DAC vs AV Processor - Is there a comparison?

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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Hi.. The other day, just for fun, a friend of mine brought his Rotel RSP 1069 to my place and we did a comparision with my Musical Fidelity M1 DAC. Though I found out that my DAC beats the Rotel RSP in stereo performance, in movie watching my DAC faded many shades behind the RSP (even when my Mac Mini is outputting only Stereo for movies)

I see many good high end AV Processors (but outdated like no HDMI etc) from popular high end brands go for very reasonable money and I keep wondering how do they perform as DACs in Stereo setup. One such example comes to my mind is a Classe SSP 300 vs Chord DAC64. In the used market they recently got sold more or less around the same price range (may be few hundred pound difference).

Is there any one out there, experimental enough and checked this angle already? Please let me know

PS: I am aware that the AV Processor also works as a Pre-amp and so let us keep that added functionality aside for now.

PPS: Though I have a MF M1 DAC, I am aware of its bright side and still looking for a suitable DAC. As of now, only PS DL3 is on my list. If this discussion favours AV Processor then I might consider that route.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Wishtree my friend - you don't half ask awkward questions.

In theory, if the money spent on the processor is put into just a dac, it should be better.

In practice, this may not work out ie. if you don't like the presentation of the dac.

I think the secret is to spend the money that a good processor would cost, but on a dac that suits your ear....or maybe not. :~
 

Thaiman

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Depending on the products, there are some AV processor that really shine with Music too, for example...

Krell S-1000 AV precessor have the same DAC circuitry as use in their Excellent Krell SACD player and sound fabulous so that's mean you get a Musical preamp/ AV amp and highend digital playback in one box.
 

aliEnRIK

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if you are talking the same money, id be shocked if you could find an av processor thats as good as the chord DAC

Is that the sort of money your looking at for a dac? 5k or whatever it is?
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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Thaiman said:
Depending on the products, there are some AV processor that really shine with Music too, for example...

Krell S-1000 AV precessor have the same DAC circuitry as use in their Excellent Krell SACD player and sound fabulous so that's mean you get a Musical preamp/ AV amp and highend digital playback in one box.
Thanks Thaiman.. I will explore this option further!
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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aliEnRIK said:
Is that the sort of money your looking at for a dac? 5k or whatever it is?
Good to know that it would be shocking to see a AV Processor performing as good as Chord DAC. I would like to believe that too but I have not done a comparision and I am looking out some views if some one has done such comparisions.

Regarding the budget for DAC - Though I am looking for performance that pleases me, I am also looking for the Value for Money at the same time (means used HiFi Market as well).

Some one sold a Chord DAC 64 on eBay for around 1000 pounds. I feel that this is over rated given that it is a discontinued product (and possibly it was MK1 and hence makes it discontinued even earlier) and the electronics lifetime limitatations (if such a thing is applicable). This must be new, at that time 2500 pounds which makes not a great deal given this one stopped production more than 6-7 years.

But it also brings up the fact that the Collective reviews either from Magazines or individual people can have such an impact on the demand for this product.

I guess the new Chord DAC QBD76 is 3200 pounds but could be had for much lesser and no I will not be spending anything upward 2000 Pounds for DAC / AV Processor depending on the route that I take.
 

aliEnRIK

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Even the Mark 1 Chord 64 DAC is incredible to hear. The detail that comes out of it is stunning. Id happily buy one for 1k - if I was in the market for one
 

WishTree

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aliEnRIK said:
Even the Mark 1 Chord 64 DAC is incredible to hear. The detail that comes out of it is stunning. Id happily buy one for 1k - if I was in the market for one
Wow! That is very good to know!! Let me see my luck with the Chord DAC though right now I am still smitted by Classse SSP ;)
 

Thaiman

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WishTree said:
Thaiman said:
Depending on the products, there are some AV processor that really shine with Music too, for example...

Krell S-1000 AV precessor have the same DAC circuitry as use in their Excellent Krell SACD player and sound fabulous so that's mean you get a Musical preamp/ AV amp and highend digital playback in one box.
Thanks Thaiman.. I will explore this option further!
Can you tell me about your Pathos? not spec (I can find them out) but what do they sound like and compare to what?

many thanks
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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Thaiman said:
Can you tell me about your Pathos? not spec (I can find them out) but what do they sound like and compare to what?

many thanks
Sure! I have written a small review once before

"he sound from the amplifier is nothing less that magical. The music is very very live and the vocals are teh best part of the amplifier. Also, the way the music stops and starts (I think it is called black level or something) is so amazing. It feels as if the time has really slowed down. The pace or speed is extremely engaging. Overall I love the sound."

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/pathos-inpol2

I love the sound but I feel that I am not getting enough from the system especially the Vinyl sounds so beautiful on the Pathos.
 

WishTree

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Thanks! I am very much itching to have those Amatis too in Violin Red.. What is your take on them for a room size of 5m X 15m? If it can be told, how much do you think is a good price for these speakers?
 

Thaiman

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Sonus Faber Amati is one of those pair of speakers that will work in just about any room, I had them in my friend's house, at hifi show (it was a hotel bedroom!!!), in the pub (massive area) and they never sound boomy or lacking. They are full range (from 20Hz) and look stunning in real life. Sound wise, they don't grab your attention striaght away although from the first note, I just knew that they are very special. I have heard the later, Amati Anniversario and I thought the Mk 1 suited to me better. I am not alone on this btw, apparantly, the original Amati has extensive internal bracing (EU band lead in 2004 that's why Sonus Faber has to re-work the original pair).

Normally I feel more at home with a 2 ways design speakers which always give me a better feeling of "being there" but the Amati's 3 ways drivers do work together seemlessly. From top to bottom, Amati paint a vivid picture of musicians preforming that is more believeable than many other pair I had in my room. On occasion, I thought they could do with a tad more slam on the lowest register but I suppose that would then tip the scale to a heavy handed side of being dead netural.

All in all, I like them very much. Gorgeous finnish and always sound involving no matter what is being play. Price wise, they should fetch around £5,500 - £7,000 (rrp £14,995 in 2003)
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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Wow Thaiman.. It is awesome to read about this great speakers.. and gives me more confidence that I could also target for such speakers, given my average listening room size! thanks alot!!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
just to update yo guys on Chord DAC 64's - I bought a s/hand MkII for £750 (Yay me!!!) and have seen them for around the £800-£900 mark. They dont come up very often but they are definately worth every penny and more. The build quality is incredible and they are pretty much bullet proof (actually as the case is machined from a solid billet of aluminium they are probably litterally bullet too!) - the thing weighs 9kg!!!!.

Yes they dont have a usb input but most PCs ive owned have a digital coax output on the motherboard so you can still acheive very high standards of playback from a PC if that is your cup of tea.
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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ifitsoundsgoodlistentoit said:
(Yay me!!!)
That is super cool! I guess this is the black version.. I missed that auction due to a bike trip
and the recent one was a silver MK1 for over 900 pounds.. man.. it feels like I need to have one of this DAC too


It would also be cool to find the guy who bought the DAC64 from unilet on the saturday sale for 499 pounds!!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Its super cool yes but it is a silver MkII version i bought through a classified ad - I always keep my eye on these classifieds in the back of HFC mag and some websites as the real bargains dont hang around long.

Wow i cant believe someone picked up a MkI for £499!!! Buying s/hand is def the way to go - 95% of my gear was picked up s/hand and I havent had any problems with it and for the money the sound it reproduces is staggering!

Goodluck with your quest.
 

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