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Best DAC from $1500 to $2500 (or so) Can anything beat the Eastern Electric Minimax? - Page 3

post #31 of 256

Ix


Edited by mike1127 - 8/1/13 at 11:03am
post #32 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post

My system is entirely built or modified by him, but it's not a balanced system -- we used less expensive stock components which are generally not balanced.

Balanced components? are you talking about pcb's or just parts?

post #33 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by customcoco View Post

Balanced components? are you talking about pcb's or just parts?

Not sure what you are asking, but I am referring to the stock units that we choose to mod. So far they have all had unbalanced inputs and outputs.

post #34 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post

Not sure what you are asking, but I am referring to the stock units that we choose to mod. So far they have all had unbalanced inputs and outputs.

Oh sorry, I misunderstood.

 

Is the superberry dac an original work or just a modded unit?

post #35 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by computerparts View Post


That's interesting. The 1611F is quite the step up from the 1511D I had. I can't say I remember it sounding thin at all but then again I was using B&K separates at the time which gave it a warm sound. I remember the presentation being very vivid. Maybe it was the ideal match. Do you remember what the rest of the system hooked up to the 1611F consisted of?

I had an Audio Note M8 preamp at the time with a custom pair of push pull 300B amplifiers with Eico HF60 output transformers.  Those pieces of equipment are quite rich in comparison to any MBL gear so you're probably right, it wasn't quite the ideal match for my system.  Speakers are a two way custom, Jensen P15LL 15'' bass drivers with Western Electric 713c on a 32a horn for midrange and highs, crossover is a N-800-D Altec design.  

post #36 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by customcoco View Post

Oh sorry, I misunderstood.

 

Is the superberry dac an original work or just a modded unit?

x


Edited by mike1127 - 8/1/13 at 11:02am
post #37 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by colinharding View Post

I had an Audio Note M8 preamp at the time with a custom pair of push pull 300B amplifiers with Eico HF60 output transformers.  Those pieces of equipment are quite rich in comparison to any MBL gear so you're probably right, it wasn't quite the ideal match for my system.  Speakers are a two way custom, Jensen P15LL 15'' bass drivers with Western Electric 713c on a 32a horn for midrange and highs, crossover is a N-800-D Altec design.  

I think I can see why. Horns definitely need to be associated with rich and laid back sounding gear due to their physical composition and high efficiency. I can imagine it would be quite overbearing with the mbl dac.

post #38 of 256

Hi really interested in your comments about the AN Dac's, I'm thinking of taking the plunge myself with an AN 2 or 2.X.  I have never heard one but are reputed to sound less "digital" than many of the other highly rated over/upsampling Dac's.  I'm currently using an Italian Dac from North Star Design the 192 with I2S output, which you can switch off the upsampling if you wish. I have my first NOS Dac on order from Metrum in the Netherlands.

The Berkeley Design DAC has had good reviews, but some say is much like a more refined Benchmark Dac1, which is not much of a recommendation.  My interest in the Berkeley stems from its reputed excellent soundstage which is very important to me

 

I hope to have the opportunity to buy an Audio Note 2 or 2x second hand in the near future.  It sounds like one of those products  that does not impress at first (non hifi) but takes a while to discover its merits.  I often find this with the best headphones.

I think the current AN2 is 24 bit 1x over sampling,  I have been offered and original AN2 from the '97 Kondo period but this uses the 20 bit 8X oversampling PCM chip. Do you have any experience with this version?  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by colinharding View Post

I have not heard that model but auditioned a 1611F for a while from my local HiFi store.  I did enjoy it but for the price tag was not as impressed as I think I should have been.  The AN DAC 3 was very close if not better and the DAC 4 absolutely surpassed it in every way.  The MBL line has too much of a HiFi sound for me.  Where the AN is saturated with emotion and dynamics the MBL is a tad austere and thin by comparison, but again it was a very nice DAC especially for a solid state piece.  I could have also done without all the gold accents.  


Edited by complin - 9/2/12 at 3:06pm
post #39 of 256

I would recommend only the AudioNote DAC2.X kit, the PerfectWave and the Antelope Zodiac Gold at this price range. I prefer traditional brands much more than head-fi brands when it comes to source component. They received good reviews not only from Head-fiers but from the general Hifi community which is much larger, and gives you much better resale value than some less-heard-of head-fi brands, no matter how much "bang for the buck" they are.

post #40 of 256

A DAC that I am surprised no one has mentioned in this thread is the Lavry DA11, especially given it's been well covered on this site.  A couple of years ago we auditioned a number of DACs. There were a number of excellent options, but the Lavry had a slight edge on sound quality against every DAC we listened to that was less than $2200 (which was our max price point). Beyond the quality of the DAC, we really appreciate it's no nonsense design and feature set (beyond the DAC): the headphone amp is pretty decent, the PIC can be useful, and we found that the output levels when running balanced were sufficient to eliminate the need for a pre-amp in our system.

 

--Mark

post #41 of 256

Isn't this mostly a Benchmark DAC1 look-a-like in most respects, including the sound signature?

Quote:
Originally Posted by verber View Post

A DAC that I am surprised no one has mentioned in this thread is the Lavry DA11, especially given it's been well covered on this site.  A couple of years ago we auditioned a number of DACs. There were a number of excellent options, but the Lavry had a slight edge on sound quality against every DAC we listened to that was less than $2200 (which was our max price point). Beyond the quality of the DAC, we really appreciate it's no nonsense design and feature set (beyond the DAC): the headphone amp is pretty decent, the PIC can be useful, and we found that the output levels when running balanced were sufficient to eliminate the need for a pre-amp in our system.

 

--Mark

post #42 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by complin View Post

Isn't this mostly a Benchmark DAC1 look-a-like in most respects, including the sound signature?

 

I can see why you would say that, there are many similarities.  The difference for was was the Benchmark DAC1 bit too cold and analytical... if didn't draw us into the music. The DA11 seems very neutral (which is most likely why you will find them in studios), but still pulled us into the music.  I think of it was the benchmark done right.

 

--Mark

post #43 of 256

I haven't heard the Berkeley, but to me the Benchmark DAC1 sounds extremely digital to the point I feel like listening to MP3 while it was actually wav. I also heard the Lavry and it is comparatively natural but lacks pinpoint imaging and still a tad digital in the mids, when compared with say the Weiss DAC202 and the Zodiac Gold. 

post #44 of 256

Well I suppose its all a matter of opinion

I think you will find the Benchmark in quite a few studios - didn't they come from the pro sector into home hifi?

 

There is a locked thread on the forum about DAC's where a recording engineer claimed the Benchmark was totally neutral and if any other DAC measured the same its was neutral too. 

He claimed that if it sounded different it must be introducing distortion.  He just didn't get NOS type DAC's at all, to him upsampling/hires was the ONLY solution!  Doubtless to say it turned into a flame session which is why its now locked  evil_smiley.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by verber View Post

 

I can see why you would say that, there are many similarities.  The difference for was was the Benchmark DAC1 bit too cold and analytical... if didn't draw us into the music. The DA11 seems very neutral (which is most likely why you will find them in studios), but still pulled us into the music.  I think of it was the benchmark done right.

 

--Mark

post #45 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by googleli View Post

I haven't heard the Berkeley, but to me the Benchmark DAC1 sounds extremely digital to the point I feel like listening to MP3 while it was actually wav. I also heard the Lavry and it is comparatively natural but lacks pinpoint imaging and still a tad digital in the mids, when compared with say the Weiss DAC202 and the Zodiac Gold. 


I personally hate the benchmark for exactly the reason you describe, if there ever was a DAC that exaggerated harshness and leading edges this is it. Even with perfectly mastered recordings in .flac it still manages to sounds harsh.

 

My Anedio D1 has details, clarity and texture - but it's not cold or harsh like the benchmark. I think the word to describe the Anedio is "lush".

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