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Project dac s2
Old 5th April 2018
  #1
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Project dac s2

For some reason Jims thread about this device was locked. Anyhow, it seems to be quite good. This rewiever compares it to mytek brooklyn. Somebody ordered it and I would like to hear opinions. Also would like to know suberb rca-xlr cable that is not costing 1000€. Rca outs in this are issue for people using active speakers. As good as vovox level is ok.
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Project dac s2-5979997b-6e55-422d-bd25-1752f5d6ecfb.jpg  
Old 5th April 2018
  #2
Brad McGowan got his on my recommendation and loves it. Mine will arrive tomorrow. Then I'll have more to say about it. Make your own cables. Mogami AES digital cable is great for audio uses. Get it from Redco or have them make them for you.
Old 5th April 2018
  #3
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Cool, thanks Jim!
Old 7th April 2018
  #4
I had a couple of days to listen and compare. This DAC easily beats my Mark Levenson/Mytek PCM1704 based DAC and the hot-rodded RMA superbeast with ADA4898-2 opamps. It also beats the Schiit Modi II multibit with the ADA opamps. It beats everything I got here. Feeding the Adcom GFA 545 power amp directly is a very pure sound.

I've not heard a pro audio DAC that can best this yet, the Mytek Manhattan probably will but that is $5500.
Old 7th April 2018
  #5
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Dang, I want to try one!
Old 7th April 2018
  #6
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Brad McGowan got his on my recommendation and loves it. Mine will arrive tomorrow. Then I'll have more to say about it. Make your own cables. Mogami AES digital cable is great for audio uses. Get it from Redco or have them make them for you.
Jim speaks the truth. It's a badass little box. Very impressive given the price. I'm using mine with Monoprice M1060 planar headphones and it's the best sound I've ever heard come through a pair of headphones in my lifetime. When paired with my Sennheiser HD600's, however, it left a little to be desired compared to the headphone out of my MOTU 8A. But with the M1060's it slays the MOTU. I love the little remote it comes with.

I have yet to try it with speakers yet, because I'm so enamored with it as a little headphone amp. But the sound is noticeably more detailed, alive, and higher resolution than what's coming out the MOTU 8A. And I thought that thing sounded good.

Jim - I'm wondering if you have any suggestions for headphone amps to pair with this for the HD600's? Would the Schiit Magni 3 be your pick?

Brad
Old 8th April 2018
  #7
Yes, get the Schiit. They also make a more powerful model with 100 watts per side. Those will run sennheisers off your head. I've been running the DAC directly into a modified Adcom GFA 545 power amp rebuilt with Vishay VAR naked bulk foil and Mills wirewound resistors, the really good stuff. That is feeding a pair of Emotiva B1 speakers with some InfiniCap film bypass caps added to the AMT tweeters.

Stunning sound. What is more impressive is the entire playback rig costs less than a grand to put together. And it's portable too.

Caps are from:
www.michaelpercyaudio.com

Speakers are $299 from
Home Audio Systems, Speakers & Accessories | Emotiva Audio – Emotiva Audio Corporation

The $399 Pro-ject Audio Pre Box S2 is available from Amazon with free shipping.
Pro-Ject Audio Systems
Old 13th April 2018
  #8
Gear Nut
@ Jim Williams would you say these would be suitable for mixing on studio monitors? Im still running an old school fireface 800 and was wondering if this would be a good upgrade for my main monitor outputs? Thanks!

Last edited by scandal; 14th April 2018 at 11:52 PM..
Old 14th April 2018
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scandal View Post
@ Jim would you say these would be suitable for mixing on studio monitors? Im still running an old school fireface 800 and was wondering if this would be a good upgrade for my main monitor outputs? Thanks!

wondering the exact same thing with similar gear
Old 17th April 2018
  #10
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I had a couple of days to listen and compare. This DAC easily beats my Mark Levenson/Mytek PCM1704 based DAC and the hot-rodded RMA superbeast with ADA4898-2 opamps. It also beats the Schiit Modi II multibit with the ADA opamps. It beats everything I got here. Feeding the Adcom GFA 545 power amp directly is a very pure sound.

I've not heard a pro audio DAC that can best this yet, the Mytek Manhattan probably will but that is $5500.
Hey Jim I was wondering if you think this would be a good DAC for mixing on studio monitors? as far as word clock, would I just send the word clock through the SPIF signal if I am using it along with my Fireface 800?

I respect your opinion, so any details you can give would be really helpful.

Also @ BradM I'm getting a Chop Shop soon, and very much looking forward to it
Old 17th April 2018
  #11
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scandal View Post
Hey Jim I was wondering if you think this would be a good DAC for mixing on studio monitors? as far as word clock, would I just send the word clock through the SPIF signal if I am using it along with my Fireface 800?

I respect your opinion, so any details you can give would be really helpful.

Also @ BradM I'm getting a Chop Shop soon, and very much looking forward to it
Cool! Thanks for the support.

I'm not Jim, but I can say that this DAC would be excellent for studio monitors. It's incredibly detailed and revealing. I'm actually listening to music through headphones with mine as I type this.

The awesome thing is that you can use a super short cable to hook it up to your computer or audio interface and just use the wireless remote to control the monitor volume.

Brad
Old 17th April 2018
  #12
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradM View Post
Cool! Thanks for the support.

I'm not Jim, but I can say that this DAC would be excellent for studio monitors. It's incredibly detailed and revealing. I'm actually listening to music through headphones with mine as I type this.

The awesome thing is that you can use a super short cable to hook it up to your computer or audio interface and just use the wireless remote to control the monitor volume.

Brad
Awesome thanks for chiming in. So if I were to use this with my interface would I send the clock signal from my interface to this unit via digital cable (optical, spdif?). Would that be sufficient?
Old 17th April 2018
  #13
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That would be sufficient. Use quality digital cable. Even those sound different.
Old 17th April 2018
  #14
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scandal View Post
Awesome thanks for chiming in. So if I were to use this with my interface would I send the clock signal from my interface to this unit via digital cable (optical, spdif?). Would that be sufficient?
You're welcome. Maybe Jim can comment on whether clocking is better over SPDIF vs. optical. But yes, just send it over one of those. And like the previous poster said, use a good digital cable. It will make a difference in the transmission of a clean digital signal.

Brad
Old 20th April 2018
  #15
Here for the gear
 
Plnow's Avatar
Very interested in adding the pro-ject s2 to my setup, it looks like it's just what I need. Currently using the apollo twin in conjunction w/ RM ADC for extra channels but in need of a great dac. Will like to connect it via usb from the computer since the apollo does not have a digital out, into my supper clean Jim Williams modded Urei 539 Eqs, into the footprint 01 Barefoots. Upgrade for my headphones too!

Would love to hear any thoughts or suggestions. Good stuff.
Old 20th April 2018
  #16
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Hope u get it working. Still fighting with rca outs. I live in europe so redco is out (jims recomendation). Reallyhard to find ready to go cable that can fight with my vovox sonorus xlr. And i cant afford miss teps , like lets try this and that. But anyway, tell us your experiences about the dac when u get it.
Old 20th April 2018
  #17
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ak75 View Post
Hope u get it working. Still fighting with rca outs. I live in europe so redco is out (jims recomendation). Reallyhard to find ready to go cable that can fight with my vovox sonorus xlr. And i cant afford miss teps , like lets try this and that. But anyway, tell us your experiences about the dac when u get it.
Buy a Vovox cable, cut off the XLR on one end and solder on some decent RCA connectors.

See figure 4 here for wiring guidance:

Sound System Interconnection

Brad
Old 21st April 2018
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Haha, thanks Brad . Those are 334€ for pair, pretty expensive to start cutting....well, lets see
Old 21st April 2018
  #19
I run one in the shop using the s/pdif coax input with a custom Kimber pure silver/Teflon AGSS/rca cable. The one in the TV room is fed a 1.5' long toslink optical cable. I don't hear any difference.

I also have a small DVD player with a toslink output. I use that in the lifted, mud terrain tire loaded Jeep Wrangler Sahara JKU running on a AC converter. I feed that to the S2 box that then feeds the Aux input on the Jeep's 300 watt 8" sub sound system.

ESS in the dirt while rock climbing, that's hi-fi for the road.
Old 21st April 2018
  #20
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ak75 View Post
Haha, thanks Brad . Those are 334€ for pair, pretty expensive to start cutting....well, lets see
You said you wanted something that could compare to the Vovox. Well the obvious answer was more Vovox! Ha.

Brad
Old 21st April 2018
  #21
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Yeah, its saturday so i am drunk. So nothing smart to say exept, respect!
Old 5th May 2018
  #22
Here for the gear
 
Plnow's Avatar
Alright so I bought the Pro-ject S2 and made new connections w/ mogami digital cables as recommended by Jim Williams and wow, excellent improvement to say the least. The detail and clarity amazing compared to the apollo twin's output. I did however started to experience problems all of the sudden when switching sample rates manually on the MacBook. At 44.1 k and it's multiples everything worked, but at 48k and it's multiples was pure static out of the blue. It was also not recognizing mqa signals from Tidal, so I decided to return it, and am waiting for a new unit that's backordered until Monday. Will report back when I receive it.
On another note, I've been looking at the possibility of upgrading the power supply as many have noted that it improves the noise floor, but not sure if buying a $375 Linear power supply is worth it when i costs as much as the DAC. Sbooster BOTW P&P ECO 5V - 6V Linear Power Supply Upgrade (Black) Then there's the IFi Supply at a modest $50 iFi AUDIO iPower Ultra-Low Noise AC/DC Audiophile 306007 5V B&H
How much improvement would it really achieve? Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.
Old 5th May 2018
  #23
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plnow View Post
Alright so I bought the Pro-ject S2 and made new connections w/ mogami digital cables as recommended by Jim Williams and wow, excellent improvement to say the least. The detail and clarity amazing compared to the apollo twin's output. I did however started to experience problems all of the sudden when switching sample rates manually on the MacBook. At 44.1 k and it's multiples everything worked, but at 48k and it's multiples was pure static out of the blue. It was also not recognizing mqa signals from Tidal, so I decided to return it, and am waiting for a new unit that's backordered until Monday. Will report back when I receive it.
Keep us updated!
Old 6th May 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plnow View Post
On another note, I've been looking at the possibility of upgrading the power supply as many have noted that it improves the noise floor, but not sure if buying a $375 Linear power supply is worth it when i costs as much as the DAC. Sbooster BOTW P&P ECO 5V - 6V Linear Power Supply Upgrade (Black) Then there's the IFi Supply at a modest $50 iFi AUDIO iPower Ultra-Low Noise AC/DC Audiophile 306007 5V B&H
How much improvement would it really achieve? Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.
If you upgrade the power supply I'll be very curious to hear your thoughts on those options.

Brad
Old 18th May 2018
  #25
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Plnow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradM View Post
If you upgrade the power supply I'll be very curious to hear your thoughts on those options.

Brad
So, I've gotten the replacement pre box S2 and it works perfectly w/out a glitch.
I am very happy w/ the sound quality as is and will not be purchasing a power supply, but will rather prefer to upgrade my toslink cable to glass that will connect to my interface, as it looks like a larger benefit. I did find this little usb filter though by Booster :Sbooster Vbus2 Noise Isolator - Upgrades self-powered USB DACs!
It disables the usb power, might eventually try that out. Thanks Jim Williams for recommending this Dac that and everybody here, great stuff!
Old 18th May 2018
  #26
Gear Nut
Has anyone had any issues with the 5v charger on these things? All the negative reviews pretty much say the 5v charging socket broke after a couple weeks. Any thoughts? Do they seem solid to you guys who own it?
Old 19th June 2018
  #27
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adamj31's Avatar
Any new thoughts on this box?
Old 19th June 2018
  #28
I have two here now, they are too good to not have an extra. It's audio archeology. You play familiar stuff and hear new things. Even tracks I recorded 35 years ago sound stunning with new information heard. I caught some low level talking on a mix that I never heard when I tracked it.

It's a great match to a Samsung 4k HDTV. Both offer details never seen or heard before. Even old films have a 3D quality with fantastic details. This stuff fulfills my Jimi Hendrix philosophy.

"I want to see and hear EVERYTHING".
Old 19th June 2018
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
It's audio archeology. You play familiar stuff and hear new things.
THIS. I also bought one last month on JW’s recommendation, and it’s fantastic. One of my sound reference materials is ELO’s A New World Record because it has everything — big guitars, bouncing bass, strings, synths, vocals. I can’t believe some of the details I’m hearing that I never heard before.

A friend who adores Led Zeppelin was over and I said, “Do you hear that very faint kick drum that almost sounds like it was taken out of the mix and bleeding through?” “No,” he says. I had him sit where my monitors are aimed. “Hear it now?” I asked. “Hear it?” he says. “I can feel it.”

Thanks again, Jim. Another very useful public service announcement.
Old 19th June 2018
  #30
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adamj31's Avatar
But I would have to believe it would matter where your coming from in terms of your current DAC, right? I mean, I’m hearing these relevatory praises, but if I’m already on a Symphony MKII DA, then maybe my experience wouldn’t be as dramatic?
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