Settled with system - Now which DAC?

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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I'm happily settled with my system now ( Cyrus 8vs2 amp, B&W CM5 speakers on Atacama HMS 1.1's & mass-loaded). Music is via iTunes and Apple TV2 via a basic Lindy DAC ( the one WHF reviewed) all connected with Chord CrimsonPlus interconnects and Chord Odyssey 2 speaker cable.

Currently I think the system sounds great but want to demo and if necessary, rule out getting a DAC as it may not make improvements over the current sound.

Budget is max £300 and I'm happy with 2nd hand...

I know it sounds daft to go at it it's way but I want to see once and for all whether a dedicated, more expensive DAC will make a noticeable difference.

My ideas currently are the Arcam rDac, Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 and possibly the Beresford Caiman DAC (seen one on eBay with an upgraded psu for a great price.

Any other suggestions?
 

nads

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2007
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TBH for that money i would have not bothered with the TV2 and the DAC but gone Squeezebox Touch and no DAC as the internal DACs are as good or better than most of the (if not all) the DACs you list.

But that does not answer your question.

What are you looking to change? as you must have a niggle you are not happy with.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
nads said:
TBH for that money i would have not bothered with the TV2 and the DAC but gone Squeezebox Touch and no DAC as the internal DACs are as good or better than most of the (if not all) the DACs you list.

But that does not answer your question.

What are you looking to change? as you must have a niggle you are not happy with.
Well I already had the ATV2 in place as I had a Marantz Melody Media and some B&W 684's beforehand but kept the ATV2 as my music source and obviously for movies etc...

I wanted to stick to streaming music and definitely didn't want to get a CD player as I've no CD's left now!

The ATV2 does a great job IMO but sometimes I wonder if the sound can be opened up a little bit more; the highs (only at times) to be calmed a little and maybe more rounded and even bass...

Not really a niggle; maybe just being a little anal about it really...!
 
A

Anonymous

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Also everything's via AirPlay; Sqeezebox doesn't cater for AirPlay, does it?
 

busb

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Jun 14, 2011
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I'd expect a 2nd/h Caiman to make a big difference. Although well outside your budget, my ATV2's optical out feeding my M-DAC sounds far better than it has any right to.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for the advice...

The MF VDAC is a no go; my friend has one and it made no difference in my system at all.

The Chord looks great but no digital in by the looks of it so that's rules out.

Cambridge DAC looks good and has good inputs so will watch that...

The M-DAC could be an option as I can home demo one as well as the Rega/Arcam DAC's so will have to see...
 

SonofSun

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Mar 11, 2010
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Nad_fanatic said:
Thanks for the advice...

The MF VDAC is a no go; my friend has one and it made no difference in my system at all.

The Chord looks great but no digital in by the looks of it so that's rules out.

Cambridge DAC looks good and has good inputs so will watch that...

The M-DAC could be an option as I can home demo one as well as the Rega/Arcam DAC's so will have to see...
I just sold my Rega DAC as I could descern no difference between it and the Sonos Dac. Ime, Dacs just don't make that much of a difference.
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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Nad_fanatic said:
The MF VDAC is a no go; my friend has one and it made no difference in my system at all.

The M-DAC could be an option as I can home demo one as well as the Rega/Arcam DAC's so will have to see...
I think that you have your answer right there. Mind you, if you are home demoing, you could have any budget you like and try something higher up in the price stakes. ;)
 

Overdose

Well-known member
Feb 8, 2008
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I would say that if you are looking to see if there is any difference between DACs to give peace of mind, second hand is the way to go. If you hear no benefit, reselling will get you back most of, if not all of your outlay.

This would do, if the price stays sensible.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/STUNNING-Cambridge-Audio-DacMagic-Plus-Mac-PC-Audio-DAC-Headphone-Amp-LOOK-/300682747218?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Amplifiers&hash=item4602169d52

or these..

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Chord-Electronics-Chordette-Gem-USB-Bluetooth-Dac-Black-/320870505405?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item4ab55f5bbd

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Musical-Fidelity-V-DAC-digital-to-analogue-converter-mint-condition-/160764715417?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item256e52e199
 

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