Please rate/review the arcam d33/naim dac/Cyrus dac x+/chord qbd 76

gregvet

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I am interested in a dac for my main system, and am considering the arcam d33 or chord qbd76 as my main options. I have not ruled out the naim or Cyrus dacs tho. My difficulty is demoing them all, I have heard the chord ages ago and loved it, but I haven't heard the others and cannot find anywhere that does more than one of them for comparative demoing purposes!

If you have heard, own, or sell any of the above dacs, or any price comparable dacs that you consider better, please describe how it sounds, how you would rate them and why.

BTW my system consists of sonos, arcam av9/p7, PMC FB1i's incase that makes any diffence with your reccomendations!

Thanks in advance
 

CnoEvil

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Hi there again.

The Dacs you have listed are all worthy, and the only one you might want to add to the list (just to add to the confusion), is the Weiss 202.

The problem is they each have the house sound of the company that makes them.....and the view you will get, will be heavily biassed by the taste of the person recommending them.

Speaking in general terms, if you value a more analogue sound, look at Arcam and Weiss; if on the contrary you favor a more forward, analytical and highly detailed sound, then short list the Chord and Cyrus.

I think the Naim may fall somewhere in the middle,giving an exciting punchy delivery, though maybe less subtle, almost throwing the music at you.....and then there is always the temptation of the power supply.

I think you are now at the stage of finding your perfect match through some demos....I still think the Arcam is the one to go for, but I'm no more likely to be right than anyone else.
 

gregvet

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Thanks Cno. I know I need to demo. It's difficult though to find anywhere that does the chord, which is my benchmark as I loved it when I heard it before.

I keep looking at the reviews of the resonessence invicta too, although that really is more than I want to spend.

Was hoping David might be around to offer an opinion?!
 
Hi gregvet

I would say the QBD76 as given the high quality of performance the QBD76 is capable of with just 128kpbs over bluetooth APTX (confirmed by the surprised looks/reactions from many of my clients over the last four years - the current QBD's are even better btw) let alone sources with higher bit rates. Additionally the QBD's superb level of build, fit, finishing, reliability and the ability (to an extent) to customize its looks helps the QBD76 a safe bet :)

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

chebby

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If you are going to spend a few £Ks on a DAC it may as well look like a few £Ks...

chord-image1.jpg


... rather than something that shares the ubiqitous bent steel box/anodised ally fascia of any other bit of budget hifi made in the last 35 years...

fota.php
 
chebby said:
If you are going to spend a few £Ks on a DAC it may as well look like a few £Ks...

chord-image1.jpg


... rather than something that shares the ubiqitous bent steel box/anodised ally fascia of any other bit of budget hifi made in the last 35 years...

fota.php

Hi chebby

QBD76's in black, silver Chord Electronics badge, nickel ring and red internal light looks great 8) Having said this QBD76's in 'Jet Black' finish looks even better :pray:

My current demo/display QBD76 is in Brilliant Silver, silver Chord Electronics badge, nickel ring with red internal light and it looks stunning :)

I would say that in looks, build, fit and finishing alone QBD76's are worth their asking price.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

Frank Harvey

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Personally, I'd prefer something where the casework cost a little less :)

Gregvet - I haven't heard the Chord or the Arcam, so can't really say how they compare to the others - I'll leave that to those who have heard more than two of those products.
 

Craig M.

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yes, but at least you can see where some of the money has gone, the chord is built like an expensive watch. let's face it, the bits inside the other dacs probably only cost a few quid, whereas the chord doesn't use an off the shelf dac chip so, development wise, probably cost more there too. i've heard three of them but not in the same system, so no point commenting.
 

gregvet

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Gregvet - I haven't heard the Chord or the Arcam, so can't really say how they compare to the others - I'll leave that to those who have heard more than two of those products.

What have you heard round that level, and what would you go for yourself of what you sell, out of interest. Im keen to get alternative suggestions.

The resonessence invicta looks lovely, although more than I would be comfortable spending blind, as it were!
 

gregvet

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chebby said:
If you are going to spend a few £Ks on a DAC it may as well look like a few £Ks...

chord-image1.jpg


... rather than something that shares the ubiqitous bent steel box/anodised ally fascia of any other bit of budget hifi made in the last 35 years...

fota.php

Im a big fan of the chord, but I would be happy with a brick if it sounded as good. Plus the uglier the easier to get past the other half without the 'how much did that cost' conversation lol!
 

Sospri

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I concur.

The Chord looks a bit flashy to me, never have been impressed by style over substance , if of course it is in this instance.....
 

BenLaw

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Sospri said:
I concur.

The Chord looks a bit flashy to me, never have been impressed by style over substance , if of course it is in this instance.....

As Craig has said, using a proprietary DAC chip it is style and substance. Still costs a lot....
 

Frank Harvey

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gregvet said:
What have you heard round that level, and what would you go for yourself of what you sell, out of interest. Im keen to get alternative suggestions.

I'm not overly keen on stand alone DACs any more. With the emergence of digital products like the Leema Elements DAC, the Audiolab 8200DQ and M-DAC, the Classe CP800, the Cyrus DACxp Plus etc (basically DACs with integrated digital or analogue pre-amps), I personally see less value in a DAC which is just a DAC. With an integrated pre-amp, you're cutting down on an extra run of quality killing cables, and those with digital pre-amps having the advantage of the possibility of keeping the original signal untouched.

Another aspect is that there are streamers emerging with on board high quality DACs. We no longer keep the Naim DAC on display, because of the value offered by the Naim NDX is better value for money - you get the £2100 DAC, but for £900 you get a high quality Naim streamer with a great iPad app.

Obviously your system is a little different as it is AV based and you already have a pre-amp, whereas I'm coming at this from a 2-channel point of view. But you did ask what I would go for personally :)
 

CnoEvil

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
I'm not overly keen on stand alone DACs any more. With the emergence of digital products like the Leema Elements DAC, the Audiolab 8200DQ and M-DAC, the Classe CP800, the Cyrus DACxp Plus etc (basically DACs with integrated digital or analogue pre-amps), I personally see less value in a DAC which is just a DAC. With an integrated pre-amp, you're cutting down on an extra run of quality killing cables, and those with digital pre-amps having the advantage of the possibility of keeping the original signal untouched.

Another aspect is that there are streamers emerging with on board high quality DACs. We no longer keep the Naim DAC on display, because of the value offered by the Naim NDX is better value for money - you get the £2100 DAC, but for £900 you get a high quality Naim streamer with a great iPad app.

Obviously your system is a little different as it is AV based and you already have a pre-amp, whereas I'm coming at this from a 2-channel point of view. But you did ask what I would go for personally :)

I couldn't agree more, and have been saying so for some time. A Dac is a "bolt-on" fix, rather than an integrated solution (shoot me now!)
 

CnoEvil

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MUSICRAFT said:
CnoEvil said:
I couldn't agree more, and have been saying so for some time. A Dac is a "bolt-on" fix, rather than an integrated solution (shoot me now!)

Hi CnE

And the benefits of active speakers?

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

When I hear an Active speaker, that sounds like my Refs do, when driven by a full Class A amp....

:cheer:
 

shooter

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CnoEvil said:
I couldn't agree more, and have been saying so for some time. A Dac is a "bolt-on" fix, rather than an integrated solution (shoot me now!)

Shot! Lol i'm basing my whole new system around a DAC pre :shhh:
 
CnoEvil said:
MUSICRAFT said:
CnoEvil said:
I couldn't agree more, and have been saying so for some time. A Dac is a "bolt-on" fix, rather than an integrated solution (shoot me now!)

Hi CnE

And the benefits of active speakers?

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

When I hear an Active speaker, that sounds like my Refs do, when driven by a full Class A amp.... :cheer:

HI CnE

And your speakers and amp are?

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

CnoEvil

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shooter69 said:
CnoEvil said:
I couldn't agree more, and have been saying so for some time. A Dac is a "bolt-on" fix, rather than an integrated solution (shoot me now!)

Shot! Lol i'm basing my whole new system around a DAC pre :shhh:

That's not quite the same as bunging a Dac onto a lackluster CDP to freshen it up (he says while putting the shovel down, and climbing out of the hole. ;) )
 

shooter

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CnoEvil said:
shooter69 said:
CnoEvil said:
I couldn't agree more, and have been saying so for some time. A Dac is a "bolt-on" fix, rather than an integrated solution (shoot me now!)

Shot! Lol i'm basing my whole new system around a DAC pre :shhh:

That's not quite the same as bunging a Dac onto a lackluster CDP to freshen it up (he says while putting the shovel down, and climbing out of the hole. ;) )

:grin:

Going on that little friday evening i hade with CDP's and a DAC recently i'd do along with that, the dac did make a difference but the CDP's kept there flavour.
 

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