Finally received my ViDAC
June 1, 2016 at 2:48 pm #18626wchazstoryParticipant
I finally got my ViDAC SS a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to post my impressions of the unit as there isn’t a lot out there about the sound of it. Not that sound is an easy thing to describe, but overall I am pleased with how it performs in my system. I am using it as a DAC. I don’t use headphones at home, so I can’t speak to how it sounds in that context, though I did plug in my Martin Logan Mikros 90 headphones to confirm that the headphone output works.
My system is Martin Logan Vista’s with a pair of SVS PC-Ultra Subs. A Marantz AV-8003 PrePro is my preamp, and old Rotel RMB-100 cube monoblock amplifiers drive the Vista’s. I have an Asus Laptop running Windows 10 and JRiver to feed the ViDAC, there is also a Squeezebox Touch that was my music server before I got the laptop. I used to play CD’s and SACD’s using my Oppo BDP-83 taking the bitstreams from the Oppo to the Marantz via HDMI. The Marantz will decode DSD bitstreams (in multichannel or stereo) from the Oppo.
To make a long story short, the ViDAC SS to me sounds significantly better than the digital signals from the Oppo going to the Marantz. The ViDAC presents more detail, more weight, more natural sound than what I was hearing previously. I thought that maybe my 20 year old Rotel amps were the limiting factor in the sound of my system, but it turns out it was my source. I am hearing texture to drums that I did not hear before. Sound effects like the beginning of “Skating Away” by Jethro Tull are sometimes startling in how real they sound. Acoustic guitars have body and form that was absent before. One of my classical recordings revealed an alto or bass flute that I never knew was there. All in all the music just sounds clearer, more immediate than it did before. I was also sometimes using my GO 720 as I thought it was a slight improvement over the Marantz decoding, but the ViDAC SS takes it to another level.
I can’t speak to the value at list price, as the ViDAC and the GO720 are the only USB DAC’s I have heard in my system. But considering the price paid through Indiegogo (even with the delays) I feel like it is well worth it in the end.
One final comment, I can see where in some systems where the ViDAC may sound bright, and it certainly is not kind to bad recordings. My system is very grain free and smooth, so to me the ViDAC sounds right. I wouldn’t want more of the high frequencies, but I think it has a well balanced sound. In another context it’s possible it could be too much of a good thing. Maybe that’s where the tube version fits in.
Here’s hoping that everyone that is waiting gets their’s soon. I think you will like it.
January 13, 2017 at 6:21 am #19700wchazstoryParticipant
Just saw the update from LH Labs on Indiegogo.
I am really happy that the ViDAC will get a firmware update to support MQA. I’ve been listening to some of the Tidal MQA Master files for the past week and they sound really good at 88.2k or 96k, so it would be fantastic to get all the resolution that MQA has to offer. Plus it opens up the possibility of downloading files that are not on Tidal.
I still love the sound from the ViDAC. A great DAC and MQA over Tidal is the best source material that I have heard on my system.
Still keeping my fingers crossed that everyone gets theirs. I think you will love it to
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