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Majestic DAC; comments and comparison to my DAC 64

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fixedwheel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2014 at 12:00pm
Thanks Ivan

The difficulty in concentrating on the equipment, rather than the music, speaks volumes for how good the Majestic is at "getting out of the way"

I look forward to your comments on the pre-amp, as I am starting to realise I only really use one analogue input

Chers

John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morris_minor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2014 at 12:06pm
John - in my first post on the Majestic Impressions thread I wrote

Quote so my conclusion - and this with zero burn in - is that as a pre-amp the Majestic does what any self-respecting piece of audio electronics should do: have no audible effect on the quality of sound, be totally transparent.

I too only needed one analogue input . . 
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fixedwheel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2014 at 12:11pm
Cheers Bob

Much to ponder, and also time to figure out where I am going with my system

Many thanks for all the various reports.

John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ICL1P Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2014 at 2:05pm
Ivan,

Thanks for your report; I really like the way you write it.
Ifor
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Reflex M & ACCESSION M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IvanM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2014 at 6:27pm
After what must now be over a two months, I have come to realise that the Majestic is actually better than I gave it credit for, initially.  It could just be that it has continued to improve with further burn-in, but I also think my ears have had a little bit of education, that my previous setup never gave me.

The thing that has happened to make me say this, is that many of the recordings that I originally said sounded: "a bit dull", have now been revealed as being anything but.  When a certain adjustment is made some of them are brilliant.  The adjustment that brings this transformation, is one you will be familiar with, it is known as: getting up of my arse and turning the level up.  Specifically to what might be described as realistic loudness.

It doesn't work for everything and there's a trend towards 1960's analogue recordings, that were put onto CD before people started "improving" things, by turning everything up for us.  Acoustic and semi-acoustic recordings are also favoured, the dynamic range (well what I perceive to be) of which, often puts more modern productions to shame .  

There's sometimes a lot of tape hiss and various clunking around to be heard, but there's real atmosphere.  I can hear/feel the space around the musicians and that really draws me into the music.  To make an analogue analogy (pardon the pun). Its similar to how a good recording on vinyl will sometimes transcend the fact that the disc has seen too many late nights, too many drinks and too many smeary fingers.  The music just comes right out of the mush.

This brings me back to the preamp in the Majestic, which clearly has the ability to reveal all this.  I said I'd try to review it separately and have now had a lot more analogue time with it.  I'm not sure though that I can really add much to what I've said previously.  Which is: its very quiet and very dynamic.  

The one observation I might add, is that the size and shape of the audio "picture" remains constant between analogue and digital inputs (all things being equal - see below).  How that space is "coloured in" and filled out, depends on the nature of the recording.  Interestingly though (well to me at least), to get to this situation, took a complete re-set up of my vinyl kit, alignment, VTA, VTF (very fussy Zyx R100 cart).  This suggests that the preamp let me listen straight through to the source (which in this instance was found wanting).  Outside of that I don't think I can hear it, which sounds like faint praise I know, but is actually a big compliment.  

Oh - one more thing (I'll stop soon I promise). I have tried to convince myself that there's a difference between the optical and coax inputs, mainly because I feel there should be.  With my CD deck I cannot tell any difference.  My Squeezebox (surprisingly to me), is noticeably better on the optical, probably down to the output on Squeezebox.  I haven't tried the USB input as I have no use for it.

The final 'one more thing' that I'll add, is that my Kairn and DAC64, have now taken well earned retirement.



Edited by IvanM - 10 Apr 2014 at 6:27pm
I'd like to agree with you but then we'd both be wrong.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morris_minor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2014 at 7:53pm
Ivan, your observations mirror my own feelings about the Majestic: very quiet, very dynamic, and very "truthful" . . . I've never felt closer to the (digital) music.

You mention a Zyx R100 -  which happens to be one of the cartridges I use (Jon (FMG), in these parts, has one too). Which phono amp do you use? The R100 makes a good, no, great partner with the Reflex M-Elevator combination, which in turn feeds my Majestic's analogue input with a tremendously rich, detailed and dynamic signal. 
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IvanM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2014 at 10:03pm
I use a Reflex C which also works very well. The Zyx is a great cart for the money - when you find the sweet spot - but its also infuriatingly fussy. Getting the vta exactly right, which isn't that easy on a PU7 (brill arm though), takes it to another level. The first time I lucked into the sweet spot I was gobsmacked (I already thought it sounded great) but when I relised that putting a thicker record on, could take the edge off, I became a bit frustrated. Choosing records by thickness isn't healthy. Convetional setup guidlines, e.g. arm parallel to record, are nowhere near precise enough. Loving it tonight though, through the Majestic, after yet another tweak of the VTA and anti skate.


Edited by IvanM - 10 Apr 2014 at 10:08pm
I'd like to agree with you but then we'd both be wrong.
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