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Audio-Gd Master 7 - Discrete Fully Balanced DAC (PCM1704) - Page 72

post #1066 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by lieberung View Post
 

Hello, first post here, be gentle :-)

Im considering an upgrade from my audiolab 8200 CDQ (ESS sabre) to new source for my new ATC scm50 actives. Amyone here had the chance to listen to both reference 10.32 and master 7 and would like to tell us how they compare to each other sound wise?

 

I have an offer on a second hand ref 10.32 but are also considering the master 7, but that is much more expensive since I have to buy a brand new one.

Im pretty happy with the Audiolab CDQ and use it both for CD, DAC and preamp, but I have heard that I should try out a well implemented PCM1704-dac since it should be a better match for my speakers. If I go for a ref 10.32 Ill, keep the CDQ as transport and dac variety. If I go for a master 7 Ill still keep the CDQ for cdp and preamp.

 

I have had several cdps and dacs over the last few years: Naim CD5X (Liked it a lot), DacMagic (good, but not that detailed and bit "bloomy"?), Lavry DA11 (good, with a lot of features but a little too polite for my taste and not that user friendly), Audiolab 8200 CDQ (lively and dynamic, and punchy, lots of filters and and interfaces, the best so far), Accuphase DA20 (card for slot in Accuphase integrated - similar in sound to the aduiolab but a bit dry).

I listen to a lot of different music and generes but like a lively and dynamic sound, great sound stage and 3d image.

 

Anyone like to comment and give their recommendations?

 

I had the Audiolab in my system for a month while my Cyrus was being upgraded. Nice machine with the typical Sabre32 sound but was clearly a step (or two) below my NFB-7 which uses the same chip. As soon as my Cyrus was returned the Audiolab went back to the shop.

 

If you want a lively, dynamic and punchy sound the Master-7 probably is not your best choice as these are areas the Sabre32 excels, although the Master-7 may buck that trend a bit as it does not have the typical PCM1704 sound you get from the A-GD Ref series.

The PCM1704 DAC's typically have a more laid back refined sound and a couple of users have already stated that the M7 is a bit distant sounding ( as this is the M7 thread I fully expect to get flamed here  :rolleyes: )

post #1067 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post
 

 

 

If you want a lively, dynamic and punchy sound the Master-7 probably is not your best choice as these are areas the Sabre32 excels, although the Master-7 may buck that trend a bit as it does not have the typical PCM1704 sound you get from the A-GD Ref series.

The PCM1704 DAC's typically have a more laid back refined sound and a couple of users have already stated that the M7 is a bit distant sounding ( as this is the M7 thread I fully expect to get flamed here  :rolleyes: )

Compared to that in your face Sabre flair, yea. But I don't think you'd agree the 1704's gloss over details.


Edited by paradoxper - 12/29/13 at 6:11am
post #1068 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post
 

Compared to that in your face Sabre flair, yea. But I don't think you'd agree the 1704's gloss over details.

 

No a good PCM1704 implementation does not gloss over details.

 

I have always been confused by the term 'in your face' when referring to Sabre32 chip.

Typically the Sabre32 gives a more assertive forceful sound than the PCM1704 but is not really 'in your face' although I do suspect there are poor implementations that are 'in your face'

On my NFB-7 detail that is supposed to be in the background is in the background and not forced at you in any way.

post #1069 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post
 

 

No a good PCM1704 implementation does not gloss over details.

 

I have always been confused by the term 'in your face' when referring to Sabre32 chip.

Typically the Sabre32 gives a more assertive forceful sound than the PCM1704 but is not really 'in your face' although I do suspect there are poor implementations that are 'in your face'

On my NFB-7 detail that is supposed to be in the background is in the background and not forced at you in any way.

It's just an aggressive sound, not necessarily a bad thing..if you like that sort of thing.

I really dislike Audio-gd's aesthetics but the sound is on point. Much more natural sounding than a lot of other Sabre DACs I've heard.

post #1070 of 3507
ok no flaming here now people.

as i have an assortment of dacs here i can add some words.
m7 extreme detail almost tubey sounding . great air around the music, soundstage is steady but not the most. very well deatiled and i think the sounds it produces is spot on.

ref 10.32 very much the same sound and detail level but not to the extremes as the M7 .

now sabre i have 2 that i know of first off the dac hdp r10 and then my mytek stereo 192.

although there is just as much detail it does not emotionaly envolve me. what does this mean they are not here and i am not htere. this level of emotion does come from the M7 and the ref 10.32.

now i have a ps audio pwdmkii it is not like either but very good at what it does.

now as a measure of supreme sounding dac and gives all above and the you are there sound this cost,s plenty but delivers in ways i have never heard before.
this dac is MSB platinum 4 plus with the galaxy clock and UMT plus player. Now this dac is my reference to how it should sound and guess what dac gets me close.

the audio gd M7 and next the ref 10.32.

its not in the class of the MSB but it is in the same zipcode.

al d
post #1071 of 3507
I guess that if one mostly listen on headphones one are also more sensitive to the how the music is portraid, and an "inyour face" presentation may be fatiguing (?).. Im mostly listen through speakers and to me its important that rockn roll/metall bass drums have a good punch.
post #1072 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post
 

It's just an aggressive sound, not necessarily a bad thing..if you like that sort of thing.

I really dislike Audio-gd's aesthetics but the sound is on point. Much more natural sounding than a lot of other Sabre DACs I've heard.

 

One person's assertive, forceful, exciting, vibrant sound is another person's aggressive, strident, fatiguing sound.

 

It's not that one chip is better than the other just they cater to different tastes.

 

As I like rock & metal it's Sabre32 all the way as I have always found PCM1704 chipped DAC's to be less exciting and stimulating.

Quite simply most have been pretty boring to be honest.

 

PS. I would love to hear the M7 though, however it's probably a bad idea given that with the NFB-7 and Master-6 I don't really have the room for it!


Edited by nigeljames - 12/29/13 at 6:54am
post #1073 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post
 

 

One person's assertive, forceful, exciting, vibrant sound is another person's aggressive, strident, fatiguing sound.

 

It's not that one chip is better than the other just they cater to different tastes.

 

As I like rock & metal it's Sabre32 all the way as I have always found PCM1704 chipped DAC's to be less exciting and stimulating.

Quite simply most have been pretty boring to be honest.

I hear ya. 1 chip can't please 'em all. :biggrin:

post #1074 of 3507
I'm with nigeljames on this one.
I loved my NFB-27 brutal sound for Rock.
Like he explained with very good words, it's not in your face and, indeed, background sounds stay in the background. It just kinda emphasis the transients without ever sounding etched or edgy. Very good stuff to move you in bed!

If one wants magical mids, just get a HE-500 biggrin.gif
post #1075 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post

 

 

If you want a lively, dynamic and punchy sound the Master-7 probably is not your best choice as these are areas the Sabre32 excels, although the Master-7 may buck that trend a bit as it does not have the typical PCM1704 sound you get from the A-GD Ref series.

The PCM1704 DAC's typically have a more laid back refined sound and a couple of users have already stated that the M7 is a bit distant sounding ( as this is the M7 thread I fully expect to get flamed here  :rolleyes: )

 

Before I heard the M7 from decent coax or USB converter, I would have 100% agreed with this assessment. All prior PCM1704/1702 implementations I've heard were overly forgiving and polite, sometimes boring sounding side. The HM-801, while not a bad sounding portable, best exemplified this kind of sound. To a large extent, the older iterations of the M7 (REF 1, etc.) also sounded this way.

 

What sets the M7 (and other good R2R implementations such as those from MSB, etc.) apart is its ability to not hold back - not always sound overly polite. Properly fed via a good transport, the M7 does have the attack and hyper resolution that I was accustomed to with the better sigma-delta DAC implementations. DACs like the M7 and various MSB models combine the best of both the R2R and sigma-delta type worlds. My personal preference has always been slightly tilted toward hyper resolution, attack, and dynamics over "natural" tone. This is why I held on to the PWD2 for so long, even over the latest R2R DACs from Metrum, etc. So what the heck am I doing with an R2R DAC?

 

As I've stated previously, I've directly compared the M7 and NFB-7.32 via the OR5 coax out. (I've also directly compared the M7 to a dozen other Sabre or sigma-delta DACs.) The M7 loses out on absolutely nothing - nothing - compared to the NFB-7.32 (one of the top Sabre implementations I've heard). The M7 is just as detailed, fast sounding, dynamic without blunting of the attacks; but yet at the same time, its treble, vocal, and bass rendering is obviously superior. No treble rasp or grain, natural lush vocals to die for, and way better reproduction of bass texture and pitch.

 

Yes, I believe there are DACs out there which will "please them all". The M7 is one of them. As with the MSBs; but those will cost you an arm and a leg, and their options are like Porsche options ($100K++ Cayman, yeah screw you Porsche.)

 

Finally, I should reiterate that my experience with the M7 may be different from others since I don't and I won't use the built-in USB32. To be frank, the USB32 sucks, in that it severely - severely - limits the potential of the M7.


Edited by purrin - 12/29/13 at 6:32pm
post #1076 of 3507
I have both the M7 and the MSB. . And the truth they are the only dacs I listen too. My first taste of the 1704 was with the ref 10.32. A great dac as well.

And your explanation is right on with mine as well.

Al. D
post #1077 of 3507
I use the off ramp 5. All in with the i2s. Input and it is really amazing.
post #1078 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

I have both the M7 and the MSB. . And the truth they are the only dacs I listen too. My first taste of the 1704 was with the ref 10.32. A great dac as well.

And your explanation is right on with mine as well.

Al. D

MSB with OR5? 

post #1079 of 3507
Sorry I meant the off ramp 5 with the M7. The MSB. Platinum doe sent need any help. Lol

Al d
post #1080 of 3507
Yes the off ramp I have has all the options and his power supply too.
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