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Best DAC under $2000 - Page 4

post #46 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdivider View Post
I have a different approach. I use my Cambridge Audio 840C CDP as my DAC. I haven't done a thorough A-B test, but my friend who has the Benchmark DAC is going to try the 840C after hearing my system. It uses twin Analog Devices 24 bit DACs, and the digital gets converted to analog differentially, meaning the left & right channels get split in the digital domain & then get converted into analog with 2 DACs per channel. So if you use balanced output? You'll get killer results. Who else uses Analog Devices DACs? Esoteric... enough said.

Is it tube-like? I can't categorize it as that, but I can't also categorize its sound as solid state... I often think that way of analyzing sound is reductive. Music just sounds really warm, less digital.

And, oh yeah. It's one hell of a good CD player. The music sounds fantastic from my Cambridge on both the solid state Plinius 8150 and tube Leben CS600.
I haven't heard 840c myself yet, but I've read an article written by an reviewer who connected 840c with an Accustic Arts Drive I and found a better result over the 840c's transport.
post #47 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cankin View Post
I haven't heard 840c myself yet, but I've read an article written by an reviewer who connected 840c with an Accustic Arts Drive I and found a better result over the 840c's transport.
Thanks for the info. To my ears, 840C sounds pretty phenomenal. I doubt I'd get to try to the Acoustic Arts Drive, and after a certain point, you're really splitting hairs & that gets in the way of just listening to music, I feel. Maybe years down the line, I'll look toward Accuphase or Esoteric for Transport/DAC, but until then, I'm pretty satisfied.
post #48 of 66
oh, I was trying to say that the potential of 840c's DAC is so high. I'm not bashing it, as it will be my dream CDP
post #49 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
I really like the apogee minidac w/ the sigma11 power supply as a great sounding, flexible dac.
That's what I have on the way to me as I type. Hope you are right.

Actually, here is a great review I found: apogeedac
post #50 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajani View Post
One thing to remember in that review, his primary need was just as a USB DAC. But for people like me, 80% of the time the Apogee will be used via optical or Coax with a CD player or DVD player, and many will do it in a balanced configuration.
post #51 of 66
For under $2,000, a PS Audio DL-III with modifications by Rick Cullen is hard to beat.

DLIII Stage III(adds WBT NextGen and clock mod) (DL3-STAGE III) - PS Audio DAC, GCHA, GCPH modifications - Cullen Circuits
HOLY!!!!.....THE DL-III MODIFICATION IS HERE - PSAudio Discussion Forums

There is talk that PS Audio is planning on coming out with a new DAC which will incorporate these modifications. It probably will look much different then the DL-III as well.

"...In conclusion, the stock DL III was an impressive performer. It displayed plenty of detail and a warmer tonal balance than I normally hear with modern digital. It's not perfect but for the price I have no serious complaints. Even if it retailed for $2,000, I'd still give it a thumbs up. After perusing various CES 2008 show reports during which my eyes glazed over from $15,000 preamps, $40,000 speakers and even a $24,000 music server, this audio tight wad is thankful for products like the Digital Link III that offer terrific sound for such a reasonable price...
The Cullen Circuits Stage Three mod builds upon the fine-sounding stock DL III and takes it up to a level that I'd frankly expect to pay $3,000-$4,000 for. It provided an ideal mix of detail and musicality at a very attractive price... "

6moons audio reviews: PS Audio Digital Link III w. Cullen Circuits Stage Three Mod
post #52 of 66
Benchmark
post #53 of 66
Take a look at my recent post on the Zhaolu 2.5C with some extensive mods against a Reimyo CDP-777, which is a $17,000 CD player.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/mod.../index201.html

Enjoy,
Bob
post #54 of 66
I'm pretty keen to try Cayin's tubed DAC1 ($799) which was announced at CES '08.
post #55 of 66
Benchmark DAC1 USB
post #56 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaw007 View Post
Benchmark DAC1 USB
I don't see one of those in your profile, did you have one and sell it?
post #57 of 66
post #58 of 66

I have the stock DL III and have to say that I am very happy with it. If all the hype surrounding Cullen Mods is true, than it must be pretty awesome piece of kit. However, I also think you should consider the NAD M51 ($2000). I have read reviews that place it in league well above its price point. Check out the Stereophile review, for instance. I actually pulled the trigger on it myself, but had to have it back ordered, as here in the States they are flying off the shelves, quicker than they are resupplied!  

post #59 of 66

That was going to be my suggestion as well.  I'd shy away from the kits even though they are very tempting.  Audio Note makes the kits out of the parts that do not pass as qualified components for their actual equipment, so things won't be matched or as up to spec as they normally would.  Go with a DAC 1 signature, DAC 2, should be in your pricerange.

post #60 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by colinharding View Post

That was going to be my suggestion as well.  I'd shy away from the kits even though they are very tempting.  Audio Note makes the kits out of the parts that do not pass as qualified components for their actual equipment, so things won't be matched or as up to spec as they normally would.  Go with a DAC 1 signature, DAC 2, should be in your pricerange.

Serious?
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