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Warm up your cd player- fun with the ART DI/O dac (1 Viewer)

John Tompkins

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Aug 30, 2000
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I recently bought one of these little wonder dacs for 122.00 along with an upgraded 18.00 radio shack power supply. I must say all the hype is true. Great sounding dac when used just as a d/a, better then cambridge 500se and lex dc-2 dacs!..Very smooth, unveiled almost sacd like.

There is a tube 12ax7 in the a/d side with a knob that controls tube warmth up front. In order to use the tube to warm up something use must use the a/d side. I did an experiment last night. I hooked up my cambridge 500se digital out to the art digital in and then art digital out to the lex digital in, this way I know it going through arts d/a a/d and then lex d/a but what the heck.It was wonderfull, it really give my lex that tubey sound I was looking for! plus your able to dial warmth up with a knob on front.

Secondly I hooked up the art analog out (no tube warmth just d/a) to my anthem 2prel tube pre.Now my lex is hooked into the anthems ht bypass, so at the push of the anthems bypass button was able to switch back/forth between using the anthem with straight art d/a and the lex with the arts d/a a/d (tube warmth set full blast)...Both sounded great, the anthem/art had tighter bass and was a bit clearer but the lex/art with warmer/smoother more analog sounding.

This ART DI/O is a great little dac and can be used a thousand different ways!
 

KeithH

Senior HTF Member
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Mar 28, 2000
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9,413
John, thanks for posting the review. It is amazing how much high praise this cheap DAC has garnered on Audio Asylum. I find your results using the tube A/D stage interesting. As you may be aware, most people on Audio Asylum remove the tube. They say the ART DI/O performs better as a DAC with the tube removed.
 

John Tompkins

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 30, 2000
Messages
660
Keith,
Ive been playing around with this dac for a week or two now and it just keeps getting better. Ive tried various configurations and agree the art is GREAT as a pure dac alone, but if somebody wanted to warm up their digital signal the a/d d/a tube side with warmth control is also great. Their are members at audioasylum who have tried the tube side and love it, I think most members thier havent even tried it that way. Having said that I think I will use it as a straight dac and remove the tube. It is indeed better the the lexs and cambridge 500 se dacs!
Im glad you brought this thread back up as it would be ashame for htf members not to know about this great little musical dac and its only 122.00 (no, Im not a salesmen);)
 

KeithH

Senior HTF Member
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Mar 28, 2000
Messages
9,413
John, you have me intrigued by this unit, as have those on Audio Asylum who have extolled the virtues of this super DAC. I'll consider it.
 

Michael Yung

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Messages
152
Hi John,

Where did you get the ART for $122? At my local Sam Ash it is going for $189 instead. Thanks for your help.

MY
 

Patrick R. Sklenar

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 25, 2000
Messages
330
John,
I'd also be interested in where you found such an attractive price. :)
However, I'm curious how an external DAC like this is used. How do you hook it up? From the CD Player's digital out to the Art DI/O's digitial in and then from the Art DI/O's analog out to the pre/pro's (or receiver's) analog in (making sure to use an analog input pair that supports bypass)?
Thanks,
 

John Tompkins

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 30, 2000
Messages
660
The art di/o dac can be had at fullcompass.com for 122.00 and 8 bucks shipping. Get the 800 number from the website and call them.

First thing is that the art has analog 1/4 plug ins/outs instead of regular rca jacks(this can be modded to rcas if desired, fairly easily). You can go to radio shack and get the 1/4 to rca adapters for a couple bucks. It has coax digital ins and outs. Most people use use the coax digital out from the cd player to the art digital in and then analog outs of the art to your pre/processor with analog bypass. This configuration is using the art as a straight dac. The art plugs into the wall with a 9volt power supply(comes with art) but most people upgrade to a better power supply which can be had at radio shack for 20.00 bucks or so. Their are also many modifications available for the tweaker(but not required)

Their are also different sync positions 44,88,96 and ext sync(sounds best most of the time)..Now if you use the analog outs of the art then you can use the tube warmth control(12ax7 type tube) and input gain level knobs..to add warmth(remember using it this way it goes through the arts a/d d/a but its fun to messa round with. Do a search on yahoo to find arts website and you can view or download manual.

One last note, this thing was made for guitars/keyboards/computer soundcards etc..but its an amazing dac, read reviews at audioasylum.com..also does have a few minor quirks like occational problem locking onto signal (I havent had this problem) but some have had a little trouble(solved by turning art off and back on).
 

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