The first Totaldac D1-Twelve Mk2 DAC in Hong Kong

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,166
282
83
Hong Kong
#1
Two audiophiles in Hong Kong ordered the new Twelve Mk2 dac without prior audition and one of them is my friend.
The two Twelve Mk2 arrived yesterday at the Totaldac HK dealer and one of them was delivered to the buyer.
My friend was on a business trip and had asked the dealer to burn-in the dac for him before he's back.
I rushed to the dealer showroom for a listen yesterday afternoon.

The accompanying components were SGM EVO Edition Server, Westminster Lab mono poweramps & Volent VL3.5 speakers.
Most cables were from Westminster Lab but the usb cable was the fabulous Intona Ultimate USB Cable.
Network consisted of Synology 916+ NAS, Clones Audio modded Cisco Switch, Telegartner MFP8 Gold II ethernet cable.
20180929_161727_HDR~2.jpg

The Bespoke TVC passive preamp was used for most of the audition.
The Twelve Mk2 is a 4-chassis version.
20180929_144955~2.jpg

The Nagra HD Preamp was used for audition for a short period of time too.
20180929_164451_HDR~2.jpg

For this 4-chassis version, all the powersupply modules are placed inside a standard Totaldac chassis.
It has 3 DC cables coming out to supply the two DAC modules and the Reclocker/Syn module.
Placement of the whole dac set is easier and the whole dac set needs one powercord only.
20180929_145049~2.jpg

The two Mono DAC modules :
20180929_145207~2.jpg
 
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CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,166
282
83
Hong Kong
#2
The Reclocker/Syn module of the Twelve Mk2 DAC :
20180929_145135~2.jpg
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,166
282
83
Hong Kong
#3
That Twelve Mk2 was fresh from the boxes.
I listened for about 2 hours.
Despite of such a short warm-up time, the Twelve Mk2 bettered the Aqua Audio Formula xHD DAC in the showroom in seconds!
(Well, the Twelve being so expensive, it better be)

The sound was so transparent, effortless and lively!
There wasn't any lack of macro-dynamics and authority even when the Bespoke Preamp was in use.
And of course, micro-dynamics, agility and resolution are Twelve's specialties.

It's a pity that there wasn't a Twelve Mk1 for a direct comparison.

I will go back to the showroom to have another audition again after it has been "boiled" for a week and post an update here (before my owner friend is back from his trip and take it home). :D
 
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sbo6

Active Member
May 19, 2014
773
30
28
Round Rock, TX
#4
That Twelve Mk2 was fresh from the boxes.
I listened for about 2 hours.
Despite of such a short warm-up time, the Twelve Mk2 bettered the Aqua Audio Formula xHD DAC in the showroom in seconds!
(Well, the Twelve being so expensive, it better be)

The sound was so transparent, effortless and lively!
There wasn't any lack of macro-dynamics and authority even when the Bespoke Preamp was in use.
And of course, micro-dynamics, agility and resolution are Twelve's specialties.

It's a pity that there wasn't a Twelve Mk1 for a direct comparison.

I will go back to the showroom to have another audition again after it has been "boiled" for a week and post an update here (before my owner friend is back from his trip and take it home). :D
Th TD 12 MK1 is the best digital I have heard (and I have heard quite a few and own the Aqua Formula). I would love to hear and own the TD 12 Mk II.
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,166
282
83
Hong Kong
#5
Th TD 12 MK1 is the best digital I have heard (and I have heard quite a few and own the Aqua Formula). I would love to hear and own the TD 12 Mk II.
Hello sbo6,

The Twelve has been my favourite & dream DAC during the past several years too!
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,214
775
113
E. England
#6
I've heard the Aqua Formula XHD recently.

By a long stretch the most compelling digital for me.

Fascinated the TD Twelve trounces it, it must be quite something.
 

Thieliste

Active Member
Aug 31, 2014
284
26
28
France
#7
I will also purchase a Twelve mk2 + d1-server within a year for my new build.
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,166
282
83
Hong Kong
#8
I will also purchase a Twelve mk2 + d1-server within a year for my new build.
Hello Thieliste,
I am sure the Twelve Mk2 won't disappoint you!

But if you want the server option within the Reclocker/Syn Module, please consider to ask Vincent to make a separate powersupply module for it.
The diff is clearly audible.
However, you have to ask if this 4th powersupply module can be put inside the PSU chassis as well.

Cheers
CK
 
Nov 1, 2017
135
13
18
#9
Hi all,
thanks for the try of this very new Totaldac !
i'm also very curious... it may be something exceptional
in a few days after the neccessary burn-in days.

the best becomes better !

Be well in music
Bruno

PS : d1-seven & direct are already from my point of view (and listening)
very high above the Formula.
 
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Thieliste

Active Member
Aug 31, 2014
284
26
28
France
#10
Hello Thieliste,
I am sure the Twelve Mk2 won't disappoint you!

But if you want the server option within the Reclocker/Syn Module, please consider to ask Vincent to make a separate powersupply module for it.
The diff is clearly audible.
However, you have to ask if this 4th powersupply module can be put inside the PSU chassis as well.

Cheers
CK
Hi CKKeung, i will be going with the d1-server in a separate box.
I yet have to determine which pre-power combo i will choose between Aries Cerat, CH Precision and Ypsilon to go with the Twelve mk2.
 

sbo6

Active Member
May 19, 2014
773
30
28
Round Rock, TX
#11
Hi CKKeung, i will be going with the d1-server in a separate box.
I yet have to determine which pre-power combo i will choose between Aries Cerat, CH Precision and Ypsilon to go with the Twelve mk2.
Ive heard several of the pres you mention above and the CH Precision is the most quick / responsive dynamic and real sounding I've ever heard. There's no sugary tubeness but if you want to get the closest to a live band in your room, this is it, IMO. I hear with the mono amps combo it jumps another level.
 

Thieliste

Active Member
Aug 31, 2014
284
26
28
France
#12
Ive heard several of the pres you mention above and the CH Precision is the most quick / responsive dynamic and real sounding I've ever heard. There's no sugary tubeness but if you want to get the closest to a live band in your room, this is it, IMO. I hear with the mono amps combo it jumps another level.
I can confirm, i did spend a long afternoon at a dealers with L1-C1-X1-M1 stereo driving a pair of Wilson Sabrina and i felt the same way, probably some of the best SS at any price.
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,166
282
83
Hong Kong
#13
I can confirm, i did spend a long afternoon at a dealers with L1-C1-X1-M1 stereo driving a pair of Wilson Sabrina and i felt the same way, probably some of the best SS at any price.
I concur : L1+X1+M1 is a great combo! :D
 

sbo6

Active Member
May 19, 2014
773
30
28
Round Rock, TX
#14
That Twelve Mk2 was fresh from the boxes.
I listened for about 2 hours.
Despite of such a short warm-up time, the Twelve Mk2 bettered the Aqua Audio Formula xHD DAC in the showroom in seconds!
(Well, the Twelve being so expensive, it better be)

The sound was so transparent, effortless and lively!
There wasn't any lack of macro-dynamics and authority even when the Bespoke Preamp was in use.
And of course, micro-dynamics, agility and resolution are Twelve's specialties.

It's a pity that there wasn't a Twelve Mk1 for a direct comparison.

I will go back to the showroom to have another audition again after it has been "boiled" for a week and post an update here (before my owner friend is back from his trip and take it home). :D
Out of curiosity, how was the Aqua compared to the TotalDAC? I ask because the TD's input is dual AES and the Aqua's best input is USB and fed HQplayer upsampled to 384 or 768 PCM.
 

sbo6

Active Member
May 19, 2014
773
30
28
Round Rock, TX
#15
Hi all,
thanks for the try of this very new Totaldac !
i'm also very curious... it may be something exceptional
in a few days after the neccessary burn-in days.

the best becomes better !

Be well in music
Bruno

PS : d1-seven & direct are already from my point of view (and listening)
very high above the Formula.
I'm curious if you have done a direct compare? The reviews I read put the Aqua and TD 6 very close, more a preference than better vs. worse. If the TD 7 is quantifiably better (as subjective as this may be for us all) I may be interested...
 

Thieliste

Active Member
Aug 31, 2014
284
26
28
France
#16
That Twelve Mk2 was fresh from the boxes.
I listened for about 2 hours.
Despite of such a short warm-up time, the Twelve Mk2 bettered the Aqua Audio Formula xHD DAC in the showroom in seconds!
(Well, the Twelve being so expensive, it better be)

The sound was so transparent, effortless and lively!
There wasn't any lack of macro-dynamics and authority even when the Bespoke Preamp was in use.
And of course, micro-dynamics, agility and resolution are Twelve's specialties.

It's a pity that there wasn't a Twelve Mk1 for a direct comparison.

I will go back to the showroom to have another audition again after it has been "boiled" for a week and post an update here (before my owner friend is back from his trip and take it home). :D
Please let us know when you have spent more time with the Twelve mk2, i'd like to know more on how it performs compared to the competition like MSB, DCS and others of this caliber.
 
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CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,166
282
83
Hong Kong
#17
Please let us know when you have spent more time with the Twelve mk2, i'd like to know more on how it performs compared to the competition like MSB, DCS and others of this caliber.
One of the two Twelve Mk2 buyers bought it to replace his set of dCS 4-pieces Vivaldi (He is the buyer who took it home the first day).

According to the HK Totaldac dealer, the buyer was very happy about this replacement.

However, I haven't been to his home, and such comments from the Totaldac dealer have to be taken with a grain of salt. Haha
 
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CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,166
282
83
Hong Kong
#18
Out of curiosity, how was the Aqua compared to the TotalDAC? I ask because the TD's input is dual AES and the Aqua's best input is USB and fed HQplayer upsampled to 384 or 768 PCM.
The comparison was easy because Volent Audio HK carries both Totaldac and Aqua Audio.

I listened to Twelve Mk2, Six and Aqua Audio Formula xHD with the same set of components :
SGM EVO Edition Server ; Westminster Lab mono poweramps ; Volent VL3.5 speakers ; most cables were from Westminster Lab ; the usb cable was Intona Ultimate USB Cable ; Network consisted of Synology 916+ NAS/Clones Audio modded Cisco Switch/Telegartner MFP8 Gold II ethernet cable.

All the above three DACs was driven by the SGM EVO Edition Server via an Intona Ultimate USB cable.
(That SGM EVO Edition Server didn't have any AES/coaxial digital output card installed. It had an usb digital output only)

I can't remember exactly what files were played but I guess Ben Lau of Volent HK must have given the three DACs files which suited them most.
 
Sep 7, 2016
250
259
63
Netherlands
#19
That Twelve Mk2 was fresh from the boxes.
I listened for about 2 hours.
Despite of such a short warm-up time, the Twelve Mk2 bettered the Aqua Audio Formula xHD DAC in the showroom in seconds!
(Well, the Twelve being so expensive, it better be)

The sound was so transparent, effortless and lively!
There wasn't any lack of macro-dynamics and authority even when the Bespoke Preamp was in use.
And of course, micro-dynamics, agility and resolution are Twelve's specialties.

It's a pity that there wasn't a Twelve Mk1 for a direct comparison.

I will go back to the showroom to have another audition again after it has been "boiled" for a week and post an update here (before my owner friend is back from his trip and take it home). :D
Nice report.
Can you say something of the sound of the Bespoke Preamp compared to the HD preamp?
 
Mar 10, 2014
217
9
18
UK
#20
I'm curious if you have done a direct compare? The reviews I read put the Aqua and TD 6 very close, more a preference than better vs. worse. If the TD 7 is quantifiably better (as subjective as this may be for us all) I may be interested...
I owned the d1-six for at least a year before upgrading to the d1-seven. In my setup the d1-seven was a big upgrade. Night and day, no question about it.

Cheers,

Guillaume
 

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