Aragon D2A...I like it...sorta...

I own and enjoy several pieces of Aragon equipment. Recently, I just picked up an old D2A (not the MkII) converter. I hooked it up to my 24K preamp and found that it greatly increased the transperancy and detail in the midrange and highs. However, there was a simultaneous effect on the bass as well and I found that it made the bass much more muddy than running directly from my Cd player. I'm not talking less strong, but clearly less controlled and looser than running directly from CD. Muddy is the word. Now I'm aware that this unit was superceded by the Mk II unit. I was wondering if the changes in the unit were significant or whether it was simply a matter of changing out power supplies. Is it possible to still get an upgrade on this unit or it's power supply? If not, can you suggest how I might clean up the bass response? My associated equipment is a Nak CD4 (used as transport), Aragon 24K preamp, Dynaco St-70 amp, Audioquest Midnight cables (biwire), and Vandersteen 2ces. Don't tell me that my amp isn't good enough, I've heard much better bass out of this baby. Todd
I think the D2Amk.II has a beefier (outboard) power supply. There's also a D2A2, that's the latest version. Not sure what the changes were there.
IF your d/a is giving more information, then maybe muddy is what's there.
Hi Todd, hope your doing well. Have you tried a different cable between your transport and DAC ??? Between the DAC and Preamp ??? Did you know that cables can make a noticeable difference in your system : ) Sean
You might also want to keep in mind that digital gear needs to be on for a while to sound / perform best. Leave it on continuously even if not playing anything through it. I've also found digital gear to be more susceptible to power cord changes than analogue sources, so keep that in mind. Sean
Ok.. here's the poop..
The original D2A was upgraded to Mk2 status to take advantage of an enhanced low jitter input circuit (which at the time was quite unique).
I suspect what you are hearing is the added jitter from your NAK transport. If you can try a different transport.
Sean has a valid point, try some different cables. The best one I found with my D2Amk2 has been the MIT Digital Reference (with the nodule on it).
IF your original D2A has the small power supply (not the triangular IPS) I would suggest that you source one FAST !
It will make an enormous difference.
I think that Aragon may still offer an upgrade for the original D2A that you have. Check on the Mondial website, although since they've been taken over by Klipsch you may have to wait a bit for service.
The later/current D2A2 was a compromise to bring out an HDCD ready DAC to the market, anyone will tell you that the earlier DAC was far superior in handling standard CD audio.
As a matter of fact, I have compared this DAC to even the Levinson 360 and it can still hold it's own. However, the 360 becomes a different animal when run balanced (which it should be.. you don't know what you're missing !) at which point it eats the older D2Amk2.
Hope this helps.
Hi guys,

Sean, I'm using a stealth silverline mk II cable between my Nak CD 4 and my D2A. Otherwise, I'm using the Mobile Spec "greenies" (that I bought from you, In fact). I've tried changing them out to see if that made a difference...since I was using them with a Perreaux and now I'm using them with my tube gear. At any rate, it didn't really make a major difference, except for a slight increase in sibilance. Is it possible that it the D2A is giving information that my other gear just simply can't handle? The Vandy's are known for their bass extension, and also as I've said, I've heard better bass outta the Dyanco so I'm sure that it has the ability... Perhaps I'll look for an anti jitter device? Todd
While i've only tried a Monarchy Super Dip, it did tighten up the bass quite a bit. Overall, it gave me the impression of adding a "quick" or "etched" sound to everything. While this might be great for a detail freak, it seemed to detract from the musicality of the system to me. I guess that's why they make so many different makes / models of gear. Everybody likes / wants something different and to their own tastes. Call up Audio Advisor and give it a shot for 30 days or so. It's probably the only way that you'll find out for sure. Sean