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rcprince is the man for AL DAC upgrades, he has a review of the differences between the AL DAC before and after the newest mod. I have the 34 that has the 24/96 chip upgrade plus other parts. I am using Amperex 7316s and Amperex Bugle Boy 6DJ8s in the DAC. It gives a little warmer and smoother sound in my system which I prefer. The newest model has better separation of vocals/instruments, was clearer, more detailed and better bass definition. It also costs more then a used 34. Good to know that there you can always upgrade later.
Look up Russ's review and Happy Listening.
I just re-read the info. in Rx8mans's link and I saw that Jerry Ozment will allow modifications by others that are approved by him. That leads me to believe that he feels that certain parts can be improved. Have any of you spoken to him about what those might be and how the performance may increased?
I found there are a few different model variations among the Model 34.
I had Bigkidz's 34 in my system before I received mine, it was an earlier model with a different circuit board layout and so on. I did some tube swapping (same tubes in both) and found them to sound identical.
The unit I have was Jerry's personal one he took to some shows (confirmed by previous owner)
A third variation of the 34 popped up in the listings yesterday and I noticed it has a different faceplate and knobs, but the power supply is identical.............
All of these can be upgraded to 2400 status or the newer tranformer-coupled 24 MXL version which does away with a pair of tubes in the power supply section of the DAC.
I personally like mine the way it is and have no quarrels about it, tube swapping takes care of my sound and is fun to do (sometimes a P.I.A. though)
System dependency and personal taste dicate this to me.
A review is coming up on the 24 MXL, forgot which mag, outta be REAL interesting, they're comparing it to another top notch hitter.
While my 34 is/was an earlier model the owner had it upgraded with the new 24/96 chip set and whatever Jerry adds to that upgrade ($1100) so most likely Rx8man's and mine are the same in parts. I have heard the newest version and it is slightly clearer sounding, a little more dynamic and less round bass for $700 more for the upgrade to the older 34.