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Author Topic: Maverick Tube Magic D1 Multi-purpose DAC/Amp  (Read 3303 times)

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Offline Spanky

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Maverick Tube Magic D1 Multi-purpose DAC/Amp
« on: Tuesday, December 29, 2009, 19:26:52 PM »
I've been wanting to upgrade my audio setup for a while and came across a brilliant company/product the other day.
It's called the Maverick Tube Magic D1 DAC/Amp:
http://www.mavaudio.com/base/

I came across it on my favorite audio forums: Head-Fi:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/maverick-audio-dac-amp-446764/

Anyway, the DAC is being sold with a special pre-order price of $199. Pretty soon the price will go back up to $230. I ordered one after talking with the owner for a while who is extremely nice, friendly, informative and above all very fast in response time. The company (and I'm assuming the owner) is in/from China where there are a lot of cheap products emerging. Ryan (the owner) really sets himself apart though. He is striving to be successful in the audio business and in my opinion he's doing great. He has a professional website, attitude and solid product that would never hint at being a cheap Chinese design. His DAC/Amp is based upon a design that other companys market (I'm not sure if all the companies are just one big company or what) that can either cost the same or more. What sets his apart is that he's redesigned it and used quality parts in the process.

I haven't even received mine yet and I have nothing but praise for Ryan and his company. I will update this with a proper review after I have time to burn-in and test my unit.

*EDIT*
Wow, I didn't even say what this device is for :D To put it short, it can take any digital signal (USB, optical, coaxial) or analog signal from any device and produce quality sound. See the picture below for an idea.

« Last Edit: Tuesday, December 29, 2009, 19:29:32 PM by Spanky »
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Offline Spanky

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Re: Maverick Tube Magic D1 Multi-purpose DAC/Amp
« Reply #1 on: Friday, January 15, 2010, 03:47:11 AM »
To those that care, I've been posting on Head-Fi about my findings and remembered I posted here about it so I'll update the thread. Also I don't believe the DAC is at $230. I know on the site it's at $199 + shipping (had free shipping before) so it's probably $210 + shipping on eBay.

Quote from: _Spanky_
I just received mine and thought I would say a few things about it. First off, with a lot of products, especially the pricier ones, I tend to have buyer's remorse. Not with this. I'm not disappointed at all in how it performs and from what I've read, it will only get better with burn-in. Right now it is a bit shrill for my tastes but I'm a basshead and I will admit the bass is there. I know the op-amps are a little on the lower-end side and I have a few on standby to try out. For reference, mine was shipped the 4th and I received it the 9th (January 2010 for those thread diggers) and I just picked it up today (Post Office). I dislike DHL. Once inside the US they pass the package off to USPS and how they ship it is anyones guess. I live in a rural area without a mailbox so my address is technically undeliverable from USPS's standpoint and DHL doesn't accept a P.O. Box so I had to give my address in the following manner in order for it to arrive:

Name
Street Address
P.O. Box
City, State Zip Code

I decided to do a unboxing in case anyone was interested in how it was packed. I took these pictures as I did the unbox so what you see is what I saw for the first time as well :) It is sent in a plastic bag in a foam support inside a double thickness box that is taped down tight. Very secure and snug.

Pictures:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/464376/website/audio/mav_unbox/DSC05119.JPG
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/464376/website/audio/mav_unbox/DSC05120.JPG
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/464376/website/audio/mav_unbox/DSC05121.JPG
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/464376/website/audio/mav_unbox/DSC05122.JPG
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/464376/website/audio/mav_unbox/DSC05123.JPG
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/464376/website/audio/mav_unbox/DSC05124.JPG
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/464376/website/audio/mav_unbox/DSC05125.JPG

This unit gives me plenty of selection as to how I want to use it. I currently have it hooked up via USB, Coaxial and Analog. All the buttons are solid. I will say this thing has a ton of gain and it does have a bit of noise but only if you're listening to nothing. I don't think I will be bothered by it at all. Using my 80ohm DT770's, the first 2 steps in the volume knob don't produce listen-able sound. The first does nothing and the second gives faint audio in the right channel only. From there, I have about 5-6 steps for my personal listening level before it gets too loud, however I might even say 7 on occasion. Each step is noticeable in the volume change, no huge jumps or uneven stepping.

My issues:
I do have one with a wobble as described in another post. I plan on putting peices of foam tape on the legs as my desk surface is a bit slick. This will even it out and prevent it from moving.
Unit is slippery. Ryan mentioned that a batch had extra wax or something. This doesn't bother me really, it was just a little surprising out of the box.

Really, as it stands I don't have any major problems or concerns about this unit. It works just as advertised and has potential for some tweaks which I do look forward to :) Now... time for burn-in. I'll report back if it changes it's signature in a big way.

Lastly, I would like to thank Ryan for addressing my concerns and questions in a polite manner throughout all of this. I will continue to recommend this product.

*EDIT*
About 5 hours in and it feels like there's a pinch more bass... could be in my head though :)

Also, my bad on the tippy unit... I had some crud on my desk and one of the Maverick's legs found it and was tippy. I cleaned the feet off and put some foam tape and now this thing is solid as a rock, it's like it's bolted to my desk :D

Before this next one, the LT1364 and LM4562 are operational amplifiers. Combined with other components, they are pretty much the power source/amplifier for the sound. These have a huge effect on sound tone and quality. The "best" ones aren't opamps at all. Opamps were created to replace the discrete components that were used in place. Opamps are well less than a 20th of the discrete components size and a whole lot cheaper to make, however this isn't good for audio. I could make a whole new post on this if anyone is interested.
Quote from: _Spanky_
I just popped the LT1364 and LM4562 into my unit and I'm positive that the highs are less shrill. The bass and mids are about the same, maybe the bass has a little bit more clarity but I'm undecided. These are virgin units so they will need burn-in along with the whole unit (Probably around 20 hours use now).

I've got the LT1364 in the DAC (socket closest to the tube) and the LM4562 in the headphone amp.

Quote from: _Spanky_
I'm at probably 50-60 hours on the unit as a whole and 35-45 hours on the LT1364 and LM4562 and I have to say this unit is really blossoming. With my previous amp I used to add a bass boost in the Creative Control Panel so it suited my liking. I haven't done that with this (more like can't) since I'm using the SPDIF out of my Creative card. Despite that, the bass is really near my preference level and it's so clean and crisp, I haven't heard any distortion. It's really... just... nice  The mids have come out a bit and the highs are really toned down but still very clear for the symbols and hi-hats. Before this unit I never really experienced burn-in but I definitely have with the Maverick and I'm still excited about how much more it will change.

Really, anyone that's on the fence about this unit should get it. If it's one of your first purchases, you won't be disappointed.
« Last Edit: Friday, January 15, 2010, 03:50:16 AM by Spanky »
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Offline BlueBlaster

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Re: Maverick Tube Magic D1 Multi-purpose DAC/Amp
« Reply #2 on: Friday, January 15, 2010, 19:56:11 PM »
Sounds cool. Reading the audio threads are pretty fun, its new territory for me =)



Offline Spanky

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Re: Maverick Tube Magic D1 Multi-purpose DAC/Amp
« Reply #3 on: Saturday, April 17, 2010, 15:43:52 PM »
It's like shaving your pubes to make your junk look bigger.
Might look bigger, but it aint.....

 

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