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Best DAC for PMC/Bryston

Oran

New member
Apr 5, 2016
6
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0
Hi there,

Which DAC would folk recommend for a PMC twenty 5 24 and Bryston 4B cubed system?

Playback is from a mini Mac running J river.

Has anyone got any relevant DAC experiences that they could share?

Thanks,
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
Oran said:
Hi there,

Which DAC would folk recommend for a PMC twenty 5 24 and Bryston 4B cubed system?

Playback is from a mini Mac running J river.

Has anyone got any relevant DAC experiences that they could share?

Thanks,
Yes, I have lots of experience in this area. I am PMC/Bryston fanboy No.1 having had 4BSST2, 7BSST2's, 28BSST2's and now 7B3's all in my system over the years. Current speakers are PMC MB2SE's having recently upgraded from FACT 12's, but I have also had PB1i, Twenty23, BB5SE and TB1i and DB1s... As I say, a big fan.

A few more questions: Budget? Musical taste? Pre-amp or do you need a DAC with attenuated, variable output? Any specific digital input requirements?
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
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0
Given the 'pro' type equipment that you are using, I would have thought a Benchmark dac would be worth checking out.

That said, having checked the current range, the prices seem rather excessive. There appears to be no modern, affordable equivilent of the DAC1.
 

ellisdj

New member
Dec 11, 2008
377
1
0
Gazzip - can you tell me about how the Bryston amps have improved over the time you have owned them.

The spec on them seems similar i.e. sst to sst2 reads the same however I reda before that the SST2 is more linear in its delivery ie. better from a lower volume, where as the SST sounds better when you turn it up.

Then we have the cubed range which has some extra circuitry to remove any noise present but that doesnt tell the whole story.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
361
136
19,070
Why not try Bryston's own dac/streamer? BDA 1 or 2, I forget which one does what, but I heard it with some bryston monster amp and PMC Twenty 23 and it did sound rather good (bit too sharp at times, but that's just my tastes - and it was Twenty 23s, was much better for me with DB1 Gold).
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
2
18,545
Electro said:
One of the Bryston Dac's would be logical .*smile*

I wonder whether this post will actually appear. *nea*
Now I have posted on this thread I can see the other missing posts, how weird . *scratch_one-s_head*
 

NSA_watch_my_toilet

New member
Aug 24, 2013
7
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0
I'm an ex semi-pro artist, that worked for different studios. We used lots of speakers, and I use the PMC fact 8 in my private rooms, for work and pleasure. We used lots of DAC's too, but I was never really able, even with an aknowledged fine earing, to hear major differences between DAC's, as long as you don't add a tube in the system and the construction of this DAC is not flawed (undercalculated power supplies and so on). Some vastely used 120$ DAC will compete, sonically, eye in eye with a Nagra, Violectric and others. In term of finish and available options, some expensivier DAC will be better, with no doubt, but it's really depending of your preferences and priorities.

So I would choose the one I could afford, the best would be that he is in a visual harmony with the rest of the gear.
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
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0
ellisdj said:
Gazzip - can you tell me about how the Bryston amps have improved over the time you have owned them.

The spec on them seems similar i.e. sst to sst2 reads the same however I reda before that the SST2 is more linear in its delivery ie. better from a lower volume, where as the SST sounds better when you turn it up.

Then we have the cubed range which has some extra circuitry to remove any noise present but that doesnt tell the whole story.
The 4 I never heard in the same system as the 7's and 28's. I ditched the 4 when I got the IB2S's which I used with Bryston PowerPacs (forgot to mention that combo in my previous post...). I got the 7's to power the BB5SE's and the 28's were the natural progression to add some control over the 15 volt LF driver. The 7B3's a new addition, so once again no side by side comparison with their predecessors. The 7B3's run a lot cooler than the 7BSST2's, that's for certain!

I see the "all DAC's sound the same" brigade are all over this thread like a stink. They definitely don't you know... Well the DAC chips themselves might all "sound the same" but the overall packages don't. Below are my opinion of DAC's partnered with PMC/Bryston equipment (brackets indicate equipment that I have owned or demoed in my own listening environment):

Chord are bright and detailed. I think shrill describes them well but many disagree (QBD76, DSX1000 and DAVE)

Bryston was neutral, dry and honest. A bit boring. (BDA-1)

Cyrus are extremely detailed and analytical (DAC X, DAC XP+)

Audio Research I didn't get on with as the sound was too warm. Possibly valve overkill (output stage) given my pre amp of choice has nearly always been valved (DAC 8 and REF CD9)

Esoteric was a bit flat for my tastes and lacked dynamics (DX-07)

Devialet 800 was detailed and analytical but never tiring. I liked it! (Although not a DAC per-se in its own right and only used with PMC, not Bryston)

PS Audio DirectStream is my current DAC. This is a beautiful rich sound although I suspect slightly over forward for some tastes. Hits my buttons...
 

Oran

New member
Apr 5, 2016
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0
Thanks for all the replies.

In answer to the questions:

the budget is whatever it takes to get a dac that best compliments my system with going too over the top.

If there are going to be any improvements in sound quality then I'm open to an analogue pre amp/volume control. However I like the idea of a dac that also acts as a preamp/volume control - keeps things simple.

I listen to all sorts of music though mostly rock and pop but easily could be folk, jazz classical etc.

Thanks :)
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
Oran said:
Thanks for all the replies.

In answer to the questions:

the budget is whatever it takes to get a dac that best compliments my system with going too over the top.

If there are going to be any improvements in sound quality then I'm open to an analogue pre amp/volume control. However I like the idea of a dac that also acts as a preamp/volume control - keeps things simple.

I listen to all sorts of music though mostly rock and pop but easily could be folk, jazz classical etc.

Thanks :)
Whatever it takes......without going too over the top? A slightly contradictory brief there... *biggrin*

In my experience you are going to need a pre-amp. I have tried various DACs with variable output controls and found them all to be unsatisfactory, producing a lifeless and two dimensional sound. I may however have been unlucky with my choice of equipment for this purpose so obviously try for yourself. A dealer once told me that impedance matching is the issue but I am not sure of the scientific truth behind this with today's equipment.

Maybe a pre-amp with an onboard DAC might be an answer? Sounds like the same thing I know, but I am sure in such a situation the pre-amp would have been the driving factor...
 

NSA_watch_my_toilet

New member
Aug 24, 2013
7
0
0
Thank you for your remark Gazzip.

Qualify as "Stink", the opinion of peoples don't sharing your views after your tests suits you.

Please, share with us just a little bit of your test results/protocols with a link. it would be a nice gesture for us. Please feel free to consult the research page of the BBC laboratories for having a written confirmation of my return of experience (you need to pay a fee for reading the articles, it will helps the UK economy whatsoever). You will have same response for tests done at Deutsches Rundfunk. Feel free to e-mail them for calling their studies as stink "because you heard it".
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
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0
Is it possible that you can now buy a DAC for next to nothing which is as good subjectively and on paper as the very best esoteric high end ones?

Most manufacturers are implementors only rather than developers or dac engineers, a few exceptions.

Even ESS's 'super dacs' now appear even in the cheapest sub $150 products.

If the implementation is done correctly and the output stage is carefully done, I can't see why such a DAC can't be done very cheaply.

HIFI NEWS & RR'S measurements often show that expensive DAC'S are on occasions badly engineered or sometimes voiced to sound a certain way.

To build a good amplifier or speaker costs a certain amount of money but does that really hold the same with DAC'S nowadays?
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
NSA_watch_my_toilet said:
Thank you for your remark Gazzip.

Qualify as "Stink", the opinion of peoples don't sharing your views after your tests suits you.

Please, share with us just a little bit of your test results/protocols with a link. it would be a nice gesture for us. Please feel free to consult the research page of the BBC laboratories for having a written confirmation of my return of experience (you need to pay a fee for reading the articles, it will helps the UK economy whatsoever). You will have same response for tests done at Deutsches Rundfunk. Feel free to e-mail them for calling their studies as stink "because you heard it".
Sorry NSA but I do not consider reading about how hifi, cables, power conditioners etc. sound, and then repeating on here what I have read as a particularly valid opinion. I buy the stuff and then I listen to it. Some of it I like and some I don't. I then feed back my findings on to the forum. My experience is primary. Yours is at best secondary and quite often slips in to tertiary.
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
drummerman said:
Is it possible that you can now buy a DAC for next to nothing which is as good subjectively and on paper as the very best esoteric high end ones?

Most manufacturers are implementors only rather than developers or dac engineers, a few exceptions.

Even ESS's 'super dacs' now appear even in the cheapest sub $150 products.

If the implementation is done correctly and the output stage is carefully done, I can't see why such a DAC can't be done very cheaply.

HIFI NEWS & RR'S measurements often show that expensive DAC'S are on occasions badly engineered or sometimes voiced to sound a certain way.

To build a good amplifier or speaker costs a certain amount of money but does that really hold the same with DAC'S nowadays?
I completely agree with your opening sentence but you have hit the mail on the head with your other observations, which I have highlighted in bold. There are a large number of ifs, buts and maybes you identify that stand between a bad DAC and a good DAC.

You could say what you have said above about ANY piece of non-mechanical piece of HiFi, and yet there is good stuff and there is bad stuff produced.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
266
151
19,070
Oran said:
Hi there,

Which DAC would folk recommend for a PMC twenty 5 24 and Bryston 4B cubed system?

Playback is from a mini Mac running J river.

Has anyone got any relevant DAC experiences that they could share?

Thanks,
No relevant experience of it, but Bryston's own DAC, which I think they call 4b3 might suit. It is obviously an engineering match but you'd need to check connectivity.

The only serious alternative I'd investigate is whichever Chord model fits your budget, maybe the Hugo TT? This neatly leads into where this thread has moved, and I think my answer to drummerman is that the chips are indeed very good, but I have a hunch - and no more - that how they are implemented can make a difference (e.g. Old fashioned things like good power supplies and careful wiring internally). The real step change is to Chord's model of programming your/their own DAC, and I have seen one or two manufacturers doing the same, though off the top of my head I can't name them.
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
nopiano said:
Oran said:
Hi there,

Which DAC would folk recommend for a PMC twenty 5 24 and Bryston 4B cubed system?

Playback is from a mini Mac running J river.

Has anyone got any relevant DAC experiences that they could share?

Thanks,
No relevant experience of it, but Bryston's own DAC, which I think they call 4b3 might suit. It is obviously an engineering match but you'd need to check connectivity.

The only serious alternative I'd investigate is whichever Chord model fits your budget, maybe the Hugo TT? This neatly leads into where this thread has moved, and I think my answer to drummerman is that the chips are indeed very good, but I have a hunch - and no more - that how they are implemented can make a difference (e.g. Old fashioned things like good power supplies and careful wiring internally). The real step change is to Chord's model of programming your/their own DAC, and I have seen one or two manufacturers doing the same, though off the top of my head I can't name them.
PS Audio are also doing FPGA.
 

NSA_watch_my_toilet

New member
Aug 24, 2013
7
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0
The opinion you have Sir is, in your case, and for the moment, invalid. Because you need to do things a certain way to have results that are valid. Only the way you do your testings is determinant for the validity of your opinion. I could go try speaker under water and claim all speaker sound bad and try to kill peoples. It would be my opinion, it would be true, but wrong from the method I used to come to this result. So is your statement. For the moment, you shared no feedback of your test result or gave any proof that any kind of methodic approach was used.

We don't even know if you ever tested out the DAC you claim to have listened.

And the way you brought your point disqualified you. You dropped in with harsh words in trying to look smart. Please show us now that you are.

I will not speak with you too long about the way you try to make me look like somebody that didn't try the things by himself. Desperate move of a desperate persons trying to be right in a discussion he can't win.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
266
151
19,070
Gazzip said:
nopiano said:
Oran said:
Hi there,

Which DAC would folk recommend for a PMC twenty 5 24 and Bryston 4B cubed system?

Playback is from a mini Mac running J river.

Has anyone got any relevant DAC experiences that they could share?

Thanks,
No relevant experience of it, but Bryston's own DAC, which I think they call 4b3 might suit. It is obviously an engineering match but you'd need to check connectivity.

The only serious alternative I'd investigate is whichever Chord model fits your budget, maybe the Hugo TT? This neatly leads into where this thread has moved, and I think my answer to drummerman is that the chips are indeed very good, but I have a hunch - and no more - that how they are implemented can make a difference (e.g. Old fashioned things like good power supplies and careful wiring internally). The real step change is to Chord's model of programming your/their own DAC, and I have seen one or two manufacturers doing the same, though off the top of my head I can't name them.
PS Audio are also doing FPGA.
Hi gazzip, now that you mention it...! Yes, thanks, they are one, and you remembered the acronym that escaped me. (I try to avoid googling my answers)
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
NSA_watch_my_toilet said:
The opinion you have Sir is, in your case, and for the moment, invalid. Because you need to do things a certain way to have results that are valid. Only the way you do your testings is determinant for the validity of your opinion. I could go try speaker under water and claim all speaker sound bad and try to kill peoples. It would be my opinion, it would be true, but wrong from the method I used to come to this result. So is your statement. For the moment, you shared no feedback of your test result or gave any proof that any kind of methodic approach was used.

We don't even know if you ever tested out the DAC you claim to have listened.

And the way you brought your point disqualified you. You dropped in with harsh words in trying to look smart. Please show us now that you are.

I will not speak with you too long about the way you try to make me look like somebody that didn't try the things by himself. Desperate move of a desperate persons trying to be right in a discussion he can't win.
The OP asked what DACs they should try with PMC/Bryston and I, as an owner of said gear, gave my opinion. Now he/she can go and try those DACs (and others) for themselves if they so desire. I am not trying to prove a scientific point or that I am a smart guy? I am simply trying to help someone by passing on my personal experiences?

As for proving my experience with that equipment I can't, although I would be a very odd person if I had made it up.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
NSA_watch_my_toilet said:
Please feel free to consult the research page of the BBC laboratories for having a written confirmation of my return of experience (you need to pay a fee for reading the articles, it will helps the UK economy whatsoever). You will have same response for tests done at Deutsches Rundfunk. Feel free to e-mail them for calling their studies as stink "because you heard it".
Please provide links to the BBC research articles containing reference to your work. They are free to access here...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/search?Type=Publications
 

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