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TubeMagic D1 Unboxing

post #1 of 36
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My Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1 w/ GE 5670 Tube arrived from China by DHL today. This is my first unboxing/review on OCN. This is also my first tube DAC. Here are some initial impressions on the first day. Pictures were taking from iPhone 3GS and re-sized with Riot so I apologize for poor quality.

Base Price: $199
D1 Price w/ GE 5670 Tube: $219
Shipping: $15
Total: $234.00

What the package looked after its long journey from China to Kansas by DHL making stops at 6 different terminals.


Top view upon opening.


Contents of box. The power cable was only 3.5 feet long.


Rear view of connections.


Front view


Headphones used in this review: HD 555 w/ 595 mod.

Setup: First setup was through my XFi XtremeGamer's digital out, but I quickly changed it to my motherboard's digital out due to pops and crackles every few seconds from the XFi. Is this a result of my XFi being directly under my video card? It does not pop and crackle coming from my motherboard's digital out and the volume pot is fine.

My impressions: I can say that there is warmth and presence with the D1 that I have not heard before with the XFi or Xyenx 1204USB. Lets talk about a few random songs.

FLAC: Miles Davis - [Kind of Blue (1997 Remaster)] Flamenco Sketches << This sounds amazing. Much detail and warmth.

FLAC: Orianthi - Highly Strung << Something about this song sounds a lot different from when I'd listened to it before. I could hear mids better than before. Bass was a little more punchier. Not enough dynamic contrast between louds and softs for me, but that's not what sick guitar soloing is about.

FLAC: Martha Argerich - Chopin: op28 - 15 D-flat major Sostenuto << Amazing. Much detail and contrast between louds and softs.

FLAC: Britney Spears - Toxic << Go ahead and make fun of me for listening to this song, but I love the bass in this song. I could notice additional parts in the beginning and end of this song that I did not hear before. The bass was nice and full. Great song besides her singing.

FLAC: Vanessa Carlton - A thousand Miles << The piano sounded so much better than I've ever heard it before. The song was more balanced. I could actually pick out the lead guitar part and it was clear but quiet.

FLAC: Switchfoot - Meant To Live << Again, the mids were more prominent in the guitar. Distorted sweetness.

I'd like to test this out with different headphones, but at the moment I do not have any others or the funding for a different set of cans. It came set with the correct voltage setting (110v). There are 5 different input options, which is great, but currently I am only using the digital. I do plan testing the tube pre out and normal out with my BX8a's. Ryan over at mav-audio.com gets an A+ for customer service, he was prompt at responding to my questions about the D1 and issues with PayPal.

Overall: I can justify this as a great purchase! And I'm pleased with the initial impression and results so far. I have yet to find a good spot to put it on my desk.

Other gear I have yet to test with D1: M-Audio BX8a (adapters and cables ordered - will update later on when products arrive)



UPDATE: Plugged back into my XFi XtremeGamer digital out and it sounds fine, I believe it was my cable not the card. CMSS 3D, EAX, Crystalizer, and SVM are all disabled.
Edited by Aeloi - 4/13/11 at 5:48pm
post #2 of 36
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Reserved for future possible use.
post #3 of 36
~Makes fun of your 3rd and 4th music selection~
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post #4 of 36
Too expensive,

I can't believe they charged you 15 dollars for shipping
    
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post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowtoblerone View Post
Too expensive,

I can't believe they charged you 15 dollars for shipping
Why is it too expensive?
post #6 of 36
i think i just found my future desktop DAC. unfortunately i want a DAC i can carry in my pocket so i can plug in to ipod :/
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post #7 of 36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankth3frizz View Post
i think i just found my future desktop DAC. unfortunately i want a DAC i can carry in my pocket so i can plug in to ipod :/
Sounds like your looking for something like a . I've heard nothing but good things about it. I've used its big brother the FiiO E9 that I purchased as a gift for a friend.
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeloi View Post
Sounds like your looking for something like a FiiO E7. I've heard nothing but good things about it. I've used its big brother the FiiO E9 that I purchased as a gift for a friend.
yea thats what i was thinking. or the headroom total bithead. but hows the e9?
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post #9 of 36
Looks awesome. When you test it with the BX8a I'd very much like to hear your opinion on the tube pre-out vs. solid state pre-out, and whether you're getting any hum or static from the speakers, since my FiiO E7 is tethered to the computer via USB and it's leading a ground to the computer chassis, causing really annoying buzz and droning sounds from my active monitors.

I'm hoping that a Maverick D1 would clear my issues (and look awesome while doing it)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeloi View Post
Other gear I have yet to test with D1: M-Audio BX8a (not sure how to hook these up)
You'll be needing two cords with a single RCA connector in the other end, mono 1/4" TS jack in the other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankth3frizz View Post
i think i just found my future desktop DAC. unfortunately i want a DAC i can carry in my pocket so i can plug in to ipod :/
Keep in mind that a huge majority of DACs do not work as DACs but mere headphone amplifiers in mobile use. If you don't know the difference you probably don't need either, no offence.

That being said, FiiO E7 is only a mobile amp and a USB DAC, it doesn't work as a DAC when plugged into an iAnything. If you want a mobile iPod DAC you will be needing a Cypher Labs Algorhythm Solo. Now while it does work as a normal USB DAC with computers too, it's the only Apple certified external iPod DAC to date.
Edited by Shiobock - 4/12/11 at 12:02am
    
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post #10 of 36
Thanks for the pics! It looks great

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeloi View Post
M-Audio BX8a (not sure how to hook these up)
You need some RCA to mono TRS cables, the easiest way is probably a RCA - RCA cable with a RCA to phono adapter on the end

Thats assuming the TRS jacks on the BX8a's are mono, if there is one on each speaker then they are.

Buy 2 of each of the linked items, connect the RCAs to the analog outs on the DAC and the TRS to the BX8a, job done.

Here's the TRS if you are unsure:

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