MSB Reference DAC VS Totaldac d1-Twelve mk2

KeithR

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Currently my favorite phono is Allnic... So it is Lampi and Allnic. Though I like the Neodio origine and that's not valves

that's fine, to each their own. considered a 1201 several times, myself.

i prefer tubes in my preamp or even just amp as I have now. having tubes in sources adds unnecessary complication. a lot of tube circuits in sources are just buffers which i don't ascribe to (yes, this isn't Lampi i know) and tubes in phonos often are noisy w/ LOMC carts. with both digital and analog in my rig, i'm rolling two sets of different tubes into the same preamp (which if tubed adds a third dimension!)- which doesn't make sense to me (unless all one manufacturer?). seems difficult and that my reference is constantly moving depending on the day.

but in an all-SS system, I'm sure tube sources have their place.
 

bonzo75

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I find both tube sources much superior to having tube pre or power like AR downstream. And I like the upper end AR stuff. And 1201 isn't really a fair compare the 3000 is where it starts getting good, H5000 being excellent.
 

morricab

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I find both tube sources much superior to having tube pre or power like AR downstream. And I like the upper end AR stuff. And 1201 isn't really a fair compare the 3000 is where it starts getting good, H5000 being excellent.

Actually, the 1500 is quite good as well. My colleague has it with his big Transrotor + SME V + Tansfiguration Proteus...super sound. I love my Silvaweld SWH-650.
 

morricab

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Currently my favorite phono is Allnic... So it is Lampi and Allnic. Though I like the Neodio origine and that's not valves

The Neodio is pretty nice. I hope to compare the AC Talos to my Silvaweld and an Allnic 1500 in the coming months.
 

bonzo75

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The Neodio is pretty nice. I hope to compare the AC Talos to my Silvaweld and an Allnic 1500 in the coming months.

I am talking more at the 3000v level for my budget and the 5000 is possibly the finest, there could be something like tenor, EMT jpa 66 etc at that level. I also need the variable EQ for playing old vinyl as I will be focusing a lot on old monos
 

totaldac

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I directly compared the Totaldac Twelve with the Kassandra (Reference version, the Signature goes markedly further) and choose for the latter! Always welcome for a shootout with whichever DAC against the Kassandra Signature that I have. As my demo room and system are extremely resolved (true SET amplification, not the euphonic type, and Symphonia horn speakers), any change is easily picked up!

If you were to go for the Twelve, I recommend you vividly to get the new Driver module as well (except if you connect to a preamp).

You are retailer of Aries Cerat, so are you not neutral at all.

Another person, more neutral that you because selling nothing, compared and preferred the Totaldac DAC
https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/5045
So many people told me that his system is the best they heard, in an ideal sized room, with a smart and modest man welcoming them.
It is not a self-proclaimed "extremely resolving" system.
 
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ariescerat-espana

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You are retailer of Aries Cerat, so are you not neutral at all.

Another person, more neutral that you because selling nothing, compared and preferred the Totaldac DAC
https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/5045
So many people told me that his system is the best they heard, in an ideal sized room, with a smart and modest man welcoming them.
It is not a self-proclaimed "extremely resolving" system.

Maybe, but I believe Flyer was not a dealer when he made that choice? It was one of the things as I understand it that convinced him to become a dealer for AC. Also hew made that judgement on the Kassandra Ref II which is much less expensive than the 12.

I have spoken to babybear on PMs last year. I asked him the question then on TotalDAC12 v Kassandra. And a buddy of his who also heard them at his house. It is not so cut and dried as far as I read it. Personal tastes come into it of course. And synergy with his CH gear.

Myself, I heard the TotalDAC6 in my system last year, and it was very good. I had my Audio Note DAC 5 at that point. I have since got the Kassandra, and my aural memory does not fail me here, the Kassandra is much better to my ears, more dynamics and muscular sound, the TotalDAC less so. True, the TotalDAC12 will be a bit better, but that is going to 30K euros, the Kassandra ref II is well under that at circa 18K. The Kassandra Signature with it's 2 box chassis and tube regulated power supply I can imagine is another level again.

I nearly pulled the trigger on the TotalDAC6 last year, but really like tubes in my then all SS system. I have found it does something special. The gain stage in the Six didn't convince me.

That is my story on this compare. I am definitely going to buy more AC gear at some point, it has nailed the sound to me, just listen to the music....
 

totaldac

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Flyer was starting his distribution business, and I couldn't give him exclusive distribution of Totaldac, so he preferred get a DAC he could be distributor for.
He was already distributor for Aries Cerat preamp and speakers and I think amplifier when he made the "comparison".

Yes preference depends on tastes and matching with the rest of the system, true, but a retailer should not give his (biased) opinion about a comparison especially when it is not the topic of a thread, else it is just wild advirtisement.
 

ariescerat-espana

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Flyer was starting his distribution business, and I couldn't give him exclusive distribution of Totaldac, so he preferred get a DAC he could be distributor for.
He was already distributor for Aries Cerat preamp and speakers and I think amplifier when he made the "comparison".

Yes preference depends on tastes and matching with the rest of the system, true, but a retailer should not give his (biased) opinion about a comparison especially when it is not the topic of a thread, else it is just wild advirtisement.

Vincent I totally respect your gear, your business model, the ingenious ways you developed your DACs.

Many forums do not allow dealers to comment. Here they do, and you are commenting as a manufacturer and Flyer as a dealer. But posters here understand that, and are all grown up about it, and can make their own conclusions on it. Generally I would suggest most on WBF are very knowledgable, have no hidden agenda and are audio obsessives, and that includes the dealers who post here from my experience. I met some of the dealers who post here at Munich this year, and the guys I met are like the rest of us, totally obsessed with the best sound, open to new ideas, and running toward ingenuity.

I would not buy any audio gear for my system if it wasn't the best sound I had heard in that system. It is against my whole being to do that. I had PMs with Flyer before I tried the Kassandra, and I concur with his opinion, the Kassandra is better to my ears.

I don't want to high jack this TotalDAC thread, but we have to talk about other gear in and amongst this forum. If we don't, then this particular thread becomes one big advert for one manufacturer. Or we ban all dealers and manufacturers. I actually prefer having dealers and manufacturers, and like manufacturers creating technical articles for the forum.
 

CKKeung

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Even though most of the WBF members are experienced audiophiles, I very much agree with totaldac(Vincent) that :

1. Dealers may praise their own products but there is serious conflict of interest if saying that theirs are better than the other brands.

2. It is very impolite to do so on the discussion thread of the other brands.

In Hong Kong most of the hifi brands are available/present and there are hundreds of dealers in a very competitive market yet this kind of behaviour rarely happens.
 

microstrip

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Even though most of the WBF members are experienced audiophiles, I very much agree with totaldac(Vincent) that :

1. Dealers may praise their own products but there is serious conflict of interest if saying that theirs are better than the other brands.

2. It is very impolite to do so on the discussion thread of the other brands.

In Hong Kong most of the hifi brands are available/present and there are hundreds of dealers in a very competitive market yet this kind of behaviour rarely happens.

+1!

And again, manufacturers and dealers should clearly state their interest in their signatures.
 
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flyer

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You are retailer of Aries Cerat, so are you not neutral at all.

Another person, more neutral that you because selling nothing, compared and preferred the Totaldac DAC
https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/5045
So many people told me that his system is the best they heard, in an ideal sized room, with a smart and modest man welcoming them.
It is not a self-proclaimed "extremely resolving" system.

OMG, what a turn this is taking...

Allow me to put some things straight:
1. the reason for bringing up the AC Kassandra subject is because... the owner of this thread started about the Aries Cerat himself, suggesting that including the AC in the shootout would be interesting as well. I hope you will not be mad at him for bringing up another brand name that was not mentioned in the title of the thread!
2. No problem at all that a link to someone who favours Totaldac in his system is given, it is merely reinforcing that professionals are adding their sauce to the plate.
3. I am but an amateur who's hobby has gotten out of hand in that I also distribute effectively. But I only do so for those products I truly believe in and for which I have been able to do extensive comparisons (exception is my analogue setup though as I had no real comparison base). So no, I did not adopt the Kassandra because I was anyway already distributing the preamp and the amps of Aries Cerat. I am in the luxury position that I don't HAVE TO anything, I don't do this for a living, otherwise why would I have bothered to even compare one brand with the other?
4. I totally agree that a system is wholly dependent on one's taste and preference.
5. I have always been open and honest about my interests, there are numerous examples on this forum of people that are not likewise. Or those examples that only started to share their interests after a long period of touting the product they want to see promoted during which they acted as a supposedly modest person leading others to think there is no financial interest.

Finally, what is wrong to say that I have an extremely resolving system? I am not bragging, many visitors in my room say it is like that and by saying I suspecti I am scaring as many people as I am attracting them because not everybody likes high resolution, far from it.

Be well.
 

ariescerat-espana

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Well, I can see this is oddball to some. Most forums don't allow dealers or manufacturers to post in the threads. I have got used to that here TBH. And I don't worry about it. We are all very grown up around here, and there will be some folk who like this DAC, others like that DAC. I met some of the AC dealers at Munich this year, and I have to say they are just like me:
1. Mad about music.
2. Want the best sound no matter who makes it.
3. Open to any innovation and very honest about other systems that sound awesome.

For example, many of us loved the Living Voice room, it moved us. Many of us liked other rooms. Many of us agreed many of the room sounded bad. So dealers, audio nut or manufacturer, there is a lot of common ground. And lets face it, many of the folk working in this profession are doing ok-ish but not exactly buying Yachts. Can't be said for other industries out there. My view is the industry is driven by enthusiasm for music and getting closer to the source, emotion of it. I see little phishing of 'cashing in' going on here.

Plus I think we want more manufacturers to post on here, create their story, the design path and why they are doing this stuff. it is fascinating, and another element to the audio hobby. Rob Watts of Chord posts a lot on head-fi for example.

Summary, I don't think anyone can call any thread on here their own, it is open season, and we all want to hear the other persons experiences. If we stop that, we won't learn anything new.

Vincent, you can post in your own manufacturers thread for all TotalDAC posts. That is another method. The regular threads may however draw newbies in who don't know about your gear. So both is good IMO.
 

lordcloud

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Maybe, but I believe Flyer was not a dealer when he made that choice? It was one of the things as I understand it that convinced him to become a dealer for AC. Also hew made that judgement on the Kassandra Ref II which is much less expensive than the 12.

I have spoken to babybear on PMs last year. I asked him the question then on TotalDAC12 v Kassandra. And a buddy of his who also heard them at his house. It is not so cut and dried as far as I read it. Personal tastes come into it of course. And synergy with his CH gear.

Myself, I heard the TotalDAC6 in my system last year, and it was very good. I had my Audio Note DAC 5 at that point. I have since got the Kassandra, and my aural memory does not fail me here, the Kassandra is much better to my ears, more dynamics and muscular sound, the TotalDAC less so. True, the TotalDAC12 will be a bit better, but that is going to 30K euros, the Kassandra ref II is well under that at circa 18K. The Kassandra Signature with it's 2 box chassis and tube regulated power supply I can imagine is another level again.

I nearly pulled the trigger on the TotalDAC6 last year, but really like tubes in my then all SS system. I have found it does something special. The gain stage in the Six didn't convince me.

That is my story on this compare. I am definitely going to buy more AC gear at some point, it has nailed the sound to me, just listen to the music....

I've also heard that the comparison was not apples to apples, as the equipment may have made for an advantage in the direction of the TotalDac.

This isn't me saying that one is better than the other. I'm only saying that while the individual may have been more neutral, the "testing ground" may not have been.

I live in Austin and haven't heard the Twelve here, but others that have, have said it is the best digital they've heard. I hope to be able to listen to the system one of these days.
 

sbo6

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I've also heard that the comparison was not apples to apples, as the equipment may have made for an advantage in the direction of the TotalDac.

This isn't me saying that one is better than the other. I'm only saying that while the individual may have been more neutral, the "testing ground" may not have been.

I live in Austin and haven't heard the Twelve here, but others that have, have said it is the best digital they've heard. I hope to be able to listen to the system one of these days.

I was there for the "shootout" and I live in Austin and have heard this system many times (it is excellent, btw). I forgot which AC DAC and preamp was used versus the TD 12 and an Absolare preamp (note: he did not have the CH Precision preamp and amps at the time of the "shooutout"). To my ears I preferred Babybear's DAC + preamp which were a hair less muscular than the AC but the AC combo just didn't quite have the magic (more 3D, better spacial cues, tighter bass, more overall realistic) of Babybear's. Please note - the AC was no slouch but to my ears the owner's gear was simply better IMO.
 

lordcloud

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I was there for the "shootout" and I live in Austin and have heard this system many times (it is excellent, btw). I forgot which AC DAC and preamp was used versus the TD 12 and an Absolare preamp (note: he did not have the CH Precision preamp and amps at the time of the "shooutout"). To my ears I preferred Babybear's DAC + preamp which were a hair less muscular than the AC but the AC combo just didn't quite have the magic (more 3D, better spacial cues, tighter bass, more overall realistic) of Babybear's. Please note - the AC was no slouch but to my ears the owner's gear was simply better IMO.

I was actually thinking of you specifically when talking about the comparison and how good the Twelve sounds.
 

sbo6

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I was actually thinking of you specifically when talking about the comparison and how good the Twelve sounds.

And thank you for that!
 

VPN

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Even though most of the WBF members are experienced audiophiles, I very much agree with totaldac(Vincent) that :

1. Dealers may praise their own products but there is serious conflict of interest if saying that theirs are better than the other brands.

2. It is very impolite to do so on the discussion thread of the other brands.

In Hong Kong most of the hifi brands are available/present and there are hundreds of dealers in a very competitive market yet this kind of behaviour rarely happens.



+1 I Agree 100% with you. Manufacturers, distributors, and dealers: (i) should not post in threads about other manufacturers products stating their own product is better, and (ii) should never compare the products they represent to the products of other manufacturers, because doing so is very impolite.
 
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wisnon

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Yeah, imported I'm sure adds a premium as well. I would be inclined to try the local TotalDac at least for demo since you are in France. Especially if you use AES.

I think the Aries and Lampis are two separate ideas from MSB/TotalDac. You really need to know if you like tube dacs. I personally don't like tubes in any source (dac or phono), but that's my opinion and plenty of others around here would disagree :D
Keith, you are wrong there. You need to hear the Pac. It will immediately change your mind.
 

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