New DAC, and boy is it nice!

Picked up a new DAC, I couldn't help myself. I was torn between this DAC and my bryston several months ago, but picked the bryston due to some background noise with the cembalo.

I've become good friends with the guys down at the absolute audio here in calgary, and when I was told cembalo labs had updated their river series DAC, I had to borrow one. This time no noise as I was experiencing with the last one I had. This DAC is sensational, and a winner! The build is phenomenal, these guys are relatively new, but boy is this DAC good!

Some pics:
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2 channel:
Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
Theater:
Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

Comments

  • mikeyb128
    mikeyb128 Posts: 2,886
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    I will do a review once I get some more time on this guy.
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

  • mikeyb128
    mikeyb128 Posts: 2,886
    Cembalo labs is based out of Vancouver BC, here is a link:

    http://www.cembalolab.com
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,363
    Glad your diggin' it...always nice to have a new toy bring things together. Awaiting the full review and maybe a comparison as to the sound signature.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • mikeyb128
    mikeyb128 Posts: 2,886
    I will be doing a direct comparison to the bryston BDA3, which I absolutely love. I'm reserving my comments at this time. Going to spend a week with the cembalo, then put in the bryston. Cembalo says 50 hours break in. I've got about 12 on it now. It's so good hehehe

    Pictures with tops off and direct comparisons are coming.

    We did some direct comparisons at the audio shop with DACs 2-3 times the price, and this cembalo for the money vs performance ratio was a clear winner. Although not better than the more expensive DACs, this guy was pretty close. In my opinion it holds some serious value.
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

  • Those Canadians make some fine stuff.
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk SDA2BTL's; LAT International speaker cables, ZU Mission IC's and power cables all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    Other; M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All vintage Polk have had crossover rebuilds and tweeter upgrades.

    There are three things that give a man a false sense of courage, a keyboard, alcohol and a firearm.
    Motorhead, 4.12.20

    It is imperative that we recognize that an opinion is not a fact.
  • halen
    halen Posts: 639
    mikeyb128 wrote: »
    I will be doing a direct comparison to the bryston BDA3, which I absolutely love. I'm reserving my comments at this time. Going to spend a week with the cembalo, then put in the bryston. Cembalo says 50 hours break in. I've got about 12 on it now. It's so good hehehe

    Pictures with tops off and direct comparisons are coming.

    We did some direct comparisons at the audio shop with DACs 2-3 times the price, and this cembalo for the money vs performance ratio was a clear winner. Although not better than the more expensive DACs, this guy was pretty close. In my opinion it holds some serious value.

    I am very interested. I have been in DAC mode for some time now. Would you kindly list the DAC's that you compared to at up to 3x price?

    Thanks in advance

    halen
  • halen
    halen Posts: 639
    Oh yes. No need for details. Just the DAC's is good enough for me. Thanks.
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 23,068
    Those Canadians make some fine stuff.

    Dodge Demons and Maple syrup...
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Statement V2 cartridge and Origin Conqueror Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio Legend L800 with height modules Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered…History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right” — George Orwell

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • Not even the Canadians can make a good Dodge :p
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk SDA2BTL's; LAT International speaker cables, ZU Mission IC's and power cables all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    Other; M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All vintage Polk have had crossover rebuilds and tweeter upgrades.

    There are three things that give a man a false sense of courage, a keyboard, alcohol and a firearm.
    Motorhead, 4.12.20

    It is imperative that we recognize that an opinion is not a fact.
  • mikeyb128
    mikeyb128 Posts: 2,886
    DSkip wrote: »
    Nice. What's list on that?

    List is 2700$.
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

  • mikeyb128
    mikeyb128 Posts: 2,886
    halen wrote: »
    Oh yes. No need for details. Just the DAC's is good enough for me. Thanks.

    Halen, we compared it to a moon 380D, the bryston paired with its BDP2, and a lumin DAC (can't remember which one, but this was several months ago. Let me get the full details.

    I was told one customer demoed this who owns a Bermester and was pleasantly surprised how well it faired. But again this was when I was DAC shopping several months ago, this Unit wasn't working properly for my in home demo at the time. I do have another thread on that.

    Sorry Guys I barely remember what happened yesterday never mind months ago. A little too much green stuff when I was a kid haha
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,611
    mikeyb128 wrote: »
    A little too much green stuff when I was a kid haha
    Vegetables??? Broccoli? Spinach? Kale? Green beans? Zucchini? Brussel Sprouts? Cucumbers? Cilantro? Parsley? Shallots? Squash? I gotta know!

  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 14,795
    mikeyb128 wrote: »
    halen wrote: »
    Oh yes. No need for details. Just the DAC's is good enough for me. Thanks.

    Halen, we compared it to a moon 380D, the bryston paired with its BDP2, and a lumin DAC (can't remember which one, but this was several months ago. Let me get the full details.


    I didn't know Lumin made a DAC. My only complaint with the S1 is that it doesn't have a digital input so that another source can use its DAC.
    Lumin X1 file player; Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • mikeyb128
    mikeyb128 Posts: 2,886
    BlueFox wrote: »
    mikeyb128 wrote: »
    halen wrote: »
    Oh yes. No need for details. Just the DAC's is good enough for me. Thanks.

    Halen, we compared it to a moon 380D, the bryston paired with its BDP2, and a lumin DAC (can't remember which one, but this was several months ago. Let me get the full details.


    I didn't know Lumin made a DAC. My only complaint with the S1 is that it doesn't have a digital input so that another source can use its DAC.

    My apologies. Lumin streamer, unless I had too many beers that day, it has a DAC built into it.
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 14,795
    Yes, the DAC is internal to the Lumin, and can't be used by any source other than the Lumin.
    Lumin X1 file player; Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • Viking64
    Viking64 Posts: 5,615
    BlueFox wrote: »
    Yes, the DAC is internal to the Lumin, and can't be used by any source other than the Lumin.

    "Wut, the flower lumin?"