Tube Audio Design 2010 TDAC DACs

5/5 (5 Reviews) MSRP : $1499.00


Product Description

The latest 192k Tube DAC from Tube audio Design.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ken Kondyra a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 18, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I'm not going to bore you with alot of audiophool blather: This dac just flat out sounds great! I've only owned it now for a couple of weeks but mine was purchased slightly used and I'm sure it's broken in by now. I swapped out the stock tubes with a pair of ECC82 siemens silver plates I had tucked away and had almost forgotten about and it really took things up a couple of notches, It's not that the EH 12b7s are bad but the SIemens are one of the best sounding 12au7 tubes out there and my system tends to lean to the warmer side of center and the SIemens are a great match. I definitely plan on getting the upgraded power supply from Paul at some point in the not so near future and can hardly wait to try this out with computer audio as well. Anyone looking to spends wads of $ on a cd player would be doing themselves a disservice not listening to a great sounding dac like this beforehand and sticking with a more modestly priced player/transport. Overall this is a great dac at a great price

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bergen Blue a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I've only had the Tdac for a couple of weeks now and couldn't be happier. I'm not going to bore you with the typical audiophool blather, this dac flat out sounds great. Unfortunately the only other dac I can compare it to is the Maverick and it's not even close but it's really not a fair comparison. Back to the Tdac, I had forgotten about a pair of Siemens silver plate ecc82's I've had tucked away for a couple of years and swapped them out with the stock EH 12b7s and wow what a difference, not that the stock tubes sounded bad but the Siemens are known to be one of the best sounding 12au7 tubes out there and if you've ever heard them you know why.

I'm really looking forward to using this with computer audio and just need to buy the usb to spdif adapter. for 192k audio Paul recommends the M2tech HiFace USB adapter, for 96k the Spiffy he sells will suffice. I also plan on purchasing the upgraded power supply which is supposed to take things up a notch. All in all this is an excellent sounding dac and anyone that's considering spending wads of $ on a cd player should seriously consider one of these instead in conjunction with a much more modestly priced player or transport

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by PDXdrew a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 4, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I have had the Tdac for a couple of weeks now and I would have to say that I still can't wait to get home and listen to my system eve day. I had a Benchmark dac, which was very detail and had great dynamics, but it lacked feeling and emotion. I then purchased the TADAC from Tube Audio Design about a year and a half ago. I immediately sold my Benchmark and have been very happy with the TADAC. It had all the qualities of the Benchmark, but pumped life into the music. Then I saw Paul had a new design called the Tdac. I email him on his thoughts between the two DACs and thought I would give his new DAC a try. Right out of the box the new DAC was superior in every aspect over the TADAC. It has more detail, better soundstage width and depth and more of a 3D presentation. The music sounds more real in every way and with all types of music, from rock to orchestra to solo. As with Ryan I had some Mazda tubes that I tried and it did make some improvements over the stock tubes, but even without the Mazda's this is an outstanding piece. It is small and unassuming, but it is stellar in sound reproduction.

Ryan thanks for the tips. I will have to try a more heavy duty transformer.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ryandigital a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 24, 2010

Bottom Line:   
Was looking for a tube DAC in late 2009 and came across this TDAC at Audiogon. For most of the time, solid state DACs disappointed me. Stello DA220 MKII, Larvy DA11 and Benchmark DAC1 Pre, while all of them had got raving reviews over magazines and the on the net, all of them was not able to stay in my system for a month. I found them too dry and sterile..lack of life. So I looked for a tube DAC. Except a few cheapy chinese made ones, most of the famous tube DAC brands (eg. Audi_N_te, Wav_len_th) are too expensive to me. On the other hand this TDAC was within my budget and after several informative and promising email communications with the designer (Paul), I gave it a try!
The TDAC arrived quickly and was well packed. The build of it is good while it is not heavy at all! And I have been impressed of its sound quality even with the stock tubes. I am not going to say too much about how nice sounding it is, as it has been covered in the last review. But I would like to share a few tips to let this TDAC sound even better.

1) The stock switching type AC-DC adapter dead for some reason and I requested Paul build a heavy duty toroidal transformer for me (of coz with a price). The toroidal transformer sounds better than the stock one!...So ask Paul to build one for you (if he is still willing to take the hassle)
2) The powercord attached to the transformer counts! Sounds better with better ones...
3) For Computer As Source users, the quality of your pc components DOES affect the sound! I am using a dedicated audio pc with RME 9632 to output coaxial signal to TDAC... Sound quality improved when I changed the PSU from Corsair HX620 to HX750...(the latter had superior ripple regulation)...so you cannot rely on a crappy PSU for your computer
4) the last but perhaps the most important one, look for matched pairs NOS E80CC tubes to replace the stock tubes! Having consulted Paul that E80CC tubes can be used on my TDAC, I got a few pairs of Philips and Amperex from Ebay and was much happier. E80CC brings larger and deeper soundstage, better resolution and airiness..everything about tube natures are better!

All in all, TDAC keeps sounding nice and impress me everyday.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2009



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Smitty2 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 9, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I recently purchased the Tube Audio Design 2010 192k Burr Brown based TDAC tube D/A converter. Got the Post Office Money Order sale price – email Paul Grzybek (the designer): Grzzy@Gmail.com to see what price you can swing. I’ve been chasing down a small DAC with high end sound for several years. The TDAC tops the list, I finally found a keeper. Replaced my excessively dull analytical sounding Dacmagic that replaced a Benchmark Dac1Pre. Hands down the TDAC is 10X more involving, you feel the musicians emotion, the soundstage is so real, by comparison all other DACs lack life, sound over cleansed. Finally a DAC worth the price! I travel often and listen to countless hours of PC sourced digital audio (blues, jazz, rock, classical) in hotel rooms with headphones on my separate HF amp, sometimes I use a small boombox to get the headphones off – even this sounds great with the TDAC in front doing D/A. The compact size combined with stellar tube musicality make hotel room time very relaxing – I love this thing! Also use it for PC sourced audio in my main home 2-channel system: more TAD gear, a TAD-150 signature preamp, a TAD-60 tube amp – Paul at TAD says a handmade new 25w/ch US Vintage Iron tube power amp is coming, I may buy one to see if I can travel with it. I mainly listen to Rhapsody.com streaming radio converted at 192k (sounds better than CDs using the TDAC). Besides what we all do: iTunes and a few 192k Fubar stored tracks. The TDAC works great with HD downloads besides making regular PC music data sound better than you ever imagined. Rugged solid metal construction, features are simple: Switch in front selects optical toslink or coax data jacks in back. Gold RCA outputs in back, external high current power supply with normal separate audio gear plug in power cord, works with 120VAC and 240VAC. No headphone jack, no volume control, I use my PC on screen volume control when on the road. The TDAC is the separate high end sound quality making part of the system, I use my own preamp at home, headphone amp etc. on the road. For the PC USB port I use the recommended direct from China Musiland Monitor 01, $70 delivered, find on eBay, can’t beat this new 192k USB adapter! To summarize, I highly recommend the TDAC for someone looking for the absolute best 2010 D/A converter sound, no other DAC I have tried sounds this good, if you can swing the designer handmade in USA price tag you will be delighted. Worth it once you know how magazine award winning DACs tend to disappoint. I ditched more than I care to mention to finally discover the Tube Audio Design TDAC. The TDAC sound is in a whole new category, price compared to others could be $5000 and remain a good deal once you hear it. TAD email customer service is excellent, always there to assist. There’s my 2cents, contact Paul at TAD for details and to order one. I’m always traveling, with my TDAC!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010




Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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