SW1X DAC II Standard First Listen

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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@Joe Cohen
I have the impression that the concept of SW1X DACs is very similar to those of Audio Note UK.

How do they differentiate from AN?

Thanks

Matt
One way they differ I think is the SW1X use of the TDA1541 chip which is still part of digital lore for its sound. Meanwhile, AN (which I agree otherwise seems to share some paralles with SW1X (eg, "Level 5", etc)...uses the Analog Device 1865 chip which also has its place in digital lore.
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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matthias

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Mar 14, 2019
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One way they differ I think is the SW1X use of the TDA1541 chip which is still part of digital lore for its sound. Meanwhile, AN (which I agree otherwise seems to share some paralles with SW1X (eg, "Level 5", etc)...uses the Analog Device 1865 chip which also has its place in digital lore.

Did someone compare the SQ or sound signature vs Audio Note DACs in a similar price range?
Even the naming and appearance of their products is so similar to AN that I am wondering what they do differently besides using other DAC chips.
Thanks

Matt
 
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Joe Cohen

Industry Expert
Jun 10, 2012
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@Joe Cohen
I have the impression that the concept of SW1X DACs is very similar to those of Audio Note UK.

How do they differentiate from AN?

Thanks

Matt

I wanted to get Slawa Roschkow’s answer to this question as I don’t yet have a grasp myself on those differences. Here is his reply,

”1. Good question! Between AN and SW1X, there is something very much in common and yet very different in our approaches.
All that is because AN Japan and UK were somewhat of my inspiration in the past.
More about it is stated in the interview here:

https://www.dagogo.com/interview-slawa-roschkow-sw1x-england/

Perhaps we share a similar school of thought (in our philosophy) but do have a different interpretation?
AN is now a large by the Hi End Audio standards company. We are on the other hand, are small.
Besides me, there are 2 assemblers and 2-3 engineers- that is it. We are like AN Japan back in the days in that aspect.

Besides that massive difference, I tried to implement many concepts my way- the way I see them. PQ and I (just like Kondo back in the days) have our different views on many things. That is refected in terms of materials choice and circuit design- it is all a question how one sees it.

Some folks see SW1X as a copy of AN UK because we have similarities in chassis design, level system and because there are some AN components inside our products. That ressemblance is only on the surface. If one looks a bit closer, one can see that we only have AN copper foil caps and sometimes a pair of Tantalum resistors or Kaisei caps. That is it- the vast majority of passive and active components are not related to AN. The only passive component AN makes in house is copper foil caps, FYI.
By the way, I am not a huge fan of Tantalum resistors or Kaisei caps (made by TKD and Rubycon) but I do like their Copper foil caps, therefore we offer these as an option. Apart from that there is really nothing taken from AN UK. OK, we also use tube amplifiaction, wooden/bakelite boards and we have zero digital filtering concept as well. However, there is somthing we have AN UK does not: Active I/V, tube based clocks and a discrete power supply with exotic semiconductors. We also offer much more custom tailored, customised products with a range of options unlike AN UK.

In other words we do have quite unique circuit design inside our products. Also, I prefer not to use too much silver wiring inside our digital products (amplification is a different subject). That is just my tonal preference as the sound gains more clarity it also loosing the body and also starts to reveal too much of digital imperfections.Some materials we do equally like to be used in our equipment such as tubes, silver, BG caps etc. but that does not make us a copy of AN. Other than that I do like the rich, analogue and organic sound character and do my best so that our equipment is capable of producing it.


Relative to AN, (SW1X) DAC III Balanced is akin to their DAC 4 but on steroids as we have power tubes (AN DAC 4 has low level signal triodes) in the output stage.

And we have DHD tube rectified power supply, which makes even a larger and more authorititve, punchier sound.

Also, on the digital side TDA1541 in the DAC III is powered by a tube, which makes the sound of our our DAC much more organic sounding.
 

matthias

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
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@Joe Cohen
Thanks for the answer of SR.

Searching on the HP of SW1X I did not found much about the USB implementation of SW1X DACs.
Maybe SR can shed some light on this topic too.

Thanks again

Matt
 

Joe Cohen

Industry Expert
Jun 10, 2012
89
61
358
@Joe Cohen
Thanks for the answer of SR.

Searching on the HP of SW1X I did not found much about the USB implementation of SW1X DACs.
Maybe SR can shed some light on this topic too.

Thanks again

Matt

Here is an excellent review of the DAC II with Tube Master Clock USB input vs. Lampizator Amber 3 with good photos. The writer eventually purchased the DAC II. One thing to keep in mind is that Slawa Roschkow, being the purist that he is, has eschewed the use of a switch instead requiring the user to jumper from the SPDIF output of the Tube Master Clock module to the regular SPDIF RCA input. So you need an additional cable to make it work. It also means that technically you could use the onboard USB to SPDIF interface to drive an external component while using the RCA SPDIF input, though why one would want to do that, I’m not sure.
 

leftside

Well-Known Member
Jan 22, 2018
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Wonderful to see(hear) how digital has improved over the years. I too was "analog only for serious listening" a few years ago, but am now very impressed with the digital sources I've listened to. There are some great options out there today from some of these smaller/boutique players.

I'm slowly migrating to custom/boutique DAC, preamp and headphone amps. It seems I am not alone. .
 

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