Supercharged - Maverick Audio TubeMagic D2 DAC

Discussion in 'DACs' started by bce22, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. Bonus

    Bonus Member

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    I have a SVS SB-4000 on order. That should satisfy the bass end of things. You certainly have a lot of pieces in line before the D2. I had a look at the 2496. Could you explain in lay mans terms what this gizmo does? How does all these electronic pieces compare to a high end Music player. Mind I have had nothing to do with "High end Music players but i gather they can replace the type of set up using laptop to DAC.
     

     

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  2. ajward549

    ajward549 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    After running the stock D2 for the past year, I finally decided to delve into tube rolling. Rolled the Tesla into my D2 yesterday in place of the stock "upgraded" GE...WOW! I have to say, I really wasn't expecting such a big change but the improvements were immediately audible! Mids are much more rich and highs more defined, I am so impressed with this little unit! I'll admit too, I was very close to upgrading my main rigs DAC and taking the Maverick to work where I have strictly a digital set up, but now, I think I will keep the D2 exactly where it is and see he the Tesla opens up as I continue to use it.

    Can't help but wonder now, what would the Bendix sound like...;)
     
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  3. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

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    The DEQ2496 is a digital equalizer that works in the digital domain. It does a hundred other things but I strictly use it for parametric EQ.

    I've had analog EQ's in the past and as much as I wanted to like them, they always added noise and degraded the sound quality even though I was shaping the sound to my liking. The 2496 is dead silent. Sound quality IS GREAT. The key to this thing is to not using anything analog in it.....only digital.

    It has two digital inputs, so I use the optical for my computer media and use the digital coax for the CD player. This works out very slick.
     
  4. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

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    As far as the ISO-Regen, I think he offers a 30 day trial. If you don't like it send it back for a full refund.
     
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  5. Bonus

    Bonus Member

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    Only problem with returning it is i live in Australia. Are you using the small power supply for the ISO-REGEN or the fancy one that cost $365?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  6. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

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    I'm using the fancy one....LPS-1.

    I'm almost positive he has international customers. I've talked to Alex on the phone a couple of times. Nice guy. I'm sure you could call or email him and he'll take care of you.
     
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  7. Bonus

    Bonus Member

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    They do ship overseas. It will cost nearly $500 AUS by the time it is here. Is the smaller power supply and ISO-GEN worth getting? I have not got the Sharpos but probably will .
     
  8. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

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    The smaller power supply (Meanwell) gets used regardless. It will go wall outlet... Meanwell....LPS-1.... ISO-REGEN.
     
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  9. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

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    If you don't use the LPS-1, you need the Meanwell power supply (comes with it) or something equivalent.
     
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  10. Bonus

    Bonus Member

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    SWL, I have just made an offer to sparkos on Ebay of $165 for 3 dual Opamps. See what he says lol . I have just hooked up my TV to the D2 DAC by toslink to toslink. Gee what an improvement over going by 2 x rca straight to my preamp.

    Also what is the easiest way to run the D2 all the time? I have the D2 connected to a valve/ss preamp and valve /ss main amp. If I play something from the laptop to D2 to preamp and turn off the main amp completely will that run her in. Can I also turn the preamp off and just play from laptop to D2?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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  11. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

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    If you mean laptop to D2 to amp.....yes. Your laptop would become the preamp and you would use the laptop's volume control.
     
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  12. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

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    I usually just put on Spotify at a real low volume and let it play all weekend long until it gets 40-50 hours run through it. With solid-state gear that is.

    Obviously you don't want your tubes on all the time especially when you're not there. But some guys do it. On the other hand if your power tubes are good for 1,500 to 2,000 hours, what's an extra 50 hours? Hmmm....
     
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  13. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

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    I just reread this and actually I think the signal has to pass completely through the unit.
     
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  14. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

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    I'm still not used to posting on such a small keyboard/smartphone.
     
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  15. Bonus

    Bonus Member

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    Thank you for your help. I am trying to conserve power and not run my main amp at least. It is 31C here and bloody hot with no aircon. My main amp and preamp both have tubes and I dont want to listen to music for that long. They are both little heaters lol . If I run the laptop to D2 to preamp with the laptop playing spotify or something continually with the preamp on but the main amp power is turned off will that get the hours up on the D2?

    Also I have ordered the Sparkos Dual Opamps. Got them for $165 plus $13.50 postage to Aussieland. Cant wait to put them in the correct way.
     
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  16. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

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    Cool. At first I had to really question if the discrete op amps were really worth it. But over time taking them out of the unit and then putting them back in really made me realize that I much prefer having them in the unit.

    Even though I had the upgraded opamps from Maverick.....they sounded somewhat sterile compared to the Sparkos. It's possible the discrete op amps from Sparkos need some burn in time as well. The Sparkos discrete opamps just have a warmer, richer sound to them.

    Night and day difference? Not quite but worth having them in the D2 in my experience.
     
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  17. Bonus

    Bonus Member

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    I have just reread the entire thread now that I understand all the lingo. The thing I am really interested in now is when you (SWL) used the Monoprice HDMI Audio Extractor . Your observation was a big improvement. I know you had trouble with the unit and went back to the USB upgrading road. The cost of the MHAE is very low $44 or thereabouts.

    I might give this a go as well. Did you use any old HDMI cable? Did you use toslink to toslink cable between the MHAE and the D2? cheers Russ
     
  18. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

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    Ok, a little history.....

    I actually started out with the USB 'Regen' (the first one that came out). Some days I thought it made an improvement, some days not really. So what does that tell you? LOL

    Then I picked up the HDMI Audio Extractor. Brand new HDMI cable to Extractor to optical cable to D2. Really liked it....a lot. After a while I noticed that if the music was paused, I was hearing some faint static and ticking coming through the speakers.

    Time went by and was bothered by this so I decided to hook the USB Regen back up. When I did, I couldn't believe it. It sounded so good and the BASS! The bass was awesome. It had so much weight to it....tight...punchy...it had it all. Not long after that, the ISO-REGEN came out so I got it along with the LPS-1 power supply. Then, I bought a better USB-SPDIF converter (IFI Microlink) and I haven't looked back.

    I'm really not sure what was up with the HDMI Audio Extractor....with the static and ticking. It may have possibly degraded over the time I had it because when I first got it I liked it but going back to the Regen it was undeniable how much better it sounded.

    Between the D2 (with discrete opamps and GE red lettered 5670 NOS tubes), the Uptone stuff, the Microlink and last but not least the DEQ2496 (most important) I'm totally content. I listen to Spotify Premium almost exclusively since getting the DEQ. I've tried them all including Tidal. I've had audio buddies come over and blind tested them. They....and me....can hardly tell the difference and actually, Spotify gets picked more times than not as the better sounding method for a given song. Believe it or not..... I know they couldn't believe it but hearing is believing.

    For the cheap price of the HDMI Extractor, I'd say give it a try. The guy that turned me on to the D2 is the same guy that told me about the HDMI Audio Extractor. He still uses both and loves 'em.:thumbsup:
     
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  19. Bonus

    Bonus Member

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    Thank you SWL for the detailed reply. The Sparkos Op amps are on their way. yehaa!! I am going to try the Monoprice HDMI audio extractor and having a look there are 3 models available. I am going from laptop Hdmi cable to Monoprice to D2 to Stereo preamp . I dont have a multichannel receiver yet and never will . which one would you recommend? cheers Russ

    Is this the one you recommend? https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=10251

    The other 3 models are Blackburn brand sold by Monoprice
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  20. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

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