DIY Paradise Monica DACs

Monica

Monica - TDA1545A based non-oversampling DAC

User Reviews (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5  
jim   AudioPhile [Jul 11, 2012]

I own the usb/monica3 version with added twisted pear audio low current dual power supply.

Phenomenal sound. The most transparent window into the music i've heard from my system in 35 years of listening. Fantastic midrange detail and depth. Outclasses any sampling unit i've heard in transparency, midrange detail, timing, naturalness, dynamics, realness, and emotional connction to the performance.

Looks to be quite well designed, dual sided pcb, nice layout, gold traces with lead free solder. Quiet.

This unit proves to me that NOS (non-oversampling) is the future of audio. This dac presents music as close to my Linn turntable as any digital source can and is in a different league than the more common sampling (over and up) units that may have a touch more upper and low detail, but not much and certainly not worth the tradeoff of their sampled artifacts which are all the more apparent when compared to the monica.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dino A   Casual Listener [May 12, 2007]
Strength:

1. Very Clear and Transparent delivery!
2.High Performance and good built!

Weakness:

None...

I've been using this Non OS DAC for over than 6 months as an outboard processor to my NAD C521BEE. This unit really delivers!
Good (and/or bad) recordings will be presented "As Is" !! Very Clear and Transparent in presenting recorded music! It does not add or reduce or even colorize the sound.
The Monica Non OS DAC (with very reasonable investment at US$ 125 plus shipping) really helps me in achieving "high-end" atmosphere in my listening experience..
Highly recommended for every one that love to listen music!!

Customer Service

Very Good! Very Helpful !!

Similar Products Used: Similar Outboard DAC ? None....
Previously just relying the built-in DAC of the CD Player
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dino (Jakarta-Indonesia)   Casual Listener [May 12, 2007]
Strength:

1. Very Clear and Transparent in delivering recorded music! Good (and/or bad) recordings will be presented "AS - IS" !!
2. High Performance and Good Quality Built!

Weakness:

None..!

I've been using this lovely Non-OS DAC (since December 2006) as the outboard DAC processor to my NAD C521BEE and honestly, up to date, I'm very satisfied with the superb performance of this unit. It really elevated my music listening experience to "high-end" atmosphere!
Very clear and transparent in delivering the recorded materials, without adding or reducing or coloring the sound!!
A very "reasonable investment" for anybody who loves to listening music and I highly recommended this unit!!

Customer Service

Yeo, the "Monica DAC creator" and "shop-owner" of DIY Paradise is a friendly person and always help with positive attitude!!

Similar Products Used: None..
(Previously just using the installed DAC of NAD C521BEE)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
matt   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 14, 2007]
Strength:

price, DIY= fun, simple, will accept higher bit/ sample rate from newer equipment, sounds real SMOOTH, SMOOTH, SMOOTH

Weakness:

Some of the smoothnes is high frequency roll-off. Cant really take advantage of the higher bit/sample rate info if it cannot reproduce the higher frequencies- not cutting edge technology but smooth. However, I don't think anyone with a CD collection would be disappointed in buying this. Not sure what you High Def guys would think.

The unit sounds pretty sweet but lacks the high level detail that I have grown accustomed to with DVD-Audio/SACD. It stays attached to my CD player- an old parasound unit with a hot rodded digital out. I added a tube output stage to the Monica as a buffer but don't notice any real advantage. However, I did notice that the higher the clock, the smoother the tunes. I have heard the same from others that modding it isn't really required. They were right. Adding an 80k crystal made a difference. this shoud make things worse but he improvement is significant. there are so many theoretical flaws with the design, but it really soundsd great. I have built a number of audio projects and this one was worth the dough. Although, I bought a cheap sansung DVD-audio/sacd player and modded it with a class a output stage from Elliot Sound Products and it really shines. Given the newer high resolution technology, CD just cant compete. I can't recall where I saw the measurements on an oscope, but unless you parallel more dacs, the bitrate is too low to reproduce the top few thousand HZ. That is the only reason this DAC isn't the flagship of my system. Adding the circuit to correct the frequency response adds phase issues and negates the advantages that give this unit its smoothness. It definately beats any CD normal, consumer CD player and most DACs that I have heard. Did I say that it was smooth? Well it is, but a bit tame for me. I don't think anyone would be disappointed but

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
hortiholic   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 12, 2007]
Strength:

Clear, smooth, liquid, mellow sound

Weakness:

None, given the price. Its 0.8 amp output may need to be boosted in some systems (it's plenty of juice in mine).

This little dac is a miracle-worker. For $125 I got the fully loaded dac board; I had to purchase all the jacks and their connector wires from other sources and solder them together myself. I also purchased a 12V 5.0 Ah SLA battery and a charger to power it. Altogether the cost was in the $200 range. You can buy a fully assembled Monica from DIY Paradise for $300. Or you can solder on all or some of the components yourself and spend even less upfront. But back to its performance. The Monica replaced a TC-7510 dac (same thing as a Beresford TC-7510 MkII), which when combined with my transport (an Onkyo DX-C390 changer) was more or less the performance equivalent of a midprice NAD CD player. The Monica cost about the same as the TC-7510 it replaced. But the upgrade in the performance of my system (the other components being a Jolida 1301 hybrid integrated amp and Infinity Primus 360 speakers) is huge. The harsh highs are tamed; the bass is fuller and more defined; and the midrange -- OMG. The crystal-clear, full, sweet midrange of this dac rivals anything I've ever heard, which is one of the main reasons why Monica has been favorable compared with dacs in the $1000 and up range (see http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/roadtour3b/roadtour3b.html, for example). This dac has to be one of the best values in audio. If you've been thinking of shelling out $1,000 for a Benchmark, for example, consider this as an alternative. For a fraction of the price you will get performance that equals or surpasses much more expensive dacs. I am bowled over by it every time I use it.

Similar Products Used: TC-7510 (Beresford TC-7510 MkII) dac; NAD 321BEE cd player
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-5 of 5  

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