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Head-fi's Recommended Digital Sources call for nominations - Page 4

post #46 of 142
Redbook only:
Under $1000 Arcam CD73T (I got over my criticisms once I realized how much software was the limiting factor. Blew away my old NAD C541i with richness from day one though, except on HDCD).

At the $2000 point-Simaudio Equinox (made my Arcam sound like a NAD in a wool sweater! Anyone who pays more for redbook-only playback is nuts ).
post #47 of 142
The NAD 542 is nominated for 3 price categories? Is this a mistake or is there some suggestion that the NAD 542 is capable of competing on 3 price levels?


Also, I'm wondering if the Cambridge Audio Azur 640c might make the nomination. I've not heard this CDP but reviews - both professional and private - indicate that the 640c might be a strong contender for the $600 price point.
post #48 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Ticky
The NAD 542 is nominated for 3 price categories? Is this a mistake or is there some suggestion that the NAD 542 is capable of competing on 3 price levels?
Welly Wu indicated hist NAD 542 performs comparably to his Pioneer Universal, which retails for $1600, and he thinks that Pioneer is worth its price just for CD playback. So that means according to him the NAD is competitive in the up to $1600 price range, that's why I spread it in the categories from its actual price up to that one. That is only one vote though, the idea is to accummulate votes, so if many headfiers agree (again, headfiers that have heard it + other similarly priced players bla bla etc etc., and want to nominate it) then we will have many votes for the 542 even up to that category. If many people disagree, then the accumulated votes will show that not many think it should be ranked that highly.

Quote:
Also, I'm wondering if the Cambridge Audio Azur 640c might make the nomination. I've not heard this CDP but reviews - both professional and private - indicate that the 640c might be a strong contender for the $600 price point.
There are some head-fiers that own it, and might have compared it to other similarly priced contenders, so let's wait for them to submit a nomination. I have auditioned the Azur, but not many other players in that price range. Also, I wasn't really truly impressed. But mostly because of not having heard other similarly priced ones, I feel I'm not in a position to nominate it.
post #49 of 142
I personally think that all your mentions of the "Pioneer 963sa" should be changed to the Philips 963SA in order to avoid confusion.
post #50 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by RickG
I personally think that all your mentions of the "Pioneer 963sa" should be changed to the Philips 963SA in order to avoid confusion.
Oh man sorry about that, thanks very much!
post #51 of 142
$2,000.00 + Range

Audio Analogue Maestro CDP. Italian made. If you like warmth this is it.
post #52 of 142
Thread Starter 
Check out my posting here about my newly arrived Sacdmods NS500V, and my comparison with the Toshiba SD3950.
Given the fact that the modded Sony costs a total of about $500, and given my comparison between stock Sony and the Azur, and now modded Sony and the Toshiba, I honestly think the sound of the stock Toshiba SD3950 is competitive in the CD playback $200 - $600 range.
post #53 of 142
ok. Maybe these are not the best for everyone, but the ones that stood out.

under 2k redbook
• Bel Canto DAC2
• Ack! DAC
• 47Labs Shigaraki DAC
ª Primare D20
• Audiolab 8000CD
• MIcromega Stage 3 ( when it's working )
• CAL DX2
• Carin Fog 2

under 4k redbook
• Linn Ikemi
• Meridian 506.20
• Sonic Frontier SFCD-1

under 10k redbook
• Naim CDX2/XPS2
• Krell kps 28c
• MSB Platinum Reference CD Station II
• Audiomeca Mephisto
• Metronome T2/C2A

over 10k redbook
• Krell kps25sc
• Naim CDS3
• 47Labs PiTracer/Progression DAC
• Nagra DAC1
ª Linn CD12

under 10k universal player
• Bel Canto pLayer

under 10k DVD-A player
• Meridian 596
post #54 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by kuma
under 2k redbook
• Bel Canto DAC2
• Ack! DAC
• 47Labs Shigaraki DAC
ª Primare D20
• Audiolab 8000CD
• MIcromega Stage 3 ( when it's working )
• CAL DX2
• Carin Fog 2
The under $2K indication I guess is the rank you nominate them into. But how about their actual street price? I think the Bel Canto DAC2 was around $1200, the other players I have no idea. I need that information to place them from the range where their price fall, up to the highest nominated range, in this case $2K.

Actually I have the same question for most of the other players you mention, if you indicate the approx. MSRP or current street price new would be great.
post #55 of 142
Quote:
Originally posted by rsaavedr
The under $2K indication I guess is the rank you nominate them into. But how about their actual street price? I think the Bel Canto DAC2 was around $1200, the other players I have no idea. I need that information to place them from the range where their price fall, up to the highest nominated range, in this case $2K.

Actually I have the same question for most of the other players you mention, if you indicate the approx. MSRP or current street price new would be great.
The problem with some of the players I've mentioned are discontinued yet they are still viable and can make a nice economical way to get a great source for someone. I have no idea on street pricing.

I can only provide approx. from my memory!
* bel canto 1200$
* ack dac: 550$
* 47lab shigaraki dac: 1300$
* Primare D20: $1200
* Audiolab/Micromega/CAL DX2: discontinued but available on used market
* Carin Fog: 1700$

under 4k redbook
• Linn Ikemi: 3600$
• Meridian 506.20: discontinued
• Sonic Frontier SFCD-1: discontinued

under 10k redbook
• Naim CDX2/XPS2: 9,000$
• Krell kps 28c: discontinued
• MSB Platinum Reference CD Station II: 8,000$
• Audiomeca Mephisto: 7,000$
• Metronome T2/C2A: 9,000$

over 10k redbook
• Krell kps25sc: 23,000$
• Naim CDS3: 14,000$
• 47Labs PiTracer/Progression DAC: 28,000$
• Nagra DAC1: 10,000$
ª Linn CD12:20,000$

under 10k universal player
• Bel Canto pLayer: 8,000$

under 10k DVD-A player
• Meridian 596: 5,000$
post #56 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by kuma
* ack dac: 550$
Kuma, yet one other question. I wonder if you really did mean to nominate for instance the ack dac as a worthy source even compared to $2K players, since you listed it in your "Under $2K" group. I just want to make sure so that, if it applies, then I properly put it as recommended for all price ranges from $500 up to $2000. If you didn't nominate it that way then I should only list it in the category of its own price range.

Remember part of the idea is to narrow down the real price ranges the sound of sources are competitive in, according to us Headfiers anyway. A good example of this was provided by sacd lover, the SCD-C555ES, which costs around $1200 (new unit + mods), but it's highly competitive with some of the best sources costing $3000 and $4000. Building the list this way complicates things a bit, but I think the resulting list will be much more informative of how good sounding or worthy Headfiers think specific sources are.
post #57 of 142
Thread Starter 
I'd also like to nominate the very good sounding Sacdmods Sony NS500V in the $200-$600 category, both for CD and SACD. I don't make the nomination of this source for higher price ranges only because I don't have sufficient exposure to more expensive sources.
post #58 of 142
Quote:
Originally posted by rsaavedr
Kuma, yet one other question. I wonder if you really did mean to nominate for instance the ack dac as a worthy source even compared to $2K players, since you listed it in your "Under $2K" group. I just want to make sure so that, if it applies, then I properly put it as recommended for all price ranges from $500 up to $2000. If you didn't nominate it that way then I should only list it in the category of its own price range.
rsaavedr,

I've put Ack! DAc in under 2k category cuz, it can compete albeit with the right transport, with some other costilier players. It has a different flavor from what i have listed under 2k range, but, i wanted to make a point of it. You can put it back in whatever the price bracket it belongs.

FWIW, in head to head comparison with Shigaraki DAC/Humpty ps, I still prefered the latter, but Ack! might be preffered for its smoother, rounder presentation. The midrange presense really is impressive and not too many digital playback at this price point or even costlier ones can't pull it off as well as these non upsampling /filterless DACs.

over the years, I've listened to many more digital gear than what i nominated here but these are pretty much it that I think worth mentioning. Naturally, my list is biassed.
post #59 of 142
Thread Starter 
I realize there are a few DACs alone, not transport+DAC combos. That makes the price ranges and categories a little non-uniform, since the DAC prices are not including the needed transport. Well, computer cards would be in a similar situation because we are not counting the cost of the computer. I hope this list of recommendations doesn't get too non-uniform because of these special cases. As soon as I can, I'll put the items in your submission from their own price range to where you indicate they are competitive.
post #60 of 142
Under $10K: Audio Aero Capitole MKII. NOTHING I've heard at any price comes close.
Under $500.00: The MSB Link w/upsampling DAC.
Under $5K: Either the Shanling CD-T100 with level 1 or 1+ mods from underwoodhifi. 2600.00 & 3500.00. Both these players are very good and can compete with any of the sub $5K players I've heard.
SACD: Havn't got to hear alot of these, but the best was the Shanling CD-T200 with the 1+ mods for $4500.00. Redbook was also great on this player. I thought the Sony SCD-1 was pretty good until I got to hear the Shanling.
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