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post #1 of 11 Old 11-25-2009, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking for an external DAC. Reasoning being I have very good, but oldr CD tables. I see the PS is pretty well likes. Cambridge has one for quite a chunk less, and Music Fidelity in a plain-jane box.
I want current top line DAC's, bb1793 or newer wm8740 etc, with top notch de-jitter and good input buffers. Of course decent analog section. I figure it needs to be less than a Cambridge 650, or why buy an external, so the mega-buck units are out of the question. I really did not want to put out a grand, but that is about where the options seem to open up. Arcam, Rega, Cambridge, NAD etc.

I bought a 640c off e-bay. Sounded great. Enough to tease me. Unfortunately, it only worked from the remote. Sigh, sent it back. That's 3 defective units in the last month. A Marantz 9000 preamp, Parasound amp, and now Cambridge CD. Al least all three Rotel's I bought are just fine. Well one optical input on the 1055 is bad, but no matter. I had to fix one Hafler, and one Yamaha eq. Had a bad DVM. Add in a bad DVD player and bad plate amp a bit back, and in total, I am running about 25% failure rate on used electronics.
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-25-2009, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post

I bought a 640c off e-bay. Sounded great. Enough to tease me. Unfortunately, it only worked from the remote. Sigh, sent it back. That's 3 defective units in the last month. A Marantz 9000 preamp, Parasound amp, and now Cambridge CD. Al least all three Rotel's I bought are just fine. Well one optical input on the 1055 is bad, but no matter. I had to fix one Hafler, and one Yamaha eq. Had a bad DVM. Add in a bad DVD player and bad plate amp a bit back, and in total, I am running about 25% failure rate on used electronics.

I hate to be cynical but maybe that's why they were up for sale in the first place. Some sellers seem to conveniently forget to disclose every thing and it's amazing how many things on A'gon are 9/10...

John

BTW - I have the Cambridge DACmagic and I'm awaiting delivery on a Beresford DAC. Both are below your price range.

"What happens in Vegas..."
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-25-2009, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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The thought had occurred to me. I know the Yamaha he knew it was bad.
Beresford, New name to me. Got to look that up. I am only slightly shy of the Cambridge as their players are known to slightly over-detailed. It has the current chips and they seem to know their analog pretty well. I, or more specifically my wife, need smoothness at all costs. I switched from B&K to Rotel amps last month as an example.
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-25-2009, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Cool. Even the upgrade with the wm8716 dac's is reasonable. 30 day trial. Helps as around here we have no more high end stores. Need to look that part up, as the 8740 and 8741 seem to be the current top in their line. Does not say the input buffer or what they do for jitter. Where would you rate these against the Cambridge or PS?
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-25-2009, 08:53 PM
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i put together a 2.1 setup for my pc using optical out on my sound card to an audio-gd compass, standalone DAC/preamp/headphone amp in one box. I am very happy with it.

http://www.audio-gd.com/enweb/DAC-Compass.htm

i got mine with the OPA moon HDAM

i have no idea what level of setup you are trying to put together though.
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-26-2009, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post

Looking for an external DAC. Reasoning being I have very good, but oldr CD tables. I see the PS is pretty well likes. Cambridge has one for quite a chunk less, and Music Fidelity in a plain-jane box.
I want current top line DAC's, bb1793 or newer wm8740 etc, with top notch de-jitter and good input buffers. Of course decent analog section. I figure it needs to be less than a Cambridge 650, or why buy an external, so the mega-buck units are out of the question. I really did not want to put out a grand, but that is about where the options seem to open up. Arcam, Rega, Cambridge, NAD etc.

I bought a 640c off e-bay. Sounded great. Enough to tease me. Unfortunately, it only worked from the remote. Sigh, sent it back. That's 3 defective units in the last month. A Marantz 9000 preamp, Parasound amp, and now Cambridge CD. Al least all three Rotel's I bought are just fine. Well one optical input on the 1055 is bad, but no matter. I had to fix one Hafler, and one Yamaha eq. Had a bad DVM. Add in a bad DVD player and bad plate amp a bit back, and in total, I am running about 25% failure rate on used electronics.


Find a used Bel Canto DAC3 on Audiogon.

All of them are fairly recent.

I recently got mine used for something like $1,550

Amazing DAC unit.

It's a great unit and it has truly great input options,
which is one key reason why I bought it.

Can't help with comparisons as my BC DAC3 is my
1st DAC (and hopefully my last)


Cheers

The best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire (1694-1778)

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post #7 of 11 Old 11-26-2009, 08:03 PM
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DACs really don't sound different if they're good.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-...erwhelmed.html
http://www.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx_cd.htm

Quote:


Posted by Grandarf
You really don't need to spend 3000$-5000$ to get a perfectly working DAC. The improvement you'd get by buying that kind of DAC would be insignificant as opposed to buying new speakers.

If you're going to spend that much money for a DAC, you could just fork over for a complete cd player... Chord or whatever (at least they look cool...) But you have a Roku and want a DAC... If you want something useful, you could get a Behringer DEQ2496. Not only does it feature a good DAC, its a digital equilizer so you can alter the FR of your system as you please. If you want just a DAC, really, 300$ is about the most you should spend... Ebay has a YULONG DAH1 for like 300$...

But btw, even the ~300$ DEQ2496 is about just as good as DACs costing a multiple times more... Ex, vs 1000$ Benchmark DAC1

Quote:


when directly compared to my Benchmark DAC1 the analogue outs of DEQ2496 (now I use only its digital outs) hold its own, although Benchmark is a little better overall. The difference is not very big - if I knew I don’t think I would have spent $1k on Benchmark

Actually in blind test people haven't been able to differentiate them... (2nd one) So... Why waste the money for something you couldn't differentiate under blind conditions...

Even when they compared a UFO audiofool >$5000$ cd player to a cheap ass 150$ DVD player, no difference was heard... So why waste the money... Getting a 300$ DAC and 4700$ speakers would sound a whole lot better than a 5000$ DAC and your current speakers... Speakers and room are by far the most influential part of your system. Very little difference between good cdps/amps (if at all). Be smart, don't waste money. Spend money on room treatment instead of a useless audiofool DAC. That'll have a much greater impact.


Btw, how is a TADAC for $2499 a great price?! lol The only way that statement made sense is if it was made in a sarcastic way. If you want the distortion of tubes, then you can again, head to ebay and search for tube headphone amp, and you'll have a plethora of <200$ tube pre amps to choose from which will also distort your sound...

oops, this link should work: http://translate.googleusercontent.c...4i2zfh_hAi0fTg

So IMHO, why waste money on exotic DACs? Getting a DEQ2495 not only will give you the same performance, but it's also a Digital Equalizer, which could make a significant improvement in your room, and will allow you to tweak your sound...

2nd link, with ridiculously overpriced cd player vs basic 200$ dvd player http://translate.googleusercontent.c...ZwvFvqGSLZU6vw
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-27-2009, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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DEQ as a DAC. Had not thought about that. Although I would not call either of my Behringer crossovers high end, they do a great job for the pittance we pay for them. Audio gd. Another one to look at. Thanks.

While I briefly had a Cambridge 640, it was clearly smoother and more musical than any of my CD or DVD players. Not even close. Difference between a $250 DVD and a "decent" DAC, should be significant, but I totally agree there is a point of diminishing returns. Say the Cambridge at under $500. What else can be done better for 10 times as much. (or more). I totally agree, speakers are by far the most important, followed by room treatments. But in my investigation of why amps sound different, I noticed even between all my players, slight edginess in certain CD's. Usually, the newer the deck, the better it sounds which would suggest the chips are getting better. If the DAC is where it is at, then no reason th change my older perfectly good working decks. I like my old CD players that power up and open the tray NOW. DVD and even worse BD players take forever. Darn JAVA. I sold my Panasonic A110 DVD player even though it sounded better than the Denon Alpha it replaced just because I hated the wait.

I would have to say I don't understand the need for tubes in a DAC. Tubes are best used as voltage gain stages; phono preamp, Mic preamp, or gain stage in a power amp. If I read my specs correctly, a DAC chip has the voltage gain internal and only requires buffering which is current gain, on the output.

I disagree a tube circuit necessary distorts the sound. Many do as do many solid state ones. Bad design is bad design.

What do I want? Perfection for nothing, just like everyone else. Two systems right now. My office is an old NAD receiver and CD driving some Kef Q1's, soon to be replaced by my own Usher/HDS speakers I am working on. I occasional use my good old Yamahamer headphones. They are very sensitive to mid-range coloration. Someday I really should pick up some Grado's. My living-room is for a bit more "realistic level" serious listening. My own subs with modified Studio 20 mains for now. All Rotel amps. Old Denon CD player and a Pioneer BD. I let my Rotel 1055 be the dac for the CD. It is better than the internal. I listen to everything except C&W or Hip-Hop.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-27-2009, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I like the fade switch method in the DAC test. That should mask the switch preventing a belief in a difference when there is none.

I do not know the Sampson amp used and if it was of equal quality. This test also does not include my wife's ultra picky hearing and her sensitivity to recorded trumpets. It does not disclose the music played. I can only hear differences on some recordings. Others I do not.
I wonder what DAC is in my Ultradrive? But I thought "pro" DAC inputs were not totally compatible with consumer PCM outputs. Off the the WEB to research! This test would support the reasoning that the e-bay $200 dac boards if put in a good box with a clean power supply should be as good as higher priced ones. What they don't have is over the top de-jitter. Without some to compare, can't say if that is important. I can only say the Cambridge 640 sounded smoother than any of my other decks. Of course, DIY costs time and money, making the sub $500 off the shelf competitive.
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-27-2009, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Audio-gd. Interesting company.
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post #11 of 11 Old 11-27-2009, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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A little research. Seems the Behringer DCX2496 can accept the low voltage consumer PCM by just using a standard RCA to XLR adapter. Ordered one for six bucks. Cool. I can compare this with the China special "Muse" dac headphone amp $99 special I ordered. It has current top notch chips. 1793 with 9001 inputs. Makes me want to do the mods to put better output amps in the DCX.
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