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New Prototype Dac


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After owning a few of Clays dac’s (all giant killers) I would put my total faith in what he recommended to me.   Whether it be the newest or the slightly older one.   It’s as simple as that. 

Edited by Bill125812
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Hi everyone.   Sorry for the delay but we ended up doing some last minute revisions on the board & the new case CNC work needed some fine tuning to make sure everything was spot bef

For the record the AK4495 that I’m using is actually more expensive than the AK4493 which would normally  be used in that series of DAC. Sure it is a older older model (2015) but it was thei

Wow, that's an extremely narrow-minded and misguided comment!   Don't you own an Denafrips Ares II - which uses discrete R2R boards? By many accounts (not mine BTW) this is outdated technolo

13 hours ago, Gabehcuod said:

Why would you release a band new DAC with a chip that's already outdated other than to save a couple dollars?
People that buy this stuff surprise me.

Which exact DAC chip are you suggesting he should be using?

The AK4495EQ which @Gieseler Audio is looking at using is still current in the AKM lineup.

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1 hour ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Actually  it did not involve that much time  so I have designed a second version of the new board that will suite the AK4493 chip. That way I can order a small quantity of both versions, build one of each & do some comparison measurement/listening 

tests.

Then whatever performs the best will go into the new model.

However from past experience I find the power supply and output stage has a far bigger influence on the sound than the actual chip used.

It's my understanding that implementation is is quite often more important than what particular DAC chip is used.

 

It does raise the question though would you get much advantage from a substantially more expensive chip like the AK4497 or the flagship AK4499?

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AKM chips really shine with DSD but this DAC is a basic design & the chip is operating in hardware mode so alas - no DSD.

It is a tough decision but to add DSD I have to run the chip in software mode, add a microprocessor, code & a display.

Now no problem doing that but the added parts & build time certainly bump the price up quite a bit.

This is a very basic design, DAC chip, PSU's & output transformers using top quality parts - result - impressive sound at a entry level price.

I was thinking of doing a second version with display etc but then that would virtually be equivalent to my Fein II so no point.

AK4497/AK4499 yes nice DAC's but I'm saving them for new higher end models which will be happening soon.

 

 

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This particular Thread is the perfect example of why SNA is such a great Forum.

 

Everyone, regardless of personal stance, gets to post their thoughts/concerns on an upcoming product and the actual designer in question happily explains his position and planned product strategies moving forward.........

 

So honest and open........

 

Take a bow all................?

 

 

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8 hours ago, Gabehcuod said:

There's a difference between using a different topology and using an outdated chip or FPGA.
Using an outdated chip in a chip DAC is like buying a brand new laptop with a 6th gen CPU. Sure, it might beat a poor implementation but that doesn't change the fact that you should be using the newest tech you can for a price point, especially with DAC technology that is constantly evolving.

 

Nup!

 

I use a modded player that uses the TDA1541A, a very old chip and if implemented well it can keep up with many of the latest and greatest.

 

Comparing it to computers is flawed.

 

Edit: Clay makes great DAC's and knows his stuff well, and they are very reasonable priced for what you get in build and performance.

Edited by muon*
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On 16/05/2020 at 9:51 PM, Snoopy8 said:

Would not have expected you to read out about MQA for Gieseler DACs.  It was buried in one of threads on an older model DAC that I happen to have then.  

 

I have written a lot about MQA and Clays DAC's in the past.   Just to recap here is the skinny.   When they convert a recording to MQA they determine the frequency above which its all noise.   Bits are chucked away if that frequency is above 48k to ensure its 48k.   If it's all noise then only noise is chucked away.  Then later when played back they guess at the bits chucked way.   Of course if it was all noise above 48k then no guessing is required.  This chucking away and guessing is actually a downsampling and upsampling filter pair, called 'folding' by MQA, and MQA has tons to choose from.   They analyse the audio to determine the best one to use and transmit the one used with the audio.   You can do an internet search and get the gory detail if you like - but it's not really important.   The important thing is when they convert it to MQA very few recordings, I seem to recall less than 1 in 1000, have any significant frequencies above 48k, so the filter used simply chops it off at 48k.   Players like Audirvana that I use output the 48k from MQA, so except in very rare cases it's the same as being played by a MQA DAC anyway.   Bottom line - IMHO its not worth worrying about.

 

Thanks

Bill  

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32 minutes ago, Jeddie said:

Not sure if I should get one of your power supplies for my Klein III or wait for your new dac?

6rZ8g8R.jpg

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Jeddie

ETA on the new DAC 

The pcb's are on the way so hopefully they will arrive late next week.
With Covid-19 restrictions shipping times are a bit unpredictable at the moment.

I currently have a sample case but haven't made a final decision yet so 

that  will delay things slightly.
As soon as the boards arrive I will build up a unit, have a good listen & then I will be

in a better position to see how it compares with the current Klein III.

At this stage and all going well I would think the new model will be available in 3 to 4 weeks.

Definitely worth waiting for as it has quite a few technical improvements and a better slicker 

appearance as well.

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio
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  • 2 weeks later...


  • 2 weeks later...

@Gieseler Audio, nice to know new DAC is coming up great. If there is a demo unit circulating, it will be much appreciated if you include me.

 

Thanks

Edited by Nope
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On 05/06/2020 at 7:23 PM, Herbs said:

Is there any reason why it wouldn't work with windows 10?

 

Yes Clay's DAC's work with Windows - you just have to download the appropriate driver.   But I dislike it personally because sometimes during a big widows update it seems to disappear.   That's why I use a Mac.   It doesn't often happen though - but when it does it is a bit annoying.

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba
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On 14/06/2020 at 8:36 PM, Nope said:

@Gieseler Audio, nice to know new DAC is coming up great. If there is a demo unit circulating, it will be much appreciated if you include me.

 

Thanks

Same to me. Would jump on a pass around demo if that becomes available. Have been contemplating a new DAC but always feel like it would be a sideways move. 

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  • 1 month later...


Hi everyone.

 

Sorry for the delay but we ended up doing some last minute revisions on the board & the new case CNC work needed some fine tuning

to make sure everything was spot before actually ordering production cases.

The DAC board/design is totally finished & thoroughly tested.

The custom case CAD files have now been accepted by the case manufacturer.

I have pulled the trigger on the order but unfortunately the Japanese case manufacture has just started it's summer break holiday, Aug 8 - Aug 16th.

Then there is eleven business days for production plus 3 - 4 days shipping time.

 That puts the ETA at around the  4 - 8th of September.

Once again sorry for the big delay but IMHO it is definitely worth the wait.

Initial  testing put the sound quality a little ahead of a Fein II & the new case is a serious step above my current cases.

I'll save all the juicy details for the official release but this is a rough outline.

Base model design with no display but engineered for maximum sound quality.

Three digital inputs - USB, Coax & Optical.

AK4493EQ DAC chip with a total of eleven independent supplies.

On board pre regulated PSU with a massive 500 mH choke.

New improved S/PDIF input stage based on the AK4118 rather than the previous Wolfston chip.

Four layer board with separate power & ground planes which also eliminates any pcb links.

Cost will be around  $1200 

 

Stay tuned!

 

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio
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5 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

On board pre regulated PSU with a massive 500 mH choke.

@Gieseler Audio

 

In regard to the PSU Clay, back on page 1 you said 'it will have the equivalent of a Kraftwerk Gold Tune Enhanced PSU built in'

Is that still the case?

 

Does this mean your new Dac does not need one of your external Kraftwerk PSU's?

 

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32 minutes ago, Jeddie said:

@Gieseler Audio

 

In regard to the PSU Clay, back on page 1 you said 'it will have the equivalent of a Kraftwerk Gold Tune Enhanced PSU built in'

Is that still the case?

 

Does this mean your new Dac does not need one of your external Kraftwerk PSU's?

That is my understanding...

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I am also curious to know,  as like @Jeddie

In regard to the PSU Clay, new Dac does not need one of your external Kraftwerk PSU's? For the new prototype DAC.

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10 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

AK4493EQ DAC chip with a total of eleven independent supplies.

On board pre regulated PSU with a massive 500 mH choke.

Clay has already posted that the new DAC has its own built in high quality PSU. So, start your engines and put in your order... ? 

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Hi everyone sorry for the delay.

Saturday night and I was watching a movie.
?

OK yes it does have a low noise power supply built in that is similar to a Kraftwerk.

The big choke is a added bonus.

In light of that there is no need to add a external DC power supply.

The standard supplied EI core external transformer will do the job nicely.

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio
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Correct.
 

I expected them to sound very similar because they both use the same AK4493 DAC chip & the same

Jensen output transformers.
The reason the new one sounds slightly better is probably due to the improved filtering in the main PSU.

I am using a huge 500mh choke between the main filter capacitors & this totally removes the usual sawtooth 

spikey ripple that the regulator would normally have to deal with.

 

The reasons the Fein II costs more are.

On board micro & associated circuitry.

OLED display 

Extra support required due to firmware etc.

And the main one being a much longer build time.

The chassis work is quite involved (hole drilling filing etc)

Machining the front panels, edge polishing, engraving colour fill, panel attachment & wiring.

The new case costs double but all the mechanical work is done.

I simply drop in the PCB & attach with four screws - all done.

At some point the Fein II will receive the same treatment but that will be down the track a bit.

Phew!

Hope that explains things.

 

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8 minutes ago, Gieseler Audio said:

The new case costs double but all the mechanical work is done.

I have seen cases from that Japanese source and they do look and feel good.  Can't wait to see and learn more about the Klein IV!  Sorry, Clay, can't use it in my setup.

1 hour ago, kelossus said:

So this new DAC is roughly 40% cheaper, has a better case and sounds better than the Fein II?

8 minutes ago, Bill125812 said:

Just means that people get Clays brilliance at an unbelievably low price 

I suspect Clay could easily have made this the Fein III with improved sound and better case and none of us will be any wiser. And he will be much richer!  

 

We are indeed blessed with people like Clay and you, Bill, who produce excellent products that compete with overseas products that cost many times more. ? 

 

P/s not associated with Clay and Bill in anyway.

 

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I own a Gieseler Klein Dac 11 and am patiently and excitedly awaiting the arrival of Clay's new Dac...

What is confusing me  is in working out how many different Geiseler Dacs (with their power units) their are and what their release order is and trying to fit my model into the scheme of things to get an idea of how it stacks up...

@Snoopy8 provided me with a useful reference guide... reviews ...

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Clay has recently got a Aries G1 from Mike Lenehan.   He is very impressed.   Mike recently installed a system with an old Gross USB only DAC I have and a G1 and was very impressed.  The person will be getting Clys new DAC when released.   So impressed he wants to build a special cabinet for the G!, Clay's DAC on an isolation platform which should sound very impressive.   I found with the Gross USB only sounded noticablt better,   I do not know if thats the case with the new DAC, but once things have settled down a bt it could be something Clay can investigate - hint hint.

 

BTW when Mike releases his new speaker there will be a comparison between this DAC, The Grandinote and the Chord TT2 direct connected to speakers.   These other DAC's are MUCH more expensive, but I have zero doubt Clays DAC will hold its own.   We already knows Clay is a genius producing likely the best value for money DAC in the world, but if it takes out those two DAC's he deserves a Nobel prize.   And do not think, no way that will happen.   My USB only Gross DAC took out a Direct Stream.

 

Thanks

Bill

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Very interested in this new DAC - might finally tempt me to try something new (been casting sideways glances at used Fein II's in the classifieds...)

 

Any chance of a BNC output instead/as well as the standard SPDIF plug? 

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This is a fairly basic/compact design with limited rear panel space so only one

coaxial connection which will be RCA  as that is the most commonly available.

However  on my higher end models I will probably have BNC & AES/EBU input connections as well.

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The case manufacturer has now given me a shipping date of the 9th of September.

The delay is due to orders building up over their summer break.

FedEx shipping time is about three days so ETA should be around the  12/13 of September.

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio
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Would love to see an AES input on one of your DACs, clay. 
Are the higher end models you speak of looking like a September release also? 

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