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Klein III owners thread

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3 hours ago, katattack74 said:

Haha..i got sprung by the missus buying new stuff when i shouldnt..  but  u know what..its christmas and the bills will always be rolling..some months more than others.. JUST DO IT!

Yeah, but I've been bored lately.... Have about 20 things coming off eBay..... 8x LP's, Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2, various tubes, a modded Realistic 42-2101a phono, headphones etc etc. Yeah, I'll be in trouble soon. :(

Edited by MattyW

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10 minutes ago, katattack74 said:

Haha..i got sprung by the missus buying new stuff when i shouldnt..  but  u know what..its christmas and the bills will always be rolling..some months more than others.. JUST DO IT!

I got lucky, my wife hated how complex the TV was to operate in the lounge via an older AV amp to swap between sources. And our old bluray didn’t work with most newer hard drives.

 

So, simple solution to make it easier for her was all sources plugged to TV, Klein III, a good integrated stereo amp plus a new Oppo connected to Klein via coax.

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38 minutes ago, MattyW said:

Yeah, but I've been bored lately.... Have about 20 things coming off eBay..... 8x LP's, Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTYL 2, various tubes, a modded Realistic 42-2101a phono, headphones etc etc. Yeah, I'll be in trouble soon. :(

mate..you've been shopping! :)  

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Left out the Hashimoto HM-7 Geoff (Aurealis) is putting together for me...

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Input selection on the Klein III coax/optical version is via a front panel toggle switch similar to the Klein I & II.

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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Very nice. Sounds perfect for my downstairs system. I don't expect to run better than 1x DSD occasionally. Most use will be coax and Toslink though all three will see use ;)

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Damn, I hope the Hashimoto HM-7 improves my vinyl rig. The Gieseler Gross + Kraftwerk PSU is actually noticeably better than the results I'm getting from vinyl just now. I can't help but feel disappointed in that seeing as how much more $ I have tied up in the analog side of things. The Gross is currently beating it silly. :(

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2 minutes ago, MattyW said:

Damn, I hope the Hashimoto HM-7 improves my vinyl rig. The Gieseler Gross + Kraftwerk PSU is actually noticeably better than the results I'm getting from vinyl just now. I can't help but feel disappointed in that seeing as how much more $ I have tied up in the analog side of things. The Gross is currently beating it silly. :(

You should really see them both as separate mediums, rather than one is better than the other, both to be enjoyed for what they're worth.  That being said though, my vinyl rig costs 15x more than my current digital rig that consists off the Klein III + Kraftwerk psu.  Is it 15x better than my digital rig, - no but there are areas which it performs much better than my digital rig. YMMV..

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I actually had a side of Eric Clayton's MTV Unplugged come on that I ripped when I had my Supex SD900 Super....  Just magic.  I never should have sold that cart. It was retipped by Garrott Bros with a shibata. Might just be a case of putting a run of Neotech UPOCC in between the phono and pre as I have the DAC rather than Litz copper. I'll play with it a bit. 

 

Long story short,  things are pretty spectacular with the Gross DAC + Kraftwerk PSU right now. :)

Edited by MattyW

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Hello 👋🏼 - Just popping in to keep an eye on things here... this DAC has been recommended by a few people to me now for an awesome and affordable DAC for my poor budget... Holding off for the minute to read some more reviews, build some more cash up and hope a 3 input device magically becomes available 😬 - I have no idea which input option to go at this stage.

 

Cheers. 

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Honest question here... how would this compare? I know this an old unit but extremely highly regarded, a little cheaper and 3 inputs.

 

 

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No idea,  I've bought a 16x Phillips TDA1543 DAC to try.... Has 3x inputs.

 

Problem is nothing ever compares to Clays creations. I've come to believe that no DAC without output transformers can't compete.  Transformers seem to bring the musicality and holographic imaging of tubes though without the colour.  I've experimented with external SUT after AKM 4497EQ DAC's and it's nice though lacks the bandwidth of Clays creations..... Just flat out better.

 

If a 3 input version of the Klein DAC III comes out I'm on board....  Unless this DAC using NOS chips turns out far better than expected ;)

Edited by MattyW

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No idea,  I've bought a 16x Phillips TDA1543 DAC to try.... Has 3x inputs.

 

Problem is nothing ever compares to Clays creations. I've come to believe that no DAC without output transformers can compete.  Transformers seem to bring the musicality and holographic imaging of tubes though without the colour.  I've experimented with external SUT after AKM 4497EQ DAC's and it's nice though lacks the bandwidth of Clays creations..... Just flat out better.

 

If a 3 input version of the Klein DAC III comes out I'm on board....  Unless this DAC using NOS chips turns out far better than expected [emoji6]

What dac is that?

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Thanks @MattyW - It’s definitely something I’ve got to consider. The Chord stuff is alway highly rated. I remember hearing a Mojo for the first time and was blown away. And the 3 inputs is a huge future proofing bonus as my network streamer is only spdif, however I’d say I will be replacing that in the future and would prefer USB...

 

Oh, and the other thing, $650 for the Klein but to get the “best performance” out of it, it requires a $295 better power box, while the Chord is top performance out of the box??

 

Edit: and as a bonus plays DSD

Edited by reeza78

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@Gieseler Audio

 

Hi Clay,

do you think it would be possible and make sense to add DSD playback via an internal pcb jumper to the Klein III like the switchable filters?

IMO, this should not increase much the manufacturing costs of this great DAC.

AFAIK, the AK4495 allows up to DSD128 so it would be a nice option to upsample via software to DSD128 and convert with the Klein III.

Thanks

 

Matt

Edited by matth

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Hi Matt,

I would love to add DSD compatibility but to do that you need to run the AK4495 in software mode & to do that you need a micro.

Lot more works & parts unfortunately.

Cheers

Clay

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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Good morning all. Almost ready to pull the trigger on a new DAC. Apologies for the forthcoming dumb question and no disrespect at all, just learning still...

 

The DAC chip in the Klein is only a $15 chip; what makes the price so high for the unit itself and what’s make a $15 chip sound good? 

 

How would this compare to say something like the Topping DX7S? Can be had for around $600, offers a lot more and from all indications is a really good unit. 

 

Cheers. 

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3 minutes ago, reeza78 said:

The DAC chip in the Klein is only a $15 chip; what makes the price so high for the unit itself and what’s make a $15 chip sound good? 

The DAC chip is only part of the equation. The Klein III DAC sounds good because it has a good DAC chip, input stage (Amanero USB),  output stages (Jensen) and power supply.  Clay is superb in the art of marrying all of these elements into a cohesive unit at a good price.  

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17 minutes ago, reeza78 said:

Good morning all. Almost ready to pull the trigger on a new DAC. Apologies for the forthcoming dumb question and no disrespect at all, just learning still...

 

The DAC chip in the Klein is only a $15 chip; what makes the price so high for the unit itself and what’s make a $15 chip sound good? 

 

How would this compare to say something like the Topping DX7S? Can be had for around $600, offers a lot more and from all indications is a really good unit. 

 

Cheers. 

 

A DAC is more than the DAC chipset itself... the Klein III has top-notch parts throughout, including the lovely Jensen output transformers and Amanero USB input stage. If you add up the component costs, and add up the cost of Clay's labour in designing and constructing these DACs, frankly I'm amazed that he can afford to sell them for less than $1k.

 

Even if they were sold at $1k the Klein III would be a screaming bargain in my opinion - they are THAT good.

 

What makes a $15 DAC chip sound good? Well, first and foremost, it's not simply following the DAC chip manufacturer's implementation schematic to the letter, making up some PCBs, populating them on robotised machines, throwing them into a fancy case, and selling them en-masse via Aliexpress, ebay and Massdrop. ;)  Good DAC manufacturers optimise the circuit, listen, measure, tweak, improve. 

 

I've heard a number of the ho-hum Chinese DACs with the latest and greatest chips. The chipset does not maketh the DAC, that's for sure.

 

The Toppings appear to measure beautifully (there are quite a few websites who seem to specialise in measuring them!) but the ones that I've heard sound quite sterile in my experience and opinion. I'm not a fan.

 

 

Edited by pete_mac

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Thanks for the replies, makes a lot of sense. As for Topping you do get a lot but, I’m not really a fan of ESS chips personally, they do tend to sound, well yeah a little sterile as you said pete_mac. 

 

Id love to go the Klein and Kraftwerk combo, but I actually want all 3 inputs options available which unfortunately can’t be done on the Klein. May I’ll have to save for the Fein. 

 

Its a hard to choose however, Klein and Kraftwerk $995 or the Fein by itself $2000. 

 

I guess I would use my Yamaha WXC50 as the transport for now using its digital coax so probably don’t need USB... If I wanted a decent unit to replace the Yamaha down the road as a media player what would I be looking at, and I guess most would probably offer coax out? But then if I wanted to use my computer or PMP I’d be stuck.

 

Cheers. 

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Sorry, I'm drifting a bit off-topic in Clay's Klein III thread, but I currently use a Squeezebox Touch via USB to the Klein III, but I'm seriously considering the Allo USBRIDGE in future, which is supposedly a sonically superior alternative:

 

https://allo.com/sparky/usbridge.html

 

 

Edited by pete_mac

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Is there any sonic difference between using USB or SPDIF coaxial or it doesn't really matter?

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25 minutes ago, reeza78 said:

Is there any sonic difference between using USB or SPDIF coaxial or it doesn't really matter?

 

Yes, there can be a sonic difference, but it's not cut and dry - for me, it ultimately depends upon the source gear.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Hi Matt,

I would love to add DSD compatibility but to do that you need to run the AK4495 in software mode & to do that you need a micro.

Lot more works & parts unfortunately.

Cheers

Clay

+1

Did not know that DSD runs in software mode only.

Thanks for clarification.

ATB

Matt

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8 hours ago, pete_mac said:

Sorry, I'm drifting a bit off-topic in Clay's Klein III thread, but I currently use a Squeezebox Touch via USB to the Klein III, but I'm seriously considering the Allo USBRIDGE in future, which is supposedly a sonically superior alternative:

 

https://allo.com/sparky/usbridge.html

 

 

The USBridge and Sparky will be replaced by an audiophile SBC based on the processor of the RPI this year. 

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/vendor-s-bazaar/294940-fifo-buffer-rpi-sbcs-305.html#post5678861

 

Matt

Edited by matth

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