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In December, I bought a used version that was modded by Ric Schultz.  The sound was absolutely wonderful.   Earlier this week, I went to turn it on but it didn’t power up.  I confirmed that the fuse was not working and replaced it with a new fuse.   It still doesn’t power up.   What a shame.

 

Everything looks clean on the inside so I have no idea what the issue is.  I wonder if the board died or the chips overheated.   Has anybody else ever experienced an issue like this and fixed it?

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On 2/9/2019 at 5:22 PM, Ellsworth said:

In December, I bought a used version that was modded by Ric Schultz.  The sound was absolutely wonderful.   Earlier this week, I went to turn it on but it didn’t power up.  I confirmed that the fuse was not working and replaced it with a new fuse.   It still doesn’t power up.   What a shame.

 

Everything looks clean on the inside so I have no idea what the issue is.  I wonder if the board died or the chips overheated.   Has anybody else ever experienced an issue like this and fixed it?

 

That's pretty frustrating. I would

be interested to know what the mods were, and whether they were a factor in the unit going kaput. I made a lot of mods to my 003 but couldn't see so much to do on the 004. 

 

The small piece of good news is that if you have no power at all, then it is probably something fundamental and potentially easy to repair. For instance, the voltage regulators are very easy to change. 

 

I still haven't got round to selling my unit, which i have been meaning to do for a while after getting a Dave and M-Scaler. An option perhaps if you can't fix yours and don't want to pay full whack for a new unit (I'm guessing your warranty is no longer valid on account of the mods). 

 

Cheers

mac_and_dac

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Ellsworth, you contact Rick? 

 

Bought some stepped attenuators from him years ago.  Seemed like a straight up guy who would get the DAC back up running and be reasonable, particularly if the problem is mod related.

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Thanks for the comments.   The mods are posted on The EVS site.  With my limited knowledge, it is hard to say if any of them impacted the DAC.  The problem may have nothing to do with it.  I have worked with Ric Schultz before on a DAC mod and find him to be a straight-up guy.  I will see if there is anything that can be done.  

 

This DAC was a revelation for me..  I had always heard about digital glare but didn’t really know what it was.  After subbing my Gustard back into the system, I now understand what people are referring to.    The LKS removed that glare and is in a different league from previous DACS I have owned (Rega, NAD M51, and the Gustard).  Now that I have heard something this good in my system it is hard to go backwards.

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The earlier MH-DA DACs I found to be very sensitive. I had the 003 and was disappointed with how it sounded out of the box: I found it very thin. I replaced the stock Crystek XO with a different XO and this cleared the problem immediately. I made some other mods but these were less noticeable.

 

The 004, in contrast, is excellent from stock, due in large part to the dual mono ESS9038 architecture and discrete output section (no more need for op amp rolling).

 

As recommended by 57Gold, it may be worth contacting Mr Schultz - he is 'the man' in this area with a deep interest not just in the LKS Audio DAC's but also in other kit including the well regarded Eastern Electric Minimax DACs, also from the China/Hong Kong Region. I have a couple of these gathering dust, one of them modded off the back of tips provided by Schultz and Doug Schroder.   

 

It's a bit of a pain to re-package a unit and send off for fixing, however the LKS Audio DACs are really great units and if Rick will accept it for return and analysis then it's worth the hassle to keep your baby alive.

 

FWIW, if I ever am forced to sell my Dave then I will go straight back to LKS Audio units. The architectures are great, the sound is great, in sum it's a true audiophile bargain.

 

Cheers

mac_and_dac

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This DAC is definitely worth trying to fix.  The soundstage, transparency, and smoothness were a step up from anything I had heard before.  I should try to listen to other systems more to better understand what is possible.   

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The DAC holds its own in far more expensive company. I've used it with Quad II 80 valve monoblocks and Cyrus Mono X300 Sig solid state monos driving Kudos speakers, and it doesn't sound embarrassed at all to be there. Quite the opposite, it gets the party started.

 

I prefer the Chord Dave because it has more low end, however it's not a fair comparison as the Dave costs around 7K GBP more! And it's absolutely not a night and day thing it all. If someone took away my Dave and told me to use the MH-DA004 instead, I wouldn't be upset.

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