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Tour of Supercapacitor powered Ciunas devices

Discussion in 'audio' started by Ciunas Audio, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. Robby

    Robby pfm Member

    Ready anytime too.
  2. 00fiete

    00fiete Active Member

    I'm ready, too
  3. rbrown

    rbrown I think therefore I think I am

    Timola doesn’t post here anymore, after outing himself as an EDL sympathiser.
  4. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    He's removed - beammeup is sending DAC onto Sams

    supercap ISO-DAC tour

    Paul Burke
    davidjt (not until end of April)
    Steve Taylor

    supercap ISO-SPDIF tour
    Steve Taylor
  5. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    SC-ISO-DAC has arrived with Sams
    Robby likes this.
  6. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    Sams will be ready to ship after this weekend
    Next in line is 00fiete - can he confirm he is ready next week to audition it?
  7. 00fiete

    00fiete Active Member

    I'm ready for audition
  8. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    Ok I'll let Sam know your address
  9. SamS

    SamS pfm Member

    00fiete you have a PM
  10. SamS

    SamS pfm Member

    Thanks to John and those in the queue for a slightly extended audition of the SC ISO-DAC.

    As a bit of background, I had auditioned the battery version in November and fell for it head over heels. My current digital setup is a Sonore ultraRendu (previously microRendu when I auditioned the battery version) and a Chord Hugo DAC fed via USB.

    At first the SC DAC sounded good and very much on par with my Hugo, but not quite like I remembered the battery powered DAC which had me gushing pretty much from the first track, although there was an immediate sense of speed (if that is a valid descriptor) with the SC DAC. I hooked up a grounding wire from the DAC to my Pre as discussed up thread, and it did improve things a little bit. A bit better in the bass and a small perceived widening and deepening of the soundstage. But still missing was the superior micro dynamics, top end sparkle and low end texture that I recalled from my time with the battery powered DAC. The SC DAC did come across as very fast and detailed – and never harsh, just not as ‘analogue’ and silent as I recalled the battery version.

    I then remembered that the chap I bought the uR from saying he preferred it with a ground wire to his pre. So once I got my hands on the correct screwdriver, I hooked up another ground from the uR to the SC DAC. This gave a larger perceived improvement than the first grounding exercise. Bass and drum texture improved as did portrayal of reverb and harmonics as well as the overall soundstage. I found myself inching up the volume and getting much more immersed in the music, so all good signs.

    On reintroducing the Hugo it was clear that the SC DAC was now slightly superior, particularly in bass texture and at higher volume, where the Hugo could get a little harsh. I am not sure if this is because I am using USB with the Hugo, and would like to test it out with the SC ISO-SPDIF as it has been noted that the Hugo prefers coax to USB.

    In discussion with John, (I’m paraphrasing) he mentioned that he found the battery ISO-DAC slower & with more emphasis on bass & lower mids, and that the SC-ISO-DAC seems to have a better balance across the spectrum - not emphasising any particular area. As a result it seems to reproduce the tone & timbre of instruments more correctly.

    After some time with the SC DAC I’d agree with John’s comments, but still I found I preferred what I recalled of the battery version. Given that I am running SBLs on hardwood floors, it may well be that my system is happier with a DAC emphasising the lower end of the spectrum. Also in my mind there was something quite magical in the ‘silence between notes’ thing that I recalled with the battery version. Make no mistake the SC DAC is very quiet and resolving and never harsh, as evidenced after reintroducing the Hugo, which just lost out a bit in bass texture, soundstage depth, and the ability to go very loud without fatigue. So for me it is clear that John is on to another winner with the SC DAC.

    So the upshot is that I need to listen to the battery DAC again to see if I still prefer it against the SC DAC - so an order is going in for both versions. One will definitely be staying.

    Thanks again to John for the opportunity to audition his fine products in this way.
  11. 00fiete

    00fiete Active Member

    SC ISO DAC arrived today in Berlin. Testing and report over the weekend
    Robby likes this.
  12. Robby

    Robby pfm Member

    Looking forward to hearing this.
  13. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    00fiete is finished with DAC
    Robby are you ready to audition?
    Robby likes this.
  14. Robby

    Robby pfm Member

    I am indeed. Really looking forward to hearing it.
  15. 00fiete

    00fiete Active Member

    Here’s my summary about SC ISO DAC in comparison with the battery ISO DAC. My system consists of an InnuOs Zen Mini as streamer/bridge with Keces P3 Linear Power Supply, an ISO DAC with grounding cable to Audiolab 8200a Integrated and KEF xQ 40 speakers.

    SC ISO DAC seems to be quicker and have a tiny little bit bigger soundstage as battery ISO DAC. Both are head to head in bass, details and dynamics. The SC-ISO-DAC seems to have a better balance across the spectrum and reproduce the timing of instruments a bit better. I switch a lot between both ISO DACs and every time I found a difference I favor it was gone switching over to the other DAC. The only “bigger” difference I noticed is that with SC ISO DAC I can listen to my music louder without exhausting my ears (really neighbor unfriendly loud). Especially with electronic music it was a bit more fun.

    In Summary – if I plan to buy an ISO-DAC today, I would buy the SC Model but both are superior. I can not understand, why good sounding DACs must cost over 1000€ to give such a benefit sound quality like ISO DAC have. As an idea I like to have a point on Power IN or elsewhere where I can hook up a grounding cable like on battery model.

    Good Job John!
  16. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    Thanks Christian - good summary of comparison between battery & SC ISO-DAC - it's always a good sign when music can be played louder

    Your point about having a grounding tag - the supplied charging PS has its DC negative output grounded back to mains earth so no need for that grounding tag on DC input of ISO-DAC
  17. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    Just had an email from a customer who replaced his battery powered ISO-DAC with SC ISO-DAC. His initial report about a month ago was that the SC ISO-DAC sounded better, quicker than the battery DAC and he now wanted to report 4 weeks later what a big change in the sound there was after about 20 hours of playtime over the last 4 weeks. His words:
    "Supercap has improved ten fold , better speed, images are more 3D, stereo images are better,wider and bigger"

    So maybe those who auditioned it initially, eastone & Sams, might like to try it at the end of the tour to see if it has changed sound?
  18. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    That would be good John, as a matter of fact I was going to ask for a second audition as I had also experienced the crackling others mentioned - I suspect there was a ground loop in play in my setup.
  19. Ciunas Audio

    Ciunas Audio Trade: Ciunas Audio

    No problem, Ian
    I recently saw a link to this article - although a review of Superlabs interconnect cables it goes into great technical detail about ground loops & common-mode noise. I'm still digesting it as it's fairly technical but it describes the effects of reducing such noise. I believe the final expression of this ground & common-mode noise is noise floor modulation which interferes with our perception of the music being played as it rides along with the signal. My devices are also aimed at reducing the sources of noise floor modulation
    "A much greater sense of presence and clarity, verging on crystalline in their presentation of the upper octaves, was immediately noticeable ...... as if the system were transformed in terms of its quietness. She felt that a layer of noise had been wiped away that apparently wasn't noticeable before. It was noise that seemed always to be part of the sound yet not part of the sound, making it quite difficult to explain, but the effect was clear ......... "
  20. SamS

    SamS pfm Member

    Thanks John - the qualities your customer reported are very much in line with my experience of the SC ISO-DAC - speed, soundstage, detail, etc. I ran it in for a few days playing on a loop 24/7 with the pre muted when not listening, so I think it was very well warmed-up/run-in when I got around to proper listening. As discussed in our conversation and in my post above, I think the only way I am going to decide is to listen to both DACs side by side. I will PM you.

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