Eastern Electric Minimax DAC upgraded with Discrete Op Amps and Voltage Regulators

The Eastern Electric Minimax DAC is a popular piece of gear, and it's also popular with our discrete op amps and voltage regulators.  In this review, Wayne Robertson goes all out and upgrades all of the op amps and voltage regulators in the Mini-Max with Sparkos Labs Discretes.

I first upgraded the stock op amps in my Eastern Electric MiniMax Tube DAC Supreme with the SS3601 and SS3602 Discrete Op Amps and found it to be a major improvement, just as had been exquisitely  described by Douglass Schroeder in his review at Dagogo.com.  I then upgraded all of the 3 terminal power supply regulators with the Sparkos Discrete Voltage Regulators in the hopes of similar results.

Although the installation required removing the motherboard, carefully unsoldering the 3 terminal power supply regulators, and replacing them with the Discrete Regulators, the quality of the Eastern Electric Minimax circuit board is very good and it easily tolerated the work without any lifted solder pads or other problems.  While I had the motherboard out, I also bypassed the solid state output coupling capacitors.

eastern electric Minimax DAC upgraded with Sparkos Labs

The improvement in sound quality achieved was even better than I had known how to hope for. The separate clarity of every sound is so much more succinct that I can easily hear a greater sense of immediacy, detail, and artistry in the music.  There is an immediate and obvious greater appreciation of the subtle individual notes that make up a chord, the layers of individual voices in harmony, the variations in the way each singer enunciates each word, the three dimensional ambience around and in between each instrument, and the extremely taut and yet not overbearing bass.  This is by far the best sound that I have ever heard from my system or my Eastern Electric Minimax Dac.

Thank you very much,
W. Robertson

Eastern Electric Minimax DAC with sparkos discrete regulators

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