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Replacing my M-DAC - Page 2

post #16 of 45

In my experience, if you are not satisfied with the 1-3k DACs (w4s DAC 2, Audiolab m-dac, mhdt havana, zodiac+, etc.) , there is one DAC that will give you a nice performance increase and that is the Berkeley Alpha Dac, series two now if I'm not wrong. This DAC sells for 5k usd and is just phenomenal. Better than the more expensive Weiss 202 imo. However, the Weiss is great too and offers noticeable improvement against the range of sub 3k DACs. Imo, you should save up and get one of these if you want to upgrade from your M-dac. If not, I believe the M-dac should be very close in performance to anything below 2+k.

post #17 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dyl1dyl View Post

In my experience, if you are not satisfied with the 1-3k DACs (w4s DAC 2, Audiolab m-dac, mhdt havana, zodiac+, etc.) , there is one DAC that will give you a nice performance increase and that is the Berkeley Alpha Dac, series two now if I'm not wrong. This DAC sells for 5k usd and is just phenomenal. Better than the more expensive Weiss 202 imo. However, the Weiss is great too and offers noticeable improvement against the range of sub 3k DACs. Imo, you should save up and get one of these if you want to upgrade from your M-dac. If not, I believe the M-dac should be very close in performance to anything below 2+k.


Damn I never thought it was that good. That Berkeley DAC does look like something to look forward to but I don't know if I could ever drop that kind of cash on something other than speakers. Who knows maybe one day....

 

Do you know anything about the quality of the built in hp amps in any of these 1-3k DACs? The one in the M-DAC is just not cutting it right now.

post #18 of 45

The M-dac is 600€ not on 1k

post #19 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadBeats View Post

The M-dac is 600€ not on 1k



That's true but it's level of performance seems to reach far beyond that. The DACs I'm eyeing are also within that price range.

 

 

post #20 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepaphobic View Post



That's true but it's level of performance seems to reach far beyond that. The DACs I'm eyeing are also within that price range.

 

 



Still waiting on my MDAC, but it's already a much-lauded design from a designer who knows what he's up to, and having had the basic Zodiac in my system I can't see it being much of an upgrade, either as DAC or amp -- more of a different sound signature and level of functionality. Unless you're experiencing a clear mismatch in your system, I'd say the better course is to enjoy listening, save up, and then make the high jump to the Alpha 2 or equivalent. These will not be world-historic differences, more along the lines of subtle preferences, IMHO, and a series of lateral/incremental improvements is the road to perdition in audiophilia.

 

best,

 

o

post #21 of 45
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the advice guys.

 

I did find a company that will loan me a Zodiac to try it out. If it doesn't sound that different then I guess I'll save a bit of cash but I'd have to put up with the hp amp for now. I will try and post my opinion about the sound once I get it.

post #22 of 45

Can you say where the M-DAC is weak, please?

post #23 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidc2 View Post

Can you say where the M-DAC is weak, please?



If you are using it just as a DAC it has no weaknesses especially at that price IMO but the headphone out is not the greatest thing in the world. As I said before I'm not expecting 1 box to work wonders but was wondering if there was anything that does a better job as an all-in-one.

 

 

post #24 of 45
Thread Starter 

Well I have to say that pretty much everybody here was right. The Zodiac+ was pretty awesome but really didn't sound 3x better. The only real differences to my ears were an increase in depth and sick sounding cymbals. Tbh I thought about buying it just coz the cymbals sounded so right but in the end sense prevailed and I'm keeping my M-DAC. I didn't find the hp that different either so the no brainer decision was to keep my mdac and save for an alpha or msb dac (Actually heard this is even better than alpha 2). 

 

 

post #25 of 45

I am in a similar situation, though I will wait until I am able to pair the M-DAC ($905) with an M-PAX ($705) for a period of time. At a total cost of around $1610, I want to see what the M-DAC/M-PAX is capable of...


Edited by adamlau - 2/5/12 at 11:45pm
post #26 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamlau View Post

I am in a similar situation, though I will wait until I am able to pair the M-DAC ($905) with an M-PAX ($705) for a period of time. At a total cost of around $1610, I want to see what the M-DAC/M-PAX is capable of...



Pardon me for my ignorance but what exactly is the M-PAX? I'm guessing it's a hp amp right? I think you'll be happy with the sound with this rig and you may even think the hp out on the mdac is good enough for now.

post #27 of 45

I think it's the upgraded PSU for the M-DAC

post #28 of 45


 

Originally Posted by Sleepaphobic View Post

Pardon me for my ignorance but what exactly is the M-PAX? 

 

Originally Posted by realmassy View Post

I think it's the upgraded PSU for the M-DAC

 

Correct. The M-PAX is indeed the upcoming PSU upgrade for the M-DAC. 

 

Originally Posted by Sleepaphobic View Post

I think you'll be happy with the sound with this rig and you may even think the hp out on the mdac is good enough for now.

 

I don't use headphones, the M-DAC is interpolating to a pair of active monitors. I am indeed satisfied (for now) and only want to examine available upgrade paths.

 

 

 


Edited by adamlau - 2/6/12 at 4:08pm
post #29 of 45
Thread Starter 

Oh right it's the upgraded PSU. I was reading somewhere that there are 2 options and one of them voids your warranty! 


Edited by Sleepaphobic - 2/7/12 at 5:57am
post #30 of 45

I am looking to buy the mdac to pair with my DSM3's. (upgrading from dacmagic) Do you connect your speakers via analogue or digital? I would like to go the digital route which should be no problem but I'm wondering if the mdac still processes the signal and adds "its own sound signature". (something I want) Or is it a purely passthrough channel.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamlau View Post


 

 

 

Correct. The M-PAX is indeed the upcoming PSU upgrade for the M-DAC. 

 

 

I don't use headphones, the M-DAC is interpolating to a pair of active monitors. I am indeed satisfied (for now) and only want to examine available upgrade paths.

 

 

 



 

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