Aune T1 SE MK3 Headphone DAC/Ampsearch

Aune T1 SE MK3 Headphone DAC/Amp

Aune T1 SE MK3 Headphone DAC/Amp

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@rastus Is the T1 worth getting if I have no intention to upgrade anything besides the tube? I am currently leaning towards this unit, the iFi iTube2, LittleDot mkIII, or DV336SE. Do you have a preference? I want to start with a cheaper option to see how much I like it before plunking down some serious coin going down the rabbit hole.
jaydunndiddit
I have gotten the T1's, four so far T4;) doing two more now as grad gifts introducing niece & nephews to "HiFi" vs MP3 & Beats schlock. The nicely packaged DAC/tube buffer/SS amp at that price point fit the bill... but I was not really satisfied with the sq until I put in a NOS tube and... then also upgraded the caps. If you want something small to fit on the desk at work, with a nice tube, it is fine as an all-in-one, but the caps open up the stage. No experience with a LD or iFi, look OK, reviews good. But if I were going for a tube sound, I would get the Darkvoice out of the four, and the DV has more interesting choices for tube rolling. I am still curious about the sound out of an OTL, the clean dark, and may still pick up a used DV. Wanted to get the La Figaro 339, but directed funds to a 300B SET amp instead. You can still upgrade the caps in the DV at some point as well, and adjust them to suite different impedance cans if you wish. Key for me it that it is a point-to-point wired amp, not a board. Not trying to open up a board vs point wiring, but a bad board is just that, done. It is a purist amp, un-hook the RCA outs, unless you need them. You will want to pay particular attention to your tubes, if you are not willing to spend some coin on quality NOS, do not enter here...
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Money no object, you can move down from here,,, but... if you got this 5998 tube,, you would just have to play some Derek and the Dominos with it;) https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nos-Jan-CAHG-5998-421A-Tube-Brand-New-USA-Made-1959-Same-Western-Electric-421-A/183396068201?hash=item2ab341eb69:g:VfwAAOSw899bf5Y9 & https://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-SYLVANIA-JAN-CHS-6SN7GT-VT-231-TUBES-TROPHY-QUALITY-PAIRS-for-CARY-AUDIO/232274550313?epid=141074578&hash=item3614a45e29:g:PbgAAOSwL1hbjrrt Or: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nos-Pair-6SN7W-6SN7WGT-RAYTHEON-Tubes-Perfect-tubes-Vintage-New-VT-231-B65/173591290701?hash=item286ad8e34d:g:HyEAAOSwPfBbxZp5:rk:9:pf:0
I'm trying to connect my HIDIZ AP60 II to this as a transport and I'm not getting anything over either the OTG cable I bought, or a standard cable through an A->B adapter. Any idea what I might be doing wrong here?
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Yes. Anything that provides a USB audio signal will play though this.
Gr3y
Asking if your unit simply works... independent of the HD60...
If I use the dac and run it into a schiit valhalla 2 would that work well or would a different dac be a better choice?
XxTinManxX
As a DAC only,, not a great choice, it's real intrinsic value is, as the assemblage that it is; DAC/tube buffer/SS amp.
rastus
That's what I wanted to know. Thanks for the reply. Kinda new to all this.
I've read comments/reviews for about an hour and I'm not finding my answer. Sorry if it has been asked before...
I purchased the first generation Aune T1 offered on Massdrop back in 2014. Is it worth upgrading to this newer model? What will I gain? I've read there may be better USB DAC options for my setup, but the tube is pretty darn cool for the warm sound, and in all honesty I like the aesthetics. I've always wanted to roll tubes, but have also read it doesn't make much difference on the first gen so haven't bothered.
I currently use the T1 purely as a USB DAC from my office workstation which then runs to my amp via RCA. This drop's price is definitely worth considering if there are benefits, as are other potential recommendations. I do not currently use headphones but am always considering getting some.
I'm rebuilding my office right now so it's a great opportunity to upgrade before rewiring the room. Other recommendations are appreciated.
I am a tinkerer by trade, so opening and modding options are also of interest.
Thank you.
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Hate typing, so here are my links so you can see it: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/aune-t1-se-headphone-amp/talk/2116429
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/aune-t1-se-headphone-amp/talk/1800023
If you really want to go ahead, I can post the parts from Digi-Key, and other links to instructions/guidelines.
rastus
Thanks! I'll start with those.
What are the general sonic difference between this versus non oversampling DACs?
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Appreciate it. Thanks :)
cgouy
You're welcome anytime :)
I am getting unbalanced output - left channel has 15 - 20% more gain than right channel. Anyone have a solution? (I'm currently managing via balance in windows or my preamp).
Details: - The gain switches on the bottom are all set to "off". - Issue occurs when outputting via RCA (bypassing amp) and via headphones jack. (I infer that the problem is in the DAC not the amp)
I'm guessing it's the tube but that's no more than a guess. Have not yet opened up the case but even if I did I'm not an electronics guy so not sure what I would do under the hood.
Thanks for any thoughts.
rastus
Thanks!
Is this a good AMP/DAC for the AKG 7XX or the Fostex TR-X00 mahogany headphones ( I got the AKG 7xx and will be getting the mahogany soon)?
Take one of these T1's; along with one of the 1,000 extra Senn HD58X Jubilee's that MD just said they have; that will be dropping 6/27 with a 2-3 day ship time; unless your's is already in the mail;) upgrade the tube and you will then have a ~$330 rig (plus tube choice) that rivals one double or triple the cost. A well made budget tube DAC with a SS amp @ $179.99,,, really...?
I just upgraded a second used MK II with SILMIC II's* (silk for your ears;) & power caps, along with a NOS USN Sylvania tube. This time I paired the T1 with an old icon I also wanted to hear myself, and had trouble giving up; Senn HD580's (w/upgraded cable - used Amplifier Surgery). This is the second one I have done as a HS grad gift, part of my anti-MP3 war. The music out of this rig is wonderful. Watching the facial expressions of another 18 year old, who has pretty-much only heard MP3 scheisse on earbuds,, was priceless. My choice this time, to watch this epiphany; Stevie Wonder, Living For The City in 24/96 FLAC 1973, a great recording, from a great artist.
I listened to this used T1 and first thought 'great, I got a busted eBay unit' , then remembered to put in the NOS tube,, now it was "all clear", all is fine, move on to the caps... Which,, short answer; they open this little things potential up...
Do upgrade the tube on this T1 SE,,, caps though would void any warranty - but an adventurists choice;) pragmatic recommendations here; there are better tubes but,,, but, beware the rabbit hole:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/One-Military-USN-CHS-6922-Gold-Pin-Tube-By-Sylvania/371739120441?hash=item568d60d339:g:TBkAAOSwmfhX3L5o
https://www.ebay.com/itm/E88CC-Mullard-Mitchum-R7D2-Gold-Pins-Balanced-New-Old-Stock-Valve-Tube-1PC-JU17B/372000183708?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649
Want to listen outside the box? https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-NOS-tube-SIEMENS-HALSKE-E288CC-8223-A-frame-805027/132672286334?epid=2290515412&hash=item1ee3e26e7e:g:ziUAAOSwQWxa~X9a

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*http://www.elna.co.jp/en/capacitor/onkyou/silmic.html
I'm looking to sell my mk2 if anyone is interested.
vlauib
how muches
malaprop
sorry its been sold already
On another note: I'm tempted by this dac/amp because even on what little I've heard of tube sound I've found quite enjoyable. The trouble is the output impedance of 10 Ohms which is really not ideal for sensitive IEMs and may be even worse for IEMs that have BA drivers. Has anyone tried this or another 10 Ohm output impedance amplifier (such as the SMSL Sap II) with the following adapter https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/headphones/headphone-attenuation-adapter/ ? And if so, how well did it work in your opinion?
is the Line-out variable? Asking if I can use this as a volume control for my active speakers.
Also, would the signal be cut-off automatically on the line-out if you plug in HPs in the 6.3mm port at front?
I’m im interested in using this as a DAC. I have the Massdrop 02 amp arriving tomorrow, but hahave been using a Bravo 2 with Golden Lion tube in conjunction with a Zorloo ZuperDac For the last month. I find this to be a pretty decent combination, and have it on my desktop at work. I use it to drive a set of Hifiman HE-400i’s, Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 80 ohm, and Massdrop HD 6xx’s. Having come to like the tubish sound out of this combo I’m very curious about the sound out of a tube DAC. What are people’s thoughts on this proposed 02+T1 combo? I’m also looking forward to hearing what the 02 amp is going to sound like in comparison. I’ll probably add an 0DAC to the mix soon as well.
Also, I’m new to this if it isn’t obvious. Whenever I take up a hobby I tend to go all-in. For home I ordered the Cavalli CTH Tube Hybrid. This will replace the Dragonfly Black that I’ve been using at home and on the go. At home I have tended to use either my Massdrop HE-4xx’s or DT 770’s. I’m trying to keep things relatively inexpensive until I figure out what type of sound I like the most. Any thoughts will be appreciated.
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From what I've experimented with so far I think using the Aune as a dac only is the way to go. I find the sound better using some Schiit :0 to power my stuff over Aune.
I have my eye on pairing the Aune with the Darkvoice 336SE/6XX. From what I've read the 6XX and Darkvoice are match made for each other and I'll probably grab it on the next drop. Tube on tube sounds extremely fun! I'll probably end up tube rolling eventually :) Like I said before this hobby can get expensive.
Using the Aune alone isn't a bad experience so give it a try before you spend a boat load of $. Between solid state and tube I find things to be different and not exactly one better than the other. Whatever you decide I hope you love it and remember this is only my subjective opinion!
cKreepyOh
Thanks for your reply to me on the Aune. I was leaning heavily to buying it but now that the Little Dot MK II has dropped again I'm going to go with that. I may well pick an Aune up the next time it's dropped just to try it out. Yes, an expensive hobby indeed! In the meantime, I'll continue to rely on a portable Amp/DAC for my DAC, Right now that is either the Dragonfly Black when I'm at home, or Zorloo ZuperDac on my work setup. I got the Massdrop 02 amp on Monday and have been A/B comparing it with the Bravo 2 and have actually found the differences between the two to be subtle. I guess that should not surprise as the Bravo 2 is a hybrid. I do find it to have a warmer sound with the HD 6xx's, and it takes the sharp edge off of my HE 400i's as well. The 02 amp I have found to be very smooth sounding as well, but not as much as the Bravo 2. I can't wait to get the Little Dot, and I will also have the Cavalli Tube Hybrid to play with as I just received that today.
sorry I am quite new to the topic. some say that tube dac/amp do not work well with planar headphones. I joint the drop for the hifiman 4xx. now I am looking for some dac/amp setup for about 300 USD. will this tube work? how about the xduoo ta-10?
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I know exactly what you are talking about lol.. i used modded sr60i's for years before i got my 598se's. It was a big step back in sound quality IMO, but i needed more comfort as i often where them for long periods. My current dailies check every box for me though, MK2 t50rp Argons.
it is not a tube DAC technically speaking. It's a solid state DAC with a tube buffer/line driver. I did know one guy with tube ADC and DAC. He used to use them to record the San Francisco Symphony and master the recordings. Leo De Gar Kulka (rip), also the producer of the song 'Tequila!' and former president of the Audio Engineering Society.
Too expensive for what it offer
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I mean the pads were just... old... the one on the top;) a great find, they have a new home.
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rastus
Niiiiiiice
If I understand the bluebox info correctly, the unit does not come with the Gold Lion tube it's supposed to include from the factory? Or is the Gold Lion tube a different brand from the one included in the box? Sorry, I'm a newb when it comes to hybrid designs like these... thanks!
JakeRoberts
Looks like this time around you are getting the base Electro-Harmonix tube. I would not be put-off, just start shopping on eBay, or go to a tube site such as thetubestore.com. A review covering tubes: https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/aune-t1.14924/reviews I am getting my second used Aune T1, to mod and as a graduation gift with a set of used HD580's. I plan on doing a few more as Grad gifts, my Anti-MP3 battle... getting used T1's as I am modding, so then no concern about warranty. A Retro-Future combo, to pique a millennial's interest long enough, to notice what 24/96 really is... This is a very nice sounding DAC/Tube SS Amp that can drive most anything with aplomb.
A very nice tube I'm sure: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mullard-E188CC-6922-Gold-Pin-Amplitrex-Tested-Balanced-Triodes-Holland/152936288543?hash=item239bb6911f:g:AWkAAOSwdPtaoLYZ
There are deals always popping up on eBay, just got 4 USN Sylvania 6922's @ $21.50 each shipped; for these gift projects:
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rastus
Thanks for the reply and for the resource links, gotta do some reading now! 👍🏼
How much was the last price this was sold ?
Do you prefer this over xduoo ?
Do you prefer the mk3 over the mk2
Lots of misinformation that these wont drive low impedance planars...not true! switch gain setting to 2 on bottom of unit..default is set to 1 and there are 3 gain settings. exeception would be HE6’s....This unit is great with both my hd650s and Alpha Dogs
how does this compare to xduoo ta01?
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I have the ta01, but its power jack is very loose. Just wanna know if this one has a better sound or better quality.
njsc321
Mine was well presented in package and is built like a tank. No issues and I used it daily for 6 months without issues.. I still use it as a secondary unit. My guess is that it is step up from your ta01. Aune builds decent entry level stuff
This is a great starter dac/amp and great price. Stock tube is awesome, no need to buy expensive tubes for this device
MarcSpence
I agree the stock tube (Ultraharmonix) sounds great. I like it better than the Gold Lion (I thought Gold Lion was a little too shrill). I also picked up a pair of Amperex online and those sound great, too.
So I'm looking to buy my first DAC/Amp and I would need some advice. I read that on the T1 it's only the RCA output that goes through the tube? It might be good for my use case since I will mostly use it with my Monoprice studio monitors. I listen mostly to EDM / Wave, do not watch movies on my PC but I do game quite a bit on it. I do not have good headphones yet but I'm planning on getting the Sennheiser 6XX. Between this vs the Schiit stack, considering my use will be mostly through speakers, what are your recommendations? Thanks!
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So if I plug in my monitors directly into the RCA output the volume knob will have no effect?
Nephtys
Yes that's correct, the volume pot is in the preamp stage, line-out is fixed to 2Vrms. You can always use the software volume control before D/A but it won't be bit perfect.
By the way, I have it good authority Aune is pronounced "Oh-knee." Just put'n that out there...
RayF
Oh how too-too! ;-)
FWIW, what does the"SW" switch on the back do? No mention of it on the description page, as seems to be the usual with most Massdrop items. I'd love it if they explained things q little bit further than they do!
TIA, Bean
FOBean
Power switch SW, yup, really, when on/off is not techie enough, or this is China and that is what the schematic had on it... and remember there is a delay built-in for the tube,, in case you are unable to discern the filaments glowing themselves, an LED lights up under it:) The new SE version looks to be a nice amber, not the light up the room garish blue/white on the Mark II. I darkened my Mark II to an amber glow with old fashioned gasket varnish.
How does this compare to a NuForce uDAC-3 or 5? Looking for something to use as a preamp for the JBL LSR30Xs.
black_mamba
This will be a completely different sound as this is a tube, not solid state Like the others. So, really do you want a more tube sound that’ll be a little colored, or do you want a more clean and neutral sound with the solid state?
black_mamba
You may want to look at a Schiit Audio's offerings.
Does it support USB 3.0? Some feedback in Amazon said it didn't support USB 3.0
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Honestly, I'm not sure. My unit has a USB purifier so maybe USB 3.0 has something to do with that and any perceivable noise from the jack. Beyond that, that's the only purpose that comes to mind.
mail2sjzhai
Are you saying people are plugging this into a USB 3 port and it isn't working? All USB is supposed to be backwards compatible. I run my Jot and my Fulla 2 off of USB-C ports on my laptops. With the Jot it's a USB-C to the USB 2 on the MB module (type A plug). The Fulla 2 is USB-C to USB 2 (micro USB plug). No problems whatsoever. I agree with @jaydunndiddit that USB 3.0 offers no benifit when streaming audio.
This vs schiit stack or Sennheiser GSX 1000(162.99)
Ilikedifferentthings
Schiit stack or aune... one is slightly bright and other is slightly warm, unless u use vali2 in stack. i would personally pass on any of the sennheiser amps.
Anyone having any shipping issues on these - mine is stuck at 'Secaucus, NJ, US PROCESSING COMPLETED AT ORIGIN" since Feb 1st with zero update since...
Just a simple question: only one tube and it’s a stereo unit, how can that be? are the two channels driven by one single tube? Is there a multiplexing device that feeds both channel to the tube? Wouldn’t be better to have one tube per channel ? Anyone?
PeteMtl
6922/6DJ8 tubes are dual triode tubes, they have two signal paths so allowing for stereo with a single tube. This also means you'll want a tube that is well balanced, since you want both left and right channels to be as evenly matched as possible.
Does it support 230V 50Hz? i see only 220V or 110V options and no information whatsoever..
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Okay thanks!
Its just that usually they type like 220-240V if it does support.