Originally Posted by Red Baron
Thanks Category 5
In short, Apollo converters chips and preamps are same, or similar, to the Orpheus ones, except the Headphone DA, right?
But the analog path from converters should be considered as well, this could be the main differentiation sonic factor, what do you think?
Actually, both Apollo and Orpheus make use of the un-exciting but tried and true 5532 opamps. Much better than the more common TL chips and not really a weak link at all. Not much difference between these two.
AD is a different chip. It is one step under AKMs best chip (120db vs 123db DR is only measured diff, as well as quad vs stereo so a bit cheaper). Same family that grace the Metric Halo ULN series, the Digi192 and a few others well regarded for their conversion. Better than ULN2, one step under the ULN8. Probably chosen over the ak5394 due to it coming in quad rather than only dual configurations. Less circuitry, cheaper, and just about equal performance. The spec sheet shows that it can work in mono mode where it equals the AK5394. Not sure how that works. Maybe UA is.
Were it not for the "loopback" transparency controversy thread this would sit right next to the Metric halo and prism boxes. Above the UFX. Nothing wrong with the design, converters or analog circuitry. Even the PSU is good considering it's a DC to DC supply that is further smoothing an already filtered external DC current. Maybe the clock can be improved? Not sure on this one. As far as AD/DA and the analog components around it, it looks excellent. You can be sure if there are any questionable components Black Lion will find them and offer an upgrade. lol I already sent them my pics to evaluate.
Surprise surprise! DSP card may actually be considered a throw in here. Considering the internals and DSP this box could fetch more than its' msrp.
The knobs, however, are for shite! lol