Experience with AMR DP-777

Hi there, I'm fairly new to audiogon, but have been assembling high-end systems for about 15 years now. Recently bought an AMR DP-777 and swapped tubes and it killed my left channel the first time. I'm no stranger to swapping tubes (in DAC's and Preamps), so I was surprised this happened. I've read some other threads that this sort of stuff has been an issue with this DAC. Of course the DAC sounds, but I have two questions/points:

1) for those of you that have experience rolling tubes with this DAC, what is your procedure to make sure it does cause some any system failure with the unit?

2) second thing is I've sent the unit in for the SE upgrade and will be able to report back to you guys the difference/improvement in sound, as I know it's sonic signature very well
I would be very interested in your perceptions regaurding the upgraded DP 777. I am considering the SE update as well. Would like to hear from folks who have gone the SE route.

I have no experience rolling tubes in the AMR. There is a long thread on Computer Audiophile that discusses this DAC and similar results concerning tube rolling, among other things.
how is the sound of your DP777 after update?
I used to own the AMR. I would be careful rolling tubes with it. I would advise contacting the manufacturer first. They had design problems early on. I have no idea if these problems have been addressed. At the time the maker had a caveat not to roll tubes at all. I used to own the AMR.
The SE update has been discussed for over 6 months and AMR has failed to deliver. By that I mean, it has yet to ship. They say the capacitors are still being manufactured. If anyone has any more information than that please pass it on. Inquiring minds would like to know.
This unit is sensitive to ESD so wear a discharge wristband or, if you don't have one, make sure you ground yourself and don't pick up any charge ( e.g. walk over carpets). The NOS tube upgrade is worth it!

I am also a bit disappointed about the extended wait for the upgrade. Or does AMR want us to buy their DSD version?
I put the AMR on an anti-static mat and wore the wristband in a marble floored kitchen during the swap. Was swapping in the Siemen Cca Grey Shields :)

I'm still waiting for the SE. Sent my unit in May for the SE still no word. Feeling pretty ripped off. My direct feedback about AMR marketing is that they are a bit shady...say one thing and don't deliver (and do this over-and-over) -that's shady in my book.

I wouldn't look into any secret intentions with AMR wanting us to buy the DSD, I think they're just slow and experimenting with building new caps and it's taking forever. And announcing and missing a new rollout date every 4-6 weeks is pretty amateur.

I sympathize. I know what you are going through. I went through a lot with them. Yes, IMO, their marketing and customer service need a make-over. I don't think they are the most professional folks on the block.
Welcome! Jsch123-

have you contacted AMR about your query?
I have some additional info / help if you need it.
Send me a PM. Happy Listening!
Vacant, why not share that info with us?
I believe that there is something off in their service and commitment to their customers. I've become reticent to go the distant with them
I believe that there is something off in their service and commitment to their customers. I've become reticent to go the distant with them
I believe that there is something off in their service and commitment to their customers. I've become reticent to go the distant with them
Note: got the official heads up yesterday that the SE is ready and kits are shipping. looks to include even more upgrades than previously. looks like Avatar will start working through the backlog within 1 or 2 weeks when the receive the kits.

this could be a good thing as the specs 'sound exciting'...but only question mark is price, this was left out of the notification...curious to see if there are any last minute surprises in comparison to the original 'estimate' way back when
I received the same notice. Pricing was suggested at $1500 with a possible slight uptick. At this point in time I am disappointed, the update is a year late, is twice as much as originally suggested , and the price still isn't locked in. Not sure what a "slight" uptick means. If it is like anything else in what is quickly becoming a financially outrageous hobby it could mean a final price tag of two grand. I'm getting off this merry-go-round.
6 weeks ago the price was $1,200. Darren of Avatar needs to decide if he want to invest in a long term relationship with AMR as a real distributor and stop squeezing the market with his short term / short sighted approach (more like a bad dealer), a behavior that I have heard from many users here in the US. Maybe Vincent (AMR in UK) needs to be briefed on this. IMO the upgrade, though relevant for all those not requiring DSD, should be marketed sub 1k to stay competitive or AMR should just do the next release before mid 2015 with an upgrade path like PS Audio.
Thought I'd hop in here. Latest news is that AMR is shipping the kits this month. From what I understand, the initial price is $1500, installed. This is especially set for those who have been waiting. For people who send in for upgrade later, there MIGHT be a slight mark-up. I think Darren is waiting to see how involved the process is. He always tests before, performs repairs/upgrades, tests every input and output after and then burns in for a while to make sure everything is OK. Usually takes at the very least 2-3 days for one unit. The upgrade is now an entirely new main board, which explains the mark-up. I guess we'll see what kind of improvements it'll give in the coming months.
Hi Jsch 123,
did you get your AMR back already?
How´s the sound of the SE version?
News on this matter will be much appreciated.

Hi Kai, haven't got it back...just received two emails saying the parts were on their way and they'd reach out again within a week or whatever...they never did, but not surprised

never had a buying experience like this...imagine if a mechanic told you to send your car in and he'd have it done in 3 weeks for $750...after almost a year he hadn't done anything with it, and then reached out to you with a mass email saying it's almost ready and it's going to be $1500 now...that's the experience

so...i'll let you know once i know :)
update: amr is gone...auditioned the berkeley dac series II and it beat it in just about every meaningful category.

if you're considering a tube dac check out totaldac, lampizator, audio note, jolida, and EAR. They all make outstanding tube dacs at different price points. or just get better speakers and the exaggerated DAC charade will become less important.
I am sorry you lost a channel. I am still listening to my AMR DP-777 DAC but I am now using an transport which I like. In the past I compared my Oppo to the computer and the computer sounded better. I only recently realized my mistake when I tried another better transport at how much I like this DAC for the price. The Oppo as a transport was very lacking in my system. I now get an emotion to the music which I like that I have not had with my other SS DACs.
I have an AMR DP 777 SE which I bought used. I got it for a very good price. When I got it, it had only been played for approximately 150 hours.
It is certainly the best sounding DAC I have ever had or ever heard for that matter. I love this DAC and it was working perfectly in bypass mode with my Crayon CFA-1.2's preamp handling the volume control. My system was sounding near perfect to my ears.

But then I decided to see how good the DP 777 SE's preamp sounded so I set the AMR on its preamp setting and neutralized the CFA-1.2's preamp by turning the CFA's volume to max. This worked fine. The sound quality when using the AMR's preamp did not surpass that which was produced when I was using the CFA-1.2's preamp... but neither was the SQ diminished. It was equally as good. To my ears the difference was indistinguishable.

Well, it worked fine for one day.

I had let it play all night figuring that the preamp section had not been broken in since it had not been used. The DAC section had been played for easily 700 to 800 hours (I stopped counting after 500). The next day, the first time I tried changing the volume, I lost all sound from the left channel. Then when I hit the remote's volume button again the sound came back to both channels. Further experimenting with the volume caused the sound to be... sometimes lost in the left channel, sometimes lost in the right channel, sometimes lost in both channels... and sometimes it would be brought back to normal.

I never knew what to expect. So I called AMR and they told me to send it in to them.

Please note... this DAC is still under warranty. But as it turns out the problem was due to damage that occurred AS A RESULT OF TUBE ROLLING.
Now, I had not rolled any tubes. I don't even have any tubes to try and I had already read that AMR urges us not to do it. Plus I really like the sound of my DP 777 SE as it is so I did not feel any need to do any experimenting.
Actually, the tube rolling had been done prior to my taking possession of the DAC.

But here is the kicker.

If there is any damage due to tube rolling the warranty is invalidated and the owner has to pay for the repair out of pocket.

Now please know. AMR does not say that tube's cannot be rolled.
What they told me is this:
1. not all 9 pin tubes are compatible so if one wants to roll tubes and not risk damaging the unit then he/she had best know which tubes to try and which not to try.
2. even if you do know which tubes to try, the ones you actually use need to be top quality tubes (that means not compromised in any way).
According to AMR the demand for New Old Stock tubes is high and the supply is limited. Selling them is lucrative and this has spawned unscrupulous vendors who have jumped on the bandwagon and are selling Old Stock tubes that are not ''New'' but rather they have been pulled out of units in which they have been in service for God only knows how long.

Plugging one of these into the AMR could cause serious damage.

AMR did tell me that there are some tubes which indeed do improve the DP 777's performance by a small percentage. In AMR's opinion, however, there are only two different ones that do so and they are both very expensive. And they also told me that there were other, less expensive ways to improve the sound quality.

So at the end of the day, if one is willing to spend the money and should indeed want to try those tubes one needs to know that due to the fact that there is still the risk that the ones you actually buy may not be of top quality, AMR will take no responsibility (translation: will not honor the warranty) if damage results from tube rolling.
I am not going to name the tubes that AMR told me could actually improve the sound. If anyone is interested in knowing they can call AMR (or email them) to find out.

AMR has had my DP 777 SE for a couple of weeks and with shipping to and fro I will have been without it for almost 4 weeks and I have REALLY missed it.
It is now in transit back to me and should get to me in another 3 days.
I am anxiously awaiting its return. My Auralic Vega (which I am using in the interim) does NOT, in my opinion, even come close to it.
It is so incredibly musically satisfying!!!
(Once again, in my opinion).

My short view of the difference after we (Ason audio Club) did a direct comparision of the DP-777 old v new se both with latest quad board on a high rez system here if want to read about it. We only did RedBook.


Cheers George
I have a DP-777SE and been experiencing no sound whenever it is ran for a period of time. In order to reset sound I need to power down and let it sit for an hour or so after power on is set sound is restored! Have anybody experience such an issue? 

Ask Kuei Yang Wang in the link I posted above, he is Thorsten Losche the designer of the AMR products.

Cheers George 

Hi George:

Thank you for the info 

Best Harold
FWIW, I ordered this DAC back in March, the dealer said that the shipment was being delayed due to an issue with the volume control. The issue had be identified to a faulty chip and AMR was in the process of resolving this issue. As a result my dealer said the delay would be another three weeks minimum. I decided to cancell my order and went with another DAC. I did demo the AMR, non SE version, and found it to be exceptional on RB playback. There are some posts over on CA forum on this topic.

This is reply I received from the AMR group in England:

"We have ran this past our Technical Department, please find their

"It could be the relay switching for muting. Either the relays or the control-IC get too hot.

Does the customer have enough airflow around the DP-777? If yes then the main board may need to be serviced (if in warranty) as the Relay control IC overheats (it includes over-temperature protection)."

Can you please confirm the airflow?"

Also when you say as follow:

There are some posts over on CA forum on this topic.  I googled it and could not find? 



On their DAC forum there is an AMR thread.

Hope that helps!

I just checked the site, looks like you found the right place...disregard the above post. 
Thank you yes I have been there too.
I see where this can become a major issue and AMR need to careful not to let issue go on much longer or they definitely will lose market share!
AMR components and boards all come from China? but Designed in the UK?
I have owned my DP777 since about the end of 2010 or beginning of 2011 and I have NEVER had a problem with it EXCEPT of my own doing. I rolled tubes with it in standby mode and did NOT actually power the unit down. Being an Elec Eng, one would think I should have known better. This took out the left channel. I spoke to Darren and admitted that this was my fault. He took speedy care of it and I got it back (but it was my mistake and therefore I had to pay). I suspect some of these people are not telling the whole truth when it comes to their stories.

I have since received the SE upgrade and it is still the best dac I have owned/ heard including the Ayon CD5S, PS Audio dac and PerfectWave Dac (1) and Direct Stream, Super Bidat, MSB Power Dac, Metrum Octave DCS Vivaldi (this unit did not have external clocks). In the case of the Vivaldi even the owner thought the AMR was better by 2 percent and I agree (this was the pre SE DP777). The Berkely series 1 got beat in a shoot out by the iFi iDac so no need to compare it directly to the AMR as it handily dispatches the iDac (though that unit sounds great and I love my micro iDac at the office). I have not listed all that I have owned or been privy to, that list is to extensive.

My DP777 SE does well against my TT's. No, it is not as "real" sounding as my SP10 Mk3 with Kuzma 4 Point and MC Anna, but neither is it embarrassed.

It is very close to my newly acquired Technics SL1200 GAE with a Denon 103R.

I literally stopped looking at dads because the thing sounds so much like good vinyl. 

I have been toying with adding a CEC TL0 3 to the rack but the price.., OUCH!!! I currently use a Mac mini which I am about to open and configure for the regulated linear power supply I designed for the unit.

I just wanted to chime in as I have found Darren to truly be one of the good guys out there. I do know that he has been burned before by AMR prematurely announcing a release date then having to delay do to additional features being added or other issues. I for one would rather wait that have some product rushed out the door with known issues, that has happened to me before and it is not pleasant.

Note, I am not referring to the relay/IC chip overheating if the unit does not have enough airflow when I wrote: "I suspect some of these people are not telling the whole..,". 

I was responding to pleople who claim just rolling tubes will take a channel out. I suspect some of these people have done exactly what I did and tried to change them with unit powered up but in standby mode. A big No No as I learned the costly way.