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post #31 of 58

I love mine and I am sure you will love yours....they even look sonically sublime.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

UPDATE: Purchased the "Burson Conductor" on Amazon last night. They had 2 day shipping for only $15.00. I researched until late in the night and in the end, price aside, the Burson is the most powerful and the reviews are great. It's definitely as good as I'm going to find for an all in one solution.  I wish it didn't cost so much but that's what I always say with high end stuff and then later I'm glad I spent the dough. It will be here early next week. I'm a happy man! Thanks for the advice and help. 

 

Cheers,

Barry B. 

beerchug.gif

 

post #32 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by philo50 View Post

I love mine and I am sure you will love yours....they even look sonically sublime.....

Good to see another fellow owner! How long have you had yours? Has it been pretty solid?  smile.gif

post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

Good to see another fellow owner! How long have you had yours? Has it been pretty solid?  smile.gif

I have had my Conductor for about 2 months so if you believe in burn-in (which I do) it has occurred. It has a lot of power and easily drives all of my headphones. My HD-800 sounds especially good with it.

 

No one seems to talk much about the dac and the sabre 32 chip. I really like its sound....lively but maintains the Burson sound....just terrific.

 

I connect out of my computer via the Audiophilleo 2 and the coax connection. I have had prior issues with usb connections (not with the Conductor) so avoid usb where I can. 

 

Enjoy your Conductor....I have certainly enjoyed mine......

post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

The DACMini is a really nice all-in-one that would probably satisfy the audiophile needs of almost anyone...but me... redface.gif

 

It just doesn't quite pack the punch I want on those rare occasions. The DAC is a little finicky too. It crashes almost every night with my Macbook Pro for some reason. I'm hoping the Burson will be more stable with their own custom Driver. has the Burson been pretty stable for you with your Computer? He says with fingers crossed... 

It still has some problems on the usb driver side. They are not that annoying and they aren't occurring often, but sometimes the foobar stops during a song and  you have to take the usb cable out of conductor after powering it off and then plug it in again and power it on, for windows to recognize the driver again.

It hasn't happened for a few days now, but sometimes it happens, and I observed that it happens more when you change the seekbar / songs often.


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 3/3/13 at 2:13pm
post #35 of 58
Thread Starter 

UPDATE: Well... I had an epiphany last night when I was setting everything up out in my workshop (as I do every night) and it occurred to me that if the unit had a remote control, I could simply leave it on the work bench and operate it from my work area without having to constantly move the unit around. It would also allow me to leave it plugged in and not have to break down the whole system each night and morning...

 

Anyway, long story short, I decided NOT to go with the Conductor (I refused delivery and sent it back unopened) and to go with the Benchmark DAC2 (or possibly DAC1 for $500.00 less) or something else with a remote control (possibly the GRACE 903). It's got a remote control, a very good headphone amp, and  preamp outs so I figure even it I outgrow the Amp inside it, I can use the DAC part and buy a separate Amp. In other words, it's a lot more scalable and with the money I save I could afford to buy a Lyr or some other more powerful Amp.

 

So there it is, I feel like a tool that I didn't think of it before but then again this whole journey into HiFi has been wrought with missteps and short sighted decisions (mostly for the sake of trying to save some $$$). I hope the Benchmark is a good way to go. I will of course post impressions. 

 


Edited by bareyb - 3/4/13 at 7:15pm
post #36 of 58
Thread Starter 

Found another contender! The GRACE M903/905 both have a remote and a lot of power. I'm adding this for future seekers... 

 

ETA: It looks like the owner of the company answered my email! Now that's pretty cool... smile.gif

 

Quote:

Hi Barry,
The m903 and m905 both contain reference quality headphone amplifiers and DA converters. The power output capabilities are listed below.


m903
32 Ohm 2100mW
50 Ohm 1548mW
300 Ohm 271mW
600 Ohm 136mW

m905
32 Ohm 2300mW
50 Ohm 1620mW
300 Ohm 294mW
600 Ohm 147mW

Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Best,
Michael

-- 
Michael Grace
Grace Design
mbgrace@gracedesign.com
http://www.gracedesign.com
303-443-7454 x108

 

Edited by bareyb - 3/4/13 at 7:15pm
post #37 of 58
Thread Starter 

Grace Design M903 DAC vs. Benchmark DAC2 HGA

Any thoughts comparing these two more than welcome.

 

Thanks. 


Edited by bareyb - 3/5/13 at 12:14am
post #38 of 58
Thread Starter 

Okay. I can't decide between the Benchmark DAC1 and the Grace Designs m903. I'm leaning towards the Grace simply because it appears to have a lot more power and a lot more available gain... Both companies have been great to work with and very responsive to my questions. I ended up buying both units and I will do a direct comparison. I just sent off this email to Benchmark: 

 

 

 

Quote:
Interesting papers. Thank you for that. Both units that  I'm considering have very low impedance and the specs are very similar. So that paper is very timely. 
 
I've done some more research since we talked, and  from all I can glean, the folks on HeadFi are saying the DAC1/2 puts out about 1.2W @ 32 ohms. Not sure how they came up with that, but I think they are basing that on your max output of 250mV. It would be so helpful if you guys (and GRACE) would publish the power ratings into 32 ohm etc. so people can compare… I suggested the same thing to Michael Grace. Just a thought… It sure beats having "people on the Internet" interpreting your Specs for you! 
 
At any rate, based on those power ratings it appears your unit  has only about half of the power output of the GRACE M903 which puts out 2.1W @ 32 ohms according to the Mfr.. It also appears that the Grace unit has up to +9 dB of input gain whereas the DAC1 can only go to +0. (comes stock with -10 dB).. Which would indicate to me that the Grace has significantly more  power and can probably reach higher volume levels due to the available gain. Hard to say without hearing them both, and  I agree specs aren't everything… 
 
Both the M903 and the DAC1 (no DAC2 available yet)  are available on Amazon PRIME so I have purchased both and plan to compare them directly and in blind listening tests. That's the only way we are going to know. For what it's worth I think the M903 is ugly as hell and I hope your product kicks it's ass, but in the end, I have to keep the one that has the best SQ and gets the loudest without distorting. Both units would make excellent DAC preamps so if I need to get a huge powerful amp one day, either of  these will be a good building block. 
 
I appreciate all the great customer service from you and it has helped me narrow it down to two choices. Thank you again for taking the time with me. 
 
post #39 of 58
Thread Starter 

Finally got some good specs on the Benchmark from the Mfr. Noted here for future seekers: 

 

 

Benchmark DAC1/2 Power Output:

@ 32 Ohms: 1.1 W

@ 50 Ohms: 0.76 W

 

Grace Designs M903 Power Output:

@ 32 Ohms: 2.1 W
@ 50 Ohms: 1.5 W
 

Should be noted that "specs aren't everything" as stated in an email from Benchmark. I plan to compare them head to head and see what the real deal is. Comparison to follow....

 

 

 

post #40 of 58
Thread Starter 

The Benchmark DAC1 is here and I've been listening to it for a couple of hours. Man, this thing sounds really GOOD. Probably the best DAC I've heard to date. Compared to the DAC in the iDo, it's far more accurate and doesn't get a lot of "glitches" and "mystery buzzes and clicks" like the Nu Force "iDo" did on the same material. So it gets an A+ on DAC. Really nice and smooth.

 

Now. For the reason for this thread... While it sounds great, the POWER really isn't there. It's "okay" but the DACmini has more power and gets a little louder with better Bass Slam. The DAC1 just KILLS it for DAC though. The DAC in the Mini is a tad bright compared to this one. Of the three DACs I've tried recently this is the winner for detail and clarity without being harsh. I'd characterize it as "neutral". The DAC in the Mini is warmer (less neutral) and had a little more "slam", however the top end can get strident if you push it too hard. Compared to the DAC1 the DACmini has more of what people describe as the "House sound". More Bass slam and slightly extended highs. 

 

The Grace Designs M903 will be here tomorrow. It has just about DOUBLE the power of the DAC1 and has 9 dB's of available gain (easily set through the menus) so I'm expecting great things from it. I will update as I go along... 


Edited by bareyb - 3/5/13 at 8:18pm
post #41 of 58

Interesting series of posts. What headphones are you planning to use?

 

KP

post #42 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKillerPiglet View Post

Interesting series of posts. What headphones are you planning to use?

 

KP

HE500s with upgraded Cable. 

post #43 of 58

Do not know why you decided for Benchmark. But I would choose Grace M903, overall popular and people seems to be happy even without separate amp. 

Another dac with powerful amp is Audio-gd Reference 10.32 but it is big beast.


Edited by knopi - 3/7/13 at 2:28am
post #44 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by knopi View Post

Do not know why you decided for Benchmark. But I would choose Grace M903, overall popular and people seems to be happy even without separate amp. 

Another dac with powerful amp is Audio-gd Reference 10.32 but it is big beast.

m903 got here yesterday and you are absolutely right that it is a very fine piece of equipment. Sounds very different from the Benchmark. My initial impression are that at least in terms of a "headphone amp"  it is indeed on a slightly higher level than the DAC1. The DAC1 has a killer DAC in it though. They both have lots to like about them and once I've had a chance to really compare them I'll post an update. But so far, so good with the Grace. This thing is a BEAST. It's got the most clean output right out of the box than any of the three DAC/Amp combos I've tried. I had been thinking I probably would have to buy something like a Lyr to get the power I want but now I'm not so sure. It's got a LOT of power.  The sound is warm and it's got some serious deep Bass extension. I would describe it's sound signature as warm and robust. 

 

The Crossfeed circuit is implemented really well and while I'm not normally a fan of any type of DSP, in this case I think they got it right. It's very subtle. LIke grabbing the soundstage by the edges and stretching it out about 2 inches in every direction. I have yet to find a genre that it doesn't improve. The best part is what it does for the Bass.... It "gently" bumps up the bottom end and really adds some low down growl that is very satisfying... It's quickly becoming my favorite feature.

 

Good stuff for sure. It's not perfect, but it's very good. I'll be comparing all three (CEntrance DACMini, Benchmark DAC1, and Grace Designs m903) more extensively over the next day or two, and I'll try to post the main strengths and weaknesses as I see them as soon as I've had more time with them. 

 

etysmile.gif


Edited by bareyb - 3/7/13 at 1:15pm
post #45 of 58

It is great that you will have all in your home and then it will be easy decision what you will like the most :)

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