(Was) not hearing a difference between my NAD DAC and CD player: Border Patrol DAC SE Update

Discussion in 'DACs' started by grundigger, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    675
    For vocals you should try a NOS DAC, they have a different presentation than the oversampling designs. No need to spend 3-4 digits to get a glimpse of the NOS sound, something like this will given you an idea if you like it or not: https://www.amazon.com/Tda1543x4-DI...85&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=muse+usb+tda1543+dac
     
  2. RGA

    RGA Super Member

    Messages:
    1,095
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I recently bought the DAC 0.1x Dac and there is absolutely no noise whatsoever - I have extensive experience with their DACs and CD players and there is absolutely no audible noise. Noise can occur if there is a bad tube. My LM 215 has a small hum due to a tube which I will need to replace.

    One thing to note though about AN DACs and CD players is they are not what you expect in that you see the words tube and expect a warm sound - don't. They are the opposite in most ways as they allow more signal through - as they're not brickwall filtered. Comparing the AN DAC to many high priced SS cd players in the same room with the same gear at the same volume the AN unit sounded the least homogenous - so while CD players from Bryston and Sim Audio and others presented Lady Gaga and Pulp Fiction Soundtrack, Beethoven and Miles Davis a certain way with similar treble and bass and pitch - the AN CD 1.1 differentiated those recordings - piano sounded different and varied - one track would sound very good - one would tell you the artifacts in the recording more.

    There is no noise - I have heard AN CD replay, reviewed it and I have used HE speakers - never heard a single person in 20 years on any forum I've been on state that AN DACs were noisy.
     
  3. RGA

    RGA Super Member

    Messages:
    1,095
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I really liked this DAC at the California Audio Show. Border Patrol has a bit of an interesting relationship with Audio Note. I'm not surprised they have emulated AN's designs.

    Indeed check out this article on Border Patrol https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2012/11/23/on-the-road-a-visit-to-borderpatrol/

    And those transformers sure look like AN transformers. Border Patrol and Volti were in my top 3 rooms at California Audio Show - at the time I didn't know that Border Patrol was a NOS design. Coincidence? It's clearly better sounding digital than your average bear. I am pleased to see so many companies following Audio Note on NOS and removing at least the digital filter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  4. grundigger

    grundigger AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    South Austin
    I've been listening to the Border Patrol DAC for a couple of weeks now, and the first few CDs I heard sounded good--the CDs were nothing audiophile-oriented, so everything was noticeably "clearer" and pleasant. Then I put on Laurie Anderson's Big Science. Whoa! Talk about deep and expansive! There have been numerous other times when I felt the need to stop and listen more carefully, as I don't tend to listen to CDs as closely as I do to vinyl. I'm happy with the sound, to say the least.

    I don't have my streaming stuff hooked up, so no comment on hi-res stuff.
     
  5. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Streaming is gimped high res. As it is compressed before it is broadcast, like FM radio does. If you want high res, listen to the files off of a PC and then decide, do not use streaming as the ultimate source for your decision. I believe that tubes have no place in DACs, but that is me.
     
  6. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    675
    Border Patrol maxes out at 16bit/96kHz, not quite hi-res. It is more of a redbook DAC. Try to A/B classical music between your CDP and the Border Patrol. I found that classical doesn't sound all that well with NOS, especially the violins, too soft, but maybe it is just me.
     
  7. grundigger

    grundigger AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    South Austin
    Have you heard it? Or do you normally expound a priori?
     
  8. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    675
    That was not in reference to BP specifically but broader to NOS filter-less designs. From my experience NOS DACs share certain similarities in sound signature which I find satisfying but it is also lacking in certain areas and/or for some material, just the nature of the beast. No need to get defensive. And the statement that BP can't do hi-res is true.
     

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