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 )