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Hate to open the Beresford can of worms, but...

post #1 of 111
Thread Starter 
I've read through some of the Beresford TC-7150 threads here until my eyes burn, starting with this opus: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/ber...c-mkii-207560/

All the claims, counter claims, photos of disfigured chips, and what not makes the 7510 the most controversial product I've read about since coming to HeadFi several months ago.

So my question, especially for some of the veterans, is what consensus finally emerged about this product? And can anyone tell me why Beresford has engendered so much skepticism/mistrust around here? Is he an honest guy trying to sell an honest product, or someone to be avoided?

For what it's worth, I've been a very happy camper since I started passing over the big, well established brands and started buying direct from the likes of Oppo, Headroom, Little Dot and AudioMagus. They have all earned my trust through responsive, candid customer service.

My limited e-mail interaction with Stanley Beresford, on the other hand, has left me with more questions than answers about this company and its lone product. That's why I'm hoping to tap the collective wisdom of the HeadFi community to see what's what.

Just for the record, I'm looking for a DAC to connect my Airport Express and universal DVD player to my Little Dot MKIV, which I am using as a pre-amp for a T-amp.
post #2 of 111
post #3 of 111
Emu0404 USB, Zero DAC, Channel Islands VDA2 (+VAC 1), MSB Link DAC III (+P-1000), Blue Circle Thingee, and Cambridge Audio DAC magic are just a few of the bajillion choices out there
post #4 of 111
Thread Starter 
Golden Monkey seems to enjoy Beresford food fights! Not much fighting going on around here at present. Which is fine by me. But I'm getting the impression that the Beresford, as attractive as the price might be, is not a product that has been warmly embraced by the broader HeadFi community in the same way that, say, Little Dot has.

Perhaps that tells me everything I need to know. But thought I'd make one last call for opinions before dropping it from my list.
post #5 of 111
The TC-7510 is a competant DAC at it's price point. When I A/B a source direct to my amp and from the TC-7510, I generally hear an improvement from the DAC. I will consider replacing it if I audition another DAC in my budget range that betters the Beresford to my ears. Right now I am working on the analog side of my system and am not actively looking to replace the TC-7510.

My pre-purchase emails to Stanley Beresford were answered quickly and cordially. He did share a mod with me to the TC-7510 recently. I have it half completed. The first half of the mod produced a slight enhancement to soundstage.
post #6 of 111
I frequent another board full of Brits, mostly pretty high-end audiophiles. Over there, the Beresford is thought well of, considered to be a "piece of kit" as the Brits say, that punches well above its weight. Stanley himself frequents the board and seems to be a straightforward, unassuming guy who knows his stuff.

Not sure what the problem is here.

Tim
post #7 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
Not sure what the problem is here.
There is a saying that says 'You can please some people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.'
post #8 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by McPanse
My limited e-mail interaction with Stanley Beresford, on the other hand, has left me with more questions than answers about this company and its lone product. That's why I'm hoping to tap the collective wisdom of the HeadFi community to see what's what.
You're not the only one by any means. I was left feeling the same way after a few emails with the guy.


I'm not sure what to think of the Beresford. I was shopping for a new DAC it came between it, the Shek D1, and the Moodlab Concept.

I sent a few emails to Stanley and wasn't really sold on the product. First, the caps used are pretty much unheard of here in the US and since they must comply with EU standards who knows what compromises had to be made (and trust me, they can be tremendous).

Next, while using a competitive price point by all means . . . the scratching out of part numbers seems really weak to me. I just have a hard time trying to defend a guy that seems overly secretive.

Next, he took a swipe at the members of head-fi calling them sooth sayers. He defended his choice of opamps by saying:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanely
OPAMPS are used in the mixing decks between mic and recording machine in the recording studio. What do you suppose one more opamp in the audio chain is going to do that 10 or more have not done already?".
By this logic, I can argue that there should be no difference after compressing from MP3 to WMA to RA to ACC and back to MP3. I mean, after it's gone through one what does it matter.

Obviously not a perfect analogy, but the concept stands true.

I also understand having an opinion of your own, but attacking a whole community upon which you do business is . . . well, silly isn't it?

He also followed up with:

Quote:
When you watch TV, have you noticed how advertisers first find an illness or a problem, and then try to sell you the solution?"
Yes, because I'm going to sell you a pill for no other reason than it being a pill . . . >_>

He said whoever considers it should just try it since he offers a refund if you don't like. Considering how expensive shipping is though it makes it a bit difficult when on an absolute budget. If you have the money though it might be worth a shot.


In the end though, my opinion of the DAC and guy is really neither here nor there. I don't hate the guy by any means, but "unassuming" as tfarney put it is hardly how I'd put it.


Of course, I hope this post doesn't cause too much of an outrage from either camp or Stanley . . . but it probably will.

*sighs*

I ended up going with the Shek D1 myself though.
post #9 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shike View Post
You're not the only one by any means. I was left feeling the same way after a few emails with the guy.
[ ]

Of course, I hope this post doesn't cause too much of an outrage from either camp or Stanley . . . but it probably will.

*sighs*

I ended up going with the Shek D1 myself though.
As I said, 'you can't please all of the people all of the time..'

By the way, how did you feel about the guy who makes the Shek D1 after you had a few emails exchanges with him?
post #10 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanleyB1
As I said, 'you can't please all of the people all of the time..'
True, hopefully there's no hard feelings though all in all. I think we have some core differences in our personality and thought process though which I don't find agreeable unfortunately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StanleyB1 View Post
By the way, how did you feel about the guy who makes the Shek D1 after you had a few emails exchanges with him?
Extremely pleasant, very willing to answer any questions I had about the unit. Pretty easygoing all in all. Seemed to have a good idea when it came to unit layout and construction.

I had also talked to Moodlab and they too were very upfront about the concept including all brands used and where they generally put them. Still, from the looks of it the Shek D1 was the overall better choice between the two . . . though I may want to add a reclocking circuit to it in the future depending (the one thing the Moodlab looked like it did really well in comparison).

In terms of how you compared to the other two, you all had solid communication and for the most part were helpful too. Though, the others go into their design philosophy a bit more and don't get as ruffled when other design styles are brought up. Of course, I've dealt with much worse with other companies, like eD for example (they make speakers & subs).

Either way, can't wait for the D1 to arrive so I can actually do some listening tests compared to my dated Entech. Hopefully I get more texture out of my music, as after I upgraded my amp I noticed something I hadn't heard a long time in vocals . . . vibrato. Of course, most of the things I'm upgrading are on my speaker system . . . which makes it amusing that I'm posting on head-fi.
post #11 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shike View Post
Though, the others go into their design philosophy a bit more and don't get as ruffled when other design styles are brought up.
Ruffled? In the design world we call it horses for courses. Talk class A or class B in amplifier design, and you get various opinions. Even belt drive versus direct drive causes long topics.
post #12 of 111
I bought a Beresford a month or two ago and heard a great improvement in sound quality from my pitiful Sony Megachangers.

It is a great way to discover what an outboard DAC/headphone Amp can do for newbies like me.
post #13 of 111
The beresford is one of the best values for the money SQ wise. It sounds very good, too good for its price. However, it's not the only good DAC in its price range.
post #14 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by number1sixerfan View Post
The beresford is one of the best values for the money SQ wise. It sounds very good, too good for its price. However, it's not the only good DAC in its price range.
What are some of the other DACs members would recommend in the $200 to $400 price range?

Does anyone make a CD player with digital inputs available new for less than the Cambridge Azur 740 ($1000)? If a fellow really wanted to keep the equipment from piling up in the living room, for example, this seems like a good way to go.
post #15 of 111
The thing that separated the Beresford from the rest is the number of inputs it has. Most DACs at this price range, in fact at any price range have just one Toslink and one coaxial.

I have two CD players connected by Toslink, I would have to use some sort of adaptor otherwise which would be a messy solution.
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