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post #166 of 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by DjAmTraX View Post

Apogee Duet 2 will ship this week.  I ordered one.  I wonder if the new kid will do better than the Rega.



Wondering that also, will be holding off until there are some comparisons :¬)

 

Rega guys - I own Dynaudio MC-15's (active monitors), will the Rega DAC make a nice partner for them?

post #167 of 489

Just did some A/B comparison with the Assemblage 2.7 DAC I have with the overnight loaner Rega I got from one of the local stores, and I'm pretty impressed.  Even if it isn't a clarity monster, I love the Assemblage for how it can make music very emotionally involving.  After about 2 hours of comparison, the Rega performs really really well in comparison.  Initial listening has the Rega doing slightly better in clarity, separation, and smoothing over grain and sibilance.  It outperforms my particular Assemblage by a decent margin on bass extension.  Definitely worth more listening to, and I can be counted as very intrigued.

post #168 of 489

It outperforms my particular Assemblage by a decent margin on bass extension.  Definitely worth more listening to, and I can be counted as very intrigued.



Amazing to say the least!

post #169 of 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcarmoose View Post


Amazing to say the least!



Haha...yeah, I thought so too.  Up until now, I haven't heard anything that intrigued me enough to justify the purchase, especially not anywhere in a similar price range.  The Assemblage still does better on attack, I think, and the higher gain from mine makes dynamics a hair better.  It should probably also be noted that one of the two Assemblage DACs in this neck of the woods is heavier on bass, and I think it was sachu's, but I can't remember 100% for sure.

 

I went ahead and ordered one from the local shop that let me do the overnighter.  They didn't have a black one in stock, so he's putting it on order and knocked 5% off the price.  Looking forward to some extensive time with both the Rega and Assemblage sometime in a week or so.


Edited by Equus - 5/12/11 at 12:09pm
post #170 of 489

And the best might yet be to come; direct comparisons are not the whole story.

For me, comparisons showed the DAC to be very impressive, coming from a more expensive Audio-GD (not a direct comparison I've got to admit).

But that to me makes it more respectable, not necessarily more enjoyable.

However, for me the quarter dropped when I finally calmed down about my new purchase and actually listened to it, enjoying music and suddenly finding myself not making audiophile excuses to myself at all like "it does that really good", "it is very strong in that department", no I just realised, this is what I've been looking for, reminding me of the way I sometimes felt in love.

For those loving the scientific way of listening, I'm happy to say there is a foundation; in daily live, asking f.i. to hear the difference between tow components in 2-1000second bursts, it seems our brains are in beta waves; clear and attentive to everything around us, but not really focused with calm but deep concentration to one thing, that is called alpha. And that is where you get when you sit down (or run around playing airguitar), relax, and listen to music with the single intention of  enyoing it, it might even be the reason you actually listen to music anyway.

And that is in my eyes where the Rega DAC shines brightest, like the Rega Apollo in my set did before (search my previous posts in this threat for more info), it lets the music flow, letting you forget all thoughts about analytical and comparative listening.

To me, it is addictive, really, letting me prefer listening to it to many other activities I could do in the same time, but that I guess is personal.

 


Edited by dura - 5/12/11 at 12:38pm
post #171 of 489

I hear ya.  After A/B comparisons, I sat down for about a half hour of just music through the Rega.  For reference, I had an extended loaner of the Weiss DAC 202, but ended up deciding that even if it were in a lower price bracket I probably wouldn't pick it up, mostly for the same reasons you allude to.  For me, the emotional connection with music is more important that hearing every little nuance of a guitar string being hit, and that feeling of getting into the music is what has kept me with the Assemblage for this time.  The Rega was still able to emotionally move me with its presentation and weight, which is the real final arbiter of whether I want it in my rig.  So...yeah...looking forward to it.

 

Is anyone using an adapter to use after-market power cables?  I found a few IEC to C5 adapters and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions.  Would seem a shame not to use the Powerlink cables I have lying around.  :)

 

EDIT- nevermind, ordered a Pangea C5 to IEC.  Woo.


Edited by Equus - 5/12/11 at 1:07pm
post #172 of 489

I trust Equus ears and he is a fair person whose views on audio gear are very balanced. So no wonder I am looking forward to hearing this rega DAC. 

 

His views have buoyed me enough to get a loaner from the local Rega dealer this weekend.

 

I want to hear this myself and am going to compare it against my two Assemblage DACs..if it betters even one of them, then color me impressed and I will end up buying one and one or both of my assemblage DACs will go on the chopping block.

 

 

post #173 of 489

Thanks for the vote of confidence and hope to hear how it turns out for you.  If you feel really motivated, give me a call after listening a little.  wink_face.gif

post #174 of 489
post #175 of 489

Thanks.  Saw that link while I was researching the Rega and listening to it.  Heh.  I agree that the imaging and soundstage on the expensive DACs are where they pull away, but in my experience that was with something like the Weiss DAC 202 or Josh's Ayon Skylla, but those are $6k+ DACs, so one would hope they have at least a few advantages.  wink_face.gif

post #176 of 489

I have a loaner in the house along with my new Assemblage DAC 3.1..life's tough some times and everything happens all at once ;)

 

Also checked out the new Cavalli Audio Liquiid Fire at 32 Ohm Audio store here in Portland. Man it is one sweet looking, sounding amp in an unbelievable form factor. Its soooo TINY for all that is packed in it.. Very very cool..can't wait to have one of my own


Edited by sachu - 5/14/11 at 5:15pm
post #177 of 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equus View Post

Thanks.  Saw that link while I was researching the Rega and listening to it.  Heh.  I agree that the imaging and soundstage on the expensive DACs are where they pull away, but in my experience that was with something like the Weiss DAC 202 or Josh's Ayon Skylla, but those are $6k+ DACs, so one would hope they have at least a few advantages.  wink_face.gif

I never had the pleasure to listen to converters as expensive like that, but compared to the DAC's I owned (mentioned them several times in previous posts here) the Rega DAC has a much deeper sound stage, extending both in front and behind my speakers (and also outside). All other dacs (except the Meier Stagedac, which had an incredibly large sound stage) were either upfront or laid back.

I do however agree that the Rega does not do discrete pinpoint imaging, it more or less fills the whole space with sound.

But that is what real music does too, IMO, listening to a life band gives me that same experience that the room is filled with sound.

Only if you take the energy away you get those detailed sound scapes where everything is located exactly that some hifi presents, but for which I do not particularly care.

Note however that I do my listening through speakers, for headphone based systems sound staging seems to work different.
 

Edit: oh, I almost forgot; my amp has a phase inverter switch, and while I never used in before in the 12 years I now own it, the Rega DAC gives this "big-cloud-of-music" sound stage only if I invert the phase; otherwise sound is slightly more dense around the speakers then in the middle. Perhaps this explains why I quite like the Rega sound stage?

 

BTW, wow, that Cavalli amp looks gorgeous indeed.


Edited by dura - 5/15/11 at 3:05am
post #178 of 489

oky..some impressions after comparing the Rega to my assemblage on my speaker system.

 

At first, it appeared like the Rega out did the Assemblage.

 

This was my first impression. But then again we know how first impressions go when it comes to audio gear, you get easily enamoured.

 

The comparisons are mainly with respect to the DAC 2.7

 

The Rega's strengths lie in the fact that it is rather close to the Assemblage in dynamics, midrange and even bass.

 

Where it edges out the Assemblage clearly is the detail retrieval and is a tad more clearer in the highs. This is thanks to the  upsampling etc etc available in the newer generation of sources. The Rega is definitely an airy machine.

 

However, the more i listened the more it became apparent that my Assemblage was tonally accurate while the rega wasn't.

 

The Rega was sibilant with a few tracks (loreena mckennit and margo from cowboy Junkies and even Regina Spektor).

 

The midrange while close to the Assemblage, the Rega couldn't quite match the prowess of the Assemblage for midrange involvement factor.

Its hard to put my finger on it, but the Assemblage just felt more natural with more weight in the midrange and bass. Rachel Yamagata sounded like she does when you hear her live, that raspy nasal voice that makes your hair stand up on your back. 

 

Coming to the bass, I am very impressed with the Rega's performance as it was right up there with the Assemblage. My DAC 2.7 had a more quantity and fuller bass while the Rega was a little less bass while being quick and tight. The Assemblage just sounded more tactile.

 

What got me though finally was the tonal accuracy. There was a distince difference between the two and I preferred the Assemblage in my system. The Rega is still tempting for use in a headphone rig around the LCD-2 (depending on what amp you use..course Cavalli Audio's the best ever with LCD-2s) as it would probably not sound sibilant (Which along with tonal accuracy was my main issue) or shouty like it came off at times in the midrange on my magnepans. 

 

For now, it feels like the Rega is more a sideways move than an upwards path and the Assemblage still keeps putting more smiles on my face than any other source I have heard till date.

 

Overall, the Rega is a brilliant DAC, for the money and the CRAZY input options, it would hands down be my first choice for a new age DAC in the 1-2k region.

 

 


Edited by sachu - 5/17/11 at 5:18pm
post #179 of 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by sachu View Post

oky..some impressions after comparing the Rega to my assemblage on my speaker system.

 

At first, it appeared like the Rega out did the Assemblage.

 

This was my first impression. But then again we know how first impressions go when it comes to audio gear, you get easily enamoured.

 

The comparisons are mainly with respect to the DAC 2.7

 

The Rega's strengths lie in the fact that it is rather close to the Assemblage in dynamics, midrange and even bass.

 

Where it edges out the Assemblage clearly is the detail retrieval and is a tad more clearer in the highs. This is thanks to the  upsampling etc etc available in the newer generation of sources. The Rega is definitely an airy machine.

 

However, the more i listened the more it became apparent that my Assemblage was tonally accurate while the rega wasn't.

 

The Rega was sibilant with a few tracks (loreena mckennit and margo from cowboy Junkies and even Regina Spektor).

 

The midrange while close to the Assemblage, the Rega couldn't quite match the prowess of the Assemblage for midrange involvement factor.

Its hard to put my finger on it, but the Assemblage just felt more natural with more weight in the midrange and bass. Rachel Yamagata sounded like she does when you hear her live, that raspy nasal voice that makes your hair stand up on your back. 

 

Coming to the bass, I am very impressed with the Rega's performance as it was right up there with the Assemblage. My DAC 2.7 had a more quantity and fuller bass while the Rega was a little less bass while being quick and tight. The Assemblage just sounded more tactile.

 

What got me though finally was the tonal accuracy. There was a distince difference between the two and I preferred the Assemblage in my system. The Rega is still tempting for use in a headphone rig around the LCD-2 (depending on what amp you use..course Cavalli Audio's the best ever with LCD-2s) as it would probably not sound sibilant (Which along with tonal accuracy was my main issue) or shouty like it came off at times in the midrange on my magnepans. 

 

For now, it feels like the Rega is more a sideways move than an upwards path and the Assemblage still keeps putting more smiles on my face than any other source I have heard till date.

 

Overall, the Rega is a brilliant DAC, for the money and the CRAZY input options, it would hands down be my first choice for a new age DAC in the 1-2k region.

 

 


Which filter did you use for your listening?  You should continue listening and try a different filter each day to see if a different one will give you a differing opinion.

 

post #180 of 489

WHatever filter you listen to, its not going to change the tonal balance nor add weight to the music. At most I can hope to suit the filters and other associating gear (which I won't as I have already taken care to match up gear as best as I could) to address the sibilance. But that would be the extent of improvement I could hope for.

 

I should note that both the DACs were tested with an optical input. I know for a fact that  the assemblage works better with the BNC coax input, but couldn't test it out with coax inputs this time round. I further made sure the two DACs were on an even keel by using standard IEC power cords on both.

 

I forget what filter setting the Rega was on, but i can call the guys over at the dealers and find out..will do that when i find some time.

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