so happy with the ZDSD and so soon after plugging in! I have reached the end of my hardware search as well as far as DACs, with a different DAC, but we're on the same "enjoying the hell out of it" plateau!
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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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JOMAN
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Re: Decware Direct Stream Digital DAC / Recorder
Reply #243 - 09/11/16 at 22:06:37
 
Thanks Lon.  Glad that you've been able to get to the same end result with your system.  To me it's not important how you got there, just that you did.

I was more than a little surprised as well that the ZDSD was able to achieve what it did in the short time that I've been listening to it.  It still has to burn in, still has a way to go and that is evident in certain