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VTV Hypex NC252MP or VTV Purifi Eigentakt Eval-1? Which is a better fit for me?

jeffbook

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So I caved and bought an amp, deal was too good to pass up, so I wound up with a March Audio P502. March Audio has much better build quality than VTV and I made a reasonable offer on Audiogon that got accepted. First impressions are that there's a noticeable difference from my old monoblocks. More detail and clarity, from top to bottom. Increased resolution, and I've never heard my speaker's bass so punchy before. Really digging the extra power in my system. I'm a happy customer.

But I spent most of the day driving my Magnepan MMG's, listening to my DAP. With the increased resolution, I preferred the higher detail of my DAP over my analogue rigs. Better bass too. DSD sounded spectacular, but so did redbook, and mp3, and everything else I played on my DAP, a Surfans F20. Not particularly thrilled about that, not really sure what to think as I love my analogue setup. Being easily bettered by such a cheap DAP was quite surprising today. My MMG's have never sounded so good, they were definitely underpowered before. I can't believe I'm getting good resolution out of these speakers as they have been easily congested in the past. Speed of percussion instruments definitely increased, as did bass definition. Now properly driven, my little Maggies are not embarrassed by the Vandersteens at all. Really fun to listen to. Had a good day.
Good decision on the 502 for your speakers. Sorry about your doubts about your analog rig, but I can't say that I am surprised. Have fun trying out the 502 on the Vandersteens. Scrooge says Happy New Year!
 
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drewdawg999

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Good decision on the 502 for your speakers. Sorry about your doubts about your analog rig, but I can't say that I am surprised. Have fun trying out the 502 on the Vandersteens. Scrooge says Happy New Year!
Thanks, and Happy New Year Mr. Scrooge! Yes I have doubts now, questioning life and reality and the nature of things... Having an existential audio crisis. The Vandersteens sound the best they ever have for me too, I was just in a planar mood today. Never had this much power on tap before... ELECTRICITY!! Will definitely alternate between the two speakers. And will hook up DAC and laptop to unleash my full library, and it will be awesome.
 
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drewdawg999

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Have fun trying out the 502 on the Vandersteens.
Yes I did this today, it was a day for the DAC, the SMSL Sanskrit 10th mkII, and it was a day of the Vandersteen. With the Maggies it was almost too detailed, kind of bright. Tamed with the Vandies, but was missing a little detail. Turned up the tweeter by 1 dB, made a big difference and now there's plenty of detail without getting fatiguing, and still wrapping my head around the awesome sound quality.

Now wondering if I should upgrade my DAC to balanced, perhaps the Topping D30? It has preamp volume function so I can plug it straight into my P502 with balanced XLR. Must be better, bypassing a preamp (especially my tube one) and going all balanced. I might have a slight case of upgradeitis. Should be thankful and be happy with my current setup for like a month or so ;).
 

Walter

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Yes I did this today, it was a day for the DAC, the SMSL Sanskrit 10th mkII, and it was a day of the Vandersteen. With the Maggies it was almost too detailed, kind of bright. Tamed with the Vandies, but was missing a little detail. Turned up the tweeter by 1 dB, made a big difference and now there's plenty of detail without getting fatiguing, and still wrapping my head around the awesome sound quality.

Now wondering if I should upgrade my DAC to balanced, perhaps the Topping D30? It has preamp volume function so I can plug it straight into my P502 with balanced XLR. Must be better, bypassing a preamp (especially my tube one) and going all balanced. I might have a slight case of upgradeitis. Should be thankful and be happy with my current setup for like a month or so ;).
Whether it will make an audible defferance, I don't know, but the D30pro is a really good DAC and preamp for the money. But yeah, I agree that it is probably better to enjoy what you have for at least a few months.
 

tifune

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Yes I did this today, it was a day for the DAC, the SMSL Sanskrit 10th mkII, and it was a day of the Vandersteen. With the Maggies it was almost too detailed, kind of bright. Tamed with the Vandies, but was missing a little detail. Turned up the tweeter by 1 dB, made a big difference and now there's plenty of detail without getting fatiguing, and still wrapping my head around the awesome sound quality.

Now wondering if I should upgrade my DAC to balanced, perhaps the Topping D30? It has preamp volume function so I can plug it straight into my P502 with balanced XLR. Must be better, bypassing a preamp (especially my tube one) and going all balanced. I might have a slight case of upgradeitis. Should be thankful and be happy with my current setup for like a month or so ;).

I don't see it mentioned on their site, but often if you get a DAC/pre capable of (comparatively) substantial output you bypass the amp's input buffer and drive down distortion quite a bit. Sometimes you can do it yourself, sometimes you can do it yourself if you're good(?) with a soldering iron. You'll want to ask March, though, as it may void the warranty.

Now, usually I'd say a DAC upgrade isn't worth the time of day if yours was purchased in the last 10ish years from a reputable vendor. But because you have that tube pre, there is a chance an upgrade would have a slight audible impact. But, again, going back to one of your earlier comments re: room correction: this is where you'll get the most bang for the $ bar none. If you haven't looked into it, you'd be shocked what improvements you can hear by moving your sub (just an example, not sure you even have one) a few inches or only 1-2 treatments in just the right spot and cost can potentially be about the same as a D30.
 
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drewdawg999

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I don't see it mentioned on their site, but often if you get a DAC/pre capable of (comparatively) substantial output you bypass the amp's input buffer and drive down distortion quite a bit. Sometimes you can do it yourself, sometimes you can do it yourself if you're good(?) with a soldering iron. You'll want to ask March, though, as it may void the warranty.

Now, usually I'd say a DAC upgrade isn't worth the time of day if yours was purchased in the last 10ish years from a reputable vendor. But because you have that tube pre, there is a chance an upgrade would have a slight audible impact. But, again, going back to one of your earlier comments re: room correction: this is where you'll get the most bang for the $ bar none. If you haven't looked into it, you'd be shocked what improvements you can hear by moving your sub (just an example, not sure you even have one) a few inches or only 1-2 treatments in just the right spot and cost can potentially be about the same as a D30.
I'm pretty good with a soldering iron but I don't really want to go in there, especially if it voids warranty which is another 3 years. But are you saying this could bring the SINAD from 96 dB up to 101 dB, like on the spec sheet? That would be a pretty big gain.

Also I think I will hold off on the DAC. My current cheapo DAC, SMSL Sanskrit, can be a preamp too. I tried it and didn't like it that much, it felt edgy to me. I prefer it going through the tube preamp, softens the edges a bit and makes it more pleasing to the ear. I guess it's like a natural dither, something like that. Euphonic noise. But my DAC is plenty good for my unbalanced system.

I have my eye on a SS balanced preamp though. It's a clone of an FM Acoustics FM 255, and it looks pretty cool. Kind of shady though, being a Chinese clone and all. But figured it would make an audible difference, much more than upgrading DACs. Cleaner with higher SNR. Need the inputs since I have a CD player with balanced output. Then after that I can think about a balanced DAC. Also need an RCA input for my phono preamp, I have regained respect for my turntable. It sounded good today, at least my hot-rodded Rega P3 did. My other table, a Michell Gyro SE, has a bad cartridge, the venerable Koetsu Black that has slowly died on me, and that's why my vinyl was sounding so bad. The new 502 amp is not that finicky over source. Everything sounds good now, and that makes my happy.
 
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drewdawg999

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So pretty interesting findings today. Did a shootout between formats, DSD vs. vinyl. The sound quality was very close, now that I'm using a turntable with a healthy cartridge. It's a Rega P3 with a Clearudio Maestro v2 cart. On Bill Evans' Waltz for Debby, I have both the Analogue Productions DSD and vinyl, they're from the same master so they sound very similar. I preferred the vinyl over the digital by a hair. More presence, more air, bass was rounder and fuller. On other classic jazz albums, it was always very close, sometimes a dead heat, sometimes the vinyl coming out on top. This surprised me today, as just a few days ago it seemed like my vinyl was getting killed by digital. Which it was, but it was due to a faulty cartridge, one whose suspension is shot.

Also bypassing the tube amp and using my DAC as a preamp was not wholly successful. I did not prefer the sound quality without preamp. Maybe I could get used to it, but it just wasn't very exciting. Also I lost the use of my subwoofer this way, so that's a big loss. That's why I figure I need a nice SS balanced preamp, and wonder if the one linked above, the FM 255 clone would be the ticket. I want it pretty bad. Maybe next time stimmy comes around. I don't think a Topping D30 Pro would murder my SMSL Sanskrit 10th mkII that badly, but with a balanced preamp in hand it would become much more attractive. But all in all, had a wonderful day listening to lots of music, all of it sounding wonderful, and I'm a happy customer enjoying my new amp very much.
 
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