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Adcom GDA-700: Old vs New

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've been searching for a DAC for my PC joint and stumbled upon the Adcom GDA-700 for a pretty low price. Would picking this piece up be a good investment? It's balanced, has relatively good reviews, and is drastically cheaper compared to when it was new. However, I don't plan on ever using HDCD, I won't be doing for a balanced system anytime soon, and it's definitely too big to be convenient.

In other words, does anyone here have experience with this DAC that could help me decide whether it's worth having or if it is too outdated?
post #2 of 14
Yes. I like it. Alot. It's dynamic and smooth to me. It would really benefit you for your CD player or 2 channel rig. Love it.
post #3 of 14
It was a very well regarded DAC in its day and no slouch now, even by today's standards. I had this DAC for well over ten years, most recently with a Trends UD-10 USB to S/PDIF converter. The DAC is dynamic, smooth, has a wide *and* deep sound stage. Look at the DAC chips used and the specs; you'll be pleasantly surprised.

I never felt the immediate need to upgrade to anything better until I recently wanted to get rid of my CD transport and came across a used Wavelength Brick USB DAC on Audiogon for a steal.
post #4 of 14
Agreeing with Alai, smooth is the best way to describe the GDA-700.
I tried one out about three months ago and was impressed.
If the seller had not wanted $400 (non-negotiable), it would be part of my system now.
post #5 of 14

I have a GDA 600, and would say go for it!

The GDA 600 is the same minus the HDCD. Nice dynamics, and smooth. Better can be had today, but not at the price that an Adcom can be purchased for.


Tim
post #6 of 14
I think you can do much better with something current. This unit is most likely very dated.
post #7 of 14
Perhaps the following ad will help. I felt lame voicing my opinion with nothing constructive to add.

Cambridge Audio DacMagic Digital to Analog Converter NR - eBay (item 110375676681 end time Apr-17-09 20:43:47 PDT)
post #8 of 14
Nah. Trust me, for the price, the GDA-700 is very very hard to beat. Even now.
post #9 of 14
Agreed. Would love to find one for $200 or less.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alai View Post
Nah. Trust me, for the price, the GDA-700 is very very hard to beat. Even now.
Given the amount I have invested in dated digital gear (and I do have a soft spot for the particular components in the GDA-700 and I am a Nelson Pass fan...), you can appreciate that I see the value in something like the GDA-700. That said, the other side of the coin is that the digital sections of modern DACs in the same price range probably blow the Adcom away... the Adcom's advantage is a great power supply and analogue section given its price range... what this pans out to is that it's horses for courses and not everyone will have the same taste...

oh and it's ludicrous to blatantly contradict someone with Bob's experience... note "I think" and "most likely"...
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by feckn_eejit View Post
Given the amount I have invested in dated digital gear (and I do have a soft spot for the particular components in the GDA-700 and I am a Nelson Pass fan...), you can appreciate that I see the value in something like the GDA-700. That said, the other side of the coin is that the digital sections of modern DACs in the same price range probably blow the Adcom away... the Adcom's advantage is a great power supply and analogue section given its price range... what this pans out to is that it's horses for courses and not everyone will have the same taste...

oh and it's ludicrous to blatantly contradict someone with Bob's experience... note "I think" and "most likely"...
No argument there. My point is that the GDA-700 is awesome and can even be upgraded by replacing caps. For a 2ch or headphone setup, you would be hard-pressed to find anything better. DIFFERENT, ok maybe it isn't too hard to find something. BETTER... pretty hard.
post #12 of 14
Just my 2c here...

This Adcom unit, as well as the Parasound ones (1100, 1500, 1600...) have very nice PSU and not bad analog stages. As they are and for the prices one can have them, yes, they are worth.

Also: the digital circuits on them can be dated, but easily upgraded not only to something performing good but also to 24/96 modern status. There are some companies offering upgrades (do a search inside ePay) but their receivers /filter chips can be replaced without too much hassle for modern ones, and the same goes for the DAC chips (bb 1702 to 1704).
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by josep View Post
Just my 2c here...

This Adcom unit, as well as the Parasound ones (1100, 1500, 1600...) have very nice PSU and not bad analog stages. As they are and for the prices one can have them, yes, they are worth.

Also: the digital circuits on them can be dated, but easily upgraded not only to something performing good but also to 24/96 modern status. There are some companies offering upgrades (do a search inside ePay) but their receivers /filter chips can be replaced without too much hassle for modern ones, and the same goes for the DAC chips (bb 1702 to 1704).
Agree 100%. If you are willing to pop the top and whip out your soldering iron, old stuff like this is unbelievable value... I'd love to hear the Parasound 1600.
post #14 of 14

I am also a faithful owner of this DAC. The only area it lacks is 24 bit/96 conversion. Other than that, it is probably better than just about anything under $1,000 being sold today for 16 bit material.

 

It is the same chipset as the Mark Levinson No 36 DAC($6,000) from front to back and has a Pass Pure Class A output stage (why it sound so "smooth"). It was a steal in 1997 and still is today.

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