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  • Comments Related to Onix DAC25

    First a big thank you to Mike Bishop (Binarylinguist) and Hugh in let me borrow the Onix DAC for the Zu Audio Tour in Princeton, NJ which helped the two setup be configured in a equal manner. Over the last couple of days I got a chance to listen to the DAC in my setup when I got a break from work.

    Setup
    Speakers - AV123 LS6 designed by Danny Richie
    Amp - Butler TDB 2250 (Thanks to lonewolfny42 for letting me borrow it)
    Preamp - BellaMax Extreme (on loan from Bill Baker @ Response Audio)
    Source - Squeezebox 3, streaming Appleloss files via wireless
    Onix DAC - Squeezebox connected via Coax and USB to Window7 laptop running Itunes.
    Room Dimensions - Width 13 ft, Length 33 ft and height is around 7 feet.

    Pictures of the setup: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=72591.140

    Please keep in mind that below is just my opinion in my setup which is brand new with various borrowed/on loan equipment and your experience might be different, considering that I am very lousy with writing/communicating what I heard and describing. One other thing to related to my setup. The speakers were recently moved and have not been optimized correctly yet and the most likely reason for the some boomy and bloated bass.

    Music
    ======

    1) Tribal Boat from Dream Walk by Keiko Matsui - Keiko Matsui is one of my favorites and when the songs starts out with oars gliding through the water and a wave coming towards you and hitting you smack on your head.
    2) Waqt Ne Kiya Kya from Close to My Heart by Jagjit Singh - The song is sad song and the rendering ofsound produced by the bamboo flute is something special which really conveys the heartbreak in the song.
    3) Feelin' The Same Way from Come Away with Me by Norah Jones - This songs makes you feel if Norah Jones is standing in front of you and singing.
    4) Track 04 from NY Rave 2006 - This track has a lot of drums and guitar combination and the transition from one instrument to another is excellent.
    5) Old Love From Unplugged by Eric Clapton -
    6) Sandstorm from Sound Scapes - Music of the Deserts by Zakir Hussain - If everything works correctly from sound perspective this song scares the s*** out of me. It feels as if you are in the middle of the sandstorm.


    First up I listened to the tracks straight from Squeezebox to BellaMax Extreme hooked up to the Butler and right off the bat I heard a big improvement in sound over my normal setup of Yamaha HTR-5960 and Acurus A250 amp. The sound was smoother and enjoyable. The sound was a bit boomy and bloated compared to before (I know I am contradicting myself with the above statement) the speakers were moved for the party. The sound was a lot better when we moved the spekaers back in place after the Zu Audio Tour had ended but I made the mistake of shifting couple of inches and work getting in the way of optimizing the placement .

    Onix DAC

    With the DAC in place I got a wider sound stage with easy to identify location of various instrument but it seemed to me that the depth decreased a bit. While listening to Tribal Boat, when the wave that smacks you in the head keeps on rolling behind you for another couple of feet which did not happen with the DAC, same thing happend with Feelin' The Same Way by Norah Jones where before she was singing right in front now she is 2 to 3 feet back, which felt more natural compared to before.

    Overall, I enjoyed listening to music with the DAC in place and could continue listening to for hours. If I was in the market for a new DAC I wouldn't mind having the Onix DAC in the mix for example compared to the Music Hall or the PS Audio which all sell for around the same price range.

    Minor quibble with the DAC (not picking on the Onix DAC)
    - Never been able to understand why do you need a DAC with a volume/headphone amp
    - I would have liked a remote for changing the source and upsampling rates. Some of the songs sounded better with 96 while others were better with 192 and getting up to change the sampling rate sometimes took away the continuity of listening to music. Call me lazy.

  • #2
    Thanks for posting your thoughts on Onix DAC25. I should have come by for a quick listen. Perhaps next time.
    Ref1,Ref100,RS850,450,RSC200 Sig,ELT525M,MFW-15,UFW10,AVR987/X-amps,LMC-1/LPA1,SB3,P-3A,PS3,HDA3, Gizmo v1.0, SP3 MK II.

    Comment


    • #3
      Deepak,
      Very nice write-up on the Onix DAC25. Wish I had come up for a listen.

      We were snowed out from going to hear the Zu speaker demo today. It would have been interesting.

      Good to see BP here as well! :)
      Better living through Audio Nirvana!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by bp2007
        Thanks for posting your thoughts on Onix DAC25. I should have come by for a quick listen. Perhaps next time.
        I still have the borrowed Butler/VAC/Threshold amps with a BellaMax Pre. The Butler is going back tomorrow afternoon.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HAL
          Deepak,
          Very nice write-up on the Onix DAC25. Wish I had come up for a listen.

          We were snowed out from going to hear the Zu speaker demo today. It would have been interesting.

          Good to see BP here as well! :)
          Sorry to hear that you missed out on the Zu. They are excellent speakers to listen.

          Comment


          • #6
            D,

            Thanks for your comments.

            I think a remote is a good thing.

            I'll ask Onix to include one, will see if they go for it.
            Hugh
            MELODY US Distributor
            www.angelcityaudio.com

            A man is only as good as his words.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by shadowlight
              Minor quibble with the DAC (not picking on the Onix DAC)
              - Never been able to understand why do you need a DAC with a volume/headphone amp
              - I would have liked a remote for changing the source and upsampling rates. Some of the songs sounded better with 96 while others were better with 192 and getting up to change the sampling rate sometimes took away the continuity of listening to music. Call me lazy.
              I don't get the headphone amp in DAC's, especially since most serious headphone guys get standalone amps anyway. I do like a quality analog volume control though.

              As more people convert their various forms of media to high bitrate lossless, we will be using fewer sources, and often no analog. That means with a good DAC handling the input switching on the digital side, you could run direct to the amp(s) and skip the outboard pre-amp. It is a pretty direct and potentially clean signal path compared to running from the DAC to a pre-amp with analog switching and volume, and then on to the amp.

              This defintiely argues for a remote, or at least an IR sensor and remote functionality.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for posting your thoughts, Deepak. I miss my DAC25 :( I do concur about having a remote for it. But I do like having to get up and change sources (for comparison) while doing a set of situps and push-ups in between. Helps me burn more calories. I guess Hugh is catching on to my needs to exercise :D

                I think the volume control for the headphone output is a nice additional feature, but I can see where Matt is coming from. I'm not a headphone user, since I like to feel my music :)
                PhenomeNhan Audio Video

                Your authorized ONIX dealer for the Great States of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.!
                [email protected]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by m-fine
                  I

                  As more people convert their various forms of media to high bitrate lossless, we will be using fewer sources, and often no analog. That means with a good DAC handling the input switching on the digital side, you could run direct to the amp(s) and skip the outboard pre-amp. It is a pretty direct and potentially clean signal path compared to running from the DAC to a pre-amp with analog switching and volume, and then on to the amp.
                  This is exactly the reason I just sold my pre :yes:
                  Never Argue With An idiot. They'll Lower You To Their Level And Then Beat You With Experience!

                  Comment

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