It was also perfectly viable to use a discrete op-amp in one place and a traditional op-amp in another place. Each audiophile has—should have—guilty pleasures. Can you spot what’s missing in the new one? The bottom line is that the Eastern Electric Tube DAC Plus is a significant step up from its predecessor that was already an extreme value in the vast marketplace of digital to analog converters. The rare Siemens A early long-plates are one of my favorites, and it did power forward with its supreme resolving capability, speed, and cleanliness. However, I preferred the stock NEP, which preserved instrumental and vocal texture better without highlighting image outlines.
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It felt like a small DAC2 infusion in fact. Can you spot what’s missing in the new one? The MiniMax makes that rather more palatable than the Weiss. LME followed by OPA in the circuit seems to strike a nice balance in terms of musicality, tone, detail resolution, density, and speed.
OPA dual I had high hopes for this one, as many have reported good success with these in the dual op-amp position. If you have a DAC or CD player that is 2 years old or older, even if it was pricey at the time, you should get your hands and ears on electrjc of these.
To be cute, like certain Oriental elecgric in the super market the MiniMax comes bundled with a little flavor pack. But I doubt you’d ever call it significant.
While their tonality is definitely much sunnier than something like NE, they are so clean and even, as usual, it all depends on system synergy.
Once again, the neutrality sword is double-edged, but it can be a useful tool for those who know how to season their system with many different spices. In fact, the solid state stage came across as slightly more pure and transparent in my system, but the preference could easily run the other way for systems with eastenr tubes.
Eastern Electric, Burson, and DEXA should all be congratulated for their fabulous products, which all end up giving us audiophiles more and better mijimax.
The global economy has tanked, Krell became Chinese owned, Audio Research sold to an Italian investment conglomerate. Naturally there’s no additional gain from active preamp circuitry but for many systems without analog sources, the MiniMax DAC could indeed replace a preamp.
Also, if you have big fingers, the small space surrounding the lone 12AU7 still makes it difficult to remove. So I did just that. Beyond that, they become a whole lot more committed and also require a highly resolved system to still matter.
The real question was, how much would separate these machines particularly in the context of an overall system that was deliberately scaled to match the MiniMax? Both tube output and solid state output now have equal voltages at 2.
You see, almost all of the judges were dyed in the wool analog lovers with their main or only source being a turntable front end.
Who should pursue this product? Sadly that’s often hard as nails. minmiax
When solid state output is chosen, both NE and NE are in the signal chain, and when tube output is chosen, only the NE and the 12AU7 tube are in use. From a pleasure listening perspective hopefully the norm for our readersthe sonic Weiss aesthetic seems more critical of ancillary quality. The MiniMax tones down the spot light and pace. Compared to OPA, OPA seems to add a slight but pleasant amount of sparkle to female vocals, not enough to be bright or grating but just enough to direct a little more attention to vocals.
Even recordings that are usually a little dull and low in detail come alive with these op-amps, which present break-neck speed and much more defined, detailed images. Interestingly, the sound quality difference between solid state and tube output on the EE Dac was not as large as one might have guessed.
Every aspect of the sound has been improved. This caught the judges by surprise as well since most of them were also dyed in the wool tube aficionados. Even a most upscale TJ Full Music gold-pin substitution didn’t stretch the delta of difference.
Going forward, I ended up taking out the tube altogether and using the solid state output for most of the op-amp rolling. The tube output stage option can be a blessing for many audiophiles, especially for those who do not employ a good tubed component or two in the system.
Those had the signal cut out momentarily but every few seconds.
Bill O’Connell’s is far better and the one linked to below. The tube supplied is the same Shuguang 12AU7 as before.