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Review of Audio-GD DAC-19MK3 - Page 5

post #61 of 695
Patu, I can evaluate both DACs on my system and decide which one You will sell to me!! of course with very low price, since I am the doing the hard work
post #62 of 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patu View Post
I'll write a very short comparison between Bel Canto DAC3 and Audio GD DAC19Mk3. I'm not that good in writing long reviews so I'll skip it. I'll just briefly tell about the differences I hear between them.
.
An excellent review IMO, Patu.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patu View Post
About DAC3:

Bass performance with DAC3 is stunning. Very fast and extremely deep bass. It surpasses DAC19Mk3 bass performance being more extended and having more slam.
What surprises me is that DAC3's bass extension is the only aspect that 6Moons and Stereophile estimated could have been better when reviewing DAC3.
Ok, this was assessed after comparing it to a much pricier DAC, but still...

Makes wonder about DAC19Mk3's own bass extension, which you say is more limited than DAC3's.
post #63 of 695
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rififi View Post
An excellent review IMO, Patu.



What surprises me is that DAC3's bass extension is the only aspect that 6Moons and Stereophile estimated could have been better when reviewing DAC3.
Ok, this was assessed after comparing it to a much pricier DAC, but still...

Makes wonder about DAC19Mk3's own bass extension, which you say is more limited than DAC3's.
Well it would have been quite surprising if the dac19mk3 beats a highly regarded DAC that costs 6 times more.
However I noticed that there is 2 main variables that can highly impact the bass performance of the DAC.

1. The dac19mk3 is very sensitive to power cords : Audio-gd gear in general, according to Kingwa, are designed to be transparent to interconnect cables but also to power cords. I think I read something about audio-gd gear not using fuses in there transformers.
In my system, I have had great success with this power cable. Which improve both the bass and the highs extension.

2. The source is very important to the sound of the DAC. When used with its usb input the sound is OK. When used with a canare rca coaxial cable is a little better. It is only when I use it with this BNC cable that I get the best bass (and high) extension.

Anyway, the fact that Patu is hesitating between the dac19mk3 and the bel canto dac3 speaks for the good performance (compared to the value) of the dac which makes me quite happy with my purchase Hopefully, I won't be looking for another dac in the next few months
post #64 of 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rififi View Post
An excellent review IMO, Patu.



What surprises me is that DAC3's bass extension is the only aspect that 6Moons and Stereophile estimated could have been better when reviewing DAC3.
Ok, this was assessed after comparing it to a much pricier DAC, but still...

Makes wonder about DAC19Mk3's own bass extension, which you say is more limited than DAC3's.
Well the difference isn't THAT big on the bass end. Also when DAC3 has overall more dynamic sound it might give me a false feeling that the bass would also extend more. Difference is clearly more obvious with highs which differ a lot between these two DACs.
post #65 of 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
Anyway, the fact that Patu is hesitating between the dac19mk3 and the bel canto dac3 speaks for the good performance (compared to the value) of the dac which makes me quite happy with my purchase Hopefully, I won't be looking for another dac in the next few months
Well as I said earlier, DAC3 is clearly a better DAC in objective point of view. It definitely does more things better than DAC19Mk3. What I'm trying to decide here is if it matches with my current rig. With warmer speakers this DAC would be a killer. That's why I might even change my amplifier to something else before selling DAC3. At least try something different like NuForce IA7v2.

Though I can tell you that I could probably live happily ever after with the rig in my signature.
post #66 of 695
You're comparing a $480 unit with a $2500 unit. If the Audio-gd piece is even in the same ballpark as the Bel Canto e.One DAC3, that's a pretty darn good display that you CAN achieve great sound quality for lesser cost (but it does come at a price -- you don't get the nice casework or display, and if there's a problem you have to ship it back to China.) I'm waiting for my replacement Reference One but (when it worked) it was a stellar unit and I hope you are able to listen to one eventually.
post #67 of 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
You're comparing a $480 unit with a $2500 unit. If the Audio-gd piece is even in the same ballpark as the Bel Canto e.One DAC3, that's a pretty darn good display that you CAN achieve great sound quality for lesser cost (but it does come at a price -- you don't get the nice casework or display, and if there's a problem you have to ship it back to China.) I'm waiting for my replacement Reference One but (when it worked) it was a stellar unit and I hope you are able to listen to one eventually.
Well isn't that the point of ordering stuff from China? Of course they can achieve better performance/price ratio than something which has been made in USA or Europe. Labor and parts are ridiculously cheap in China.

In DAC3's case, the appearance of the unit had much larger influence to my buy decision than usually. Partly because I already have matching s300i amplifier and partly because I just love the looks of Bel Canto e.One series.

But as always, we should remember that these things are very much about personal preferences.
post #68 of 695
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patu View Post
Well isn't that the point of ordering stuff from China? Of course they can achieve better performance/price ratio than something which has been made in USA or Europe. Labor and parts are ridiculously cheap in China.

In DAC3's case, the appearance of the unit had much larger influence to my buy decision than usually. Partly because I already have matching s300i amplifier and partly because I just love the looks of Bel Canto e.One series.

But as always, we should remember that these things are very much about personal preferences.
I totally agree with Patu point of view : since we are buying direct from a chinese manufacturer, we might expect that the unit is performing on the same level as units costing much more made in Europe or the US.

However, in this particular comparison, I wonder how much a high quality transport would have change the performance of both DACs.
The DAC3 with its Ultra-Clock technology has great jitter rejection capabilities. According to Stereophile measurements, it is one of the lowest (wich means best) jitter measuring dacs.
On the other hand, the DAC19mk-3 doesn't have any jitter suppression mechanism from what I understand. It has a DIR9001 digital receiver wich has a low intrinsic jitter (40ps). This means that it can from a high quality transport but that il wouldn't suppress jitter from a jittery transport.

Right now I am debating between buying a de-jitter box such as the monarchy dip audio or the audio-gd RE3, or getting my musiland modded with a low jitter clock. Anyway, I am pretty sure that the dac-19mk3 can benefit from improving the quality of the transport.
post #69 of 695
Right now there's 3 test units of the ref-3 for international testing. I won't buy it though, need to stop spending on audio for a while . Would like if someone with dac19mk3 interested in ref-3 could ask Kingwa what he thinks of the combo.
post #70 of 695
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
Right now there's 3 test units of the ref-3 for international testing. I won't buy it though, need to stop spending on audio for a while . Would like if someone with dac19mk3 interested in ref-3 could ask Kingwa what he thinks of the combo.
Well, I was just about to pull the trigger on the ref-3 but I finally decided that I will wait for a while, at least until I get the C2C amp and the mode B module (with DF1704 digital filter) for the dac-19mk3.
The shipping of my head-amp was delayed by the factory move and I found out that is still in China. I guess, I still have a few more days of waiting
post #71 of 695
Before you do, you should really ask Kingwa what he thinks of the dac19mk3+ref3. Because if you add up the costs, the dac19mk3+ref3 would cost almost as much as a ref 2 and you should ask if such a combo could come anywhere close to ref 2 in sound quality, at least in single-ended mode.
post #72 of 695
Thread Starter 
When I asked Kingwa a few days ago about the Ref3 he implied that the dac19mk3 would benefit from it. He also said that usb in of ref3 might be better thant spdif in (using mudiland as transport).
But I didn't think to ask him how the combo compares to higher end dacs in his line such as the Ref2.
Anyway, it seems that even the Ref1 benefits from a good transport such as the CD7. I guess that I will end buying the Ref3 or something similar down the line anyway.

I will ask Kingwa for the comparison and will report back when he answers me.
post #73 of 695
It's sad that Kingwa doesn't design the equipment so that the casings would have same measures. Or maybe make some lines where the design is same. For example the new Roc headphone amp has different looking case than DAC19Mk3. Also the size is different (IIRC). They don't match so well. Otherwise the design is ok, though not very beautiful.
post #74 of 695
Thread Starter 
It seems that he uses different cases for each group : for example, compass; C2C, dac19mk3 and ref3 seem to use the same casing.
Part of the reason, I will probably end up getting a ref3 is because it will match physically the dac19mk3 and C2C.

By the way, Patu, which DAC is heavier/bigger ? the dac19mk3 or your Bel Canto dac3 ?
post #75 of 695
Audio-gd first started using the rounded corner cases with the phoenix, then P-2, and now roc, so it is very new design (and imo a better one). It'll probably take a year or a few years before all their products have rounded corners if they decide to go that route. I hope they do silver cases too, those look really nice in pictures.
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