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2 minutes ago, realDHT said:

As I remember it it was 10 steps for the R version and 13 steps for the speaker powerdac.

 

Thanks for correcting me, you are right, this is what is indicated on their blog. 

 

My ECD MBL power amps have three gain settings, that can actually be changed while powered on, and that gives a lot of flexibility. But choice of power amp  may be a point to consider as well when using the variable out. 

my blog

 

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1 minute ago, hopkins said:

 

Can you elaborate? 

I am thinking if you are selling a commercial product having a headphone jack, it must work well with all, or at least most of the headphones on the market. Even if you inform on the webpage it will only work for some phones, it might give you badwill and confusion amongst customers when they connect their unsuitable headphones..

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12 minutes ago, realDHT said:

I am thinking if you are selling a commercial product having a headphone jack, it must work well with all, or at least most of the headphones on the market. Even if you inform on the webpage it will only work for some phones, it might give you badwill and confusion amongst customers when they connect their unsuitable headphones..

 

Good point. I just saw they added on their blog a paragraph on headphone use addressing these aspects. See here at the bottom of the page:

 

https://www.ecdesigns.nl/en/blog/rd-powerdac

 

They also mention issues with jack durability, and that is  something I have experienced. Repeatedly plugging in and out headphones, in addition to cable pull/weight can deteriorate jacks as well. 

my blog

 

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11 minutes ago, hopkins said:

 

Good point. I just saw they added on their blog a paragraph on headphone use addressing these aspects. See here at the bottom of the page:

 

https://www.ecdesigns.nl/en/blog/rd-powerdac

 

They also mention issues with jack durability, and that is  something I have experienced. Repeatedly plugging in and out headphones, in addition to cable pull/weight can deteriorate jacks as well. 

I read their update now. Good that they confirm they have tested 32 ohm phones successfully. Then we know it will indeed work well for most phones out there.  

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Another point I would like to see them clarify is the power supply on the R model. 

 

- for the R model: "External 5V / 250mA power supply (can be tweaked for optimal sound quality)." 

 

- for the S model: "External 5V / 250mA power supply (can be tweaked for optimal sound quality) for all circuits except the Power D/A converters." 

 

What external power supply will they provide for the R model? Will the power supply make a difference on the R model? Will they offer an upgraded supply (as the PowerDAC R is meant to be"affordable") ? What do they mean by the power D/A converters- the DAC board? 

 

I understand John has worked extensively recently on power supplies. I thought he had developped a novel PS. So i'm a little confused here. I'll ask them. 

my blog

 

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28 minutes ago, hopkins said:

Another point I would like to see them clarify is the power supply on the R model. 

 

- for the R model: "External 5V / 250mA power supply (can be tweaked for optimal sound quality)." 

 

- for the S model: "External 5V / 250mA power supply (can be tweaked for optimal sound quality) for all circuits except the Power D/A converters." 

 

What external power supply will they provide for the R model? Will the power supply make a difference on the R model? Will they offer an upgraded supply (as the PowerDAC R is meant to be"affordable") ? What do they mean by the power D/A converters- the DAC board? 

 

I understand John has worked extensively recently on power supplies. I thought he had developped a novel PS. So i'm a little confused here. I'll ask them. 

Yep I would be interested in hearing his feedback when you get it. 

 

Meanwhile I'm just guessing:

The common 5V 250mA might be actually the same PSU as is delivered for the DA96? 

The power D/A converter is probably the power resistor ladders, not including the rest of the D/A board. 

And probably the novel PSU he was talking about is directly associated/integrated with the power D/A circuit and internal of the design.     

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They also added some interesting information on volume control, following some of the questions/comments:

 

https://www.ecdesigns.nl/en/blog/rd-powerdac

 

John replied to my question about the power supply and am waiting to see if they choose to add info on their blog. 

 

Bottom line is that the solutions they developed are really breakthroughs with respect to everything currently available, and challenges a lot of what we know (and traditional recipes/tweaks). 

my blog

 

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6 hours ago, realDHT said:

I am thinking if you are selling a commercial product having a headphone jack, it must work well with all, or at least most of the headphones on the market. Even if you inform on the webpage it will only work for some phones, it might give you badwill and confusion amongst customers when they connect their unsuitable headphones..

I dont agree

personally, I let my headphone connected at all time to my headphone amp. its not like I will unplug my headphone 10 times a day. headphone jack are extremely sturdy. never actually heard of one failing in high end gear. and if it eventually fail, chaging the jack is stupid easy for anyone.

 

now using a rca to headphone adapter goes against what ECD are praising (getting away from any interconnects...)

 

The fact the Powerdac headphone only offer one set of outputs and no headphone jack is a bad joke to me. Focal Arche is a perfect example on how a DAC-headphone amp all in one should look like

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1 hour ago, hopkins said:

Bottom line is that the solutions they developed are really breakthroughs with respect to everything currently available, and challenges a lot of what we know (and traditional recipes/tweaks). 

 

AFAIK, the Metrum Adagio DAC preamp offers a completely lossless volume control by increasing and decreasing the supply voltage which is feeding the DAC modules.

The ECD solution is not completely lossless since it is sacrificing up to four bits.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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40 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

AFAIK, the Metrum Adagio DAC preamp offers a completely lossless volume control by increasing and decreasing the supply voltage which is feeding the DAC modules.

The ECD solution is not completely lossless since it is sacrificing up to four bits.

 

Matt

 

After reading their explanations I don't share your concerns about losslessness. Did you read everything or just stop at the fact that it is not lossless ? Here is the full text: "so we limited bit shifts to 4, this leaves 20 bits resolution at highest attenuation and that's 2 bits more than any human auditory system can resolve". As stated previously, the volume aspect is definitely something that I plan to test thoroughly, against my preamp which I find to offer exceptional fidelity. 

 

As for Metrum's solution I doubt it is really comparable. Maybe ask them?  One important aspect, which I doubt you will see in the Metrum, for example, is how the PowrDAC has more immunity to power supply noise. This gets very technical and they will explain it better than I can.

 

my blog

 

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45 minutes ago, murphythecat87 said:

I dont agree

personally, I let my headphone connected at all time to my headphone amp. its not like I will unplug my headphone 10 times a day. headphone jack are extremely sturdy. never actually heard of one failing in high end gear. and if it eventually fail, chaging the jack is stupid easy for anyone.

 

now using a rca to headphone adapter goes against what ECD are praising (getting away from any interconnects...)

 

The fact the Powerdac headphone only offer one set of outputs and no headphone jack is a bad joke to me. Focal Arche is a perfect example on how a DAC-headphone amp all in one should look like

I did not say anything about jack reliability in my post. It is not "stupid easy for anyone" to change a jack by the way. You would have to dissassemble the dac and desolder it from the board. If you can do that easy, then you can just as well install a new jack somewhere and connect it with cables to the board.

 

And the powerdac R is NOT a combined DAC/headphone amp, John stated that clearly in the blog. 

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44 minutes ago, hopkins said:

 

After reading their explanations I don't share your concerns. As for Metrum's solution I doubt it is really comparable. Maybe ask them? 

 

The question is if one can hear the loss of four bits. From a technical POV the Metrum solution seems to be superior.

TBH, the real breakthrough with respect to everything is for me the PowerDAC-S (if it will deliver musicality in listening).

I asked on diyaudio if it is possible to post some pictures of the PowerDAC-S.

 

Matt

 

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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47 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

The question is if one can hear the loss of four bits. From a technical POV the Metrum solution seems to be superior.

TBH, the real breakthrough with respect to everything is for me the PowerDAC-S (if it will deliver musicality in listening).

 

Matt

 

 

Once again, if 4 bit loss is beyond anyone's hearing I don't get your point. 

 

The PowerDAC S and R are very similar, so I don't completely share your conclusion either. But there is a case to be made for skipping the "R" and waiting for the "S"... 

 

A significant and common  feature to both is the noise immunity (signal with 200khz bandwidth, no I2S) which changes everything in terms of digital signal processing. There are others (explained in their blog). 

 

Had you had the opportunity to compare the U192 or UPL before and after the implementation of this "20 Mhz band limiter" I think the significance in terms of sound quality improvement would have been obvious (but AFAIK you have not heard any of their products).

 

But this was an imperfect solution, a "band aid" (as there was still source/PS dependancy, as we all found out), and this new solution offers a signal level 100 times lower, and an entirely different and new approach to reclocking that you simply will not find in any  other DAC. Both the PowerDAC R and S share this same design.

 

Based on the improvements I heard on the U192/UPL with this imperfect "band limiter, I am really curious to hear this new product. I think most people who use the Fractal DAC today share this enthusiasm, or at least curiosity, which is why I share mine here. The ECD stuff is like a drug, once you start using it you get hooked, you don't want to do without it, and ask for more 😁 

 

With the PowerDAC R you will still need a conventional power amplifier, that is the difference, and that is where you may not reap the full benefits, depending on the quality of one's amplification.

 

Use of headphones will be a useful tool to assess the quality, or lack thereof, of one's amplification (and speakers). 

 

What would be the point of listening to the "R" and not go directly for the "S"? Good question... If the "R" is at a reasonable price and available before the "S" I won't resist testing it, and I'll be sure to provide here my (hopefully unbiased) conclusions 😉 both from listening in my system and in friends' systems (this is part of the fun of the hobby!). 

 

The "S" model so far outputs 6 watts, so it may not be relevant in all configurations. ECD may offer different configurations, I don't know. 

 

I am not trying to convince you of anything!

 

 

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I am quite satisfied with their implementation and explanation of the integrated volume control. And I agree that not having a preamp is better. Going DAC direct to amp is my preferred connection.
Since they are aiming for exceptional results, I am happy to trust the designers and hear the results before jumping to conclusions.
At the moment, the only thing that is missing for me is the lack of XLR outputs, I really don't like the idea of using RCA to XLR adapter.
 

Audirvana+3.0 / Qobuz Studio / Mac Mini (256GB SSD - 16GB RAM)

Lindemann Musicbook: 20 DSD, ATC EL 150ASL

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11 hours ago, hopkins said:

The "S" model so far outputs 6 watts, so it may not be relevant in all configurations


That is the key point.  If it proves to be the case, 6 watts is very low so the S is likely only going to suit people (like me) looking to use with very efficient passive speakers, the R may thus be a better bet for most  people.

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59 minutes ago, Norton said:


That is the key point.  If it proves to be the case, 6 watts is very low so the S is likely only going to suit people (like me) looking to use with very efficient passive speakers, the R may thus be a better bet for most  people.

 

Yes, I think speakers with a sensitivity of something like 99dB or more are mandatory for the PowerDAC-S.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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1 hour ago, matthias said:

 

Yes, I think speakers with a sensitivity of something like 99dB or more are mandatory for the PowerDAC-S.

 

Matt

 

In their blog they mention: "PowerDAC - S (S stands for Speaker output). This PowerDAC is intended to directly drive efficient (90dB and up) speakers and all dynamic headphones, it outputs up to 6W rms. If more power is required for inefficient speakers, it is possible to add external, low gain (1x ... 5x) single semiconductor / single tube buffers. Such buffers only need few parts in the signal path like one coupling cap or insulation transformer, power tube + OT or one coupling cap or insulation transformer, power MOSFET + CCS or OT so the damage to the analogue signal (loss of resolution) is small compared to a conventional (pre) amp. "

 

I think they are considering, for those who require more than 6W power, an add-on tube power stage to boost the power output to 50W. This is why I was mentioning they may offer several variants of the "S" model.

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1 hour ago, hopkins said:

 

In their blog they mention: "PowerDAC - S (S stands for Speaker output). This PowerDAC is intended to directly drive efficient (90dB and up) speakers and all dynamic headphones, it outputs up to 6W rms. If more power is required for inefficient speakers, it is possible to add external, low gain (1x ... 5x) single semiconductor / single tube buffers. Such buffers only need few parts in the signal path like one coupling cap or insulation transformer, power tube + OT or one coupling cap or insulation transformer, power MOSFET + CCS or OT so the damage to the analogue signal (loss of resolution) is small compared to a conventional (pre) amp. "

 

I think they are considering, for those who require more than 6W power, an add-on tube power stage to boost the power output to 50W. This is why I was mentioning they may offer several variants of the "S" model.

 

I know this passage, tbh it appears to me not as a mature solution (but the proof is in the listening).

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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2 hours ago, hopkins said:

The initial timeline given by ECD was end of 2021,which gives them plenty of time to fine tune their approach for the "S" model. Hopefully the "R" model may be tested sooner. So sit back, relax, and we'll let you know when we get a chance to listen. 

 

this thread is a joke ,  month and month of teasing with technical B.S  to end up with a picture of a prototype of Waffle iron with recessed RCA     , guys you make my day ! 😁

PC audio /Roon + HQPLAYER / HOLO Spring 2 / / DIY AD1 SET tube amp  /  DIY Altec 2 way horn Speaker

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1 minute ago, juanitox said:

 

this thread is a joke ,  month and month of teasing with technical B.S  to end up with a picture of a prototype of Waffle iron with recessed RCA     , guys you make my day ! 😁

Just because you are not able to understand it does not mean that it is technical BS.

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1 minute ago, juanitox said:

 

this thread is a joke ,  month and month of teasing with technical B.S  to end up with a picture of a prototype of Waffle iron with recessed RCA     , guys you make my day ! 😁

 

Great. You had already made your opinion clear a few posts before. Move on, and let us discuss this if you are not interested. Thanks.

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6 hours ago, matthias said:

 

I know this passage, tbh it appears to me not as a mature solution (but the proof is in the listening).

 

Matt

A nice video I really liked in the past that totally ruin your "immature" assertion @matthias : 

 

Have you ever listened to EC Designs' products? Your presence in this thread should be very modest or not whether you answer yes or not to that question and whethere you bring substantial, respectful and constructive elements to the table...

 

Judging products created by John BROWN (assuming you potentially have never heard any of his creations) that are not already launched should imply from you a minimum of rigor and good manners.

Last time : could you stop polluting this thread by sharing too often excessive messages about your feelings about something you don't know or experienced by any way?

 

If you decide to pursue in this unconstructive and irrespectful way (by treating John of "immature"), perhaps @The Computer Audiophile may block you from this thread in the future?

Many thanks for your comprehension,

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