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Mutec MC3+ interface/reclocker & Abbas Audio DAC2.2SE TDA1541A R1

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Ok, so I've the Mutec MC3+ interface on order as well as a new Abbas Audio DAC2.2SE TDA1541A R1 from the Ukraine. From everything I've read this DAC will be a revelation vs anything I've used before. I'll endeavour to get a review and my impressions up here once it has been built and I receive it.

 

The Abbas Audio DAC's are all hand built in the Ukraine using high quality vintage components. Transformers are hand wound, and copper wiring used throughout is itself custom using various strands from other vintage equipment to achieve optimal results. Lot's of information on his forum, most of which is very much beyond me. The similarities in circuit design with the SW1X Audio range of DAC's is what initially caught my attention with these DAC's and indeed Mr Abbas is the engineer behind the circuit design with both companies though Dr Slawa uses different more modern materials to voice his SW1X versions differently, so those are much closer to the sound signature of Audio Note Japan equipment.

 

I was initially looking at the SW1X DAC's though the price was a bit beyond me though luckily a @muon* pointed out the similarities with the Abbas DAC's and I started investigating those so here I am  :)

 

I very much look forward to receiving this as it's very much a boutique item with high built quality and from everything I've read, performance to match.

 

Abbas Audio forum can be found here:

 

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&u=https://abbasaudio.listbb.ru/&prev=search

Edited by MattyW

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Will be interestedf to hear your thoughts. I was looking at these along with audial

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1 hour ago, gypr1961 said:

Will be interestedf to hear your thoughts. I was looking at these along with audial

Yes, from what little I can find out these seem to be one of the great audio bargains..... Still bleeding expensive to me though I believe a value at its performance level.

 

I note that you're in Brisbane also? Perhaps you could drop by for an audition once I have mine?

Edited by MattyW

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Woohoo, my DAC is complete and the RIAA Tube Preamp is nearly complete. They're just winding the 240VAC transformer for it. Then it will just be the wait for it to come in the post  :)

 

 

Details from the listing:

 

"Here is the custom made abbasaudio DAC 2.2SE with the tube single ended output  stage, in a metal hausing with the black wooden front .It is assembled "plug and play" device.


AC: 220...240  or 110...120v (setting before shipping)

 

The device is based on the legendary Philips TDA1541 chip.However, the best chip requires appropriate quality components around it. Chip does not play singly.
We used the best components selected in a special way to get a perfect harmony.
This choice is not random but the result of a careful and long term hearing examination.

 

We dont use modern high-end ultra pure copper or silver wires inside DAC.We used only an old vintage copper wires taken from klangfilm ,telefunken,siemens sound equipment. Stranded wires are composed of different varieties of copper strings on a certain principle that leads to the device's ability to transmit the subtlest musical nuances.


We believe that it is the only way to recover the lost life in the recorded music.

DAC 2.2SE features:

 

1. Tube DEM clock ( E180F, EAA91 )
2. CS8414 SPDIF receiver 24/96
3. Shunt voltage regulators based on the germanuim transistors.
4. Vintage and modern audio components are used:allen bradley,philips,telefunken,
Capacitors: Black Gate (2pc FK series),Audio Note kaisei, Nichicon muse KX, Nichicon muse KZ
Resistors: allen bradley, audionote tantalum.
5. Board covered with gold and a special varnish for best sound
6. Stranded wires composed of vintage copper wires taken from klangfilm,telefunken,siemens sound equipment
7. I/U convertor  based on the special  low noise germanium transistor. As a consequence of this fact, an excellent reproduction of quiet sounds,at -60..-80db level
8. PIO output capacitors HYDRA or siemens from 60th
9. Shortest signal path, the tube output stage with the low output imphedance (5687,EZ35).
10. NOS mode(non oversampling)
11. Genuine TDA1541R1 or TDA1541A  philips factory
12. Siemens film capacitors in the DEM cells
13.Separate power transformers for digital and analog sections. Separate transformer for DEM clock.
14.Telefunken choke from 30th in the power supply of output stage.
15. EZ35 tube rectifier


The device has an incredible tonal purity and clarity!
The result of our efforts are the deep, accurate bass and the extremely smooth, soft, like analog sound!

Output: 4v RMS (1khz,0db Full Scale)


Dimensions: 440X200X100
Black front panel.

You get with this device:
1. 5687 tube NOS
2. EZ35 (6X5)  tube NOS
3. E180F tube NOS
4. EAA91 tube NOS"

 

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Edited by MattyW

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Ok, so I've the Mutec MC-3+ USB hooked up through to my crappy Lamp Audio TDA1541A DAC and wowza, I never expected this difference.  Better attack,  greater definition and fine detail,  more and better controlled bass.  I won't elaborate further as this has plenty of reviews elsewhere. I can't wait to hear the Abbas DAC2.2SE with it 

Edited by MattyW

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9 hours ago, MattyW said:

Ok, so I've the Mutec MC-3+ USB hooked up through to my crappy Lamp Audio TDA1541A DAC and wowza, I never expected this difference.  Better attack,  greater definition and fine detail,  more and better controlled bass.  I won't elaborate further as this has plenty of reviews elsewhere. I can't wait to hear the Abbas DAC2.2SE with it 

Ironically, the cheaper the DAC you're plugging it into, the greater the benefit will be though.

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2 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

Ironically, the cheaper the DAC you're plugging it into, the greater the benefit will be though.

The Abbas is SPDIF only so it is required. I need USB, SPDIF and optical inputs. This was the reason I bought the Mutec.  The reclocker was just a nice bonus.  ;)

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16 minutes ago, MattyW said:

The Abbas is SPDIF only so it is required. I need USB, SPDIF and optical inputs. This was the reason I bought the Mutec.  The reclocker was just a nice bonus.  ;)

I understand, I was just pointing out the beauty of using a reclocker and isolator with a cheap DAC.

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2 hours ago, Ittaku said:

I understand, I was just pointing out the beauty of using a reclocker and isolator with a cheap DAC.

Yes,  shockingly good results. I certainly didn't expect it  :)

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Ok, so my Abbas DAC and phono stage have both been completed and are going through 80-90 hours burn in and testing. Then it'll be the potentially long wait for them to come via our wonderful postal service.

Edited by MattyW

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On 24/02/2020 at 8:42 AM, Ittaku said:

Ironically, the cheaper the DAC you're plugging it into, the greater the benefit will be though.

Not so in this case.

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3 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

Not so in this case.

Always one to refute just about anything I post, aren't you? I disagree.

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2 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

Always one to refute just about anything I post, aren't you?

Not necessarily.

 

2 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

I disagree.

It's a SPDIF DAC on the same IC, same SPDIF receiver, etc. Jitter performance depends on the same external clock. Difference is same. Difference sounds just as profound on a great TDA1541 implementation as it does a marginal one. Duly evidenced my TDA1541A fleet.

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3 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

It's a SPDIF DAC on the same IC, same SPDIF receiver, etc. Jitter performance depends on the same external clock. Difference is same. Difference sounds just as profound on a great TDA1541 implementation as it does a marginal one. Duly evidenced my TDA1541A fleet.

You win again, and I bow out, though others are free to do their own comparisons and come to their own conclusions.

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Just now, Ittaku said:

You win again, and I bow out, though others are free to do their own comparisons and come to their own conclusions.

Not a competition, and let's not derail this thread.

 

@MattyW any thought to running it I2S? Mr Abbas could then drop some power circuits etc... make for simpler, and you'd be able to hit higher freq. (Run it simultaneous and go 352k if you like). 

 

There's a few KillerDACs up your way that'd probably love a comparison. Keenly priced. 

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32 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

 

@MattyW any thought to running it I2S? Mr Abbas could then drop some power circuits etc... make for simpler, and you'd be able to hit higher freq. (Run it simultaneous and go 352k if you like). 

 

There's a few KillerDACs up your way that'd probably love a comparison. Keenly priced. 

No, I actually like his approach. SPDIF as a standard interface. Allows easy use of the Mutec to run as an input selector between USB, SPDIF and optical inputs. I'm very much sold on its benefits with respect to galvanic isolation and reclocking the signal after hearing the difference it made with my cheap Lamp Audio DAC.  :)

 

I'll be happy to do comparisons with any KillerDAC owners though probably once our baby is a bit older. Before then I'll just have friends and acquaintances over for a listen. @kelossus and @muon* are high up the list. :)

Edited by MattyW

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16 minutes ago, MattyW said:

No, I actually like his approach. SPDIF as a standard interface. Allows easy use of the Mutec to run as an input selector between USB, SPDIF and optical inputs. I'm very much sold on its benefits with respect to galvanic isolation and reclocking the signal after hearing the difference it made with my cheap Lamp Audio DAC.  :)

 

I'll be happy to do comparisons with any KillerDAC owners though probably once our baby is a bit older. Before then I'll just have friends and acquaintances over for a listen. @kelossus and @muon* are high up the list. :)

 

Can work. The only caveat I'd offer is that timing potential is ultimately limited by the SPDIF receiver... though if I2S you're only significantly (generally) gaining if the reclocker is very physically close to the DAC IC... though I'd rate the ultimate potential of I2S over SPDIF. This, and hi res (at least high freq) on a TDA1541 is actually quite nice.

 

But yeah... that price is absolutely rockin'. Let alone for a boutique item. Pretty solid going there.

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1 hour ago, rmpfyf said:

 

Can work. The only caveat I'd offer is that timing potential is ultimately limited by the SPDIF receiver... though if I2S you're only significantly (generally) gaining if the reclocker is very physically close to the DAC IC... though I'd rate the ultimate potential of I2S over SPDIF. This, and hi res (at least high freq) on a TDA1541 is actually quite nice.

 

But yeah... that price is absolutely rockin'. Let alone for a boutique item. Pretty solid going there.

Yes,  I'm rather expecting it to be a giant killer..... A uh, killer DAC.  :P

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Ok, it's posted today.  Now the long wait for it to come in the mail. A downside is the faceplates of DAC and phono stage will not match. One will be matte black and the other piano gloss black. 

 

Once it arrives I'll post to a mate in Melbourne to paint for me with 2 pack and send back to me. I'm thinking metallic dark grey would be good.  :)

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Woohoo! Onboard for delivery today!  Please post your initial listening impressions when you can @muon*

 

I'll arrange to drop by over the weekend to pick it up  :)

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2 hours ago, MattyW said:

Woohoo! Onboard for delivery today!  Please post your initial listening impressions when you can @muon*

 

I'll arrange to drop by over the weekend to pick it up  :)

Hopefully you get it today but they could just be taunting you, my amps spent 2 days "onboard" this week before I got hold of them

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9 minutes ago, gypr1961 said:

Hopefully you get it today but they could just be taunting you, my amps spent 2 days "onboard" this week before I got hold of them

Wow! that sux, but I've been there but was just one day onboard.

 

No sign yet @MattyW but will let you know straight away when it happens, I know you are hanging for the arrival.

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Been conversing with Matt while this arrived, and after getting the right tubes in the right sockets I'm impressed, this thing is not syrupy, nor is it clinical, but it is accurate in the sense that it delivers every instrument in a very real way. Playing Gary Moore ATM.

Everything has the right weight and tone, It's hard for me to convey how this sounds, nothing stands out singularly.... It's very natural and real sounding in It's presentation, nothing is missing in any way.

20200402_170140.jpg.626bd54bd52b172c7dee4ea6736be992.jpg20200402_165356.jpg.f293c585acd4e70d2fe1eff45269b7b3.jpg

 

I can imagine a guitarist being able to pick what the guitars are and what strings they are using, piano is sounding real like everything is.

 

And this is using a very cheap ass DVD player as a transport. Should level up again when Matt has it fed by the Mutec master clock unit he has. I'm not hearing this DAC's full potential but still I'm impressed.

 

I'll leave it for Matt to say more about this after he picks it up on the weekend, as he will hear it with a better signal feed and the true potential it has.

Congrats, @MattyW , very nice acquisition :thumb:

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Posted (edited)

Really hear what this thing can do when you pop in a quality recording, after I had spun Gary Moore and The Best of the Doors (had to tell Jim to calm the hell down!) I slipped in Janet Seidel's 'Don't Smoke In Bed', a very well recorded Jazz CD and Janet won best Jazz vocals award in 2006, straight away I thought to myself "now were talking!"

 

Edit: Eva Cassidy's CD 'Time After Time' released in 2000 (all previously unreleased tracks) is very nice! through the Abbas DAC.

 

Do I need one of these DAC's? no, do I want one of these DAC's? well...........yeah! xD

Edited by muon*

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Mmm, I think I need it Ian.  ;)

 

From what you've told me,  it's that end game component I've been searching for. I'm done after this. Especially since I've the top of the line Abbas phono stage too which is meant to be every bit as good.  :)

 

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