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Snoopy8

GIESELER Groß DAC Review

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Not sure you need to run in the unit much?  Just sit back and enjoy the music... :thumb:

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Mine will never be turned off so I don't expect burn in will take long ;)

 

I only power down tube gear.

Edited by MattyW

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Below was a question and Clay's answers over several posts on the Gieseler PSU on whether to leave things on. I think it equally applies to the DAC.  I turn mine off.

 

Edited by Snoopy8
Added several posts

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I have gotten my system to a level that I can even listen at lower volume and still pick up new details during not serious,  enjoy the music sessions.  It is horribly addictive and I spend far too many hours on it.  :wub::wub::wub:

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I did an unusual compare yesterday. Not against another 2 channel DAC but a multi channel AVR.

The MRX -1120 came close to the Groß in a limited test and I could easily live with the 1120.

 

What that exercise did was also to highlight once again why I love the Groß. DSD superb, sound stage so wide that it almost replaced the rear channels of a multi channel recording. :wub:

 

 What we did not do was compare16/44.1 non classical music. The Groß does CD quality PCM so well and has this ethereal quality that is addictive (that word again!). Time and time again, I have difficulty stopping and want to listen to the next song. It is this quality that sets the Groß apart. :thumb:

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7 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

I did an unusual compare yesterday. Not against another 2 channel DAC but a multi channel AVR.

The MRX -1120 came close to the Groß in a limited test and I could easily live with the 1120.

 

What that exercise did was also to highlight once again why I love the Groß. DSD superb, sound stage so wide that it almost replaced the rear channels of a multi channel recording. :wub:

 

 What we did not do was compare16/44.1 non classical music. The Groß does CD quality PCM so well and has this ethereal quality that is addictive (that word again!). Time and time again, I have difficulty stopping and want to listen to the next song. It is this quality that sets the Groß apart. :thumb:

Aye, it has that same toe tapping involvement in the music that a good vinyl setup gives.  Since getting the Groß my wife has started letting me listen to music more regularly....  She'll let me play at louder volumes than ever before and has taken to humming and singing along with some music. It's a very special unit.  I think I'm going to wait for the budget version to come out for my second,  downstairs system. I was tossing up a used Klein DAC though from what I've read its a very real step down from the Groß so best left alone 

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@MattyW Involvement with the music is a good way to describe the Groß . :thumb:

 

It is good your wife is starting to appreciate the music. My better half listens to the Groß almost every evening, with no change ! She appreciates music that she knows but does not look out for AQ  :(:huh:

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Yes, the results are so good that I'm going to need to take it downstairs and try it on my secondary system. If great down there I'll be eagerly awaiting the budget version which will be replacing the Klein DAC series. I considered getting the Klein that's on the classifieds right now though I believe it's a fair jump in SQ between it and the Groß so I need to be patient.

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Updated my original review with latest setup (upgrade to SMS-200 Ultra!).

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

Had the opportunity to compare the Groß with the 2Qute and PSA DataStream Jnr (with Redcloud firmware)

The  Groß comfortably beat the 2Qute with better detail, sound stage, clarity in Max's setup.  Had the same 2Qute in my system as well, with the same result.

 

Had high expectations of the DSJ given the many comparisons done between it and the  Groß.  But the DSJ did not meet those expectations which surprised Max and myself. 

Edited by Snoopy8
Left out critical word, not!

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Just thought I would post a couple of pics of my GroB with the outer silver body powder coated in black.   Looks bloody good 

 

Now that I’ve had the DAC for a few months, and have bought a pair of Spendor D9’s the imaging, detail and overall musicality of the dac never ceases to amaze me.  This is one amazing piece of gear.  Why pay 8k or more when this dac is every but as good, if not better 

 

You really are a magician Clay 

 

 

9AEDE0F9-E7D1-4189-970A-BC5F729A6F8D.jpeg

0C0983EF-C6CC-49E1-B07A-C03C61D23CEA.jpeg

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On 17/05/2018 at 3:23 PM, Snoopy8 said:

Had the opportunity to compare the Groß with the 2Qute and PSA DataStream Jnr (with Redcloud firmware)

The  Groß comfortably beat the 2Qute with better detail, sound stage, clarity in Max's setup.  Had the same 2Qute in my system as well, with the same result. Had high expectations of the DSJ given the many comparisons done between it and the  Groß.  But the DSJ did not meet those expectations which surprised Max and myself. 

That doesn't surprise me - I did a comparison with Redcloud on the DS - it was closer, but didn't write it up as we were getting strange driver issues in our source.   That's when I got fed up with drivers being required on Windows machines, got a Mac plus Audirvana, and that seems to be working fine.   Its actually so good when you use with a Uptone Regen (plus of course Clay's supply he designed for it - yes folks his supplies are quite versatile) I probably will get rid of my two Auralic's - after doing a compassion - naturally.   Trouble is getting people to help me in doing it.   Rawl99 often helps me but he hasn't been well and because of that is taking longer to finish a job in Townsville and cant help until the end of the month. 

 

I had a Chord DAC and Clay upgraded its supply - it was the first DAC when so upgraded was able to slightly edge out the previously unbeaten PDX.  That spurred Clay to create the first Konverter which was valve based (I have one for sale - or rather traded in to Mike who hasn't put it up for sale in the classified section yet - have to get him to put it up).  However the Konverter has been surpassed a lot by the Grob - so it's no surprise the 2Qute wasn't up to the Grob.   There is a DAC that when Clay heard it sent him to think about how to improve the Grob - I wont say any more on Clay's forum - you can read about it in the Best System Yet Heard on Mikes forum - Clay can comment if he likes.

 

Chord though has some interesting new products - don't know if the are better, or worse, than Clay's DAC but the designer Rob Watts has some interesting ideas such as a million tap filter.   He thinks MQA has got it wrong - the ringing from steep filters isn't the issue for why hi res recordings sound better - its because the filters used to convert the hi-res it's recorded at to what you play it at are rubbish and you need really precise filters (a measure of which is the number of taps used - technical lingo for the number of samples in calculating the filtered output).  To that end he created - get this - a one million tap filter.   Way overkill?   At the moment it's only available in a rather expensive up-sampling transport - but that is expected to change.  It's interesting:

 

So Clay brush up on your applied math (I am available for tutoring at a reduced price), signal theory, take a few minutes to get a PhD, and build us one for the Grob:na::na::na::na:

 

Oh and having to get one of those beasts we need to save money elsewhere - how about a DAC with a headphone output that is 9W into 8 ohms to drive speaker and save on an amp:

https://chordelectronics.co.uk/product/hugott2/

 

But that should be no problem with that PhD - so get cracking or do you need the leather gear again?

 

Seriously it is interesting - we really don't know that much about what makes audio sound good - it's all very interesting.

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba

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This could be a very interesting development indeed. Mind you I'm in heaven these days (Gross > Schiit Saga > darTZeel NHB-108 copy > Aurum Cantus F620 speakers) so don't realistically expect much improvement from here on in.

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I picked up a standard (if I can use that word) 3 input Groß DAC from Clay in late November.  I wanted both coax and optical inputs so I figured I should just go for all three.   No power supply upgrade though, Clay worked that one out the same week I picked up my unit so I was just a few days too early to take advantage of that new info.

 

I was fairly excited as I've been using a Burson Conductor V2 for over 12 months and the Groß should be a serious step up from that.  I ran it in for a few days and then ran it against the Burson and the DAC in my YBA cd player and really couldn't make out much of an improvement.  While it definitely sounded different from the Burson it actually sounded very similar to the YBA, so I left it for a bit and decided I would fiddle later.  Also, I couldn't hear any significant difference between the filter settings, I could pick up a little something but not anything I would call significant.

The final quarter of 2018 was fairly exhausting for me work wise so it took some time for me to get around to it but fiddle I did.  I changed interconnects and then went balanced with very little result, I was perplexed.

 

Then, on a slightly different topic, I realized that I hadn't tried out my favourite Sansui (907NRA) on those ML2 Ltd's of mine.  Since the Groß was in the system to begin with it stayed where it was.  I spent a few days trying out the new amp/speaker combo with varying albums without really paying much attention to the DAC as such, until the week before Christmas.  BRM dropped over and we got talking audio gear (as we are want to do from time to time, but only on days that end in "Y").  He was interested in hearing the Groß and I was telling him how I just wasn't sure if I was doing something wrong or not because it didn't seem to do much for me.  Now BRM likes to listen to his music louder than I do (or at least at my place he does) so the volume was higher than usual and he was reading through the manual and asking me to change filters as the music cranked.  

That's when everything fell into place, I could hear the differences between filter settings and after some more loud-ish experimenting the following day I now have a firm favourite (super).  Differences I couldn't hear on my much loved S2R speakers came through effortlessly on the ML2 Ltds.  I've gone through several albums since and will double that number later today, what a combo!

 

I thought that all my amplifier work would have prepared me for some DAC comparing, but I wasn't ready to consider that the speakers that I've been using for the last 7 or so years might not be resolving enough to let me hear everything I needed to.  That's a lesson I won't soon forget.

 

I will get around to changing DACs and comparing but as of right now the system just sounds too damn good to change.  

 

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On 12/06/2018 at 3:01 AM, bhobba said:

That doesn't surprise me - I did a comparison with Redcloud on the DS - it was closer, but didn't write it up as we were getting strange driver issues in our source.   That's when I got fed up with drivers being required on Windows machines, got a Mac plus Audirvana, and that seems to be working fine.   Its actually so good when you use with a Uptone Regen (plus of course Clay's supply he designed for it - yes folks his supplies are quite versatile) I probably will get rid of my two Auralic's - after doing a compassion - naturally.   Trouble is getting people to help me in doing it.   Rawl99 often helps me but he hasn't been well and because of that is taking longer to finish a job in Townsville and cant help until the end of the month. 

 

I had a Chord DAC and Clay upgraded its supply - it was the first DAC when so upgraded was able to slightly edge out the previously unbeaten PDX.  That spurred Clay to create the first Konverter which was valve based (I have one for sale - or rather traded in to Mike who hasn't put it up for sale in the classified section yet - have to get him to put it up).  However the Konverter has been surpassed a lot by the Grob - so it's no surprise the 2Qute wasn't up to the Grob.   There is a DAC that when Clay heard it sent him to think about how to improve the Grob - I wont say any more on Clay's forum - you can read about it in the Best System Yet Heard on Mikes forum - Clay can comment if he likes.

 

Chord though has some interesting new products - don't know if the are better, or worse, than Clay's DAC but the designer Rob Watts has some interesting ideas such as a million tap filter.   He thinks MQA has got it wrong - the ringing from steep filters isn't the issue for why hi res recordings sound better - its because the filters used to convert the hi-res it's recorded at to what you play it at are rubbish and you need really precise filters (a measure of which is the number of taps used - technical lingo for the number of samples in calculating the filtered output).  To that end he created - get this - a one million tap filter.   Way overkill?   At the moment it's only available in a rather expensive up-sampling transport - but that is expected to change.  It's interesting:

 

So Clay brush up on your applied math (I am available for tutoring at a reduced price), signal theory, take a few minutes to get a PhD, and build us one for the Grob:na::na::na::na:

 

Oh and having to get one of those beasts we need to save money elsewhere - how about a DAC with a headphone output that is 9W into 8 ohms to drive speaker and save on an amp:

https://chordelectronics.co.uk/product/hugott2/

 

But that should be no problem with that PhD - so get cracking or do you need the leather gear again?

 

Seriously it is interesting - we really don't know that much about what makes audio sound good - it's all very interesting.

 

Thanks

Bill

I believe HQplayer and Chord Dave DAC have similar tap length filters - but HQ has many different options if super steep filter is not to your taste.

The jury is still out on what is the best digital filter, so I'd rather have the choice of a few.

I didn't see Chord Dave anywhere in Stereophiles recommended components for 2018, not sure why...

and then we have many people who prefer NO filters.

T

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not sure what the Dave has to do with this thread...

lets get back on topic lads, the Grob is bloody awesome value and if you don’t have one yet then place your order pronto 👍

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On 10/01/2019 at 11:41 PM, Conch said:

Not sure what the Dave has to do with this thread...

lets get back on topic lads, the Grob is bloody awesome value and if you don’t have one yet then place your order pronto 👍

I'm with you on that - anyone looking to buy a new dac should check it out and I am yet to see one come up in the FS. I'll be keeping mine for a long time, in terms of digital music this dac is better than some I have heard costing a lot more.

 

And if you can afford the PSU get one of those while your at it.

Edited by PKay

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On 09/01/2019 at 7:16 PM, zenelectro said:

I believe HQplayer and Chord Dave DAC have similar tap length filters - but HQ has many different options if super steep filter is not to your taste.

 

Rob Watt's and Miska have a long standing argument about that - it boils down to what you think a Tap is.   It simply cant be doing what the M-Scaler does - it is using the most powerful CPU currently available with 74 cores pushed to it's limit.

 

Does it sound better - who knows.

 

Thanks

Bill

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Just read the M-scaler pdf Bill - thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Very interesting. So at 1M taps he's still not convinced it's enough.

Meanwhile, back at da ranch, lotsa people are running  0 x OS DACs, completely diametrically opposed in theory.

 

Digital audio - perfect sound forever. :) Or should it be perfect conundrum, forever.

 

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Guys, you have gone OT. Pls take your M Scaler discussions else where. 

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On 17/05/2018 at 3:23 PM, Snoopy8 said:

Updated my original review with latest setup (upgrade to SMS-200 Ultra!).

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

Had the opportunity to compare the Groß with the 2Qute and PSA DataStream Jnr (with Redcloud firmware)

The  Groß comfortably beat the 2Qute with better detail, sound stage, clarity in Max's setup.  Had the same 2Qute in my system as well, with the same result.

 

Had high expectations of the DSJ given the many comparisons done between it and the  Groß.  But the DSJ did not meet those expectations which surprised Max and myself. 

Actually it was the DirectStream, not the Junior... which was even more surprising the way reviewers bang on about it

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Lots of comments here... but let me share with you all that the GroB and the Fein compare to anything under $10,000, and probably more with one little trick. Guys get a pair of Burson Audio Cable+ Pro cables. They will bring the Gieseler DACS up an amazing level when they're matched with the Gieseler Kraftwerk Power Supply. UNBEATABLE combination - I've compared with quite a few great DACs so feel able to say this.

 

I first tried my Musical Fidelity X10 which astounded me at how good the Fein sounded (I actually prefer the Fein to the GroB, but its a close run thing and the Grob has better bas), then I got some of these cables. I think that the only thing between Gieseler DACs and some of the expensive gear going around is the output stage on the other DACs.

 

Trust me, I've tried the PS Audio DirectStream, 2 Qute, Qutest, Hugo, Hugo TT, Hugo 2, Hugo TT2, Hugo TT2 with MScaler. Get a Fein, Kraftwerk power supply  and a pair of these Burson cables and you won't believe the sound. Happy to demo it to anyone who wants a compare and has a Gieseler DAC and can get their hands on another DAC. Totally reproducible results

 

And yes I've got good gear, great speakers and expensive interconnects... 

 

Only thing I've heard as good as the Gieseler DACs with Burson buffer cables and Kraftwerk Power supply was Holo DAC being fed with Sonore Signature Rendu via i2s - that was heavenly. 

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I favour the Aurealis Audio Neotech UPOCC cables with the Gross DAC.... The Neotech is spectacular, though prefer Litz for analog sources ;)

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5 hours ago, MattyW said:

I favour the Aurealis Audio Neotech UPOCC cables with the Gross DAC.... The Neotech is spectacular, though prefer Litz for analog sources ;)

Aurealis Audio are very nice, but this cable doesn't do anything to balance the input and output impedances of the dac and the pre/integrated receiving the signal. Its not about the exact quality of the copper in the cable, but impedance balancing which has a far more significant impact

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1 hour ago, Max Headroom said:

Aurealis Audio are very nice, but this cable doesn't do anything to balance the input and output impedances of the dac and the pre/integrated receiving the signal. Its not about the exact quality of the copper in the cable, but impedance balancing which has a far more significant impact

Might try one between my pre and power amp, though in no rush.

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