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seminarian nice review and congrats on your new Dac! I've read some reviews on the Sw1x Dacs their philosophy is very akin to Audio Note which is the Dac I have. There is a lengthy thread about Sw1x started by a member here named wig, check it out:
I can try a comparison but it is difficult because the two units are in two distinct setups. The SW1X is fronting a 300b tube amp and the Yggy is fronting a Pass First Watt J2. The speakers are both open baffle so at least there's a similarity there. Also, the two systems are in two different parts of the country. So I can't compare them at the moment.
But I will say this. The Yggy is very good but it bears a strong family resemblance to everything I've ever had. I think the biggest change going to the SW1X is that with it there is no end to the size of sound trying to get out through the speakers. As I mentioned all other DACs just turn to chaotic noise if the amount of (volume, complexity etc.) music being shoved through the system is too much. With the SW1X, it can handle anything and everything. Which translates to musicality. And as you shrink the stage, volume, complexity down it just reaps a corresponding benefit. This by the way was true even with some miniscule Klipsch book shelf speakers that I had before I got my big open baffles up.
I also think the low level detail really amounts to the sound of the hall itself and not merely hearing the musicians better. The SW1X is great at conveying a place (and people) not just music. The Yggy was okay in that regard but not startling.
In my review I noted that the SW1X is not my first R2R DAC. I've discovered that there is more to the issue than R2R versus bit-stream, as if one is automatically going to emerge the clear winner. What I didn't get into much at all in my review is the true reason behind why the SW1X stands apart. It's not merely the R2R design. It is more a matter of the implementation of the circuits as well as the materials science involved. R2R doesn't automatically change much. Non-oversampling doesn't even automatically guarantee success (as was the case of the Altmann, it didn't separate itself all that much).
Check out the SW1X website and start reading. I came away convinced that I needed to try Slawa's designs. I'm glad I did.
I did check out the very interesting SW1X website last night.I read the *Audio Hell* article last night.I'll go back and try to learn more about the actual design and implementation.One thing pointed out in the article that made me stop and think was not to rely heavily on your favorite tracks when auditioning a new component.The biases that people have can result in repeatedly choosing components that sound like you *want* those favorite tracks to sound like.
I know exactly what you mean about complex music turning into a congested mess.The dac I was auditioning last month did just that,so back it goes.
Excellent review. I'm delighted for you.
As you know, I'm struggling with how to describe what I hear with my DAC III STD. I may just have to plagiarize your review and pretend it's mine. I haven't listened to much Classical, but I've fallen hard for Jazz thanks to Slawa's magic.
A big THANK YOU to Wig for turning me onto SW1X DACs.
Let's enjoy our music.
Thanks my friend! It's nice to see that other music lovers on this side of the pond are discovering SW1X Dacs; I believe after hearing one in your system, the constant changing of components will be a thing of the past...
Hear for yourself what many of us have already heard and are captivated by the sound of SW1X Dacs :)
Seminarian, I owe you an note of gratitude. Was about to update
my Lampizator amber to the current version. After reading your comments, decided to pursue another direction. My impression, every expression in your review is spot on accurate. It took about 3 months, but I now have a well seasoned SW1X level II "special" in my system.
This is digital like I have never encountered.
The bloom of large orchestrated crescendos and choir voices is absolutely lovely. There are any number of beautifully gifted but hard to interpret female vocalists that are now reproduced without distraction (recordings from Madredeus, Pink Martini, Dulce Pontes, Hot Sardines to name a few). No more impulsive longings for a return to analog.
I am so incredulously delighted to have found this DAC, I am tempted to go on. This being a public domain, further words would seem as fabricated hyperbole to anyone who has read your review.
I will say, there "was" something about digital I always found unnatural. Like striking a bell and clasping your hand around it. An abrupt fade to a completely silent but lifeless background. Ambient decay is captured and brought to life in an expansive dimensional way. Old time audio enthusiasts who have dipped their toes in digital waters, and winced, may find SW1X a truly satisfying portal to a diverse world of streaming music.
From a practical standpoint, would like to mention Nigel, the USA midwest SW1X rep. He was a pleasure to deal with.
Sw1x make a very good product, that being said my hotrodded
Lampizator is excellent . My dac can put to shame many dacs approaching $10 k and I have mayb3 half that into it and it is Vacuum tube rectified, plus a gain and driver tube. I pretty much did a lot of what sw1x does I loaded it with great parts
like vh Audio coupling caps, Vishay naked resistors, Amtran Carbon films,Audio notes New Tantalum resistors , 0 Crystal copper wiring Amtran capacitors , and a bunch of Cornell Dubilier
bypass caps on the power supply caps. Plus WBT connectors.
Furutech IEC. All these little things add up. I did the same to my
Black ice Audio F35 vacuum tube integrated and it is on a reference level. Putting the best parts available to a very good design most certainly matters, something most companies donot do !!
Audio Mirror Tubador
And probably Audio Note should be in there somewhere.
All these DACs share some similarities with respect to design philosophy and technical approach. And lately all of these are getting rave reviews around here.
Sorry, got interrupted by some grandchildren, and totally lost my train of thought.