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This piece seems to have a large cult following, check the digital forum at Audio Asylum, there must be hundreds of threads about this unit, some of them probably addressing your question on the ADC aspect. Reminds me of the buzz about the Radio Shack Optimus 3400 portable CD player a number of years back. I've heard it, and it's very good for the price, definitely a bargain, but not the giant-killer some make it out to be, in my view.
yup, i'm one of the asylum crazies w/a modded di/o... ;~) straight outta the box, it took my humble 5-disc nad changer to a level of sound that couldn't be matched in my rig by an $1800 alchemist nexus, or a $3k resolution audio cd-50. w/cheap easy mods, it's even *better*. many folks have ditched pretty pricey digital equipment after trying the di/o. i first learned about it here, in a thread on the meitner bidat, about whether or not the bidat was worth modding...
is the di/o a giant-killer? dunno, but it's definitely a bargain performer. my alchemist nexus, btw, sits unused in the basement, awaiting use in a secondary system...
ymmv, doug s.
I'm awaiting the return of my fully modified Di/O, which should make it's way home soon. I've heard a few fully modified Di/O's and I have to admit that the modified unit could be stuffed into a better looking chassis and be sold for much more.
I haven't the experience as Mike does with other high end DAC's, being new to the digits game. I can tell you that as a guy that listens primarily to master dub reels on a fully modified Scully 270, that I'm impressed with the modified Di/O and that the mod'ed unit is completely different.
Mikeam, who did the hundred dollar mod, and what did it consist of.
By the way, I know Paul Weitzel very well, I purchased a pair of Tube Research GT400 amps from him.
I am interested in the ART because a friend of mine that was with Fi Magazine auditioned the ART and bought one. I have listened with this guy at his home near San Francisco, and If he likes it that much, it must be damn good.
I got the full modification for $140.00, complete with op-amp change to LT 1365, Schottky diodes, installing sockets for the op-amps (so future op amp changes are done easily), changing the digital input resistor from 100 ohm to 75 ohm, output cap by-pass, RCA jacks, padding down the output from 7 volts to 2 volts, etc., (the works). (By the way, I may be forgetting some of the mods). I will give the gent's info once he has stocked up on parts, which should be within a week or less. (I promise).
I have NO monetary income by mentioning this, I'm just passing along info on decent mods at a great price. Some well known guys are charging $179.00 just for RCA's and diodes! Others that I've found, $250.00 to $350.00 for the full set of mods, minus the output padding.
I have heard the fully modified unit, and the improvement is huge. If you buy the unit from www.fullcompass.com for $122.00, then pay $140.00 for mods, your into it for less than $300.00 with shipping to your house, to get mods, and back.
mods i did to my di/o include:
schottky diodes, socket for u1 op-amp, w/lt1365cn installed, bypass output caps, change digital input resistor to 75 ohm from 100 ohm. i didn't do the rca jacks, because one of the 1st asylum di/o modders said this had no sonic effect. instead, i bought a pair of star-quad cabling interconnect from sound professionals, that came w/a neutrik fone-plug on one end, & an rca on the other. plenty of room in the neutrik to solder in the two holco resistors per john risch's calcs, to get the output down. these cables can be found here:
some folks have said their di/o's sometimes have problems synch'ing w/their cd player/transports. i have had great results w/a radioshack $11.00 cable (the upgrade from the $5.00 one recommended by robert harley)
75 ohm cable for your cd players' 75 ohm digital out to the di/o's digital input (only need one):
a couple future mods i'm gonna do are to replace the power-supply caps & op-amp resistors, bias the op-amp to class-a, & install a digital input transformer. a good info & mod link can be found here:
hope this helps,
One mod that I had forgot (included in the $140.00 mod mentioned above), included a socket for the D to A chip also, so that the chip may be removed during playback only, thus isolating the A to D circuit. That way, the digital outputs don't need to be shorted, etc. It also would reduce the amount of power supply drain to that circuit, which may have an effect on the power supply available for the DAC circuit.
Well, you guys have convinced me.
I just received an Email from Brian Weitzel about the mods, which prompted me to call www.fullcompass.com ( Thanks, BrianW !!! ). For others that may be interested, the toll free number is 800-356-5844. They had the ART DI /O in stock and sold me one at $121.00 plus $10.00 additional for shipping, handling and insurance. Total of $131.00 and were glad to accept American Express.
Anyone wishing to view this product must visit the link I am providing below, there is no image or product info on line at fullcompass.
Even with the $140.00 fee for mods, this is small change compared to what we all have in our systems. Even a small improvement in the performance of my existing library of CD and SACD will make this one of the few real bargains in high end, provided it is anywhere near as good as claimed. Personally I hope it is true, I am ready for something that makes digital better without spending equal to our nations defense budget to get there.
Hi Albert. I had my mod done by Donnie Smith of NY, it consists of a change to Cards RCA's and some other proprietary items being swapped. Some fellow NY audiophiles compared it to several other guys mods and it literally was in a league all its own. The mod cost $100.00 when I had it done, but it may be like $120.00 or so now (shipping considerations). I am sending my other DIO to the Guy that worked on Brian W's DIO in order to compare the 2 mods. I will report my findings later. Paul is actually the guy that hipped me to the DIO some time ago, before it bacame all the rage on the Web. I think this box is going to and already has embarrassed a good deal of so-called high end companies selling dacs for insane amounts. Heck, now I consider any dac over $250.00 an insane amount. Don's number is 401-463-3099.
Holiday Wishes ALL,
I've shorted out the analog inputs, internally, the day that I got the unit. I had mentioned disabling the A to D entirely by disabling the chip, (removing it). Everyone knows that they need to remove the tube for playback (allowing more P.S. for the playback, DAC), this just takes it one step further. No need to feed the chip that you aren't using for playback.
brian, whsn i shorted the analog inputs, the tube warmth light stopped working, which is what happens when ya remove the a-to-d chip. i figured the chip can't be getting much signal if the whole circuit is shorted out. this, removing the tube, using the 3.4v power-supply instead of the stock 1.3v unit, should be sufficient, no? i'm no electronics expert, tho... ;~)
speaking of 3.4v power-supplies, i found an atari p/s w/the same specs as the $20-$30 stancor, for only $4 at hosfelt - after i'd already bought my stancor from radio shack... ;~)