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Digital Input upgrade to Cyrus system

Roman Totale

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Nov 23, 2011
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Hi

I have a Cyrus system - CD8Se2 going into a PreXvs and two Smart Power power amps.

I also have a Mac (which I am usually working on when I listen to music) with lots of Apple Lossless files on it in the same room - about 5m from the Cyrus kit. I have an iphone and ipad which I think with the Apple Remote app might let me play my music from a separate storage device..?

I am considering upgrading the PreXvs to a Pre XPd at a cost of £799. I have two questions:

1. Is this the best way to get music from my mac/itunes library into the cyrus system for that money or (preferably) less?

2. Will the PreXPd improve the sound from my system, either just as an upgraded pre amp and/or running my 8Se2 through the Pre XPd's DAC?

I might consider paying the extra £300 for the improved Qx DAC module if that was going to significantly improve the sound from the 8Se2.

That's probably more than 2 questions, and any thoughts welcome.

Many thanks.
 

ifor

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2002
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I recently had an 8 Qx DAC on loan and played my CD8 SE through it both using the Qx DAC module and the DAC built into the CD 8. The Qx DAC is significantly better.
 

BronC

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Jun 26, 2010
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If you are willing to spend £799 + £300 - then it might be worth looking for a used DAC-XP+. This still is the best Cyrus DAC / Pre-amp.
 

gregvet

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Dec 24, 2008
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BronC said:
If you are willing to spend £799 + £300 - then it might be worth looking for a used DAC-XP+. This still is the best Cyrus DAC / Pre-amp.
this is good advice. Dac xp+ can be got for £1000 on the bay (cheaper elsewhere sometimes), and then sell your current pre.
 

jockey.wilson

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Jan 27, 2009
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DAC XP doesn't have a USB input whereas the Pre XPd and XPd Qx does; this may be the decider when using a computer as a source.

Pre XPd QX is VERY good (I used to own one); even better with a PSX-R (plenty available used).
 

gregvet

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Dec 24, 2008
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As the OP is using a mac, optical will be available and should sound just as good as USB.

I think either option will work great, but the dac xp optio may have the potential to sound better, although I'm not definitely saying that it will sound better in the system. YMMV
 

BronC

New member
Jun 26, 2010
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Musical Fidelity do a v-link II USB to spdif converter. It has a USB input and two spdif outputs - one Toselink and the other RCA. There are two versions - one that will handle upto 24bit 96k and the other handles 24bit 192k. I have the cheaper one which you can get on e-bay for about £50.

The converter reduces judder completely and allows you to use the RCA digital input on the DAC XP+
 

Roman Totale

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Nov 23, 2011
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Thanks gregvet and BronC.

Are these machines sturdy enough that you can buy something that expensive from ebay, with confidence, do you think?
 

gregvet

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Dec 24, 2008
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Obviously there is a risk with any purchase, but if you can find one still under warranty then it should be transferable.

Cyrus will always repair or service older items, although this comes with a cost.

All depends on whether you are willing to take the risk, personally I have bought lots this way off ebay and had no problems, but you do have to be careful.
 

Roman Totale

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Nov 23, 2011
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Thanks Jockey, Ifor and all.

I went and checked the Cyrus website (which is not always that clear on such matters) does say that the Qx DAC is between the 8se and DAC X+.

In terms of the Pre XPd, they say the 8se is 'the logical match' for it, however that leaves me unclear whether they are suggesting that digitally connecting the 8se would improve the sound, or they are assuming one would be just be using the digital inputs for other sources...

If in fact the Pre XPd is not going to give an improved DAC, I might be as well pay the extra £300 for the Qx version, or indeed go for a used DAC XP+

Thanks
 

Roman Totale

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Nov 23, 2011
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Thanks gregvet

I guess if you are getting an item that still retails new for £2500 for £1000 then it seems a pretty good gamble: even in the worst event that it was damaged it could probably still be repaired for a significant saving on buying a new one...
 

ifor

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2002
71
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There's a bit of a bargin up for grabs on eBay at present. "Administration" says I can't buy it!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/150927752250?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
 

gregvet

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Dec 24, 2008
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ifor said:
There's a bit of a bargin up for grabs on eBay at present. "Administration" says I can't buy it!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/150927752250?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
Yes if it wasnt collection only, I would have been all over that just for the stand, PSXR and X power, then flogging the Dac XP ;)
 

gregvet

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Dec 24, 2008
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Thanks for the offer. Its not that far from my folks so I did consider going to see them and buying that lot at the same time. If I hadnt have just bought a second hand x power and Dac XP, I would have been there like a shot :doh:
 

Roman Totale

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Nov 23, 2011
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Hi, without an impractical rearrangement of my listening room, I would probably need a 5m optical cable: is that practical? How flexible are the cables, e.g. to go behind bookcases, fit in corners, etc?
 

gregvet

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Dec 24, 2008
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You can buy optical cables up to 10m here (to be clear i am not recommending those specific cables and have no first hand experience of them, using a shorter length of a more 'audiophile' (ie expensive!) optical cable myself.

As long as you can hide it away and dont try and make it bend too sharply, it should be fine. Presumably you have to do the same with USB currently?
 

gregvet

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Dec 24, 2008
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You can get up to 20m long optical cables here

I have no experience of those specific ones btw, but have used shorter lengths with no issue and they are generally failry flexible but cannot be bent too sharply.

Presumably you are using a USB cable in the same way currently?
 

Roman Totale

New member
Nov 23, 2011
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Hi all,

This might be a daft question, but will a DAC be able to handle Apple lossless files, whcih is the main format most of the music on my computer is in? I was looking at Cyrus streamers and it is not included in the formats they can handle.

Or does the Mac convert the music back into a standard digital music file (WAV) before digitally outputting it..?
 

gregvet

New member
Dec 24, 2008
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Roman Totale said:
Hi all,

This might be a daft question, but will a DAC be able to handle Apple lossless files, whcih is the main format most of the music on my computer is in? I was looking at Cyrus streamers and it is not included in the formats they can handle.

Or does the Mac convert the music back into a standard digital music file (WAV) before digitally outputting it..?
DAC's handle apple lossless fine (I assume for the reason you describe). The newer 'mark II' versions of the cyrus streamers handle apple lossless fine, but the original versions dont, which IMO was a big oversight and not really forgiveable. Especially given how much they charge for upgrading to allow a feature that should have been included originally!

BTW I posted twice in response to your question about optical cables, but the system has eaten both responses. Short version, cos I cant be bothered to type it all again (sorry!) is should be fine, you can buy it in much longer lengths than 5m, but you cant really bend it into 90 degree angles, so need to be careful going round corners. Not massively different to USB tho, which presumably you already use.
 

Roman Totale

New member
Nov 23, 2011
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Thanks gregvet for the helpful and timely reply.

Timely in that I was bidding for a DAC XP on ebay, and suddenly had that question just before it was due to end. Won the auction, and think I got myself a bargain. Just missed a CDTSe which went for under £400. It was the same seller. if they had made the XT finish after the DAC I would have bid more for it, but didn't want to end up with an expensive transport and be forced to buy a DAC to make use of it.

Thanks all for your help over the course of this. Didn't expect to have concluded this so fast.
 

gregvet

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Dec 24, 2008
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No worries, and glad to help. I have been waiting for my Dac XP+ for two weeks now (the dealer offered to send it back to cyrus to have the firmware updating before sending it to me). Im getting pretty impatient now :oops:

I dont think you will be dissapointed, every time I have demoed the dac xp ive been very impressed.

Let us know what you think when it arrives!
 

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