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TEAC NT-503 (Read 12920 times)
stone_of_tone
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TEAC NT-503
05/20/17 at 19:14:35
 
I am very intrigued with this unit.

Ever since Steve suggested he is working to put one out with his output stage and suggested one could purchase the stand alone unit and add the Decware ZBIT outboard.

Studying all the 503 has to offer and I called for pricing to put XLR connector's on my additional pair of Kimber 1030 IC's locally here (easy/peanuts). Crucial to run this same cable XLR 1030 to ZBIT and then my other pair of 1030 RCA's out of ZBIT to my ZMA.

I think I'm going to order it tomorrow and have it by Thursday. Right off, its Preamp will be of interest direct to ZMA via unbalanced ~&~ upconverting from 44.1 to 11.2 DSD. Of course, as described above.....I will run balanced out to a ZBIT......8 to 9 weeks down the road when the ZBIT arrives (need to order that too).

I will have a good 8 - 9 weeks (or more) to play around with it till the ZBIT comes.

Anyone have any thoughts, or does anyone have one out there.....and cares to comment?
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« Last Edit: 05/21/17 at 02:16:47 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lon
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Re: TEAC NT-530
Reply #1 - 05/20/17 at 19:44:32
 
I'll only add the experience that I have with the ZBIT is extremely positive, it is an elegant device and reaps sonic advantages. I ordered mine with a stepped attenuator as it's been my experience with Toriis and CSP2+ that this option offers a nice bit of clarity.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #2 - 05/21/17 at 00:35:24
 
Yes, I have the original inboard ZBIT / ZDSD (2 years and 3 months now). I could wait and do inboard again with Steve's Z-503 (I'm being presumptuous about what Steve will call his-I apologize Steve). However, it will only cost $32, including labor to convert my other additional Kimber 1030 with good 3 pin Neutrik XLR's ....so why not go outboard.....so I can have the unit now as Steve suggested. I then get to season it in RCA out only....but that is okay....... . I will have to wait for the great output stage I'm accustomed too (receiving the ZBIT).

I read your very informative take on the ZBIT Lon/Thread of yours....glad you like it.
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« Last Edit: 05/21/17 at 02:14:00 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #3 - 05/21/17 at 01:17:29
 
Ordered the 503 from Crutchfield. I will have it on Thursday.  

I entered 530 not 503......geez....getting old..... .  I fixed it.   Grin










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« Last Edit: 05/21/17 at 01:40:56 by stone_of_tone »  

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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #4 - 05/21/17 at 05:46:06
 
Stone,
This Teac 503 unit has occupied my thoughts more than any audio related device over the last several weeks since Steve teased us with his intentions.

FWIW, you made the right decision to piece them out separately.  If you upgrade to a new TEAC (or any other DAC) down the road, then you simply grab an off-the-shelf and plug in the ZBIT.  Plus, your warranty with the TEAC is intact and you will still receive factory service.  A no-brainer in my opinion.  

I have come close to doing exactly what you did today on several occasions.  It is a tough one for me as I am trying to settle down into something I can listen and enjoy for awhile without throwing in another component, or substituting one out. I just spent a grip on a new SonoruS reel to reel tube-based tape playback system, so not eager to drop another grand, especially since I will be at the LA Audio Show beginning of June.  Sonically, I have ZERO complaints or issues with the ZDSD.  It is phenomenal in so many ways.  If I had to gripe, it would be its lack of wireless capability.  Also, it will not do the latest and greatest in hi-res, which I would like the option to take advantage of.  I have a highly modded Oppo BDP-103 that I can stream to wirelessly and output via digital coax to the ZDSD for its stellar DAC, but in doing that I am adding an intermediary that I feel only detracts.  

The up-conversion is a nice benefit, but not a high value one for me.  I prefer to obtain the highest native res possible to avoid the need to up convert.  However, I also don't have a huge existing music library that could benefit from such upconversion like others may have.  I would like to stream direct to the DAC.  

Speaking of DAC's, I am so in love with this legendary dual BurrBrown PCM1795 D/A converter chip setup in the ZDSD.  The 1795 needs no introduction.  I researched the hell out of this chip before dropping my $1700 on the ZDSD.  And now that I have had it for over a year now, I can't imagine life without it.  I know the 503 has this new fandangled DAC chip, and it could be better or worse.  So I am really torn.  If the ZDSD had wireless capability, then I can honestly say I would have no interest in even entertaining another DAC.  I am that pleased with this device.  But, whenever there is something about anything that makes me wish it had a feature/capability, then I start to contemplate.  

I know it is not a fair evaluation to run the 503 sans ZBIT when comparing to the ZDSD, but I will wait patiently for your initial thoughts, praises and/or gripes related to your new 503.  Exciting stuff.  For me, it has huge shoes to fill if it is ever to supplant my BurrBrown PCM1795 based ZDSD DAC.  But I will always keep an open mind.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #5 - 05/21/17 at 17:52:38
 
Hi Jeff, all good points.

My reasons for the 503 are:

ALL the accesses of Wireless capability
....even tossing Pandora from my i7 via Bluetooth at it....for background music....
Latest and greatest hi-rez
Possibility that some of my CD Redbook will benefit up-converted to 11.2 DSD
Outboard adjustability of ZBIT (even though it might be set to wide open)
Last and certainly not least-the Preamplifier volume/gain adjustment/directly coupled in the unit, from my Listening Chair.

Yes, sans ZBIT will not be fair. However, I will get a good handle on it and the so called Velvet output they deem so wonderful.
Unbalanced output obviously with less gain. It will be interesting how well it can attenuate without the greater gain from balanced out to ZBIT and no density and gain from the ZBIT to RCA maintenance.

I know right?!
How good is the ZDSD with built in ZBIT output. Well, we know. I seriously include in my signature, the DAC'S Steve's output transformer stage has kicked to the Curb…..
++ ZDSD DAC, kicked to the Curb: Auralic Vega, PS Audio PWT & PWD, PS Audio Direct Stream DAC, Chord Qute, NAD M51 (twice) & Schiit Yggdrasil.

I would have kept any of these units if they were better……but, they are not.


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« Last Edit: 05/21/17 at 18:24:43 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #6 - 05/21/17 at 18:30:28
 
Plus, as you clearly stated the quality of the DAC chips in the ZDSD are impressive as we know. Will see what the FPGA, a pair of VERITA AK4490 DACs, designed by Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation......can do....... .

Exciting stuff is right!  However, for my ZDSD to show up in the Decware Classifieds....the NT-503 has a lot of work to do....as you eluded too.  

I will post again come Friday (initial impressions) I hope with its Thursday arrival.
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« Last Edit: 05/21/17 at 18:33:26 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #7 - 05/21/17 at 21:43:51
 
Quote:
Exciting stuff is right!  However, for my ZDSD to show up in the Decware Classifieds....the NT-503 has a lot of work to do....as you eluded too.


From my cold, dead fingers... Until I hear anything better.

I wish that I had the XLR inputs on my ZMA just to compare balanced out of the DAC compared to ZBIT converted.  I have to believe that stock, balanced out is probably pretty special on that unit considering what TEAC/TASCAM has accomplished with the DA-3000 (ZDSD).  But right now, I have a ZSB that allows me to connect all of my sources direct in to the ZMA with nothing in between.  It is divine.  This change was made 5 days ago and I am lovin' it.  

The wireless is something that will likely drive me to the 503 eventually.  But, one step at a time.  I will first get your initial assessment, then maybe a purchase from a retailer with a great return policy to get in my system for A/B comparison.  Although, the recording feature is something eventually I would like to take advantage of.  Albums to DSD.  I am just out of space, even if I was ok with keeping it in inventory.  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #8 - 05/21/17 at 22:27:19
 
I was going to wait till my ZBIT would be out for delivery and then order the 503. The great 60 day return policy of Crutchfield I will exceed having ordered it to come on Thursday. I'm not ordering the ZBIT for another week or two and receiving some time in late July or early August.

......so, I'm in it for the long haul.

.....come November, someone gets a buy on my ZDSD or 503. I will keep the ZBIT for the next challenger if the ZDSD kicks the 503 out. The 503's internal Pre and at least 16/192, needs to be stellar with ZBIT, to stay and then have the added value of ALL else it has to offer.

PS yeah I wish I had XLR ZMA inputs too, for the reason you described. But, knowing the ZBIT stage was created to take XLR out from a DAC to the next level or do it inboard, for then both RCA out to in, to drive Zen Amps to perfection .....all is good.
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« Last Edit: 05/21/17 at 23:14:35 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #9 - 05/21/17 at 22:39:36
 
Your ZEN Switch Box.... Very cool and transparent I bet. I'm waiting for Steve to comment on his reference to his ZSB WITH AN ALPS Volume remote control. Going to play with the 503 first/hear how well they did the internal Pre of course with remote volume control.

Recording with the ZDSD, was just an added bonus for me. I did some and they are stellar like the sampler Steve sent pretty much. But, my purchase was about the DAC and Steve's output Tranny's Playing my Redbook. I would have returned it, if it did not floor me.....and it did as you personally know. .....and remember the DACS I Have had in here too.
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« Last Edit: 05/21/17 at 23:13:47 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #10 - 05/21/17 at 23:09:12
 
Totally with you on the ZSB with the ALPS.  I found this ZSB on the Decware classifieds a couple weeks ago at a great price so immediate gratification prevailed.  I bet that ALPS ZSB will be a real treat to have with the remote volume control once developed and in production.  I just needed something now.  I upgraded my reel to reel system with a direct head to tube playback amp from Arian Jansen at SonoruS and simply could not wait around for 3+ months to get that thing going right into my ZMA without having to manually swap out IC's (which wasn't gonna happen).  The ZSB is a great little box - no coloration, done right to make sure you get what you need to your amp - and nothing else!  What more could you ask for in a simple source traffic controller?  

As far as the recording feature, it will be a distant back seat for me as well.  But, with this new tape rig, it would be idiotic for me not to record tape to hi-res digital with this very capable ZDSD digital recorder/DAC.  However, with the cost of good studio-grade tape, I can probably count on both hands the total number of tapes I will convert to digital in the next 12 months.  Vinyl on the other hand is another story.  I figure if I have great quality vinyl and the ZDSD, why not save some money and convert them myself.  

If you are like me, being able to "check the box" is a must.  Regardless of which one you sell, you have put that curiosity to rest.  After all I have spent and all the time I have dedicated to building the system I have, that is a must.  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #11 - 05/21/17 at 23:23:57
 
Yes for you a must on ZDSD recording I see.

Checking the boxes all the way. I'm hoping to be surprised by the Pre of the 503 driving out unbalanced and real time up-converting all the way for 44.1 to 11.2 DSD. One can dream right? If not, no surprise and then it is about getting the ZBIT IN HERE, to take advantage of the higher voltage output of the balanced output from the 503 and continue on the evaluation discovery:
The Preamp to Balanced out to ZBIT
At least up converting 44.1 to 352.8 or 11.2 (for my vast CD collection)
THEN.....we move onto Native Hi-Rez.
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« Last Edit: 05/22/17 at 01:47:21 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #12 - 05/22/17 at 16:16:10
 
Oh, as most know, I use the term Native Hi-Rez loosely. You can take a lot of "mastered from the original analog tapes", to DSD (Single Rate) and it sounds no better than up-sampling to 192, 352.8 PCM or 11.2 DSD. So, just buy the CD for half the price$, up sample as described with/get the ZDSD or 503 with ZBIT.  

Truth is the truth  8-)
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« Last Edit: 05/22/17 at 16:19:13 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #13 - 05/22/17 at 16:46:52
 
Quote:
Possibility that some of my CD Redbook will benefit up-converted to 11.2 DSD



I think you guys would be really surprised what upconverting your audio to DSD 5.6Mhz or higher does to make your recordings sound more like the original master tape.  I believe this is part of what makes the DirectStream so special - and pretty much any decent DAC that can do DSD 5.6 (or better).

After hearing real master tapes at Steve's shop, I know what to look for, and so far DSD is the closest.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #14 - 05/22/17 at 17:13:57
 
Yes, thanks LR.....and you would know, having listened to Steve's master tapes. I can't wait to unbox her come Thursday.
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« Last Edit: 05/22/17 at 17:48:23 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #15 - 05/22/17 at 17:57:24
 
Plus, looking at my Reality and Future List.....I came to realize the single most important thing I could do is go with the 503. Putting my pretty well stated faith (back) in climbing into the DSD up-converted realm......@  a little less than 2/6th's the cost (NT-503 + ZBIT) of an DirectStream.

With Steve's faith in it and I have a bought and paid for additional IC, to convert to XLR (NOT doing adapter's~I am having them silver soldered~pos. neg. and grnd.)  for my ZBIT (my Kimber 1030's....you need to pry from my cold dead hands).....this became a no brainer purchase.



Stone's Reality List:

Mundorf MCap Supremes put in DM947 Monoliths (June/2017)

ZSB/Remote Control Alps Volume ( " /2017)
.....if Steve deems it viable and produces it.

25th Anniversary SE84C(S) UFO
or Rachel UFO
( " /20**) ~ tricked out hot rod discoveries in Lonely Raven's modified Amp.....



Future possibilities:

FRX driver's/Speakers.....in enclosures

6C33C Mono-blocks
ZROCK
ZDSD NT-503 (or NT-503 stand alone and get a ZBIT)
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« Last Edit: 05/22/17 at 18:28:09 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #16 - 05/22/17 at 22:11:17
 
Any thoughts about the UD-503 compared with the NT-503? They look pretty much the same apart from the wireless capability. Luis
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #17 - 05/23/17 at 08:19:16
 
The UD-503 is a DAC/Headphone amp and so is the NT-503, but it is also a network player/streamer so you wouldn't need a PC if you wanted to stream TuneIn, Deezer, Spotify or Slacker.

I don't see support for Tidal yet, but since it's FPGA there's always the possibility of it eventually supporting it.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #18 - 05/23/17 at 15:17:22
 
Plus

UD has line-in RCA
NT does not

NT has Bluetooth
UD does not

Just the usual similar marketing ....lets confuse the customer with near identical products. However, it did make me cover every nook of each Manual....so good to that effect to pick the one for me.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #19 - 05/23/17 at 15:20:30
 
Thursday delivery confirmed (she shipped yesterday).  I should have time on Friday to plug her in.


I'm limited by using just the rear coax....this Player will push me into using the rear USB for 5.6 to 11.2 up-convert.
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« Last Edit: 05/23/17 at 18:15:27 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #20 - 05/23/17 at 20:40:32
 
Looking forward to hear what you think about the NT.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #21 - 05/23/17 at 22:16:04
 
Yeah... and I'm just as interested to hear how well the TEAC smartphone app works with it, and the music software app TEAC has for your PC or MAC that interfaces with the 503 to organize/manage playlists, play the music files, etc.  It looks pretty basic, which is fine with me, actually preferred, as long as it works well and provides good SQ.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #22 - 05/24/17 at 15:10:37
 
Yeah Luis & Maddog, this will be a slow work in progress (whom am I kidding-I will get right on that USB rear connection). I have been very happy with my 16/192 output with Steve's inboard ZBIT from my Decware ZDSD. With my Cabling and NOS Tube rolling I have been content. Plus, with the rotation addition of getting DM947 Monoliths (rotated with my awesome modded' Acoustic Zen Adagio's) and a Caintuck OB 15" Alpha to switch on and off at my discretion......I should just sit back and enjoy.

So why the NT-503, if I'm so content?......I figure why not give it a whirl and see if up-converting to 2.8, 5.6 and 11.2MHz, is worth it. I have a bunch of FLAC or WAV or something bit for bit/loseless, Ripped from CD, on my hard drive to go with to start.

I say slow work in progress because I'm starting at:
http://www.teac.com/product/nt-503/specifications/

Coaxial Digital (Rear)
see - Supported Formats
(Details)
16/176.4/(192?) and using the RCA/unbalanced/6.0 Vrms max output variable via Preamp to ZMA.
talk about setting the basic baseline, right?

~then~

USB (Rear)
see - Supported Formats
(Details)
USB Audio Input (Streaming from PC, with TEAC HR Audio Player software).......with driver download to Windows.

...then get the Decware ZBIT (with/12.0 Vrms max output variable/Pre-pumping into it from the 503/Balanced) .....if I'm encouraged by the above USB rear/Sound Quality (which will be a 9 week worthwhile wait for my ZBIT).

Rignt now, my extent of knowledge is Bluetooth Pandora from my iPhone7, to my Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 3 (my girlfriend got me as a surprise gift).....for when I barbecue.   Cheesy

I'm sure Palomino and Lonely Raven are going to get a good laugh out of my Virgin questions.   Roll Eyes  Plus, their is good past info they have written to educate myself.

But then, I could get frustrated or board with the whole process....and coda to my first paragraph above.......and someone gets a great deal on a TEAC NT-503.   Grin
........................................Just kidding (I hope), if up-converting to at least 5.6MHz, sounds like the DSD Recording Steve sent me with my ZDSD and the few CD to DSD on SDHC Recordings I made.....then, a long relationship could be happening with the NT-503.
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« Last Edit: 05/24/17 at 19:42:18 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #23 - 05/24/17 at 18:39:06
 
Maddog, what you said in your Reply #21....would be to easy. I'm still going to try it and post about it (TEAC HR Audio Player software.....with driver download to Windows). Of course, it probably sounds like horse hockey pucks.  

Anyway, I use Windows....so Audrivana is out (MAC only)....that Palomino uses.

I dug up what LR uses (if it has not changed for him):
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1468850452/15#15

Re: Audio servers?
Reply #15 - 07/22/16 at 17:31:41    

"I do pretty similar to Trip. I take these little PCs, put Windows on them, rip all my CDs, and stream them to my PS Audio DirectStream DAC either through USB (with Foobar2000 software), or right now I'm testing Roon software via the Bridge II network input. Both sound fantastic, but the Roon/Bridge II setup was so much easier! (and way more expensive).

There is definitely a learning curve for a pure digital setup. You can spend lots of money and get systems that are pretty well complete, you just add your music, or you can get your hands dirty and do it really inexpensively with a tiny computer and some software and lots of poking around to get it how you want it to look/work/sound."

http://www.foobar2000.org/
.....obviously, foobar is my option with 503.....and if LR says it sounds fantastic....I believe him.

But then, I'm thinking, why not go right for the foobar2000?! Hopefully, LR or Steve (or both) will chime in about this.
.....because the TEAC HR Audio Player software.....with driver download to Windows.....has got to stink, right?

Yup, I'm pretty ignorant to all this.....but, I can be taught. Cheesy

Who needs iTunes. But then, foobar might be a little more than I'm willing to deal with?
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« Last Edit: 05/24/17 at 20:26:30 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #24 - 05/24/17 at 21:38:13
 
I play music with a Windows laptop using Foobar2000, I think it is a pretty good player.

This is what TEAC told me when I asked them for advise to chose between UD and NT:

"I would think the UD-503 would be a good choice for a replacement DAC because it has less electronics inside and is just simply a DAC. The NT-503 is good if you want to integrate web services like Spotify, Slacker radio, stream from bluetooth or WiFi."
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #25 - 05/25/17 at 01:05:08
 
Hi Luis, one just needs to pick the one that fits their needs the best. Personally though, they should have just combined the two.

Cool on the foobar2000. I'm going to go down the path of it and see what develops.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #26 - 05/25/17 at 20:13:26
 
Quote:
....obviously, foobar is my option with 503.....and if LR says it sounds fantastic....I believe him.

But then, I'm thinking, why not go right for the foobar2000?! Hopefully, LR or Steve (or both) will chime in about this.
.....because the TEAC HR Audio Player software.....with driver download to Windows.....has got to stink, right?

Yup, I'm pretty ignorant to all this.....but, I can be taught. Cheesy

Who needs iTunes. But then, foobar might be a little more than I'm willing to deal with?


I'm currently using Roon, having sold my Foobar2000 computer when someone wanted a digital music streamer for themselves and loved the way it sounded. Roon 1 year subscription was $112 so that was an early birthday present to myself...my subscription is up in September.

I like Roon still, it sounds good, and was *super* easy to setup. The metadata, biographies, and "discovery" type features (to help you find links between artists, or just discover tracks, albums, artists buried in your library).  They recently added DSP and upsampling, so if I had a DAC that played 4XDSD I'd be trying out those features more heavily.  

Foobar sounded better, and has more tweaking available, but really isn't supported nor updated. Most of the current work with Foobar2000 is in the plugins that people create for it. Note: since I haven't played with Roon's upsampling yet, I'm not sure if Foobar still sounds better - Roon could have caught up to it with the latest updates

HQPlayer is powerful and great sounding like Foobar, but a little easier to use, *and* other programs like Roon are integrating with HQPlayer to use their excellent filters and features. I think it's about $125. I was going to pop for HQPlayer, but Roon had the recent update adding DSP, Filters, and Upsampling itself - so I figured I'd stick with Roon a little longer and play with stuff I already have before dropping $125 for another option.

Why wouldn't you want to use  iTunes or any variety of Windows media players?  Because they aren't Bit Perfect playback - they go through filters and normalizations and other stuff that you simply can't shut off. As well as not being streamlined to use fewer resources that can cause jitter in your bitstream.  "Audiophile" programs main goal is to be Bit Perfect, without adding any extra jitter - the newer ones also lean towards having DSD filters and upsampling since there is a wave of digital music audiophiles who are seeing the light of high sample rate DSD.  (Note: this is also why I think it's terribly shortsighted for vendors to not support DSD in their DACs)
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« Last Edit: 05/25/17 at 20:16:03 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #27 - 05/25/17 at 20:44:57
 
Thanks LR......HQPlayer looks like a winner. Have a great Holiday weekend coming up.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #28 - 05/26/17 at 16:49:51
 
I'm still seriously looking at the NT DAC myself -  Once you get past the software learning curve of audiophile programs that is. I have a feeling you're going to love the DAC and find it much easier than the Tascam studio grade stuff.

I'm more caught up with medical bills and other financial commitments - if I can sell a guitar I posted for sale, I might be able to get the TEAC this year rather than next year...so I'm really excited to see what you think of it!

I did some more work on my home theater last night, building brackets/shelves behind my projection screen to get the HT speakers hidden and cleaning up the front of the room for more audiophile stuffs. So hopefully in a month or so I'll be back here doing more CDApS stuff and maybe figuring out how to afford the TEAC. LOL

Have a great weekend my friend!
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« Last Edit: 05/26/17 at 16:50:28 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #29 - 05/26/17 at 17:22:26
 
Once again, Steve knocks it out of the Park with choice of Machine. I say once again, because I own his ZDSD which is superb.

I hook it up via COAX from CD Transport and I'm running Unbalanced out. Easy to use hardy/beautiful Remote.....I set to DSD Upconversion & DSD Digital Filter/150kHz. Using the rear COAX, technically I'm doing some sort of DoP at 2.8MHz. I am also smoothly switching between the DSD function and PCM Upconvert 8Fs with PCM filter FIR Sharp.... . When I say smoothly...I mean it....it attenuates low and then up quickly and beautifully, with no abruptness.

Set to Variable Output to use the internal Preamplifier..... . Wow! I'm not using a ZBIT folks and the 6V variable output is more than significant to play at all the volumes/gain one needs. Why is this significant?!  I have had in here:
CSP3** with Jupiter Caps
Audio Research Pre LS-17 SE
Linear Tube Audio Pre
Schiit Saga
......and  built in DAC Pre's, for example, the PS Audio Direct Stream & Auralic Vega, that did not have the gain/Unbalanced, needed for my ZMA!

I can't believe it! This unit is kicking arse SPL output Unbalanced! No hyperbole folks......and the sound? Refering to just the settings mentioned above so far....absolutely beautiful, musical and detailed. I read reports of the UD unit being to smooth and not detailed....not the NT and internal Preamp. Plus, also consider, we are in a different league here at Decware guys, by running our Class A Amps into Speakers with single Caps without x-over garbage in our music.

I'm going to still order a ZBIT (which I will get to know this Player's possible full capability). However, for this internal Pre to best all the Units I listed above is quite dumbfounding. The other Pre's whether internal to DAC or Outboard....never really Sync'd sonically with my ZMA (riding both Pre and ZMA Gains).....this NT Player and in Unbalanced without ZBIT.....I'm so happy (only 4 hours in of season-in too).

Fit and function of the Player and remote are 1st Class. The display is superb and easy to read from my Listening Chair. It is like a mini Mark Levinson display.

I need to go and put another Disc in. Think about it, I have only scratched the surface of this Player with the Basic's.

Once I get past the software learning curve of audiophile programs that is.....as Lonely Raven states above....I'm in for one hell of an awesome Journey. Look forward to your future posts as mentioned LR and yes, you need to get one of these by the end of the year........ .

Kudos to Steve, he knows how to pick an over achiever that the other's should be scared of (oh, yeah, I'm getting the ZBIT-Steve picked this good of unit/gem/sleeper-Stone getting ZBIT). This is an no brainer purchase......I knew in my gut about the ZDSD (ZBIT internal) and Steve does it again....with this NT choice!

**Footnote to CSP3 above....the most transparent Amp of all of them and I mean all listed.  However, I enjoy the differences I pull from my NOS Input Tubes in my ZMA, without other Tubes in a Pre/influence. So, to have an internal Pre doing (staying out of the way) what this NT is doing ...is superb.
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« Last Edit: 05/26/17 at 19:05:01 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #30 - 05/26/17 at 17:48:47
 
Furthermore, ZMA Gain, is set to a very reasonable between 9 and 10 o'clock (6 o'clock being zero gain). Once again, for the Unbalanced Output variable Pre, to work this well with the ZMA at this perfect ZMA Gain level.....I'm pinching myself.

Plus, I should add, to be fair. I use a Shunyata Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord/clean'd 120 from PS P3  = Significant.
Read: the Power Cord being the most significant on lowering noise...and being more than subtle, in ABA testing.

.....and as Steve said....coming from/being a hardcore Burr Brown guy....these VERITA AK4490 DACs Chips in the NT....got it goin' on.

Being FPGA .....updates to firmware will come available. For example they included written notice that Pandora is not available right now....but, future firmware updates will include Pandora Support.
Hey, putting this via Bluetooth even for passive listening / why not-sometimes.

Maybe, Tidal music service too...down the road.
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« Last Edit: 05/26/17 at 19:20:25 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #31 - 05/26/17 at 22:09:16
 
no offense meant here Stone... but in your posts you routinely refer to the "gain of your ZMA".  I assume you understand that the gain of the ZMA is "constant" - fixed.  You cannot change the gain of the ZMA by turning the volume knob.  The knob you refer to as volume or gain is simply an input signal attenuator.  This is like a passive preamp incorporated into the ZMA and is the same as how all Decware "integrated" amps are designed that have a "volume control".  This knob only lowers/attenuates/throws away input signal, it does not amplify/create gain of the input signal before being fed to the input circuitry of the ZMA.   Steve points out that the ZMA is designed to be at “full throttle/full power” with a 2.0 volt input sensitivity, which means the volume knob on the ZMA needs to be almost fully clockwise (no attenuation) to reach its full power when fed by a 2.0 volt input signal.  So when you turn the volume knob down on the ZMA, you are “squeezing down”, lowering, attenuating, throwing away part of the signal coming into the ZMA, not lowering or adjusting the ZMA’s “gain”.  If the Teac NT-503 is putting out a 6.0 volt signal, that is 3X the industry standard 2.0 volts for a single ended digital source.  So… compared to other digital sources that have an industry standard 2.0 volt output, in order to have the same volume with the NT-503, you would need to attenuate the signal coming into the ZMA considerably, or you would be clipping the ZMA real quick.  
* And yes, I have read, understand, use and am a proponent of Steve’s “gain riding/voltage pressure” theory and philosophy.  And to that end, I find that I like to keep my Decware amps input attenuator(volume control) in the 40-60% range to 1) get my preamps volume into its sweet spot for the majority of sources and 2) maximize micro and macro dynamics.

PS... keep the NT-503 reports coming... I am really starting to think this box with a ZBIT may be what I've been looking for to get me fully into computer audio, streaming, hi-rez, DSD, etc.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #32 - 05/26/17 at 23:08:08
 
I think I'm clear in what I'm saying and my signature of the ZMA I state 40% too....or so. My ZMA DOES NOT CLIP maybe it compresses at only 10 o'clock but that is commensurate to the volume I'm running out of the NT at the time.

Speaking of, I dug up my recordings that are great but so need the voltage output of Balanced from this unit to ZMA. ZBIT put on the books tomorrow....but so nice that the Unbalanced can do so well on most.

I have been using voltage output gain for 24 years....Peter Madnik and the 3.0 with DTI -Pro32 of course. Glad Steve got into it. Of course, compared to this/latest and greatest...that is obsolete....but to run my SE84CS successfully.... Voltage output adjustability in the AA WAS AWESOME to have from 1994 till just a few years back I used it till..... .

....and speaking of micro and macro....you outta hear how that sounds with KS1030 and KS6063 and NOS Platinum tubes.... . Don't mean to offend. Cool part is, the DM947's are so good....the KS6063 brought them to an whole other level too....like my modified Adagio's.
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« Last Edit: 05/27/17 at 00:31:29 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #33 - 05/28/17 at 15:30:34
 
My NT -503 continues to season in nicely. Riding the gains (NT to ZMA) is so great about the Mystery Amp, out of the four Decware Amps I've owned-I like how the ZMA blends the best. ZMA mostly at 10 o'clock/40 to 60% of usable (6 o'clock being 0). When I want high SPL's, I put the ZMA to 1 o'clock....essentially full open (commensurate, as I mentioned above).

I'm using the variable output/internal Preamplifier. I like it and I'm running through the up-converts and filters. Fun stuff.....to find what I like best and season the unit in well before I do HQPlayer for computer audio and/or get a ZBIT. I'm so pleased with unbalanced right now....and no hurry into computer audio.

Busy summer, so I'm going to sit on this for awhile (read: pay some bills/I hear you LR) and also run my ZDSD.
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« Last Edit: 05/28/17 at 15:54:02 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #34 - 05/30/17 at 16:29:44
 
Initial impressions holding up well with 20 to 25 hours on my NT. I'm preferring and looks like I'm staying with the 44.1 input Coax up-convert/DSD and Digital filter of 50k. I have settled on the input level gain of just under 2 o'clock (relative to 6 o'clock 0 gain) on my ZMA (variable output Pre/6 volts out of the NT).

However, I need to tube role from my Mullard's to Tungsram 6922's and Ediswan's yet. Need to compare to my ZDSD output tranny's too. Sure, it might be unfair to the NT** without its own ZBIT yet. However, with the musicality I'm able to render with Coax data to low DSD...sounding pretty damn good. Will be nice to put my 192k ZMA with inboard ZBIT up against it first, in the NT's current state.

......start at the very beginning and work my way forward.

I also need to put my DM947 Monoliths back in too.

I'll come back in a week or two....... .

PS-Is it unfair to the NT** without a ZBIT? Maybe not, by virtue of the fact, I can get great SPL levels out of the NT with the variable Preamplifier using unbalanced output (which was the reason/one of the reasons I gave up the PS Direct Stream in the summer of 2014~read: its unbalanced output level stunk and the ZBIT did not exist yet). However, the XLR higher voltage output to ZBIT for its lower probable noise floor, other virtues and adjustability/even if set wide open is not lost on me....cause I do have it in my ZDSD.













Listening Room:


Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew


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Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC



Shunyata Research Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD
{Significant}

.....currently: SR Alpha Cord to TEAC NT-503 (stock)
PCM 44.1 input D-60 Coax, up-convert/DSD and Digital filter of 50k
variable output from internal Preamplifier via Remote Control

~~OR~~

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)



WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030 ~.75 meter



Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *56* mA~
NOS/Platinum/Mullard E188CC/7308's in my A12 an B12 Input positions Cryogenic~NOS/Platinum/Telefunken E88CC for Inverter Tubes~NOS RCA 0A3's & matched Quad/Tung-Sol KT66's
ZMA adjusted at 20% to 30-40% max ~ from 0 Gain ~ w/ZDSD
ZMA adjusted at about 80-90% gain ~ w/NT-503, running variable Pre (unbalanced-no ZBIT yet)/gain via Remote Control



***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************
Kimber 8TC new/white & clear jacket/to remind me of how fluid/timbre correct and good the KS6063 are



Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified) w/Caintuck 15" OB
.....enjoying from 8 ohm ZMA Taps

~~OR~~

Decware DM947 Monoliths/4 ohm (Midrange modification/Wave Guide)
w/PX Clarity Caps
Kimber Silver (AG) Jumper's to Tweeter's
.....enjoying from 8 ohm ZMA Taps

Caintuck Audio Eminence Alpha 15" OB BASS Unit
at 53Hz, with my Velodyne CHT 130 watt plate amp and 0 degree phase.....at 1/4 volume on plate
Plate Amp....regen'd clean ~ plugged into P3







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 Cord to ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, NT-503 and ZDSD, Regenerated/*120*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output).

++ ZDSD DAC, kicked to the Curb: Auralic Vega, PS Audio PWT & PWD, PS Audio Direct Stream DAC, Chord Qute, NAD M51 (twice) & Schiit Yggdrasil.


~NOS Platinum Tubes from Upscale Audio/Kevin:

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken E88CC ~ 1 pair (painfully expensive/worth it)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair.

From Cryoset:
(Russia) 6N23N/P-EB ~ 2 pair

(Russia) 6N23P's ~ 2 pair/came with ZMA.  
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« Last Edit: 05/30/17 at 23:36:22 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #35 - 05/31/17 at 00:04:16
 
Okay, I said I would shut up for a week or two..... .   Grin

However, I like what I'm getting out of this unit and I'm only running Coax into her (read all the details to that in above Replies).

I swear, I am also getting more gain (headroom input), out of my ZMA since I got her back from Steve in February. I noticed when running my ZDSD pure direct....no Pre.....and now with this awesome directly coupled Pre/DAC to ZMA. Furthermore, the Up-conversion choices and Filters are not hooky in the NT, like a Cambridge Audio piece I had some time back. They make differences in different tunes with this DAC for the better.

So, in light of Steve's excellent choice in this giant slayer NT-503.....I'm ordering my ZBIT (to hear what it really can do, like or more so than my ZDSD with Pre/Remote Volume Control now) and getting my other KS1030 terminated with XLR's. I will have two great machines in my ZDSD and NT-503/ZBIT. 

Yes,  I still need to Tube Roll.....get my DM947's in and compare to my ZDSD...that is all gravy..... . Not to mention hitting 5.6MHz and 11.2MHz with her down the road vs. the coax data low DSD I'm doing now....which is doing great +continue using/experimenting/enjoying the other Up-convert's & Filter's in PCM.

ZBIT ordered! Sweet.
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« Last Edit: 05/31/17 at 03:28:49 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #36 - 05/31/17 at 03:25:57
 
Oh so good! Input gain of the ZMA maxed at 3 o'clock and I'm driving the NT Pre so well into the ZMA.....density that my Adagio's crave and are just knocking out of the Park! Cool part is this Disc I'm running with no up-conversion, but I am using filter FIR SHARP.


Oh so bring in the ZBIT.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #37 - 06/01/17 at 19:30:48
 
COAX DSD DF 50K
PCM 44K
Volume       -2.0db
....just beautiful man.
.......breaking in so musically.

ZMA at 2 o'clock (6 o'clock being 0 gain).....just backed down off of full gain input of between 3 and 4 o'clock. ....Riding the two gain structures to perfection!

Man, having Remote Volume control at my fingertips.....the NT has an outstanding Preamplifier coupled to DAC section!  

Begs the question, do I really need a ZBIT?  Oh yeah, I do. I need to know the potential full capabilities of the NT Pre. Fortunately, I have another Kimber KS1030 (from my external Preamp days) to have terminated (silver soldered) to XLR. Saves me a mint.

....oh, the tyranny of waiting for my ZBIT   Cry However,.....always worth the wait for Decware  8-) Cool. Thanks Steve, for testing/recognizing and turning us on to the NT.

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #38 - 06/02/17 at 06:37:32
 
FWIW,  I have been testing the modified unit on my MAC with the DAC set to +6dB and up sampling set to OFF.

Using Deezer for streaming, which is using my favorite 320 kps algorithm on my IMAC, I have the output on the mac set to 384khz and 32bit floating point.  The clock used is set to: Device - which means the DAC, not the computer.

I am assuming this basically up sampling to 384/32 despite being turned off at the DAC faceplate itself.

Interestingly, I can take the transformer output from the DAC, and send it to the transformer input of the ZTPRE and then from the balanced output of the ZTPRE to the ZMA's Transformer input. That's three transformers... the change in sound is not subtle. I can listen to it in other configurations, i.e.., one transformer, two transformers, or three transformers and by the time you hit three transformers even a halfway decent recording starts to get that analogue tape sound.

Of course I am doing most of my listening with the single transformer into the unbalanced inputs of the  ZMA or whatever amp I happen to have.

I have to say at this point I am completely comfortable with the DAC, although I have never even heard it stock for more than a few minutes... (grin).

Let's put it this way... it's good enough at this point that it has me wondering if it's better than the ZDSD.

BTW, I have yet to listen to a single DSD, or DSDX2 or DSDX4 file on it.  I have only listened to 320kps streams and 1440kps CDS...  you know - the real world.

I'll probably shit myself when I play some of my analog to DSD files I use for reference on the ZDSD... in fact I'll admit that this is the first DAC chipset that I have heard that is not BurrBrown, that I could live with equally as long.  The other chipsets are too anal, too clinical, to sterol, but have such incredible detail...  Now I'm hearing that same hyper detail with the the naturalness that only BurrBrown has ever achieved.

So we're about half way there.  Soon I will shift to the provided player and listen to extreme high res files and see what results.

-Steve

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #39 - 06/02/17 at 14:08:49
 
Steve,

The modified TEAC sounds very promising.  Have you done any listening to WiFi streamed music at this point?  

I've been putting off purchase of an external DAC/streamer to this point, given the ever evolving chip technology merry-go-round. I am hopeful that your modified NT-503 will allow me to make the jump.  

My decision will likely come down to your NT-503 or Dan Wright's modified Oppo Sonica DAC.

Based on my limited discussion with folks, it seems like the VERITA AK4490 DAC's are the way to go as opposed to ESS Technology's ES9038PRO.

Cheers,

HK
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« Last Edit: 06/02/17 at 14:09:08 by HockessinKid »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #40 - 06/02/17 at 15:00:43
 
Steve, thanks for the good news about the NT.

I look forward to the transformer output from my NT DAC, then sent to the transformer input of my ZBIT (ordered 5/30). I am glad to find an internal Preamp I can live with. The NT is it.

I'll compare the NT-503/ZBIT to my ZDSD, in August. I'm excited to get into streaming and USB input for higher rate DSD up-conversion vs. Coax.

Once again, like the ZDSD, great unit that competes with stupid expensive stuff. I can't wait to bring the NT to its full potential, starting with the arrival of my ZBIT.  Cheers indeed, S.
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« Last Edit: 06/02/17 at 15:02:41 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #41 - 06/02/17 at 15:29:57
 
Observation, before I head out to party for the weekend:
As you mentioned  ......Now (me/Stone), I'm hearing that same hyper detail with the naturalness that only BurrBrown has ever achieved.

The chips in the NT are doing this with recording's I'm setting to NO up-conversion and just using my favorite filter SLD SL.

My point is....these Chips are playing so musically in PCM for a lot of my Music and I'm NOT using any up-conversion. Sure, as I mentioned, I will USB in and up-convert to higher DSD rates, cause' I can and some or a lot of my Music will do well. However, as I said in my Reply #12.....up-conversion can be overrated for a lot of Redbook material. Since I'm primarily concerned with getting the most out of the 1150 Redbook Disc's I own.....it is nice to witness this NT/DAC and without a ZBIT, impress me with no up-conversion for a good chunk of my CD's so far......... . Yeah, these Chips in the NT are special.

......those out lurking and lurking on the www .....YMMV (per my observations for this whole thread), tubes, power cable to DAC, digital IC, analog IC(s) and Speaker Cables matter...... + room treatment & two pair of Reference Speaker's that fit hand in glove with my Zen Mystery Amplifier.  I'm not being a d**k....just telling you the facts of the matter.  
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« Last Edit: 06/02/17 at 17:09:18 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #42 - 06/02/17 at 16:35:42
 
yeah the ak4490 is pretty nice.  i put one in my spare bifrost and like it better than my more expensive multibit bifrost.  to me it sounds more analog like.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #43 - 06/02/17 at 19:33:17
 
Cool to read Trip.

I will see where this journey takes me.

My plan is to keep both my ZDSD & ZBIT/NT-503.  However, I am not opposed to the purest route I have been at for quite some time, with my ZDSD run direct into my ZMA and manually attenuating the input gain of the ZMA. The ZMA allows plenty of qualitative input from the ZDSD/inboard ZBIT.

So far so good.....the NT past enough basic coax, to merit my order of the ZBIT and venture down the path of computer audio. To be continued in August with my ZBIT.

If I coda to the ZDSD only?  .....someone gets a great deal on the NT....I will most likely keep the ZBIT for another future endeavor.

Okay, enough of this!  Our first local car outing is tonight....and with beautiful weather!  I may not have my cool F150 anymore (divorced/down sized)......but still enjoy the cars.....food and cold beer.  + the meat raffle ya know' at the VFW, ya don't cha know.  
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #44 - 06/03/17 at 04:22:06
 
Quote:
The modified TEAC sounds very promising.  Have you done any listening to WiFi streamed music at this point?  


So far Wifi streamed music is the only thing I have listened to it on... that's because it is here we all spend the most time "discovering" new music.  If it doesn't sound good doing this (a USB DAC) then I have no interest in it.  

-Steve
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #45 - 06/03/17 at 14:15:32
 
Thanks for the reply Steve.

HK
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #46 - 06/03/17 at 15:28:46
 
Yes, Steve, you use Deezer as you stated. To discover new music passively as in your shop....I use Pandora to a Harmon Kardon Onyx 3 from my i7 and Serius XM....thru my Dish HD/DVR into my Polk SRS SDA 1.2's. I have my PAC-S's in play out of my DVR.....yes folks they matter.

I look forward to my ZBIT Steve. As pleasantly surprised as I have been with the NT....it taps out (unbalanced) at some higher SPL's and even at lower it misses the density and weight my inboard ZDSD has. I agree, the reason for this DAC is to do higher rates streaming and to get into computer audio first for me.....also of course, then rip some of my CD collection probably using HQPlayer....and then for up-converting/NT.

HK, hope you are enjoying your ZMA.

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« Last Edit: 06/03/17 at 16:24:00 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #47 - 06/05/17 at 21:14:32
 
Okay, put my ZDSD back in today.....and it has shelved the NT, until I get my ZBIT in here/NT.....sometime in August. Unbalanced output is not cutting it for the NT vs. my ZDSD.

The NT has potential with the ZBIT....I have no real doubts..... .
Yes, Mr. Deckerts ZBIT is that good and important.


To be continued............with ZBIT.
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« Last Edit: 06/06/17 at 13:37:33 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #48 - 06/05/17 at 22:08:55
 
Stone,

I am in sonic heaven with the ZMA amplifier.  Seem my post follow-up in the ZMA section.  Thanks for inquiring Smiley

HK

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« Last Edit: 06/05/17 at 22:09:10 by HockessinKid »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #49 - 06/06/17 at 13:39:15
 
Yes, I follow the ZMA Threads here and read your posts on AudioCircle too. Enjoy.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #50 - 06/06/17 at 16:22:57
 

Stone, I'll buy your NT offa you for $400. You know, since it sucks so bad.  ;)

LOL

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #51 - 06/06/17 at 20:45:09
 
Grin Grin.......
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« Last Edit: 06/06/17 at 20:50:40 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #52 - 06/06/17 at 20:55:37
 
Seriously though, come November, give or take a week or two....if it is not floating my boat with ZBIT.....of course, the ZBIT stays with me for future use.....I'll cut you a deal for the NT, to fund my Zen Switch Box with (Remote) ALPS Volume control.

I don't think it is going to happen.....but, you never know. Smiley  
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« Last Edit: 06/06/17 at 20:56:58 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #53 - 06/07/17 at 14:25:41
 
Clear note to my above post, for anyone not reading the whole thread etc..... .

This Player for $999., delivered to my front door, perfectly packaged and capable of:
11.2MHz Y                  
5.6MHz Y                  
2.8MHz Y                  
384kHz   Y - - - - - - - -
352.8kHz   Y - - - - - - - -
192kHz
....................sent in, or up-converted via Coax or USB to appropriate rate by input.....is a steal.
See Coax (front & rear) & USB (front & rear)
http://www.teac.com/product/nt-503/specifications/#usb_audio



It just needs the ZBIT....which we/I knew going in.... .

The reason I might part with it come Oct/Nov, .....is if I don't get into HQPlayer for example/computer audio, etc.....I will see..... .  

But heck, I might just keep it for Spotify or Deezer.
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« Last Edit: 06/07/17 at 14:29:15 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #54 - 06/07/17 at 15:40:39
 

Stone, what sample rates/formats can it take via the Network input?

If it works with Roon, and can do at least DSD128 via network, I'd give Roon a try for a quick and easy setup. Hell, with all the upconverting the DAC does,  you might not even need to upconvert at the PC.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #55 - 06/07/17 at 15:42:40
 
I just read through your link - looks like DSD128 is good to go via Network, but USB is preferred.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #56 - 06/07/17 at 18:01:32
 
Yeah, it's going to be a learning curve for me as mentioned in our earlier posts. However, at the end of the Day(s)......if it is not for me......I will give you first dibs on it LR, before I put in the Classifieds here, then AudiogoN and/or USAudioMart.

A subscription to Deezer or Spotify for a year, could prove to be fun too, though.  

My ZBIT stays with me and my hot rod KS1030 XLR's.



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« Last Edit: 06/08/17 at 16:18:55 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #57 - 06/08/17 at 16:23:36
 
Stone's Decware List:


DM947 Monoliths = check

Caintuck Audio Open Baffle (OB) BASS 15" Eminence Alpha = check

NT-503 stand alone and get a ZBIT = check (ZBIT coming in August)

Decware Pill PAC-S, .......using between DISH/HD DVR & Rotel Preamplifier = check

Zen Switch Box (ZSB) w/Remote Control ALPS Volume ( " /2017)
.....if Steve deems it viable and produces it.....

25th Anniversary SE84C(S) UFO
or Rachel UFO
( " /20**) ~ tricked out hot rod discoveries in Lonely Raven's modified Amp.....   ~OR~ .....6C33C Mono-blocks

then
ZROCK

cause', you can never have enough Decware!  
Listen often ~ Listen Deep.....always enjoy the Journey too........ .
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« Last Edit: 06/08/17 at 19:03:08 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #58 - 06/08/17 at 17:32:13
 
Quote:
6C33C Mono-blocks


Do it!!!

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #59 - 06/08/17 at 18:16:44
 
Need to wait and see....what they come in at flat plated in walnut. This time next year......Steve mentioned.....I'm sure they will be worth the wait. 15 watts per channel of TRIODE, of Decware topology.....heaven.

However, my plan B is solid. I will get an anniversary Zen amp.
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« Last Edit: 06/08/17 at 19:01:13 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #60 - 06/08/17 at 21:44:02
 

I'm still shocked at how loud my 2.5watt Zen amp is!
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #61 - 06/08/17 at 22:49:05
 
I'm seeing on Massdrop that the Teac NT503 is going for $699.99.
That is probably a smokin' deal.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #62 - 06/09/17 at 05:36:17
 
Yes, Stone, you can never have too much Decware!  Even for Decware... having all the amps you see on the site along with everything else, every time I rotate from one amp or speaker to the next there is always that "ahhhhh moment" where your senses remember a certain flavor and are excited to experience it again.  It's ear candy : )

Steve

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #63 - 06/09/17 at 06:50:07
 
Quote:
I'm seeing on Massdrop that the Teac NT503 is going for $699.99.
That is probably a smokin' deal.


I think there is a $200 special through some vendors. I saw this price on BHPhoto as well. But not Amazon (where I have some store credit).

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=NT-503&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ma&To...

BHPhoto still has open box units for $650 as well.

I just re-read, and I see Massdrop is $699 not $799. But shipping isn't for 4 weeks.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #64 - 06/09/17 at 08:50:50
 
Every time I purchased from Mass Drop shipping has always taken a while.  I think the main reason being that the manufacturer sends the product from their warehouse to Mass Drop and then MD ships to you.  The prices are really good but not for those who want/need something right away.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #65 - 06/09/17 at 15:26:36
 
So true Steve: ..... "senses remember a certain flavor and are excited to experience it again.  It's ear candy : )"

As you mentioned either from rotating from amp or speaker. For me currently...it is from Adagio's to DM947 Monoliths and come sometime in August with my ZDSD and NT w/(fixed voltage choices and PREAMP out max voltage) with ZBIT.  Cool, fun.

....For Amp(s)......well, I will have to bring the (new Omni Speaker's in for ZMA), Mono's in or Anniversary Amp (2018 or early 19).
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« Last Edit: 06/09/17 at 15:59:29 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #66 - 06/09/17 at 15:52:32
 
Steve,

If you move forward with the TEAC NT-503 product offering, would it be helpful to request some firm early buyer purchase commitments from forum members? My thought is that this would allow you to do an initial competitively priced bulk buy of stock units, perhaps passing on some of the savings to your loyal forum customers through a one-time discount (maybe 10% off?).

I think this would ramp up product interest, incentivize us to spread the word to audio interested friends, and help you establish a solid foundation for your new product.  Please give this some thought.  This might not fit your build to order business model, but maybe its worth consideration for a new product offering like a DAC/streamer.

Cheers,

HK
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« Last Edit: 06/09/17 at 15:53:02 by HockessinKid »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #67 - 06/22/17 at 13:48:22
 
So, a few questions regarding the NT-503 in anticipation of Steve's possible release of a modified unit.

First, how easy is it to use?  

Second, is the app straight forward and how is the SQ of PCM/DSD upsampling?

Third, what would be the best SQ cable input choice for connecting a CD player/transport to the NT-503?

I have a large collection of CD's but I'm primarily interested in this unit for high resolution WiFi streaming.  Thanks.

HK
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« Last Edit: 06/22/17 at 13:48:45 by HockessinKid »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #68 - 06/22/17 at 13:59:27
 
I have tried about seven different coaxial digital cables and have two favorites, the "Reference" from VooDoo Cable and the Take Five Audio "Deluxe" Neotech cable. Both are similar in construction and sound, both are excellent transferrers of digital data.

I've also used the Creative Concept Black Knight and a WireWorld (not sure what model this is) with success. Even a Monster Cable was a decent link. The VooDoo and Take Five however seem clearly superior in my system to the others I've used. I would recommend these for the TEAC knowing they'll give you an accurate and great sounding connection.
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« Last Edit: 06/22/17 at 14:00:48 by Lon »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #69 - 06/22/17 at 14:03:57
 
If you were to use an optical connection I'd recommend the Lifatec glass optical cable. I've used these with a number of components and they give a very good sonic picture with a clarity that is in a class of its own, and is not "analytical" or etched in any way. A different sound than the coaxials I've used, which actually makes me think these "add" something, a subtle glow, that I find more comfortable to listen to, but may not actually be the most accurate transfer!
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« Last Edit: 06/22/17 at 14:04:27 by Lon »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #70 - 06/22/17 at 17:51:22
 

HK - I'm working on posting my thoughts and experiences with the NT-503 I just picked up in the Digital section of the Decware forums - Go ask there, and that will actually give me a springboard of things to look into while I play with my unit.

I'm really happy with it so far, even though it gets overshadowed by my DirectStream DAC (which also costs more than 4x the price of the NT DAC)

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #71 - 06/22/17 at 18:21:44
 
Lon,

Thanks for the cable recommendations.  I'll try the VooDoo reference coaxial to start out.  Sounds like a winner.

Lonely Raven,

I will post in the digital section.  The PS DirectStream DAC is enticing, but beyond my budget.  I am hopeful that Steve's modified unit will come close to it.  BTW, I see that SOT has shipped his NT-503 back to Crutchfield.  It's tough keeping up with all his equipment changes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

HK
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #72 - 06/22/17 at 18:29:54
 
I think the key is the NT-503 WITH the ZBIT mod (or external unit).  So far it has only been tested/reviewed stock, out of the box, which certainly will not be the same as the Decware modified unit.  

I just picked up a used Directstream DAC to test the Huron against my ZDSD.  There is an advantage for me with the Directstream since it now supports MQA and Tidal natively which I recently had to add a $500 Bluesound Node 2 in order to accomplish.  I can now return the Node and stream directly to the Directstream DAC for my Tidal/MQA needs.  One less component in my chain and a far better quality MQA capable DAC in the DS.  It also came with the Powerbase but since I also recently snatched a P10, it seems redundant.  I may put the Powerbase up for sale.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #73 - 06/22/17 at 18:42:03
 
I think the key is the NT-503 WITH the ZBIT mod (or external unit).  So far it has only been tested/reviewed stock, out of the box, which certainly will not be the same as the Decware modified unit.  

Jeff,

I am patient and believe the wait on Steve's modified unit will be worth it.  Until then I'm happy spinning my large collection of CD's and vinyl, since getting on the ever revolving DAC merry-go-round can be a futile and expensive proposition.  

While DAC chip technology will further evolve, I think it's at a point where taking the plunge on a DAC/WiFi streamer makes senses sonically and from a budget standpoint.  Anyway its likely that the disc drive mechanism on my trusty 10+ year old TRL modded Sony DVP-NS900V will crap out eventually (it's getting noisy).  So, I'm planning to use an Oppo 95 as a transport for the Steve's modded NT-503 unit.

HK
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #74 - 06/22/17 at 18:55:43
 
Jeff, if you don't have a PowerBase under your P10, try that out (don't plug the Power Base in, just use it passively as an isolation platform). I found that the PowerBase makes a great platform for the P10 and for turntables.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #75 - 06/25/17 at 17:00:25
 
Yes hk kid....I keep busy. I decided not to get into computer audio. My Redbook path of Gear, to my Speakers is 2nd to none. If it was, I would own the other stuff. I have owned "it" and either sold it or returned it! Referring to the 4 to 6k DACS.

I have my sites on other Decware products in the coming year, important to me.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #76 - 06/25/17 at 17:03:54
 
Lon, that's funny you mentioned that.  The Directstream I picked up included a Powerbase.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the Powerbase.  Was considering under my TT, Tape tube playback amp, the Directstream, or now the P10.  So many options Smiley
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #77 - 06/25/17 at 18:07:31
 
The PowerBase and the P10 are very different products, no redundancy in my estimation. I have PowerBases under all but one of my components (my TV doesn't have one but maybe one day); bought a bunch of them at really good prices. I enjoy the cumulative effect as isolation platforms; to me it's not subtle. But the most improvement I found under my P10 and turntable, and then my DirectStream Transport and DirectStream DAC.

I used to have them all powered from my P10 and then my components powered by the PowerBases. But over time I came to prefer the components powered by the P10 and the PowerBases just used as isolation platforms--less clinical sounding that way. Others may prefer to power the components from the PowerBases. . . depends if you like that detailed upfront sound or the laid back sound I prefer.
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« Last Edit: 06/25/17 at 18:18:09 by Lon »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #78 - 06/26/17 at 06:46:01
 
Thanks for the low down on these Powerbases Lon. I'm actually glad to hear they have greater potential than I originally presumed. I have quite a few devices that would qualify based on your last reply. Sounds like I may have to do some Base rolling.

I already planned to run everything out of the P10 direct and not daisy chain the base in any way, so glad to hear your experience with P10 direct is peachy.  I was considering selling it but I will keep it around to see what it can do for my system.

I will say, this Perfectwave P10 is one heck of an appliance!  Really impressive.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #79 - 06/26/17 at 12:59:08
 
The P10 is fantastic. Be sure to try your best power cord on the P10. . . I find that works best for the whole system.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #80 - 07/07/17 at 23:46:30
 
So, when will the Decware modified NT-503 be available?  Any idea on the time frame Steve?

HK
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #81 - 07/12/17 at 17:57:01
 
Bump for possible update on status of this potential offering.

HK
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #82 - 07/12/17 at 18:48:52
 
HK, best to reach out to Steve directly on this for a quicker answer.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #83 - 08/02/17 at 22:51:41
 
Zenmaster Steve....  are you still R&D'ing this unit or did you drop back and punt?
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #84 - 08/03/17 at 05:15:27
 
No, it's full steam ahead.  I'm almost done with the web page now. I'm really impressed with the DAC and the up sampling algorithms of this unit.  Of course I have never heard it stock for more than an hour or two.  

That said, I am very partial to old school Burr Brown chip sets which are used in the ZDSD and tend to shy away from the more hyper detailed Sabre chipsets which trade density for a more clinical presentation.  

This new Chipset and FPGA captures the earthy organic sound of the burr brown DAC chipsets and the super detail of a hyper fast chipset without any fatigue. Nicely done for sure. The imaging is a touch more delineated and has a bit tighter focus. This is evident by the difference in recording techniques being magnified.

Steve
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #85 - 08/03/17 at 15:16:39
 

I agree with that completely - I'm very happy with mine, and I can only imagine what it's going to sound like when you're done with it, Steve!

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #86 - 08/10/17 at 04:42:05
 
Yes, I want it back with built in ZBIT. Now that Steve has made it official that it is the ZDSD's match (see his Decfest post). I get the great algorithm up sampling choices and can use the variable output for remote volume control or use fixed, running the gain input on my ZMA.

Folks, I have owned Steve's ZDSD for 2.5 years .....stellar musical performance with his output transformer topology. Having had the 503 stock for 56 days of Listening.....I know I'm in for quite the performance with his enhancement.
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« Last Edit: 08/10/17 at 04:58:19 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #87 - 08/10/17 at 05:14:52
 
Quote:
Folks, I have owned Steve's ZDSD for 2.5 years .....stellar musical performance with his output transformer topology.


+1
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #88 - 08/10/17 at 14:40:07
 
Getting the (Z)NT-503 this winter, will put a dent in my budget for the 6C33C Mono's next summer.

However, I have a plan for the 6C33C's. I will arrange next summer to bring/visit a few things to Decware, to hear a seasoned pair of the new Mono's with my: Adagio's, my input & inverter tube favorites, Kimber Select, Shunyata Digital cord for ZDSD & 503 on premises and my P3. (In other words, it is easy for me to bring the things in my System Decware would not have and hook up with Decware, on premises).

Maybe, I leave sticking with my ZMA only....or I put on order....something different?

This is not a quest to replace my ZMA (not for sale). But simply, a chance to visit and hear a few things and make a decision or two on maybe a ZROCK2 or the 6C33C Mono's, for example. Prearranged visit four weeks in advance.... . Grab a local room close.

....and pssst, I will bring my inexpensive Sony Transport. ....it is that good....upon my discovery....or obviously, I would not use it in my 25k System for Redbook.





Listening Room:



Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew


Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)


Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC ~.5 meter


Shunyata Research Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD {Significant}


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)


WBT RCA Kimber Select KS1030 ~.5 meter


Audio Research Pre w/remote volume & mute LS-2B MkII
NOS Platinum/Mullard 7308/E188CC / Cryogenic

(ARC Pre rotated in and out...approx. in, only 25-30% of the time)


WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030 ~.75 meter


{ Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8.....in inputs right now~stellar}!
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *56* mA~
NOS/Platinum/Mullard E188CC/7308's in my A12 an B12 Input positions Cryogenic~NOS/Platinum/Telefunken E88CC/6922 for Inverter Tubes~NOS RCA 0A3's & matched Quad/Tung-Sol KT66's

ZMA adjusted at 20% to 30-40% max ~ from 0 Gain ~ w/ZDSD Direct
ZMA adjusted at  80-90% or 100% gain ~ w/ARC Line Stage, running via Remote Volume Control



***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************
Kimber 8TC new/white & clear jacket/to remind me of how fluid/timbre correct and good the KS6063 are



Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)
.....enjoying from 8 ohm ZMA Taps


Caintuck Audio Eminence Alpha 15" OB BASS Unit
at 53Hz, with my Velodyne CHT 130 watt plate amp and 0 degree phase.....at 1/4 volume on plate
Plate Amp....regen'd clean ~ plugged into P3

(Open Baffle 15", not in use all the time....approx. 50% of the time.....the best integrated bass)!







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 Cord to ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ARC Pre, and ZDSD, Regenerated/*120*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output).

++ ZDSD DAC, kicked to the Curb: Auralic Vega, PS Audio PWT & PWD, PS Audio Direct Stream DAC, Chord Qute, NAD M51 (twice) & Schiit Yggdrasil.


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(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken E88CC/6922 ~ 1 pair (painfully expensive/worth it)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair.

From Cryoset:
(Russia) 6N23N/P-EB ~ 2 pair

(Russia) 6N23P's ~ 2 pair/came with ZMA.        
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« Last Edit: 08/10/17 at 15:03:04 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #89 - 08/22/17 at 22:40:29
 
I don't think this has been posted yet.  Interesting reading:

http://www.absolutesound.com.sg/news-updates/why-did-teac-use-the-ak4490-dac-in-...
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #90 - 08/22/17 at 23:46:08
 
The ZDAC2 is now available.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/ZDAC.html


We are not getting special pricing on these units and are leery of open box specials based on past experiences. Since our modifications would void the factory warranty from Teac, we are offering a one year warranty on the units ourselves. Naturally since we can't actually fix one, we want to go into this with the best possible odds by purchasing from know reliable suppliers.

That said, if you see an opportunity to get an NT-503 at a high discount, we recommend you do it, and then purchase our ZBIT. You'll have the same end result, and should the DAC itself ever fail, you'll have a ZBIT ready to hook to the next thing you buy.

-Steve
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #91 - 08/23/17 at 17:44:52
 

That's some really clean looking work!
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #92 - 08/28/17 at 18:16:26
 
Well, Lonely Raven loaned me his NT 503 because he is currently working on its eventual home - the Lonely Raven "Mini" Multi-Media Lair.

I am listening to it "bone stock" via the RCAs to my Rachael.  None of Steve's magic going on.

I am fairly impressed with this unit.  My comments are in comparison to my Chord dac (which nobody has probably heard except CDApS).

Very large soundstage.  Not a lot of additional detail in the instruments by themselves, but tons of transients and room spatial clues.  Also, it must be putting out 2V+ because I had to back it off about 1/4 to put it at listening volume in my room.  The best DAC I have heard so far for capturing the sense of the room.

The only area where it does not best my current DAC is bass.  A little less crisp and lower impact.  Wonder what the transformers would do here?

Easy to listen to and I ran it through my torture tracks to know just what it could do.   Also keep in mind that I am listening to single drivers so that's saying something.

You do need to fiddle with it a bit.  On the initial settings I had, I didn't like it.  

But when I set Audirvana for no upsampling and the right DSD filter on the TEAC, is was very nice.  I am going to download and read the manual so I can explore more settings.  Also, I'll put a better power cord on it.  Right now it has my cheapest DIY.

So that's my mini review.  Definitely good bang for the buck and it does a lot of things I like very well.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #93 - 08/28/17 at 20:07:41
 

That pretty much sums up what I thought about it. I wonder if your lack of bass impact is part of what made me think it reminded me so much of my DirectStream *before* the current (Huron) OS update. You've seen what an amazing impact the new Huron OS does for bass, especially with the El Camino speakers!

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #94 - 08/29/17 at 16:59:40
 
It is not to shabby of a unit for just Redbook. I might get a another one of these. I did return to Crutchfield.  I am looking at other units too.

Currently, I am making another Jensen output transformer stage. I so dig the one coming out of my ZDSD.....I want another bread boarded, for other use with any unit.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #95 - 08/29/17 at 17:21:15
 
I have all the parts to make mine, I just really need to find the time.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #96 - 08/29/17 at 18:08:42
 
LR, you doing the ZBIT or Jensen output tranny stage?

I'm sticking with Jensen.....proven 2.5 year's and counting.....winner for me/Redbook.

My Parker Crusader's are being picked up today! .....funding for this project is at hand.

I'm proud of myself. I went from owning thirteen pairs of Speaker's.....now down to two (modified Adagio's & Polk SRS SDA 1.2's). A whole lot less to move out of here, in a year from now.
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« Last Edit: 08/29/17 at 19:42:07 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #97 - 08/30/17 at 21:45:17
 
I don't see much difference between the two options; except one is in a box and can have a volume pot, and the other probably has a fixed resistance and is built into the DAC.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #98 - 08/30/17 at 23:52:53
 
True.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #99 - 09/01/17 at 16:37:38
 
True, as in; as much as I understand it.

I'm having it done on a breadboard and explained to me. I enjoy wrapping my brain around it.

....you have the parts LR (for yours)....you stated....get er' done.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #100 - 09/01/17 at 16:56:19
 
I've been a little under the weather lately, but feeling better. Hopefully this weekend I can add building my "Magic Box" to my To-Do list.

I still have tons of work in my spare bedroom mini-audio room.

It's all on the docket.

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #101 - 09/01/17 at 17:00:28
 
Cool, I'm going to go catch up with your thread on those issues/projects.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #102 - 09/03/17 at 15:00:46
 
http://dro.ps/b/WSwAGqg/l


700 on massdrop
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #103 - 09/05/17 at 01:27:25
 
Within this forum can't we get at least 2 more purchases so we can get this dac for $700?  If this is not a good deal and I should buy elsewhere please reply.
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« Last Edit: 09/05/17 at 01:27:37 by Martindfletcher »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #104 - 09/05/17 at 19:51:26
 
It's a good deal.  They have gone for as low as $650. Most of those have been open box, but I do think the last Massdrop went for $650 new.  Somebody correct me if I am wrong.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #105 - 09/05/17 at 23:17:35
 
I'm pretty sure the Massdrop was the same, at $700.  

And Martindfletcher, $700 IS a good deal.  
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« Last Edit: 09/05/17 at 23:18:32 by Jeff of Arabica »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #106 - 09/06/17 at 14:21:39
 
Yeah, $650 was an open box - and mine came with some scratches. $799 seems to be the new regular price, so $700 is a good deal.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #107 - 09/06/17 at 18:08:35
 
B&H is at $799 today.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #108 - 09/07/17 at 17:08:32
 
My ZDAC2 order is in.  Now for the wait...

HK
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #109 - 09/07/17 at 18:27:26
 
I doubt you will be disappointed, HK. Steve's inboard output stage with this unit and its full capabilities should be magic. I know it is, first hand, with my ZDSD with Redbook and for DSD Recordings; and my experience with having the NT-503/stock. I decided not to get into hi-rez** (I will never say never), so I returned my NT.
**except for my SDHC Lexar Platinum II, 8GB Cards....made recordings/stored in the very nice Decware 20th Anniversary Silver Case, Steve sent with the ZDSD.

I'm focusing on completing my NOS Tube collection, being impressed with and tube rolling in my ARC Line Stage FET/single 6922/Class A unit to ZMA. In conjunction with Input Tube Rolling in my ZMA (in which, I also run direct from ZDSD only). I was fortunate to find an ARC LS-2B MkII, in stellar condition.

Potentially, swinging the 6C33C Mono-blocks in 2018 or 19.....is my next great Decware Unit(s).

PS-I realized over time, recording MOST OF my Redbook CD's (1100+) to my SDHC's...is the way to go....and every bit as good as the majority of re-recorded Redbook Master's to Hi-Rez. No computer humping needed and it bares repeating, my Recordings are as good if not better in most cases. Think about it....and thank you Steve.

.....now granted, if I want to stream Tidal, etc.... I will revisit that in the future.

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« Last Edit: 09/07/17 at 23:38:49 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #110 - 09/08/17 at 15:00:42
 
Stone,

Good luck with building your tube collection.  I am going to start out streaming with Spotify, which I have been using in my bedroom system.  May switch to Deezer if I can't get the desired SQ.  I'll also be using an Oppo 95 for spinning CD's, as I have a large collection as well.  

May upgrade a "used" PS Audio Perfect Wave Transport in the future, as my budget allows.  

Looking forward to trying Steve's latest DAC offering and fully enjoying my premium Spotify subscription.

HK
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #111 - 09/08/17 at 15:57:39
 
Hey, a while back, someone posted what Steve recommended for a XLR cable.  I remember they were pretty reasonably priced.  Can anyone give the link?
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #112 - 09/08/17 at 16:20:26
 
That is right, HK. Spotify or Deezer....no Tidal, I think for this unit. Eventually, I will try these guys and follow what works best/SQ from you. I'm doing a DIY ZBIT for this reason too, for the NT or some other unit down the road...... .

Pal, I remember that....but not where/link?
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« Last Edit: 09/08/17 at 16:22:13 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #113 - 09/08/17 at 16:52:54
 
Norm reminded me of this recently, here is what Steve recommends:

https://bettercables.com/products/silver-serpent-balanced-xlr-audio-interconnect...

I'm not a fan of silver-plated copper, doesn't seem to gel in my system. I use VooDoo Cable XLRs but they are MUCH more expensive. I also use one 3M pair of WireWorld Oasis 7 because they were available in that length reasonably priced. Interesting geometry on those cables, and they sound fine. Nothing like the VooDoo but then neither was the price.
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« Last Edit: 09/08/17 at 16:59:17 by Lon »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #114 - 09/08/17 at 17:54:30
 
Thanks Lon.  That's the link.  Those are very reasonable.  I may also build some if the time comes.

I went back to the styx cables for my OB bass speaker wire to tighten things up but otherwise I have been staying away from silver.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #115 - 09/08/17 at 19:57:08
 
Myself I can get great results from silver and copper, just not silver-plated copper. My favorite interconnects have silver and copper conductors. . . ,

As a "jumper" between top and bottom binding posts of my HR-1s I used a short length of a cryo'd silver wire in cotton insulation. . . resulting in fantastic sound. I'm thinking of trying that out as speaker cable. .. we'll see if I'm brave enough in the near future to risk a few hundred dollars on that experiment.
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« Last Edit: 09/08/17 at 19:58:35 by Lon »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #116 - 09/08/17 at 20:02:41
 
I got a little unexpected money that came my way so its the only reason I am considering the TEAC / XLR experiment.

Although I have heard the TEAC and liked it and I have heard what balanced does for Raven's rig so not that big a risk.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #117 - 09/08/17 at 20:33:50
 
Yes, I've been thinking of you lately as my system has gone through it's latest metamorphosis. . . because what is stunning about the ZTPRE to ZBIT pairing in my system is. . .improved bass. I think you would really dig the bass . . . Save up! Wink
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #118 - 09/08/17 at 20:40:52
 
Meanwhile, I'm looking for a way to get more silver into my system - LOL

Those cables are very reasonably priced. I noticed their description almost sounds like Zen Styx type connection wire.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #119 - 09/08/17 at 20:47:48
 
Which is what scared me away. .. the Styx held my system back for quite some time or so it seemed, I kept having an "etched" sound; when I switched speaker wire things got better. I've stayed away from silver-plated copper wire since  :o
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #120 - 09/11/17 at 22:48:50
 

Agreed - when my sources or speakers were a bit etched, adding silver only exacerbated that. The tweeters on my MG-944 and my Oppo BDP-105 are good examples.
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #121 - 09/12/17 at 00:59:19
 
The thing with me and my system is. . . silver isn't an issue the way that silver-plated copper IS. I can work with silver, and with copper, but there's a sound to silver-plated copper I can't integrate into my system.

My favorite cables have silver and copper conductors. . . and Ohno wire at that. That's the good stuff imo.
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« Last Edit: 09/12/17 at 01:02:15 by Lon »  

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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #122 - 09/12/17 at 13:56:27
 
Lon aren't the mapleshade double helix silver plated copper?
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #123 - 09/12/17 at 14:08:08
 
Good Lord, I hadn't realized it, but you're right, I don't remember reading about the silver-plating but there it is in the description (or current description.

When I look at the wire itself, I only see copper. Perhaps the silver-plating is new and mine are previous models, or perhaps it's "micro-plating" does not impart any silver to the naked eye?

Anyway it's a single strand wire which seems to make a difference and I've actually been considering that these cables are now the weakest link in my system and researching what to replace them with. Though they are indeed great cables.

WTF! Then I guess I'll just say that the other silver-plated speaker cables I've used (Zen Styx), and several silver-plated interconnects that I've used, have created an edgy sound for my system that I don't prefer.

Thanks for pointing that out to me. I guess I don't have an issue with "micro-stranding silver coating" (aided also perhaps by the very minimal insulation on these Mapleshades).
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