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Gieseler DAC Reviews & Impressions

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Edited by Benjet
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Interesting,  I’m also the owner of a CXN using a SOTM SMS-200 Neo and considering upgrading to the Grob. Can anyone tell me how the process works in terms of time frame from order of receiving please?

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Hi Omera,

I currently have a 3-input Gross in stock & lead time on a USB only unit is about a week.

PM & I can give you some more info.

Regards

Clay

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On 06/09/2018 at 8:22 PM, naggots said:

I had a PDXL2 then Klein 1 then the SE for a couple years. The SE was the best. I now have a Gross which is better (Femto Upgrade next) I sold the SE to my friend with the CXN after he tried it, liked it didn’t want to give it back....... I then bought the Gross......wouldn’t of sold the SE otherwise. 

Clay, what's this about a Femto clock upgrade?

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Hi John,

yes currently working on that at the moment.

I have some Crystek Femto clocks but they are about double the size of the ones on the Amanero so

not a drop in replacement unfortunately. Crystek do make ones in the correct size but they don’t have an enable (remote on pin) I need that option to be compatible with the Amanero control circuitry. 

I have two options.

1. Use the correct larger size clocks but mounted on a small daughter board.

2. Use the right size drop in clocks & add extra control circuitry to be compatible with the Amanero

Ah - life was not meant to be easy!

 

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On 19/09/2018 at 5:30 AM, Gieseler Audio said:

Hi John,

yes currently working on that at the moment.

I have some Crystek Femto clocks but they are about double the size of the ones on the Amanero so

not a drop in replacement unfortunately. Crystek do make ones in the correct size but they don’t have an enable (remote on pin) I need that option to be compatible with the Amanero control circuitry. 

I have two options.

1. Use the correct larger size clocks but mounted on a small daughter board.

2. Use the right size drop in clocks & add extra control circuitry to be compatible with the Amanero

Ah - life was not meant to be easy!

  

Which option is the option with the least hassle for you? I wouldn't mind giving up my GroB for a bit to get the Femtos fitted.

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Actually it is not looking very straight forward unfortunately. I had a close look at it today & none of the femto clocks I had came even close to fitting on the Amanero pcb. Looks like a daughter board is the only way to go. The good thing is as I will have more room I can add a couple of ultra low noise regulators to power each clock - two needed. Independent low noise PSU for each clock is definately a good way to go.

 

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That sounds good. I guess the daughter board is the way to go. Though would this require any significant changes to the PCB of the GroB? I wouldn't know as it's outside my knowledge. But when this gets up and running, I'll be putting mine in.

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On 18/09/2018 at 9:17 PM, omara31 said:

Interesting,  I’m also the owner of a CXN using a SOTM SMS-200 Neo and considering upgrading to the Grob. Can anyone tell me how the process works in terms of time frame from order of receiving please?

 

Get the USB only version.  I have verified - sorry Clay I have to tell it like it is - it's appreciably better than the 3 input version - or even my 2 input version without the USB.  Clay has my USB only version down there right now and if you want it straight away I am happy for Clay to sell it to you.   Its brand new - just used by a couple of people to check the DAC out.  If you can get to Clays I am happy to lend it to you before purchase.

 

If you want a USB source get a second hand Macbook and use Audirvana.  I wasted money on Windows machines and associated driver issues before I realised the Mac is a lot simpler - Audirvana sounds as good as HQ player - but is easier to use and connects to Tidal, plus does first stage unfolding of MQA. I did comparisons and honestly on 44.1/16 I cant tell the difference between material on the disk and Tidal.   MQA to my ears though to my ears sounds better.

 

Thanks

Bill

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11 minutes ago, bhobba said:

 

If you want a USB source get a second hand Macbook and use Audirvana.  I wasted money on Windows machines and associated driver issues before I realised the Mac is a lot simpler - Audirvana sounds as good as HQ player

This is a bit off topic so feel free to delete but why would anyone go backwards to a pc/apple equivalent when they have a renderer like the Sotm?

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15 hours ago, Bunno77 said:

This is a bit off topic so feel free to delete but why would anyone go backwards to a pc/apple equivalent when they have a renderer like the Sotm?

If you have a library of files they have to be stored somewhere, and of course so does the software Audivarna etc.  

Maybe if you’re just using tidal you don’t need the computer. 

Edited by buddyev

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On 28/09/2018 at 9:42 PM, Bunno77 said:

This is a bit off topic so feel free to delete but why would anyone go backwards to a pc/apple equivalent when they have a renderer like the Sotm?

Sotm?

 

I have two Auralic's - both lent out right now.  Also I have a Grandinote, but that is down at Mike Lenehans so I can hear it with my Magnesium's he is working on.   To get by I used HQ Player, which was very good, and even got a dedicated Windows machine for it (a low powered cheap one but with a SSD which raised the price a bit).  HQ Player sounds very good but I was having trouble with drivers all the time - a new update to windows and it would stop working.   I can usually sort such things out, and always managed to do it.   But was going to use it in a comparison and it went wonky - I vowed then and there, and this is what I should have done in the first place IMHO, to get a second hand mac and use Audirvana which also decoded MQA.  Haven't looked back since.  But everything is just interim at the moment until I get my Magnesium's, and there are a few other logistical things that are my issues so wont be talking about them here 

 

Also it may be possible to use Audirvana to cast to the Grandinote and hence it can play MQA - but that needs some sorting out - it's just a possibility right now.   The Windows machine did not allow that then as Audirvana for Windows only came out in June sometime this year.

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba

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5 hours ago, bhobba said:

Sotm?

 

Ok as indicated by the above I didn't know about the Sotm - but have investigated it:

https://cruxaudio.com.au/collections/sotm-ultra

 

As can be seen some are at a price point well above Clay's USB only DAC.  The one that looks the most cost effective is:

https://cruxaudio.com.au/collections/sotm-ultra/products/sotm-sms-200-mini-network-player-1

 

It should drive Clays DAC well.  Better than Audirvana, HQ Player, or Auralic - I do not know.   What I will say is Clay's power supply is likely to make an improvement.

 

For me it doesn't have any advantages over Audirvana, HQ Player, or Auralic on the surface.   You would have to do a comparison to find out.   

 

If you have purchased one it will likely sound great - personally I wouldn't worry you made a bad purchase.   If I was starting from scratch at the price of a second hand Mac-Book I would use Audirvana and DLNA to transmit to something like the SOTM.

 

I know Clay is working on a DAC with something like the Sotm built in, but he has not solved all the issues yet.   I am sure he eventually will but until then Audirvana connected to the Grob looks good.

 

Thanks

Bill

 

Edited by bhobba

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1 hour ago, bhobba said:

It should drive Clays DAC well.  Better than Audirvana, HQ Player, or Auralic - I do not know.   What I will say is Clay's power supply is likely to make an improvement.

Since I am the OP, I suppose I am allowed to take this OT for one more post???  :unsure: 

 

I use a SOtM SMS-200 Ultra to drive a Gieseler Groß DAC and the results are superb.  I have not compared it with either Audirvana, HQ Player, or Auralic, but I suspect it will beat them. Yes, it is my speculation based on what I read of other people's reviews, feedback on the web.  Would love to hear from someone on SNA who has done a compare.  And yes, Clay's latest PSU definitely improves the Ultra, see here.

-------------

Back to topic, have been comparing the new Fein DAC to the Groß DAC today.  Will post my feedback in the next few days.

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17 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

Since I am the OP, I suppose I am allowed to take this OT for one more post???  :unsure: 

Mate we are a pretty laid back lot here.   I do not think Clay or anyone worries if it goes off topic a bit every now and then - I certainly do not - but I am only one of many.

 

BTW - nice post - good to hear from someone with actual experience - I knew nothing about it.

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba

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Guest DarkNark
On 06/10/2018 at 8:21 PM, Snoopy8 said:

Back to topic, have been comparing the new Fein DAC to the Groß DAC today.  Will post my feedback in the next few days.

Any updates? :poke:

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On 06/10/2018 at 10:21 PM, Snoopy8 said:

Since I am the OP, I suppose I am allowed to take this OT for one more post???  :unsure: 

 

I use a SOtM SMS-200 Ultra to drive a Gieseler Groß DAC and the results are superb.  I have not compared it with either Audirvana, HQ Player, or Auralic, but I suspect it will beat them. Yes, it is my speculation based on what I read of other people's reviews, feedback on the web.  Would love to hear from someone on SNA who has done a compare.  And yes, Clay's latest PSU definitely improves the Ultra, see here.

-------------

Back to topic, have been comparing the new Fein DAC to the Groß DAC today.  Will post my feedback in the next few days.

 

On 06/10/2018 at 8:36 PM, bhobba said:

 

Ok as indicated by the above I didn't know about the Sotm - but have investigated it:

https://cruxaudio.com.au/collections/sotm-ultra

 

As can be seen some are at a price point well above Clay's USB only DAC.  The one that looks the most cost effective is:

https://cruxaudio.com.au/collections/sotm-ultra/products/sotm-sms-200-mini-network-player-1

 

It should drive Clays DAC well.  Better than Audirvana, HQ Player, or Auralic - I do not know.   What I will say is Clay's power supply is likely to make an improvement.

 

For me it doesn't have any advantages over Audirvana, HQ Player, or Auralic on the surface.   You would have to do a comparison to find out.   

 

If you have purchased one it will likely sound great - personally I wouldn't worry you made a bad purchase.   If I was starting from scratch at the price of a second hand Mac-Book I would use Audirvana and DLNA to transmit to something like the SOTM.

 

I know Clay is working on a DAC with something like the Sotm built in, but he has not solved all the issues yet.   I am sure he eventually will but until then Audirvana connected to the Grob looks good.

 

Thanks

Bill

 

While we are waiting for @Snoopy8 to give us his review I would like to digress and put hings in more perspective as well as add my own experience.

I find that there is a lot of debate about the options we have to play music that are stored somewhere in digital format.

IMO, there are many options, including:

  • using a windows based computer for special things, e.g. HQplayer
  • using a computer/streamer to do Roon
  • using a computer either Windows or Mac for playback, e.g. Audirvana  or jRiver
  • using a streamer connected to a NAS/internet
  • using a streamer connected to a hard drive/the internet

My understanding from what @bhobba is saying is that he prefers his Macbook with Audirvana. I am assuming that his music is on the Macbook or on a disk connected to the computer. He uses the computer to feed music via usb to his dac. In other words he does not use a streamer. His Grandinote he has bought is actually a streamer and dac combined. In a computer based system you have to feed the dac via a cable, e.g. usb/spdif or optical. So what @bhobba is saying is he,  at this stage prefer the Macbook with a usb cable connected to Clay's dac.

 

@Snoopy8 is using a SOtM Ultra as a streamer. A streamer is just something that finds the music somewhere and render it to the dac. The streamer can be connected to multiple sources being the internet, a NAS or a hard disk. The streamer gets the music and then serves it to the dac and the streamer needs to be connected to the dac via a cable, e.g. usb/spdif or optical.

 

So whilst we are digressing here we have just discussed the options of rendering the music to the dac. The specific method will influence the dac, but if your method is constant then you can compare the different dacs.

 

It is also very important to note that there is a lot of information around on how to connect these streamers to the internet/ethernet/NAS/dac/powersupplies. I dont want to go down this rabbit hole, BUT I 100% agree that powersupplies are very important

 

I have tested a standard 2011 Mac Mini with Audirvana, a Sonore microRendu, Allo Digione and an Auralic Aries with special power supply and femto clocks. The latter is the best.

 

Closing with @Snoopy8 's renderer which is the SOtM Ultra. From reviews it appears that the Sonore microRendu is about the same as the SOtM and the Sonore ultraRendu is about the same as the SOtM Ultra.

 

John Darko has reviewed a lot of these products and he thinks the Ausralic Aries with femto closcks are about the same as the Sonore ultraRendu. From that I infer the the Aries with the femto clocks are about equal to the SOtM Ultra. To go better one has to go up further up the foodchain/ $spending.

 

Back to the topic: if your connection/streaming/cables are consistent then you can compare the different dacs.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, DarkNark said:

Any updates? :poke:

Sorry, I think I posted in other thread but not this. Could not do comparison, was not able to get the Fein. Maybe when Clay returns from holidays?

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I received my 3 input Gros dac yesterday. I have had it powered up for about 24 hours and have played music for maybe 8 hours now. Clay tells me it needs several days to come on song but I'd have to say it sounds pretty damn good now.  

It replaced a Topping D50 which is a cheapie but actually pretty good and very easy to listen to - specially with DSD.

The Gros sounds quite different: a lot more bottom end, the top end is less etched, its smoother through the midrange, the staging is less precisely demarcated — all in all more relaxed and sophisticated sound.

Very nice so far — lets see where it goes from here.

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On ‎14‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 8:00 AM, Jventer said:

 

While we are waiting for @Snoopy8 to give us his review I would like to digress and put hings in more perspective as well as add my own experience.

I find that there is a lot of debate about the options we have to play music that are stored somewhere in digital format.

IMO, there are many options, including:

  • using a windows based computer for special things, e.g. HQplayer
  • using a computer/streamer to do Roon
  • using a computer either Windows or Mac for playback, e.g. Audirvana  or jRiver
  • using a streamer connected to a NAS/internet
  • using a streamer connected to a hard drive/the internet

My understanding from what @bhobba is saying is that he prefers his Macbook with Audirvana. I am assuming that his music is on the Macbook or on a disk connected to the computer. He uses the computer to feed music via usb to his dac. In other words he does not use a streamer. His Grandinote he has bought is actually a streamer and dac combined. In a computer based system you have to feed the dac via a cable, e.g. usb/spdif or optical. So what @bhobba is saying is he,  at this stage prefer the Macbook with a usb cable connected to Clay's dac.

 

@Snoopy8 is using a SOtM Ultra as a streamer. A streamer is just something that finds the music somewhere and render it to the dac. The streamer can be connected to multiple sources being the internet, a NAS or a hard disk. The streamer gets the music and then serves it to the dac and the streamer needs to be connected to the dac via a cable, e.g. usb/spdif or optical.

 

So whilst we are digressing here we have just discussed the options of rendering the music to the dac. The specific method will influence the dac, but if your method is constant then you can compare the different dacs.

 

It is also very important to note that there is a lot of information around on how to connect these streamers to the internet/ethernet/NAS/dac/powersupplies. I dont want to go down this rabbit hole, BUT I 100% agree that powersupplies are very important

 

I have tested a standard 2011 Mac Mini with Audirvana, a Sonore microRendu, Allo Digione and an Auralic Aries with special power supply and femto clocks. The latter is the best.

 

Closing with @Snoopy8 's renderer which is the SOtM Ultra. From reviews it appears that the Sonore microRendu is about the same as the SOtM and the Sonore ultraRendu is about the same as the SOtM Ultra. 

 

John Darko has reviewed a lot of these products and he thinks the Ausralic Aries with femto closcks are about the same as the Sonore ultraRendu. From that I infer the the Aries with the femto clocks are about equal to the SOtM Ultra. To go better one has to go up further up the foodchain/ $spending.

 

Back to the topic: if your connection/streaming/cables are consistent then you can compare the different dacs.

 

 

 

Just had to thank Jventer for this excellent summary. Being totally clueless and hopeless when it comes to digital sources other than CD, I found it hugely informative.

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