The Year Of DACs

Finding a DAC to replace my Cary Audio CD 306 Professional Version SACD player has proven to be challenging. The process began in December of 2014. Along the way I have learned a lot about computer audio and my listening experience has been enhanced considerably. In addition to enhanced sound quality, music servers now put my entire CD and SACD collection at my fingertips, and are controlled by wireless devices interfaced with my home's local area network. My first digital music server was a Brystion BDP-1. It was interfaced with the DAC section of the CD 306. After a few months, the BDP-1 was replaced with a BDP-2. The BDP-1 was moved to my home theater system and interfaced with the DAC section of my ancient Sony TA-E9000ES home theater processor.

The first challenger was the highly regarded PS Audio DirectStream DAC ($5995). I fully expected the DS DAC to outperform the CD 306 PV ($7,995), but, no such luck. If the DAC section of an $8,000 SACD player sounds excellent, a standalone DAC costing $6,000 should sound better, right? Wrong, in this case. It would be a gross understatement to say there was a night and day difference between the CD 306 and the DS because they were two classes of DAC. A more apt comparison would have been "week (CD 306) and day (DS DAC) difference".

The next challenger was Cary's current top-of-the-line digital source, the DMC-600SE ($7,995). It sounds a little better than the CD 306 PV. But it's not enough of a difference to me to warrant the investment.

I recently acquired a demo unit Cary Audio DAC-100 ($2,495) and a demo unit BDP-2. Both of which will be used in my audio system at work. I currently have a Yamaha CDX-1110U CD player in the office system and 20 of my favorite CDs. The BDP-2's internal 500GB solid state hard drive has been loaded with 552 ripped CDs. Therefore, I will have a bit more flexibility in my office time listening pleasure.

Having Cary's entry level DAC (DAC-100) and their top of the line DAC (DMC-600SE) allowed me to hear what an additional $5500 brings in terms of performance, with this particular manufacturer.

DAC-100%20Stack-s_zps8gttpzid.jpg
Figure 1. DAC-100 at top on left. DMC-600SE on right.

In figure 1, the stack on the left, from bottom to top consists of a PS Audio PowerBase isolation platform, dCS Puccini U-Clock master clock, Bryston BDP-2, Cary Audio DAC-100. The stack on the right, from bottom to top consists of a PS Audio PowerBase isolation platform, Black Diamond Racing isolation cones and pucks, Cary Audio DMC-600SE.

DAC-100%20LEDs-s_zps2bzfydpk.jpg
Figure 2. The DAC-100 is going to be sent back to the factory to have the piercingly bright LEDs turned down...a lot. What were they thinking?

Viewed from the side, the DAC-100's LEDs are not obnoxiously bright. But from the listening seat with the LEDs just above eye level, they stabbed my eyes.

There is a "week and day" difference in sound quality between the DAC-100 and the DMC-600SE, but the DAC-100 is a keeper (after it comes back from having LED surgery). It is a perfect match of my vintage audio system at work consisting of a:

Nakamichi CA 5A II preamp,
Adcom GFA-555 power amp,
Monster Cable Z2 Reference speaker cables,
Signal Cable MagicPower power cords,
Signal Cable Analog 2 Version 2 RCA interconnects,
Polk Audio SDA CRS+ (1989 model - highly modified) loudspeakers,
Dreadnought AI-1 Non-Common Ground Speaker Interface (1000VA transformer),
PS Audio Dectet power conditioner.

For listening trials between the DAC-100 and DMC-600SE, both are connected to the Pass Labs XP-30 preamp through AudioQuest Sky Gen. 2 XLR interconnects. Switching between the two DACs is like switching between a standard definition and a high definition television, but again, for the system the DAC-100 is going in, it is perfect.

The DAC-100's manual says the USB output is the best sounding, and I concur. With the DAC-100 in my two channel system, I could hear differences between generic computer grade USB cables, a Pangea USB-PC cable and a Revelation Audio Labs Prophecy Cryo-Silver USB dual conduit cable. Unlike with the DMC-600SE and CD 306, I did not hear a difference between the RAL Prophecy CS dual conduit cable and the RAL Prophecy CS split configuration cable that allows disconnection of the power leg of the USB cable. I will redo USB cable trials when I set up the DAC-100 in my office system.

A full review of the DAC-100 is forthcoming in a month or so.

The next DAC to be evaluated for the two channel system will be a dCS Debussy...whenever it gets here. It's been on order since February.

"So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
"Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
"Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
"Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
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Comments

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,506
    I'm kinda surprised you didn't opt for the 100t Ray. The tubed version garners better reviews than the SS version. Anyway, looking forward to your impressions.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
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    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,506
    BTW....Ray, I think every Cary dac recommends the USB port as the best sounding, is there a specific reason for that ?
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,673
    edited June 2015
    tonyb wrote: »
    I'm kinda surprised you didn't opt for the 100t Ray. The tubed version garners better reviews than the SS version. Anyway, looking forward to your impressions.

    The DMC-600SE has both tubed and solid state output stages, and I much prefer the solid state output. The tubed output is pleasant to listen to, but I can't tolerate the softness in the bass. I listen mostly to instrumental jazz. I took the tubes out of my DMC-600SE since I am not using them and since I leave my equipment on 24/7.

    This reviewer of the DMC-600SE preferred the solid state output also:

    "One interesting item which did seem to go counter to my experience with this equipment was my preference for the solid stage output stage rather than the tubed one. Although there were a few albums where I slightly preferred the tubes, overall it tended to cause a loss in sound depth and slight coloration to my ears, but certainly many listeners will find it more pleasing. Luckily, since the option exists to use either and switch during playback, there is no reason to decide."

    Enjoy The Music - Cary Audio DMC 600SE Digital Music Center Review
    tonyb wrote: »
    BTW....Ray, I think every Cary dac recommends the USB port as the best sounding, is there a specific reason for that ?

    The SPDIF and USB inputs use different processing chipsets. The DAC-100 uses an XMOS USB processor and a Wolfson WM 8805 processor for SPDIF.

    Office%20System%20DAC-100-s_zpskb50iixa.jpg
    Office rig source components, top to bottom: Bryston BDP-2 digital player, Nakamichi CA 5A II preamp, Cary Audio DAC-100. Hmmmm...I think I need to look into changing the CA 5A II's green LED to blue to match the other components. B)

    I took the DAC-100 to work yesterday. On most 44.1kHz CD ripped files, I couldn't hear a difference between generic computer grade USB cables ($2-$5), a Pangea USB-PC cable ($35), or two versions of the Revelation Audio Labs Prophecy Cryo-Silver USB cable (dual conduit and split power/signal conduit) ($549).

    On well-recorded high-rez files (88.1kHz and above) I could easily hear the difference between the generic, Pangea, and RAL cables. However, I didn't hear a difference between the two versions of RAL USB cable. In my two channel rig, removing the power leg of the RAL USB cable after the connection is established resulted in more clarity and detail due to a lowered noise floor.

    The DAC-100 will be shipped back to Cary next week to have the LED brightness adjusted down.

    Office%20System%20PC%20Control-s_zpsborwmtl9.jpg
    The Bryston BDP-2 is loaded with over half of my CD collection and is programmed and controlled with a personal computer.

    Replacing the Yamaha CDX-1110U CD player with the BDP-2/DAC-100 combo took my work time listening pleasure to another level.
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 17,165
    All that work to listen through those cheap dell speakers Ray???

    :smile:

    I wish I could rock something like this at work, but in a cube... well headphones rule lol...

    Maybe I will up my game like @ZLTFUL and get a little dot tube headphone amp for my over the ears to use with my iPhone 6 Plus...
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,673
    All that work to listen through those cheap dell speakers Ray???

    :smile:

    Hey now, those little cheap Dell speakers put bigger speakers to shame. >:)

    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 17,165
    All that work to listen through those cheap dell speakers Ray???

    :smile:

    Hey now, those little cheap Dell speakers put bigger speakers to shame. >:)

    Are they "game changers" perhaps "giant killer", or maybe even "they changed your view on everything"

    :wink:

    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • pearsall001pearsall001 Posts: 4,381
    Excellent write up! Any chance you might snag a Chord DAC to put it to the test in your system? They all seem to get such incredible across the board reviews.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Two Channel:
    KEF R3 monitors
    Rogue Audio RP-1 tube pre
    Parasound ZM 2350 two channel amp
    Bluesound NODE 2i streamer
    NAD D 1050 DAC
    Oppo BDP-93
    KEF Kube 8b sub

    Home Theater:
    Full blown 11.2 set up.


  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,506
    I dunno Phil, if Ray thinks the Cary 100t might be a tad warm for him, the Chord may also be....judging by reviews anyway.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,673
    Any chance you might snag a Chord DAC to put it to the test in your system? They all seem to get such incredible across the board reviews.

    If someone sends me one.
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited June 2015
    Excellent write up! Any chance you might snag a Chord DAC to put it to the test in your system? They all seem to get such incredible across the board reviews.

    The Chord is not for everyone. It will deprive everyone of their extended, exaggerated bass. A guitar will sound like a guitar drums will sound like drums. The separation is not just left to right but top to bottom.

    Chord does so many things right but falls short in one area. When the music has many things going on. A symphony for instance..,. It can't handle it..

    Halen

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,506
    halenhoang wrote: »
    [
    Chord does so many things right but falls short in one area. When the music has many things going on. A symphony for instance..,. It can't handle it..

    Halen

    Really ? First I'm hearing about this. That would be a deal breaker for me.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • pearsall001pearsall001 Posts: 4,381
    tonyb wrote: »
    halenhoang wrote: »
    [
    Chord does so many things right but falls short in one area. When the music has many things going on. A symphony for instance..,. It can't handle it..

    Halen

    Really ? First I'm hearing about this. That would be a deal breaker for me.

    I'm not buying it. The entire Chord DAC line has received world wide praise for it's ability to convey the music. If they weren't able to handle a symphony or bass I doubt they would be where they are today in the marketplace. First I ever heard it myself.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Two Channel:
    KEF R3 monitors
    Rogue Audio RP-1 tube pre
    Parasound ZM 2350 two channel amp
    Bluesound NODE 2i streamer
    NAD D 1050 DAC
    Oppo BDP-93
    KEF Kube 8b sub

    Home Theater:
    Full blown 11.2 set up.


  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited June 2015
    I have spent extensive time with Chord DAC's. The HD, EX and my favorite, the Hugo. I am not saying that complex passages sound bad or the bass is lacking on the Hugo. What I am saying, if people are expecting a bass heavy DAC, the Hugo is not for them. I personally like the way The Hugo handles the low end. I own the Hugo and spent great amounts of time listening and testing.

    The speakers I used with the DAC's were the LSIM 705 and Usher 777 diamonds. Amps ranged from Unison Research to Pass Labs. Despite the fact that the Hugo clearly destroyed almost every other DAC's I tried, it's ability to resolve complex passages were discovered when I tried a Lamp DAC. Only then did I realize, the Hugo was messy with complex passages. Given that fact, it was still the best DAC I owned and leagues above others I tried.

    That is my review and I don't get paid to publish it. It is not about "buying it" or not. Where were you when I was selling my Hugo. You could have "bought it". Haha

    I am a huge Chord fan and expect to have the Hugo TT later this year.

    Halen
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 11,552
    I'm gonna have to run the Dacs through the gamut

    As far a I can remember no lack of bass with the Dyn's and hugo and we all know the Dyn's have a nice bottom end

    You guys just make me work
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • txcoastal1 wrote: »
    I'm gonna have to run the Dacs through the gamut

    As far a I can remember no lack of bass with the Dyn's and hugo and we all know the Dyn's have a nice bottom end

    You guys just make me work

    Haha, while you are at it, be a darling, unbox the other Chord DAC too! Bass is super clean....

    Halen

  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 11,552
    I have unboxed it

    It's what we used at LSAF, currently have it with Pass and MD2 combo. Have yet to put on the Modwright and Dyn's
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • WLDockWLDock Posts: 2,802
    edited June 2015
    The tubed output is pleasant to listen to, but I can't tolerate the softness in the bass. I listen mostly to instrumental jazz.

    Office%20System%20PC%20Control-s_zpsborwmtl9.jpg
    I bet we have similar taste in music and sound. I don't like soft loose bass either....drum/bass rhythm section background. I remember you said you played sax. Well, I'm a big Anita Baker fan. I have her albums, seen her live many times and met her once at a movie theater, LOL! I'm born and raised in Detroit. You live out West right? Southern Cal? Wow would I love to listen to your system. I was just out there a few weeks ago for work and had a free weekend in LA. I was looking for things to do and managed to find some live music. I saw Jeff Lorber Fusion at the Baked Potato in Studio City. Then on Sun saw a Drum & Bugle Corps show featuring the Pacific Crest Corps.


    As always, great write-up and the system just keeps getting more and more awesome.

    FAMILY ROOM
    HDTV - Sharp AQUOS LC-70LE600U 70" | AVR/Streamer - Onkyo TX-NR3008 | Amp - Parasound HCA-1203A
    Blu-Ray/Media/Gaming - Sony PS3-320GB / Microsoft Xbox One | Broadcast - Xfinity X1 Platform
    Front Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Center Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Rear Spkrs - Artison Portrait LRS
    Sub - DIY Stereo Integrity HT 15 | Sub Amp - Dayton Audio SA1000
    Wire - Audioquest Type 4, BJC Belden 5000 | HDMI - BJC Belden | Power Cables - Pangea | Surge - Monster
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,986
    Once you go Computer music , other forms of media just don't seem to make sense anymore. At least for me that is.
    I really don't ever spin disc's anymore other then Blu ray and even that is becoming a more rare move. Years ago every tuesday I would be at Best buy looking at the new releases and figuring out which ones I was taking home. Today I might buy 4 to 5 a year.
    Music CD's are completely frustrating to try and go buy at a store. I do however miss the days of going threw the CD's and finding something cool to take home.
    DAC's are fun. When I worked for Audiolab, we all loved playing with DAC's. When Audioquest came out with the Dragon Fly, we where all very impressed with it's performance especially for the asking price. It's also fun to keep climbing the ladder of higher and higher end DAC's and then throw in a more entry level model and discover some Gems.
    One thing I don't like about computer music or maybe the way I went about it was using a software that works with iTunes. I was using Pure Music. Reason is that I met the owner of the company who designed the software, he did a workshop at our store and at the time it really made sense to get into it not to mention I got a steal of a deal on it.
    The down side of that is when you live in the Apple world like I do , it kinda sucks because now some of your music will not play on lets say a iPhone or iPod. The only way I can listen to that music ( High REZ Flac )is just with the software connected to my DAC.
    Sony's HAP line is where I think I'm gonna live unless I find something else I like better cost to performance ratio. They also have a portable unit that I have not yet checked out.
    So now instead of managing my CD/ SACD/DVD AUDIO disc library, I have to manage my iTunes/ High REZ stuff.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Moose68BashMoose68Bash Posts: 3,727
    DarqueKnight,

    Great review, as always.

    You're making me have the "itch" to try a higher-end DAC than the PS Audio DSD that I now have.

    The DSD sounds great to me, but your reviews of it v. your Cary/Bryston combos make me wonder whether my sights are set too low! :(
    Family Room, Innuos Statement streamer with Morrow Audios USB cable to DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave Transport, Innuos Streamer with Cat 6 cable connection to PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,673
    mantis wrote: »
    Once you go Computer music , other forms of media just don't seem to make sense anymore. At least for me that is.
    I really don't ever spin disc's anymore other then Blu ray and even that is becoming a more rare move.

    I am making plans to go totally disc free...even in my vehicles. I am looking at various solutions for ripping my DVD and Blu-ray collection to a server with solid state drives and I am looking at automotive head units that have a USB input. You're right about other media not making sense any more. I've even come to view CDs and DVDs as being as cumbersome as cassettes and 8-tracks. In addition to the convenience of being able to put a lot more music on a very small storage medium, there is the advantage of being totally free of mechanical transports with moving parts.

    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,506
    I see anything mechanical or with moving parts as something in the chain that can either add to or subtract from the final sound you hear. Certainly understand though those wishing to remove that element from the signal path.

    Ray, do you have a set amount/brands of dacs your going to review ? You mentioned another, just curious if your going to pick a few others.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,673
    tonyb wrote: »
    Ray, do you have a set amount/brands of dacs your going to review ? You mentioned another, just curious if your going to pick a few others.

    I started on this journey because I wanted a DAC with DSD capability and the sound quality had to at least equal the Cary CD 306 PV. The DMC-600SE is an excellent DAC, and is a little better in sound quality than the CD 306 PV, but it is not entirely compatible with my Bryston BDP-2 digital player and my dCS Puccini U-Clock. That is why I went for the dCS Debussy.

    The main issue with the BDP-2 and DMC-600SE is that the DMC-600SE mutes the output when switching from one file resolution to another. For example, if I play a 44.1kHz file and follow it with a 96kHz file, the first few seconds of the beginning to the 96kHz file will be muted as the DMC-600SE uses relays to switch to accommodate the different file type (you can hear the relays softly clicking when they switch to a different resolution). Of course, the issue does not occur if I am listening to all the songs on the same album or if I am listening to a playlist that has all the songs recorded at the same resolution.

    I have my music arranged in playlists that consists of music files from different albums recorded with different resolutions. It gets annoying when a significant number of music selections are missing the first few seconds of play. This is not an issue with playback from a computer running JRiver, because I can just add a couple of seconds of gap time between selections. The BDP-2 does not have a provision for adding gaps between selections. However, the CD 306 PV instantaneously switches from one file resolution to another without switching relays and muting.

    There is an incompatibility between the dCS U-Clock and the DMC-600SE's clocking software that prevents it from selecting the U-Clock. Cary is working on a software update to address this.

    Even if there were no operational issues, the small amount of improvement over the CD 306 PV doesn't justify the investment for me. When I put the CD 306 PV back in the chain, I don't miss the DMC-600SE and that's why the DMC-600SE is going up for sale when the Debussy gets here.

    If the PS Audio DirectStream DAC had worked out, I would have stopped there. Assuming everything works out with the dCS Debussy, and dCS has assured me that it will, then I will stop there. That's not to say that I won't look at some other DACs for curiosity purposes.



    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • vc69vc69 Posts: 2,501
    I'll be interested to hear your thought on the Debussy. It's supposed to be "end-game" quality, however with things moving rather fast with regard to DAC tech, I'm not sure what that means anymore.
    -Kevin
    HT: Philips 52PFL7432D 52" LCD 1080p / Onkyo TX-SR 606 / Oppo BDP-83 SE / Comcast cable. (all HDMI)B&W 801 - Front, Polk CS350 LS - Center, Polk LS90 - Rear
    2 Channel:
    Oppo BDP-83 SE
    Squeezebox Touch
    Muscial Fidelity M1 DAC
    VTL 2.5
    McIntosh 2205 (refurbed)
    B&W 801's
    Transparent IC's
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,506
    Thanks for that explanation Ray. Man, I just find that odd behavior in a piece of that quality and price range. Even more odd nobody at Cary discovered this before putting it out there ?

    I dunno, maybe it's just me expecting too much from an 8k piece of gear.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,673
    tonyb wrote: »
    Thanks for that explanation Ray. Man, I just find that odd behavior in a piece of that quality and price range. Even more odd nobody at Cary discovered this before putting it out there ?

    I dunno, maybe it's just me expecting too much from an 8k piece of gear.

    The DAC world is aimed at people who use Mac and Windows PCs. The BDP-2 is a Linux-based music server. There were some interface issues with the BDP-2 and the DS DAC, but a workaround was found.

    It was an oversight on Bryston's part not to include the capability of adding a gap of specified length between music files.
    DSkip wrote: »
    DK, check out AMR. They are the high end for iFi and though I haven't heard them, those who have heard them praise them highly (even those non-biased reports I've heard). From what I've heard with iFi, I couldn't imagine the AMR gear being anything short of spectacular. I'll have a few of their pieces in house on July 25, so I'll at least get to hear them and decide for myself.

    Are you going to have the AMR DP-777 DAC?
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • machonemachone Posts: 1,280
    I also have had a digital journey this year. It started with my wish for better source material than my Sony DVD player. In addition wanted to be DSD compatible. I looked at the Oppo, Marantz and other players and in the end I decided to go with a computer. It is future proof and the most versatile solution for my needs. I already had an excellent laptop and an external USB hard drive. All I needed was a DAC and I decided to go with the Korg DSDAC-100 along with their Audiogate software. I selected Korg because they developed both the DAC and software together and Korg has been making DSD recording equipment for many years. I did this for a little over $350 and had it set up in less than one hour. It connects via USB with outputs to my preamp and also serves as a headphone preamp. I use it to convert ripped .wav files to DSD 5.6mhz on the fly as well as play native DSD files.

    The Korg may not be in the same class as some of the DACs mentioned in this thread but it got me into quality DSD without a lot of money or hassle.

    I am sold on DSD for sure; more natural; very nice listening.

    There are very few car players that can handle high rez PCM or DSD files (at least that I can find). However I did stumble onto a FiiO X3 player ($200 at Parts Express) that can play most of the high rez PCM formats including DSD. I could output DSD files from the Korg, copy them to the FiiO and connect it to the aux input on my Alpine player. DSD in a car for $200?

    Anyway it's all fun to me.

    See attached article about DSD.

    Mojo Audio Illuminati v3>>Quantum Byte w/LMS>>Rpi/PiCoreplayer>> Starlight 7 USB >> Mojo Audio Mystique v2 SE>>ModWright SWL 9.0 SE Signature>>Hafler DH-500 Amp+ (Musical Concepts Fully Modded)>>
    SRS 2.3TL (Fully Modded)...Velodyne Optimum 8 subwoofer
    1KVA Dreadnought

    Marantz SA 8005
    Pioneer PLX-1000 Turntable - Shure SC35C/N35X - V15III/VN35HE
    Yamaha TX-540 Tuner...Sony BDP-S570
    Sony PS4

    Separate subpanel with four dedicated 20 amp circuits.
    1. Amplification 2. Analog 3. Digital 4. Video

    "All THAT IS LOST FROM THE SOURCE IS LOST FOREVER"
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 13,943
    I am very happy with the performance of my Lumin S1, but I only have 1 DSD download, which is a late 60s/early 70s album by Canned Heat. It actualy sounds pretty good. However, so far every other album in DSD that I like, I already own in PCM format.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1 file player
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,673
    BlueFox wrote: »
    However, so far every other album in DSD that I like, I already own in PCM format.

    You are supposed to repurchase the PCM albums in DSD format. Do you want record company execs to starve?

    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • WLDockWLDock Posts: 2,802
    edited June 2015
    I am making plans to go totally disc free...even in my vehicles. .. I am looking at automotive head units that have a USB input.
    Pioneer makes a very nice affordable SQ based deck, the DEH-80PRS. It has two rear USB jacks, and one in the front.

    Pioneer DEH-80PRS - $350 list

    Burr-Brown® 24-bit D/A Converters:
    Four-Layer Circuit Board Design:
    Full-Custom High-Capacitance Power Supply Capacitor:
    Sound Master Clock Circuitry:
    28-bit Binary Floating-Point DSP:
    3-Way Digital Network:
    L/R Independent 16-Band Digital Equalizer:
    Auto Time Alignment and Auto EQ:
    http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Car/CD-Receivers/DEH-80PRS



    However, given your taste...the reference quality Pioneer Stage 4 products might be better suited: http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Car/Stage4

    DEX-P99RS - $1349 list

    L/R Independent 31-Band 1/3 octave Digital Equalizer
    Auto Time Alignment and Auto EQ
    32-Bit Binary Floating-Point DSP
    4-Way Digital Network:
    Copper-Plated Chassis
    L/R Symmetric PCB
    Custom-Made Capacitor
    Digital Direct of iPod Music
    L/R Independent High Volt Volume Circuit
    New High-Precision Sound Master Clock Circuitry
    Linear Technology's High Performance, High-Slew Rate OP Amp
    24-Bit AKM DACs
    http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Car/Stage4/DEX-P99RS
    http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/member-reviews-product-comparisons/124148-dex-p99rs-ongoing-review-discoveries.html

    I've used several of their DSP decks over the years and they offer a lot for the dollar.
    FAMILY ROOM
    HDTV - Sharp AQUOS LC-70LE600U 70" | AVR/Streamer - Onkyo TX-NR3008 | Amp - Parasound HCA-1203A
    Blu-Ray/Media/Gaming - Sony PS3-320GB / Microsoft Xbox One | Broadcast - Xfinity X1 Platform
    Front Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Center Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Rear Spkrs - Artison Portrait LRS
    Sub - DIY Stereo Integrity HT 15 | Sub Amp - Dayton Audio SA1000
    Wire - Audioquest Type 4, BJC Belden 5000 | HDMI - BJC Belden | Power Cables - Pangea | Surge - Monster
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 13,943
    BlueFox wrote: »
    However, so far every other album in DSD that I like, I already own in PCM format.

    You are supposed to repurchase the PCM albums in DSD format. Do you want record company execs to starve?

    Yes, I do feel quilty they have to go to bed hungry. :)


    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1 file player
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
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