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affordable dac, detailed but not clinical, any recommendations

Wharfedale Diamond 225

jenson

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my chain: marantz sacd player -> lyrita dht pre -> lyrita 2a3 - > rethm saadhna V1 (lowther version)

i get a feeling my source is too clinical and doesnt gel with the rest of the setup..., how do i address this. is there any recommendations around source for this setup. im ok to experiment with computer as a source before making a call on the cd player...

what is getting clearer is, i do not like clinical sound. i am itching say i would prefer a muddled sound with harmonics, warm and fleshy mids. does this make any sense :) ?
 
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rikhav

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Which marantz sacd player do you have ?

Marantz house sound is never thought to be clinical
 
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jenson

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i think IC's are half gotham and half mogami, speaker cables are from murthy...you think this system is sensitive to cables...?
 

rikhav

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I really doubt it's your cables or the CD player

I am no expert in lowthers or any other type of drivers or speakers. But what I have heard lowthers have a certain shout in the mid range which all designers try to tackle in some way or other

Are you referring to that shoutiness ?
 

jenson

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i get that warmth in some cd's and not in most. so i am thinking, the system is not forgiving to most recordings. while i agree that the lowthers have a lively, energetic sound with lots of detail, it's mating with the subwoofer unit softens the overall sound signature to a great extent.
 

yogibear

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The line up is great still no warmth ???? Try Objective DAC and play some lossless and see if it’s the source.

I do think it’s the source.

I am having great fun playing lossless and streaming through RPi2 with USB O-DAC and tube line-up to full range drivers.
 

ONEMANARMY

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If a DHT pre and 2A3 power cant give you the warmth then it's gotta be the speakers...
OTOH you could roll some tubes and see.
I do not think changing the source will accomplish much.
 

prem

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I have had these speakers. They are not bright. The problem is somewhere else
 
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yogibear

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I have been experimenting with similar line up of DHT preamp and SE amp playing FR. The setup has become very transparent and much source dependent.

So I suggest, change source and you will hear a difference. Also try playing / stream lossless.
 

jenson

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I have had these speakers. They are not bright. The problem is somewhere else
yes, i believe so too. it is not the speaker. could be cables or the source... or both

any thoughts on how to do the eliminations...
 

jenson

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If a DHT pre and 2A3 power cant give you the warmth then it's gotta be the speakers...
OTOH you could roll some tubes and see.
I do not think changing the source will accomplish much.
planning to do the same, not related to this speacific thread, but Viren suggested i replace stock 2a3s with the RCA 2a3. he felt it would bring positive changes. i have written to him on cables as well...awaiting response on same...
 

jenson

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The line up is great still no warmth ???? Try Objective DAC and play some lossless and see if it’s the source.

I do think it’s the source.

I am having great fun playing lossless and streaming through RPi2 with USB O-DAC and tube line-up to full range drivers.

please provide some detail on this via PM... "RPi2 with USB O-DAC"
 

jenson

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could it also be the fact that this is placed in a 12 by 10 room, which leaves me no option but to have a near field listening (4-5 feet away, close to back wall), i understand this speaker requires minimum 20 by 18 at least..
 

rikhav

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Try putting any kind of thick absorbers behind the speakers.

Direct behind speakers, and in centre part

Check if you hear any difference.
That's the key, if you hear any difference
 

magma

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The khadas is not a bad dac
The rcam r dac is also decent

Trying toeing the speakers away from your ears

Take another speaker cable on loan
Try it out

Then do the procedure with each cable on by one

P.s : your issue is a but peculiar though
 

yogibear

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Which 2A3 tubes, driver stage tubes and DHT tubes do you have on your amp / preamp ?

Near field listening or placement of speakers should have nothing to do with presence or absence of warmth IMO. Its the tonality, timbre of sound which does not change with placements or sweet spot or listening position. These things lead to resonance, reflection, cancellation issues but warmth should still be there. Warmth of vocals should not change just by placement of speakers or your own listening position, else nobody will indulge in tubes.

I hope your IC and speakers cables are pure copper and right gauge. When the rest of the line-up is optimum, then the whole setup becomes source dependent.

I have been experimenting on a transparent and tube based setup and tweaking source for the last few months. The idea is to nail the digital source. Different DACs.... The setup sounds as good the source is. With one DAC it was very clinical and with other it was heavenly.

In order to free up my laptop, I tried RPi2 with PiFi I2s DAC and compared with RPi2 with USB O-DAC. Second was heavenly and brought back the tube magic to sound with accuracy of digital lossless.


Next would be RPi2 with I2s Allo Piano 2.1 and few more combos....... You can tweak on your own. Or borrow a different CDP. Even try playing Vinyl.

A great line up of tubes must NOT be compromised by the source. This is what I think.
 
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prem

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Is your Rethm bass module working properly? Maybe it’s gone dead?
 

Rajiv

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my chain: marantz sacd player -> lyrita dht pre -> lyrita 2a3 - > rethm saadhna V1 (lowther version)

i get a feeling my source is too clinical and doesnt gel with the rest of the setup..., how do i address this. is there any recommendations around source for this setup. im ok to experiment with computer as a source before making a call on the cd player...

what is getting clearer is, i do not like clinical sound. i am itching say i would prefer a muddled sound with harmonics, warm and fleshy mids. does this make any sense :) ?

Hi,

I agree with Viren that changing from the Chinese 2A3C tubes to the RCA 2A3 tubes will be a big improvement. While the Chinese tubes are among the better new production 2A3 tubes they do have a glassy sounding top end. Another less expensive way to get the sound you are after is to change the rectifier tube in the 2A3 amp from the Russian 5U4c to a RCA 5V4G or Brimar 5V4G. The Russian rectifier is a very good tube and is a good match when used with warm euphonic tubes like ecc83, 6SL7 etc .

I am not sure if your DHT pre can take the 5V4/GZ34/5Z4 type rectifiers , some of the Lyrita DHT preamps use the 6X4 type rectifier. If it can try experimenting with the different rectifiers.

Regards
Rajiv
 
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