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My Beresford TC7520 DAC initial impressions. 56K, abandon hope all ye who enter.

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
I just felt the urge to write up an initial impressions post after listening to Alive in America again, from the home rig seen in my sig. My God, the drums are wonderful! Bass is deep, tight, controlled, and fits right into the music. I knew that my HD485s were bassy, but the Beresford opens up a new dimension of bass. In fact, I'm hearing new layers across the spectrum on the lowly HD485s. After listening to Babylon Sisters on the Gaucho MFSL CD, my dad described the rig as having "vinyl-like depth". I'm really impressed. Vocals are more intimate and natural sounding, and everything sounds much more realistic. But seriously, the drums are amazing! I don't have "Audio" by the Blue Man Group burnt to a CD and I'm out of CD-R's, but when my USB B-USB A cable comes in a couple days I'll listen to it via Foobar/ASIO on my computer. I'm sure it will be amazing! Any questions, just ask. I'll upload pics if there's any demand.

BONUS review of the TC-3617 Optical Cable
This optical cable is GREAT! This baby brings out the natural, earthen tones of the 1's and 0's that my cheap-o Monoprice cable couldn't resolve. I couldn't believe the difference in the timbre of the purely digital signal passed through this oft-overlooked piece of equipment. The fiber optic signal showed analogue-like qualities and the super-titanium-krypton LED's certainly contributed to the vast improvements.

But seriously.
post #2 of 64
Congrats on your purchase! Now show us some pictures!
post #3 of 64
Thread Starter 

Bodhisattva Maitreya figure that fits perfectly on top not included.
post #4 of 64
Are the floating cards included?
post #5 of 64
I was looking to get the Beresford JUST for the Bodhisattva Maitreya too!
post #6 of 64
Thread Starter 
Whoa, freaky... Didn't notice that. Haha I swear they aren't trick cards.

Edit: moonboy- we have a sweet store here called Far East Treasures, and the Bodhisattva is another one of my birthday gifts along with the Beresford. I think it looks great on top, especially since it fits just right.
post #7 of 64
Thread Starter 
Come on, no questions, comments or concerns? I'll do at least one update over the weekend.
post #8 of 64
i'm expecting my beresford today or tomorrow. can't wait to hear how it compares to my oritek.
post #9 of 64
SemiAudiophile look forward to your comparison. IMO the Beresford TC7510 which I tested was very good but not as good as the Oritek V4.1
post #10 of 64
Thread Starter 
^X2. If you still have your SR225 when it arrives, please give me impressions as I'm thinking of buying SR225s in the future.
post #11 of 64
mines did arrive today. i was so excited. ok, well when i first opened it up my first impressions was that the dac was smaller than i expected. it looked big in pictures but not a bad thing anyway. very nice built and nice blue led lights.

before i begin, the reason why i decided to buy a new dac was because i found that my hd650 didn't like the oritek for some reason (maybe it was too warm?). whatever i threw at it, it still seem to be veiled to me.

ok...so the listening test. surprisingly, i found the beresford to sound VERY similar to the oritek. i think it does everything just as good if not better. the expressiveness, texture, emotion. it kind of caught me off guard, i really didn't expect it to sound this smooth, natural, and gentle. the only difference i could point on between them is that maybe the oritek is slightly warmer sounding (sorry, i didn't pay attention to specific details and i'm not so good with the terms, but this was from a 1 hour listening session).

i hate to say it but i think i like the beresford more than the oritek. when i found the oritek i thought it was "The DAC" and that my quest to find more dacs would've been over. but i finally think i have found "The DAC" for me. i think the best part other than the cost and the sound is its features. 2 analog outputs and 4 digital inputs means i no longer have to keep unplugging the darn interconnects when switching amps and source; it's like a little media hub. the perfect all-in-one dac/pre/amp for the budget minded audio enthusiast.

as others have said, the headphone out is quite good. it drives hd650 quite nicely (though i find it a bit bassy) and drives the grados extremely well. i honestly never heard my RS1i's sound so beautiful before. didn't try it with the k701's yet, but i'm sure it will sound just as good.

i think it's time to sell my oritek now...

lingling: btw, i didn't try it with the 225's. i had them boxed up and didn't feel like opening them. i'm pretty sure it drives them well too though; i had tried them with the RS1i and SR325i and both sounded amazing though them. mines are still for sale if you want em.

edit: after a 2nd short listening session, i conclude that it doesn't drive k701 as good. although it drives it enough to hear all the details and such, it didn't give me the "i am there" feeling. i found driving the 701's with the canamp through the beresford a much more seductive, engaging experience (i'm actually getting 2nd thoughts on selling the canamp). IMO, it drives Grado's best, well with the HD650's, and so-so with the K701's.
post #12 of 64
SemiAudiophile glad you like what you hear. I would suggest you let the Beresford TC7520 burn in for about 200 hours. Then spend a week or so going back and forth w/ the Oritek, this will allow the "new gear effect" to wear off and lets you open your ears/mind to the comparison.

Regardless of the outcome you will have fun and end up w/ a great dac. Have fun.
post #13 of 64
Thread Starter 
Expanding on some of Semi's thoughts, yes, it is quite the small little unit. And the source switching ability is a godsend, just press the little gold button under the input you want and presto! It is indeed a natural sounding amp. I emailed Beresford North America and confirmed that it is NOS, which I think is a very good thing.
post #14 of 64
i think you are right, i probably should let it settle in first. but i think i'm just overall more satisfied with this dac with just spending a few hours with it than i was with the oritek.

after spending more hours with this dac, i do notice that it is definitely transparent while the oritek wasn't. with the beresford i can hear the differences when i change something in my setup. for example, changing tubes, cables was a lot more apparent and noticeable. i also notice that my amps definitely get along better and seems to perform better with the beresford. the oritek on the other hand, a bit ironic, but felt like it was putting a choke and holding back the potential of my amps.

as i said before they both do sound very similar, i say this because they both don't sound digital at all. the oritek definitely sound more vinyl-like, but i felt that it had added warmth and coloration to the sound. the oritek sometimes also had too much bass impact and made some recordings sound unnatural. i would have to say that the beresford stays truer to the recording and sounds more natural with the bass just right. i'm very impressed by the beresford's ability to control the highs to the point where it never sounds harsh. i can turn up the volume to the point where it's involving and still pleasant sounding. it seems to control the gain very well (something i couldn't say with the oritek).

although similar, they both indeed have different sound signatures. the sound coming out of the beresford is hard to describe. it doesn't sound vinyl but does sound very analogy and pleasant. will post more impressions as the week goes by.
post #15 of 64
I also had a chance to compare the Oritek and the 7520. The Beresford only has some 30 hours on it. The main difference is in the soundstage, I would say. Oritek produces a narrower stage, although, perhaps, somewhat more 3d. You also feel that are you a distance away from the stage, covered by a slight veil. Beresford feels like you are on a stage itself. You seem to be closer to the source of the music;

Also without a doubt Beresford pronounces the bass (which remains clean) and the highs. Highs can sound a bit harsher on the 7520, alsthough I suspect it needs some time to break in.

Will revert with further findings shortly.
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