The Mini Max sounds spectacular. I have some XLR to RCA adapters that I no longer need!
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I owned the original minimax (modded) and agree it is outstanding for the money. Have not heard the 'plus' but assume it's even better.
I now own the Calyx and feel it is superior to the Minimax. Well worth the extra cost. Only caveat, with the Calyx you definitely need to spend a few hundred bucks on a good usb cable, it makes a huge difference.
Differences between the EE and Calyx - the EE is very organic and musical. The Calyx is more neutral and refined, with better detail, air and sound staging.
Still, could be happy with either.
Guydebord, There is good news for you; forget about the DAC Plus not having balanced outputs. Instead use the AES/EBU connection between the Minimax DAC Plus and the Lyngdorf - this is superior to running balanced connections. You use a single XLR cable for the AES/EBU connection. With any DAC the results from using the AES/EBU connection can be far superior to the DAC's RCA or XLR output.
I did not have a Preamp which accepted AES/EBU at the time of the DAC Plus review for Dagogo.com, or else I surely would have preferred it to the RCA/XLR output.
Make sure to try several different cables as the results will vary widely.
Doug, I'm confused by your comment. The only AES/EBU connection on the Minimax+ is an input, not an output. And if there were an AES/EBU output, using it would amount to substituting the preamp's digital-to-analog converter function for the Minimax's, and would amount (at most) to using the Minimax just as a digital-to-digital format converter and/or a re-clocker/jitter reducer.
Or am I missing something?
Ad on to the previous; I look back at the comment I made and think, "What was going through my mind?" It reminds me of the rule I instituted in regards to system building. When I get very tired I will not conduct work on setting up a system. One time when I was very tired I got a brain wave to reconfigure; I should have gone to bed instead!
I think I'll apply that rule to writing/posting as well; illogical things can take on a fuzzy validity when one is tired.
No I am not using the Kingrex PSU. I'm just using the stock PSU. You have the option of using the USB power or the PSU. Meets my needs.
I took your advice and set up a EE minimax with recommend mods to the output tube and opamps. Also used a Pathos Classic One MkIII. Agree it's a wonderful combination, but disagree that it can't be beat for a little more money. Maybe a little oversell??? Tough to beat at that price point, yes.
11-26-11: Douglas_schroederReminds me of the time many years ago when someone I was working with, who was a PhD in electrical engineering and who also probably had the highest IQ of anyone I have ever met in my life, was working in the lab late one night, in a tired and impatient state. He decided that an expedient method of determining whether or not a high speed cooling fan in an advanced avionics component was rotating or not would be to stick his finger into it. Sure enough, he promptly determined that it was!
It happens to the best of us :-)
Audiolab just started shipping their Sabre 9018 based M-DAC (< $1000), which looks quite compelling based on discussions over at Pink Fish Media forums (where M-DAC designer John Westlake has been active). Initial reviews are quite positive, but I don't think anybody has done side by side comparisons with $2000+ DAC's. John says they will be offering a separate upgraded power supply for the M-DAC next year (? when). Based on what I've read, I went out on a limb and placed a pre-order for the M-DAC, sight unseen (or heard).