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GIESELER Fein DAC II owners thread

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Hello, just wanted to check if there is anyone in the group happen to compare it with Consonance Reference DSD1.1  Thanks.

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Over the last couple of days I have had a Fein II on loan and managed to compare it to my Gross.

The Fein II has a built in Gold Tune power supply so I just used the external power supply that came with it. The Gross was powered by one of Clay’s external Gold Tune Kraftwerks.

The Fein II clearly provided the better sound quality in my system. The most obvious differences were that it was smoother, with less hard or harsh edges, and had better separation within the soundstage. The Fein II soundstage was less cluttered, most noticeably around the center of the stage on the tracks I was listening to. The soundstage was also a bit larger, including being deeper.

Piano was more natural sounding and seemed to be tonally better balanced with longer decay. Bass was a little more authoritative.

Overall, the Fein II resulted in a smoother, more enjoyable and more mesmerising listening experience. It produced a less digital and perhaps even more tube-like sound.
@Snoopy8 also came by for a listen and seemed to be in general agreement.

Another great product from Clay!

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The Fein II sounded more analogue than the Gross with gold tuned Kraftwerk PSU. Perhaps slightly better mids with Diana Krall (My Love Is) and better presentation with piano (Gjeilo North Country II).

 

I am glad I no longer have a standalone DAC setup (Marie Kondo struck!). I told @RussB that I would have been severely tempted to changeover to the Fein II based on it being more analogue. And the difference is obvious even with the short listening time.

 

Well done Clay for delivering a worthy successor to the Gross in the Fein II.

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@RussB @Snoopy8 thanks for the detailed comparison. Not only does it have a great PSU inbuilt but a step up sound wise to the gross. I was wondering for a moment there snoopy8 if you had left Maria K at the bus stop and were coming back to the separates! I am keen also to go the all in one pathway but the Fein II is really tempting me. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, noddyc43 said:

I was wondering for a moment there snoopy8 if you had left Maria K at the bus stop and were coming back to the separates! I am keen also to go the all in one pathway but the Fein II is really tempting me. 

Still happily on the Marie Kondo bus!  🚌    Looking at how to incorporate room correction...

 

Not sure what you have at the moment, but DO be tempted by the Fein II.  😀  The Gross DAC which I previously had could compete with DACs costing many times more (reviews and impressions here).  The Gross was further improved with the PSU.  Don't know how Clay weaved his magic, but he managed to improve on the Gross + PSU and at same time, made the Fein II cheaper (** no need to buy separate PSU)!

Edited by Snoopy8
Added **

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Posted (edited)

I currently have an azur 851n I use as a streamer and DAC. I have heard many good reviews of the gross + PSU as you stated and am torn between the Fein II paired with a  sMS 200 Sotm and sticking with my current pre/power setup. Or going extreme and an all in one option like a pair of devialet phantoms. Or in between and the new all in one offerings from the naim uniti series. I guess I just have to work out what I see as important at present. Minimisation of components or persuit of my ideal sound. 

Edited by noddyc43

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Just letting everyone know that I currently have built up stock of

USB only & 3 - input versions. 

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No unfortunately - way too big licences fees for a small setup like me.

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5 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Just letting everyone know that I currently have built up stock of

USB only & 3 - input versions. 

I swear you are going to make me poor(er) than I am if you keep this up! *joke*

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Posted (edited)

Hey I’ve just found out Esoteric have used the AK4493 (used in Fein II)

in their new $10K SACD/CD player.

https://www.ttvjaudio.com/Esoteric-K-05Xs-SACD-CD-Player-p/eso0000089.htm

Good to know I’m not the only one who thinks this chip sounds so good!

Quote

Following in the Footsteps of the Grandioso K1:
The New Dual Mono D/A Converter

The digital-analog converter section has been fully redesigned based on the latest platform used in the Grandioso K1. An AK4493 32-bit DAC from Asahi Kasei Electronics has been combined with premium components and the latest design technology to provide an exceptional level of sound quality.

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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Posted (edited)

Update.

We have just completed a small Fein II firmware revision which adds a few behind the scene improvements 

but also adds a brand new menu feature.

High low output level option.

Low is the default & the same as before at the standard 2.0 rms.

High is 2.65v rms. 

It is only a small increase but may helpful in a direct DAC to power amplifier situation.

The behind the scenes stuff is mainly improved DSD to PCM switching.

The new firmware will go out to all owners this week & is a simple process of swapping a plug in chip.

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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Posted (edited)

There are 10+ Fein II’s out there in the field now so some owner feedback would be great!

 After all this is what this thread is all about.

Also there is a new final revision Linux firmware for the Amanero USB board.

I have tested this & I’m very impressed.

Perfect DSD playback right up to DSD512 with no pops on track or sample rate change.

Any owners wanting more info on this please PM me.

 

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio
added info

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RE high low gain setting on the Fein II

I just been listening carefully to a few different tracks  & I think the "high gain" setting actually sounds a bit better.

It's hard doing a accurate compare because the volume level changes but the high gain setting seems a little fuller, slightly less sibilant & smoother.

Anyway I just thought it would mention it & it might be worth doing a comparison yourself & see what you think.

Technically I'm struggling to work out why there would be a difference but maybe the higher gain setting is changing a few parameters around the 

internal op-amps which possibly results in a better match with the output transformers.  

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On 30/04/2019 at 7:02 AM, Gieseler Audio said:

There are 10+ Fein II’s out there in the field now so some owner feedback would be great!

 After all this is what this thread is all about.

Also there is a new final revision Linux firmware for the Amanero USB board.

I have tested this & I’m very impressed.

Perfect DSD playback right up to DSD512 with no pops on track or sample rate change.

Any owners wanting more info on this please PM me.

 

 

I have also upgraged my firmware and I am running a Linux front end system using Daphile (previously Antipodes/Vortex box)with a Gross.  I think the improvement is significant and works in my system with no pops at all.  I would highly recommend the firmware update.

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