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post #46 of 137

The M2Tech Vaughan also presents itself as an interesting competitor in a similar price range.  If it's an upgrade to the Young, then I'd expect it to operate in USB bulk transfer mode (as I understand the Young does), which takes jitter out of the equation.

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post #47 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

While I really like my new Cambridge CD player I'd still like to try this baby. Wonder if I could get a sample from anyone...Hmmm...

 

This may be a bit off topic, but.... have you ever dealt with the older Cambridge units, the 740c and 840c? And if so, how is your new model in comparison? 

post #48 of 137

I unfortunately haven't had experience with the others, but the 851 has quite a few options over the other models like USB and AES in and out as well as the preamp functions. I'm really enjoying it. USB implementation seems surprisingly good for a CD player (or any DAC for that matter).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

This may be a bit off topic, but.... have you ever dealt with the older Cambridge units, the 740c and 840c? And if so, how is your new model in comparison? 

post #49 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

I unfortunately haven't had experience with the others, but the 851 has quite a few options over the other models like USB and AES in and out as well as the preamp functions. I'm really enjoying it. USB implementation seems surprisingly good for a CD player (or any DAC for that matter).

 

Thanks. I know the 740c and 840c were exceedingly popular for a while there (thanks, Absolute Sound!), but not so much anymore. I think part of it has to do with the DacMagic being similar to their DAC/output sections, and part of it is just because Cambridge is not a small niche audiophile brand and thus not good in the eyes of some. 

 

Personally I like the 740c and 840c much more than the DacMagic, which I assume is due to superior power supply and more complex upsampling. I'll have to check out the 851 when I get a chance. 

post #50 of 137

I've been listening to my Calyx DAC vs the 851 for some time now and I've come to the conclusion that the Cambridge is priced right about where it should be. They could certainly charge a bit more for the variety of features, but from a completely 'USB sound' standpoint...I can't hear a difference between my Calyx DAC and the 851. No difference in the CD playback 851 vs CD using the 851 as a transport to the Calyx either.

 

They both cost 2k and both have completely difference purposes though. If I planned on running 2 systems I'd probably keep both. The Calyx being USB powered and standing up to something like the 851's power supply is something special, though. (Granted the external PSU improves it more)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Thanks. I know the 740c and 840c were exceedingly popular for a while there (thanks, Absolute Sound!), but not so much anymore. I think part of it has to do with the DacMagic being similar to their DAC/output sections, and part of it is just because Cambridge is not a small niche audiophile brand and thus not good in the eyes of some. 

 

Personally I like the 740c and 840c much more than the DacMagic, which I assume is due to superior power supply and more complex upsampling. I'll have to check out the 851 when I get a chance. 

post #51 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

I've been listening to my Calyx DAC vs the 851 for some time now and I've come to the conclusion that the Cambridge is priced right about where it should be. They could certainly charge a bit more for the variety of features, but from a completely 'USB sound' standpoint...I can't hear a difference between my Calyx DAC and the 851. No difference in the CD playback 851 vs CD using the 851 as a transport to the Calyx either.

 

They both cost 2k and both have completely difference purposes though. If I planned on running 2 systems I'd probably keep both. The Calyx being USB powered and standing up to something like the 851's power supply is something special, though. (Granted the external PSU improves it more)

 

 

That's good to hear. I've spent more time with the 740c than the 840c, and to me it sounds about on the level of a good $1k DAC like Grace, Lavry, etc. Also similar in level to the Yulong D100 mkII. Which is to say - quite nice. 

 

All this talk about Cambridge, I might have to track one down. I don't spin discs much so I've been meaning to sell my Lexicon RT20 and Marantz SA-1. Maybe I'll pick up a 740c or 840c to use as a transport. 

 

Anyway, back to the Calyx unit. It certainly looks beautiful. 

post #52 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Thanks. I know the 740c and 840c were exceedingly popular for a while there (thanks, Absolute Sound!), but not so much anymore. I think part of it has to do with the DacMagic being similar to their DAC/output sections, and part of it is just because Cambridge is not a small niche audiophile brand and thus not good in the eyes of some. 

 

Personally I like the 740c and 840c much more than the DacMagic, which I assume is due to superior power supply and more complex upsampling. I'll have to check out the 851 when I get a chance. 


Are we talking the original Dac Magic, or the DM+? The original wasn't all that great. The new one is supposed to be very good, but I haven't heard it.

post #53 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post


Are we talking the original Dac Magic, or the DM+? The original wasn't all that great. The new one is supposed to be very good, but I haven't heard it.

 

The original DM was one of those "measure extremely well (except for USB) but not sound that great" type of units. The 740c appears nearly identical to the original DM in terms of DAC section and output stage. It does use a more advanced implementation of ASRC which upsamples everything to 24/384 instead of 24/192. I think the key to the better sound is just the beefier linear power supply compared to the noisy wall-wart of the DM. Some people report big improvements to the DM using aftermarket power supplies.

 

The 840c uses AD1955 DACs instead of the Wolfson WM8740s in the 740c/DM. It also has some other differences at the output stage. It does sound better to my ears, though I could see how one might prefer the flavor of the 740c depending on the associated system.

 

I haven't heard the new DM+ either. Aside from the Async USB, pre-amp, and headphone amp, it doesn't seem to be much different from the original. At least from what I've seen in pics. 

post #54 of 137

I owned the 840C for a while. It was on the level of my Reference 1 with the original V1 DSP, but was blown away once I swapped that for a V5. However, at the time Audio-gd was still improving on the quality of their digital input designs. It does have a fairly "dry" sound, definitely along the lines of a Lavry or similar. I reckon their second-hand price at $800 is spot-on. Mine seemed to sound exactly the same regardless of the input used -- whether it be optical, coax and whether or not I was using a high-end USB converter.

post #55 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I owned the 840C for a while. It was on the level of my Reference 1 with the original V1 DSP, but was blown away once I swapped that for a V5. However, at the time Audio-gd was still improving on the quality of their digital input designs. It does have a fairly "dry" sound, definitely along the lines of a Lavry or similar. I reckon their second-hand price at $800 is spot-on. Mine seemed to sound exactly the same regardless of the input used -- whether it be optical, coax and whether or not I was using a high-end USB converter.

 

I just got one the other day and am using it as a transport only (replacing my Lexicon RT-20 and Marantz SA-1, both of which were being wasted as transports). It sounds great in this capacity, but I'll have to give it a try as a DAC or just try the analog outs to see what I think. I doubt it will replace my reference DACs but it's always nice to have something well known that people can relate to for comparison purposes. 

post #56 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

Are you saying that negative reviews won't happen because the unit is so good? Or that hardly anyone owns one so there aren't enough opinions? Serious question. 


I have not seen a negative review yet, even on forums. Have you? The fact that you still have to get on to long waiting lists to get a Femto DAC would answer your second question. I have a friend who was hoping to pick up a previously owned unit at a lower price, as he cannot afford the brand new price, but he tells me that he is beginning to think that it is a waste of time.  

post #57 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHHS View Post


I have not seen a negative review yet, even on forums. Have you? The fact that you still have to get on to long waiting lists to get a Femto DAC would answer your second question. I have a friend who was hoping to pick up a previously owned unit at a lower price, as he cannot afford the brand new price, but he tells me that he is beginning to think that it is a waste of time.  

 

No, I think you are misunderstanding me. The comment before yours was basically saying that any time you read universally positive reviews, it's not a true indicator that the device has become widespread yet. The "commercial campaign" is to bring in positive reviews, and that sort of extends to early adopters (with any product) because they are excited to own the thing.

 

You said "don't hold your breath" for negative reviews. I wasn't sure if you meant that the Femto is so good that nobody will ever dislike it, or if you were being sarcastic and saying that the "initial hype" will never run out because not enough people will ever own it. 

 

Once enough people own it, and the magazines/webzines have moved on, only then will you get true unbiased feedback. That's just the way it works. I don't believe a single headphone (for example) exists that doesn't have at least a few detractors. That includes the best and most expensive headphones ever made - Sony R10, Stax SR007 and 009, LCD-3, HE6, HD800, HE90, Edition 10, etc etc. Most of those are well liked but you can always find someone who disagrees, and all of them have appeared on the "for sale" section for one reason or another. 

 

Anyway, I'm still curious how the Femto sounds. It looks great. Too bad I'll probably never get a chance to hear it.

post #58 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

No, I think you are misunderstanding me. The comment before yours was basically saying that any time you read universally positive reviews, it's not a true indicator that the device has become widespread yet. The "commercial campaign" is to bring in positive reviews, and that sort of extends to early adopters (with any product) because they are excited to own the thing.

 

You said "don't hold your breath" for negative reviews. I wasn't sure if you meant that the Femto is so good that nobody will ever dislike it, or if you were being sarcastic and saying that the "initial hype" will never run out because not enough people will ever own it. 

 

Once enough people own it, and the magazines/webzines have moved on, only then will you get true unbiased feedback. That's just the way it works. I don't believe a single headphone (for example) exists that doesn't have at least a few detractors. That includes the best and most expensive headphones ever made - Sony R10, Stax SR007 and 009, LCD-3, HE6, HD800, HE90, Edition 10, etc etc. Most of those are well liked but you can always find someone who disagrees, and all of them have appeared on the "for sale" section for one reason or another. 

 

Anyway, I'm still curious how the Femto sounds. It looks great. Too bad I'll probably never get a chance to hear it.


Too bad. You are missing out on something quite special. Most of my audiophile friends who have heard my Femto DAC, if they could afford it, have upgraded, though most of them are still waiting to receive their unit because of the long waiting list. 

post #59 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHHS View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumbleripper View Post

Likewise. I really am impressed with my Calyx 24/192, and just can't imagine it getting much better. So if anyone has any feedback on this unit would love to hear about it.

 

Rumble


I know exactly what you mean. I too was very impressed with the performance of the Calyx 24/192 and did not expect the Femto to be significantly better, but I was proven totally wrong. I could easily tell that the Femto DAC reproduction is cleaner and more real (closer to the live performance) than the 24/192. Is it worth the extra cost which is quite substantial? That is something that each one has to decide on his/her own after comparing the two models. 

 

SHHS, I understand you like the DAC a lot (I wont quote the other posts you made, but want to address this one), but I'd suggest a bit less gushing. I'm sure it is a great DAC. I did an impulsive thing and bought another member's Calyx DAC. It sounds rather dry and a bit lifeless using the built-in USB, even if you power it from the included power supply rather than a computer. However, with an Audiophilleo 1 (or 2) which has been measured independently to have jitter <1ps (ie: a femtosecond transport) as well as the battery-power for its output, using a Vaunix USB hub as the power supply to the whole rig, the results I get over the DAC by itself are exactly what you describe above. It'd be interesting to hear how close I've gotten to a Femto DAC with my set-up. smile.gif

post #60 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

SHHS, ... I'd suggest a bit less gushing. 

 

Why? Mr. SHHS has 9 posts history after all. Less than 10 sure, but more than 1.

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