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Beresford 7510 MK 6 - initial impressions

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
I would just like to share some thoughts on the new Beresford.

As some of you will remember from my earlier posts here, I was looking for a budget DAC to balance my setup which was a bit too forward in the high ranges. One of the questions was whether to go for and older high-end DAC, or a new one.

My system then was the Marantz PM7200 amplifier running in Class A mode, Klipsch RF-52 speakers, a modded Audio Alchemy 1.1 DAC and a Pioneer 575 DVD player. The speaker/DAC combination was the main culprit here, as the Klipsch has a horn tweeter and the Audio Alchemy had a tendency to struggle with the treble.

Having used the Beresford a few days, i have already noticed the following:
Right from the start it produced better controlled and more clearly defined bass - and in force. The sound stage appears larger and more dynamic. And in the high midtone-treble area it produced the desired effect: The previous harshness is gone, especially in vocals. My system now performs far above its price tag. With four inputs and both fixed and variable output there is no faulting the Beresford's value at all.

With my setup, the combination was ideal. I'm just looking for it to open up a little with proper burn-in.
post #2 of 64
Great! I am getting one soon too. Hope the detail is better than my stock Zhalou 2.5C.
post #3 of 64
I'm looking forward to hearing your opinions on the newest Beresford DAC.

I might get one for myself, since my second-hand 0404 started to produce strange parasite sizzle on left channel... yak!

A good excuse for trying out another yummy piece of equipment, isn't it?
post #4 of 64
The 7510 is also highly moddable according to Stanley Beresford. I will get mine done with Fierce Freaks soldering help.
post #5 of 64
Posted: Mon Aug 20th, 2007 10:24 am
Quote Reply
Righto, I've now had the Beresford for 10 days or so and managed to get a few days of listening in. It's time to return it so here are some more thoughts further to my post on 12th August.

Jerry also sent over his coax (pictured elsewhere in this thread) which is a very nicely made cable. I tried it in parallel with the QED glass optical, both fed from the X-Ray and to be honest the differences were really very marginal. There was perhaps a slight gain in tautness with the coax but I dare say I couldn't tell the two apart if someone else was doing the switching without my knowledge of which is which.

The comparison between this and the DAC64 made earlier still stands after further listening. What I have been able since is compare the Beresford (using coax) to the internal DAC in the Musical Fidelity X-Ray. This yielded quite an interesting comparison and really one of taste and system integration rather than there being any absolute better performer. The Beresford allows the music to flow very nicely and voices and instruments sound quite natural. Switching to the X-Ray gives an unmistakable contrast. It's almost as though the EQ is brought up in the upper mid and treble, which is far more emphasised on the X-Ray. What this means in terms of sound is that music becomes more lively and high pitched notes better projected and clearer. In comparison, the Beresford has a relatively soft sound. Now which is more accurate I don't know (the MF is closer to the DAC64). I can't discern a great difference in PRaT performance between the two despite this apparent difference in EQ. Nor is bass performance much changed.

I see that a number of people have hyped this as a wonder DAC. Clearly this is not quite what my findings would indicate. If I were to try to explain this discrepency it would centre around my choice of amp. The CPM2200 is ideally set up for balanced connection and I find it does need to be well driven by single ended output stages of source components. I suspect the Beresford has quite a low voltage output and this could be holding it back in my system (a problem that simply upping the volume won't solve). Accordingly I did plumb the Beresford into a more modest system in our living room (Arcam 7SE or NAD C521 into NAD219 and Castle Harlechs). With both of these spinners, the Beresford does bring quite a clear improvement, especially in terms of vocal presence and instrumental accuracy/separation. I suspect it is a more suitable upgrade in systems of this type, while it does clearly work for some users in more sophisticated systems.

Anyway, I'd like to thank Jerry very kindly for allowing me to loan his DAC despite my prior scepticism, and it'll be winging it's way back very shortly.


Edit: One thing I forgot to address. The Headphone performance with Grado SR325i is really very acceptable and something I could happily live with. So for a quality DAC and good headphone amp it can't be anything but great value.

Last edited on Mon Aug 20th, 2007 10:28 am by Alex_A

http://www.hifiwigwam.com/forum7/15325-8.html
post #6 of 64
Thread Starter 

Modding the 7510

Quote:
Originally Posted by spacemanspliff View Post
The 7510 is also highly moddable according to Stanley Beresford. I will get mine done with Fierce Freaks soldering help.
Any tips on modding it will be greatly appreciated. Does Stanley himself offer this kind of advice?
post #7 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacemanspliff View Post
I read the whole of that thread and it mentions that the version tested was the MK3. I also tested my own MK3 against my new MK6 and mentioned that the MK6 was far better sounding in a number of areas.
What the above review from that link doesn't mention within the post is that the MK3 was being reviewed against a Chord64 costing at least 20 times more than the MK3!!!!! From test reviews so far on the web we have Linn, Wadia, Chord, Musical Fidelity, etc. being lined up against the Beresford. All high-end names to try to crush a U$200 DAC, that still comes out of it still smelling of roses.

When can we have anyone posting a test review of the Zhaolu, Paradiso, Monica, OMZ, etc. against similar high-end DACs? There have been many assumptions that these DACs in the Beresford price range are better, but no reviews to back up these assumptions. As I wrote many times, that TC-7510 does indeed stack up well against high-end DACs as Stanley initially claimed about a year ago in his eBay sales pitch. I am still trying to understand why he heaped ridicule on himself by selling his DAC at U$200 instead of at say U$500 or more. Perhaps then more people would have taken it serious.
post #8 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herandu View Post
When can we have anyone posting a test review of the Zhaolu, Paradiso, Monica, OMZ, etc. against similar high-end DACs? There have been many assumptions that these DACs in the Beresford price range are better, but no reviews to back up these assumptions.
use the search feature, there are many reviews of these and other DACs compared to other high end DACs
post #9 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herandu View Post
I am still trying to understand why he heaped ridicule on himself by selling his DAC at U$200 instead of at say U$500 or more. Perhaps then more people would have taken it serious.
Probably for the same reason doesn't Oppo sell their DVD players for $600.
I think the design, looks and build may have something to do with it. Nowadays an ElCheapo (Casio, Timex, Swatch, etc.) watch will tell time just as well as a precision crafted Rolex. Yet you'd never be able to sell the El Cheapo watches for $2500.
post #10 of 64
spacemanspliff , I'm also very interested in your comparison of Beresford against Zhaolu !

I was on the fence between the two for quite some time, eventually I bought the Beresford and received it a few days ago. At the same time I also received the Little Dot MK III headphone amp. I stole the setup of penguindude

So now my rig is : M-Audio Revo 5.1 -> Beresford 7510 MK6 -> Little Dot MKIII -> DT880/K81Dj . The dac and the amp are still burning in, I have 10-15 hours on them, but I have some early impressions on Beresford. Only through its headphone out as I haven't tried yet Revo 5.1 directly to Little Dot and when I have both the dac and amp connected can't be sure for now how each influence the sound. My impressions are quite similar to those of the guy in hifiwigwam.com - soft, warm sound signature, emphasize on the lower mids. I first tried my DT880. Some people have warned that the heaphone-out isn't suited for high impedance phone and I found that to be true, I felt the dynamics are gone, as a matter of fact, much more than when I use my sound card headphone-out. On the other hand, the sound was more rich and textured, most instruments sounded more natural and real. Next I tried K81Dj, the combination was pretty bad. K81Dj is regarded as a bass monster, while using my Revo I was thinking that the balance of the phone is not that bad (of course that is with K81Dj defoamed). Well from Beresford it is. Tons of bass, the upper midrange and highs hidden. I was thinking the best synergy would be with Grado headphones and it seems to be so as the guy from the other site reports having good results with SR325.

Of course, my impressions are really early and not purely on the dac, but on it's capabilities as a headphone amp too. I hope that with some more burning the Beresford will open up a little and will prove to be in very good synergy with my amp and my DT880. But even now I believe it is an upgrade over my soundcard with it's rich and full bodied sound. And it better be, it's three times more expensive.
post #11 of 64
I had to sell the Zhalou b/c I snatched up a PS audio superlink II dac for $115. However, I have had 3 Zhalous. A stock 2.0, A modded 2.0 w/ blackgates, no amp, shorted caps and some other touches not on the Oritek level but good sounding imo. Most recently, I had the 2.5C so I have a good idea of the Zhalou sound.

I could not pass on the PS Dac for that price and hope it gives a nice neutral balanced sound I would expect from them. I had a GHCA amp/dac and liked it for it's neutrality and detail.
post #12 of 64
Here's a realistic review of the new Mk-6. Great little DAC.
post #13 of 64
I own the Mark 4 version. Is the Mark 6 significantly better?
post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn&cough View Post
I own the Mark 4 version. Is the Mark 6 significantly better?
In some ways, but I wouldn't rush out and get one if you already have anything from the MK3 upwards. The MK3 to MK5 can take a lot of modding. The MK6 seems to have many potential mods already catered for. But if you are not the solder sniffing type then the MK6 is a revelation as far as I am concerned.
Very good review on headphonesrock. I am glad to see that it found the same things I found in the MK6.
post #15 of 64
It's simply a great bang for the buck. I am not saying it's better than a DAC1 but if your budget is tight look no further. Budget-Fi award winner?
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