I've owned Scott Nixon. Great stuff. Why not buy American?
7 responses Add your response
As promissed, my comparison of the Eastern Electric Minidac versus Scott Nixon's "UFO"= When I first plugged in the Scott Nixon, I was most unhappy: Muddy, muffled, no differenitiation. "Bummer". Then I belatedly remembered the fellow who sold it to me had mentioned it was just back from Mr. Nixon, where it had been overhauled and reconditioned. "Burn-in" (Have never had a new DAC, but recalled many hours are needed before one can expect proper performance).
Lo and behold, after two days it began to blossom and now, at five, it is starting to bloom. Warm, rich, stately sound with great depth and endless base. maybe not quite the definition I would hope for, but I am optimistic.
The EE is about everything you could want in a DAC with its multiple inputs, tube in/out and Phase switching: With the tube turned on (And in my case the Phase switch engaged) it is fully detailed, bright and full-range. Interestingly, it sounds very close to my Space Tech through the coaxial input, while the USB gives a sharper, more digital picture.
What it comes down to is that the Scott Nixon promisses a warmer, more liquid sound (NOS?) with more depth of placement, while the EE provides more definition and a mathematical purity, but exhibits a sharp-cut, digital sound even with the tube turned on that became tiring for me, but only after hours of listening (Overdose?).
The EE without the tube turned on is very good; with the tube it is excellent, cystalline across the sound spectrum. The Scott Nixon is rich and smooth and deep; it is becoming more definitive every day. What it comes down to is preference: French Roast straight or Mocha Java with cream and sugar. "You pays your money and you makes your choice".
Jgb1166, good insights on these units. I encourage you, if you still have the EE, to see my Opamp rolling article at Dagogo.com and give it a try. With upgraded Opamps the Minimax is a very pleasantly improved experience. I think others would vouch for that.
FYI, I have now removed the SS Opamps entirely from the review unit and am running only the socketed Opamps for Tube output. I understand this allows the power supply to not have split obligation between SS/Tube and the result is even better sound.
So, in the end you have heard only where the Minimax begins and not what it ultimately, with very little effort, can become. I would never return to the stock unit now.