Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Modded my DAC

  1. #1
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    St. Paul, Minnesota

    Modded my DAC

    2 weeks ago I dropped off my AVA Hybrid Ultra DAC at Frank Van Alstine's house to be upgraded with larger, more powerful Mosfet's. I picked it up yesterday and I was stunned at the difference in sound. It is the most significant upgrade that I have done to my system. The best way to describe the sound is that there is more emotion to the music. The low end is faster and deeper with more punch. The top end has more detail and resolution. Treble has smoothed out and any last bit of fatigue has been removed. Sound stage and transparency have improved and the overall sound is more musical, detailed, dynamic and powerful without being forward or in your face. I did the same mod to my Hybrid Ultra preamp a few months ago and the sound markedly improved but not to the extent of the DAC mod.

    By the way, while I was over at Mr. Van Alstine's house I was able to audition one of his new hybrid power amps called the 400R which is 200wpc at 8ohms (conservatively rated) and about 400wpc at 4ohms. He also has a 600R which is rated at 350 and 600 wpc at 8/4 ohms. They both have auto regulated power supplies so that in loud dynamic passages the power does not sag. It's pretty amazing, because when Frank turned the amp off it continued to play for about 20 seconds afterwards due to its stored power. I did get to see the inside of the 600r and the torroidal power supply was at least 8 inches across and probably 3 inches tall.

    Over all the sound of the new amp was better than his previous fet valve 350 and 550 amps. The new amp was faster, more detailed and dynamic. There were no rough edges to the sound. Frank is going to let me take the 400R home for a couple of days to review. I wlll post a more detailed review then.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  2. #2
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    St. Charles Mo
    Good I cant wait! And thanks for telling me about the Hybrid amp.....I might be interested sometime down the road in new tube/hybrid amp
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music

    W10 i5 Quad core processor 8GB RAM/Jriver 20/ Fidelizer Optimizer/ iFI Micro DSD DAC-iUSB 3.0/Vincent SA - T1/Vincent SP-331 MK /MMF-7.1/2M BLACK/MS Phenomena ll+/Canton Vento 830.2

  3. #3
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    The best way to describe the sound is that there is more emotion to the music.
    Arguably, the analog output section of DACs has the greatest audible effect in a system since most DAC chips sound pretty decent these days. I prefer those which are designed to work as the preamplifier obviating another gain stage.


  4. #4
    Charm Thai™
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    Arguably, the analog output section of DACs has the greatest audible effect in a system...
    I agree. When I bought my DAC in the late 90's I did so for two reasons: Wanted HDCD and I figured the digital tech would change in the future so i'd be easier to change with it.

    Well new chips have come and gone and I still have the same damn DAC because I just haven't heard anything I thought sounded good enough to make a switch. Most logical thing I can attribute it to is your statement about how important a good output section is.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts