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post #466 of 1811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

 

What's wrong with the Octave? Aren't you fully happy?

 

I also went in a Dac deathmatch in the last 4 months during which I owned the Reference 5.32, NFB-27 and, recently, the Concero. So far the Metrum Quad survived them all ;)

Will have to investigate with the Concero on a laptop in native mode (no remote) to see how it partners the Quad.

 

I'm really considering the Octave mkII which would be a double upgrade and all-in-one solution I am after (yet with proprietary drivers...).

The cost mainly; Octave + transport price is dangerously close to very competent options (audial/lampi/NFB-7 + exa i2s ...). The Mk2 price is (IMHO) even worse. You're better off with the old octave on special offer and a AP2/JKSPDIF. Sound wise the Octave has it own flaws, but nothing I can't live with. 

 

My prediction is the Concero will make a decent transport for your Quad. But if you don't have the upsampling filter, as a Dac it'll feel a bit "dim".

post #467 of 1811
Quote:
Originally Posted by swmtnbiker View Post

 

To be honest I've been using the VAC-1 with the DAC for so long that I can't remember what the VDA-1 is like without it (although I still have the walwart). In my rig the D100 MK11 had a much flatter presentation than the CIAudio gear, which was superior in soundstage, depth, and air. The Yulong was probably a bit less flaccid in the low frequencies, but other than that I preferred Dusty's stuff to it by a pretty large margin. I'm hoping that Canada can do better than China in this regard. :)

 

And thanks for the compliment on the avatar. Lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you's.

 

Forgot to mention source. PC FLAC bit-perfect output via JRiver Media Center (WASAPI Event Style) TOSLINK to the VDA-1. I used USB out when available to all of my runners-up, TOSLINK when it wasn't.

Awesome. Thanks for the reply, man! The Dude abides...

post #468 of 1811

Has anyone else here tested the Concero as a USB-SPDIF bridge into a Violectric 800 DAC?

post #469 of 1811

Any news of the Salon Son & Image?

 

I quickly tested the Concero feeding my Metrum Quad (using a laptop + JRiver): excellent technicalities!

I don't have it anymore but I don't remember the Stello U3 provided the same clean and detailed sound as I get now with the Concero (didn't play with the filters, I don't have the remote).

 

That was on 2 different setups, though (SBT for the Stello, JRiver for the Concero).

post #470 of 1811

I was at SSI. Spoke with Resonessence a few times while I was there, and ended up buying a Concero.

 

 

From what they told me, there is a DSD version of the Concero in the works, although I think that was already public knowledge around here. Again, from what I gathered (i.e. I COULD have misunderstood), this new DAC would be functionally/sonically similar to the current Concero but with DSD support (I don't have any DSD music, so I didn't ask any more questions).

 

On another note, they did tell me that the firmware of the Concero is upgradable (i.e. they COULD send you some file to upgrade the firmware) but that they don't currently have any upgrades planned (I, for one, would LOVE if the Concero could do digital volume control via the Mac remote).

 

My initial thoughts on the Concero so far: I like it. I'm not very good at comparing DACs, but one of the things I listen for is the quality of the bass. Compared to my Parasound 1500 (which has three giant toroidal transformers and a rather large footprint), I don't hear any 'hollowness' or deficiency in the bass out of the Concero, which really surprises me given the small size and lack of a dedicated PSU. 

 

Like a few others, I was concerned about the low output voltage of the Concero (1.2 Vrms). I have a Stax SRM-727A (which has a lower gain than most Stax amps) that was previously connected to the Parasound via XLR (~5 Vrms).  Using the Concero, I find that I'm often listening at a volume level of 7/10, perhaps 8/10, but never higher. So, there's no issue there, and one could say that I even benefit from having more headroom in the pot.

post #471 of 1811

I'm new to the forum, awesome forum.    I have been considering the Concero for another setup but I have also been considering the PS Audio Nuwave at $900. Has anyone compared the two ?

post #472 of 1811
Nuwave was a disappointment. Concero was clearly better IMO.
post #473 of 1811
Visit page 5 of this thread.
post #474 of 1811

Thank you Maxvia and Nick.  I think I will just wait for the DSD version of the Concero due out in April and give that a trial.

post #475 of 1811
Quote:

Originally Posted by oogabooga View Post

My initial thoughts on the Concero so far: I like it. I'm not very good at comparing DACs, but one of the things I listen for is the quality of the bass. Compared to my Parasound 1500 (which has three giant toroidal transformers and a rather large footprint), I don't hear any 'hollowness' or deficiency in the bass out of the Concero, which really surprises me given the small size and lack of a dedicated PSU. 

 

Could you comment a bit more on the sonic differences between the Concero and your Parasound 1500? I'd be really interested in that comparison.

post #476 of 1811

Not really, since I haven't yet been pin down any differences, at least not from rapid A/Bing. That's not to say that there aren't differences, just that I'm not able to put my finger on them yet. I need to listen more, and I may never be able to quantify or even qualify a difference, because I'm not so good at doing so with DACs.

 

I will share that I believe that our ears and our minds are easily influenced by preconceptions, etc. One of my preconceptions about the Concero was that lack of a power supply or large transformers (each of the three toroids inside the Parasound is about the size of the Concero!) would impact the bass in some way. Earlier today I was listening to Cities of the Future by Infected Mushroom, and was convinced that the Parasound had a greater quantity of low ( >100 Hz) bass. However, after trying my best to volume match the DACs, then A/Bing a short clip over and over again, I wasn't so sure. Needless to say I've thrown out my preconception about the need for big power supplys/transformers!

 

Over the long weekend I may try to use the Concero to feed the coax input of the Parasound, just for kicks. I should be able to A/B more rapidly and without needing to volume match the DACs (which is a PITA). If I hear anything interesting I'll report back.

post #477 of 1811
oogabooga - nice work on the bass comparison.

I compared three DACs in 2011 and was surprised at the differences I heard, although I would still characterise them as subtle. Speaking of preconceptions, I expected to hear no differences at all.

Clearly, you overcame your preconception too! Easily, it seems.

If I may suggest (Project86 can suggest far more), and FWIW: volume matching is critical (almost always this means a sound meter); not all tracks will show a difference, probably not even most tracks; there's a definite 'state' one needs to be in to listen well. Tiredness and stress, or on the flip-side an over-active mind, are fatal to hearing differences. Patience and calm is paramount.

Finally, when one thinks one has found a difference, listen again. I found less than half of the differences I heard at first were repeatable.

Those that remained though were well worth the effort and time, and taught me a lot about listening and DACs!
post #478 of 1811
Thread Starter 

Regarding the new DSD product - I guess I'm allowed to say since they already did the show and were telling people there. So this is what I know so far, with the caveat that nothing is actually set in stone:

 

The unit will be similar to Concero but will use the ES9016 which is required for DSD capability (ES9023 used in the current model can't support DSD, period). Some changes will be required due to this replacement chip - the ES9023 has an integrated line driver built in, but the ES9016 doesn't. So the device will require some additional circuitry for an output stage. This, combined with the ES9016 being a higher class of DAC (DNR of 128 versus 112 for the 9023) means the new unit will potentially offer significant improvement... it will also be priced higher, somewhere around $799. 

 

I don't know if the original model will stick around. I would like to think so. Even if they use the same enclosure, it's really two different models. And at $599 versus $799, it's two different prices as well. But we'll see. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mav52 View Post

I'm new to the forum, awesome forum.    I have been considering the Concero for another setup but I have also been considering the PS Audio Nuwave at $900. Has anyone compared the two ?

 

A few of us around here are not fans of the NuWave. I didn't care for it much at all, and would rather have the old PS Audio Digital Link III to be honest. The NuWave is just overly bright and "digital" sounding to my ears, regardless of what equipment I paired it with. Too bad since it looks great and seems well built for the price.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AiDee View Post


If I may suggest (Project86 can suggest far more), and FWIW: volume matching is critical (almost always this means a sound meter); not all tracks will show a difference, probably not even most tracks; there's a definite 'state' one needs to be in to listen well. Tiredness and stress, or on the flip-side an over-active mind, are fatal to hearing differences. Patience and calm is paramount.
 

 

This is very true. Casual listening over a long period of time can give you a good "feel" of the DAC. But it's not very practical if you want to directly compare two units and not take 6 months to figure it out. So it's really helpful to have an amp with multiple inputs where you can switch on the fly. 

 

You should see how ridiculous I get with this stuff. I have my SPL meter, and I use sticky notes around the volume dial on my amp representing each DAC... my wife just rolls her eyes at me. 

post #479 of 1811

Thanks for the update.... sounds good. The clincher for me is whether the implementation of the ES9016 in the new Concero can match the X-Sabre in terms of SQ. If so, I'd fork out another $200. Otherwise it would be more of a lateral move with DSD and, eh, I'd rather buy new drapes. 

 

If Mark cuts prodction on the original Concero, it will leave a pretty big gap in the value DAC arena. I can't think of another DAC I'd rather have for $600, let alone $800.  Might be a good time to buy that original Concero if you've been on the fence... time will tell... 

post #480 of 1811
Quote:
Originally Posted by mav52 View Post

I'm new to the forum, awesome forum.    I have been considering the Concero for another setup but I have also been considering the PS Audio Nuwave at $900. Has anyone compared the two ?

 

Well I have a Concero now and currently have a Nuwave on the way, with the intention of pairing the two. Both Maxvla and Project86 having less than favorable impressions of the Nuwave worries me a bit but I'll reserve final judgement when I get it. I'm really hoping the two paired together will at least yield some improvement on either by themselves.

It is an attractive unit and the form factor fits perfectly what I'm looking for, for my desk. Of course, the sound will be the final deciding factor in the end. I also plan on taking it to a meet in April to try to do some comparison with a Gungnir that will be there as well.
Edited by JWahl - 3/28/13 at 8:14am
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