Aries Cerat Helena or Mola Mola Tambaqui?


I am deciding which dac I should take. Mola Mola(8000 euro) I can audition, Aries Cerat Helena (11000 euros) I can not, only direct sale. Mola has volume regulator, Helena not, but it is R2R with tubes like Lampizator, weighs 40kg oppose to 6kg of Mola. Mola is more commercially known and very very good reputation. Both have also reputation as a killer of very expensive dacs.  My system is Tannoy westminssters Roayal and tube monoblocks ith Se-833(similar to Wavac Se-833))Any thoughts or experiences with these dacs? 
5f9c7914 c923 47ae 9b90 7757aff974d2mikedimitrov
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Hello - I have not listened to either DAC, but from an engineering standpoint, they are quite different. I think the answer may be in what your musical source is.
The Aries Helene uses 2 banks of Analog Devices AD1865 NK chips which can process up to 18-bit/96KHz. If your musical source is 16/44.1 CD then you are fine, but if you feed the Helene a high-rez 24 or 32-bit file, you'd have to dither that signal down to 18 bits or the DAC will truncate it down to 18 bits. I'm certain of this because my DAC uses the same chip.

The Mola Mola Tambaqui is a more modern design. The description seems to indicate that it can accept up to 24/192 via the USB input and 32/384 via the other inputs. It also will upsample all inputs to 32/3.125MHz. No truncating in this design.
Again, I haven't had the opportunity to listen to either one.   I'm not saying that your decision should be based only on the bit-rate you're trying to play, but it may matter, especially if you have a lot of higher bit-rate recordings.  I'm very interested in both designs, and I'd like to hear both.

What is your musical source?
Dave


I highly doubt if you’re going to run into many people (if any) who have compared these 2 dacs side by side. Personally, I would never buy a very expensive product without audition.  If I were you, I would go with something you can hear first. You may not even like the MM, which will solve your problem, but if you do, I would buy it. You can beat yourself up forever over whether you should have bought something else, but what good does that do? The MM is a very highly reviewed product, which I assume will give it decent resale should you decide to sell later. Plus you will have the peace of mind of knowing you made an intelligent decision by purchasing something you auditioned and loved. At least that’s what I think. Be well and be thankful you are fortunate enough to be able to own products at this level.
Just one more thing that may or may not matter.  I checked out the Helene on YouTube and it looks to be huge.  OK if you have the room and the back for it, but size and weight may be a factor in your decision.  

Hey guys thanks for your replies. I now have Mola Mola at home and it is fantastic. More resolution, right colour of instuments, very good PRAT, and it just sounds right. My source is cd player for red books, I have big cd collection with titles not available or hard to find, and I also stream lateky more and more, it is so easy and comfortable, plus so many great discoveries.  Helene review here, it explains more about the topology of the dac. http://aries-cerat.eu/reviews
Dave USB output has 348khz/31 bits, and thats what they recommend to use with streamers. I dont know, is it enough to play highrez?  I am not technicaly educated at all, what matters is how it sounds, and people who have more experiences saying that tube RR dacs are playing more naturaly and are closer to realism. So that is what makes me wondering how this Helene will play. The sellers are creating poems how great this machine is compare to other stuff, but I know that is not enough, need to listen it myself and decide. Mola is really something unique and it is very certain that it will satisfy me for at least year or two, hahahaha. Hey guys Happy New year, have your dreams come tthrough
Congrats on your new dac, what dac did you upgrade from?
Divertity. From Moon 780d. I still not  have not decided which to take though
actualy brain tells me Mola, heart says helene, hmm, what to do? :)