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Looking for a new dac.. DIY or not? TD1541 maybe?

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Hey guys.


Well.. building the digital side of my system isnt as easy as i hoped. my TT always sounds great no matter what i do, but my dedicated computer and DAC are just not fun enough.


i strated off with a HEGEL HD2, moved on to the GEEK out 720 (used it as a dac and not headphone amp) and right now im using the TeddyDac (older model, non asynch USB).


all of them sounded good, all of them lacked something. clearly, the Teddy is the best of the bunch by a mile but still.. the soundstage is not exactly what i want and the the sound is too laid back. im looking for something more engaging, more dynamic with a much more frontal soundstage.


now, i know im asking for a lot here.. but im willing to play around to get there. DIY is fine by me, but im yet to find a kit the looked interesting enough. also, TD1541 nos dacs look interesting (i dont have any HIrez files). a local guy is actually selling an Audial aya 2 dac that might be good. tube output is also very much welcomed, actually, i prefer it. the Line Magnetic 502ca looks good also and should be well in my price range.


so, any suggestion guys?


my setup is


DIY tube preamp with 12au7 tubes and UTC output transformers.

Dynaco ST70 amp with upgraded driver board.

Tannoy Dual Concetrics 15 inch in an open baffle setup.


Thank you all for reading!

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Since you like the sound of the Teddy (which I'm not familiar with) and want more dynamics, etc. then I think you should experiment with the power supplies. Chances are, they can be seriously upgraded, and you'll get the improvements (except possibly the change in soundstage, but maybe even that) with better supplies to each DAC section. I'd look at the Salas designs on DIY as these are about as good as power supplies get.


You could also look at changing the input into the Teddy- this may or may not be possible, but if it has a way to go direct in with an I2S signal, can yield major improvements. Check out Ian's FIFO threads on DIY, along with several other usb boards (Wave, and a recent design by Barrows, who is a member here).


if you want to look at more serious DIY setups then I'd recommend the DDDAC, Soekris DAM, and Twisted Pear Buffalo III (especially with their new Chronos/Hermes boards, just becoming available). Again, DIY has huge threads on each of these designs. You can add a tube output to all of them.


This being a "computer audio" site, you should maybe even first look at your software and hardware system before making DAC changes. Superdad and others have great threads on this site about optimizing both hardware and software—making changes to the filters in A+ was probably the reason my LPs don't get listened too that much anymore.

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