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  1. #1

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    Cool So Many DACs - So Little Time!

    Looking for Good Dac at a Great Price- Here's my order of Preference:

    1. PS Audio PerfectWave Dac
    2. Bryston BDA-1
    3. Bel Canto e.One Dac3
    4. Benchmark Dac1 pre
    5. Cary Xciter Dac
    6. PS Audio DL III
    7. Cambridge DacMagic
    8. Music Hall Dac25.2
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  2. #2

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    Just gotta ask about one not listed ...of course. Musical Fidelity VDAC?

    In a separate forum it has been consistently thought to be better than the last 2 on your list. YMMV
    2. CH: Rega P3-24, Oppo BDP 95, Rogue Ninety Nine Magnum, Rogue Stereo 90, Tyler Linbrook Sig. Monitors, Audio Art Cables, APC H15

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by phipiper10 View Post
    Just gotta ask about one not listed ...of course. Musical Fidelity VDAC?

    In a separate forum it has been consistently thought to be better than the last 2 on your list. YMMV
    Ive heard good things about the VDac,but Im looking for a Dac with Balanced
    outputs.
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  4. #4

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    Don't forget the Peachtree Nova.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  5. #5

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    Sometimes this hobby makes me want to throw out the white towel and call the fight.
    Peachtree Nova....great...I've never even heard of that but I don't doubt that it's good. I wonder HOW many more I've never heard of.

    Oh well...it is said that John Milton was the last human (European), who was able to read and command almost ALL the knowledge of his time...it's been a while since John and Paradise Lost!

    cnh

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Don't forget the Peachtree Nova.
    Very Interesting Intergrated Amp/Dac combo!
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  7. #7

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    Did you see the Musical Fidelity tubed DAC on Chicago CL?

    Guy's got an ad up for it at $1100, but mentioned it in one of his other ads for $1K, so he'll go at least that low, maybe lower. Include "berwyn" in your search and you'll get to the ad easily.

    Plus, if you buy it, I can stop thinking about it.

    Jay

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by agfrost View Post
    Did you see the Musical Fidelity tubed DAC on Chicago CL?

    Guy's got an ad up for it at $1100, but mentioned it in one of his other ads for $1K, so he'll go at least that low, maybe lower. Include "berwyn" in your search and you'll get to the ad easily.

    Plus, if you buy it, I can stop thinking about it.

    Jay
    Jay,,,,I didnt see the CL ad for the MF Dac,,,Thanks for the heads-up!
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by danz1906 View Post
    Jay,,,,I didnt see the CL ad for the MF Dac,,,Thanks for the heads-up!
    The Dac is also on Audiogon.......Looks pretty Good:)
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  10. #10

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    That's a pretty wide price range...
    High school and high-fi don't mesh well, wallet-wise.

    Home: Polk Audio LSi15 -> Onkyo TX-SR805 -> WDTV HD Media Server
    PC: Energy RC-10 -> Onkyo Integrated Amp -> X-Fi Fatal1ty Pro
    Portable: ES3X | UE11 Pro | JH13 -> Samsung P3|iTouch 3G
    Wishlist: Specialized Tarmac Elite|full carbon build

  11. #11

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    I replaced the Benchmark DAC1 Pre with Bryston BDA. Both are great, but for me the Bryston is a bit better sounding. The Benchmark is more versitle since it also a pre-amp.

    My next DAC is the Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC. Suppossedly, this is the king, the pinnacle, the DAC all others wish they were. But it has two flaws for me, price and inputs. Price is $5K, while better than a high-end CD player, is still up there. The input flaw is a bit bigger in my mind, but it might be irrelevant. It does not have an RCA SPDIF input, only a BNC. I asked them about that and they said Bluejeans can make a RCA to BNC cable, and if it is under 3' there shouldn't be any issue. However, for 5K I would expect an RCA input.

    http://www.berkeleyaudiodesign.com/

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    I replaced the Benchmark DAC1 Pre with Bryston BDA. Both are great, but for me the Bryston is a bit better sounding. The Benchmark is more versitle since it also a pre-amp.

    My next DAC is the Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC. Suppossedly, this is the king, the pinnacle, the DAC all others wish they were. But it has two flaws for me, price and inputs. Price is $5K, while better than a high-end CD player, is still up there. The input flaw is a bit bigger in my mind, but it might be irrelevant. It does not have an RCA SPDIF input, only a BNC. I asked them about that and they said Bluejeans can make a RCA to BNC cable, and if it is under 3' there shouldn't be any issue. However, for 5K I would expect an RCA input.

    http://www.berkeleyaudiodesign.com/
    The Berkeley Audio Alpha Dac looks Very impressive!
    Would you say its better than the Theta Gen VIII?
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by danz1906 View Post
    The Berkeley Audio Alpha Dac looks Very impressive! Would you say its better than the Theta Gen VIII?
    Personally, I have no idea. I have never experienced either of them, but as we all know, there is always something better.

    For audio equipment, I gather information from some posts on this site, Google searchs, and equipment reviews in various magazines. If I am looking for something, for example a DAC, and everything comes back positive, then I might purchase something unheard. So far, this process has been working well.

    The Alpha DAC got a good review in the absolute sound by Robert Harley, but, based on a CP member's recomendation, I decided to save $3K, and buy the Bryston instead.

    "The real story, however, is that this performance and functionality is possible at $4995. Although not inexpensive, the Alpha DAC nonetheless competes with, and outperforms, much more expensive converters. At $5k, the Alpha DAC is a spectacular bargain. It is my outboard converter of choice for both CD and high-resolution sources—regardless of price."

    http://www.avguide.com/review/berkel...sign-alpha-dac

  14. #14

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    Here are some impressions of the Alpha DAC: http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthr...ighlight=Alpha
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  15. #15

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    I think I may check out the Bryston dac.
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by danz1906 View Post
    Looking for Good Dac at a Great Price- Here's my order of Preference:

    1. PS Audio PerfectWave Dac
    2. Bryston BDA-1
    3. Bel Canto e.One Dac3
    4. Benchmark Dac1 pre
    5. Cary Xciter Dac
    6. PS Audio DL III
    7. Cambridge DacMagic
    8. Music Hall Dac25.2
    You didn't mention Audio Alchemy,I still love mine,sorry reeltrouble.
    Last edited by PolkClyde; 01-18-2010 at 01:19 AM. Reason: :) :)

  17. #17

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    Well as long as we're listing things:

    4.1 Balanced Signature. The Dac 4.1 Balanced Signature is in another game. To be honest, as much as I love the 4.1 Balanced and could be happy with it forever, the 4.1 Sig is the first DAC Iíve heard that truly does enable digital to compete on an even playing field with very good if not state of the art analogue. While the 4.1 Balanced is great digital and an appropriate goal for all but the most self-indulgent audiophile, the Signature version does seem to cross some sort of invisible (and expensive) threshold and take us to a place where the choice of what to play, CD or LP, can be based, as we once hoped it would be, on the music rather than the medium. It does not emulate analogueís beguiling softness but offers comparable smoothness in the treble and stunning overall clarity and transparency. It can turn a good system into an extraordinary one all by itself. That it takes this level of investment to get to this point with digital tells us all we need to know about the mediumís difficulties in musical communication relative to analogue, doesnít it! $28,000

    DAC 5 Special and Signature . More information and commentary coming someday! $40,425 and $76,500

    Of course the 4.1 is worth more than any car I've ever owned? And I am kidding some here because I doubt there are many who could afford some of these. But I ran across this in a search a couple of days ago...wonders never cease.

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 01-18-2010 at 06:50 AM.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by PolkClyde View Post
    You didn't mention Audio Alchemy,I still love mine,sorry reeltrouble.
    Audio Alchemy is a Classic older Dac!
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post

    DAC 5 Special and Signature . More information and commentary coming someday! $40,425 and $76,500.
    Of course the 4.1 is worth more than any car I've ever owned?

    cnh
    Too Rich for my Blood!
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  20. #20

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    Has anyone heard the PerfectWave Dac???
    The Bryston and the PWD are very close in price on Audiogon,could be very
    happy with either one:)-But which one????
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  21. #21

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    Only real DAC I have ever owned and do not feel like I need to upgrade. PS Audio DL III.
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  22. #22

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    How about the Peachtree Audio Decco?Is it out yet?
    SDA-2BTL with custom IC
    Adcom 565 monoblocks--Monarchy Audio M-10 preamp
    Theta Data Basic Transport--Camelot Arthur DAC--Camelot Dragon Pro2 MK III
    Harman Kardon T-55c TT
    DH Labs Q-10 Signature Speaker Cables With Furez silver plated copper bananas
    Prophecy Cryo-Silver Reference AES/EBU
    Prophecy Cryo-Silver i2s digital cable
    4 Furutech FP-314Ag with FI-11cu Plugs/FI-11AG IECs--- Power Cords
    DH LABS REVELATIONS ICs-amps
    Revelation Audio Labs Paradise cryo-silver ICs-Source to pre

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by thsmith View Post
    Only real DAC I have ever owned and do not feel like I need to upgrade. PS Audio DL III.
    The PS Audio III a great dac for the Money.
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by fbm211 View Post
    How about the Peachtree Audio Decco?Is it out yet?
    I think MusicDirect has it.
    Linn AV5140 fronts
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    Linn AV5140 Rears
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    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  25. #25

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    The new Onix DAC25?
    HT: Ninja Master LSi9s, Ninja Master LSiC, Slightly Modded LSiFXs, Modded LSi7s, Outlaw LFM-1 EX and Polk PSW125
    Outlaw 970 Preamp, Outlaw 7700 Amp, Velodyne SMS-1, Oppo BDP-83,
    2 APC H-15s and a Panamax 5400 for good measure ;)
    Stereo: DIY Alix Music Server, DODD Audio Battery Tube Buffer, Modded DAC-60 and MF V-Link (for now), DIY Silver ICs, Battery Powered Class D SDS-254 Amp, and GR-Research N2X Speakers

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by praedet View Post
    The new Onix DAC25?
    Looks very interesting-Nice price!
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeusExa View Post
    That's a pretty wide price range...
    The used price on the Bel Canto Dac3 seems to be coming down in price:)
    The Good thing about the Dac3 is that it has a Remote,and can be run
    without a Pre-amp.
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  28. #28

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    Eastern Electric is coming out w/ $600-700 DAC using Sabre 9018.

    Due this month. I pre-ordered.

    Switchable tube to ss output. I think it has user exchangable opamps.

  29. #29

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    FWIW I have a modded Adcom GDA 600,, total cost for the unit 100 bucks,, mods included new opamps and some electrolytic caps about 110, bringing the total to 210 dollars,, very detailed,musical and sweet. I'm sure that I could do better,,question is for how much more.I think that I'm gonna keep this one.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  30. #30

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    Why are there so many Benchmark Dacs for sale on Audiogon???
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

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