The Year Of DACs

13»

Comments

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,488
    So your up at 1:30 A.M. chowing down Doritos and posting pics ? lol

    Very nice Ray, still looking forward to the head to head results. BTW...."entry level" on that DCS stack ? I don't think those 2 words mean what you think they mean. LOL
    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
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 91
    edited November 2015
    I read this whole thread again this morning.
    My conclusion is DACs are a beach.
    Oh, and you kept your CDs :)
    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
  • Moose68BashMoose68Bash Posts: 3,700
    @DarqueKnight,

    Thanks for yet another great story about your quest for audio nirvana.

    Like others, I'm looking forward to your review of the present "end point" of your quest.
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, 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 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: 6,665
    edited November 2015
    tonyb wrote: »
    BTW...."entry level" on that DCS stack ? I don't think those 2 words mean what you think they mean. LOL

    Well, that's what dCS calls them. :)

    "Single box elegance at the cutting edge of standalone DAC design. Debussy is the entry point to the world of dCS and designed to be the hub of a digital playback system."

    http://www.dcsltd.co.uk/debussy/
    My conclusion is DACs are a beach.

    Digital is a beach, DACs, cables, all of it...but it's nowhere near as big a beach as analog vinyl.
    Oh, and you kept your CDs :)

    I don't completely trust electronic storage media, whether its solid state or spinners. I have the BDP-2's solid state drive backed up on two other drives.
    "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
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 19,480
    Too rich for my blood.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amplifier: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 - Cables: Kimber Hero XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; DH Labs D-75 dig coaxial
  • Further Study:

    I just ordered a Bryston BDA-3 DAC. I decided I wanted a DSD-capable DAC for my office rig. I find it odd that the Bryston BDP-2 digital player outputs DSD via the AES and SPDIF outputs (in addition to DSD via USB), but the BDA-3 only accepts DSD input via USB.

    The BDA-3 will replace the Cary DAC-100. The DAC-100 will go to the home theater rig.



    "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
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 11,492
    Further Study:
    but the BDA-3 only accepts DSD input rig.

    Looks like to me they ditched the AES and SPDIF, so they could fit the HDMI inputs
    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
  • Bryston's VP of sales and marketing provided this explanation:

    "The reason we do not offer DSD playback on the BDA-3 on the AES and COAX ‘inputs’ has to do with the sample rate converters currently available. DSD samples at much higher frequencies than PCM and current sample rate converters are not capable of operating at those higher frequencies. The BDA3 is a modular design and some new sample rate converters being developed now claim they will offer native high resolution PMC 352 and PMC 384 sample rate capability as well as DSD. We will certainly look at them going forward and offer an upgrade if they perform better.

    So to offer DSD on the AES or COAX inputs on the BDA-3 means you would have to bypass the sample rate converter on the AES or COAX inputs which would ‘increase jitter’ because our current sample converters in the BDA-3 reduce jitter on the input.

    So in Bryston’s case we definitely want the sample rate converter in the circuit for 44.1 to 192 PCM signals. Also some DAC’s we have looked at that are DSD capable on those inputs convert all the incoming sample rates (44,48,88,96,176,192Hz) to a very high single sample rate ‘Asynchronously’ whereas our preference with our DAC’s is to maintain the ‘Native’ incoming PCM sample rate throughout the conversion process with all PCM signals. If we do up-sample we do it in a synchronous manner so (44.1 becomes 176.4 and 48 becomes 192) not asynchronous.

    So the way USB works on the BDA-3 is we have a special input circuit that determines if the incoming signal is PCM or DSD and routes the signal to the appropriate input circuit. These are completely different circuit paths optimized for the different ways PCM and DSD are handled to optimize performance. So PCM from 44 to 384 is optimized as well as DSD DOP 64 and 128 and Native DSD 64 /128 and 356 (x1/x2/x4).

    We feel this is the best option currently and due to the modularity of the BDA-3 we can make changes going forward as better devices are developed but maintaining and optimizing the best ‘NATIVE’ playback (either PCM or DSD) is am important goal in our designs."

    "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
  • SO that's it. :) U pays your dues, U make your choices.
    Thanks DK.
  • markmarcmarkmarc Posts: 2,293
    DK,
    After reading this thread all I can say is that you are a very patient guy. I'm not surprised that in the end you went dCS after having spent time with a couple of models at ToneAudio studio. As much as I would like to update my DAC situation I'm waiting for the DSD & PCM technology to move downstream into DAC's I can afford without resorting to organ-selling.
    As much as I appreciate the convenience of digitized music from my chair, getting up every 22 minutes is much better for my sciatic nerve! Not to mention the totally frivolous nature of the physical ceremony involved in listening to vinyl.
    Review Site_ (((AudioPursuit)))
    Founder/Publisher Affordable$$Audio 2006-13.
    Former Staff Member TONEAudio
    2 Ch. System
    Amplifiers: Parasound Halo P6 pre, Vista Audio i34, Peachtree amp500, Adcom GFP-565 GFA-535ii, 545ii, 555ii
    Digital: SimAudio HAD230 DAC, iMac 20in/Amarra,
    Speakers: Paradigm Performa F75, Magnepan1.6 w/SkiingNinja x-overs, Totem Signature One's & Model 1's, ACI Emerald XL, Celestion Si Stands
    Analog: Rega RP1 w/Ortofon Super OM40, SimAudio LP5.3 phono pre
    Cable/Wires: Cardas, AudioArt, Shunyata Venom 3
  • markmarc wrote: »
    DK,
    After reading this thread all I can say is that you are a very patient guy.

    In this case, it was more endurance than patience. :)
    "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
  • asindcasindc Posts: 83
    DK,

    Thanks for the follow up. I also look forward to your full review of the Debussy.
    Two-Channel System:

    ANALOG AUDIO CHAIN:
    Turntable/Cartridge: VPI CLASSIC 3/Ortofon A95...
    Phono Pre: ASR Basis Exclusive HV——————>

    DIGITAL AUDIO CHAIN:
    Server: ANTIPODES CX...
    DAC: CARY DMS-600—————————-———->
    Disc Player: CARY CD 306 SACD PRO—————>

    Pre-Amp: ====> Cary SLP-05 (Ultimate Upgrade Edition)

    Amplifiers: Clayton M-300 monoblocks
    ~~~

    Loudspeakers: MARTIN LOGAN SPIRES
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,665
    "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
  • asindcasindc Posts: 83

    Thanks.

    Two-Channel System:

    ANALOG AUDIO CHAIN:
    Turntable/Cartridge: VPI CLASSIC 3/Ortofon A95...
    Phono Pre: ASR Basis Exclusive HV——————>

    DIGITAL AUDIO CHAIN:
    Server: ANTIPODES CX...
    DAC: CARY DMS-600—————————-———->
    Disc Player: CARY CD 306 SACD PRO—————>

    Pre-Amp: ====> Cary SLP-05 (Ultimate Upgrade Edition)

    Amplifiers: Clayton M-300 monoblocks
    ~~~

    Loudspeakers: MARTIN LOGAN SPIRES
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,665
    ***Update***

    The year of DACs lasted...a full year. Proceedings began in December of 2014 and ended in December of 2015. As is typical of me, I went far beyond my initial upgrade plan. I had originally sought a DAC upgrade just for my two channel system. I ended up with a Debussy DAC/Puccini U-Clock system to replace the Cary Audio CD 306 Pro Version SACD player in my two channel system. I replaced all the electronics in my CD player-based office system with a computer audio system built around the Bryston BDA-3 DAC.

    The journey was not always pleasant, but I learned a lot and I am very happy with how things turned out.

    The winners:

    BDA3-Stack-MED-s_zpszthpnfos.jpg
    Bryston BDA-3 DAC.

    Deb-Uclk-Stack-AES-s_zpsoe4mbrq5.jpg
    DCS Debussy DAC and dCS Puccini U-Clock word clock.



    "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: 32,488
    Dang Ray, I want to be you when I grow up. Sweet no doubt, you must be in heaven. You ever leave the house anymore ? :)
    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
  • agfrostagfrost Posts: 2,326
    I often leave the house to visit Internet cafes where I admire scantily clad women while sipping a delicious beverage and visiting audio forums to discuss expensive audio cables with tormented and demented naysayers.

    I like how you roll...
    Jay
    SDA 2BTL * Musical Fidelity A5cr amp * Marantz DV-9500 * Modded Adcom GDA-600 DAC * Rythmik F8 (x2)
    Micro Seiki DQ-50 * A hodgepodge of cabling * Belkin PF60
    Preamp rotation: Krell KSL (SCompRacer recapped) * Manley Shrimp * PS Audio 5.0
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,488
    tonyb wrote: »
    Dang Ray, I want to be you when I grow up. Sweet no doubt, you must be in heaven. You ever leave the house anymore ? :)

    I often leave the house to visit Internet cafes where I admire scantily clad women while sipping a delicious beverage and visiting audio forums to discuss expensive audio cables with tormented and demented naysayers.

    Stop it Ray, or I'm going to develop a man crush on ya. All things I enjoy myself, except my internet café is a small desk in a small room and JBM coffee supplied by a generous member here. Command central, even have a red phone and a red button....don't know wtf they do but I have them. That's all that matters right ?

    Any other thoughts on areas to improve or you pretty satisfied for now ? I would imagine you'd have to spend new car kinda coin to better what you have sitting there now.
    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
  • footwedgefootwedge Posts: 475
    tonyb wrote: »
    tonyb wrote: »
    Dang Ray, I want to be you when I grow up. Sweet no doubt, you must be in heaven. You ever leave the house anymore ? :)

    I often leave the house to visit Internet cafes where I admire scantily clad women while sipping a delicious beverage and visiting audio forums to discuss expensive audio cables with tormented and demented naysayers.

    Stop it Ray, or I'm going to develop a man crush on ya. All things I enjoy myself, except my internet café is a small desk in a small room and JBM coffee supplied by a generous member here. Command central, even have a red phone and a red button....don't know wtf they do but I have them. That's all that matters right ?

    Any other thoughts on areas to improve or you pretty satisfied for now ? I would imagine you'd have to spend new car kinda coin to better what you have sitting there now.

    Push the red button and Amazon will deliver you a surprise
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,665
    edited April 2016
    tonyb wrote: »
    Any other thoughts on areas to improve or you pretty satisfied for now ?

    Satisfied? There is no such thing as satisfaction for those who have fallen into the Rabbit Hole. The best we can hope for is temporary contentment. The tragic thing, for my wallet, is that one thing leads to another. Computer audio upgrades in the 2 channel rig lead to a complete computer audio installation in the office rig...which lead to preamp and amp upgrades...which lead to a speaker cable upgrade...which lead to another DAC upgrade...which lead to interconnect and digital cable upgrades...which lead to another power amp upgrade.

    I'm content (for now) with the 2 channel rig, although my search for better speakers is ongoing. I was talking to a Sonus faber dealer a couple of weeks ago about the Aidas ($120,000) and he said they don't produce as good as sound stage as my 1.2TLs. He should know, since he is a former and current owner of 1.2TLs (sold them a long time ago, then repurchased a pair recently).

    As for improvements to the office rig, see the "Further Study" section of my BDA-3 DAC review:

    http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/172529/bryston-bda-3-dac-review

    "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: 32,488
    I dunno Ray, you feel the 750 is up to snuff with it's playmates ? Tell ya what, that Rhumba pre would compliment them very well imho. No tube bloat, no SS sound either and a nice big and wide soundstage. I was kinda surprised you didn't get in on the demo, if not just to see how that 750 holds up.
    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: 6,665
    tonyb wrote: »
    I dunno Ray, you feel the 750 is up to snuff with it's playmates ?

    I've wondered about that. That's why I'm considering the Musical Concepts mods for the 750. However, the 750 has been called a "giant killer" and has compared favorably to preamps costing over 4X its price. MC's mods address the corners Adcom cut to meet the $1499 price point. People who have modded 750s or had their 750s modded say the improvements give the 750 "world class" sound. I like this preamp design a lot and this is the third 750 I have owned.

    I did compare a former 750 to a former Pass Labs X1 ($5900) preamp and the 750 was not "embarrassed" by the X1, the X1 just gave me more of what the 750 offered. That was not surprising since the X1 and the 750 are both Nelson Pass designs. Pass licensed the design of the Aleph P to Adcom.

    http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/44152/pass-labs-x1-preamp-vs-adcom-gfp-750-preamp
    tonyb wrote: »
    Tell ya what, that Rhumba pre would compliment them very well imho. No tube bloat, no SS sound either and a nice big and wide soundstage. I was kinda surprised you didn't get in on the demo, if not just to see how that 750 holds up.

    I didn't know about the Rhumba demo. I searched and found the October 2015 thread. I definitely would have taken a chance on winning a free preamp!!!
    "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: 32,488
    Gotcha man, then I guess it makes sense to do the mods. Which also means another review from you. :);)
    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
  • Mr_HzMr_Hz Posts: 176
    edited April 2016
    I've been 'making do' with a BDA-1 (complete with a power supply upgrade) over these past couple of years. I read your review of the BDA-3 versus the DeBussy... granted both in different price/performance leagues... but its encouraging. I look forward to eventually nabbing a BDA-3 for my main system. I am a Bryston fan, owning a few pieces of their kit. Next wave of upgrades, I'll look at jumping from the x-1 to the x-3. Could never justify moving from the 1 to the 2. First, have to rap up a number of SDA speaker upgrades.
    2.3TL's - Living Room
    CRS+'s (4.1 TL's) - Office
    SDA1C's - Famdamly Rm
    SDA1C's - Master Bedroom
  • machonemachone Posts: 1,274
    DK,
    Musical Concepts upgraded my Hafler 500 amp and 110 preamp. The mods really changed the Haflers into something special. John knows his stuff is easy to talk to and does great work.
    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"
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 7,567
    This was a helpful thread, thanks DK
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs TSDx/Bluesound Node 2 -> Emm Labs DAC2x -> Audio Research Reference 40th Anniversary -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers + JL Audio F113v2 x2
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Oppo 105D -> Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2


    Main speakers system evolution over the years:
    Klipsch Promedia 4.1 -> Axiom M22ti -> Sonus Faber Concertino -> Sonus Faber Concerto -> Polk LSi7 -> Polk LSi9 -> Martin Logan Mosaic -> AV123 Onix Ref 1 -> Martin Logan Vantage -> AV123 Strata Mini -> Martin Logan Summit -> Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor -> BW 802D2 -> Sonus Faber Stradivari -> Rockport Avior -> BW 802D3 -> BW 800D3 -> ???

    Old Gear:
    Speakers:
    BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source:
    Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification:
    Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased) -> ARC 5se -> ARC Ref 40th Anniversary
    Amplification:
    HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer:
    Infinity Entra2 -> SVS 25-31PCi -> SVS 25-31PC+ -> Dual JL Audio F113v2
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