‘Adagio’ TDA1541A non-oversampling DAC

When I first listened to DACs, I concluded quite quickly that ‘multi-bit’ DACs sounded more like music to me, than ‘bitstream’ DACs – more dynamic & ‘alive’.

The TDA1541 was originally developed by Philips (in 1985) as a high performance stereo DAC.  The ‘A’ version was manufactured between 1989-1995.  It was (is still?) regarded as one of the best sounding DACs ever made.  This chip was used in almost 100 different CD players Continue reading

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2A3PP amplifier – Upgrades

This 2A3 Push-pull amplifier, built in 2009, has proven itself to be an excellent performer.  Compared with Single-Ended amps,  I am happy about the additional watts and improved bass control.

The design of an amplifier is more important than parts quality – don’t waste $$ on expensive parts in a poor design.

However, I think it is worthwhile to spend some more time and $$ on this amp. Continue reading

Magic and microphony

Real music has dynamics.  Macro-dynamics – with unrestricted headroom in crescendoes.  Micro-dynamics – with subtle low-level information.

Music should be reproduced also with a ‘time’ dimension.  Not just tempo, but each sound accompanied by an harmonic ‘envelope’, where overtones are produced and decay naturally – providing a sense of ambience, dimension and space. Continue reading