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The Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC


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24 minutes ago, ehoz said:

How much does a preamp make a difference to Tambaqui. Are folks listening to the Tambaqui connected to a pre or an amp directly ?

Never tried it with a preamp, so can't make a comparison.  Direct to the amp, it is transparent, dynamic and realistic (that is, like live music).  A demo in your own home would be the way to find out for yourself.  

Mola Mola Tambaqui / Kubala-Sosna XLR / Mola Mola Kaluga / KS biwire / B&W 803 D3

Ethernet:  iMac/Roon > ... in-wall 5e ... > Sonore opticalModule [Sonore 5V LPS] > UpTone EtherREGEN + Cybershaft OP13 [UpTone JS-2 LPS] > Tambaqui ( = DAC/Roon Endpoint/preamp)

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I use an Audionet Stern preamp.  I think the Tambaqui’s performance can be enhanced significantly depending on the equipment and cabling used to accompany it.

Here is a good video on the impact a good preamp can have on a DAC  

 

 

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I am on the 'less is more' camp and always preferred going DAC direct to my active speakers.
Assuming of course that the DAC in question has a decent volume control, which Tambaqi seems to have.

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

Lindemann Musicbook: 20 DSD, ATC EL 150ASL

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3 hours ago, mevdinc said:

I am on the 'less is more' camp and always preferred going DAC direct to my active speakers.
Assuming of course that the DAC in question has a decent volume control

 

And the device the DAC feeds is compatible/easy to drive...

Mola Mola Tambaqui / Kubala-Sosna XLR / Mola Mola Kaluga / KS biwire / B&W 803 D3

Ethernet:  iMac/Roon > ... in-wall 5e ... > Sonore opticalModule [Sonore 5V LPS] > UpTone EtherREGEN + Cybershaft OP13 [UpTone JS-2 LPS] > Tambaqui ( = DAC/Roon Endpoint/preamp)

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23 hours ago, ehoz said:

im listening to it plugged into bhk pre.

 

How does it sound in your system vs. straight to your amps?  

Mola Mola Tambaqui / Kubala-Sosna XLR / Mola Mola Kaluga / KS biwire / B&W 803 D3

Ethernet:  iMac/Roon > ... in-wall 5e ... > Sonore opticalModule [Sonore 5V LPS] > UpTone EtherREGEN + Cybershaft OP13 [UpTone JS-2 LPS] > Tambaqui ( = DAC/Roon Endpoint/preamp)

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18 hours ago, PYP said:

 

And the device the DAC feeds is compatible/easy to drive...

That goes for most device compatibility.
I have used 4 different DACs with direct connection with very satisfying results.

I can understand that some people prefer to have a preamp in between, which is fine if you like the resulting sound.
It's all matter of taste and what sounds right to our ears. That's the beauty of this wonderful hobby.

Stay safe and enjoy listening to music.

 

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

Lindemann Musicbook: 20 DSD, ATC EL 150ASL

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Everyone,

 

Does anybody have any first-hand experience with evaluating the Tambaqui's built-in headphone output, against any external, TOTL headphone amplifier? In my case, it would be using the Meze Empyrean headphone. 

 

Thanks!

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28 minutes ago, mriguy said:

Tambaqui's built-in headphone output, against any external, TOTL

I've done a lot of reading about the current DACs out there.  I think there was a lot more discussion about the Bartok as a headphone amp and comparisons with TOTL dedicated headphone amps (esp in the headphone sites).  I don't remember reading much about the Tambaqui as a headphone amp and reviewers comparing it against a separate headphone amp.  There was a particular YouTube video where one reviewer said he preferred the headphone amp in Bartok vs. Tambaqui. 

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3 minutes ago, LawrenceT said:

I've done a lot of reading about the current DACs out there.  I think there was a lot more discussion about the Bartok as a headphone amp and comparisons with TOTL dedicated headphone amps (esp in the headphone sites). 

Thanks for your comment back... I've had my Tambaqui for about a month now and you would have to pry it out of my cold dead hands to get it back. All the good things written by others about it are in fact true, it's just so musical. I've been making extensive use of the integrated headphone output. I can't say I've noted any shortcomings, but you know how paranoid we all can be. I also know of the one blogger's comments regarding the the Tambaqui's headphone amp maybe not quite being up to the standards of the Tambaqui's world-class line-level outputs. I'm left with the question, but running the actual comparisons, apples-to-apples, isn't exactly easy. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has documented the topology/implementation of the Tambaqui's headphone driver/amplifier.

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2 hours ago, mriguy said:

I've had my Tambaqui for about a month now and you would have to pry it out of my cold dead hands to get it back. All the good things written by others about it are in fact true

Yup, haven't read anything NEGATIVE as a DAC!!!  Tough choices out there.  As a headphone amp, it would have been nice to have the outputs in the front and a dial for volume IMO 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Suprisingly Wetzels comparison with the Bartok seems to me to be in contradiction to Darkos. Didn't Darko say that the Tambaqui had opened up the room more? Less blanquet than with the Bartok? Here Wetzel says that the Tambaqui couldn't quite match the dCS wide-open sound. Hmm, maybe both used different filter settings on the dCS in their comparisons (plus many other variables of course). Looking forward to newly posted listening experiences here from the AS community.

 

Also great that Wetzel comments so explicity on Tambaquis performance direct to power amp vs. using the Hegel preamp saying that he prefered to have the preamp in ... I am still dreaming of a DAC that will work better directly to power amp. Soo appealing. Less boxes, less cables, less footers, less space

Apple Powerbook G4 15\", iTunes, Metric Halo LIO-8, active speakers

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15 minutes ago, fds said:

Wetzels comparison with the Bartok seems to me to be in contradiction to Darkos. Didn't Darko say that the Tambaqui had opened up the room more? Less blanquet than with the Bartok?

Do they have identical systems and rooms, other than the DAC?

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Very justified question of course. Still I would believe that relative differences between Bartok and Tambaqui wrt openess and clarity would show up even in different systems/rooms. Of course below 500 Hz the room matters a lot (assuming they are not using anything analogous to the great digital room correction + room treatment you have at work). Also liveliness of the rooms will be different. But still I would believe that it will be the same DAC among the two that is more extended/more open or maybe brighter. OTOH with Bartok maybe putting out more energy below 500 Hz in Darkos quite minimally treated room, the associated substantial room modes therein will reduce the perceived clarity as opposed to another DAC putting out less punch down low. 

Apple Powerbook G4 15\", iTunes, Metric Halo LIO-8, active speakers

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3 minutes ago, fds said:

Very justified question of course. Still I would believe that relative differences between Bartok and Tambaqui wrt openess and clarity would show up even in different systems/rooms. Of course below 500 Hz the room matters a lot (assuming they are not using anything analogous to the great digital room correction + room treatment you have at work). Also liveliness of the rooms will be different. But still I would believe that it will be the same DAC among the two that is more extended/more open or maybe brighter. OTOH with Bartok maybe putting out more energy below 500 Hz in Darkos quite minimally treated room, the associated substantial room modes therein will reduce the perceived clarity as opposed to another DAC putting out less punch down low. 

Would be nice to see room measurements from more people writing about components. Measurements aren’t everything but if a room has a big boost and a DAC seems to have a boost in that frequency range, there may be a correlation. 

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41 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Would be nice to see room measurements from more people writing about components. Measurements aren’t everything but if a room has a big boost and a DAC seems to have a boost in that frequency range, there may be a correlation. 

 

Room measurements may be relevant to know for speakers or whole audio systems, for DACs and cables not very significant, IMO.  

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7 minutes ago, Summit said:

 

Room measurements may be relevant to know for speakers or whole audio systems, for DACs and cables not very significant, IMO.  

If one’s room is the largest factor in sound quality and has issues, I believe we must know the details to judge a review. It’s the baseline. Without a baseline we have nothing. 

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37 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

If one’s room is the largest factor in sound quality and has issues, I believe we must know the details to judge a review. It’s the baseline. Without a baseline we have nothing. 

 

The room and the setup are always the largest factor for sound quality. All rooms which are not especially made for audio have some issues.

 

I have read many reviews and no one have included room measurements, and I can’t say I agree that without them we have nothing. I believe I can judge a review about a DAC without it.

 

Are you planning to start compensate for room issues by choosing a different DAC 🤩 or what?

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The reviewer comments on the sound of this dac vary quite a bit and are all over the map. Some call it transparent, closed down on top, some rich and analogue, etc.  I would take this to mean that it is transparent to the source or sound of your system.

troy

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