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Filterlab
06-02-2008, 13:08
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? :) :

http://s560.photobucket.com/albums/ss49/aos_images/random_stuff/Apogee3-4.jpg

I'd have to say the dCS Puccini which really impressed me at the Manc show - very neutral, lively and real.

http://s560.photobucket.com/albums/ss49/aos_images/random_stuff/puccini_front.jpg

The Pioneer PDR-609 CD Recorder. These machines were so good that the copies were virtually indistinguishable from the originals. I mastered my 2004 album to one of these.

http://www.laserlinehifi.co.uk/images/xosc_l_pdr609.jpg

Denon DVD-A1. Had one of these a while back, extraordinary universal player with amazing video processing (aside from occasional chroma upsampling issues) and excellent, if not quite audiophile, sound quality. Built like a brick poo house. :)

http://www.denon.fr/scripts/fo/elements/7928.jpg

Marantz SR-9600. Super flexible, more inputs than your average hi-fi shop and thundering cinema ability.

http://www.avland.co.uk/marantz/sr9600/sr9600.jpg

Filterlab
06-02-2008, 13:30
I have to add the iPod actually, yes I know it's NOT hi-fi, but with a decent sample rate (say 320Kbps minimum) and a nice pair of headphones it can sound pretty decent - certainly better than personal cassette players of the 80s and personal CD players of the 90s.

I've got a 30gb - quite nice for video too, although a little small for prolonged viewing. :)

sastusbulbas
06-02-2008, 13:56
.

SolidState
09-02-2008, 11:58
I'd have to say my RWA Squeezebox has impressed me beyond my own expectations of it. Now i'm looking into buying the Altmann DAC along with the Jisco connector, which is also battery powered.

Steve Toy
24-02-2008, 15:54
http://www.gamutaudio.com/media/pdf/reviews/CD3_HFC07_collection.jpg

GamuT CD3. I really want one.

https://www.ripcaster.co.uk/node/71

Also more than worth a mention.

Lowrider
25-02-2008, 12:30
The Linn Unidisk SC is a great deal, good DVD player, very good CD player, very good DAC, good processor, on top of all that it also plays SACD, and all sounds superb... :)

Sometimes there are strange noises from the drive, maybe because I dont use it often, but the processor is on 12 hours a day...

jandl100
21-03-2008, 10:26
A big vote should go to the Beresford DAC, I think. A very flexible digital control centre and great vfm too at only around £100 - it's brought good sound to a lot of folks who otherwise couldn't have afforded to get to that level.
And Stan B's a nice bloke, too! :)

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii114/jandl100/BeresfordDAC.jpg

Rick O
23-03-2008, 20:21
The Accuphase DP series. Stonkingly good CD players!

griffo104
25-03-2008, 15:13
Ensemble Dirondo. Heard within the context of a full Ensemble system but one of the few cd fronted systems I would say was exceptional.

The Wiess Medea Dac and the matching transport, silly expensive but silly good too.

Esoteric X-03se, heard a Wammer's deck a few times and I've always been impressed with it.

Most digital components make me glad I've got a turntable, the three above are exceptions, although my Audio Analogue Maestro MkII does a good enough job for me without the need to spend silly money.

Sand Dancin Donkey Walker
12-04-2008, 07:43
Hi Guys
A couple of things worth a mention from my point of view, and I have personally owned are noted below;


Pink Triangle - De-Capo DAC
CEC TL1x Transport
Audio Logic MLX34 DAC


Andy - SDDW

tfarney
30-05-2008, 13:32
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? :) :

http://s560.photobucket.com/albums/ss49/aos_images/random_stuff/Apogee3-4.jpg



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:

http://www.audio-magus.com/v/vspfiles/photos/UD101-2.jpg

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

Filterlab
30-05-2008, 13:44
Hehehe, those feet were temporary - funky colour though eh!

Now the DAC has its own slate/metal pedestal stand. :)

tfarney
30-05-2008, 20:10
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

Filterlab
31-05-2008, 09:21
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. ;)


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!

Neil McCauley
01-06-2008, 14:37
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.

Filterlab
05-06-2008, 10:10
My Musical Fidelity (from batch #1) Tri-Vista DAC 21

Great DAC.

tfarney
10-06-2008, 15:19
The mighty Lyngdorf:

http://www.lyngdorf.com/images/stories/product_photos_350/tdai-2200_350.jpg

Ah, if I were a rich man...

Tim

hiredfox
15-07-2008, 14:17
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.

Marco
15-07-2008, 14:30
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.

Filterlab
15-07-2008, 19:47
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. :)

Steve Toy
16-07-2008, 00:31
I've heard well implemented RBCD comprehensively outperform poorly implemented SACD. I know logic tells me that hi-res should always be better, but RBCD already provides us with a very decent uncompressed format that when properly implemented can still work musical wonders.

KMair
16-07-2008, 11:41
I don't get to listen to lots of different gear, but did get an outstanding demo of an Oracle cd1500. It was the most effortless, detailed playback I've experienced. I will someday gravitate to owning one or something of it's calibre.

snapper
16-07-2008, 12:42
Similar to this one,K?

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y198/davhar/DSCN0371.jpg

snapper
16-07-2008, 12:43
Sorry,meant to add,the above is just the transport.

KMair
16-07-2008, 12:47
Yes that is the one. Lovely piece of gear and it sounds even better than it looks!

Mike
17-07-2008, 15:46
*Note* - Series of irrelevant drivel posts (largely by clearly bored admin/mod) deleted in the interest of clarity.

Not moved to a different thread as it would make absolutely no sense whatsoever! ;)

Beechwoods
17-07-2008, 18:32
There are two digital components which I would have to recommend:

Cowon iAudio M5L / X5 - Portable Music Player

This has a battery life of 35 hours, and a capacity of 20Gb. It's considered by many to have the best D/A of any portable, and it handles a good range of formats including OGG, FLAC, MP3, WAV etc. I have the open firmware Rockbox (http://www.rockbox.org) running on it and that turns a good player into a fantastic player. Rockbox supports virtually all non-DRM formats including Shorten, FLAC, AAC, OGG, WAV, MP3 and does this with a highly skinnable and customisable interface, and true-gapless playback. I know that the iPod does that now, but with SHN and FLAC? You can actually run Rockbox on an iPod, and it works really well, but the battery life of the Cowon and the fidelity make it the best hardware for their firmware in my opinion.

I have the monochrome display M5L, there's also the X5 which does video and colour display, but for me pure music playback is what I'm after, and I'm happy with the basic model. Can be picked up for around £100, but seems available only on eBay in the UK.

Tascam HD-P2 - Compact Flash Recorder
http://www.solidstatesound.co.uk/Tascam%20HD-P2.htm

I got this as an upgrade from my DA-20MkII DAT recorder, because I wanted 24 bit recording and the convenience of solid state CF recording when moving stuff to my computer for editing. I collect a lot of live audio recordings, and transfer a lot of stuff from tape and reel to digital, for archiving. I decided it was safer to record to a dedicated machine than get a high-end soundcard and then have to worry about other stuff running and competing for CPU cycles on my Mac. The HD-P2 is portable, though it's a lot bigger than things like the Zoom H4 and Edirol that do a similar job, but it's aimed at the professional field recorder and this portability was attractive to me because I don't have much space and I often travel to friends places to record their tapes when it's not possible to borrow them for any period of time... being larger it also has a fantastic clear display that's easily readable from feet away. The HD-P2 does 16 bit and 24 bit recording, with sample rates from 44.1 up to 192khz, supports timecode yada yada yada.

Compared with DAT CF recording is a breeze. Re-take as often as you like, without wearing the tape out. Zero risk of digi-noise which was the bane of DAT even when using new tape and with clean heads. And fast to transfer to the desktop for onward editing.

Just my two-penneth!

Filterlab
18-07-2008, 07:56
Good two penneths Beechy.

Spectral Morn
09-11-2008, 23:40
Hi Guys

I would like to suggest the AMR CD77.

I know its retro(using valves and a Philips TDA 1541 Dac module). But IMHO I think it offers a lot. Its not the most attractive CDP about but sound quality is for the money amazing. there is a quality and focus to the mid range that even my Moon Andromeda can't beat. Is the bass a bit soft,not in my system. The treble is very natural (not etched or to forward). It has been described as a Zanden for the many 6 Moons (I have never heard a Zanden,other than at shows), but if the AMR is any way like A Zanden I would love to hear one at home. Can't afford one of course and even if I could I don't think I could justify the cost.

Regards D S D L

MartinT
10-11-2008, 01:50
My Ayre C-5xe is quite simply the best CD/SACD/DVD-A disc spinner I've heard. It has outstanding sound and does its job quietly and efficiently.

http://www.mtc.nildram.co.uk/images/Ayre C-5xe.jpg

Yiangos
20-01-2009, 11:41
One great dac,and you can find it in the secondhand market at a not so prohibitive price,
is the Audio Synthesis DAX Decade.

Ken R
25-02-2009, 16:20
My humble Rotel which I keep meaning to change, but either don't have the funds, or get the readies but something else crops up! But it just keeps on playing and making quite decent music

Mr. C
25-02-2009, 17:24
One of the most musical and great pieces for myself the Wadia 15 dac

shuggz
26-02-2009, 13:18
7520 dac, missing link cryo cables and Teac VRDS 20

tizer2000uk
15-03-2009, 23:36
Not strictly one component but several I suppose - Meridian DSP 5000 Speakers. Not the path to go down if you like upgrading but imho when heard you would never find a reason to do so.

The Vinyl Adventure
04-04-2009, 10:45
linn majik ds is a work of genius, it sounds simply amazing it has completely solved all of the isssues i had with my hifis sound
and i can control it with my laptop or (old) pda, if i leave the pda in the dock by the tv and change the music with the pc the dock displays what is playing. and to top it off that although it is hard wired to the router it is linked wirelessly to the pc where all the music is at the other end of the house, and works flawlessly.
everyone who had a cd player should sell it, put there cds to flac and buy a linn ds and i mean everyone!
on top of this, i have a 7520 upstairs where the pc with the music on is and that sounds bloody amazing and i havent even put any new opamps in it .
the guy who came round to set up the linn ds said stans dac with my tripath and dynaudio a42s sounded "absolutly outstanding, quite frankly stageringly good value for money"
needless to say, it all good in the digital domain of the house of gill

StanleyB
04-04-2009, 13:29
Or you can get a Freecom 350 or 450 wireless router and hook it up to the TC-7520. Far cheaper.

CharlesT
06-05-2009, 16:57
The Pioneer Elite PD-D6-J that I have now sounds great, especially considering its price point. It plays SACD's and CD's, both of which sound excellent. However the CD's actually come out sounding better.

An old time favorite of mine is the Sony DVP-NS755V from years ago. I still have it and use it from time to time. It's main design was DVD, but it's audio section is stellar, being able to play CD's and SACD's with DSD decoding. I've never done a side-by-side comparison between it and the Elite, but I bet they would be extremely close.

Now if I could find one at a good price in excellent shape, it would have to be the Wadia 860. Where I worked at the time, I had plenty of play time with this CD player and absolutely loved it. I had the chance to get one at cost, but the turbo on my car blew up and I had to put the $$$ towards that instead. Figures... :steam:

TONEPUB
21-05-2009, 02:57
Still my favorite after almost two years, the Naim CD555.

Marco
12-06-2009, 08:59
It should be bloody good at that price, too! ;)

I do rate the 555, but just as good can be had for MUCH less money. You should research some of the classic CDPs using TDA1541 chips, especially those that have been heavily modified (see my sig :eyebrows:), and the likes of the Oracle (see our banner, top R/H corner).

Marco.

technobear
25-06-2009, 17:43
I nominate the Slim Devices (Logitech) Transporter

http://www.technobear.btinternet.co.uk/images/Transporter.jpg

It sounds better than any CD player at the price (and a few that cost more including the Audionet ART V2 which I sold).

It's also a very versatile machine with AES/BNC/Coax/Optical digital inputs and outputs. It's even possible to use these inputs and outputs as an effects loop with a Behringer DEQ or such like.

It plays 24/96 (stunning).

And then there's all those internet radio stations.

Best of all, each time I upgrade my amp or speakers, the Transporter just steps up to the plate. What an amazing machine.

hifi_dave
17-09-2009, 16:27
Just spotted this thread and thought I'd add my tuppence worth.

I heard the new Rega Isis a couple of weeks ago and it's the best CD player I've heard by quite a large margin. It's also incredibly well made with nary a screw in sight and the finish is the doggies.:smoking:

badlyread
06-12-2009, 17:02
I second Technobear and nominate the Logitech Slim Devices Transporter.

I've had mine for 2 weeks now and it is just opening up the music so much more than the previous SB/DACMagic (both with improved PSUs). There are rumours of it discontinuing so I got one before it possibly disappears! Get one while you can.

Regards

Neil

Themis
07-12-2009, 19:17
I would like to nominate the iPod Classic :

http://images.apple.com/euro/ipodclassic/images/overview_hero20090909.jpg

Large capacity (160Go - 650 lossless albums), very decent in-built dac and headphone amplifier, compact, reliable.

A miracle component, allowing music lovers who don't want compromised quality and who are often away from their home, to be able to listen to their discography.
Moreover, with a simple dock cable, it can be used in most cars.

An iPod and an excellent headphone is all what you need to get a more-than-decent quality. :)

MartinT
07-12-2009, 19:27
The problem with iPods is iTunes. Nasty, nasty sh*tware that I've seen stuff many a computer at my place of work (a school). Best avoided.

Themis
07-12-2009, 19:30
The problem with iPods is iTunes. Nasty, nasty sh*tware that I've seen stuff many a computer at my place of work (a school). Best avoided.
I use MediaMonkey to sync Ipods (and to manage the tags of my FLAC library). ;)

Kris
07-12-2009, 19:40
The problem with iPods is iTunes

:exactly:

Amen.

StanleyB
09-12-2009, 12:01
I would like to nominate the Onkyo ND-S1 iPod Dock.
It is the first affordable iPOD docking station I know of that works trouble free with the Caiman DAC via both Coax and TOSLINK connections.
http://www.hifivision.com/attachments/cd-players/1484d1260356175-beresford-caiman-review-photo.jpg

Themis
09-12-2009, 12:47
I would like to nominate the Onkyo ND-S1 iPod Dock.
It is the first affordable iPOD docking station I know of that works trouble free with the Caiman DAC via both Coax and TOSLINK connections.
http://www.hifivision.com/attachments/cd-players/1484d1260356175-beresford-caiman-review-photo.jpg
Seconded. Really nice and affordable piece, the ND-S1. ;)

technobear
09-12-2009, 14:01
I would like to nominate the Onkyo ND-S1 iPod Dock.
It is the first affordable iPOD docking station I know of that works trouble free with the Caiman DAC via both Coax and TOSLINK connections.
http://www.hifivision.com/attachments/cd-players/1484d1260356175-beresford-caiman-review-photo.jpg

As most of us are not members of "India's Audio Video Hi-Fi Forum", we cannot see the photo :(

goraman
02-03-2010, 01:32
:concertina:
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? :) :

http://s560.photobucket.com/albums/ss49/aos_images/random_stuff/Apogee3-4.jpg

I'd have to say the dCS Puccini which really impressed me at the Manc show - very neutral, lively and real.

http://s560.photobucket.com/albums/ss49/aos_images/random_stuff/puccini_front.jpg

The Pioneer PDR-609 CD Recorder. These machines were so good that the copies were virtually indistinguishable from the originals. I mastered my 2004 album to one of these.

http://www.laserlinehifi.co.uk/images/xosc_l_pdr609.jpg

Denon DVD-A1. Had one of these a while back, extraordinary universal player with amazing video processing (aside from occasional chroma upsampling issues) and excellent, if not quite audiophile, sound quality. Built like a brick poo house. :)

http://www.denon.fr/scripts/fo/elements/7928.jpg

Marantz SR-9600. Super flexible, more inputs than your average hi-fi shop and thundering cinema ability.

http://www.avland.co.uk/marantz/sr9600/sr9600.jpg

I also had the PD 609 recorder and your right,It made amazeing recordings but lacked in the playback department.
The little internal headphone amp with ajustable volume was a nice touch and didn't sound to bad with low impeadance headphones.
The special digital audio cd's got a little hard to find so I sold mine with a Pioneer Spec 1 and Spec 2 ,he is driveing some Klipsch La Scallas, The spec 2 after the Echo wars rebuild and mods did 355 watts RMS into 8 ohms per side before clipping. La Scallas are 106 DB. That scares the hell out of me!

I think one of the better deals in Dig.audio is the Music Hall 25.2 they sound awsome right out of the box and can be modded to the point of insanity.

Pentland Bill
05-03-2010, 12:01
I would nominate the Harman Kardon HD990 CDP as it is very affordable, punches well above it's weight soundwise and is versatile with it's single ended/balanced outputs and optical/SP/Dif inputs so you can use outboard digital equipment so it could be used as a DAC. I use mine with a digibox so I get the benefit of radio 3 ( Freeview ) and yes, Radio 3 can sound very good indeed through this set up.

mikecole
27-03-2010, 12:28
I just bought an HRT Music Streamer and this is the first time I have heard a digital piece of gear that gave me at least some hope that I would be able to enjoy digital based sound. A CD played thru this still sounds like a CD - to my ears it is still a relentless wave of sound - however, this adds a lot of humanity to the music, especially voices. Maybe the high priced spreads, of which I have not heard any, really can sound decent.

stevekr
16-04-2010, 12:49
I nominate the ipod classic 160GB and onkyo ns-1 dock with Stan's the man DAC (any flavour). The best I've heard from my system using these game changing components. All files ripped aif with itunes (OSX) using error correction when ripping for a verbatim copy and eq and sound check off.

Butuz
16-04-2010, 23:16
Gotta admit the Beresford 7520 amazed me. Considering the budget'ness of my entire set up it made a massive difference to everything from CD's to XBOX Games to PC.

Fantastic :)

Butuz

YNWaN
17-04-2010, 19:53
In your experience, what digital components have really amazed you?

My Sony MP3 player has amazing battery life; other than that I can't think of any ;).

Ali Tait
17-04-2010, 20:56
The Squeezebox Touch.Great piece of kit.Sounds brilliant through my Audionote dac.So easy to set up too,first kit of this type I've used and I had it playing music inside 10 minutes of plugging it in.

magiccarpetride
19-05-2010, 18:34
The Squeezebox Touch.Great piece of kit.Sounds brilliant through my Audionote dac.So easy to set up too,first kit of this type I've used and I had it playing music inside 10 minutes of plugging it in.

Same experience with Squeezebox Duet. Came home, took it out of the box, plugged it in, and without ANY prodding whatsoever, the remote asked me to enter the password for my wireless router. Next thing I know, I'm using the remote to browse my music library and I'm listening to my music while my lower jaw is firmly planted on the floor. The sound coming out of that dinky little plastic box was a revelation.

That day marked the life transforming journey towards the sublime sound. Next thing you know, I'm buying a pair of Magneplanar speakers. Then, I'm ordering Beresford Caiman DAC. Now I'm shopping for a kick ass power amp, and am eyeing the Mye stands for my Maggies.

The rest is history...

One other digital component I'd like to nominate: Sony Playstation 3. Same as Squeezebox, only this gadget lets me also stream my movies wirelessly.

Tasuke
26-07-2010, 14:43
the 1987/1990 PIONEER PD-91.


http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll310/shaorin-chan/PIONEER%20PD-91/PD-914.jpg

http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll310/shaorin-chan/PIONEER%20PD-91/PD-9123.jpg

http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll310/shaorin-chan/PIONEER%20PD-91/PD-918.png

http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll310/shaorin-chan/PIONEER%20PD-91/PD-91PICK-UP.jpg


a sumptuous goddess of a CD player,
that resolves in the minutest of detail.

my first PD-91 got destroyed in a tragic accident,

and, coming today or tomorrow will be another,
minty copy of this magnificent machine.

i'll keep you guys posted...

Alex_UK
26-07-2010, 14:57
There was one for sale on here - upgraded - a while back. I said then that I love the Elite stuff, hope to get one one day... http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?t=7054

(PS - what happened to Magiccarpetride?)

MartinT
26-07-2010, 17:04
a sumptuous goddess of a CD player

Yes indeed, I used to have a PD-91 and it was truly special. I upgraded the output op-amps with superior ones and it sounded even better. Lovely machine, wish I had kept it.

Reid Malenfant
26-07-2010, 19:24
My vote goes to the Krell DT10 CD transport, it left me absolutely gobsmacked upon first powering it up. Previous to this i was using a Theta Data Basic, which is not a cheap & nasty transport. However there was such a difference between the Krell & Theta that it'd honestly make you think that the Theta had something wrong with it :lol: Except it didn't, i had a new CDM9 Pro drive fitted to the Theta less than a year before :mental: When i first bought the Theta (secondhand) it had a slight problem with certain CDs though it played 99% of my collection perfectly, with the new laser assembly it played everything perfectly....

I know that there really shouldn't be a lot of difference between something costing 5 times as much new when the cheap transport is already a couple of thousand pounds when new. Yet the difference was night & day :) All my friends simply couldn't believe the difference compared to the Theta either, it was just as obvious to them :scratch: Maybe subtle differences, but not what was being heard...

Like anyone i'd seriously hate paying out 5 figures for a CD player or transport as i'm not exactly rich, however, i can see or should i say hear why people do so 2338

Spectral Morn
26-07-2010, 22:55
There was one for sale on here - upgraded - a while back. I said then that I love the Elite stuff, hope to get one one day... http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?t=7054

(PS - what happened to Magiccarpetride?)

I don't know :scratch: but it has been awhile since his last post in early July.


Regards D S D L

The Grand Wazoo
26-07-2010, 23:00
I thought it must be just that his Caiman stopped burning in........

Tasuke
27-07-2010, 13:21
There was one for sale on here - upgraded - a while back. I said then that I love the Elite stuff, hope to get one one day... http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?t=7054

(PS - what happened to Magiccarpetride?)


actually, that thread is what led me to this forum in the first place...

Tasuke
27-07-2010, 13:27
Yes indeed, I used to have a PD-91 and it was truly special. I upgraded the output op-amps with superior ones and it sounded even better. Lovely machine, wish I had kept it.


i've read about, and have been told many times
about performing this mod on vintage CDPs,
so i guess that there has been a good deal of OP-AMP IC
advances in the last twenty years?

it's hard for me to imagine the sound of this player getting any better
than it already is, but i figure that so much universal agreement of opinion
regarding the stock OP-AMPs of vintage CDPs can't possibly be wrong...

MartinT
27-07-2010, 18:26
Tasuke, if you carefully remove the output op-amps (not too difficult to identify but quite a job to get the PCB out), then replace them with turned-pin DIL sockets, you can op-amp roll to your heart's content. I seem to remember using something like OPA-627 back then but there are better choices now. Trust me, it was a significant improvement over the standard fit op-amps.

Tasuke
28-07-2010, 14:30
Tasuke, if you carefully remove the output op-amps (not too difficult to identify but quite a job to get the PCB out), then replace them with turned-pin DIL sockets, you can op-amp roll to your heart's content. I seem to remember using something like OPA-627 back then but there are better choices now. Trust me, it was a significant improvement over the standard fit op-amps.


actually, pulling the PCB is unnecessary on this player,
as the bottom plate of the chassis is removable,
allowing direct access to the full solder side of the PCB.

all told, if i ever do get this mod done, i'll have it done professionally.
though i know how to solder, i don't really have the balls
to work on a RARE in the U.S. CDP that cost me a total of $610.00 U.S.D.


anyway, i received the CDP from FEDEX just fine yesterday;

http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll310/shaorin-chan/PIONEER%20PD-91%20AUDIOGON%207-27-10/DSC_2570.jpg

http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll310/shaorin-chan/PIONEER%20PD-91%20AUDIOGON%207-27-10/DSC_2574.jpg

http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll310/shaorin-chan/PIONEER%20PD-91%20AUDIOGON%207-27-10/DSC_2576.jpg


full story found here: http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?t=7210

MartinT
28-07-2010, 14:59
Lovely. I do miss mine a lot. The looks are killer 1980s and even the drawer mechanism is very slick.

Welder
01-08-2010, 13:21
HRT Music Streamers; any model, depending on your budget.
I've tried out 7 sub £500 Dacs and can't find anything i prefer.

Dr. Flicker
07-08-2010, 16:05
Ed Meitner was/is quite the genius, and his Museatex Bidat was/is an amazing DAC. If you can grab one on the used market...do it. Then get the John Wright (ex Museatex) mod to "Super Bidat" status. $500 USD and worth every penny.

With the optional volume remote, there is no need for a preamp.


http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/6494/bidat.jpg (http://img801.imageshack.us/i/bidat.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Effem
31-08-2010, 22:11
My nomination for the "best" digital component goes to . . . . . . . . [drum roll mode on] . . . . . . . [TING] the Genesis Digital Lens.

One of the few components I know that can turn a dog's arse of a transport and DAC pairing into something special. Very rare secondhand and I have the supreme knack of being totally potless when one does come up for sale :lol:

Rare Bird
19-09-2010, 09:42
Aye what do they fetch used Frank?

Effem
20-09-2010, 07:57
Not been many for sale Andre to accurately predict what they are likely to sell for.

5 years ago you could reckon on paying between three to four hundred smackers, the last one I saw for sale went for around six hundred and fifty.

gramofone
26-10-2010, 19:28
Sorry, but any discussion on outstanding - or even life changing - digital components is completely missing the point if the thread contributors are unaware of the Gramofone Analog Convertor (GF02).

www.gramofone.co.uk

The Gramofone unit is the first commercial DAC in the World that has successfully implemented Asynch USB 2.0.

This effectively allows the unit to turn any PC World humble laptop into a Studio Master quality source, when playing Hi-Res files in Asynch mode with bit depth of 24 bits, and sampling rate up to 192 KHz.:bulb:

The first production units will be available in about 3 weeks.

Welder
26-10-2010, 20:37
Oh please, give it a rest son :mental:

gramofone
27-10-2010, 03:54
Of course, maybe a USB 1.1 device with oversampled, Delta-Sigma conversion floats your boat nicely. ( I assume the sun-glasses come with it for free :lolsign: )

I posted the GF AC information, for people on this thread people who are aiming a lot higher in terms of digital audio performance

MartinT
27-10-2010, 05:38
For some of us a USB feed is irrelevant.

gramofone
27-10-2010, 07:41
Martin T,

Face up to the fact that CDs and their plastic jewel cases - like mullet haircuts and shoulder pads - were just an unfortunate outgrowth of Western consumerist culture, which came and went and the people rejoiced throughout the land.

Do yourself and the environment a favour and start downloading your tracks. You'll soon get higher quality recordings and you don't have to pay for all the filler tracks, only the tracks you want to hear.

StanleyB
27-10-2010, 08:11
Martin T,

Face up to the fact that CDs and their plastic jewel cases - like mullet haircuts and shoulder pads - were just an unfortunate outgrowth of Western consumerist culture, which came and went and the people rejoiced throughout the land.
Your personal opinions are just that. The truth is however far removed from your opinion. Without the CD manufacturing and data storage development, many following inventions would not have been possible. At the time of the first consumer CD release, consumers were not able to buy a harddisk in the shop, and PC audio was limited to 8 bits. In fact, CD audio had already managed 16 bit playback before PC soundcards caught up.

gramofone
27-10-2010, 08:34
Welder,

You might be happy to drive the sonic equivalent of a Ford Mondeo, but don't assume that everyone else on this thread is like you.

In comparision to the HRT, the Gramofone Analogue Convertor is nothing less than the Intergalactic Mothership of DACs - easliy capable of picking up 20 Hz-capable speakers by the scruff of their necks and tossing them around the forum member's listening space like rag-dolls to a bull.

And it is not only it's paper spec that is superior to anything else out there in the cosmos ( Asynch USB 2.0; Non-Oversampling (NOS); 24 bit Multi-bit (not cheaper Delta-Sigma) conversion ), the quality of parts used is peerless also: gold internal wiring, not one, but two, of Burr-Brown's (one per channel) best and exorbitantly priced multi-bit convertors; external power supply with quality/ shielded mains isolation transformers and sophisticated power regulation, copper shielding ... the list goes on and on and on.

The Gramofone Analogue Convertor is quite simply: The best-sounding USB DAC that money can buy - for those who can afford it. And I as I have mentioned on my Gramofone thread, I'm trying to put the GF gear within the nominal reach of some members on this thread, by offering a few direct sale units at dealer rates (-40%).:interesting:

gramofone
27-10-2010, 08:40
Stanley B

The fact is that they are old hat now, and that they have done a good job of polluting our already polluted planet.

Good to read however that at least something positive has come out of this era.

The Grand Wazoo
27-10-2010, 10:09
Malcolm,
You may not have noticed some of the courtesies that we generally extend to other members of AoS, because your activity here seems to be pretty much restricted to the promotion of your own products. However, I think it's fair to say that we all frown a little on comments like yours above, where you cast aspersions on other people's choices and gear – especially when you are trying to make a sale of your own product.

gramofone
27-10-2010, 10:40
Ok, Grand Wazoo, point taken ... Sorry I got rather swept away by the passion there.:adminpower:

Welder
27-10-2010, 12:36
@ gramofon sales rep.
My view is this; if Marco is content to let you, or any other trade rep, advertise their company’s products in a section of the forums that’s up to him and as a rule I don’t read it.
Unfortunately for your company, you don’t seem to have the sense to realize that the section “the trade” has is a bit of a privilege.
However, imo, the minute you shove your unsubstantiated claims onto a general thread you’re fair game.
I would have thought a competent salesperson would bear in mind on forums such as these and in general, that they are the “trade” and everyone else here is a prospective customer and it seems to me that all prospective customers need to be treated with a degree of politeness and subservience.
You see son, you aren’t buying while many of us here do.
Okay, even you, must have realized from the derision and skepticism your product has received on your posts in the “trade” thread that you’re not likely to sell many units through this forum. However, lots read who don’t comment and all the unsubstantiated bollocks you’ve already written is there for all to see; now you’ve decided to insult your prospective customer base.
From now on please use the back entrance or I’ll set the dog on you.

MartinT
27-10-2010, 12:44
From now on please use the back entrance or I’ll set the dog on you.

LOL! I nearly wet my pants just then!

gramofone
27-10-2010, 15:48
Welder

I'm afraid 'politeness and subservience' traits are that you severely lack my friend. And indeed, why anybody in their right mind would behave that way towards you, is way beyond most people's imagination.:scratch:

If you had enough sense to look at yourself in the mirror (of course maybe you have good reason not to), and see how you behave towards others, then it wouldn't take a beeping genius to work out why people call your beeping toys Ford Mondeos.

Gramofone will shortly be on sale in China, so it certainly doesn't need to pander to you or your ilk.

To mention a very relevant Gramofone product on this thread and offer a substantial discount, which members can take advantage of, is something some members will appreciate - whether or not you like it.

I am also happy to attempt to 'substantiate' any claims I make for the GF gear to serious customers, who can take along their existing USB DACs for comparison purposes.

Rare Bird
27-10-2010, 15:53
O well no ones mentioned it yet. Cambridge Audio 'CD1'

Gazjam
27-10-2010, 16:49
Is product Shilling allowed in a general forum?
What does the AUP say?


I've seen others snapped down for it, and Gramofone no offence, but your coming across a bit arrogant.
If your products THAT good it will sell itself, your not doing it any favours.

Trying to get in maybe before John Westlake's Dac comes out, hmnn?

Just my £0.02 worth...

gramofone
27-10-2010, 17:13
People hardly ever buy gear at this price based on what I, or anybody else say.
You really have to convince yourself, before shelling out a wad of cash to a stranger.

Speaking of which, I forgot to mention that Gramofone is now available in the US, from the US KSL Kondo distributor, Sounds of Silence. So potential US customers can contact them to arrange a demo.

Personally, if a Trade member has a product relevant to a thread discussion - which many members may not even be aware of - then, provided he wears his trade credentials on his sleeve, I don't see what is conceivably wrong with that.

Different of course, the situation where individuals with trade interest use forum aliases to big-up 'opportunities' under assumed identities - a situation which also occurs in stock market manipulation.

Rare Bird
27-10-2010, 17:27
Is product Shilling allowed in a general forum?
What does the AUP say?


You lost me there Gaz? It's ok i'm thick at times whats AUP?

Gazjam
27-10-2010, 18:11
You lost me there Gaz? It's ok i'm thick at times whats AUP?

Acceptable Use Policy?
Forum Rules....

Rare Bird
27-10-2010, 18:36
product Shilling allowed what lost me Gaz sorry & who?

Beechwoods
27-10-2010, 18:58
Putting my mod hat on...

This isn't shilling chaps... Malcolm isn't making any bones about the fact that he's trade, he's not masquerading as a punter, which is where shilling comes in.

Malcolm though, please avoid making your comments personal. This goes for everyone else too, please.

It's worth pointing out that The Trade Impressions forum is where Trade are encouraged to promote their products... the other areas of the forum are for general discussion, and the sharing of experience. The experience of Trade members is greatly valued, but please lets keep the sales promotion stuff in Trade Impressions.

[/mod hat off]

Nuuk
04-11-2010, 15:09
The Gramofone unit is the first commercial DAC in the World that has successfully implemented Asynch USB 2.0.



Could you tell us how asynchronous USB 2.0 is better than asynchronous USB 1.1 please?

Marco
04-11-2010, 15:15
Hi 'NuuK',

Welcome to AOS :)

Could you please pop into the Welcome area and introduce yourself to our community by supplying your first name, basic geographic location, system details and music tastes, as this is the requirement for all new members joining AOS.

Cheers! :cool:

Marco.

gramofone
04-11-2010, 18:39
Could you tell us how asynchronous USB 2.0 is better than asynchronous USB 1.1 please?

Hello Nick,

Nice of you to drop in.

The main ticket items are the massively increased bandwidth that enables USB 2.0 up to 192 kHz sampling rates and multichannel capability ( a feature that Gramofone fully intends to exploit in forthcoming product releases).

Less obvious are the changes to the USB Audio Class 2 specification. If you look at the release notes, it documents a significant number of bug fixes and lifting of limitations to/ from the original USB Audio Class 1 standard. The Audio class model has been developed/ elaborated to provide a host of new control functions, and complete rewrites of domains in the previous USB Audio Class 1 model.

As with everything, of course, there is design & implementation, and it is up to 3rd. party hardware developers to take advantage of these new features in their USB Audio Class 2-enabled controllers, in order to provide a more robust and better control of the High Speed USB environment.

Nuuk
04-11-2010, 19:58
Thank you for the explanation Malcolm. You seem to know me from somewhere but I don't think that I know you.


As with everything, of course, there is design & implementation, and it is up to 3rd. party hardware developers to take advantage of these new features in their USB Audio Class 2-enabled controllers, in order to provide a more robust and better control of the High Speed USB environment.

Presumably that means that DAC's like yours will need to come with their own drivers?

gramofone
05-11-2010, 07:24
Thank you for the explanation Malcolm. You seem to know me from somewhere but I don't think that I know you.

Presumably that means that DAC's like yours will need to come with their own drivers?

Yes, I remember you from the mid-Noughties ... your Gainclone articles helped a lot of people, myself included. You might remember Pedja, who is helping out with the Gramofone project.

Mac have signed up to Audio Class 2 and supply drivers natively with Snow Leopard onwards, I believe.

Microsoft have been slow in uptake of AC2, so 3rd. Party vendors have stepped in to fill the void. Thesycon and one or two others have already released drivers.

We have bought a distribution license from Thesycon, so GF02 will come with the Audio Class 2 driver included.

Nuuk
05-11-2010, 08:20
Thanks again. It's getting quite important to keep up with all the latest developments in computer audio. It was all so much simpler with the Gaincloning! ;)

Please give my regards to Pedja. :)

Thermionic
10-11-2010, 10:36
Just stepping in with something for the historians:

The tiny Sony DAT Walkman seemed pretty amazing when it came out in about 1990. I Still have mine and it still works, though the Nextel paint is falling off. The modern equavalent D50 is also pretty impressive, and I use it when I want to make a ‘serious’ recording rather than run up the analog Nagra.

But the digital audio equipment that was the first to make my jaw hit the desk was the Decca digital mastering system that they developed in the mid 1970’s. At the time I thought they were just mad - why design and build a digital recorder that used an expensive (£4K in 1974) professional one inch VTR and a whole load of complex electronics to record just one hour of stereo, when an analogue Studer would do the same for a fraction of the cost, but what did I know?

By chance years later, I found myself in the right place at the right time (and in a collecting mode) to acquire one of their digital field recording setups, and I have been the custodian of this equipment for some 12 years now. It is basically just one component from a state-of-the-art (an over used phrase but quite true in this case) record production system, and all of Decca’s classical output on LP and CD would have been made on such systems from (I think) the new year’s day concert in Vienna in 1980 to about 1990. Sorry for the image quality.

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t229/VPR5/IMAG0003.jpg

(Above) Top to bottom: 20bit A to D, 20bit D to A and the Codec.

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t229/VPR5/IMAG0000-2.jpg

Inside the 20 bit A to D, which was based on DBX technology.

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t229/VPR5/IMAG0000-1.jpg

The modified IVC 871 Video Tape Recorder

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t229/VPR5/IMAG0000-3.jpg

Inside the Ultra Analog based D to A convertor

This equipment is still in working condition, though rarely used these days.

Marco
10-11-2010, 11:46
Hi Gino,

That kit is bloody awesome and right up my street! :stalks: :eek:

When you get a chance, could you do me a favour and post a separate article (with pictures) about it in the Past Masters section, detailing if you can, the history of the units concerned and their original application by Decca?

If it's good (which I'm sure it will be) it'll most likely later go into our Library as a reference feature :)

Marco.

Thermionic
10-11-2010, 21:02
Pleased to have struck a chord Marco. I have an old web page about the system, give me a day or two to polish it up.:)

michaelhigh
11-11-2010, 17:54
Pleased to have struck a chord Marco. I have an old web page about the system, give me a day or two to polish it up.:)

Read this polish-up, very interesting and eye-opening.

Rare Bird
11-12-2010, 07:21
HRT Music Streamers; any model, depending on your budget.
I've tried out 7 sub £500 Dacs and can't find anything i prefer.

Hi John
I also nominate the HRT 'Streamer II'..Quite frankly the best USB streaming module i've ever heard, awesome clarity & body to the music.

audio39
15-12-2010, 12:30
The best digital?

Well, I own a McIntosh MCD-500 and when I purchased it I thought it was the best one box player made, but....

If you're in this hobby for the music (some folks just like the gear), then you owe it to yourself to have a listen to the Luxman D-06 and the Luxman D-08.

I don't care what you presently own, you'll be lusting after one of these 2 following just a few songs...I am! :eek:

Rick.

Welder
15-12-2010, 12:56
Hi Andre

I think the HRT 11+ is the pick of the bunch.
It seems such a shame that they tend to get dismissed as some sort of gimmicky kit more in keeping with mp3 and a pair of ear buds.
I took my 11+ around to a friend of a friends once and it took my almost an hour to persuade him to at least give it a listen.
Audiophiles eh, we are indeed a strange bunch.
It’s a shame you don’t live closer Andre because I would love to drop the HRT Pro round for you to listen to. I reckon you would love it.

WAD62
19-12-2010, 11:48
OK here's one at the opposite end of the price scale...

For SqueezeBox users, it's worth having an android phone for this software alone, it is much better than using the 'Controller' (functionality, response time etc.), and at £2.50 or so for the application it is somewhat cheaper.

I run it on a Desire, my missus runs hers on a Hero, we can happily control 3 players in parallel, with large playlists, without the performance issues that the controller introduces at these 'stress' levels.

SqueezeCommander for android;

http://www.squeezecommander.com/

N.B. I have no vested interest in this product, other than as a user

jantheman
19-01-2011, 17:42
I'm going to nominate the Simaudio Moon 300D Dac. The best I've heard.
http://www.simaudio.com/moon300D.htm

gramofone
21-01-2011, 16:05
I'm going to nominate the Simaudio Moon 300D Dac. The best I've heard.
http://www.simaudio.com/moon300D.htm

As you say: If Only it Was That Simple.

There are whole new Worlds to explore in terms of long term/ long duration listening satisfaction and naturalness once you move away from Delta-Sigma conversion towards Multibit and from oversampling towards non-oversampling. ;)

Of course, these are general rules of thumb and, as with anything else, there are good and bad implementations in each genre.:cool:

anubisgrau
28-01-2011, 00:35
gramofone,

are you the one behind the new pedja rogic DAC?

thnx.

gramofone
29-01-2011, 20:09
gramofone,

are you the one behind the new pedja rogic DAC?

thnx.


Actually it would probably be more correct to say that I am the front man for "Pedja's new DAC", with Pedja being the one behind it.

Pedja and I discussed it's H/L architecture. Once that was agreed, Pedja carried out the L/L design and testing.

It will be released in February 2011 under the name Gramofone HD Digital Music Converter.

AlexM
24-06-2011, 17:15
I'm not convinced by the current fad for non-oversampling, analogue low-pass filters and obsolete 'NOS' d/a chips.

I can say that IMHO my current CD player / DAC sounds using Analogue Devices AD1955 DACs is better than any I have owned in the past, which contains pretty much every 'generation' of technology used from the Sony CDP-101 onwards, through Phillips 14bitx4 O/S, 16x4 O/S, Bitstream/MASH.

I think the Squeezebox Touch is a breakthrough device, and can be a very, very good digital transport. The SQ potential was validated by a friend who found that there was almost no difference between his Zanden transport and the Touch when fed into his Zanden 5000 Mk 4 DAC, any improvement probably being attributable to use of SP/DIF over the preferred I2S interface.

Regards,
Alex

Yomanze
21-07-2011, 20:21
I can say that IMHO my current CD player / DAC sounds using Analogue Devices AD1955 DACs is better than any I have owned in the past, which contains pretty much every 'generation' of technology used from the Sony CDP-101 onwards, through Phillips 14bitx4 O/S, 16x4 O/S, Bitstream/MASH.


The problem is that a lot of old multibit players are implemented quite shoddily quite simply because in that day designers didn't know how to properly work with mixed analogue / digital circuits, PCBs had poor ground schemes, shared digital / analogue supplies, horrible output stages etc. Drop in a multibit DAC into a modern circuit & the result is clear.

AlexM
29-07-2011, 17:09
Hi Neil,

As mentioned above, I have listened quite extensively to what is supposed to be one of the very best implementations of the TDA1541A, as implemented in the Zanden Audio Model 5000 Mk IV with no oversampling. It did have an enjoyable sonic presentation, with plenty of zest, 'get up and go', and good detail retrieval but I also perceived a degree of roughness that was thrown into stark relief compared to the refinement and information retrieval provided by an SME Model 30 (well, it would, wouldn't it?). This was in a very high resolution neutral system that most would consider to be close to a state of the art or true reference system. Certainly in this DAC, the power supply, the output stage, PCB design and component selection is no-compromise and not cost constrained. I think that delta/sigma converters and high oversampling rates don't preclude good performance, and that they also benefit greatly from design attention in all of the areas you mention.

I suppose what I was reacting to the a rash of nostalgic, revisionist reinterpretation of the performance of kit that in it's day didn't really sound that good by modern standards, and the unjustified pumping of second-hand values of these pieces of kit. I was thinking in particular of the Sony CDP-101 that I am very familiar with, having owned one from new. I have read a number of hyperbolic reviews of it's performance, that IMHO are not realistic, without even taking into account it's terrible reliability!.

Regards,
Alex

wisnon
16-09-2011, 08:48
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.


For me its the Lampizator Dac (levels 2 to 4). Very liquid, detailed and analog-like. A review of it can be found at the homepage of stereomojo.com

Before the Lamp., I had a Dacmagic 1. No comparison whatsoever.

wisnon
16-09-2011, 08:54
Same experience with Squeezebox Duet. Came home, took it out of the box, plugged it in, and without ANY prodding whatsoever, the remote asked me to enter the password for my wireless router. Next thing I know, I'm using the remote to browse my music library and I'm listening to my music while my lower jaw is firmly planted on the floor. The sound coming out of that dinky little plastic box was a revelation.

That day marked the life transforming journey towards the sublime sound. Next thing you know, I'm buying a pair of Magneplanar speakers. Then, I'm ordering Beresford Caiman DAC. Now I'm shopping for a kick ass power amp, and am eyeing the Mye stands for my Maggies.

The rest is history...



I had a regulated liner power supply for the Duet built into my Lampizator Dac as the stock SMPS was just too dirty. The Duet receiver was also modded for SPDIF out. Thus it feeds the Lampizator L4 with a cleaner sound and its heavenly. I dont have Maggies though, I have Heil AMT Syrinx.

My amp is not too exotic, it's a NAD c375 BBE with the ROWEN Swiss Power (RSP) upgrade, which takes the Nad up a couple of notches. The RSP upgrade is 35% of the stock price.

Audioflair
04-02-2012, 20:38
Back in the 90`s I thought Delta Sigma players had the most natural midranges and even some image depth (shock horror) when compared to Multibit which could only counterbalance with a tighter bass in comparison.
Just repaired a Helios 1 - deserves classic status in my opinion.
Bluenote Stibbert too - very natural and great soundstage.

simon g
07-02-2012, 07:45
A mention for a CD/SACD player I've been using for a couple of months now ~ the Marantz SA KI Pearl Lite.

This produces a smooth, yet detailed sound, with a fluid presentation. I've had quite a few DACs (AS DAX, AN DAC1 & 2, Renaissance RD01, BM1, et al) over the past 1-2 years, yet this player tops them all, IMO.

This has the ability for two digital inputs to the player and has SACD capability. OK, SACD is more or less dead and discs are very expensive, but the sound quality can be significantly improved over CD. Of course, the digital inputs also allow direct comparison between using the SBT as a network palyer and the CD itself ~ but that's for another thread at some stage.

The player is well built, nicely designed and a real pleasure to own. OK, Marantz isn't a chic, boutique manufacturer, but if you can get past brand snobbery then well worth investigating. A great deal of player for not too much money.

Alex_UK
07-02-2012, 19:59
I love Marantz KI players, (though I know my mate Dave (DSJR) isn't quite so keen...) and the one I have now was heavily praised by HFW in its time... so I've always lusted after the Pearl/Lite - nice player Simon.

Dingdong
07-02-2012, 20:16
I love Marantz KI players, (though I know my mate Dave (DSJR) isn't quite so keen...) and the one I have now was heavily praised by HFW in its time... so I've always lusted after the Pearl/Lite - nice player Simon.

I haven't tried a KI yet. I'm quite keen on the Teac vrds range. Don't think Dave is so keen on them either. There is a pattern forming here.:lol:

Hoffer
27-02-2012, 06:15
I'll nominate 2:

1. Apple Airport Express:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7003/6818471991_93d4fe2714_z.jpg

I've got a few of these spread out around the house. Wireless N, digital out, and relatively inexpensive, the AE can stream music from any computer or play MOG/Pandora directly from my iWhatever.

2. Cary 306 SACD:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7022/6785273535_26d645084a_b.jpg

CDs, SACDs, HDCDs - you name the 2 channel format, the Cary will play it with aplomb. 8 Burr Brown DAC chips running in balanced parallel, plus 3 digital inputs capable of 24/192. And it looks pretty cool, too.

PELASGOS
27-03-2012, 21:47
Hello to everyone,
I dont know if would be better to do a separate thread for this, maybe yes, or post in the Tweeks thread, but im quite impressed by the BBE sonic maximizer 482i, it makes a real diference on stereo image and clarity, not obtainable by any other gear as far as i know. There is a "but" , a subjective con , bass responce,but for now i am enjoying its impressive sonic qualities. But sometimes i passed it buy depending on the record(cd) sound. I would like to hear oppinions on this. C
Cheers

PELASGOS
27-03-2012, 21:50
Thats beatifull!!

PELASGOS
27-03-2012, 21:58
Hello Rick,

if you are asked to compare them with esoteric? do you have experience with these? i'm asking cause there is a dealer that makes good prices for me and happens to sell both of these brands.
Be well.

vouk
30-03-2012, 06:50
A few alternative offerings from the motherland:

Pathos Endorphin
Audia Flight CD One
Monrio Type 2 Top loader
Audio Analogue Maestro CD special edition
Lector CDP 7T (mk3)

As usual with most Italian audio products, underrated, underrepresented and often overlooked; and, as usual with most Italian audio products, beautiful built and design, superb sounding machines in every respect.

yba_us
15-04-2012, 10:22
I can't imagine a better SACD for the money, like the Sony SCD-XA5400ES. I hope that one day SONY comes back to it's sense, and starts to reproduce this fantastic SACD player again. It's very hard to find on the used market, and it holds it's value for a long time. Probably the best SACD player on the market still, but I know many people wouldn't agree on that. It's a shame, this brilliant digital format is dying, like the Sony Beta did back in time. God bless Sony for SACD though:youtheman::youtheman::youtheman:

MartinT
16-04-2012, 11:36
It's a shame, this brilliant digital format is dying

It's still doing rather well in classical music and some small labels.

The Black Adder
05-06-2012, 19:49
Built August 1989 this Pioneer PD-91 has opened my eyes to just how right they got it, still stands up today in it's vintage sound.

Reads discs quicker than any other cd player I've had. The cd mechanism is silky smooth and solid, none of this creaky cog whirring clunkyness which you see on even some of the latest players.

Internally it's built amazingly well..

http://i457.photobucket.com/albums/qq295/musical_submarine/Pioneer%20PD-91/DSC06484.jpg

MartinT
05-06-2012, 20:07
I used to own one, Joe. The single most missed component I've ever sold.

The Black Adder
06-06-2012, 07:48
Aw mate... lol. Yep, I can understand that, you must love build quality as I do.

MartinT
06-06-2012, 08:53
you must love build quality as I do.

I do! The Sony SCD-1 that succeeded it was monstrously battleship in construction (26kg for an SACD player) and the Ayre C-5xe MP that I use now is incredibly heavy, too.

Rowlf
23-06-2012, 18:59
Built August 1989 this Pioneer PD-91 has opened my eyes to just how right they got it, still stands up today in it's vintage sound.

Reads discs quicker than any other cd player I've had. The cd mechanism is silky smooth and solid, none of this creaky cog whirring clunkyness which you see on even some of the latest players.

Internally it's built amazingly well..

http://i457.photobucket.com/albums/qq295/musical_submarine/Pioneer%20PD-91/DSC06484.jpg

Wasn't the PD91 also touted as one of the best transport in its day? It was an amazing player and the mechanism runs very quietly. I thought at one level down the PD71 was already quite an excellent player.

Gazjam
23-06-2012, 19:07
Pioneer DVD 575-A dvd player.
Plays DVD-Audio and SACD.

Plugged it into my Caiman Dac....sublime.

Hate the inconvenience of CD's, but I still have a few so this is great.

MartinT
23-06-2012, 23:37
Hate the inconvenience of CD's

:eek: :eek: :eek:

Sorry Gaz, but how lazy could anyone be? :lol:

Stratmangler
24-06-2012, 00:13
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Sorry Gaz, but how lazy could anyone be? :lol:

The best place for CDs is a box in the loft/cellar/garage...:eyebrows:

MartinT
24-06-2012, 15:31
The best place for CDs is a box in the loft/cellar/garage...:eyebrows:

Nooooooooooooooooo! Browsing files has no tactile enjoyment.

keiths
24-06-2012, 15:41
Nooooooooooooooooo! Browsing files has no tactile enjoyment.

I get tactile pleasure from browsing/handling vinyl, but none whatsoever from CDs. I'm 100% vinyl and files these days and will be putting my CD player up for sale shortly.

MartinT
24-06-2012, 17:51
Well, I'm 100% physical media, whether it be vinyl or CD\SACD.

jandl100
24-06-2012, 17:57
Well, I'm 100% physical media, whether it be vinyl or CD\SACD.

Me, too. Although I'd extend the list to include minidisc and cassette tape. :)

I've heard lots of 'streaming solutions', and for me a decent CD drive beats them all in terms of sound quality any day of the year! :thumbsup:

Yomanze
25-06-2012, 20:30
Pioneer DVD 575-A dvd player.
Plays DVD-Audio and SACD.

Plugged it into my Caiman Dac....sublime.

Hate the inconvenience of CD's, but I still have a few so this is great.

Yes, some Pioneer DVD players spank some high end transports! Pioneer stable platter players, Philips swingarm are nice too, but some awesome DVD players out there.

nat8808
10-08-2012, 18:07
Certainly for pleasure of use like the Pioneer PD-91, I'd nominate the Sony 555esd (probably 557esd is the same).

Silky smooth and silent laser sled and instant track search, heavy build etc etc. The 555 might need a small mod for s/pdif out but 557 is ok.

Have to also recommend the Tascam CD701 with RC601 wired remote.

http://www.enjoyaudio.com/zbxe/files/attach/images/397691/106/053/001/tascam_cd_701_copy.jpg

Or if you fancy stringing 4 CD players together, you can get the RC701 remote:

http://www.hifido.jp/photo/02/076/07640/a.jpg

You can pick up the units for £150 - £250 and the remote I found for £40 on eBay.

They use the same cast metal VRDS mech as in the Wadia 2000 and Esoteric P2/P2S (in fact it is what they are both based on) - not the cheap flimsy sheet metal pretend VRDS in the Teac T1 for example!

Then if you can find a BU-1 memory card, you have a 30 second memory buffer built in too!

Yomanze
23-09-2012, 19:14
I would like to nominate the Audial Model S DAC. It is quite simply the DAC that gave me what I was missing from vinyl, and removed what I didn't like about it. Dynamics, silence and bass control with digital, but with the more faithful timbre, non-fatiguing and analogue sound of vinyl.

As it is available direct from Audial who are based in Belgrade it isn't easy to get a demo, so I bought blind with a reassured feeling about it. Some of you DIYers may know of Pedja Rogic who used to provide a lot of valuable and interesting discussion and designs into the community.

You can pick your outputs - RCA / XLR, direct, caps, transformer etc. - I went for transformer-coupled RCA and XLR outputs, which use Jensen JT-11-BMCF transformers (sorry for poor photos!).

http://i1092.photobucket.com/albums/i405/neil_yeomans/audial-dac-2_zps23f0bfb2.jpg

http://i1092.photobucket.com/albums/i405/neil_yeomans/audial-dac-back_zps6868e858.jpg

Some power supply blurb from Audial:

"First, the Model S comprises isolating mains transformer feeding the main power transformer by two bifilarly wound half-voltage secondaries. [...] Audio circuits of the Model S are fed by nine secondary windings [...] (There is also tenth winding that feeds the input switching relay.)"

- http://www.audialonline.com/html/model-s/

Everything is zero feedback from the independent discrete regulators to the output stage. The DAC is a non-oversampled TDA1541A with a DEM clocking scheme. Quite simply an ultimate statement that should be considered if you are thinking about something from Audio Note, Zanden, AMR etc. If you are in the Warrington area welcome for a listen. I think this should be on your radar Marco would be interesting to compare with the Sony DAS-R1!

Ali Tait
23-09-2012, 20:15
Looks interesting. How much?

Yomanze
23-09-2012, 20:31
Looks interesting. How much?

£2,100 approx including VAT & duty. Way too low in my opinion (compared to how much more competitors charge for less), but then we don't have to worry about distributor and dealer markups here.

Ali Tait
23-09-2012, 20:32
Ok, ta.

AlfaGTV
16-10-2012, 17:38
Bladelius Embla is my nominee for "Outstanding Digital Components"

It is a digital front end with preamp capabilites. Built solidly with or without a CD drive, depending on which version you choose.
I chose the Embla DL with Classic DAC where DL stands for DiskLess...
So i will have to use a computer for ripping my CD's with Exact Audio Copy or similar. These files are then transfered to my NAS and/or an external USB drive which connects to the Embla. (My music collection is already digitized on to the NAS)

The DL version sports a full preamp with two single ended analog inputs along with one balanced. Of course you also have access to four digital inputs in the shape of USB (device mode, for attaching a computer), AES/EBU balanced digital, TOSLink and of course one electrical SPDIF.

The unit is controlled with the supplied remote control called Mjölner, a very classy looking alu device. However the buttons are small and the text likewise so it is not a comfy use for us old gitters' with limited vision... ;)
The response though, is excellent and you access all functions in a flash. Feedback from the large display is also very clear and informative and the interface as a whole is functional and well though out. (OK, this not iOS, so some functions require a quick whirl through the manual)

Included in the purchase is also the iPad app, which you receive as a gift from the supplier. (normal price $199)
The App mimics the display on the unit, but with bigger cover art and also source selection, volume control and some further items. The App is very responsive and lets you select music from your network or the attached USB device very quickly and effective. When a track is selected for play, the whole album is placed in the play queue and you cab set the iPad aside and use the physical remote for directly selecting individual songs from the album. Excellent IMO, as the iPad can be a distraction if you have to fiddle with it constantly...

With the Classic DAC comes the opportunity to select between three digital "filters". Filter A mimics the sound from Bladelius reference disc player the Gondul M (A quite xpensive item at around £12K) and you can chose to resample to any given frequency between 44.1Khz and 192Khz. This filter uses Burr Brown DSD1792 DAC's. The sound with this setting is quite engaging and lively, but still with a positively "analog" signature, upsampling to 96/192 smoothes the audio further than without upsampling.
Filter B actually uses a Wolfson DAC, but i do not know which one... This filter sounds a little less engaging IMO, but i haven't really got to know this one yet.
Filter C is claimed to eliminate pre-ringing by some clever algorithms and uses the BB DSD1792 DAC's. This is the most "full bodied" filter with a very analog sound, excellent dynamics and detail retrieval but not obtrusive in any way.

I tend to select between non upsampled Filter A, upsampled to 192Khz Filter A and mostly Filter C (preset to "optimized upsampling" by default)

When used as an UPnP Media Renderer this unit sounds absolutely marvellous, and also when playing files from an external USB unit. The digital inputs sounds equally magnificent when fed with good quality LPCM.
I have not tried the USB input as of yet, but i remain sceptical to USB based audio streams until proven wrong! :eyebrows:

The preamp part is also based on Bladelius reference components and is a mighty powerful unit delivering output into a set of balanced connections as well as two sets of RCA. The RCA's have different output levels for matching various poweramps. The volume control is digitally managed but performed in the analog domain. The gain is on the verge of too much and i haven't been above the 30% mark as of yet! :)
It seems to be a very clean sounding preamp with lots of dynamics and not much coloration. It betters my previous Marantz SC-11S1 in my system and opinion! I feed analog signal from my Tom Evans MicroGroove into this and am mucho pleased with the results. I have the opportunity to tap into this signal and AD convert it for recording purposes. There are several options to do this and various digital outputs on the rear.

As you can probably hear (?) i am very pleased with this unit and can recommend it to anyone wanting a one-box digital/analog front end/preamp!

Regards Mike
Ps will try and add some pics

daytona600
16-11-2012, 22:30
playing with my new Mytek stereo 192 dac recently, Superb unit for £1000
every input & output , Se & XLR , remote , handles all formats including DSD

DSD / Usb / Firewire with a cracking headphone stage & Pre amp built in as well
small enough for desktop with active monitors or main system driving power amps directly

Myteks first domestic product , last 20years they only made Pro gear for studios

http://mytekdigital.com/hifi

some info on DSD downloads

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue60/dsd.htm

MartinT
17-11-2012, 11:06
Sabre DAC in the Mytek. Every time I've heard a Sabre I've been impressed.

daytona600
17-11-2012, 14:23
Sony music studios used Mytek for Sacd mastering and at a few shows recently in the usa for sacd/dsd demos

DSD downloads are getting much more common , Mytek also working with channel classics and many other labels

http://www.channelclassics.com/aboutdsd

134 on channel classics site martin

http://www.channelclassics.com/dsd.html

http://music.e-onkyo.com/artist/m101210_R.asp

Andrei
20-01-2013, 14:18
I am a 'cables make a difference' man based on two experiences. One was a blind test I did on family members and the other was simply my own ears when I upgraded by digital co-axial cable.

I won't bore you with the long version of the blind test, suffice to say I had made my own speaker cable and compared it with Nordost Blue Heaven by generating some hi-res and CD quality mono files and connecting one speaker to my own cable and the other to the Nordost. My kids who have young ears pulled out a 100% and instantaneous preference for the Nordost. I myself (not blind) struggled to hear much difference but preferred the Nordost on two of the five tracks.

I ran a digital coxial cable from the soundcard (an upgraded ASUS Xonar ST) to the DAC. The cable was some species of Nordost co-ax. This time the difference in quality was blindingly obvious, even into my own 50 year old ears. The Oyaide DB-510 (don't say it: 'blind' and 'ears' are not metaphorically matched!) was better.

The single word I use to describe the Oyaide is 'Clarity'. A look at their website (home page http://www.oyaide.com/ENGLISH/index.html ) shows that they have ticked every box when it comes to cable design including my particular hobbyhorse that the quality of the metal is the overwhelming most important feature of any cable.

Incidentally most cable manufacturers love to bullshit about their particular technology ('poles of articulation' being the most spastic and my personal favourite) but one thing all good cable manufacturers have in common is good quality metal.

The punchline is this: It is expensive, as it should be. But wait there is more - it is actually cheap compared with overpriced rivals. Joynetmall for example (http://www.joynetmall.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=74_79_300&products_id=2611 ) list it at US$207 or a 1.3 meter length.

So as far as cables go that has been my path: I presently run Nordost Heimdall as speaker cable and most interconnects are by Oyaide. I don't really have an upgrade path.

I speculate that the quality of a a co-ax cable must be important (if that is your connection to the DAC) because of the load it is required to bear. 192 khz times 24 bits plus clocking information (plus handshaking? or who knows what) per second!.

So that is my recommendation. Oyaide DB-510 uber cheap in audiophile terms but top notch in quality if it can - and it did - best a respected brand.

JimC
23-03-2013, 10:52
I know it's a Blu-Ray Player but it does sound lovely when playing Audio Discs too.

It's DAC PCB is just a work of Art IMHO. All the 8 channels laid out in perfect symmetry, each with it's own supplies for Digital and Analogue stages.

JC

Stubies
01-09-2013, 12:57
Andrei

This is not cheap, but not that expensive either:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=DR-510&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313&_nkw=DR-510+oyaide&_sacat=0

they say to look out for counterfits, does this look real to you?

Also they have a cheaper version, did you try that?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Oyaide-DST-75R-1-3-Digital-Cable-1-3m-/141048737841?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20d728f031




I am a 'cables make a difference' man based on two experiences. One was a blind test I did on family members and the other was simply my own ears when I upgraded by digital co-axial cable.

I won't bore you with the long version of the blind test, suffice to say I had made my own speaker cable and compared it with Nordost Blue Heaven by generating some hi-res and CD quality mono files and connecting one speaker to my own cable and the other to the Nordost. My kids who have young ears pulled out a 100% and instantaneous preference for the Nordost. I myself (not blind) struggled to hear much difference but preferred the Nordost on two of the five tracks.

I ran a digital coxial cable from the soundcard (an upgraded ASUS Xonar ST) to the DAC. The cable was some species of Nordost co-ax. This time the difference in quality was blindingly obvious, even into my own 50 year old ears. The Oyaide DB-510 (don't say it: 'blind' and 'ears' are not metaphorically matched!) was better.

The single word I use to describe the Oyaide is 'Clarity'. A look at their website (home page http://www.oyaide.com/ENGLISH/index.html ) shows that they have ticked every box when it comes to cable design including my particular hobbyhorse that the quality of the metal is the overwhelming most important feature of any cable.

Incidentally most cable manufacturers love to bullshit about their particular technology ('poles of articulation' being the most spastic and my personal favourite) but one thing all good cable manufacturers have in common is good quality metal.

The punchline is this: It is expensive, as it should be. But wait there is more - it is actually cheap compared with overpriced rivals. Joynetmall for example (http://www.joynetmall.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=74_79_300&products_id=2611 ) list it at US$207 or a 1.3 meter length.

So as far as cables go that has been my path: I presently run Nordost Heimdall as speaker cable and most interconnects are by Oyaide. I don't really have an upgrade path.

I speculate that the quality of a a co-ax cable must be important (if that is your connection to the DAC) because of the load it is required to bear. 192 khz times 24 bits plus clocking information (plus handshaking? or who knows what) per second!.

So that is my recommendation. Oyaide DB-510 uber cheap in audiophile terms but top notch in quality if it can - and it did - best a respected brand.

VICTORHEAD
23-10-2013, 11:56
My CDP that makes me feel sick if i think about NOT having it...

Spectral Morn
23-10-2013, 12:46
My CDP that makes me feel sick if i think about NOT having it...

I would love to have heard the Reimyo CDP 777 - which was based around JVC 20-bit JVC K2 tech - which has a similar look to the player you own.


Regards Neil

Yomanze
27-11-2013, 19:08
I would love to have heard the Reimyo CDP 777 - which was based around JVC 20-bit JVC K2 tech - which has a similar look to the player you own.


Regards Neil

Inspiration for the AMR products perhaps...

agk
18-02-2014, 21:03
I shall dive in here and drag the thread down to my price point.
Outstanding was the brief I believe and for £30 (prices have gone mental now) and half an hour soldering and chopping either of my nos modded Marantz CD50 were just that.
The difference pre and post mod is just night and day, all becomes so "analogue" and chewy.
I plan on getting a gen 1 cdp and doing this mod on it once I get back in funds, can't wait.

Mr Kipling
18-02-2014, 23:14
Post 85 is quite entertaining.

MartinT
23-02-2014, 13:28
...and tonedistribution.eu appears to be long gone.

Tim
23-02-2014, 13:48
...and tonedistribution.eu appears to be long gone.
What a shame . . . I was quite enjoying reading his posts. Maybe he's made a million and retired ;)

custodian
02-03-2014, 09:48
Two digital components that have particularly impressed me. I've bought both, one on the basis of a review (a first for me) followed by a home trial, the other because it was available cheaply on the used market and I was curious about the benefits of its wordclock input.

First is the Aurender music storage and player. Used with downloaded hirez material, it provides the best digital content I've heard. Mine is the s10 unit which I connect using asynchronous USB; next step is to replace it with the w20 which has direct clock input.

Second is Squeezebox Transporter. Bought on a whim but I must say, sound when wordclock locked to my DCS Scarlatti, is outstanding. I use it for streaming Flac files from Qobus.

StanleyB
15-03-2014, 21:36
I was looking for an alarm clock with an internet radio option when I came across the XORO HMT 360 (http://www.xoro.de/produkte/home-media-player/hmt-360-178-cm-internet-tv-radio-media-player-wetterstation-und-digitaler-bilderrahmen/). Luckily I can read a bit of German, and it did not take me long to realize that I was looking at a serious piece of kit. Several days later and I have barely scratched the surface of what this thing can actually do. It runs on the Android OS, and can be used for emails etc. The main problem was figuring out how to unlock it :scratch:. After that the next problem was how to switch the default German display to English.
I am still messing about with the TuneIn radio app that is shipped with it. I thought that internet radio was far more basic than that. The choices and varied use I can now get from internet radio are mind blowing. Internet TV ain't bad either, but I am yet to explore that in more detail.
http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Gift-Idea-G-Internet-Radio-TV-WiFi-Xoro-Hmt-360-Like-A-Tablet-PC-Android-MP3-/00/s/NzUwWDc1MA==/z/qpQAAOxyzi9Sj1zt/$_58.JPG

If you are after a bedside or kitchen internet radio/tv/ etc. with streaming option, then this is a gadget that gets my vote. The display is twice the size of a Touch. In fact from the front it looks like a Touch but about twice the size. And sound quality from the inbuilt stereo speakers is superb. My next experiment is to see if it can play back movies from my NAS server.

Blueflash
28-04-2014, 12:27
I am going to nominate the Diy DDDAC.

A kit for the semi advanced builders that is capable of incredibly good sound for not a lot of money.

It has proper depth resolution and plays good bass lines :-)

tapid
01-05-2014, 18:30
Recently purchased a consonance opera droplet 2nd hand, and must say absolutely thrilled with the sound, fit and finish amazing! Those good people at AA Acoustics recon if this player was european it could possibly cost 2 or 3 times as much. Weighs an admiral 28 kgs.

Yomanze
02-05-2014, 08:50
Recently purchased a consonance opera droplet 2nd hand, and must say absolutely thrilled with the sound, fit and finish amazing! Those good people at AA Acoustics recon if this player was european it could possibly cost 2 or 3 times as much. Weighs an admiral 28 kgs.

Doubtless it'd cost way more if from USA or Europe. Am a big big fan of modern implementations of vintage multibit DACs what would you say are the improvements you're hearing?

Jankoff
03-02-2016, 16:48
M2Tech Evo Power Supply + M2Tech Evo Clock High End Word-Clock-Generator + M2Tech HiFace Evo 24Bit/192kHz USB-Interface (last one out close the door please), these three units costing about €1200, are IMO capable of music extraction via USB far above many CD players costing a lot more money. In reaching this conclusion I used my ears and the ears of several friends, among whom two musicians (one high-class professional) and one who has been selling and testing Hi-Fi/Hi-End for two decades. In recordings that we had listened to previously thousands of times we found things like much better staging, additional noises and noise artifacts around the major sounds of the instruments and even additional voices we had never heard before. Of course, one needs a quality DAC and a quality analogue section after the USB-interface, as well as quality cables throughout to be able to hear the differences. There are several very serious reviews in full corroboration of my position:

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/15-universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-spdif-converters-shootout-15327/
http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/m2tech3/1.html
http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/m2tech_hiface_evo_e.html

I would also like to place Stan's Asynch-1 USB interface in the "outstanding digital components" category. I have not yet compared it directly to the M2Tech HiFace Evo Trio but, as I was immediately grabbed by its presentation (along with its value for money), I ordered a second one (for a second PC) and am expecting it.
:pub:

wojtek
13-12-2017, 09:08
Microrendu

I’ve just received and have been trying a previous version (1.3) microrendu to use to stream to my dac.

The software seems a little bit glitchy but the improvement in sound quality is shocking. I hadn’t really expected too much, but it’s up there with upgrading a preamp. The digital source now sounds good or better than my valve CD player. Annoying thing is it doesn’t like swapping between dacs, you have to pfaff about rebooting. Also, I haven’t tried a raspberry pi but have used a MacBook and iPhone (playing off memory in airplane mode).

Gazjam
13-12-2017, 11:03
Another shout out for M2Tech.

Recently upgraded my cabling and my original Young Dac (with linear psu) seems to have stepped up a notch.
Bass control, life sized soundstage and sense of ‘the room’ in recordings all improved.
See theres a Mark III Young dac now?

Secondly,
Logitech Transporter, only does up to 24/96 but do you need more....really?

m10
30-12-2017, 21:48
Microrendu

I’ve just received and have been trying a previous version (1.3) microrendu to use to stream to my dac.

The software seems a little bit glitchy but the improvement in sound quality is shocking. I hadn’t really expected too much, but it’s up there with upgrading a preamp. The digital source now sounds good or better than my valve CD player. Annoying thing is it doesn’t like swapping between dacs, you have to pfaff about rebooting. Also, I haven’t tried a raspberry pi but have used a MacBook and iPhone (playing off memory in airplane mode).

I am having great results with a Raspberry Pi 3 running Pi Lite (?) and Roon Bridge feeding a Meridian Explorer 2 DAC. Giant killer of a DAC and a real game changer for me - the Meridian is my first nomination.

Back in time I'd also nominate the Philips CD850 - I think this was their second Bitstream player, it was built like a tank and had a very liquid, smooth sound. Many happy hours spent with this player (about 10 years' worth of them!) I wish I still had it...

http://www.dutchaudioclassics.nl/img/info/philips/philips-cd850/groot/philips-cd850-002.jpg

I had a long association with the Meridian 506.20 - 'Better than an LP12!' was my youthful exclamation when I first heard it. I stand by the statement.

The Marantz UD7007 I just installed yesterday may end up as my final nomination - a universal player with an extraordinarily well sorted (to these ears) two-channel analogue section (with balanced and phono outs). I'm convinced it sounds better over HDMI than my old Pioneer BDP-450 (common sense tells me it shouldn't/can't). But - oh my - with Blu-ray Audio, SACD, DVD - whatever on analogue out (into my Meridian 502 pre on balanced) - it sounds incredible. Kind of supple and sensuously glowing, all air and space and grace, but with crunch - real fidelity stuff. Nicely built (heavy) with a silent and slick mechanism. And a £900-ish price advantage on the Oppo (which of course does 4k that the Marantz doesn't). This will sate my desire for an SA10 (which I can't remotely afford).

http://canadahifi.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Marantz-UD7007.jpg

Kit1cat
11-01-2018, 14:12
I still have my Philips CD850, purchased new in the early 80's. Still working, but get's little use these days, I am now mainly file based.

stonehenge
11-01-2018, 15:42
The Primare BD32 is a stunning digital device; highly recommended :goodthread:

Primalsea
11-01-2018, 15:52
As USB dacs go I wouldn’t write off pro and semi pro usb music interfaces. As my active speakers have balanced inputs so I thought I would try out my Tascam 2x2 interface. Not only is it recognised as a USB dac without any drivers required, I retired my Rega DAC and now use the Tascam.

occamsrazor
21-01-2018, 06:04
As USB dacs go I wouldn’t write off pro and semi pro usb music interfaces. As my active speakers have balanced inputs so I thought I would try out my Tascam 2x2 interface. Not only is it recognised as a USB dac without any drivers required, I retired my Rega DAC and now use the Tascam.

In a similar vein, this new consumer-orientated DAC from Pro company RME looks very attractive to me:

https://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/adi_2-dac.php

oldius
21-01-2018, 09:33
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4637/27458336719_cd96d9a2cf_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/HQp9SB)20170823_090339 (https://flic.kr/p/HQp9SB) by Geoff Old (https://www.flickr.com/photos/161646613@N02/), on Flickr

Tucked in the bottom left of my rack is the best digital component I have heard, and I have heard a lot. It is the Technics SH-X1000 DAC, a Technics statement piece from 1995 with a $10,000 launch price designed to obliterate the first high end offerings from Krell and Mark Levinson. It only does redbook, but that's all I have and it makes them sing.

http://www.hifishock.org/galleries/electronics/technics/source/cd-player/dac/sh-x1000-1-technics.jpg

The internals show a care and attention that is rare. The Japanese statement pieces from this period are, in my opinion, some of the very finest hifi offerings of all time but were ignored by the British hifi press, to our misfortune.

Lawrence001
21-01-2018, 19:55
That's a dac? Have you accidentally inserted a picture of a beefy power amp??

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oldius
21-01-2018, 23:07
That's a dac? Have you accidentally inserted a picture of a beefy power amp??

Sent from my BLN-L21 using TapatalkIt's a DAC; the best I've heard!

walpurgis
21-01-2018, 23:16
It's a DAC; the best I've heard!

It certainly looks very impressive and beautifully made.

Macca
21-01-2018, 23:36
It certainly looks very impressive and beautifully made.

Attention paid where it actually matters instead of upsampling and all that bollocks. What a shame no-one is doing that these days, at least not at an affordable price.

Gazjam
22-01-2018, 08:09
Attention paid where it actually matters instead of upsampling and all that bollocks. What a shame no-one is doing that these days, at least not at an affordable price.

Looks a crackin’ dac, but it did do some of that bollocks...albeit in quite an interesting way!
The matching cd transport looks just as good.
http://www.thevintageknob.org/technics-SH-X1000.html

Lovely bit of kit.

Macca
22-01-2018, 10:01
Looks a crackin’ dac, but it did do some of that bollocks...albeit in quite an interesting way!
The matching cd transport looks just as good.
http://www.thevintageknob.org/technics-SH-X1000.html

Lovely bit of kit.

Just a gorgeous looking combo. I bet they never come up for sale. (BTW upsampling and oversampling are not the same thing at all. Upsampling attempts to recreate higher frequencies that are not on the recording. It gives a 'fluffy' sound I'm not especially keen on).

oldius
22-01-2018, 16:56
They come up rarely. A $10k launch price means rarity as standard!

fitmartin
05-03-2018, 00:43
sweet!

Alastair
17-03-2018, 15:59
I'd like to add something different....simplicity.

I've been a long time active speaker user and have recently had a chance to set up an old pair of Meridian DSP5000 speakers with their integrated DACs in my dining room - hope that is Ok with the original thread criteria.

I am currently listening to Tidal via an Musical Fidelity USB SPDIF convertor to the master speaker as I can't bear to watch the rugby at this point. The lack of boxes and easy going rich sound is really quite nice to my ears. I think mine date from the late 90's.

It is not 100% perfect (to my ears/tastes if I am being super critical and compare to my main system) but that misses the point in my humble view...its just so simple with no fuss!

Qwin
14-04-2018, 10:03
I would like to nominate the NAD Master Series M51 DAC.

Of late, NAD have not been living up to their long lived reputation of quality products at a reasonable price, this one is back on form.

http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/Pics/M51_Front+Back.JPG

Fully balanced design, with plenty of inputs including HDMI, which has a pass through facility that lets you strip 2 channel audio out of the signal.

It was a Stereophile A+ recommended product from 2013 to 2017. With the vast number of DAC's being released during that period, I think that says a lot. It was only dropped from the list due to their policy of automatically dropping items three years after its last review. Apart from them loving the way it sounds, when it came to testing it..........

"NAD's M51 Direct Digital DAC offers measured performance that is almost beyond reproach. Color me impressed.—John Atkinson"

I can confirm from listening to it in my own humble set up, it's a very, very, good product.

It's still listed as current on NAD's website, though getting hard to find.
It peaked at about £1700 after many favorable reviews and is £1400 at present, it makes an excellent used purchase and can be picked up for as little as £600 in mint condition.

mannypr551
25-04-2018, 03:23
I would like to nominate the NAD Master Series M51 DAC.

Of late, NAD have not been living up to their long lived reputation of quality products at a reasonable price, this one is back on form.

http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/Pics/M51_Front+Back.JPG

Fully balanced design, with plenty of inputs including HDMI, which has a pass through facility that lets you strip 2 channel audio out of the signal.

It was a Stereophile A+ recommended product from 2013 to 2017. With the vast number of DAC's being released during that period, I think that says a lot. It was only dropped from the list due to their policy of automatically dropping items three years after its last review. Apart from them loving the way it sounds, when it came to testing it..........

"NAD's M51 Direct Digital DAC offers measured performance that is almost beyond reproach. Color me impressed.—John Atkinson"

I can confirm from listening to it in my own humble set up, it's a very, very, good product.

It's still listed as current on NAD's website, though getting hard to find.
It peaked at about £1700 after many favorable reviews and is £1400 at present, it makes an excellent used purchase and can be picked up for as little as £600 in mint condition.I heard it in a Audio store with very good equipment and it sounded rather lacking punch and dynamics . Tonally it was very good . A bit laid back for my taste.

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mannypr551
25-04-2018, 03:29
Hi Neil,

As mentioned above, I have listened quite extensively to what is supposed to be one of the very best implementations of the TDA1541A, as implemented in the Zanden Audio Model 5000 Mk IV with no oversampling. It did have an enjoyable sonic presentation, with plenty of zest, 'get up and go', and good detail retrieval but I also perceived a degree of roughness that was thrown into stark relief compared to the refinement and information retrieval provided by an SME Model 30 (well, it would, wouldn't it?). This was in a very high resolution neutral system that most would consider to be close to a state of the art or true reference system. Certainly in this DAC, the power supply, the output stage, PCB design and component selection is no-compromise and not cost constrained. I think that delta/sigma converters and high oversampling rates don't preclude good performance, and that they also benefit greatly from design attention in all of the areas you mention.

I suppose what I was reacting to the a rash of nostalgic, revisionist reinterpretation of the performance of kit that in it's day didn't really sound that good by modern standards, and the unjustified pumping of second-hand values of these pieces of kit. I was thinking in particular of the Sony CDP-101 that I am very familiar with, having owned one from new. I have read a number of hyperbolic reviews of it's performance, that IMHO are not realistic, without even taking into account it's terrible reliability!.

Regards,
AlexEverything is in the implementation .

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mannypr551
25-04-2018, 03:32
The Primare BD32 is a stunning digital device; highly recommended :goodthread:Primare makes good sounding equipment

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Qwin
25-04-2018, 09:24
Re: NAD M51 DAC


I heard it in a Audio store with very good equipment and it sounded rather lacking punch and dynamics . Tonally it was very good . A bit laid back for my taste.

Dynamics/bass - It depends which version of the firmware is installed, I have four versions.

The firmware v1.39 is praised by many as being the best bass, but I found, while being fatter and more dynamic in the upper bass, it lacked any real depth.
versions 1.41 and 1.43 focus on detail and are weak in bass/dynamics.
The latest firmware is v1.50, I like this the best and its the most dynamic of the bunch, with much deeper bass than 1.41/1.43.

Associated equipment will of course effect the result and it took 85 hours for mine to burn in, which a store demo model may not have achieved.

Now mine has settled, I am getting very pleasing results, but that's with my gear in my room, so results may still vary. ;)

mannypr551
25-04-2018, 12:50
Re: NAD M51 DAC



Dynamics/bass - It depends which version of the firmware is installed, I have four versions.

The firmware v1.39 is praised by many as being the best bass, but I found, while being fatter and more dynamic in the upper bass, it lacked any real depth.
versions 1.41 and 1.43 focus on detail and are weak in bass/dynamics.
The latest firmware is v1.50, I like this the best and its the most dynamic of the bunch, with much deeper bass than 1.41/1.43.

Associated equipment will of course effect the result and it took 85 hours for mine to burn in, which a store demo model may not have achieved.

Now mine has settled, I am getting very pleasing results, but that's with my gear in my room, so results may still vary. ;)Wow , so what we have here is 4 different sounding cd players in one . Thats a bit confusing whouldn't you say ?
Having said that the worst place to evaluate a piece of audio gear is in a audio store . You don't know the equipment , the acoustics the recording. That' is why I said at a store .
You would think that dealers would take their time to set up a nice sounding system but they don't in general .
Having said that the best place to audition is in the context of your own system . That is why a dealer that lends you a piece of hardware to evaluate it in your system is so important . Dealers that have that policy are worth their weight in gold . A pity many have under mostly because of the internet .
Hey ! I'm off topic . [emoji3]

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Gazjam
25-04-2018, 14:21
Similar differences in sound with different firmware with my Directstream Dac.
What Sorcery is this?!


Re: NAD M51 DAC



Dynamics/bass - It depends which version of the firmware is installed, I have four versions.

The firmware v1.39 is praised by many as being the best bass, but I found, while being fatter and more dynamic in the upper bass, it lacked any real depth.
versions 1.41 and 1.43 focus on detail and are weak in bass/dynamics.
The latest firmware is v1.50, I like this the best and its the most dynamic of the bunch, with much deeper bass than 1.41/1.43.

Associated equipment will of course effect the result and it took 85 hours for mine to burn in, which a store demo model may not have achieved.

Now mine has settled, I am getting very pleasing results, but that's with my gear in my room, so results may still vary. ;)

Qwin
25-04-2018, 18:57
I think with the NAD, some of the firmware changes were to compensate for slight component changes. So using these firmware versions will alter the sound on earlier marks and maybe not always for the better. Having said that, mine sounds best with the latest version.

mannypr551
13-06-2018, 01:00
Well , the best Ive heard ? Mmm...Wadia is one of them but hey , for the price it better sound good . For us humans with limited pockets . musically speaking the Musical Fidelity A5 . As dacs go the most musically satisfying was a Sonic Frontier top of the line dac . I was a tube dac and it sounded wonderful , very liquid with no grain from top to bottom , dynamic with excellenf low level detail . The owner was selling it for 800 and I didn't buy it because I love my wife and didn't want to get divorced , you get my drift . But I do admit having been kicking myself ever since , thats how good it sounded . On the low price level a used Cambridge Audio 640 c version 2 is also a great buy . It has to be the second version . I have had both and the second version is superior in all to the first , so much so that I have always wonder why they did not give it a new model designation . The cd player is so good that I have if connected with IC more expensive then the unit and it doesn't ashame itself in the loftier company . If your wondering they are JPS superconductors IC and JPS digital.power cable .

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Lawrence001
15-06-2018, 22:54
Well , the best Ive heard ? Mmm...Wadia is one of them but hey , for the price it better sound good . For us humans with limited pockets . musically speaking the Musical Fidelity A5 . As dacs go the most musically satisfying was a Sonic Frontier top of the line dac . I was a tube dac and it sounded wonderful , very liquid with no grain from top to bottom , dynamic with excellenf low level detail . The owner was selling it for 800 and I didn't buy it because I love my wife and didn't want to get divorced , you get my drift . But I do admit having been kicking myself ever since , thats how good it sounded . On the low price level a used Cambridge Audio 640 c version 2 is also a great buy . It has to be the second version . I have had both and the second version is superior in all to the first , so much so that I have always wonder why they did not give it a new model designation . The cd player is so good that I have if connected with IC more expensive then the unit and it doesn't ashame itself in the loftier company . If your wondering they are JPS superconductors IC and JPS digital.power cable .

Sent from my XT1635-02 using TapatalkWhich A5 was that, there wasn't a dac so I presume you mean the cdp? Didn't that have a valve in the output stage, might explain why you liked it.

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mannypr551
16-06-2018, 03:49
Yes it did , or rather it does . The model designation is the A5 . Latter on Musical fidelity came out with a A5 ll which I"ve never heard but knowing MF track record it should sound good . And yes , it's a cd player .The Dac was a Sonic Frontier . There was a two designation which was the top of the line and it had tubes in it . It's built was beautiful a la Audible Illusions full of high grade components . No remote control , no upsampling , no 24/ 192 , but believe me when I say it was extremely musical with great neutrality . I was just hearing David Benoit on the Cambridge Audio 640 ll and ever since it broke in it has me mezmorized with its pure musicality . All types of music makes sense in this machine . Cds which didn't move me much now all of a sudden I have to hear them completely . The guy who modifies Cd Player with modification called Lampazitor swears by this Cd player and says of all the cd players he has modified the best sonically after the modifications was the Cambridge Audio 640 C .
Which A5 was that, there wasn't a dac so I presume you mean the cdp? Didn't that have a valve in the output stage, might explain why you liked it.

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mannypr551
16-06-2018, 03:53
Just forgot , even though I believe cd players have come a long way there are some old school cd players capable of holding their own when compared with cost no object modern machines plus many of them when modified are true music machines.

Yes it did , or rather it does . The model designation is the A5 . Latter on Musical fidelity came out with a A5 ll which I"ve never heard but knowing MF track record it should sound good . And yes , it's a cd player .The Dac was a Sonic Frontier . There was a two designation which was the top of the line and it had tubes in it . It's built was beautiful a la Audible Illusions full of high grade components . No remote control , no upsampling , no 24/ 192 , but believe me when I say it was extremely musical with great neutrality . I was just hearing David Benoit on the Cambridge Audio 640 ll and ever since it broke in it has me mezmorized with its pure musicality . All types of music makes sense in this machine . Cds which didn't move me much now all of a sudden I have to hear them completely . The guy who modifies Cd Player with modification called Lampazitor swears by this Cd player and says of all the cd players he has modified the best sonically after the modifications was the Cambridge Audio 640 C .

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Lawrence001
16-06-2018, 08:57
Just forgot , even though I believe cd players have come a long way there are some old school cd players capable of holding their own when compared with cost no object modern machines plus many of them when modified are true music machines.


Sent from my XT1635-02 using TapatalkAs I'm just trying a vintage model out myself, I'd be interested to know which ones you mean, early high end ones or the TDA1540 models at CD's infancy?

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mannypr551
16-06-2018, 17:24
Now that you mentioned it one of the best dacs ever built by concensus is the phillips dacs , they are even used today in some not to cheap machines . The 1540 is a great dac but you have to remember that a dac is not alone . The circuits working around the dac must be well implemented with decent quality parts . The best dac made by Phillips was the 1541 . What vintage player do you have ?
As I'm just trying a vintage model out myself, I'd be interested to know which ones you mean, early high end ones or the TDA1540 models at CD's infancy?

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Lawrence001
17-06-2018, 13:43
It's a Marantz CD54, wasn't expecting too much but it's so musical, the music just flows. My favourite stand alone cdp was a CD94mkii , Ihad to sell it to raise funds but it was sooo nice.

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Jozua
10-11-2018, 21:33
My vote goes to the Krell DT10 CD transport, it left me absolutely gobsmacked upon first powering it up. Previous to this i was using a Theta Data Basic, which is not a cheap & nasty transport. However there was such a difference between the Krell & Theta that it'd honestly make you think that the Theta had something wrong with it :lol: Except it didn't, i had a new CDM9 Pro drive fitted to the Theta less than a year before :mental: When i first bought the Theta (secondhand) it had a slight problem with certain CDs though it played 99% of my collection perfectly, with the new laser assembly it played everything perfectly....

I know that there really shouldn't be a lot of difference between something costing 5 times as much new when the cheap transport is already a couple of thousand pounds when new. Yet the difference was night & day :) All my friends simply couldn't believe the difference compared to the Theta either, it was just as obvious to them :scratch: Maybe subtle differences, but not what was being heard...

Like anyone i'd seriously hate paying out 5 figures for a CD player or transport as i'm not exactly rich, however, i can see or should i say hear why people do so 2338


Ooh- I love to have one of these !!!
Super collectible now.

ossidian
21-11-2018, 03:37
My two favorite DACs are old as far as technology is concerned. The Timbre TT-1 and McIntosh MDA-1000 are my favorite. The Timbre sounded very smooth with a large soundstage and had exceptional build quality.
The McIntosh MDA-1000 employs 8 Burr Brown 1704 DAC chips. The PCM1704 DAC chip was the "State of the Art" chip concerning DAC development for it's time, and it was the last "Multi-Bit" chip before the big manufacturers switched
to developing the cheaper to produce "Delta Sigma" designs that dominate today. Big advantages of this "Multi Chip" design are that they are less sensitive to jitter than delta-sigma designs and also that they have none HF noise
additions says some chip makers. The disadvantage is that they are more expensive and that they are very hard to match. The MDA is fully balanced with a volume potentiometer which is nice to run direct to amps. Both units sound very musically engaging to me.