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dCS Vivaldi (US$ 110,000) - Page 2

post #16 of 79
Thread Starter 
From the high end sources I have auditioned, the biggest difference with cheaper ones is in the soundstage and details. The top ones can really pinpoint the exact position of instruments, and center imaging. In headphone and smaller speaker systems, many cheaper DACs can do the job reasonably well, but in larger speakers the most minute differences would become quite significant, and the source which sounded wuite good for headphones became apparent that they have a plain 2D aoundstage, with a difference in width but not depth, or otherwise lack in the imaging department. Those are relatively objective qualities which IMO distinguish the better ones from the not so high end ones. Taking my Zodiac Gold and Weiss DAC202 as example, they are fine gear with my headphone systems, but once connected to my main speaker system and compared against my K-01, they immediately pale in terms of 3D soundstage and minute details, as well as top and bottom end dynamics.

When it comes to musicality and whether the sound is analog enough , it is a matter of personal taste - EMM Labs, dCS, MSB Platinum, Playback Designs, Esoteric or Soluution all sound a bit different and it comes down to how you like the sound is presented, but all with a very good soundstage as a base. And talking about turntables, let's not get into the debate of vinyl vs digital, as we all know the arguments of both aides reasonably well - just to point out that high end digital source is much more than sounding analog. There are some really steep turntables as well, taking the Clearaudio Statement as an example. It is perfectly okay to be content and satisfied with budget gear, but it is not fair to dismiss the better ones just because they command insane prices, without actually hearing them in a high end speaker system. If you believe your DAC can sound better than the internal sound chip on your laptop, there is no reason why there can't be a DAC out there sounding better than your current one.
Edited by googleli - 8/30/12 at 9:22am
post #17 of 79
I don't mean this in a nasty way, and it's only my opinion.

The gear at the dCS price level targets a rich gulable audience, who's technical understanding is waning. The article from the opening post is typical, theres nothing new about the merits of dual mono design within DAC implementation, in a 100k DAC you'd expect this, kind of like getting air conditioning with a new car.

Each to their own, just my 2c.
post #18 of 79
To the boys with the biggest toys, I say hell yeah. We are all the same with different budgets, enjoying the same hobby. I tip my cap that they give the time or comment on such gear. When I joined this place, there were people on here that had this kind of interest and was satisfied with their efforts of building the finest systems available and show others the fruit of their efforts. Should we all hang our heads or become judgmental because ours don't hold the same allure and lust? Be happy with what you have and know there's a level anywhere along the chain for all of us to be satisfied.

Have they taken the cover off to see if there are wall warts for power? tongue.gif

Apologies to those burned by Mikail. redface.gif
post #19 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by googleli View Post

From the high end sources I have auditioned, the biggest difference with cheaper ones is in the soundstage and details. The top ones can really pinpoint the exact position of instruments, and center imaging. In headphone and smaller speaker systems, many cheaper DACs can do the job reasonably well.....................

 

At this level of the game, one is aware of what a better Dac should be capable of?! And of course the needs of a Dac for headphones and a speakers system are totally different. One system is trying to recreate a life size reproduction whilst for headphones, a soundstage of 3' x 3' x 2' will suffice. There are many Dac manufacturers in the hi end market place that are producing truly wonderful sounding Dacs such as Stahltek from the US or CH Precision from Switzerland. You are correct that the sound signature is about more than, digital sounding analogue. It is about bringing the whole illusion of the performers into your listening room. There are many ultra pricey turntables out there and funnily, the Clearaudio Statement is perhaps the most clinical and clean sounding of statement turntables. 

 

No one is dismissing anything because of high prices.

post #20 of 79
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post

I don't mean this in a nasty way, and it's only my opinion.
The gear at the dCS price level targets a rich gulable audience, who's technical understanding is waning. The article from the opening post is typical, theres nothing new about the merits of dual mono design within DAC implementation, in a 100k DAC you'd expect this, kind of like getting air conditioning with a new car.
Each to their own, just my 2c.

 

Have you heard about the Ring DAC used by dCS?  wink_face.gif

post #21 of 79
Thread Starter 

Good to hear some true high end names finally - Stahltek and CH Precison are certainly among the best. Lately, the MSB Platinum IV received very good reviews as well. Meitner MA-1, EMMLabs DAC2X also received very favourable reviews. The common point with these latest high end offerings seems to be that design their own DAC circuitry and none of them utilize existing bulk DAC chips. And dCS has been using and improved on their Ring DAC circuitry since the 1990's, before any decent DAC chips even came out in the market. 

 

    

Quote:
Originally Posted by spkrs01 View Post

 

At this level of the game, one is aware of what a better Dac should be capable of?! And of course the needs of a Dac for headphones and a speakers system are totally different. One system is trying to recreate a life size reproduction whilst for headphones, a soundstage of 3' x 3' x 2' will suffice. There are many Dac manufacturers in the hi end market place that are producing truly wonderful sounding Dacs such as Stahltek from the US or CH Precision from Switzerland. You are correct that the sound signature is about more than, digital sounding analogue. It is about bringing the whole illusion of the performers into your listening room. There are many ultra pricey turntables out there and funnily, the Clearaudio Statement is perhaps the most clinical and clean sounding of statement turntables. 

 

No one is dismissing anything because of high prices.


Edited by googleli - 8/30/12 at 8:25pm
post #22 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by googleli View Post

Have you heard about the Ring DAC used by dCS?  wink_face.gif

Of course I have, that's old news. My comment was with reference to the latest upgrades. tongue.gif
post #23 of 79
It's a whole $3k cheaper than my new Carrera S. What a bargain!
post #24 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

It's a whole $3k cheaper than my new Carrera S. What a bargain!

Not everyone can afford the Turbo either. That's what the lesser models are partially for in both brand's lines.

post #25 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

It's a whole $3k cheaper than my new Carrera S. What a bargain!

In my country, it's more than 20% cheaper than a Honda Accord, and way less than 1/3 the price of a Carrera. :) Even bigger bargain!


Edited by Quest88 - 8/31/12 at 10:17pm
post #26 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by heycarnut View Post

Not everyone can afford the Turbo either. That's what the lesser models are partially for in both brand's lines.

Not everyone prefers the Turbo. They're generally faster, however they're less reliable and more prone to power inconsistency due to temperature and environment.

I have listened to $250k-$1M systems, they were largely quite impressive, and the world's preeminent DAC may have a $100k price tag. However, wisdom and cognition are of incalculable worth and the rarest components by far.
post #27 of 79
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post


Not everyone prefers the Turbo. They're generally faster, however they're less reliable and more prone to power inconsistency due to temperature and environment.
I have listened to $250k-$1M systems, they were largely quite impressive, and the world's preeminent DAC may have a $100k price tag. However, wisdom and cognition are of incalculable worth and the rarest components by far.

 

Actually the Weiss Maya DAC is US$ 200K and is only made on order...

post #28 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by googleli View Post

 

Actually the Weiss Maya DAC is US$ 200K and is only made on order...

And a beautiful example of Daniel's perfection exemplified it is.

 

Then again, some that it is priced beyond their means might believe its reliability is less than the DAC1 and performance is too inconsistent under differing temperatures...wink_face.gif

post #29 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by heycarnut View Post

And a beautiful example of Daniel's perfection exemplified it is.

Then again, some that it is priced beyond their means might believe its reliability is less than the DAC1 and performance is too inconsistent under differing temperatures...wink_face.gif

No, but it's likely the pursuit of perfection is overriding a person's common sense. I'm all for nosebleed level gear, I could buy a seven figure setup, but there's a point where the price gouging on certain individual components is too extreme.
post #30 of 79

This may not apply to head-fi, but in speaker systems, I wonder how many people include the cost of the room since it is an integral part of the system, especially a dedicated room.. Admittedly it may not be a depreciating asset like hifi equipment, but still...

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