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Klein III owners thread

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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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36 minutes ago, pete_mac said:

Thanks for sharing!!!

My pleasure!

It seems to be very interesting, but we are OT now.

Matt

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On 31/12/2018 at 3:35 PM, reeza78 said:

...hope a 3 input device magically becomes available 😬 - I have no idea which input option to go at this stage.

 

Cheers. 

@gieseler Audio

Just want to add my interest to a 3 input Klein III. Don't need remote control or XLR connections.

Keep up the good work Clay. 

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32 minutes ago, Jeddie said:

@gieseler Audio

Just want to add my interest to a 3 input Klein III. Don't need remote control or XLR connections.

Keep up the good work Clay. 

Guys,

Clay answered this point at page 1 of this thread.

Matt

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8 minutes ago, matth said:

Guys,

Clay answered this point at page 1 of this thread.

Matt

 

Thanks for destroying our dreams Matt... 😉

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