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Gieseler Audio

DAC Preamp wish list

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Will this do phono preamp as well?

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It has two analogue standard line level inputs so you would need to use an external phono stage.

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On 29/09/2016 at 8:22 AM, Gieseler Audio said:

Hey guys I have just come up with a rather radical idea that may interest the Multibit R2R fans.

I still have a stash of PCM1704U-K chips left from my PDX manufacturing days so I was thinking of a very limited run of digital front end boards using that chip. The DAC/Pre uses a seperate (relatively small) digital front end PCB with a socketed Amanero USB module so easy to swap over. It will be pricey though as genuine PCM1704U-K's from a reliable source are at least a couple a hundred a pop. From memory Element14's last remaining few listed arround $380!!!

Anyway I have ten PCM1704U-K's left, they are mono so I could only do five boards. Just a thought - feedback appreciated!

Hi I just found this thread.

As i was wondering whether you have a demo unit of the Klein.

BUT then i see this pre coming.

AND I am very interested in a R2R containing PCM 1704U-K 's if there are any left..

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Sorry no demo Klein's DAC's at the moment.

I actually have 10 x PCM1704U-K's left so I will be able to make 5 x digital front end boards to suit the DAC/Pre from these.

This is only a idea at this stage & will require new boards but definately possible if there is some interest.

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4 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Sorry no demo Klein's DAC's at the moment.

I actually have 10 x PCM1704U-K's left so I will be able to make 5 x digital front end boards to suit the DAC/Pre from these.

This is only a idea at this stage & will require new boards but definately possible if there is some interest.

just what i need an excuse to take the van to Queensland..hehe

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Clay,

It may sound a little crazy, but could you have a design that has 2 dac chips in it? The AK chips for DSD and the the PCM1704U-K for PCM. I understand that with only a few left you couldn't make this a production version.

I think AMR advertise that they use a chip for red book and another for high resolution.

Of course you say - buy 2 DACs. [emoji4]


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Hi John,

that is a good question. I am very familiar with the AMR-DP777 - I actually have one that a customer gave me as it has a serious fault & probably not economically viable to repair. Real shame.

Combining a PCM1704 & AM4497 digital board would be a serious build & definately add compromises with DAC output switching & longer power rail runs. Also the total cost for a board like that would be very high.

To be honest my prototype DAC/pre (using at home now) with the AK4490EQ is sounding extreamly good & I think most people will be very satisfied with this version. 44k files sound very good too. IMHO the areas that have the biggest effect on the sound are 

output stage, volume control & power supplies. In the DAC/Pre I have maxed out in all those areas.

The possible PCM1704 option is really just for R2R ladder DAC fans.

However it would be interesting to do a comparison so when DAC/Pre production starts next month I will probably do a PM1704 version just for the hell of it.

 

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Thanks Clay, best news was the "production starts next month".


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I would be keen on a more simple unit with a single USB input, balanced XLR and RCA outputs, with the AM4497 (which I'm guessing a lot of people would like standard).

 

But it does seem to me that there are 2 general markets - those like myself who would like a relatively simple but 'uber Klein' DAC, and those who would like a more fully featured 'home theatre friendly' configuration (with features that many others before me have described). If the new product line were split into configurations based on these markets (yet still customisable) it may simplify the marketing somewhat.

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2 hours ago, jermaink said:

I would be keen on a more simple unit with a single USB input, balanced XLR and RCA outputs, with the AM4497 (which I'm guessing a lot of people would like standard).

 

Yes, this is my DAC of choice as well:

 

USB input only

Best performance, best chip

NO preamp

 

Matt

 

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Hi guys,

yes some good suggestions.

As soon as the DAC/Pre is released (next couple of weeks) I will get started on a new higher spec'ed DAC only version.

A USB only input (what I use) version will definately be an option as well, with no I2S switching sound quality jumps up a bit.

Probably base it on the AK4497 chip & include balanced XLR + RCA outputs as standard. The control/menu function using the new bigger OLED is totally sorted now so I will use that display. Output will fixed so it should be an ideal choice if you have a good preamp. Uber output stage using some superb 80% nickel core transformers. IMO these sound way better than the usual op amp or even discreet output stages most other DAC manufactures use. It is interesting that Linn's new network Music Players uses exactly this - AK4497 chip & transformer output. All the AKM filter/sound quality/Bypass options will be available via remote. Cost should be reasonable too as no preamp section & the USB only version has considerably less parts & a quicker build time. 

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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1 hour ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Hi guys,

yes some good suggestions.

As soon as the DAC/Pre is released (next couple of weeks) I will get started on a new higher spec'ed DAC only version.

A USB only input (what I use) version will definately be an option as well, with no I2S switching sound quality jumps up a bit.

Probably base it on the AK4497 chip & include balanced XLR + RCA outputs as standard. The control/menu function using the new bigger OLED is totally sorted now so I will use that display. Output will fixed so it should be an ideal choice if you have a good preamp. Uber output stage using some superb 80% nickel core transformers. IMO these sound way better than the usual op amp or even discreet output stages most other DAC manufactures use. It is interesting that Linn's new network Music Players uses exactly this - AK4497 chip & transformer output. All the AKM filter/sound quality/Bypass options will be available via remote. Cost should be reasonable too as no preamp section & the USB only version has considerably less parts & a quicker build time. 

 

Hi Clay,

this sounds VERY good.

 

ATB

 

Matt

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Yeah well anyway.......... this is a DAC/ PREAMP WISH LIST THREAD. :)

 

For those with their own personal agenda.........Go away and start your own "Klein DAC 3" Thread. :P

USB input only.....gimme a break!!!!....not ALL of us have/want a PC/Server in our systems you know.

 

Already hard enough to find a good selection of affordable quality home grown DAC/PRE's without people leading Clay astray from his CURRENT task at hand!!!! :D ;)

 

BTW Clay..........Why does the standalone DAC get to be higher specced?

And lastly....just IMHO.......why make your gear look like everyone else's?

You already have a unique "industrial" look of your own that is instantly recognisable.  

Edited by JohnL

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As someone who has been following this thread closely, and may be interested in buying whatever final product is released, I think a few words of appreciation are well and truly due to Clay. 

Where in the world do you get this sort of customer service, genuine engagement and offers for input into all aspects of the design and development phases of a new product? Let alone the fact that Clay has promised individual customisation to suit varying needs. Where else does that happen? 

Also, opening up an interactive website via a separate forum (SNA) is a great idea, but it's also made him a lot more accountable to addressing all the varying opinions, queries, suggestions and distractions that do come up. Imagine going to a retailer and subjecting them to this barrage of well-intended but time-consuming hyperbole.

 

Customer service rating: A+

Other manufacturers - please take note...

 

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I doubt anyone is under valuing the idea of a vendor talking to prospective clients about a DAC/preamp. 

But I was expecting the same tech in this DAC/preamp model, so suddenly to get a whiff of a higher spec DAC at some time in the future? is perplexing to me. 

More to the point can the DAC be plumbed in to an existing streamer like a LUMIN D1.

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Hi Guys,

sorry when I said the stand alone DAC would be of a higher spec it was in comparison to the Klein DAC II 

The DAC/Pre & new forthcoming  DAC will be using the same tech , PSU, line output stage ect so will sound very similar.

Also the DAC/Pre can be ordered as a USB only digital input version as well which brings slight sonic improvements.

John; The DAC/Pre can't use the same style case as the Klein DAC as those cases aren't available in the larger size I need for the DAC/Pre version. Also the DAC/Pre & new DAC needed a different look to the Klein range as they are the next step up in my product range.

Brian; As the LUMIN D1 only has a BNC (S/PDIF) digital out it's not going to work with a USB only DAC. I think a lot of people still use S/PDIF ( coax or optical) so  the new DAC will also be available with the usual USB/coax/optical inputs as an option.

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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Clay,

 

Just wondering if you sometimes regret starting this Thread!!!............LOL

 

It's been a bit like throwing a nice juicy bone at a pack of hungry dogs and watching them (US!!) fight over it isn't it?...:D :popcorn:

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On 9.1.2017 at 10:31 PM, Gieseler Audio said:

Uber output stage using some superb 80% nickel core transformers. IMO these sound way better than the usual op amp or even discreet output stages most other DAC manufactures use. It is interesting that Linn's new network Music Players uses exactly this - AK4497 chip & transformer output. 

 

Clay,

what happens musically when you go from a very good op amp or discreet output stage to a superb transformer output stage and what are the technical benefits?

I am very curious about it.

Thanks.

 

Matt

Edited by matth

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Hmmm, no updates for a couple of weeks...guessing the house sale is in full swing? :)

@Gieseler Audio

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Hi Adam,

my house took way, way longer than I thought to get ready for sale but it is finally finished & I have actually started back at work this week. 

There was a big rush on PSU orders so it will take me a few days to get on top of that then it will be straight into DAC/Pre production.

Unfortunately Digikey have now sold out of AK4497EQ's but the ETA on more stock is the 17th of Feb so not too far off.  I should be able to get a final production DAC/Pre built by late next week & will probably do the offical release then as well. Sorry guys for the huge wait but all will be revealed very soon. Stay tuned!

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No need to apologise, Clay. Is the DAC/Pre going to be using the 4497 now, too? Or that's just for the next iteration of Klein DAC only?

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Adam - The DAC/Pre will certainly be offered with the AK4497. It's digital input board is seperate from the pre & PSU section so it will be very easy to change between say a 4490 or 4497 version. I did manage to get a couple of 4497 chips before Digikey sold out so when I have a couple of units built up I will do a sound comparison between the two versions. If the 4497 is better I will probably just make it standard issue for the DAC/Pre.

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Well I'm happy to report I finally have a finished version built up & running. It is using the AK4497EQ which I have decided to make standard with the DAC/Pre. I'm extreamly happy with the audio performance & operation is superb. The muting control is perfect with no detectable pops at all between sample rates, DSD PCM format change ect. There will be two models - a standard unit & a enhanced version. The main difference with the enhanced version is the DAC chip output goes directly into a very high quality 80% nickel core Jensen transformer & then on to the preamp section. In comparison the standard version uses a op amp in this section. There are a few other differences too which I will explain in the offical product release. 

OK just a couple of PSU orders to fill & then I will start a new product release topic which should happen by the weekend.

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Not enough "Likes" on the entire internet to express my glee at the above post.

Nice work Clay, am sure the wait will be worth it (and then some!)

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YES !!! .....this is what I have been waiting for

thanks Clay looking forward to it

it will be nice to get back into digital in a serious way

:party:thumb:

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