DAC decision: Lampizator Pacific vs TotalDac Balanced Output Options

rau

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Aug 6, 2015
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Balanced challenges aside, I have heard the TotalDAC TD 12 and the Lampizator Pacific but not in the same system. However I've heard several DACs in each system and I believe enough to make a comparison.

The TotalDAC units are slightly warm sounding without sacrificing detail and airiness. The Pacific is a very warm sounding DAC; it's the kind of DAC that makes singers sound like they gained 40 lbs reflected in their extra - hefty voice. When the owner switched from his MSB to the Pacific it took all of 10 seconds of comparative listening to request he go back to the MSB (another very good DAC).

If you value tonal accuracy with just a hint of warmth the TotalDAC fits your needs. If you want something very warm and IMO unnatural then the Pacific is for you.
I owned a Totaldac Twelve and now own a Pacific and GA TRP . “ IMO” very warm and unnatural does not describe any Lampizator I heard .
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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I owned a Totaldac Twelve and now own a Pacific and GA TRP . “ IMO” very warm and unnatural does not describe any Lampizator I heard .

Many listen to Lampi cursorily without tube roll. If they hear it with the wrong tube and don't optimize it...
 
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ctydwn

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Aug 23, 2019
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As a data point, I moved from a 'neutral' SS DAC to the Pacific. In my system and to my ears, the Pacific is the antithesis of very warm and unnatural. Perhaps my other gear and the tubes make it so, but by switching to the Pacific increased transparency, dynamics, soundstage, decay - when a track calls for it - and the beauty of just the right natural sound of resin on strings, or vocalists I love. Just my experience. I have not heard the TotalDAC.
 
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Lampie519

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Many listen to Lampi cursorily without tube roll. If they hear it with the wrong tube and don't optimize it...
Is it shipped with wrong tubes from the factory (if no tube rolling has taken place) ?:eek:
 

Golum

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Is it shipped with wrong tubes from the factory (if no tube rolling has taken place) ?:eek:
Its not shipped with "wrong" tubes as tube choice is left for decision to the buyer. If no experience or without reading "crazy' long threads here often buyers go with most obvious choice like 300b for example which is not the "luckiest" choice.
 

bonzo75

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I myself like the option of being able to Taylor the sound to my liking with tubes . I suppose Lampizator could do this for the customer and charge 95,000

Then it will be a turntable. Problem is, people are just not used to the idea that digital can be adjusted and optimised much like a tonearm/ cart/phono combo
 
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christoph

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Then it will be a turntable. Problem is, people are just used to the idea that digital can be adjusted and optimised much like a tonearm/ cart/phono combo
You mean, ...people are just NOT used to the idea... ?
 

bonzo75

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Corrected
 

Charlie B.

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Nov 8, 2017
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If you value tonal accuracy with just a hint of warmth the TotalDAC fits your needs. If you want something very warm and IMO unnatural then the Pacific is for you.
Get yourself some very good silver wires and listen again.
If your Pac sounds "very warm" you might have a matching problem imho.
But no two audiophiles lissen equaly...
 

Joe Cohen

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Jun 10, 2012
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C1C5B4DA-0095-49E0-B224-C16E996FC8FF.jpeg SW1X DAC III Balanced

Transformer coupled SW1X Balanced designs with true balanced XLR outputs


SW1X Audio Design™ DAC III Balanced Features:
  • Pure & Elegant NOS (Non oversampling – zero digital domain filtering) Design
  • Balanced (& Single Ended) Signal Output Transformer de-coupled Valve Ouput Stage Topology
  • EL84 Power Ouput Tubes, Zero NFB, Class A, Valve Output Stage
  • Passive I/V conversion via a specially selected resistor with the shortest signal path directly connected to the tube grid
  • Dynamic Element Matching (DEM) of the TDA1541 powered by an asynchronous E180F Valve Clock powered by EAA91 Valve Rectified & Choke Filtered Power Supply
  • Discrete Transistor, Shunt Voltage Regulated Low Voltage Power Supplies
  • 5U4GYB/5R4GYB Directly Heated Valve rectified CLC (choke filtered) B+ Power Supply
  • Digital Input supports up to 24Bit/96kHz S/PDIF Signal Input

  • Specially Selected and Harmonically Matched Component & Material Quality
  • SW1X Audio DesignCopper wound Super HiB DC core Signal Output Transformers
  • M6 grain orient EI core Mains Transformers & Chokes (HiB double C-core available as an option)
  • Circuit is wired with Specially Selected copper conductors of various geometry (single strand or Litz)
  • AN Copper Foil in Oil interstage signal de-coupling Capacitors
  • Black Gate de-coupling Capacitors for TDA1541 DAC
  • AB 2W non-magnetic Carbon film Resistors in selected places

Optional Extras:
  • Fully Hardwired Tube Output Stage on the Bakelite Board
  • Fine Silver wiring on the Input, Bakelite Board and Output
  • SW1X Audio DesignCustom Designed & Fully or Partly Silver wound Super HiB DC core Signal Output Transformers
  • Black Gate VK capacitors in the B+ power supply
  • Black Gate capacitors in LV power supply and de-coupling capacitors for TDA1541A DAC
  • AN 2W non-magnetic Niobium resistors on a Hardwired Bakelite Board
  • Super HiB double C-Core mains transformers for the digital and DHT/DHD power supplies
  • TDA1541R Selected or optional TDA1541A S1 or S2 Selected Crown version
  • Silver Foil capacitors Inter-stage signal de-coupling capacitors
  • AN 2W Silver, non-magnetic, Tantalum resistors
  • XLR AES/EBU or I2S input
 

CDC77

Member
May 27, 2021
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www.cdcaruso.com
Hello, as this is my first post on this Forum, let me say I have been engaged in this hobby about 3 years. Was persuaded from the start to go all digital, streaming Qobuz through Roon. Last year, I traded up from our entry level system with new speakers, new integrated amp, new server/streamer. All great choices. When it came to the DAC, I became intrigued with TotalDac and was actually thinking of visiting them in France to listen when the pandemic struck. But there was a glitch. My integrated amp will only accept XLR balanced input, and in my research, the TotalDac “direct” approach (resulting in unbalanced output) seems to win out over the balanced output approach. Back to the drawing board, I recently listened to a Lampizator Pacific with balanced output and am strongly considering going in that direction, which would introduce tubes into my otherwise all solid state system. But before I take the next plunge, I thought I would take a new “audio friend“‘s suggestion and run my questions past this forum. On TotalDac, am I making too much out of the direct/unbalanced vs. balanced output choices? Has anyone compared TotalDac to Lampizator Pacific? (If so, which versions of TotalDac)? Thank you.
All, I am happy to report my new Pacific wildly surpasses my expectations. The music is lifelike, there is no other way to put it. Of course, there are many other great products out there, but for me they will be The Road Not Taken. Thanks to everyone that helped me make my decision.
 

K3RMIT

Well-Known Member
Sep 4, 2020
389
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Get yourself some very good silver wires and listen again.
If your Pac sounds "very warm" you might have a matching problem imho.
But no two audiophiles lissen equaly...
Maybe he needs a preamp lol. Any dac made no matter cost can be improved with a good preamp. The preamp asside of adding a gain stage for drive and dynamics also sets the tone.
 

divertiti

Active Member
Jan 12, 2021
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All, I am happy to report my new Pacific wildly surpasses my expectations. The music is lifelike, there is no other way to put it. Of course, there are many other great products out there, but for me they will be The Road Not Taken. Thanks to everyone that helped me make my decision.
Congrats, that's awesome. Did you ever end up auditioning Totaldac for comparison?
 

Addicted to hifi

VIP/Donor
Sep 8, 2020
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View attachment 80950 SW1X DAC III Balanced

Transformer coupled SW1X Balanced designs with true balanced XLR outputs


SW1X Audio Design™ DAC III Balanced Features:
  • Pure & Elegant NOS (Non oversampling – zero digital domain filtering) Design
  • Balanced (& Single Ended) Signal Output Transformer de-coupled Valve Ouput Stage Topology
  • EL84 Power Ouput Tubes, Zero NFB, Class A, Valve Output Stage
  • Passive I/V conversion via a specially selected resistor with the shortest signal path directly connected to the tube grid
  • Dynamic Element Matching (DEM) of the TDA1541 powered by an asynchronous E180F Valve Clock powered by EAA91 Valve Rectified & Choke Filtered Power Supply
  • Discrete Transistor, Shunt Voltage Regulated Low Voltage Power Supplies
  • 5U4GYB/5R4GYB Directly Heated Valve rectified CLC (choke filtered) B+ Power Supply
  • Digital Input supports up to 24Bit/96kHz S/PDIF Signal Input

  • Specially Selected and Harmonically Matched Component & Material Quality
  • SW1X Audio DesignCopper wound Super HiB DC core Signal Output Transformers
  • M6 grain orient EI core Mains Transformers & Chokes (HiB double C-core available as an option)
  • Circuit is wired with Specially Selected copper conductors of various geometry (single strand or Litz)
  • AN Copper Foil in Oil interstage signal de-coupling Capacitors
  • Black Gate de-coupling Capacitors for TDA1541 DAC
  • AB 2W non-magnetic Carbon film Resistors in selected places

Optional Extras:
  • Fully Hardwired Tube Output Stage on the Bakelite Board
  • Fine Silver wiring on the Input, Bakelite Board and Output
  • SW1X Audio DesignCustom Designed & Fully or Partly Silver wound Super HiB DC core Signal Output Transformers
  • Black Gate VK capacitors in the B+ power supply
  • Black Gate capacitors in LV power supply and de-coupling capacitors for TDA1541A DAC
  • AN 2W non-magnetic Niobium resistors on a Hardwired Bakelite Board
  • Super HiB double C-Core mains transformers for the digital and DHT/DHD power supplies
  • TDA1541R Selected or optional TDA1541A S1 or S2 Selected Crown version
  • Silver Foil capacitors Inter-stage signal de-coupling capacitors
  • AN 2W Silver, non-magnetic, Tantalum resistors
  • XLR AES/EBU or I2S input
Congratulations looks stunning.
 

TheMooN

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2013
1,242
542
370
N/A
SW1X Audio Design™ DAC III Balanced Features:

They certainly pack in the goodies, especially were one to go shopping in the Optional Extras section, Very nice indeed.
I don’t suppose any member with experience of Lampi has also listened to a fully loaded SW1X Audio Design™ DAC ?
 

Golum

Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2018
1,396
1,747
275
Lausanne, CH
SW1X Audio Design™ DAC III Balanced Features:

They certainly pack in the goodies, especially were one to go shopping in the Optional Extras section, Very nice indeed.
I don’t suppose any member with experience of Lampi has also listened to a fully loaded SW1X Audio Design™ DAC ?
That certainly would be a very interesting comparison!
 

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
3,849
3,171
490
Principality of Liechtenstein
All, I am happy to report my new Pacific wildly surpasses my expectations. The music is lifelike, there is no other way to put it. Of course, there are many other great products out there, but for me they will be The Road Not Taken. Thanks to everyone that helped me make my decision.
Congrats :cool:
The Pacific really IS a very special DAC :D
Please let us know what tubes you are using
 
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christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
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Principality of Liechtenstein
Maybe he needs a preamp lol. Any dac made no matter cost can be improved with a good preamp. The preamp asside of adding a gain stage for drive and dynamics also sets the tone.
But the Preamp has to be VERY good (and costly :oops:) to match or even surpass the Lampi in-built preamp :eek:
I know of people who compared to VERY expensive preamps and preferred their rig sans preamp, going directly from the Lampi :D
I guess it all depends on system synergy :p
 
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