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DPA32R vs PA20R & DAC20

Discussion in 'TAG McLaren Audio Owners' Forum' started by Inotrope, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. Inotrope

    Inotrope
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    Right still on the hunt for the DPA32R;

    however - is the DPA (technically) superior to the PA20R & DAC20 I own?

    I can understand that it has shorter signal path and a better DAC (in 192/24 flavour) and the T2L link.

    However, it has one (small) toriodal, and no sheilding between digital and analogue signals (like a two box set up by definition) so I am puzzled!

    If someone can explain it I'm listening - and point me to the direction to TMA hi-fi niverna!

    Regards mark!
     
  2. Polecatpete

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    I can't explain the technical differences but I can say that it is much more detailed than my now retired PA20/8000DAX. One thing I've always found a big disapointment though is the lack of HDCD decoding on the DPA....
     
  3. roversd1

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    The DPA wins every time because it is a completely different product to the PA20. I.e, not Audiolab based. It is in fact based on the AV32R gubbins. It also has very nice ADCs which the DAC20 could never do (it does a lot more but unfortunately, I've forgotton it all, I could tell you about Apple laptops instead? No? Oh well) plus DAB, TAGtronic, etc.

    The DPA was never designed to have HDCD.
     
  4. Inotrope

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    Well I've managed to get a DPA32R+dab (many thanks diego!), which is very nice - HOWEVER I'm sending it off to TMA for the 192/24 DAC upgrade (obviously) - want to get things sorted whilst there is still the opportunity. A 5 week turnaround has been quoted (fingers crossed) - must say the chap on the help desk was VERY HELPFUL!!

    Incidently - when I phone up, IAG now have the helpdesk as "Audiolab/Tag Mclaren Helpdesk" - I'm sure that it used to be "Tag Mclaren Helpdesk"

    The times are a-changing!
     
  5. Polecatpete

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    Surely it wouldn't have taken much effort to add HDCD when designing? Does anyone know why it was left out?
     
  6. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Mark,

    I'd be interested to know how you get on as I was thinking of doing the same thing (not that I'm disappointed with the PA20/DAC20 - they sound fine to me). It just that one-box convenience and DAB would be nice to have ;-)

    DT

    EDIT - there was another thread on this subject, but I can't find it anywhere "is the DPA32r better than the DAC20+PA20r" etc. See if you can find it!
     
  7. Inotrope

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    That was my motivation. plus my I wanted to sync the CDT20R and DPA clocks as the feature is there I might as well use it! I found some (old) reviews of the DPA which were favourable and that made my mind up. It sounded good when it arrived, but I wanted the DAC upgrade (now or never I guess!); so it is back with TMA for the next month!

    The dab module is fantastic - and very sensitive - I am getting 80-100% reception, where as I was getting 60% with a Pure 701 (...a different league I know.) It does show up the limitations of digital radio, but to have the quality of the T32R in the same box as a pre and a DAC - wow!

    It should be a cost-effective upgrade as I am aware that there is a good market for the DAC and PA20R.

    If you are looking, I put a wanted ad on hificandy and got a couple of responses - however, I was after black and the sellers had silver. There are a couple of shops with ex-dem and 2nd hand (vickers.co.uk and The Listening rooms - but they are charging signifcantly over the odds I think.

    My top tip would be - if you have to choose between the older dac or DAB; it is much cheaper to upgrade the DAC than buying a DAB module (£175 vs £465). TMA have assured me that the upgrade makes the older and newer DPA's identical - and there were no further revisions to the motherboard or PSU. The DAB module, again, has no significant revisions. Oh and check it has the latest firmware (1.70.4) rather than begging/borrowing or buying a tagTronic cable.

    Thats my 2p!

    mark
     
  8. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    For the DAC20 maybe, but doubt I would get north of £300 for my PA20r. Seeing as most DPA's go for £1000-£1300 (depending on spec), I'd need another £800 or so to plug the gap :( . To be honest, that money would probably be better spent on another power amp, or towards better speakers.

    Its something I'm considering, rather than intent on though.
     
  9. CJROSS

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    Not sure if this is any concern of you DAC 20 owners and the DAB angle, have you ever considered getting a Freeview box with a digital output and piping it towards your DAC 20, Ive done so for quite a while now, with both a Nokia 221T (RCA SPDIF) and a Humax 8000T (Toslink SPDIF), your probably aware that DAB bitrates are generally 128Kbps compared to Freeview Digital Radios 192kbps, another positive aspect of the Freeview box is that TV audio is generally 256kbps (very nice to listen to Jool Holland, and all the programmes on BBC3 – Proms, Womad, Glastonbury etc etc via the DAC 20) just a mention of using Freeview over DAB and saving some pennies.
     
  10. Inotrope

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    I'd not thought of that! But a quick look shows my phillips freeview box does have a rca spdif out! Just need a cable long enough now!

    I didn't realise that freeview had a higher bit rate - are they encoded diferently at source?
     
  11. laalves

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    Does anyone know if there are still user installable DAB modules for the T32R available at IAG?

    I noticed in this thread a price of 495GBP. is that new, supplied by IAG?


    Luis
     
  12. CJROSS

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    http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/digital_radio_samples.htm

    Quite a shock eh ? Many people have been using DAC & FTA STBs (like yours) since they started appearing with digital outputs (imagine the Humax 8000T where you can record digitally to your HD and play back & record to MD/CDR/PC via the digital output) also add in the factor of 7 day EPG programming for recording radio & music from TV and you have a very nice little alternative to DAB, in fact DAB only offer local stations as it saving grace albeit at very low rates.

    Mark you may also want to peruse the Digitalspy Forum (type that search in Google and it will pop up), Im sure DAB sounds great on the TAG DAB tuners but I would rather more bitrate in my signal TBH. You could of course quite easily pipe this to a DPA but you dont need the DAB board IMHO.

    HTHs
     
  13. rolski

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    I ordered a T32R+DAB about 6 weeks ago, and I've had the T32R (without the DAB module) at home for about 3 weeks now :) , but after they later sent the wrong module (an AV192R part) I've been pushing for dates & answers - it appears that there are no more modules in stock :thumbsdow , but that they're actually being manufactured "as we speak" :( .

    Not knowing the actual technical complexity of the module itself, and not knowing for example the availability of the component parts - or if it's a multi-layered board (which might be beyond the capability of IAG to manufacture :eek: ), I don't have a lot of confidence that I'll get my DAB module soon.

    Or at all, in fact. :mad:
     
  14. laalves

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    Hi Rolski,

    Did you get a new T32R with the DAB board or did you upgrade your existing T32R?

    Luis
     
  15. rolski

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    Luis,
    I ordered & paid for a T32R+DAB, but what I received was a T32R without DAB.
    As I've mentioned above, after contacting TAG McLaren Audio's Agent in Germany, they told me that there were no more DAB modules for the T32R at IAG UK, so they have to be manufactured....
     
  16. roversd1

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    Freeveiw and a DPA32R? Thats soooooooo 2003.....




    ;)
     
  17. Inotrope

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    The £465 for the dab module was quoted to me by the helpdesk about 14 days ago - that'd imply that the had some stocks (one would hope)!
     
  18. rolski

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    Mark,
    Referring to Dr. Zucker's comments that the majority of the TMA kit was almost "made to order" and also that extremely low stocks were kept in store to minimise costs (wasn't the Siemens DAB microprocessor a bespoke chip for the T32R ?), I would now tend to believe that they have no DAB modules for the T32R - because firstly Hartmut Bayer is an extremely reliable guy (he's the German rep that's giving me the information) - and secondly it doesn't take 6 weeks to courier a DAB module from Huntingdon to Cologne.

    I would guess that the feedback that both you & I have received means that the DAB module is still "part of the range" - i.e. they have none at the moment - but they're quite happy to take your money whilst they're busily trying to get some manufactured.
    This is either admirable of them, or sneaky, depending which side of the fence you're sitting on....
     
  19. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    My Pio digibox has an optical out, but I have to turn the tv on to navigate the stations properly, it takes an age to turn on & buffer signals, and is generally very slow and tiresome to operate.

    TBH CJ, I'd get a DPA more for the dac functionality than dab.

    DT
     
  20. CJROSS

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    I really don’t follow ?

    Freeview and a DPA32R? = 192kbps bitrate That’s soooooooooo 2005….. ;)
    A DAB Board and a DPA32R = 128kbps bitrate That’s’s soooooooo 2005 ….

    Don’t get me wrong Rovers Im a bona fide lover of TAG digital processing but even you must see something wrong with that picture ? How much is a DAB board officially £465 ? I mean I could pick up a DAC 20 (£400) for that with a Nokia 221T (£90) and listen to 192kbps & 256 Visual audio (not viable with a DAB board Im sure you will agree). Its not TAGs processing that in question here, it’s the pissy low level DAB signal.

    Speaking as someone whos piped in both a Nokia 221T and Humax 8000T into my DAC 20, I cant understand your point above about a Freeview box into a DPA32R ? Give me the extra 64kbps any day (on and all the TV audio that’s available from Freeview @ 256kbps – have you heard CSI miami via TAG processing ?).

    Seriously though anyone about to spend £465 on a DAB module should investigate the digital signals available from Freeview Digital Radio & TV and Sky, they are far in excess of DAB (espeically Sky). The numbers dont lie either into a DAC 20, DPA32R, AV32R or AV192R. This post is not a pop at TAG, it purely highlights the shambolic/idiotic tecnhnical levels that DAB is broadcast in the UK. Maybe some good reading for folks who don’t know the technical difference between : DAB, Freeview & Sky into digital audio broaddcasting levels :

    http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/
    http://forum.digitalspy.co.uk/board/
    http://forum.digitalspy.co.uk/board/forumdisplay.php?f=62
    http://forum.digitalspy.co.uk/board/forumdisplay.php?f=13

    Hey DT, I hear you the DPA is one nice device, one of my gripes with the Nokia was that it had to be used with a TV to navigate the menu & channels, but the Humax has a TV-Radio button on the fascia that turns the unit into a radio device. No need for a TV. Just alerting the DAB considering dudes to think of Freeview-Sky at its higher bitrates.

    ATB
     
  21. Inotrope

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    I like the idea of connecting the freeview to the DPA- has anyone tried it with a phillips DTR1500?
    I'm tempeted by the Humax - but W-HF slated the performance - how does CJ find it?

    Finally - i need to get a really long digital cable from the digibox to the DPA; anyone tried a long digital cable run, and where did they get the wire?

    Regards, mark
     
  22. Dr Udo Zucker

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    Hi all, the T32R's DAB extension consists of two parts: an interface board, including the necessary DAC and the DAB module itself. The DAB module is an 8 layer circuitry designed and manufactured by a division of Robert Bosch GmbH. Old-TMA bought the remaining stock a few years ago, when Robert Bosch decided to discontinue the manufacturing. I am confident that this module is still in TMA's stock, as there were quite a few. The remaining interface board is pretty straight forward and hence should be available without too much delay. So, in my opinion, no need to panic.

    P.S.: Once all Bosch's DAB modules have been consumed, DAB solutution for AV30R, AV32R, AV192R, DPA32R or T32R will become a thing of the past. So pick one fast....
     
  23. roversd1

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    On the last check, Radio 3 is broadcasting at 192kbps on DAB as well as freeview. The level changes depending on broadcasts (checked on my little Perstel DAB).

    I find most freeveiw/ DAB broadcasts are naff full stop, so I listen to FM via Tivoli Model II instead :D

    I was using the digital output of my freeview box when I had a DPA32R. The output of the freeview box was 48kHz (from memory)

    I cant tell what it is with current equipment as I'm back to simple analog and two channel.



    Graham would know the exact figures better.
     
  24. roversd1

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    I have the Phills DTR but has a lousy low bit rate threshold so it has ignored all but six freeview channels.
     
  25. rolski

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    Oops, thanks for the correction (Bosch DAB module, not Siemens), and am keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get my DAB upgrade soon - before they've all run out.... :eek:
     
  26. CJROSS

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    CJ finds it a wonderful device Mark, Paid £140 for it, I have loads of music recorded onto HD from both radio & TV. It pipes a very nice audio signal down a 6m Toslink cable to my ears. And sound great in use with the DAC 20. I would try your Pioneer first see what you think – remember that data rates are the limiting factor here, especially when you have a convertor like a TAG at the end of the signal (DAC 20 or DPA32R over a DAB module say).

    BTW WHF are a joke to many people, and slating the £140 Humax further confirms thatm picture wise it looks the same as my Nokia 221T. Audio wise ditto. A more cretinous publication Ive yet to see (They recently marked down a set of speakers for being single wired for example – what a bunch of turkeys)

    I use long runs in both Coaxial (10m) & Toslink (6m) towards my convertor – sound great, even compared to 1m versions of both cables.

    I got my Toslink cable from these guys (6m - £8) :

    http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/t...=Digital Optical Cables/op=eq/nu=0/ml=50.html

    www.tvcables.co.uk

    A good thing to remember when buying cables here is how much the box you are connecting to costs ;)
     
  27. GrahamMG

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    Oh God I don't want to open old wounds here as this subject is still close to my heart..........
    digital radio stations all leave the control room at the same bitrate as you see on a DAB radio.... What Sky and Freeview decide to re-send them on as is entirely up to them.....
    R3 is not at 192kbps all the time..... :(

    I find that the DAB module inside my AV192R (or the previous T32RDAB) sounded better than the STB......... and as a colleague said once not so long ago (and got into serious hot water) regarding FM, all I'll say is listen to it and decide yourself....... A good aerial well fitted and aimed is worth doing on either DAB/FM or Freeview....
     
  28. CJROSS

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    Graham reading the DigitalSpy forum and the bitrates discussed their - Im still more inclined to promote Freeview as a digital radio medium, I dont know of any UK official DAB stations that send 192kbps, in fact Im a long term listener to Radio 2. And comparing Radio 2 (192) to Channel 5 (audio 256kbps) I think R2 sounds stunning.

    A small point FWIW, to level the varying bitrate factor at Freeview when DAB is sent out 192 everywhere I will endorse it to the heavens as I understand your point about how Sky-Freeview, I dont think the balme lies with them TBH, the BBC has had scant regard for digital users (anyone watching the awful visual quality of BBC News 24 will understands my vibes) comapre that to Ch5 - sound and visually not far off DVD-V quality to these eyes - Freeview has a limting set of shackles on it yes, but those shackles are much better than the lower bitrates that DAB is lumping on the UK audiophile community. FM I agree can sound wonderful but not long until analogue shut off and its a finite premium service (in certain parts of the UK)

    Sorry for rambling on.
     
  29. Inotrope

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    Thanks - I must say I've been weaning myself off W-HF; as it has slowly dawned on my that it is a bit, well, crap. Seems to be the "Hi-fi" version of T3 or Stuff; and I'm not (yet) that interested in tv's.

    I'll see if there are any other postings about the humax - as I am looking for an excuse to get one (really fancy the idea of HDD recording!); the DAB will be a bonus.

    I've ordered another DPA32R today, made contact with a seller with a boxed new one (confirmed with IAG). Will use the older one in a second system. I am keen to reduce my black boxes; so will be selling the PA20R and DAC20 soonish.
     
  30. GrahamMG

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    Urm.......Not quite mate.......
    R3 goes out at 192kbps most of the time (peak times etc.), R2 doesn't..(128kbps from memory), People can say what they like on this subject but I work with the chap who programs the bit rates in to the multiplexers/optimod.......DAB channels used to go out at 256kbps in the good old days that some of us actually had sets and could receive it, I can't say any more.....

    On the subject of TV pictures, all broadcasters have a digital pipe of a certain size, how they choose to fill it equates directly to how good it looks, basic maths really (not to mention bandwidth equals cost!), if a picture isn't good enough, complain to the broadcaster, if you don't they will assume it is acceptable, having a dig anywhere else is a waste of time mate....Trouble is not many people do complain to the broadcaster so guess what happens.... yep, they add channels or reduce bit rates further until you do..... :lesson:
     

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