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Musical Fidelity V-Dac

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Any comments on this from anybody? I'm looking to buy a DAC in the next month or so. It will be used both with my 340C and also with my laptop/Squeezebox for ALAC files.

I've read lots about the Beresford, but I'm worried that it might introduce a harsh edge into the sound, whilst the DacMagic is a little bit more than I really want to spend.

Of most importance is for the Dac to provide a step forward over the Cyrstal DAC employed in the 340C. I am looking to keep the smoothness and fluidity of sound I've got, but with more precise imaging.

Any ideas/thoughts gratefully received.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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matthewpiano:

I've read lots about the Beresford, but I'm worried that it might introduce a harsh edge into the sound....

That is not my experience I can assure you. (Even without the op-amp upgrade.)

I cannot comment on the MF DAC.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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chebby:
matthewpiano:

I've read lots about the Beresford, but I'm worried that it might introduce a harsh edge into the sound....

That is not my experience I can assure you. (Even without the op-amp upgrade.)

I cannot comment on the MF DAC.

Chebby, have you tried the headphone stage on the Beresford? One of the other things I want eventually is a dedicated headphone amp to drive my DT770PROs. Do you think it could compete with standalone headphone amps as some people suggest?
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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No, to be honest (despite having an almost unused and boxed pair of HD-595s) I have not used headphones for ages, years actually.

I just don't like wearing 'phones any more.

I could try them in the TC-7520 but I have no frame of reference with which to compare. I sold my old Rega EAR headphone amp years ago.
 

idc

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Jan 2, 2008
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Hi Matthew. I have only just started to listen to it and I don't have anything to compare it with, but the DAC in the XcanV8P sounds very good to me. I have gone through my tester tracks (Massive Attack - Angel, New Order - Regret, Ash- Oh Yeah, Gomez - Whippin' Picadilly) and it sounds fine to me. It is insightful, good detail retrieval, an even sound from bass to treble and a quite bright but not a tiring sound. The V8 has a USB Burr-Brown DAC, I do not know and cannot find what the one in the VDAC is, but I would assume it is better.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Thanks mate. I am leaning very much towards the MF, with the plan to add a V-Can later on. Your recent customer service experience with MF makes them a very attractive brand to purchase from.
 

idc

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Jan 2, 2008
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I have read the What hifi VDAC review and I am now listening to U2's new album on Spotify through the XcanV8P's DAC and the midrange is rich and detailed. The high hat cymbols sound more like a tambourine and the bass is there, very clear, but it does not drop through the floor. There is a touch of sibilance with Bono's voice, but that may be more of a feature of my headphones.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Thanks for the info. Maybe the sibilance could be down to the streaming quality from Spotify????

I certainly like the sound of the rich and detailed midrange.

I'm just listening to my Denon tuner through the NAD for the first time and it sounds excellent. Will be interesting to find out what DAC is used in that!!

Edit: Seems to be a Burr-Brown.
 

idc

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Jan 2, 2008
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Spotify, the headphones, the DAC, the original recording, don't know. But the sibilance (and by that I mean treble frequency smearing, a sort of tizz noise) is not in the way and I have found it with different setups. One of the worst voices for the same effect is Chris Martin.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Not a problem with the v-dac. Full, rich, detailed and refined sound. Excellent particularly for classical. Not forward or bright, merely musical.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Tarquinh:Not a problem with the v-dac. Full, rich, detailed and refined sound. Excellent particularly for classical. Not forward or bright, merely musical.

Thats the final few words I needed. I'm sold on it. From what you and idc have said about the V-DAC and X-Can respectively, it sounds like the MF is just what I am looking for.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Do keep us posted if you buy the V-Dac. I have been researching DACs myself and have been leaning towards the V-Dac. I notice that we seem to have quite similar musical/electronic tastes and recall that we agreed furiously about the Arcam A70 in a previous thread (FMJ A32 is a different kettle of fish I can tell you!), so I'll be very interested to hear what you think of the V-Dac. I note that some people say that it performs much better with an upgraded,separate power supply than with the included wall wart - but then you lose the budget advantage. There are a couple of huge threads on the v-dac on other audio forums (a quick google will find them for you)

Cheers,

Julienne
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Well, out of the packet, cold.....

....its stunning. Like listening to a much more expensive CD player, but having spent minimal amounts. Smooth, very detailed, great frequency integration and that extra space and airiness that I was looking for.

Will post more detailed thoughts after a few days listening but I already feel like my hi-fi is now complete and, after selling surplus kit, its not cost me anything.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Nice one Matt. I can readily believe something like the VDAC will improve a lot over the CA340. Looking forward to hearing more of your observations
 
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Anonymous

Guest
In my obsessive googling for products I'm considering buying I came across a link for the V Dac that linked to a German Hi Fi magazine that rated it above the Dacmagic. I wont get it because it has inputs and outputs at either end and placing would be difficult in my setup. Plus I have a 640p phono stage the dacmagic will sit on top of and look nice. Lets face it we all want nice looking things with flashing blue lights.
 
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Anonymous

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chebby, which op amp did u use to upgrade your Beresford TC-7520? was it the LM4562?
 

idc

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Jan 2, 2008
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matthewpiano:Well, out of the packet, cold..... ....its stunning. Like listening to a much more expensive CD player, but having spent minimal amounts. Smooth, very detailed, great frequency integration and that extra space and airiness that I was looking for. Will post more detailed thoughts after a few days listening but I already feel like my hi-fi is now complete and, after selling surplus kit, its not cost me anything.

Brilliant matthew. When I spoke to Antony Michaelson after my recent MF episode he described the DAC in the X-CANV8P as starter, but the VDAC as just about the best you could get. He said it had performed equally as well as far more expensive DACs in a blind test. They way you describe the VDAC is exactly the same as I have described the sound from mine. The VDAC will be my upgrade of choice, especially as it is so small and can be tucked out the way.

Out of interest, what is the PSU like? The V-CANS was cheap looking and got very hot. The X-CANV8P is vented, far more substantial and runs cooler.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
jrwight:Matthew,How about some more impressions of the V-Dac?

Echo matthews thoughts exacty. There's a sense of spaciousness and notes hanging in the air I've not heard except with much more expensive gear.

If slam is your thing, that's the only area which could be said to be lacking. It's also not as forward as is the modern fashion, but musical it certainly is.

Apologies for stealing a march on matthew, but I've been trumpeting the pluses of the v-dac for a while and it's nice to see some interest for a DAC that seems to get bypassed in the DAC/Beresford hysteria. Rated better than the dacmagic in a german magazine, by the way, and worthy of inclusion in some high-end systems..ÿ
 

Ajani

New member
Apr 9, 2008
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Tarquinh:
jrwight:Matthew,How about some more impressions of the V-Dac?

Echo matthews thoughts exacty. There's a sense of spaciousness and notes hanging in the air I've not heard except with much more expensive gear.

If slam is your thing, that's the only area which could be said to be lacking. It's also not as forward as is the modern fashion, but musical it certainly is.

Apologies for stealing a march on matthew, but I've been trumpeting the pluses of the v-dac for a while and it's nice to see some interest for a DAC that seems to get bypassed in the DAC/Beresford hysteria. Rated better than the dacmagic in a german magazine, by the way, and worthy of inclusion in some high-end systems..

The V-DAC is also getting very good press in US Mags... it really seems to be a matter of which presentation you prefer, as both the DACMagic and V-DAC are highly praised...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
It's good to hear your opinion too, Tarquin! Slam's certainly not my thing...more classical and jazz...so it sounds from what you have both said and what I've read to date that the v-dac might be a good option for me, too.
 

idc

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Jan 2, 2008
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There is an interesting discussion on the V-DAC here on the Rock Grotto site. There is quite a lot of chat to go through, but these are the guys who mod Musical Fidelity kit either for a living or as a hobby and know their stuff intimately.

Tarqunih - what is the PSU like? Is it a cheap wall wart that gets very hot, or a more substantial vented one?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Looks like a standard Maplins type one to me, nothing flash. However, there is a warning in the manual about using anything but that power supply - possible warranty issues?

Don't know why you'd want to modify something that sounds so good already though.ÿ
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
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I am geting a 'Little Pinky' PSU from Rock Grotto for my X-CANV8P. I was getting a Russ Andrews PSU, the one for the DACmagic, but I was able to cancel and they were happy as a winding machine had broken down and they had a huge back-log of orders. There are a lot of reviews to suggest the 'Little Pinky' is a worthwhile upgrade. It depends which MF product that you use as to whether there is such a warning. In any case, so long as the PSU is purpose built and has the correct type of supply and voltage etc it will be fine. I don't bother with warranties and so I have saved a fortune over the years. In any case Rock Grotto stuff and modifications comes with longer warranties than MF anyway.

The main reason why I ask is that the stock PSU for my V2 got very hot and that surely has a (slight) negative effect on performance.
 

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