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About mac_and_dac

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  1. I've finally got round to putting my 004 on ebay. Could be a nice bargain for someone! Second best DAC I've ever owned. Very hard to fault.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Hi, I can't remember for sure what the battery type is - I think it was Triple A. Yes, it sounds very good out of the box. I don't remember it changing much after break-in. The discrete USB section (Amanero board, IIRC) is supposedly galvanically isolated, but Toslink may sound better due to full isolation. Worth trying both. I think I did but couldn't discern any obvious difference. Try the filters also. My ears didn't detect much difference but yours may, and there is a good range of choice. Glad you are enjoying it. Twin 9038 Pro ESS chip architecture is the way forward
  6. Not sure - probably best asking someone with more knowledge in that space.
  7. Good stuff. It's not in the manual, but be aware that the DPLL has 15 settings. I think 1 is the best quality setting IIRC, however it doesn't work well until the unit is warmed up. I used to start on the lowest quality setting, and then after 5 minutes move it to the highest setting. It's controllable via the remote, which simply changes the settings directly on the twin DAC chips (it's a Sabre pin option). To be honest I could scarcely hear any difference. It's the same with the digital filters. Lots of choice, but I'm not sure I noticed any difference. If
  8. Getting it from China is indeed somewhat worrying, as it's hard to get it repaired if it goes wrong. I've had a number of DAC's (still have 6!) and so have learned the sonic signature of quite a few of them. I've also listened to DAC's up to around the 8K GBP range, so have a good idea of the differences. The LKS Audio MH-DA 004 is the best chip-based DAC I have head. It's not a surprise because it uses a very well implemented dual mono architecture, and discrete output components (rather than cheap IC op amps).
  9. Seems odd. I've had two MH-DA 003's and still own an MH-DA 004 and have never experienced cable issues. Maybe it's something to do with the latest batch? FWIW, I'll be putting mine on e-bay shortly. Lovely unit, but it has been replaced recently with Chord M-Scaler/Dave. (Gives them a good run for their money though, and at a fraction of the price.)
  10. Out of interest, can anyone explain why the 004 can struggle with a lock initially, but then be ok after warm up? I don't use my unit much these days, but I remember that I would have to leave it on 15 for about 5 minutes after startup, and then I could change it to 1. I only play Redbook, for the record.
  11. The Schitt Freya is also a good alternative in that regard, as it has three paths, including a valve path. So you can pick your sonic 'flavour', as it were.
  12. Hi I did a 'like for like' test, using both the 004 and the Dave in pre-amp mode. I actually compared both again this weekend, and I'm certainly not disappointed with the 004. The Dave is just slightly livelier. With the 003 you could swap around the op amps to change the sound in this regard, but the 004 has a discrete output stage so this is harder to tweak. In the past I alternated running the 004 with and without pre-amp (Schiit Freya), and I couldn't really hear much of a difference so I eventually settled on using the 004 in pre-amp mode, largely becau
  13. I very nearly bought the Singxer, but the comments section of some thread (Singxer sales website comments section, or HeadFi.org - can't remember) reported some problems with it. That was a few months ago, maybe the issue has been addressed.
  14. Hi I've had several DACs in that price range over the last 4-5 years, the 004 is the best of these. It presents a very neutral, detailed sound with a good grip of the music (if that makes sense). I attribute that to the new ESS chips, the dual mono architecture, and the simplicity of the implementation. I compared the 004 head-to-head with the Chord Dave recently. The 004 came out second best, but certainly wasn't embarrassed - and is far cheaper. The volume control is 32-bit, so quantisation errors are theoretically extremely limited. I initially bought a S
  15. I plan to fit better quality regulators, as I did with the 003 - but this is probably a step too far for most. The unit has a vent at the top. Mine has never become unduly hot. I play only PCM, and use the 004 in pre-amp mode, which I expect helps a little as less current is being drawn as compared to 'fixed output' mode. The main concern for me is the life expectancy of one of the sets of caps, but I'm sure that can be remediated.
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