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View Poll Results: Do you have an external DAC?

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  • No, don't want one.

    20 41.67%
  • Yes

    13 27.08%
  • No, but planning to buy one in the future.

    15 31.25%
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Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1

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    Default Do you have an external DAC?

    Do you have an external DAC or do you use your sources internal DAC?

    Are you planning to buy one in the future? If so, what are you looking at?
    Last edited by steveinaz; 07-14-2005 at 01:05 PM.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  2. #2

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    Planning on getting one, don't know which but it'll have to have some glass cylindrical thingees in it.

  3. #3

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    Had to, the transport didn't have one. Has those glass cylinder thingys in there too.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  4. #4

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    Originally posted by madmax
    Had to, the transport didn't have one. Has those glass cylinder thingys in there too.
    madmax
    Which one did you get and how much $$$ if you don't mind telling?

  5. #5

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    I will get one at some point, but that time is a ways away. I am going to have to get board with first listening to all my music again, then fiddling with my setup, then tired of trying new tubes in the pre, and probably even amps before I throw a DAC in the mix.

  6. #6

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    I've had a couple Audio Alchemy Dac In The Box, good entry level DAC pretty much guaranteed to make any gruntball CDP sound better.

    Right now, I'm using an Assembladge DAC-1 (Sonic Frontiers). It was sold in kit form for $450 in the early to mid 90's.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  7. #7

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    Bel Canto DAC 1.1 for me. love it so far but now that summer has rolled around I don't get to spend much time with the rig. My rig sounds better than it ever has with addition of the DAC and McCormack SST-1 Transport.
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

  8. #8

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    Originally posted by ND13
    Which one did you get and how much $$$ if you don't mind telling?
    Mine is an AudioNote Dac kit 1.1. It was built by the company. Very nice simple method of conversion. I think it was $700 + $250 to have built. I bought it used. Came with a super interconnect and aftermarket power cord. I think I paid about $800 all together.

    http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazin...anmeetsmsb.htm

    So far the best thing I've done on the digital end was to add this dac and the Theta data basic II transport.

    madmax
    Last edited by madmax; 07-14-2005 at 03:02 PM.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  9. #9

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    Originally posted by madmax
    So far the best thing I've done on the digital end was to add this dac and the Theta data basic II transport.
    I ALMOST went with the Theta transport, but I love McCormack gear so I went with that. I probably couldn't have gone wrong with either...
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

  10. #10

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    Nope, never. I'm just not nearly that picky.

    I might be one day in the future; but that'll be a long ways down the road.
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
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    Simple question. If you had a cool million bucks, what would you do with it?
    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
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  11. #11

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    Thumbs up

    I have 2, an Adcom, which for the money, especially used, just cannot be beat. The other is a very inexpensive AMC, which does better than the stock DACís on most sub $400 CDP or DVDP. This is an area that simply isnít given enough credit for making digital sound fantastic. The depth of soundstage, the tightness and extension of bass and the open airiness of the sound just has no equal.

    I know from reading this forum and some others that many think an outboard DAC is a waste of time and money. Can the improvements be that great? A big resounding YES!!! This is the most overlooked link in the audio chain, IMO. It literally brought new-life to my system. A well designed DAC tube or SS will really perform beyond anyoneís expectations. Also, donít fall for those built into an AVR because those are really no better from a design and sound standpoint than the ones housed in your CDP or DVDP.

    Take the next step and you wonít be disappointed. Even if you have a mediocre transport adding a DAC will make a huge difference.

    FWIW

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  12. #12

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    i'm a big believer in external DAC's. I used to think otherwise though.. before some of the cool people in here recommended i try a DAC.

    I just wasn't happy with the lifeless sound i was getting from my new Marantz 4300 CDP.

    SO on the advice of the peeps in here I took the leap and got a old used but in good condition California Audio Labs Alpha tube DAC. It really kicked up the sound a couple notches. I wasn't night and day difference.. but it improved the sound quality overall enough for me to keep it.

    It's still in use today. Yes the CAL dac is outdated by todays better chips and all. but for a nicely built tube DAC it still sounds better than the cheap DAC's that are built into most CDP's and receivers.

    I'll replace it a ways down the road.. but for now it's not going anywhere. I have never changed out the Mullard tubes in it. Once those die or I get tired of them.. then i'll replace em.

    For anyone teetering on the fence.. take the leap.... i'm almost certain you'll notice and enjoy the improvement in sound quality.
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
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  13. #13

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    I think anyone that is running Compact Disc as their primary source is missing 75% of its performance without a good external DAC. It literally transformed my system. If you think about, you mate a $300 reputable CDP with a $1000 DAC and chances are you've got a digital front-end that can run with just about anything, money-no-object; at $1300 bucks.

    Those who haven't tried a ext DAC yet, put it on your short list---even if you don't like it, and you will, sell it---you'll recover 75% of what you put into it if you buy a decent example.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  14. #14

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    Originally posted by tryrrthg
    I ALMOST went with the Theta transport, but I love McCormack gear so I went with that. I probably couldn't have gone wrong with either...
    Luckily you chose another route. For sound it is awesome (and I am still very happy with it) but they have some problems with the drives. Also, unless you bought it new they have a very jacked up service cost. They even tell you that on the website! I leave the top off of mine in the winter because the disc often needs a little push start. I think the dryness has something to do with it because it works fine all summer. I've noticed a lot of people have similar problems. The drawer motor gear broke as well. I still wont give up on it because of the sound though. I've actually grown accustomed to manually opening and closing the drawer and "starting" the disc manually. It feels more like ANALOG!

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  15. #15

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    Originally posted by madmax
    Luckily you chose another route. For sound it is awesome (and I am still very happy with it) but they have some problems with the drives. Also, unless you bought it new they have a very jacked up service cost. They even tell you that on the website! I leave the top off of mine in the winter because the disc often needs a little push start. I think the dryness has something to do with it because it works fine all summer. I've noticed a lot of people have similar problems. The drawer motor gear broke as well. I still wont give up on it because of the sound though. I've actually grown accustomed to manually opening and closing the drawer and "starting" the disc manually. It feels more like ANALOG!

    madmax
    Yeah, I read about some problems with the Theta. That also helped steer me towards the McCormack. With the McCormack I don't have to worry about the tray breaking because it's a top loading design. It has a magnetic disc stablizing platter (that you put on top of the CD) which is pretty cool and helps cut down on jitter. Steve McCormack still runs a shop that does upgrades on most all of his equipment so I figured he'd be able to help me out if something ever went wrong. I don't think they make the laser assembly for my transport anymore, but I'm sure he could think of something.
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

  16. #16

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    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."

  17. #17

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    I have an MSB Link DAC III with the 24/132 upsampling card connected to a Rotel RCD-951. The Rotel has HDCD and don't even use it or miss it. I'm using a Sonic Euphoria coaxial cable, yes cables do make a difference!

  18. #18

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    I've got an old Audio Alchemy DACMAN but just keeping it around for when I set my HT back up. I'll hook it up to the satellite receiver mainly for the music channels.

  19. #19
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    I think I would choose an EMM Labs DCC2 as a lotto choice. In reality, the next component hopefully will be an Anthem Statement D-1.

  20. #20

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    Audio Research DAC and its tough to listen to anything else.
    ***WAREMTAE***

  21. #21

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    i am sitting on the fence right now. my redbook player has a very good internal dac but does not upsample and i have been researching options. the musical fidelity small x-series has caught my attention. the electrocompianet upsampling dac seems promising. i think i will wait and just keep my options open for now.
    JAS Audio Bravo 2.3 SE Single ended Class A Tube Integrated Amplifier Svetlana 6C33-B triodes @ 18 wpc-Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC W-LME49990 op amps w Siemens 12AU7 -Black Cat Morpheus cables -Silverline Audio Sonata III

  22. #22

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    I've told you many times,
    jmierzur you have a real opportunity to snag a reference quality dac at a resonable price living where you live. My Uncle came to check out the system. To my amazement he preferred the sound of my system to many of his closes friends who have $20k rigs. He very much regrets selling me the modded Museatex, and drools when I told him what John Wright sold me his transport for. He has since tried to replace the Bitstream DAC with a Sony 9000ES SACD, Copland CD and heard an iDAT44 (same as the bidat) and still is convinced the Bitstream destroy's all of them.

    Please Don't make the mistake of buying the Anthem, before at least contacting John and hearing one of his dacs.

    btw, if you do a few searches, you'll read how alot of EMM Labs users have since used Bidats and modded Bitstreams and have thought the older dac's sounded better on redbook. No joke, do a search.

  23. #23

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    You're right about the sound quality of external DAC's. At one point I had an Audio Alchemy DAC with two jitter reducers and the sound was fabulous. I had to sell them because I needed cash at the time. I miss them a lot and hope to own some again in the future. They weren't just boxes with pretty lights. They sounded so sweet.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

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