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GIESELER Kompakt DAC owners thread


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Hi everyone and thanks for all the great feedback on the Kompakt DAC.

 

It seems like all those hours of research & testing paid off.

Not all owners like to post on SNA so here is just one example of a satisfied new owner who emailed me today.

 

Quote from serial number 007

 

Hi Clay 

Just wanted to say how pleased I am with the Kompakt dac

I’am amazed by the differences in detail retrieval soundstage and overall the music is a lot more natural sounding.

It’s the placement of instruments and the tonal integrity which blows me away as well

As stated by many others you are true to your word in offering a DAC which is superb sounding and great value to boot

So overall roughly fifty hours in and my little Peachtree itx is in the drawer for good

Thank you for your great service

 

Mike 

 

 

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Okey dokey... this review has been on the slow-burn due to work and other commitments (including assembling nearly half a ton of IKEA flat-pack wardrobe fixtures) but I'm not complaining as it has giv

I have received my Kompakt DAC this afternoon as part of the first batch. Clay has been very helpful to establish whether or not it would be the right product for me. I decided that it was on the basi

Oooh, got home tonight to find a Kompakt sn0003 on the doorstep!   After owning a number of Clays Dacs over the last 8 yrs or so, incl PDX L2 with full Duelunds, Klein SE, USB only Gross wit

7 hours ago, pete_mac said:

Why hello there! 

 

I'll post my impressions later, but I foresee this being the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

 

Kompakt.jpg.f9788a721447c1b01952624a748bacb8.jpg

I put the hard word on Clay for you, Pete. You’re welcome!

 

(Just kidding. He said he already had yours ready to go :D )

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On 09/10/2020 at 6:05 PM, lenticularis said:

Patience grasshopper! 

I've had no time to do that yet. Next chance Sat evening

So how'd ya go?

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On 11/10/2020 at 9:26 AM, Herbs said:

So how'd ya go?

Ok, I had a listen this afternoon.

 

Options:

1. MacBookPro -> Curious cable -> iFi USB Nano 3.0 -> Chord Silverline cable -> Kompakt USB input

2. MBP -> Chord Silverline cable -> iFi USB Nano 3.0 -> Curious cable -> Kompakt

3. MBP -> Curious cable -> Kompakt

 

Option 2 was very slightly preferred to 1. Both Option 2 and Option 1 had more 'fullness' than Option 3, although it was still acceptably clear with just less weight than 2. or 1.

 

4. miniDSP SHD Studio -> Kompakt SPDIF input

I then reverted to my standard Option 4 and didn't use Dirac Live initially because that would have been cheating.  I preferred Option 4 to all of the others.

 

All test tracks were streamed from Tidal Hi-Res by Roon through the MBP

 

Test tracks:

Option 1:

a. Matshkal, Hespèrion XXI and Jordi Savall. 44.1, 24 bit FLAC

b. La gamba for bass and soprano, Hespèrion XXI and Jordi Savall

c. Pavana con su glosa, Hespèrion XXI and Jordi Savall

d. All I Want, Rufus Wainright, Joni Mitchell 75th Birthday Concert

 

Option 2:

a.

b.

c.

d.

e Coyote, Gregg Hansard, Joni Mitchell 75th Birthday Concert

f River, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell 75th Birthday Concert

g Both Sides Now, Joni Mitchell 75th Birthday Concert

h Our House, Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell 75th Birthday Concert

 

Option 3:

a. 

b. 

c. 

d.

e.

 

Edited by lenticularis
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57 minutes ago, lenticularis said:

 

4. miniDSP SHD Studio -> Kompakt SPDIF input

I then reverted to my standard Option 4 and didn't use Dirac Live initially because that would have been cheating.  I preferred Option 4 to all of the others

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience. 

 

If in case you have used Dirac, it would have much better than option 4? Can we call that option 5    miniDSP SHD Studio(with Dirac) -> Kompakt SPDIF input.

 

Now it makes me to think how it would have performed with Auralic Aries in that chain (Auralic Aries>curious cable>Kompakt) .

 

Thanks again for sharing.

Edited by QCY
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Dirac Live in my room is  only a reasonable improvement, prob because it's a difficult room.

 

Based on my previous satisfaction with my former Auralic Aries femto and Klein III, I've no doubt plugging an Aries into the Kompakt would be great.

 

With my Klein I added Clay's topline Enhanced GoldTune Kraftwerk LPSU and I used the Option 2 config, as detailed above (substitute the  Aries for MBP in the Option 2 chain).

Edited by lenticularis
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How are early owners of the Kompakt finding them as they continue to listen?

 

I'm just enjoying mine immensely. The most noticeable difference to me is the amazing instrument separation and the extra width of the soundstage.

 

Clean rich bass is also there in spades. I'm playing Joni Mitchell's 'Night Ride Home' (16 bit, 44.1 FLAC)

The opening bars of the 'Cherokee Louise' track have amazing opening bass notes. I turned off Dirac Live to see if my LF boost was responsible, but no, it was still there without it.

 

Not everyone likes Joni's 'Don Juan's Reckless Daughter' album, but I do 😎.  The late Jaco Pastorius' fretless bass is talking to me like never before...

 

Thanks again Clay for such a fine product at an amazing price.

Edited by lenticularis
improved stereo comment and 2nd album reference.
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On 15/10/2020 at 11:03 AM, lenticularis said:

How are early owners of the Kompakt finding them as they continue to listen?

 

I'm just enjoying mine immensely.

 

Likewise!!

 

I've been really busy over the past week, so I haven't had a chance to properly distil my thoughts. Hopefully I can share some thoughts this weekend.

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Okey dokey... this review has been on the slow-burn due to work and other commitments (including assembling nearly half a ton of IKEA flat-pack wardrobe fixtures) but I'm not complaining as it has given me more time to come to terms with the Kompakt.

 

I previously had the lovely Klein III, which was a clear upgrade over my original Klein.  The Klein III was uprgraded with the Kraftwerk PSU and also had some signal-enhancing goodies between it and my Squeezebox Touch including the Uptone Regen, SBooster BOTW PSU, and Curious Cable USB cable. I found these tweaks to have a positive benefit to the USB output of the Squeezebox Touch, and was really happy with the sound overall.

 

So, when the Kompakt was announced, I did what any sensible bloke would do and sold the lot. ;)

 

Unfortunately, this means that I couldn't do a back-to-back comparison as I did with the Klein vs Klein III back in the day, but fortunately for me the Kompakt is a clear improvement when listening to my usual array of test tracks and well-trodden material. 

 

It still has the lovely organic characteristics of the Kleins, but with noticeably better sound staging. It's as though the different elements in the music (subject to the recording, of course!) are better defined and have more space around them. For me it's not only about resolution - as whilst I do perceive the Kompakt to be more highly resolving than the Kleins, it's really about that sense of space and what it brings to the listening experience. 

 

I love the new casework and overall design too. It's a more premium look and feel than the old Klein design, and is befitting of such a fine sounding piece of kit.

 

I'm absolutely satisfied with this upgrade.  @Gieseler Audio Clay, once again, my digital cup runneth over and I thank you for your work!

 

Now... no 'review' post of mine would be complete without the obligatory nudies and commentary. The people expect (nay demand) it!!

 

 

Hello there! (excuse the dust... black is a pain to photograph in bright light!)

 

Kompakt1.thumb.jpg.6fe9f53256201b50cff8eeebf68cc3c9.jpg

 

 

The new PSU stage with beefy choke and the lovely Nichicon capacitors, including the Gold Tune "Super Through" TOTL filter capacitor. The Jensen output transformers are looking on - what a piece of audio art they are too:

 

Kompakt2.thumb.jpg.904a458b772c5458f6d08be8399adabb.jpg

 

Kompakt5.thumb.jpg.54c1d0f2710dd936063d8421f2e9ff96.jpg

 

Kompakt3.thumb.jpg.a813493242b828fd07e02ef9ee7644cf.jpg

 

 

The brain - the AKM AK4493EQ DAC chip:

 

Kompakt9.thumb.jpg.cd77d27a7ead7c7e2a8490c96d2371eb.jpg

 

 

Regulators for daaaaaaaays!

 

Kompakt10.thumb.jpg.5b71d5dfff05a6e337c60360ed918c2a.jpg

 

 

Lots of lovely Nichicons KA Audio capacitors:

 

Kompakt8.thumb.jpg.b3a18bd1f7ff1b999e89b72455db30eb.jpg

 

 

The mighty Amanero 384 Combo USB input stage:

 

Kompakt7.thumb.jpg.1656b1c2a05d0ad14ceab0ab8d22a379.jpg

 

 

And... the rump:

 

Kompakt4.thumb.jpg.106ccd6ad2c3f10c768db3ea7c21bcb5.jpg

Edited by pete_mac
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Nice to see all the KA's in there, I was already a fan of the KG's, but I used a 10000uf KA in my players PS, nice caps.

 

Lots of nice parts used in that Kompakt, and combined with Clay's design work I'm sure it must sound very nice.

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10 hours ago, lenticularis said:

Pete, you've expressed yourself much more eloquentlyently than I did, and your photos are great.

 

Appreciate the kind words mate. I think we are sharing the same vibe on this lovely, lovely DAC. :)

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On 20/10/2020 at 7:21 PM, pete_mac said:

It's as though the different elements in the music (subject to the recording, of course!) are better defined and have more space around them.

Tracks that are produced, mastered to a high level really do sound amazing. So does the average mp3. There's really nothing to complain about. Looks great, sounds great.

 

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27 minutes ago, Herbs said:

Tracks that are produced, mastered to a high level really do sound amazing. So does the average mp3. There's really nothing to complain about. Looks great, sounds great.

 

 

Absolutely - I have a lot of 320mbps music on my server and it sounds fantastic.

 

I'm still in the honeymoon period with this DAC, although based upon my previous experience with the Klein and Klein III, the honeymoon period tends to morph into a happy and lengthy marriage.

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Full circle:

 

Back around August, having changed my streamer from Auralic Aries Femto to MiniDSP SHD Studio in order to have Dirac Live, I had to relinquish my USB-Klein III in my main system, since the MiniDSP device only has SPDIF coax and Toslink outputs.
 

The Klein III and Enhanced Gold Tune Kraftwerk 2V model was a fantastic DAC paired with the Aries and I was very happy with sound quality. 
 

Buying Kompakt s/n 0001 😎😝😎 has been a great return to Gieseler DACs and pairs well with the SHD Studio, however like most wacky audiophiles, I am distracted by lots of strong recommendations that a A$950 Uptone EtherREgen will improve Ethernet-connected streaming.

 

so...the choice was fork out for an Uptone EtherRegen and fancy Ethernet cables, SFP Ethernet-optical  converters, upmarket switches and so on (because we always have that niggle that there’s something more to be had), or return to using wi-fi streaming with the known quantity of an Aries. I can’t justify stretching to an Aries G1, so that meant hoping to secure another Aries and there are lots of WTBs sitting here on SNA!

Today I got lucky and found an Aries Femto for sale overseas. Hopefully  the sale will go ahead, but you never know with some paranoid overseas sellers who only want to sell to locals. I’ve paid using PP so fingers crossed!

 

Once I have the Aries I can do a direct A-B between the Kompakt and Klein III performance on USB and add that to the Gieseler DAC review thread, but of course I’ll probably be using the Kompakt’s SPDIF when I retain the Dirac Live room/FIR correction of the SHD Studio in the chain.

 

This has been a somewhat expensive deviation. I sold my first Aries Femto so a happy SNAaer and I had upgraded the troublesome original internal wi-fi card so I’ll probably embark on that with my second Aries. My Klein III is in desktop use and the Kraftwerk was sold to offset upgrade expenses. Finding miniDSP’s bundled Volumio pretty crap, I bought into Audirvana and then a year’s sub to Roon, each greatly improving the user interface to Tidal or NAS library. It will be interesting to do a 4-way comparison between:

 

1. NAS/Tidal —>wifi-booster/Ethernet —>SHD Studio(LAN input)

 —>Kompakt(SPDIF)

 

2. NAS/Tidal—>wifi-booster —>Aries —>SHD Studio(USB input)

—>Kompakt(SPDIF)

 

3. NAS/Tidal—>wifi-booster —>Aries —>Kompakt(USB)

 

4. NAS/Tidal—>wifi-booster —>Aries —>Klein III(USB)

 

I’ve no doubt 3. will clearly surpass 4. Previous experience was also that Lightning DS streaming had better SQ than Roon so that’s also up for repeat evaluation.


I should conclude this ramble by saying that my current configuration #1 is sounding pretty great, but the Aries as an indulgent streamer front-end is worth a re-visit. That Aries will sell quickly if I find this full-circle journey has been a furphy.

Edited by lenticularis
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@lenticularis

Looking forward to know your thoughts on various gears. Exciting time.

 

Hope you get the Aries delivered soon to facilitate the comparison.

 

 

Edited by QCY
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 24/10/2020 at 5:37 PM, Drunken Monk said:

@lenticularis

Looking forward to know your thoughts on various gears. Exciting time.

 

Hope you get the Aries delivered soon to facilitate the comparison.

 

 

 

Well, the Aries is sitting with Shopmate (AusPost) in Portland, Oregon since it tripped over the A$1000 limit and requires some processing before they will forward it to me.

 

Actually a few days ago since I plugged in some of Bill's solid copper digital/RCA interconnects in place of his solid silver digital IC, I am in seventh heaven with the balance of my system.  I probably don't need the Aries back in my system but will be interested in using it and then if I don't hear a significant difference compared with my miniDSP SHD Studio (Ethernet streaming) then the Aries will be up for sale and I know it will sell easily.

 

Photo shows Kompakt sitting on top of SHD Studio. Home-assembled Stereo Coffee LDR pre- with silky-oak knobs (everyone should have silky-oak knobs 😝 ) feeds Gamut D200 Mk 3 power into Sonus Faber Concerto Home speakers supported by IsoAcoustics Iso-Puck minis on cheap stands. Bill's quality solid copper/silver RCA-XLR ICs between pre- and power. I am enjoying my system SO much with the quality products from @Gieseler Audio (Clay), @Bill125812 and @stereo coffee (Chris). Not shown is a Shunyata Hydra power-conditioner.

 

I sold my Naim CDS Mk 1 CDP some time ago and bought a humble Yamaha CD-S300. Feeding the Yam through the Kompakt results in great SQ and it cost me 1/10th of what I sold the CDS for!

 

IMG_20201103-edit.jpg

Edited by lenticularis
edited photo
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On 01/10/2020 at 3:10 PM, bhobba said:

Will be using it with the Auralic Aries G1 against the Chord TT2 with M-Scaler, and a Grandinote - all much more expensive DAC's. 

Hello bhobba, is it possible to share your thoughts on above? I hope Kompakt will punch equally to them or might be more.....Thanks

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1 hour ago, ray4410 said:

and now the fun starts
both are new and have had not much play time,will be interesting,time will tell🎼

denafrips+gieseler 004.JPG

denafrips+gieseler 002.JPG

denafrips+gieseler 006.JPG

 

Ray, that whole setup looks like great fun. Nice work 👍 

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Hi All

 

As mentioned above Clay has finished my DAC but due to the pandemic I can't hear it.   It is down at Mike Lenehan's factory like a lot of my gear waiting for the pandemic to ease so there can be a GTG and I decide on exactly what gear to have in my system - tons have been accumulating in the last year or so.   Then there will be a sale on what I do not want.

 

But getting back to the DAC, Mike couldn't hear it on his reference system because he is working on his new Magnesium speakers, so had to go over, with Clay, to Mike's brothers (Russell - he is helping Mike in his factory at the moment) place to hear it in his system.   It has a well known DAC pre (I will not divulge the DAC for various reasons - but it is from a well known maker and has been well reviewed), Monarchy Audio monoblocks (I think) and Mikes ML2 Reference.   Anyway Clay was their making sure everything was connected up correctly.   They switched it on.   The difference was HUGE.   So huge Mike and Russell thought there was something the matter with how it was connected.   Clay just stood there smiling while Mike and Russell checked everything.   Nothing wrong.   The difference really was that HUGE.   Mike's brother ordered one on the spot.   I am now even more confident when we check it out against the Chord and Grandinote it is going to not be outshone by those much more expensive SOTA DAC's - and may even take them like the USB only Gross (which I still have two of - one USB only, the other with SPDIF and Optical) took out a direct stream (my personal evaluation not Mike's - since he sells PS Audio it is not appropriate for him to comment).   BTW he sells Clays DAC's as well so you can always go down and have a listen, judging for yourself.   At $1200 this could be the best value for money DAC in the world.   All hail the master.

 

Thanks

Bill

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1 hour ago, bhobba said:

Hi All

 

As mentioned above Clay has finished my DAC but due to the pandemic I can't hear it.   It is down at Mike Lenehan's factory like a lot of my gear waiting for the pandemic to ease so there can be a GTG and I decide on exactly what gear to have in my system - tons have been accumulating in the last year or so.   Then there will be a sale on what I do not want.

 

But getting back to the DAC, Mike couldn't hear it on his reference system because he is working on his new Magnesium speakers, so had to go over, with Clay, to Mike's brothers (Russell - he is helping Mike in his factory at the moment) place to hear it in his system.   It has a well known DAC pre (I will not divulge the DAC for various reasons - but it is from a well known maker and has been well reviewed), Monarchy Audio monoblocks (I think) and Mikes ML2 Reference.   Anyway Clay was their making sure everything was connected up correctly.   They switched it on.   The difference was HUGE.   So huge Mike and Russell thought there was something the matter with how it was connected.   Clay just stood there smiling while Mike and Russell checked everything.   Nothing wrong.   The difference really was that HUGE.   Mike's brother ordered one on the spot.   I am now even more confident when we check it out against the Chord and Grandinote it is going to not be outshone by those much more expensive SOTA DAC's - and may even take them like the USB only Gross (which I still have two of - one USB only, the other with SPDIF and Optical) took out a direct stream (my personal evaluation not Mike's - since he sells PS Audio it is not appropriate for him to comment).   BTW he sells Clays DAC's as well so you can always go down and have a listen, judging for yourself.   At $1200 this could be the best value for money DAC in the world.   All hail the master.

 

Thanks

Bill

 

It's been 61 days since we have had a case of community transmission Bill. You could probably go and get your gear safely now.

 

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6 minutes ago, Telecine said:

 

It's been 61 days since we have had a case of community transmission Bill. You could probably go and get your gear safely now.

 

 

I want to do a GTG first.  That will likely be soon.

 

Thanks 

Bill

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Just thought I’d chime in with my thoughts on the Kompakt.

 

Firstly, Clay is a pleasure to deal with.

 

The Kompakt is solidly built with a really high-quality level of fit and finish. The switches have a nice retro feel and the rear connections are robust and wobble-free.

 

I think the overwhelming impression I get is openness. There’s a huge soundstage populated with sharply defined 3D images. Its quite uncanny. The reverb around elements, both natural room echo and electronic reverb added in the mix are very obvious and actually quite lovely. The Kompakt just envelops you in a way I haven’t experienced before. The texture of instruments, the smallest details are all there. This is probably the most natural and non-digital DAC I’ve spent time with, there’s no fatigue over extended listening at all. Interestingly I don’t think it has the biggest bottom end, instead the bass is quite seamless and just as detailed as everything else, there’s no sense of it being disconnected.

 

This is definitely a keeper for me. The Kompakt is absolutely superb.

Cheers!

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Hi Guys,

 

thanks for all the fantastic feed back.

I have finally managed to get another shipment of Jensen transformers from the US so the website is now showing "in stock" again for the Kompakt DAC.

The bad news is there was a big fire recently at the AKM factory in Japan.

As a result of this most AKM DAC chips are showing "nil stock" from all suppliers.

The Kompakt DAC use the AKM Ak4493EQ & the AKM AK4118A - both are now unavailable.

I have enough chips for about twenty more Kompakt DAC's but that it!

I'm not sure what I'm going to do after that as it may be a year before the AKM factory is back online.

😂☹️

 

 

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19 hours ago, ray4410 said:

and now the fun starts
both are new and have had not much play time,will be interesting,time will tell🎼

denafrips+gieseler 004.JPG

denafrips+gieseler 002.JPG

denafrips+gieseler 006.JPG

Nice set up, can't wait for your thoughts on the comparison.

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21 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Hi Guys,

 

thanks for all the fantastic feed back.

 

...The bad news is there was a big fire recently at the AKM factory in Japan.

As a result of this most AKM DAC chips are showing "nil stock" from all suppliers.

The Kompakt DAC use the AKM Ak4493EQ & the AKM AK4118A - both are now unavailable.

I have enough chips for about twenty more Kompakt DAC's but that it!

I'm not sure what I'm going to do after that as it may be a year before the AKM factory is back online.

😂☹️

 

 

Hi Clay,

 

Yes, I only just read about the AKM fire earlier this morning. It's really bad news obviously. Hopefully AKM can get up and running again sooner than currently thought.

 

If it helps in a tiny way, I'm going now to listen more to my Kompakt and enjoy your wizardry.

Edited by lenticularis
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On 10/11/2020 at 9:57 PM, Gieseler Audio said:

Hi Guys,

 

thanks for all the fantastic feed back.

I have finally managed to get another shipment of Jensen transformers from the US so the website is now showing "in stock" again for the Kompakt DAC.

The bad news is there was a big fire recently at the AKM factory in Japan.

As a result of this most AKM DAC chips are showing "nil stock" from all suppliers.

The Kompakt DAC use the AKM Ak4493EQ & the AKM AK4118A - both are now unavailable.

I have enough chips for about twenty more Kompakt DAC's but that it!

I'm not sure what I'm going to do after that as it may be a year before the AKM factory is back online.

😂☹️

 

 

Blimey.  That’s bloody unlucky!

Makes me very glad I finally capitulated to desire and ordered mine a few days ago. Birthday gift-to-self. Really looking forward to it!!!!

J

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Well, I finally received my Aries Femto from a US seller. Yesterday I switched the LPSU from 120V to 240V (a simple jumper switch, thanks to advice received via a query to the Auralic Community) and it's now plugged into the USB input of my miniDSP SHD Studio.

 

I now have the luxury of:

1. streaming directly through Lightning DS,

2. using the Aries as a Roon endpoint

3. Using the SHD Studio's own Ethernet-wired streaming

 

All of the above enable Dirac Live to be switched in or out (4 target curves) and if I wish, I can even plug the Aries directly into the Kompakt's USB input.

 

Roon will be useful to discover new artists but I'll finish my 1-year sub in Oct 2021 and revert to LDS.

 

The overall system is giving me immense satisfaction, playing all kinds of music.

 

Currently rocking to John Mellencamp's 'Big Daddy' album (44.1 / 16 bit FLAC home-ripped).

 

After an initial setup, I've shoe-horned the Kompakt alongside my Stereo Coffee LDR pre-.

20201123_222615.jpg

Edited by lenticularis
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45 minutes ago, lenticularis said:

Well, I finally received my Aries Femto from a US seller. Yesterday I switched the LPSU from 120V to 240V (a simple jumper switch, thanks to advice received via a query to the Auralic Community) and it's now plugged into the USB input of my miniDSP SHD Studio.

 

I now have the luxury of:

1. streaming directly through Lightning DS,

2. using the Aries as a Roon endpoint

3. Using the SHD Studio's own Ethernet-wired streaming

 

All of the above enable Dirac Live to be switched in or out (4 target curves) and if I wish, I can even plug the Aries directly into the Kompakt's USB input.

 

Roon will be useful to discover new artists but I'll finish my 1-year sub in Oct 2021 and revert to LDS.

 

The overall system is giving me immense satisfaction, playing all kinds of music.

 

Currently rocking to John Mellencamp's 'Big Daddy' album (44.1 / 16 bit FLAC home-ripped).

 

After an initial setup, I've shoe-horned the Kompakt alongside my Stereo Coffee LDR pre-.

20201123_222615.jpg

Hi @lenticularis how are you finding the sound signature of the combined Kompact DAC and Stereocoffee...very interested to know...

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On 10/11/2020 at 12:43 PM, ray4410 said:

and now the fun starts
both are new and have had not much play time,will be interesting,time will tell🎼

denafrips+gieseler 004.JPG

denafrips+gieseler 002.JPG

denafrips+gieseler 006.JPG

Any thoughts on comparisons between the Kompakt and the Aries II, Ray? Have you had a chance yet?

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yeah simon,listening as we speak,bloody hell i am starting to hate hifi,well that's not quite true i have hated it for 50 f====== years,so to answer your question i can't say as i love them both,if anything i think the kompakt is a bit more laid back than the aries,i can listen to either one of them and really like what i am hearing,keep in mind both have not had a lot of hours on them so weather that will change things who knows,one thing i will mention is that spotify premium has never sounded better through either of the dacs,most of the time i use a rega apollo 35 anniversary cd as a transport or a opppo 95 both sound pretty darn good,
ray.

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8 hours ago, BLAH BLAH said:

Hi @lenticularis how are you finding the sound signature of the combined Kompact DAC and Stereocoffee...very interested to know...

Hi Ray,

 

The combination is fantastic as far as I'm concerned! 

 

The SC already gave a very strong sense of presence 'in the room' and the Kompakt's extra stereo separation over the Klein and lesser non-Gieseler DACs adds to the mix. That summary of course, is over-simplifying what the Kompakt brings to the mix.

 

Many people find that the Auralic Aries' Lightning DS sound quality is preferable to Roon. If I had to choose further I would add that I think LDS is a tiny bit more delicate than the miniDSP SHD Studio streaming. The Aries uses wi-fi and the SHD Studio a local Ethernet cable from the same cheap wi-fi booster. One of my reasons for returning to the Aries (it's the second I've owned) was to avoid the rabbit hole of improving Ethernet performance with things like the Ether-regen and switches. Purists will probably criticise the lack of audiophile components in my whole Ethernet chain, from modem, router and LAN cabling through to the network device that hosts my music (when bloody Mac OSX releases Catalina and the new Big Sur stop degrading the connectivity of network devices from older versions of the operating system). 

 

I need to have a proper listening session to determine that best mix of 1-3 in my earlier post. I don't want to sell the SHD Studio because Dirac Live improvements although not huge, are noticeable. Furthermore, the SHD Studio pushed me towards Roon because the bundled Volumio is pretty crap as an interface, and I also spent on Audirvana as an improvement in that regard. Having the Aries streamer bypassing the SHD Studio streaming capability is not such an overkill when all of the above is considered.

Edited by lenticularis
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4 minutes ago, lenticularis said:

Hi Ray,

 

The combination is fantastic as far as I'm concerned! 

 

The SC already gave a very stroing sense of presence 'in the room' and the Kompakt's extra stereo separation over the Klein and lesser non-Gieseler DACs adds to the mix. That summary of course, is over-simplifying what the Kompakt brings to the mix.

 

Many people find that the Auralic Aries' Lightning DS sound quality is preferable to Roon. If I had to choose further I would add that I thing LDS is a tiny bit more delicate than the miniDSP SHD Studio streaming, the Aries uses wi-fi and the SHD Studio a local Ethernet cable fro the same cheap wi-fi booster. One of my reasons for returning to the Aries was to avoid the rabbit hole of improving Ethernet performance with things like the Ether-regen and switches. Purists will probably criticise the lack of audiophile components in my whole Ethernet chain, from modem, router and LAN cabling through to the network device that hosts my music (when bloody Mac OSX releases Catalina and the new Big Sur stop degrading the connectivity of network devices from older versions of the operating system). 

 

I need to have a proper listening session to determine that best mix of 1-3 in my earlier post. I don't want to sell the SHD Studio because Dirac Live improvements although not huge, are noticeable. Furthermore, the SHD Studio's pushed me towards Roon because the bundled Volumio is pretty crap as an interface, and I also spent on Audirvana as an improvement in that regard. Having the Aries streamer bypassing the SHD Studio streaming capability is not such an overkill when all of the above is considered.

280905054_godeyes.jpg.77ded9aa4e4955b2ce77210b617ed687.jpg

Edited by BLAH BLAH
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