Hello everyone, well after waiting for over a year now for Clay's Konverter DAC preamp I finally came home and their was the box I had been waiting for sitting in the hallway.
As you do when something like this happens you grab yourself a brew, sit down and gently unpack your purchase. I must say the first impressions of Clays DAC was of a piece of equipment that has been put together with a lot of thought with not a hint of being slapped together, I had seen pictures of the internals but I had to take of the lid and have a closer look, Clay I love your work !
To put the Konverter into my system required a bit of rewiring so I decided to pull the whole system apart and give everything a good dusting and rearrange some of the gear. My system consists of a pair of ML2REF speakers, a pair of Quad EightyII mono blocks, Mark Levinson ML1 preamp, Auralic Aries streamer and a Auralic Vega DAC so the pre amp will go and the Vega DAC I sold a while ago, the Konverter will replace them. Also I will be connecting to the Konverter a Audio GD cd transport, a Yamaha cd Recorder, a Technics sp10 turntable, and with the help of a tape selector switch box a Sony TC765 reel to reel and a Pioneer CT-F1250 cassette deck..... Few !
Well after about 3 hours of dusting, polishing and connecting I was now ready to sit down and listen to a bit of music. The remote that comes with the Konverter has volume up and down, muting, channel up and down and a power button, Clay has configured the remote so with these few buttons you can change the inputs, the filter settings the display modes and toggle the Home Theatre bypass on and off. At first trying to navigate through the different modes I found a bit confusing but having live with it for a few days you quickly learn how it works...... So how does it sound ?
I believe that if you call yourself an Audiophile you have the ability to store audio memories of not only your own system but also other systems you have listened to over the years, so what I'm trying to say is that I know my own system sound very well
I started to stream a few of my favourite tracks and what was apparent straight away was the amount of bass weight that my system had gain it was like I had added a subwoofer to the system, the Konverter goes deep, very deep in bass.....wow
The more music I played the more excited I became, tracks I new well we're now being presented to me differently, the sound had a smoothness to it and the image was rock solid. It seemed like every piece of music I played had new surprises, some of the instruments in the songs I knew well were louder than on my old system, the sound stage was much more wider and things like cymbals were smooth with no hint of being splashy, I was having a great time. I then played some HiRez music and the sound as you would expect was taken to a whole new level, another thing I noticed was that the background was very black, no background noise that you could notice
I can confidently say that the Konverter sounds much better than the Vega DAC particularly in the bass region, I will also say that my digital music now has a much more analog sound which is what I'm after
So how did the analog inputs sound ? Just as good as my old system. I must admit I was a little worried about taking out my Mark Levinson pre amp as I really loved the vintage sound of it and I thought that if that sound changed that much I could always run the Konverter into the Mark Levinson pre to get back that sound back but there's no need to, the Konverter is a dam fine preamp as well.
Makes me wonder how much better the sound will be ones it has had a good burn in
Clay I must congratulate you on a product that looks good, built very well and sounds bloody brilliant, an outstanding achievement, the wait was worth it !