Audio Note Dac 1.1x

Anyone familiar with this?
I am searching for a new dac, and got a deal on a factory refurnished (latest upgrades) for about 500$ with warranty.
A link for more information.
I was initially thinking about the Trivista Dac or the Audio Aero prima Dac and I know they are more expensive and of course better, but how much?. I read some posts here regarding Audio Note Dacs, and that they have a "upgrade" program.
Is it possible to upgrade the 1.1 to i.e. 2.1x signature?
I like to tweak and work with my equipment, and want to try out several "upgrade" options in this dac.
My cd player now is the Copland CDA288X with Lclock XO2 upgrade. Some other modifications have been done also. It is good, but I want some more nerve in the music.

But what I really want is the AN dac3.1 balanced, but that is another story..

Best Regards
I would jump on the Audio Note DAC immediately. You will love it I suggest. I have been using an original DAC 1 Signature with my Vecteur L 4.2 and it sounds great. So do the Dead bootlegs played back via DAT at 48khz; the DAC sounds so fine.

I think the unit should be upgradeable to 2.1 spec. I would urge you to contact Peter Q at Audio Note. He does not fail to respond to such questions and he actually provides real answers. You can also contact Nick Gowan at Truesound; Nick handles Audio Note warranty and sales (and Vecteur, Spendor, Quad, more, as well as much service work) and would be able to answer your questions. He is at: or 408-370-7578. He is in Campbell, California.

Only part of my audio chain not audio note is the cartridge (dynavector) and the other source components (DAT, Cassette, Tuner, DVD). Turntable, preamp, amplifier, speakers, interconnects, spkr wire; all audio note. Good stuff.

It works!
Everyone is going to hate me for this :)

To be honest, I was shopping for a good dac for a while, look under smoothes dac in my longtimeago discussion! After talking to people who own AN Dac’s and talking to retails and other user in the forum and in person and also Audio Note UK.

I bought 2 dac’s the 1.1 and the DAC 3.1 Balance!
Well to be honest, I did not like both of them! Dac 3.1 was better but not for the money.
I am not a tech guy but more of a listener, over 20 years of it too and still loving it!

I got so many (+) feedbacks for this product and bought it based on that, my advise it to try it out for yourself before buying it online used or new.
Before I go on, please make sure you don’t get confused with AN and the designs of
Mr. Niro’s super high-end stuff, they are a difference thing all together! They are priced differently for a reason.

My impression before buying as what was told to me:

Warm, tubish sound with wonderful midrange and fantastic highs! Very musical, sounds like analog!

Well my opinion, it will never sound like analog, no digital will for a long long time I assure you until people start improving the software, if you don’t agree, try listening to this great album “Fleetwood Mac – Say You Will” their latest studio, the album should have been called “ COMPRESSION You Will”, that’s what it is! Disappointed!

At the same time, (there are companies who are trying and doing a great step forward in digital hardware ex: Anagram Technologies along with Audio Aero, Meridian Audio, Theta Digital, Aurum Acoustics Canada to name a few………….) and they don’t come cheap!

Getting back to Audio Note:
They look good and the built quality is good!
Sound, lack of resolution big time, there is a line between warm sounding and dull sounding with no detail. There were something that’s not right about these dac’s, Called Audio Note and called everyone after buying and same deal, changed cables, changed amps, changed speakers, changed set-up and acoustics the full deal for 3 months and same sound. I learnt it the hard way, to be honest……….my 8 year old THETA GEN3 ii had better resolution – Much much WARMER sounding than the tube unit so do speak and more enjoyable, (Fleetwood Mac was listenable) and the BASS- don’t even go there! The Theta creamed the AA in ever way possible! In 3 different systems and all my friends (panellist) agreed on it without a doubt!

So what I am trying to say, reviews, personal opinions, what every it may be, GO TRY IT OUT FOR YOURSELF, do NOT listen to the mumbo jumbo techs stuff of upsampling and zero upsampling, no upsampling and what ever, plug it in and listen and let your ears be the judge, good luck!
The AN DACs are enjoyable and engaging, but no they are not the most
resolving DACs.
Maybe I should call myself Sapogee. ;) I've been listening for forty years. I have heard a lot of up sampling and oversampling cd players, and haven't really liked any. A friend brought over Audio Note's cheapest, the Zero. Immediately, I noticed something different. With a 1.1x, I found I was hearing the material in a completely different way.

As an artist, I look at it this way: Lots of people can draw fairly accurately, and certainly have fun tracing in every hair. Ah! but look at a Vermeer. See how sure his brush stokes are. There, his subjects have the look of three dimensionality; they look real. That is the the singular gift of the Audio Note's 0 over sampling.

Detail? I don't believe oversampling reveals more detail. To my ears, oversampling builds up energy in the treble. That gives the appearance of more information, because a lot of quiet stuff come to the fore, where it is more noticable. It also gives CD medium a bad wrap, one of being bright.

I run my AN through an extremely clear amp into extremly revealing speakers. If there is more info in those 1s and 0s I don't miss it. The band is living and breathing in the room. That is all that matters in my book.
I am here to provide a professional opinion to this forum so that one can feel free to express and learn from our experiences. I am going to stick with that and avoid remarks by others.

I also have to stress that I dont believe oversampling reveals more detail or that its better. I just did not like the the AN 1.1x and the 3.1 to my ears, I sold it on AA after buying it and someone bought it and ended up selling it 1 month later since he was looking for the images I have used before for my add.
I asked and he had the same problem, no resolution compared to my Classe CDP he said,. I am into tubes so that will give you an idea straight to Sonus Fabers as the primary system. I play classical music (cellist)and I am a big hifi nut for over 20 years, I just heard some much more from other units so............its an opinion :)

My advise to buyers of these DAC in particular, TRY before you BUY!

Good luck

My experience is more in line with Muralman1. I too was seduced by a Zero DAC. When I took it home for a short trial, I was less than impressed by the bass, but there was just something about the sound. To my ears it had a rightness that transcended audiophile issues like resolution and soundstaging.

So I bought a 3.1x Balanced, and it was a revelation. It was the least corrupt sound I'd ever heard from a digital box. Eventually I got greedy and went for a 4.1x, and despite the ferocious price I can't imagine wanting to change.

One thing I've realized is that each of us have our own set of aural expectations, and what sounds perfect to me may sound fatally flawed to someone else. Or vice versa - I bought a pair of top-notch 845 monoblocks recently, and they didn't turn my crank at all. After a couple of months I gave up on trying to like them, and gave them to my local dealer to sell. He promptly fell totally, head-over-heels in love with them. The same goes for DACs - I've never heard an oversampling DAC I like nearly as much as my AN, but I'm quite prepared to believe that someone else will feel differently. Caveat, as always, emptor.
Hi Gliderguider

Interesting, and thank you for your input, could you also please be kind enough to include some of the other dac's you have tried along with the AN DAC. Its good to know the reference point I guess and thank you kindly.

The other DACs and CDPs I've used or compared to AN equipment include the Assemblage 2.6, SimAudio Nova, MSB Gold Link and Naim CD5. I've also listened extensively to a Wadia 861 in a similar, though not identical system to my own.
I've run a shotgun approach custom internal zero oversampling DAC for a few years now. Results mirror some here. Primary reason. Better timing accuracy. Therefore more accurate dynamics and preservation of spacial information. Combined with a digital amp, offers tube space, better than transistor speed.