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I am going to add my voice to the commentary on here regarding Abbas Audio. I received my 4.1SE this week from the Ukraine and I was floored immediately by the sound of this DAC. Full disclosure this is my first real move to a digital source in my current setup so no claims to be an expert. What I will say is that out of the box with an RCA interconnect to the transport (no SPDIF) and whatever basic power cable I had kicking around this DAC sounds astonishing. Spacious and detailed with restrained authority. I can only expect it to improve as time goes on and I get organised with cables. Thank you to the members here for the various discussions on Abbas Audio and I would encourage anyone in the market for a DAC to consider the options from Abbas. They maybe light on in the features department but they certainly produce an awesome sound in my opinion.  

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I am going to add my voice to the commentary on here regarding Abbas Audio. I received my 4.1SE this week from the Ukraine and I was floored immediately by the sound of this DAC. Full disclosure this

Hopefully  my 4.1SE will arrive in the next day or so, currently moving around in Aus post according to tracking. Looking forward to it. But curious to hear how  it developes with use.

it's stopped my DAC Madness (tm) - i'm just really very happy with the way everything sounds with the Abbas gear. Maybe it reminds me of being a teenager in the 90s when these chips were more common,

Could you please provide some details of the rest of your system for context?

 

Also, whilst you've mentioned this is your first foray into the digital world, have you tried any dac in your setup previously?

 

I too am very interested in the Abbas range.

 

BTW, how long did it take from purchase to delivery?

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1 hour ago, gemini07 said:

Could you please provide some details of the rest of your system for context?

 

Also, whilst you've mentioned this is your first foray into the digital world, have you tried any dac in your setup previously?

 

I too am very interested in the Abbas range.

 

BTW, how long did it take from purchase to delivery?

 

System details as follows;

 

Fidelity Research FR-1 MK3F>Rega P9>FRT-3 >Abbas RIAA preamp (EF86)>Line Magnetic LM211>Altec Lansing 846B with external mounted Mantarays 

TEAC VRDS10>Abbas 4.1SE>Line Magnetic LM211>Altecs

 

This is the the first stand alone DAC I have purchased and the first and only I have used in this system. Both the DAC and the RIAA preamp took a month to arrive from ordering.  

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@MattyW It's time for you to ask for that commission fee. ?

 

Edit: @cccrchairman Please share some photos. Any showing the inside and any close up shots of the valves will score you a perfect 10. ?

Edited by xlr8or
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1 hour ago, xlr8or said:

@MattyW It's time for you to ask for that commission fee. ?

 

Edit: @cccrchairman Please share some photos. Any showing the inside and any close up shots of the valves will score you a perfect 10. ?

Ha, no need. I'm just grateful to be able to own such a fantastic bit of gear.  :)

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1 hour ago, cccrchairman said:

System details as follows;

Fidelity Research FR-1 MK3F>Rega P9>FRT-3 >Abbas RIAA preamp (EF86)>Line Magnetic LM211>Altec Lansing 846B with external mounted Mantarays 

TEAC VRDS10>Abbas 4.1SE>Line Magnetic LM211>Altecs

 

Well, the Abbas gear is in pretty good company.  I'm happy with my Gieseler DAC, but would love to hear from anyone who has has the opportunity to compare.

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17 minutes ago, Mutatis Mutandis said:

 

Well, the Abbas gear is in pretty good company.  I'm happy with my Gieseler DAC, but would love to hear from anyone who has has the opportunity to compare.

 

My previous DAC was a Gieseler Gross + Kraftwerk LPS. The best oversampling type DAC I've run though not really in the same league as the Abbas DAC 2.2SE. That said I've not heard the newer Gieseler DAC's.  :)

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11 minutes ago, MattyW said:

 

My previous DAC was a Gieseler Gross + Kraftwerk LPS. The best oversampling type DAC I've run though not really in the same league as the Abbas DAC 2.2SE. That said I've not heard the newer Gieseler DAC's.  :)

 

What was the difference in the sound character (assuming nothing else in the system changed)?

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The Abbas is far more natural sounding....  Sounds like you're actually at the performance as opposed to a recording.  No digital glare.... In fact doesn't sound digital at all.

 

The Gross sounded best with DSD content where that's unnecessary for an even higher level of performance with the Abbas.  To be fair though,  the Abbas was a fair bit more expensive.

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17 minutes ago, MattyW said:

The Abbas is far more natural sounding....  Sounds like you're actually at the performance as opposed to a recording.  No digital glare.... In fact doesn't sound digital at all.

 

The Gross sounded best with DSD content where that's unnecessary for an even higher level of performance with the Abbas.  To be fair though,  the Abbas was a fair bit more expensive.

What's the difference between your dac and the 4.1se?

Edited by kelossus
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Main difference that stands out is Matt's 2.2SE uses the TDA1541 DAC chip and the 4.1 uses the PCM58 DAC chips I think.

 

Edit: Can read about the features of different DACs on that Abbas link, the 4.1 special version for instance about three quarters way down the page.

https://ym6t3zcngbqjloregzh5737kiy-jj2cvlaia66be-abbasaudio-listbb-ru.translate.goog/viewtopic.php?f=73&t=2338&sid=92abe2f3dd6aeac985de24ff9a8e26ba

Edited by muon*
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As @muon*has said @kelossus. I've not been lucky enough hear the 4.1. One thing to keep in mind though is that model numbers are not indicative of where a DAC is in the Abbas range. That can be a bit confusing.

 

I'm pretty sure @cccrchairman is the first person in Australia to source one of these and being a relatively new model there wouldn't be many globally though with these low production numbers it's fair to say that's true of all Abbas Audio gear.

 

I took the approach of spending about double what I could afford to spend in the hopes of getting an end game component.  Not having heard his other models I can't honestly say how they compare though as I understand it there are better choices for the money than the bottom of the range DAC Z. The magic is in the 2.1 and above. Under that the $700 mark I'd look at the Denafrips range instead. :)

 

The thing the Abbas DAC's excel at is just sounding very very real and natural. It actually got me to give up on vinyl playback. Go figure right? 

Edited by MattyW
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Just posting my recommendations for tube rolling the DAC 4.1SE as a few members will no doubt contact me offline to request this info. It's best I post it here for everybody's reference and to keep a record for myself. ?

 

1. 1950's/60's GEC Hammersmith UK 6X5G CV572 shifted square pattern plate inverted cup getter ST shape rectifier

2. 1950's/60's GEC Hammersmith UK CV4005 6X4 black plate square getter rectifier

3. 1948-1951 Tung-Sol JTL-5687 black ladder plate vertical square getter copper grid post dual triode tube

 

Reference photos attached.

 

6X5G-CV572-GEC-Cup-Getter-Audio-Rectifier-Tube-_57.jpg

 

6X5G-CV572-GEC-Cup-Getter-Audio-Rectifier-Tube-_57-1.jpg

 

6X5G-CV572-GEC-Cup-Getter-Audio-Rectifier-Tube-_57-2.jpg

 

GEC-CV4005-6X4-Black-Plate-Square-Getter-Valve-Tube.jpg

 

GEC-CV4005-6X4-Black-Plate-Square-Getter-Valve-Tube-_57.jpg

 

20210401_215226.jpg

 

20210401_215252.jpg

 

Edit: Photo order rearranged.

 

Second Edit: It looks like the 6X5 dual diode provides the B+ to the 5687. Further, the 6X4 possibly provides the grid voltage to the 5687. If this is the case, then you have a double toob rectified circuit for each triode (left and right channels). Great stuff. ?

Edited by xlr8or
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15 hours ago, MattyW said:

As @muon*has said @kelossus. I've not been lucky enough hear the 4.1. One thing to keep in mind though is that model numbers are not indicative of where a DAC is in the Abbas range. That can be a bit confusing.

 

I'm pretty sure @cccrchairman is the first person in Australia to source one of these and being a relatively new model there wouldn't be many globally though with these low production numbers it's fair to say that's true of all Abbas Audio gear.

 

I took the approach of spending about double what I could afford to spend in the hopes of getting an end game component.  Not having heard his other models I can't honestly say how they compare though as I understand it there are better choices for the money than the bottom of the range DAC Z. The magic is in the 2.1 and above. Under that the $700 mark I'd look at the Denafrips range instead. :)

 

The thing the Abbas DAC's excel at is just sounding very very real and natural. It actually got me to give up on vinyl playback. Go figure right? 

I did exactly that, I assumed the 4.1SE was a higher up model based on the number.

 

Is it possible to get one with a USB input? I did a quick check on his website and it looks like he makes USB to SPDIF pcb. Has he ever incorporated one of these into his dac's. I am considering a purchase.

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2 hours ago, kelossus said:

I did exactly that, I assumed the 4.1SE was a higher up model based on the number.

 

Is it possible to get one with a USB input? I did a quick check on his website and it looks like he makes USB to SPDIF pcb. Has he ever incorporated one of these into his dac's. I am considering a purchase.

 

I believe his 3.1SE can incorporate a USB input. It's a full size component rather than half width so more space to fit things in. You'll find you can have a DAC custom built with any part he produces.

 

I find the easiest way to see what is where in the Abbas range is to look at the pricing. My understanding is that he favors TDA1541A R1 over all other chips. I have tried 2x S1 chips in mine and reverted to the R1 chip it came with.  It's all been voiced around the chip. The SE models are worth the extra coin as they've all been voiced individually with various high quality vintage parts. The non SE models as good as they are, have not been.

 

@DrMikeOz owns both his tube USB interface and a Mutec MC-3+USB. Based on conversations I've had with him the Mutec makes a better interface. Further to that I've found the Mutec can be improved further with a high precision external OCXO clock.

 

I found some nice gains with an Afterdark "Queen" 75ohm Square Wave OCXO clock + linear power supply. That's pretty low down in the range too. Apparently the sweet point is the Afterdark "Emperor Double Crown" . I just wasn't willing to spend more at the time as I just wasn't sure an external clock would bring any real benefit.  I may move further up the range eventually..... Or not. Things already sound incredible.

Edited by MattyW
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Thanks @xlr8or for your advice on the tubes. Unfortunately the cover of the DAC was damaged by a customs inspection. I contacted Abbas Audio to enquire about purchasing a replacement cover and he is going to ship out a replacement free of charge. As per his suggestion I am going with a 2.3SE cover with a hole allowing for the big bottle 6x5. Not that I have big bottle 6x5 dollars. Those tubes do not come cheap.

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@MattyW Just to make sure I understand, you use the Mutec MC3+USB to convert from USB to SPDIF? This then can be connected to an Abbas DAC ?

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29 minutes ago, Whites said:

@MattyW Just to make sure I understand, you use the Mutec MC3+USB to convert from USB to SPDIF? This then can be connected to an Abbas DAC ?

Correct yes. It has galvanic isolation and reclocking though does still benefit from a better external clock. It has USB, fibre and coax digital inputs.  I'm not aware of any other product with its featureset though if you only need USB a Singxer SU2 would do the trick and still have the ability to add an external clock should you wish to do so.

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55 minutes ago, cccrchairman said:

Thanks @xlr8or for your advice on the tubes. Unfortunately the cover of the DAC was damaged by a customs inspection. I contacted Abbas Audio to enquire about purchasing a replacement cover and he is going to ship out a replacement free of charge. As per his suggestion I am going with a 2.3SE cover with a hole allowing for the big bottle 6x5. Not that I have big bottle 6x5 dollars. Those tubes do not come cheap.

 

Agreed - I'll look out for a reasonably priced 6X5G for you in the background and let you know when I come across one. ?

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On 01/04/2021 at 12:45 PM, cccrchairman said:

I would encourage anyone in the market for a DAC to consider the options from Abbas.

Only just discovering how many fans there are of his devises.

 

3 hours ago, cccrchairman said:

Thanks @xlr8or for your advice on the tubes.

Ditto.  Thank you as I wasn't aware of how many current users here in AUS.  Growing confidence has made me push the buy button.  @MattyW all ways a good read on your views!  Have left a couple of questions to Abbas on his USB convertor and when I can afford may entertain the Mutec but it sounds like the Abbas will be the more affordable for now.

 

3 hours ago, cccrchairman said:

I am going with a 2.3SE cover with a hole allowing for the big bottle 6x5.

Sounds a seriously good idea for the flexibility but will be a little way of for tube rolling for me . @cccrchairman are you using with a streamer or with a transport? I guess you can swap out but I am after 2 inputs.  Unlikely in the slimmer chassis I think.

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Artnet said:

Only just discovering how many fans there are of his devises.

 

Ditto.  Thank you as I wasn't aware of how many current users here in AUS.  Growing confidence has made me push the buy button.  @MattyW all ways a good read on your views!  Have left a couple of questions to Abbas on his USB convertor and when I can afford may entertain the Mutec but it sounds like the Abbas will be the more affordable for now.

 

Sounds a seriously good idea for the flexibility but will be a little way of for tube rolling for me . @cccrchairman are you using with a streamer or with a transport? I guess you can swap out but I am after 2 inputs.  Unlikely in the slimmer chassis I think.

 

 

 

I am only using with a transport. Maybe down the track I will look at other options as other members have described. 

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20 minutes ago, blakey72 said:

@cccrchairman and @MattyW Do you have a link to a site that has the various models, prices and how you can order??

@muon*already linked the only source of information Abbas provide. I'd suggest figuring out which models interest you and messaging on eBay.

 

It may not be a particularly buyer friendly way of doing things however demand already outstrips supply so you can be the judge of its success. I believe for the Ukraine he already does rather well.  :)

Edited by MattyW
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6 hours ago, cccrchairman said:

I am only using with a transport. Maybe down the track I will look at other options as other members have described. 

Thanks for your reply. 

I Might have to look more closely at the Mutec for multiple inputs as a way of using transport and streamer options

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25 minutes ago, Artnet said:

Thanks for your reply. 

I Might have to look more closely at the Mutec for multiple inputs as a way of using transport and streamer options

I used all 3 inputs (PC via USB, TV via fibre, and DAB+ radio via coax) though have since done away with the radio as Roon has this functionality built in for internet radio streaming.

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1 hour ago, MattyW said:

I used all 3 inputs

Thanks @MattyW I was going to message you on your Mutec thread to find out, but went off on reading up on the Mutec.  With my choice of the PCM58 chip I wondered if the Abbas USB to spdif convertor might be the better (bigger warmer) option and have had clarified that 2 inputs on the 4.1 is not an option, it is a half case chassis .  I did make this decision based on immediate use that is PC USB  so might try the Abbas for now (?) and  look out for a Mutec they do sell pretty quickly.  The transport option I am working on so not so pressing for me to have 2 inputs immediately. 

 

On 02/04/2021 at 2:06 PM, MattyW said:

owns both his tube USB interface and a Mutec MC-3+USB

  You have to try and hear what works in your system!? No easy path but an enviable position to have choice. 

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On 03/04/2021 at 1:58 PM, MattyW said:

It may not be a particularly buyer friendly way of doing things however demand already outstrips supply so you can be the judge of its success.

Just wanted to add to this.  Abbas's  blog would indicate he is no longer accepting order request through that site, he is so busy. My understanding from his blog is that he lists on ebay what is available from month to month if you miss one month try the next, confirmed in recent emails he is accepting orders from what he lists on ebay,  "...Now we make only serial product from the foto" definitely demand outstripping supply, but he is very prompt on his emails and I can only look forward to sampling his esoteric Audio.

 

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Makes sense.... His business model and product can't exactly scale up. Too many vintage parts which have to be painstakingly tracked down. The 2.3SE paired with a Mutec MC-3+USB is pretty much impossible to match for the money anyway  :)

Edited by MattyW
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On 03/04/2021 at 7:57 PM, Artnet said:

Thanks @MattyW I was going to message you on your Mutec thread to find out, but went off on reading up on the Mutec.  With my choice of the PCM58 chip I wondered if the Abbas USB to spdif convertor might be the better (bigger warmer) option and have had clarified that 2 inputs on the 4.1 is not an option, it is a half case chassis .  I did make this decision based on immediate use that is PC USB  so might try the Abbas for now (?) and  look out for a Mutec they do sell pretty quickly.  The transport option I am working on so not so pressing for me to have 2 inputs immediately. 

 

  You have to try and hear what works in your system!? No easy path but an enviable position to have choice. 

 

Hi all,

 

I've currently got an Abbas DAC U SE (with dual PCM 63K) which I've paired with both a Mutec and with one of Abbas's USB to SPDIF convertors, and I'm waiting for my new 2.3SE to arrive - currently working its way through the Ukrainian postal system.  I think the Mutec  (just standard, I don't have an upgraded external clock like @MattyW) does have an edge over the Abbas SPDIF unit. Initially it was quite a big step up but I've been running the Abbas SPDIF for the last few weeks and as its now got about 40 or so hours on it, its really opened up. I think the most noticeable difference is the Mutec just has better detail retrieval, and a bit more weight to the instruments, but the Mutec is also over twice the price of the Abbas SPDIF unit, so I think that needs to be taken into account as well.  Certainly compared to the digione signature that I was using (SPDIF Out), switching to USB and adding the Abbas SPDIF just completely transforms the sound, according to my wife (who doesn't know what these things cost so is a bit less biased) she said the sound became much more 'live' once that was added to the chain. 

 

M

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Yes, I've a 50cm Abbas SPDIF cable on order also. If anything like his analog interconnects it should be really rather special.  Made in a shorter length such as 50cm made it quite a bit more affordable too. :)

 

The Mutec is king for those who need additional inputs, and improves further with an external clock.  I'll source a USB cable from Abbas eventually also and see how that goes.

Edited by MattyW
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50 minutes ago, DrMikeOz said:

I've currently got an Abbas DAC U SE (with dual PCM 63K) which I've paired with both a Mutec and with one of Abbas's USB to SPDIF convertors, and I'm waiting for my new 2.3SE

The DAC U SE I have ordered is PCM 58K (this might make it a 4.1), I think the 63k is no longer available? Look forward to your comparison on the 2.3SE.  Whent the Abbas route for USB -SPDIF for know just to see and for cost was a factor, but when I need two inputs will go the Mutec option.  Thank you for the comparison.

 

22 minutes ago, MattyW said:

The Mutec is king for those who need additional inputs

Hope to get there eventually.  ?

Edited by Artnet
correcting model type
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I'm surprised just how many here in Australia are now running Abbas gear. Everyone seems delighted with their purchases which is always a good thing  :)

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11 minutes ago, MattyW said:

I'm surprised just how many here in Australia are now running Abbas gear. Everyone seems delighted with their purchases which is always a good thing  :)

it's stopped my DAC Madness (tm) - i'm just really very happy with the way everything sounds with the Abbas gear. Maybe it reminds me of being a teenager in the 90s when these chips were more common, i don't know. But it just sounds 'right'. I wouldn't have discovered this without @MattyW's evangelism so thanks Matt!

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It stopped me too... All the same reasons. Hard to put into words really. :)

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I like what they do and I grew up with vinyl & cassette :)

 

Edit: but unrelated as all of my mates bar one played dirty poorly cared for media.

 

I couldn't say it is the same as when I had an SR-838/2M Bronze/tube phono and I didn't own a damaged or dirty record,  either.

 

Matts DAC just sounded right to me.

Edited by muon*
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 01/04/2021 at 8:03 PM, muon* said:

Main difference that stands out is Matt's 2.2SE uses the TDA1541 DAC chip and the 4.1 uses the PCM58 DAC chips I think.

 

Edit: Can read about the features of different DACs on that Abbas link, the 4.1 special version for instance about three quarters way down the page.

https://ym6t3zcngbqjloregzh5737kiy-jj2cvlaia66be-abbasaudio-listbb-ru.translate.goog/viewtopic.php?f=73&t=2338&sid=92abe2f3dd6aeac985de24ff9a8e26ba

I would personally run with the PCM version, if I was buying unheard. Has anyone compared the TDA and PCM BB versions side by side? 
 

The TDA1541 dacs I have heard tended to sound a little flat when compared to BB PCM dacs. I also noticed more grain in the mids vs Burr Brown. The TDA1541 is also more mid prominent. IME, Bur browns like the PCM56 are a little more dynamic, and cleaner sounding. Although implementation is obviously important. 

At that money there are so many options from Denafrips and Holo to consider also. The new Holo Spring 3 is an idea...
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/measurements-preview-of-holo-audio-spring-3-dac-wpreamp-prototype.22083/

 

R2R with an amazing measurements to boot. Plus you get a preamp option. 

Edited by Grizaudio
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