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Review and Measurements of MARCH audio dac1

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bunkbail

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@March Audio Which Sabre chip is being used in the DAC? ES3098Q2M? And is it a stereo config or a dual mono config?
 

maxxevv

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The main issue with these CNCed aluminum cases is to get a consistent result from the anodizing process, not all blacks have the same level of black ... :oops:
The anodizing batch is made new basically every day, if the anodizing pools are big enough, one can get anodized the entire stock of cases, otherwise doing that thru different batches gets to some inconsistency in the finish ...
Yeah, the piece can be put thru the discoloration process and back into the anodizing pools ... but that's something you want to avoid ... :rolleyes:
I work with mechanical parts and processes on a daily basis and it has to be a pretty screwed up shop to get inconsistent black anodizing. Its the easiest of all anodizing shades to get correct, consistently. Its even easier than "clear" anodizing.

If you're talking about other colours, then yes, its difficult unless they are all done in 1 batch. Which is why certain boutique manufacturers such as Industry Nine and Chris King are extremely proud of their consistency in these sort of coatings.

As for anodizing aluminium in more than 1 colour on 1 piece of material/part for aluminium, it can be done and it has been demonstrated before as far as I have witnessed at manufacture expos. It just involves some diligence in masking and selection of appropriate colours to sequence if clearly demarcated regions of masking are not available.

Example:
 
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Wombat

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khadas tone board and march audio dac1:
even the location of usb and RCA port is same
the ring of rca is same

I think one of them must be copied.
View attachment 19124
Layout is obviously not the same. Either poor spacial awareness or an audiophile 'stretch'.

There is no claim the RCA terminals are unique.

Maybe you forgot the winking emoji? ;)
 

March Audio

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Wow, a local WA company!
Amazing eh? Mind you, "local" is all relative

Western Australia covers more than 2.6 million square kilometres (10,021,748 square miles) - the combined size of Alaska and Texas - with a population of 2.6 million people.

Where are you in that vast area of mostly nothing?
 
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March Audio

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I work with mechanical parts and processes on a daily basis and it has to be a pretty screwed up shop to get inconsistent black anodizing. Its the easiest of all anodizing shades to get correct, consistently. Its even easier than "clear" anodizing.

If you're talking about other colours, then yes, its difficult unless they are all done in 1 batch. Which is why certain boutique manufacturers such as Industry Nine and Chris King are extremely proud of their consistency in these sort of coatings.

As for anodizing aluminium in more than 1 colour on 1 piece of material/part for aluminium, it can be done and it has been demonstrated before as far as I have witnessed at manufacture expos. It just involves some deligence in masking and selection of appropriate colours to sequence if clearly demarcated regions of masking are not available.

Example:
The DAC and Power amp shown below were manufactured about a month apart. Im not sure how well the picture shows but the anodizing is identical

1545291317723.png


Is this a March Audio stack?
 

VintageFlanker

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Hi @March Audio,

First, congrats for this unit which mesures top tier. It also nice to see new companies in the market.

But...

Did you notice the several posts up there which mentioned a disturbing similarity to the Tone board?

It may not be a big deal...If you say "it's not a Tone", I'll believe you. But your silence about this is a bit...worrying.
 

March Audio

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Hi @March Audio,

First, congrats for this unit which mesures top tier. It also nice to see new companies in the market.

But...

Did you notice the several posts up there which mentioned a disturbing similarity to the Tone board?

It may not be a big deal...If you say "it's not a Tone", I'll believe you. But your silence about this is a bit...worrying.
Thank you.

Why is it worrying? I wont be showing/discussing whats in my headphone amp either. :)
 
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The DAC and Power amp shown below were manufactured about a month apart. Im not sure how well the picture shows but the anodizing is identical

View attachment 19140

Is this a March Audio stack?
Nice looking power amp, any details on the price? If you guys ever make a balanced DAC I'd be really interested.
Indeed. I know everyone is laughing but there is a grain of truth in this. The additional mass will change the natural frequencies of the object and may damp, possibly reduce the impact of acoustically induced vibration. I will find the link to the Mojo video I made previously. Unfortunately I have sold my Mojo so can't demonstrate this in action. Has to be said though I have not found any other Dac to be as microphonic as the Mojo and would generally consider this a non problem.

edit: found it

I've noticed an opposite kind of effect on some STAX amps. The SRM-313 in particular, after I recapped it, almost sounds like a phone speaker playing at a low/medium volume. I'm really not sure what parts are acting as transducers, but it's kind of neat.
 

March Audio

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Nice looking power amp, any details on the price? If you guys ever make a balanced DAC I'd be really interested.

I've noticed an opposite kind of effect on some STAX amps. The SRM-313 in particular, after I recapped it, almost sounds like a phone speaker playing at a low/medium volume. I'm really not sure what parts are acting as transducers, but it's kind of neat.
I promised a few other posters I was going to put up a new thread about the amps today giving the details on pricing but in the meantime the specs are:

Four models will be available:
  • P122 - Stereo 120 watts into 4 ohms
  • P252 - Stereo 250 watts into 4 ohms
  • P502 - Stereo 500 watts into 4 ohms
  • P701 - Mono Block 700 watts into 4 ohm
Balanced XLR input design (compatible with single ended RCA)

As an example, some of the P252 other performance parameters:

THD+N: 0.0015% (thats SINAD of 97dB)
SNR: 121dB
Output Noise: 30uV
Power BW: 20Hz to 35kHz
Gain: 26dB
Current Limit: 17.5 A
Output Z: 1.5 mOhm
Input Z: 47K

The 122,252 and 502 share similar performance but the P701 is a step up again.

I will try and get round to that thread later today.
 

maxxevv

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The DAC and Power amp shown below were manufactured about a month apart. Im not sure how well the picture shows but the anodizing is identical

View attachment 19140

Is this a March Audio stack?
You need to be replying to graz_lag, not me.

I have parts coated 1 year apart looking identical. For black, the process control is pretty straightforward. Its a lot harder for other colours as surface porosity/ preparation will affect it too. Not just the dye concentration levels.
 

March Audio

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You need to be replying to graz_lag, not me.

I have parts coated 1 year apart looking identical. For black, the process control is pretty straightforward. Its a lot harder for other colours as surface porosity/ preparation will affect it too. Not just the dye concentration levels.
I was just continuing the point and agreeing with you :)
 

rajapruk

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I promised a few other posters I was going to put up a new thread about the amps today giving the details on pricing but in the meantime the specs are:

Four models will be available:
  • P122 - Stereo 120 watts into 4 ohms
  • P252 - Stereo 250 watts into 4 ohms
  • P502 - Stereo 500 watts into 4 ohms
  • P701 - Mono Block 700 watts into 4 ohm
Balanced XLR input design (compatible with single ended RCA)

As an example, some of the P252 other performance parameters:

THD+N: 0.0015% (thats SINAD of 97dB)
SNR: 121dB
Output Noise: 30uV
Power BW: 20Hz to 35kHz
Gain: 26dB
Current Limit: 17.5 A
Output Z: 1.5 mOhm
Input Z: 47K

The 122,252 and 502 share similar performance but the P701 is a step up again.

I will try and get round to that thread later today.
Which Hypex-module is it in P701?
 
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Layout is obviously not the same. Either poor spacial awareness or an audiophile 'stretch'.

There is no claim the RCA terminals are unique.

Maybe you forgot the winking emoji? ;)
Yes, I stretched the pic, but I locked the aspect ratio

when I make width of usb port same, then the location of rca got same, that meant something.

sorry for my poor English
 

sergeauckland

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I'm surprised and unhappy about the tone this thread is taking. Whether or not the DAC1 uses a bought-in card I think is totally besides the point.

It's a very good DAC, it's a sensible price and it looks well made. What else is there to consider?

If it is the Tone card, so what? Buy a tone card yourself, get a custom case made, get the interfaces sorted out, then say whether the effort is worth it compared with buying one ready made, with a warranty.

S.
 

Thomas savage

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I'm surprised and unhappy about the tone this thread is taking. Whether or not the DAC1 uses a bought-in card I think is totally besides the point.

It's a very good DAC, it's a sensible price and it looks well made. What else is there to consider?

If it is the Tone card, so what? Buy a tone card yourself, get a custom case made, get the interfaces sorted out, then say whether the effort is worth it compared with buying one ready made, with a warranty.

S.
Totally this, I see no issue either way. There’s thousands of devices out there with out source bits and bobs, whether that’s network cards, amp modules, DAC’s the list is endless .

Frankly the inquisition in this thread is bizarre to me.

Go out make make a DAC bring it to market , have it perform better than what’s on offer here and design and build it totally on your own, no out sourcing lol let’s see it , I can’t wait , Iv got my cheque book at the ready.

Oh and it better be cheap , like no more than £150 else your ripping me off .
 
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