Testimonies, what are other DIY's saying about my designs?
On this page, I hope to be able to publish a nice selection of testimonies of happy DDDAC users
I can only do this, when you actually write one. Pictures are also welcome, please let me know!
Paulus van Zon's feedback on the NEW powered by Tent DAC Modules
As i write this letter your beautiful designed dac is finished and has some 250 + hours or so of playing time/burning time behind her.
I am positively staggered by the amount of quality in musical terms.
The definition in soundstage, depth, transparency and dynamics has got a whole new meaning.
When I got involved in hifi years ago I learned that a very cheap hifi sounds cheap, a very good one let you hear the good recordings, bad recording though still sound bad.
The very high end systems can make even a bad recording sound good.
I've come to the conclusion that your designed dac almost does the same as the high end systems, the not so good recordings come out great!
And that Doede, is a major feat of its own, you did something incredible.
In the meantime I read all the pages on diyaudio about your design, 90% of it was total jibberisch for me but some things got stuck and made sense.
For now everything is stock but I did made some "upgrades" or changes already….
" Where I could, I implemented "AIR" technology, something I learned last year at Audio Creative when they thought us how to make our own interlink.
http://www.audio-creative.nl/audio-creative/audio-creative-airforce-0-4-diy-interlink/ I did this with the external power supply just because I could.
Don't know if it does something because I have no reference.
" Upgraded both the power supplies with heavier transformers, 50 VA for wave-io and 80 VA mainboard.
" Decoupled internal HF spikes with the small capacitors on top of the 2 stories dactower.
" Made a new cable from Cat6 with external shielding in-between the wave-io and motherboard.
What you have created isn't hard to describe for me, it is a combination of 2 worlds, the digital and the analog domain.
It is a digital machine that sounds o so analog, with all the benefits of the digital process!
I can't wait to read about your next project, the DSD dac and maybe build one myself.
Paulus van Zon
Tristan's experience after upgrading with Sowter Transformers
Cesare Dini's feedback on the NEW powered by Tent DAC Modules
tried DDDAC with friends during all weekend and all we were shocked! incredible feeling of freedom and musicality.
All instruments with the right tone, the voice like singer or singer were just ahead.
Never have I felt such a quality sound in all registers, the best coffee possible and treble which spin like silk.
Thank you and I know that soon I will have four additional deck. It is rare to find such musical balance.
A flute or Carmina Burana, even fun, even evidence. None of the other DAC for comparison could not keep this quality, this depth and such elegance.
Thank you for such a joy to Doede and you, bravo and congratulations friends,
Tristan's experience after upgrading with Sowter Transformers
I spent the afternoon at my favourite audio shop with the DAC and the Sowters.
They have much higher grade amp and loudspeakers than my own gear.
We ran quite some tracks comparing with already very good high end DACS.
It just further confirmed what I heard at home.
We did it previously with the setup you checked and the contest was tight, with the Sowters no more pros and cons ;-) your design is the clear winner.
Dynamic, naturalness, weight, .... Everything was there.
On a specific percussion track there was a slam on big drum that made us jump in our seats so the physical sensation of having it just in front was overhelming. We replayed it several time just as kids in a fantastic attraction.
Some comments from the shop owner:
If I had your DAC for demos, I would sell more of my loudspeakers.
The closest to natural sound I ever heard.
In conclusion Santa Claus did well in sending me those transformers ;-)
Perfect companions for your fantastic design.
Now that I have found my Christmas gift, I need your bank details to pay it.
Kind appraisals from Theodore Hellmuth
I started with Doede a number of years ago by reading about the DDDAC 1543 in various DIYAUDIO threads. I bought a two tower kit,
with the Tent Clock and USB interface. I powered it with my own power supplies for digital and analog and I used Jung Super Regulators for each supply.
I implemented a music server using FOOBAR as Doede recommended, and have gone to the library to rip some well recorded Reference
Recording albums and Chesky Albums. Having lived with the DDDAC 1543, I have often wondered, how could a DAC sound any better.
It is warm sounding, lots of bass, wonderful detail and a fullness that I never heard before. Importantly, the 1543 doesn't sound
electronic, unless of course the source material sounds electronic.
As far as comparing the DDDAC 1543 to other DACs and turntables, I have nothing to compare to except my now obsolete CD players
and an old DIY SPDIF kit DAC that I enjoyed for years. Of course the 1543 is light years ahead of what I already had.
A while back I went to CES in Las Vegas. I visited the Pass Labs display. I was hoping to meet Nelson Pass, but I gather he doesn't
attend CES. But I did meet many of his staff, and it was a delight. I visited because my audio chain is all Nelson Pass designs.
A Bride of Son of Zen pre amp and a number of Aleph J amplifiers in a bi-amped arrangement.
In the Pass Suite was a Pass set up with his pre-amps and those big X amplifiers. The front end of the system had an expensive
looking CD player and turntable. They were playing lots of music on both sources. I listened critically and remember thinking to
myself that I preferred the sound of my system to what I was hearing in the suite. It wasn't the pre-amp and amplifier stages
because my system and the Pass system in the suite are all built on the same Class A principles. So it had to be the sources.
This demonstrated to me that the DDDAC 1543 as a source is pretty unbeatable. Compared to what I was hearing, the DDDAC 1543 is warmer, fuller, deeper and less electronic sounding.
As good as the DDDAC 1543 is, the DDDAC 1794 playing High Resolution music files is better. The difference between Red Book CD
and high resolution through the DDDAC 1794 doesn't beat you over the head it's more subtle than that.
As you live with it, playing
different recordings, you realize with wonderment, just how good the DDDAC 1794 and Hi Resolution is. I don't believe there
can be anything on the market at any price that is better. The DDDAC 1794 playing a good hi rez recording is very life like.
Funny that It takes a maze of electronics to sound un-electronic.
Great feedback from Adam
I finished my single-board DAC and two PSUs today, with Cinemag output transformers. I plugged it in to my Sqeezebox,
configured everything, and let it rip on my SET 300b rig (DIY).
Holy smokes, my mouth hit the floor three hours ago and has not returned to my face! I have been listening all afternoon,
hearing stuff I never heard before. The things I notice over my (cheap) tube DAC I was using are much tighter bass, more detail, wide staging, and more presence. Coupled with a very non-fatiguing, natural sound. It is also dead quiet on 98db/speakers.
Thanks for putting such an excellent DAC in the hands of the DIY crowd!
Nice Mail from Andrew on his first DDDAC
Many thanks for shipping the DDDAC kit to me. This arrived safely on Friday. As you might imagine, I got started over the
weekend and I finished this morning. Although the PCBs are completed, I have only roughly assembled the DDDAC on a piece of
MDF for the moment. However, I am delighted to tell you that it worked first time. And the biggest surprise is that even my
wife (NOT an audiophile) can hear the fantastic difference!! We are very pleased.
My main music source is through a Sonos system so the DDDAC replaces the DAC in the Sonos Connect box and feeds my Cyrus
X-Power amplifier. Not high end audiophile stuff I know but keeps us happy. With FLAC files playing through the DDDAC it
is immediately obvious that the bass is richer and all frequencies retain clarity through complex parts of the music.
I will live with the DDDAC for few weeks before making any changes however I expect I will be back in contact to buy an
additional DAC board and/or some Mundorf capacitors very soon...
I am a VERY pleased customer. Thank you for designing and supplying an excellent product. What will you design nextï¿½..?
MBRENNWA's blog writing about his experience with my DDDAC1794
The DDDAC1794 is no (ordinary) DAC!
Why the heck would anyone buy a DDDAC1794? This thing seems very much out of place in the arena USB and FireWire DACs out there, it costs a lot of money, and it requires an intimate relationship with a soldering iron, too. However, I have been in the DIY world long enough to know that nothing beats a good DIY system.
I had many and very different DACs in the past. My beloved Stokes DIY Tube DAC was restricted to S/PDIF and red-book 44/16 audio. I plunged into computer audio with a not-so-great Headroom USB DAC. Then I hot rodded an Apogee Mini FireWire DAC with a hefty DIY power supply. I use an Audiolab M-DAC in our living-room system (and it tends to break from time to time). My main system had a Linnenberg UDC1. And I've listened to the Weiss and many other cost-a-lot stuff. However, while some of those DACs sound pretty good compared to others, they all screw up the music in the same way. And I don't mean the painful "S" sounds and similar boorishness from crummy DACs. Even the «good» DACs take away the life, flesh and breath from the music, very much in contrast my trusted vinyl rig (Scheu platter and bearing, Teres motor, and Schröder arm). The Stokes Tube DAC and the Audiolab M-DAC both allow using different built-in digital filters with different characteristics. The different filters usually sound slightly different, and some sound «better» than others, but they never get rid of the artificial sound completely. But, maybe unfortunately, the filters cannot be turned off completely.
When I «stumbled» over Doede Douma's description of his DDDAC1794 that does away with digital filters I knew I had to try a non-oversampling (NOS) DAC sooner or later. Why not just skip the digital oversampling/filter, if it affects the sound by inventing new sound data that never existed in the first place?
Doedes technical description and documentation is very comprehensive and makes a lot of sense. My only hesitation was that I didn't want to start yet another DIY project that I'd never finish, because time is limited (there's a family, work, and too many other hobbies). But Doede sells completely assembled and tested DACs modules, power supplies, and USB interfaces. He even gave me a copy of the files needed to order a very nice custom-made chassis for the DDDAC1794 at Schaeffer AG. And when I asked him about the specifics of the additional bits and pieces needed to build a complete DAC, he simply included these in the package. For example, when I asked about which power switch would fit in the chassis, Doede just put the switch in the package (three switches, to be precise. Just in case I'd break the first and loose the second one). All this allowed me to build the DDDAC1794 in no time. The only gripe was when the Schaeffer chassis was a wee to too small to fit the power-supply heat sinks, but there was an easy fix (just a little side note to illustrate how smooth building the DDDAC1794 was: before I found the DDDAC1794 on the net, I asked the local Bryston distributor if I could borrow one of their DACs to give it a try. They keep promising I could have one once they receive one. In the meantime, I am playing my music using the DDDAC1794).
How does it sound? Spectacular? Phantastic? Superb? Damn good? Fucking great? Yes, all of this. But that's all secondary with the DDDAC1794. The really important thing is that the DDDAC1794 doesn't sound like a DAC at all. It's a bit like a vinyl rig on steroids, but without the pops, clicks, and rumble (and I don't mean the old record player your dad had when he was a boy, but the freaky good 2013 stuff). The music and all the little details are just there in a very relaxed way. Ry Cooder is having a party in my house, Phil Collins' (yes!) drumsticks are flying in front of me, Sophie Hunger has moved to my house (was close anyway), Willy DeVille has risen from the dead, no more doubts about No Doubt, Timber Timbre is timber timbered, Mark Knopfler is in Dire Straits, Marianne Faithfull finally confessed her love for Bruce Springsteen, Jeff's Wine is as Lilac as it gets, Glen Hansard got a shave, Depeche Mode are Exit(er)ing, Lou Reed made me a Perfect Day, and Giant Sand and Marla Glen just called to be the next acts in my listening room. In short: I hear the music, not a DAC. In contrast to oversampling and digial filters, the NOS concept not only works, but also sounds good!
As a final and very important comment, I'd like to congratulate Doede not only for designing the DDDAC1794, but also for documenting everything in full detail. The deep insight into how the DDDAC1794 works provided a lot of confidence that convinced me to try Doede's design and to buy his stuff. One can only guess why others don't do that.
The original text has many HyperLinks, so you might want o go there as well.....
Click here for the original Blog....
A friendly Email from Mukti about the DDDAC1794....
That is what I can say. All this time I have rough edges came out of my ribbon. High freq distortion that accompany every single word that came out from the singer or distortion that accompany the cymbal or other high freq percussion, they are all gone now. Very enjoyable. Thank you very much. This DAC really suited my tube amp and Apogee ribbon. Make you wonder why they have to go through all the trouble to make such complicated oversampling and digital filter while your NOS is a hundred time better.
Triodedick's blog writing about my visit and building the DAC
Scroll down to:
To DAC or not to DAC
Een prachtig DAC avontuur ontspint zich als mijn goede vriend Doede Douma na lange tijd weer eens op bezoek komt.
Doede is bij de meesten onder ons waarschijnlijk het meest bekent van zijn no oversampling, no digital filter 1543 DAC,
met de steeds hoger wordende 1543 torens van op een gegeven moment zelfs excessief veel parallel geschakelde chips. Het ontwerp is enorm veel nagebouwd.
Maar ook Doede heeft de high res muziek ontdekt en de oude DAC is, hoe gewaardeerd ook, beperkt tot 16 bit/ 48 kHz.
Een jaar geleden is er begonnen met het ontwerp van een nieuwe DAC die minstens de kwaliteit moet hebben van de 1543,
het liefst natuurlijk nog een streep beter, maar tot 24 bit/ 192 kHz moet kunnen spelen.
Read here (in Dutch)the blog from Triodedick about the new DAC calles "To DAC or not te DAC"
DDDAC 1794 NOS, a testimony of the first hour (!) from Reinhard Huttenburg
finally in my HiFi-life I can say "yes, that's it !", this - compared to other parts in my reproduction systems - rather tiny little "thing" that brings everything just exactly perfect to the point right in the beginning, a criterion which I have been always looking for but never got, till now:
your new DDDAC 24/192 NOS...
...since yesterday this new miracle is running in my system, hardly burnt in, but I can already immediately say: magic appears, goose bumps, and satisfaction, deepest satisfaction, which presumably make not only my dreams comes true...
to make it short: I want to listen to music exactly this way!!! no more discussion necessary...
people are looking for analogue ? perfect analogue ? then I have to say: go digital !!! with your new 24 bit 192 kHz DAC... it's hard to believe, but it is exactly like that: to get the most out of analogue (from the master tape - not from vinyl) one has to go the most precise way in digital, your way...
everything that people talk about being boring and nerving and unpleasant in digital is not existing within your DAC, but it brings all the advantages of analogue fully to the forefront: roundness, softness, naturality... and in
addition: original slimness, I always was a big friend of slim tones in HiFi, i.e. a voice should sound like a voice, no matter if male or female, coming out of a mouth with some ten centimeters in diameter, and not 100 cm or even bigger... (as is most normally with the complete rest of the sound, instruments, chorus and so on...)..
with your new DAC a single voice is indeed some 15 cm in diameter in my reproduction system, although I have to admit that this has become possible to a certain extent because I have time aligned my single systems on each side... but nevertheless this aim is reached, totally... and I have been sitting for some five or six hours now in front of my system and I still feel "hungry" for more music.... one of the best things that can happen to me in life...
well, how to describe the spectacular advantages of your fantastic new DAC ???
well, from what I hear (and I refer to the use in combination with your new controlled power supply which has ameliorated my total sound for some 20 %..., yes, yes...):
1. the new 24 bit DAC does not at all make your 1543 DAC, which I use with
120 chips, superflues, this remains still some sort of reference for 16 bit, and I am still more than happy with it - although I have not yet made some sort of "severe" comparisons at the moment, it would not be "fair" to compare a completely burnt in and settled down 120 chip version against a virgin 2-24 Bit chips version running in 16 bit mode....
2. the whole sound with your 24 bit DAC gets perfectly defined and focused in just the right dimension and direction, it gains in naturality, precision, easiness... and the impression is: we are not there, they are here...
3. all the so called disadvantages of digital simply do not exist with your new DAC, just the contrary, your DAC enables the music to strengthen itself exactly the way it was intended by the artists and engineers to be listened to...
4. and yes, I know from the net that there are quite a lot of people out there who totally deny the qualities of high resolution, estimate it for a new marketing trick only to pull out more money out of the customers pockets and/or simply claim that the additional information would not be audible...
well, I can assure you, the differences in sound are great, and it is indeed a big difference if you have a high resolution DAC which is not able to deliver the higher amount of information properly and are punished to live with awful musical results, or to have your DAC which clearly is able to generate, i.e.
reproduce the sound as it is on the original master tape, and perhaps not just being able to make completely use of it because of weaknesses in one's system to perform adequately...
5. your new DAC proves what we have presumed long time: the necessity of getting rid of the power within USB and to handle it separately on your controlled power supply... what a fantastic amelioration in sound !!!!
6. and regarding the measurements, the squares are absolutely perfect, they show from lowest lows till highest highs, way up above 96.000 Hz... I have to ask: did somebody ever see something like this at all before or after ???
Your DDDAC 24-192 NOS for me clearly is an absolutely top notch ingenious world class master achievement, from bottom to the top, through and through... all my personal expectations have been exceeded by far, and believe me, they were quite high, and one can easily hear this, I would hardly have been able to articulate my wishes regarding these results in words before the beginning of the construction: this simply is genius and let's nothing more to be desired !!!! this is really a 500 horse power Formula I machine... the only question that arises is: are we able to bring the horse powers onto the road ???
well, of course, everybody will have to make his own experiences with your new DAC...
yes, and for me, while listening to your new miracle right now my appetite for more decks grows immensely... why? because I know of the results from your 1543 DAC... it leads to heaven, HiFi-heaven...
let me thank you for this perfect little "thing" which makes me very very very happy, and let me wish you that your new DAC might be very quickly very well known and achieve the recognition within the DIY-world and outside that it really deserves !!!
Please write your testimonies and send them to me!
Your testimony could be here :-)
Keep reading ...... the story continuous with the technical tests and specifications ( Tests and Specs )