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Thread: Outstanding digital components

  1. #11
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: Well below the Mason-Dixon line

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    Quote Originally Posted by Filterlab View Post
    In your experience, what digital components have really amazed you? It can be anything from a CD player to a DAC to an MP3 player.

    I'll start, it has to be my Apogee Mini DAC which just gets better and better, so musical and natural with no sense of mechanical interference, slightly oddball looks but then again, who wants convention? :


    That little Apogee would look a bit less flamboyant if you would only buy the poor thing some sensible shoes. If you want Apogee and design elegance at once, it isn't hard to find, it's the Duet.

    For my part, I nominate this:



    Put in USB and it puts out your choice of either of the 2 coax, optical or AES/EBU. It re-clocks. It keeps the digital and analog paths separate, it seems to add nothing to the music - no noise, no warmth, nothing - which is a good thing in my view. It even has a simple 16-bit Burr-Brown DAC chip in it - an afterthought evidenced by the fact that there are no RCA outs. But put that little chip in this well-designed circuit and it sounds really good, even coming out of the mini phono on the front (a headphone jack, but there's no headphone amp, no volume control, all line level controlled from the PC). I'm not sure I need a better DAC, but I want one. The aforementioned Duet, to be exact. As Joni Mitchell said, I'm like a black crow, sweeping down on every shiny thing.

    $140. Those crazy Chinese.

    Tim

  2. #12
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Long Stratton, Norfolk

    Posts: 4,238
    I'm Rob.

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    Hehehe, those feet were temporary - funky colour though eh!

    Now the DAC has its own slate/metal pedestal stand.
    .
    Evolution: One man's preposterous and non-sensical hypothesis based on the death of his daughter, now sadly taught as fact. Evidence to the contrary.

  3. #13
    Join Date: May 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by Filterlab View Post
    Hehehe, those feet were temporary - funky colour though eh!

    Now the DAC has its own slate/metal pedestal stand.
    And they were lovely. Actually, I think I recognize them. When I was between marriages, that period my best friend refers to as "Farney's 2-year-long lost weekend," I believe I dated a woman with those shoes. Very frightening, actually.

    I sort of like Apogee's visual style. They never seem to have met slightest sliver of aluminum they wouldn't silk screen . Then along came the oh so understated Duet. I'm not sure what happened there. Hired an industrial design firm and said "make this thing look good sitting next to a powerbook," I suspect.

    Tim
    Last edited by tfarney; 30-05-2008 at 20:12.

  4. #14
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Long Stratton, Norfolk

    Posts: 4,238
    I'm Rob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
    And they were lovely. Actually, I think I recognize them. When I was between marriages, that period my best friend refers to as "Farney's 2-year-long lost weekend," I believe I dated a woman with those shoes. Very frightening, actually.
    I thought you were going to say you liked golf, and consequently recognise them.

    Quote Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
    I sort of like Apogee's visual style. They never seem to have met slightest sliver of aluminum they wouldn't silk screen . Then along came the oh so understated Duet. I'm not sure what happened there. Hired an industrial design firm and said "make this thing look good sitting next to a powerbook," I suspect.
    I would imagine that Apogee are well aware of what most of their products will end up accompanying. Shame they can't get the Apple drivers sorted faster!
    .
    Evolution: One man's preposterous and non-sensical hypothesis based on the death of his daughter, now sadly taught as fact. Evidence to the contrary.

  5. #15
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: Venice, Italy

    Posts: 2,084
    I'm Neil.

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    In no particular order:

    My STAX DAC X-1t ($40k when new)

    My Micro Seiki CD M2 CD player when used as a transport

    My Musical Fidelity (from batch #1) X-RAY V8 & X-DAC V8

    My Musical Fidelity (from batch #1) Tri-Vista DAC 21

    An Accuphase DP-85V

    The Nagra stand-alone DAC

    My Meridian 508.24. I really do doubt if they EVER built anything again as MUSICALLY satisfying! Really

    My Meridian 601 Digital preamp. Light years ahead, at that time

    My very humble, utter reliable and dirt cheap Yamaha CDX-496 which, given it has been used for at least 30 hours a week in my office for years and years is for me (in this specific context only) the most impressive digital purchase I've - bar none.
    Last edited by Neil McCauley; 01-06-2008 at 15:47.
    Audiophile News & Music Review – an independent online audio magazine, focusing on 2-channel audio equipment.

    Our team offer you the day-to-day buzz of news, activities, shows and evaluations and a lot more.

    Thank you from Neil McCauley (editor in chief), Howard Popeck (features editor) + a few audiophile and music journalist friends from the paper-based side who wish to remain anonymous

  6. #16
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Long Stratton, Norfolk

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    I'm Rob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Popeck (Stereonow) View Post
    My Musical Fidelity (from batch #1) Tri-Vista DAC 21
    Great DAC.
    .
    Evolution: One man's preposterous and non-sensical hypothesis based on the death of his daughter, now sadly taught as fact. Evidence to the contrary.

  7. #17
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: Well below the Mason-Dixon line

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    The mighty Lyngdorf:



    Ah, if I were a rich man...

    Tim

  8. #18
    Join Date: Jun 2008

    Posts: 9

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    The Best? What means the Best. None are or can be all things to all. If we agree that the aim is reproducing the nearest thing to the original sound, then this is also conditional on the type of music to be enjoyed. A system that can reproduce four or five electric instruments successfully might fail completely with a full 100 seat orchestra. I can only speak for the latter where most high-end players fall down very badly on timbral accuracy of string instruments. I have owned and auditioned most of the top players and in my experience, SACD far surpasses RBCD as a reproduction medium for classical music, conveying the 'you are there' experience in a way that utterly eludes RBCD. So, don't waste your money on a high-end RBCD player as only the importers and retailers will be happy - I guarantee you will not be! For the same money a SACD player will provide far more long lasting satisfaction.

    In the same way as most RBCD users look down on MP3 so the gulf between SACD and RBCD is similar, they are all approximations based on sample rate and word length on the same ladder. SACD is best at the moment.

    OK if you must buya RBCD player and classical is your thing then Combak's Reimyo 777 combo is so far ahead of anything else for realism that there is only one choice.

    But what is the best player? Well, it's got to play SACD and RBCD for starters which the Reimyo can't do. The three main contenders are the Esoteric X-01D2, Krell Evolution 505 and Marantz SA7-S1. Of these, go for the Marantz.. it is the BEST 'CD player yet by a country mile and don't just take my word for it, ask Alvin Gold. Apart from it's price - by luck it is the least expensive of these - it offers real insight and emotion to the playback experience without sacrificing detail, dynamics, PRT and all the other hi-fi descriptors that get bandied about. Or to put it more simply it just plays music accurately and effortlessly and with great integrity.

  9. #19
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 67,875
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Hi Firefox,

    Welcome to the forum

    Nice post above! I'm sure you'll get some good replies.

    As per our new policy, can you please pop into the Welcome area and introduce yourself and the system you use to our members, also including your first name and basic location details?

    Thank you.

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Modified Goldpoint SA4M-47 passive preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  10. #20
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Long Stratton, Norfolk

    Posts: 4,238
    I'm Rob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiredfox View Post
    The Best? What means the Best...
    The 'best' is a personal thing to each and every individual, that's why the thread is entitled "Outstanding digital component".

    Welcome by the way.
    .
    Evolution: One man's preposterous and non-sensical hypothesis based on the death of his daughter, now sadly taught as fact. Evidence to the contrary.

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