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Sunday, June 15, 2008
NeoMini DAC review
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 8:30 PM --- Post#8184293171433432217

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This is the NeoMini DAC i assembled myself. Came as a DIY Kit.

It comes without the casing and USB cable. The above seen casing was bought from Sim Lim Tower. It dint fit of course, not before i drilled holes, cut openings and superglued some chopped up ice cream stick to hold it in place.

Assembling the DAC was not too challenging. I have poor soldering skills and miraculously got it work. The joints are not too cramped to each other. My only complain is that the kit comes without instructions, the only instruction online was in Chinese.

The given jacks are RCA, which was not very useful for me since most of my audio devices used 3.5mm plugs. Thus i got one 3.5mm chassis mounted jack myself. For some overkilling, i used Home Grown Audio's 99.99% pure silver wire to hook the jack to the fiberglass PCB.

The sound from this DAC is rather uninteresting. Meaning to say its rather flat. It has a crisp but slightly overdosed highs. The mids are rather flat. The bass is controlled. To sum up, it gives a very clean flat sound.

Clarity wise, I tot Go Vibe DAC (DAC version only, no amp) was better, but upon more listening i find that the Go Vibe DAC has a colourful sound in the vocals and highs and lots of bass, which makes it seemed more clear. But acutally NeoMini's clarity is slightly better, if not on par with that of Go Vibe's.

The NeoMini DAC got problem powering my Triple Fi, at max volume its considered soft and has lots of clipping. No enuff power... Hooking my Go Vibe Petite Amp with SilverMAX (pure silver IC) solved the problem. On the other hand, the Go Vibe can power my Triple Fi and ESW9 without any problem.

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I also noted distortion (high harsh and roll offs) if the volume (controlled in Windows) is at Max. Lowering it to about 75% makes the sound much cleaner.

Attatching a ferrite core to my USB cable seems to improve and cleanse the sound. Not yet to try on Go Vibe.

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Go Vibe or NeoMini? Basically Go Vibe has a much more dynamic and colourful sound, with nice bass and can power headphone straight. On the other hand, NeoMini has a flat and accurate sound and require an amp, definitely. Its hard to say which outdo which, but personally i would prefer Go Vibe a bit more for its sound signature.

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"Silver cable? I even listened to GOLD before! I took my mom's gold chain and put my ears on it. It sounds like...nothing..."
- Wenze, 14 June 2008

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