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Gigawork DAC vs Marantz CD67SE

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madbullram

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Guys,
One of my close friend has also started his 2 channel journey. He is currently in the US of A and decided to get his CDP from there. He has a budget of 7-8k max, so was scouting in eBay.

He had almost decided on Marantz CD67SE (he liked CD63SE so has decided 67SE would be better, pls comment on that also) at around 120$, when he stumbled upon this gigawork DIY DAC.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Gigawork-24-192....l1262&_trkparms=|293:2|294:30#ht_7985wt_1242

gigawork is willing to offer it as a full DAC for 200 USD with an upgrade of opa627 opamps in the DAC along with the casing.
Ref: My new dac - Page 2 - Stereo Net Australia

Now, he wants to decide between CD67SE at 120$ or Gigawork DAC for 200$. If he buys the DAC he will use his old IBM laptop to play FLAC files

From convinience, he is fine with using the laptop.

I dont have any clue on this tech spec of the DAC so wanted your views. The stereo forum members says its better than DACMagic.

Your view pls

Gigawork specs:
Super High End 24-Bit 192 kHz with Up-sampling function DAC
This kit, which features the latest receiver ICs and digital-to-analogue chips, has 5 individual high-performance power regulation supplies. The best components are included. More impressively, you can boost the standard CD format to 24-bit 192 khz with our up-bit modular from either coaxial, optical or USB inputs. With repeated testing and modification, this DAC gives excellent performance in clarity and dynamics and offers good imaging with a large, layered sounstage. Our kit with up-sampling function at this price range is the ONLY ONE of its kind in the DIY market.

Features:
1. Digital receiver CS8416
~ 32 kHz to 192 kHz sample frequency range
~ Low-jitter clock recovery

2. Up-bit modular CS8421
~Our Daughter Board design means you can either up-sample (when plugged in) or go without up-sampling (when unplugged). which can NOrmally be found in expensive brand names.

3. DAC CS4398 -A stereo DAC for flagship audio products,
~ Advanced 24-bit resolution and sample rate up to 192kHz
~ 120db dynamic range, -107db THD+N

4. Best components selected
~ Philips high speed diode in 5 individual power regulation supplies
~ Dala and CGW military grade resistors
~ Wima and Nichhicon muse capacitors
~ High precision 1% Dale metal film resistors and Wima capactors,
~ DUAL-FET op-amp NE5532 for the output stage.
~ A pair high quality gold plated RCA sockets for analog output.
~ On board jumper to select the digital input ( coaxial / optical or USB ).
~ High quality Rubycon and WIMA capacitors.
~ Use a lot of High End Nichicon Muse audio grade capacitors.
~ Make to Order Toroidal power transformer, worldwide AC voltage , 110V and 220V, complete separate digital and analog AC supply.

Specifications:
Digital receiver CS8416
Digital converter CS4398
Up sampling chips CS8421
USB IC - PCM2902
Digital input 1x coaxial, 1x optical, 1xUSB
Analogue output 2x RCA
 

psychotropic

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by most accounts, including someone who used to own a CD67SE many years back , the CD67SE was a step down from the CD63SE. Don't know anything about the Gigaworks.
 

madbullram

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Thanks psycho, have never been a Marantz fan until recently :) Will pass the same to him. Any other model he can look into US eBay for 7-8k range?
 

Asit

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Hi Madbullram,

For a nice report on Marantz CD 63 / 67 SE and some modding, you may look at Marantz CD 63/67. It discusses jitters and other problems associated with these. There are many many discussions by DIY people for modding these CDPs.

There may be better options today, especially in the US, for the money your friend is ready to spend. I do not know about that DAC you mentioned.

I think Unleash in our forum knows a lot about these and other Marantz CDPs. See if he gives an input.

Regards.
 

thevortex

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If your friend is interested in the Non oversampling DACs he could look at Valab, Moonlab or KECES DACs. All of those are around this price range as well.
 

kaushik

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Although gigaworks does not have that great brand name ,they seem to be very good for the price .
visit this thread

Experience with this DIY DAC ? - diyAudio
people are happy with their DAC

with the output OP-AMP mod they will sound more lively .

In that range there is highly talked about ZERO Dac.
http://cgi.ebay.com/09-ZERO-DAC-24-...emQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item1c0d6b9bc5

this one is 90$ with USB add on , they also have extra add ons ....

While commenting i would like to say i have never tested these DACs.. but the specs of gigawork look impressive .. and zero dac too has many happy modders .
I recommend if he buys the gigawork , get the 99$/US $109.99 kit and fit enclosure himself.After a while if he wants to upgrade there are lott buyers for both.

USB playback is convenient, decent output he will get but will not be better than modded Marantz CD 63.
Marantz CD 63 is old player modding it will attract another 15k or even more.

KECES DAC is way above in price 300 to 475$.
 
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iaudio

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Although gigaworks does not have that great brand name ,they seem to be very good for the price .
visit this thread

Experience with this DIY DAC ? - diyAudio
people are happy with their DAC

with the output OP-AMP mod they will sound more lively .

In that range there is highly talked about ZERO Dac.
?09 ZERO DAC?24/192KHZ DAC@HEAD AMP@OPA2604 high-quali - eBay (item 120484240325 end time Oct-30-09 11:46:34 PDT)

this one is 90$ with USB add on , they also have extra add ons ....

While commenting i would like to say i have never tested these DACs.. but the specs of gigawork look impressive .. and zero dac too has many happy modders .
I recommend if he buys the gigawork , get the 99$/US $109.99 kit and fit enclosure himself.After a while if he wants to upgrade there are lott buyers for both.

USB playback is convenient, decent output he will get but will not be better than modded Marantz CD 63.
Marantz CD 63 is old player modding it will attract another 15k or even more.

KECES DAC is way above in price 300 to 475$.

I think Rallynut got the Keces 151mk2 dac for 280$ shipped. I think on head fi there s a plethora of info on dacs with usb as well as digital in. But again only the techies will really be able to judge the merits of the components used.
 

madbullram

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Kaushik: He is a not a DIY person, so what he buys he will retain. His question was, when I play from my laptop using this DAC, will it be better than a CD63 Se or 67 SE. I have no clue, can you throw some idea?

Again, if he buys the CD 67 SE he will not mod it, he will use till he can upgrade. Also, carrying the DAC seems to be an easy option.

So the main question is SQ, will this DAC be equal or better than a CDP (63/67 SE)
 

gvenu

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hi,
You can also try tda1541a. Reasonable kits are available at analogmetric.com

Will post more details later.


Regards
Venu
 

kaushik

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Kaushik: He is a not a DIY person, so what he buys he will retain. His question was, when I play from my laptop using this DAC, will it be better than a CD63 Se or 67 SE. I have no clue, can you throw some idea?

Again, if he buys the CD 67 SE he will not mod it, he will use till he can upgrade. Also, carrying the DAC seems to be an easy option.
So the main question is SQ, will this DAC be equal or better than a CDP (63/67 SE)
On unmodded CD63 vs gigawork, i cant comment i will leave it to the senior members who have explored marantz CD63 w/o mods, but with mods sure the Cd player
will give a better output than usb.But there is co-ax in ,so DAC will not be a bad investment.


If he cant mod..go for the DAC ,
gigaworks DAC has I2S input in chip CS4398 ( Musiland DAC too uses CS4398 DAC chip) which is a jitter free interface will be helpful for future too.

the DAC is pre-assembled ,all he has to do is to add a case..
100$ extra for the case fitted unit i think is not needed .
 

kaushik

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hi,

some pictures of my diy tda1541a dac

venu

Good one!

are you in US or so ? how you got components ?
you must have got the kit. tda1541 sounds natural .
In fact some multiple tda1541 designs are way ahead of the rest.
 

gvenu

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Hello,

I am vey well located in India only. Heard good thing about nos tda1541a from Mr.Siva and one evening was surfing the net and found lot of good (???) kits with analogmetric.com

Just selected the deluxe kit, ordered and made the payment ($160 + shipping + some small other components too) without bothering (like srikarkav's signature: courage is not the absence of fear, courage is doing the right thing even in the presence of fear!) about customs, taxes, etc. 3 weeks later our great Indian postal department delivered the packet which was in good condition at my house and I am proud!

Started the assembly and I will post more experience, details & photos in a new thread in the comimg weeks.

regards
Venu
 

gvenu

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hi,
This is not a pre assembled kit and you need to assemble all the parts and get the transformer (ordered locally) and chassis. I still have not thought anything about it.

I have done with the power supply and waiting for transformer to test the power supply before i solder the balance portion.

Need to wait for a couple of weeks for any further update as i will be traveling. - Venu
 

srikarkav

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venu: He aint a DIY person, do they assembled kits?

Hi ram,

I had the pleasure of meeting venu here in chennai. Though he hails from Kerala he is the product of VIT Vellore and an Electronics Engineer.He is a confident young man and i am sure he will come out with a fine product:)

cheers,
sri
 

unleash_me

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Ram,

Im not a DIY kinda guy, so admittedly I cant comment on that part. Keeping that in mind, among the three CD63SE, CD67SE & DIY dac my pick would be the excellent CD63SE. It is one of the best budget player ever built imo. If not available, then 67SE is not too far behind. Modded or not, these players will give your friend hours of smooth non-fatiguing music for sure. He can always add an external dac in the future if the system demands that.

Having said that, if his primary source is going to be PC, then a USB dac is highly recommended. In his budget, the external dacs that Ive heard are Beresford Caiman, Audio-GD Compass and iBasso D10 (in the order of preference) all these double as a good headphone amps and comes with potential for mods.

Best regards.
 

kaushik

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OK guys, those who fear to assemble kits ,

I offer free assembly for 'three' kits ,i.e. three members of the forum (1 kit each) can get the assembly done by me on weekends. Electronics only ,enclosure etc he has to get it for him.

Member buys kit from online store like analogmetric .com
and we build it. :clapping:

you can PM me ..how you plan to do it like at your place /coming to my place ,all can be worked out.

Venu,
Where do you get the transformer for the kit ? like toroidal etc?
 
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gvenu

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hi,
I have ordered the transformer with someone who supply to my office. Later i will use seperate transfopmers for digital and amalog sections.
Regards
Venu
 
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