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Abbingdon Music Research DP-777 Thread - Page 11

post #151 of 356
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavtorn View Post
 

some more info on the 777 SE here on stereophile.

So essentially, your upgraded DP-777 is the same as this DP-777 SE?

post #152 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by froger View Post
 

So essentially, your upgraded DP-777 is the same as this DP-777 SE?

I think it's the same except for the tubes mentioned which have been offered "in a few months time"

post #153 of 356

AMR DP-777 (Duelund VSF Black Cast Capacitors) Impressions:

 

Disclaimer:

These are my subjective impressions and your experience may vary.

 

What am I looking for in a DAC?  In a perfect world I would like a DAC that sounds close as possible to analog without sacrificing detail and resolution, while keeping a good overall tonal balance. Hell I want a rich midrange with extended treble and dynamic punch.

 

When I went to the DC Audio Show last summer, I got a chance to hear an Audio Note DAC 5 Signature.  I spent countless hours listening to that DAC for two days. That Audio Note DAC was amazing and has now become my reference, but sadly is out my price range. 

 

A few days later I got a chance to listen to the AMR DP-777, QB-9, and Meitner MA-1 at my buddies’ house on his speaker rig.  This was the first time I heard the AMR and the first time I heard the other DACs as well.  My very first and very early impressions of the AMR was it’s a relatively smooth performer – it had a very slight roll off up top, a rich sound that was lively, musical, and spacious with a slightly forward midrange that I liked. It had a one-ness or a whole-ness feel to its overall character. Short story, to my ears the AMR came out on top; it was the only DAC that remind me of the Audio Note.  

 

Possibly the most remarkable aspect of the performance was the vocal presentation, at no time did the upper midrange resort to shouting – it was extremely engaging.  Also it was the only DAC that made the music sound real. The Meitner had better detail retrieval. But overall I was pleased with the AMR.

 

Ok so I purchased the AMR, now to find out how this DAC sound in my headphone rig.  The AMR distributor in the US (Darren at Avatar Acoustics) said 1,000-hour burn-in is needed for it to sound its best. I find that f#%#% ridiculous - c’mon man 1,000 hours – yeah right?   OK, so after letting the DAC play nonstop for 22 straight days I finally hit the 500 and something-hour mark, I got halfway there before I couldn’t take it anymore.  Then I did some really aggressive critical listening for a few weeks.

 

The first impressions in my rig was it combined the best qualities of the Master 7 and PWD mk2 and none of their (what I call) flaws. This in my mind was the best possible scenario. It captures the explosive dynamics of the PWD mk2 also has the airy presentation of the Master 7.  It does this while adding its own emotion, soul and richness to the music. 

 

I was afraid the AMR was going to be overly colored or to romantic in my rig. I’m not a fan of DACs that make every recording sound good, I want the truth but with a harmonically rich tone.  I was surprised how the AMR was able to be seductive without being overly romantic.

The music flows naturally; I mean it has that midrange clarity I like so much. There’s realness to the sound, it has good tonal balance and good low frequency texture, very organic. It has a blacker than black background that makes it transparent while also being weighty and muscular.

 

 

My current headphone rig:

 

J. River MC19 à C.A.P.S. v3 Zuma with SOtM USB card / Mercury cable à (iFi iUSB + Welbourn Labs Linear PSU)​  / Gemini cable à AMR DP-777 à First Watt F1J à HE-6 / HD800 / Alpha Dogs.

 

The First Watt F1J is a ruthlessly revealing, clean, low noise and highly dynamic amp.  Even more transparent compared to the GS-X mk2.  If you think the GS-X mk2 can reveal your source, the F1J is on another level, if your source is thin, then your music will be thin. If your source is rich your music will be rich. The truth is front and center with this amp.

 

 

Treble and Highs:

 

 “Refined” That’s the first word that comes to mind.  The upper frequency range is clear and detailed, sparkly with crisp and speedy transients; there’s an ever so gentle roll off that gives it a personality. Not that sweet slow syrupy sound that many complain about. It’s lively and has absolutely no shrillness or even a hint of glaze; this was one region where the AMR really shows off. It can play loud and will always stay civilized, never losing it’s cool. The treble extends well without any of that fatigue inducing grain.  I would say there’s a really slight emphasis on smoothness that takes any etch or rough edges away. It stays detailed and crisp with enough air and a sparkle up top to make high-pitched sounds like the tambourine and cymbal sound startlingly real, not soft or rounded, they shimmer and sound quite harsh like real tambourines and cymbals should sound.

 

However, and this is a big however.  This DAC is recording dependant and will not mask any imperfections, it responds well to the quality of your recording. With a good recording it takes you deep into the music like your being hypnotized - likewise it will expose problem areas in bad recordings that tend to come out most in the upper frequencies.  If you have a few bad recordings that have sibilance, this DAC won't do you any favors (garbage in – garbage out). This is what a good DAC should do IMO, not hide information in this area, a good DAC will sound refined so you don't get those ear piercing highs or nasty grain. The treble should be airy, detailed, smooth, and sparkly with great presence without being too bright or bothersome.  That’s exactly what I’m hearing in the AMR. So yes, it captures the analytical elements of some DACs while bringing its’ own musical charisma to the table.

 


Bass:

 

The bass is a tricky one; I guess one could ask for more slam or impact but I’ve found the overall bass presentation on the AMR to be as good, or should I say more realistic than any DAC I’ve owned. It has great bass texture, extension and definition with a natural bloom to the sound. It gives good bass pitch that’s fast, snappy with sharp attacks and a natural decay - I’m talking about the natural decay that comes from instruments like the double bass.

 

The bass here is not overblown, muddy or exaggerated; it goes deep and stays well controlled while sustaining its’ fullness. The clean presentation is top notch because the details are not covered up or masked by distortion or overblown bass bloom. It’s completely dependent on the recording. If your recording has lots of bass, the AMR will provide that energy to your ears. If the recording has little bass, the AMR will also provide those delicate sounds to your ears, it adapts well. The AMR is incredibly linear all the way down to the lowest depths, not giving any attention to one aspect of its bass over the other.  It’s full bodied, tight, well balanced, correct, fast, and has the right amount of decay. Overall the bass region has a realistic presentation and is represented well.

 

 

Vocals and Midrange:

 

Yes, the mids - mainly the upper midrange is what attracted me to the AMR in the first place. The slightly forward upper midrange gives voices a rich, lively essence and sort of a Jazz Club feel (Think Blues Alley in Washington, DC) with a sense of the singer standing in front of you. When I first heard it in a speaker rig at my buddy’s house I got the WOW factor.  Female vocals were gorgeous, rich, vivid it pulled me in with its emotion.  (A little voice told me then) - All the detail in the world is great but if the music doesn’t move you, then what's the point?  The music was definitely moving me.

 

The AMR has the best female vocal reproduction of any DAC I’ve heard to date, (along with the Lampi G4 L4) and except for the Audio Note DAC 5 Signature.  Female voices sound startlingly and chillingly close to a real performance as I’ve heard. The voices are natural, a bit forward but engaging, lively, seductive without smearing details.

 

What’s unique is its smooth signature without any added color or distortion or whatever it is that covers up issues making crappy recordings sound good. The AMR also has a cohesive sound, blacker than black background, the notes are precise and able to resolve softer notes or low level sounds in the lower frequencies well.  The music has a natural and fluid or should I say effortless flow.

 

I have to restate this: The vocals come through more lifelike with a sense of body, a sense of emotion, with finesse and a rich natural timber. It does all this with clarity and accuracy and most of all not being recessed or overly aggressive. I now prefer a fuller more intimate tone to the mids with plenty of musicality; it’s the ultimate enjoyment factor.

 

 

Imaging and Soundstage:

 

The soundstage is immersive, expansive and big. All instruments are easy to hear and follow either as a whole or individually, primarily because of the sudden silence in between notes. It has an up-close, holographic presentation with deep 3D imaging that expands in all directions. It’s noticeably more forward with dead on placement and air surrounding each individual instrument. The sound projects outwards, cleanly, and convincingly.

 

I love female vocals of all kind; this DAC puts them dead in the center of your head, not slightly to the left or slightly to the right.  I mean a dead ahead center stage, it’s like Diana Krall is singing directly to you, and only you.  The center focus on the AMR is remarkably better than any other DAC I can remember. 

 

While listening to classical music I can hear the whole orchestra along with each and every instrument portrayed in front of me as if I were actually in the music hall. Or when listening to a Jazz trio it will showcase an intimate setting if that's what’s needed. It has the ability to clearly show the difference between a studio album and a live performance of the same songs. 

 

So for all you soundstage folks, the AMR provides a very coherent, 3D image with bowling alley depth, ultra wide width, and uncanny instrument separation with an all around good sense of space.  These are the keys to its holographic imaging.  The depth, width, and height of the soundstage give instruments and the voices space they deserved. The end product is music with incredible layers where you can easily pinpoint where each instrument and voice comes from. The AMR simply makes a beautifully musical statement.

 

 

Resolution , Detail and Clarity:

 

The AMR is a high resolution DAC, in the sense it can dig out information with the best of them up to the 5K mark. When I say the AMR is a high resolution DAC, I’m not talking about the Top of The Line DCSs or MSB DACs, at the same time don’t go thinking the AMR isn’t detailed or lacks resolution. It’s what it does with the detail that makes it special. The resolution the AMR has is much like the Master 7 (but better), clear and precise and good at resolving low-level information and never get lost during busy and complex musical passages.

 

When I speak of the AMR having good detail retrieval I'm talking about things you can’t always pinpoint, like how well it retrieves ambient information, for instance - how a guitar string decays in space or the subtle reverb as a trumpet sound bounces around your head.

 

Sonically I can hear my recordings with great clarity and there is absolutely no distortion with climaxes in big orchestral pieces. It has a sound which instruments comes and goes naturally, this combined with a complete black background and the way it renders the fine details allows me to hear the rich subtleties in the recording that keeps me engaged in the music.

 

The AMR is truly honest, but not brutally overly revealing. Brutally revealing makes me think of DACs that reveal lots of detail, but become painful over long listening sessions. Also overly revealing can be on the bright side or hard sounding with no emotion or soul, just plain lifeless.

 

I consider the AMR among the best I’ve heard when it comes to being clear. It starts by first having a completely black background. Sort of like a painter getting ready to paint a masterpiece, his canvas is clean (clear). Some people can’t stand background noises; not having a completely black background can take away some of the enjoyment of the music. You don’t have to worry about this with the AMR.

 

How this DAC is able to have this level of clarity without giving up fullness and body is an achievement. This is a trade-off for some DACs that aim for the highest clarity and detail, the soul and emotion are sacrificed. The AMR maintains clarity and detail while keeping the emotion and soul it’s known for.

 

I’ve read many impressions where people say tube DACSs are known to be thick, dark, overly warm, and mellow, colored, muddied or masking details and having no extension. To my ears, this is not the case with this DAC. The words I use to describe the AMR are rich, vivid and organic - and for damn sure musical.

 

 

Dynamics and Dynamic Range:

 

Huge and can punch like Mike Tyson.

 

Knowing dynamic range is the difference between the softest and loudest sounds in a recording and a wide dynamic range is critical for accurate sound reproduction, having a broad dynamic range is a must. Having hard hitting dynamics is a must as well, but not overly loud or to aggressive but please don’t blunt my attacks, keep them punchy. The overall micro and macro dynamic performance is amazing and is another thing that sets this DAC apart from the others. This DAC will nail the excitement and the subtleties at the same time if needed.

 

Instead of a 3 volume type of listening like (quiet, moderate, loud) it renders everything from barely can hear quiet to crazy loud with no distortion. Every queue from instruments to voices sound the way they should on all levels. Some music requires lots of dynamic swing to sound realistic, like Big Orchestras and piano. The piano sounds natural, but this is not an easy task, the attack and reverb of the piano is very difficult, to not only reproduce but even more difficult to reproduce correct. The AMR “nails it”.

 

The overall control of the music’s natural soft-to-loud dynamics is impressive; it has the ability to keep the softest signals above the noise floor while keeping the loudest signals below distortion. You can be sitting there just enjoying the music and then out of nowhere BAM! Here comes the leading edge of a note or the whack of the drumstick on the snare or the thump of a bass drum. Instruments and vocals are always tightly focused and the dynamics brought at high and low volume levels are awesome, even a soft female voice can almost startle you with the dynamic impact it has when breaking the silence. At the same time it has great finesse to make it sound pleasing to the ears. Some DACs will present these events as too prominent or always on full blast and will lack the finesse the AMR has.

 

 

The Preamp:

 

I believe the volume control inside the AMR is among the best.  I’m glad AMR implemented an analog volume control instead of a digital one, which I always found disappointing in the PWD mk2, but the pre amp section in the NAD M51 was quite good.  I still got an AMB Fully Balanced a20 Pre Amp with dual Sigma 22s and a Gold Point Attenuator built by “SWA”. The pre amp in the AMR trumps all three.

 

I’ve found going directly to the F1J adds density and weight to the notes compared to either of the before mentioned pre amps. All the detail, dynamics, soundstage and tonality were just more on point and had better focus than the other pre amps. What surprised me was the volume level I got with the F1J / AMR, It’s more than adequate and has a good amount of over head being it’s more of a current driven amp and has low gain output. Just seems cleaner without the thinness I was getting with the other pre amps. The bass has more texture and is better controlled compared to the PWD mk2; this area is on the same level as the a20. The a20 best every other pre amp I’ve used with the F1J up to this point.

 

 

AMR DP-777, PWD mk2, Master 7 and the Lampizator G4 L4:

 

I was lucky enough to have a friend who let me use his Lampizator G4 L4 (CuTF V-Caps) for the past month while he went on a business trip.

 

First off, I only consider 2 of these DACs musical (AMR DP-777 and the Lampi G4 L4).  Again, I don’t mean that syrupy thick bass sound or those dark characteristics that most people seem to think. By musical, I mean these DACs really “bring the music to life” they have a sense of emotion and realness that I love.

 

I enjoy the PWD mk2 for its bass quantity and impact; I enjoyed the Master 7 for its transparency and balanced tone.  The AMR does not give me that bass impact of the PWD mk2 but the transparency and correct tone is there. So yes the bass on the PWD mk2 was big, but not as tight, accurate, or as realistic as the other DACs.

 

One of our fellow Head-Fi members calls the Master 7 lifeless.  I didn’t know what the heck he was talking about until I heard the Audio Note, Lampi G4 L4, and the AMR.  These DACs allowed me to understand exactly what he was talking about; the Master 7 renders music with no soul.  These DACs bring the music to life so to speak.

 

While I do like the PWD mk2 soundstage better than that of the Master 7 (Compared to the other DACs the M7's soundstage lack depth), the soundstage of the AMR and Lampi was noticeably more 3D like, wider and deeper. The imaging of the PWD mk2 while good was outdone as well. The AMR has the ability to pinpoint instruments in a three dimensional field better than any DAC I’ve heard with the exception of that Audio Note DAC. The AMR and Lampi both present a more holographic and wholesome soundstage with more dynamic vocals. The lead singer's voice sounds more natural versus the more glaring/etched presentation of the PWD mk2. There's a slight bit of funny stuff going on in the treble region of the PWD mk2 that’s not there on the other DACs.

 

The PWD mk2 has a more "fun" sound in the bass area, has great dynamics, and hits hard but it just doesn't do much for me with the midrange and female vocals compared to the AMR or Lampi. The PWD mk2 and Master 7 has less of that midrange magic I like.

Instruments like kick drums and upright bass have a more detailed timbre on both the Lampi and AMR; they have a great combination of attack and natural decay.  There’s sort of a heft to the notes that’s missing on the Master 7. The AMR and Lampi have a nice punchy feeling to them; also the texture is better and they’re more natural and realistic sounding.  

 

I found the AMR and Lampi to be more musically satisfying with very little compromise in micro detail and no compromise at all in imaging or bass texture, pretty impressive. The AMR and Lampi are definitely more involving.  The PWD mk2 and Master 7 had a flat presentation, which in turn seemed to lack the emotion and soul of the other DACs.

 

The AMR, Master 7 and the Lampi sound less digital compared to the PWD mk2. The AMR and Master 7 has a completely black background where the PWD mk2 and the Lampi has a slight grayness in the background and only the PWD mk2 has an occasional hint of digital glare that I didn’t hear with the other DACs.  The Lampi while sounding very analog like has a slight noise floor.   While the Master 7 sound less digital compared to the PWD mk2, both sound less musical compared to the AMR and Lampi.

 

First impressions of the Lampi was how it's remarkably similar to the AMR, but with less sparkle in the upper registers. Vocals are as magical as on the AMR, both have a way of embracing you with the singer's voice.  So the biggest advantage the AMR has over the Lampi is it renders the highs and treble better to my ears, has more sparkle.  The AMR also does female vocals better, giving them more dynamics that heightens the engagement factor – I attribute that to the difference in CAPs (CuTF V-Caps for the Lampi and Duelund VSF Black Cast Capacitors for the Lampi).  Another advantage the other DACs have over the Lampi is build quality.  The Lampi looks like a DIY DAC.  Heck My DIY amps made by YBM and SWA were better. So the other DACs beat the Lampi in that area by miles, no question.

 

Overall:

 

Out of the 4 DACs the AMR and Master 7 are better at the top end with a crisper more detailed sound especially with treble related instruments, like cymbals, you know – just enough attack to make them sound like cymbals. The Lampi blunts that; the PWD mk2 is too harsh, the AMR and Master 7 nails it.

 

The tone of the Master 7 is quite detailed without getting edgy or aggressive, very well balanced, with accurate bass, and for a solid state DAC the Master 7 has smooth non-digital sounding treble to boot. It seems to do just about everything right however, it lacks the one thing I’m looking for - and that’s “musicality” I guess this points back to the lifeless comment.

 

The PWD mk2 is a really good DAC if you can get it new for 2K but it does suffer from somewhat of a  tonal off balance and some digital glaze, also it sounds a little rough and technical.  It also has slightly diminished transparency due to its slight grayness in the background and is a bit recessed in the mids. I'd say the other DACs are the more refined sounding DACs overall.

 

Compared to the Lampi the AMR has more extended treble, a more vibrant, clean and clear nature that seems to be concentrated more on the top-end of the spectrum. The top end detail of the AMR is more prominent compared to the slightly rolled-off nature you find with the Lampi that has a more round character.  To my ears the highs on the Lampi are slightly rounded, less edged out and less extended. I must say - both are engaging DACs.

 

Female vocals are ultimately my go to choice of music, both have true vocal depth; they allow you to hear deeper into the singers’ voice. I couldn’t help but get pulled in by the mids and vocal presentation of both; The listening experience feels as if the vocalist is singing to you – NO I mean really singing to you. Really the mids in both DACs are that good!


The AMR is slightly brighter compared to the Lampi and I consider the AMR a slightly organic than neutral DAC. Come to think of it, I would call the Lampi intimate, warm, or maybe even lush; at the same time I would not categorize the AMR as being a warm or lush DAC at all.  As I said before, the AMR is slightly on the organic side of neutral but still truly honest to the recording.  Both are very refined with an impressive sense of layering and have an uncanny way picking up nuances. Both render the music effortlessly.  However, I found the Lampi to be a tad bit to smooth and overly forgiving at times, but many listeners prefer it’s more forgiving sound where the AMR is more revealing. Both DACs are balanced and coherent, bass is resolving on both but different in how it’s presented. The AMR has faster initial attack and impact, the Lampi has a tad bit more weight with a little longer decay and bloom, sometimes the Lampi with some music can seem a little too hefty, slow and lacking the finesse that comes with the AMR. The Lampi gives that slightly added bloom if that’s what you’re into, while the AMR will portray a more accurate description. Both DACs were very close and I could happily live with either.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

To start – I listened to a lot of Jazz at the Pawnshop, Diana Krall, Rachelle Ferrell, Jill Scott, Patricia Barber, Cassandra Wilson, Tierney Sutton, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Melody Gardot, Jane Monheit and Eva Cassidy.

 

$4 or $5K might be considered a lot for some, but with all the features plus the great SQ you get with the AMR some may also considered it a bargain.  

 

Well, it’s really hard to put what I’m hearing in words. I find the AMR to be silky and smooth yet robust and dynamic at the same time. Its punchy when needed and it’s also delicate when needed. It seems to convey how good or how bad the recording really is. It has a natural and organic sound, not overly detailed, but all the right detail is in all the right places.  If I wanted to nitpick and really analyze the DAC, I would say a person looking for tons of detail might want more.  Or, if you’re looking for excessive bass or something to be exaggerated, this DAC won’t do it for you. 

 

The DAC has incredible transparency and will deliver it all day long while being accompanied by lots of emotion. The sound stage depth and the ability to place the instruments in its correct place and the overall dynamics and tonality of this DAC are among the best I’ve heard.

 

Again the AMR just sounds real, natural and effortless.  Nothing is out of place.  Yet again if I wanted to be analytical and split hairs, I would say it’s slightly on the organic side of neutral.  On a scale of 1 to 10 where 5 is dead to nuts neutral and 10 being the brightest, I’d give it a subjective 4 (YMMV).  I’d call it organic before I call it warm; it’s truly an honest DAC.

 

As I listen to more and more jazz with female vocals, I’m starting to prefer a musical sound opposed a dead to nuts neutral sound.  I still love the best detail retrieval and resolution possible, but not at a cost of losing the soul and emotion of this DAC.  So far up to this point the AMR has giving me that experience.  This DAC gives me that extra level of musical involvement I’ve been missing with my other DACs. Everything is more alive and more real sounding than before, like when vocalist inhales after ever note.

 

“Refinement” is also a great word to describe this DAC; it has absolutely no background noise and the ability to dish out high detail and resolution without harshness. Music has a natural rich sound.

 

Of course the AMR is in not the pinnacle of DACs, to some it may not sound good at all, and it may be the best DAC some have heard, or to others it just may simply sound different, everyone hears different, there’re no absolutes just personal preferences.  You may find a DAC that outperforms the AMR in any single area. But it will be very hard to find one that can perform so collectively well in every single area like the AMR.  It’s really that good across the board.  Also, the AMR unique feature set and sonic qualities make it very competitive at any price point. This DAC simply takes on all music genres effortlessly, from the most intimate jazz to the spacious sounds of an orchestra to the fastest electronic and to the hardest hitting hip-hop like no other DAC I've owned. I found the AMR has the body, fullness and emotion with the extended smooth treble I was always looking for.

 

Please note: I never said the AMR is the most detailed, most dynamic, most accurate or most transparent, highest resolution or just plain best DAC out there. What makes the AMR impressive is not the individual sonic attributes I mentioned but the way it manages to bring the music to life as a whole. It allows instruments and musicians to sound like well, real instruments and musicians. It’s the quality of a good recording that captures the performance, but it’s the musical qualities of this DAC that releases it. With the AMR I forget about technicalities and just get immersed in the music.

 

Let’s wrap these impressions up: The AMR has delivered the most musically engaging digital playback I’ve had in my system period. It’s able to achieve a fine balance of high-fidelity and musicality with exceptional balance of different attributes without being overly extended in either end of the frequencies.

 

Something has to be wrong with this DAC right? 

 

Well the first thing right off the bat would be Bass slam – It could use a bit more slam on its’ initial impact as far as kick bass drum goes, it’s missing that visceral feeling.  Not to be confused with slamming dynamics across the frequency range.  Also the ridiculous burn in time and the way it sounds right out the box.  Yeah, right out the box it sounds off. It had a strange tonal balance thing that just didn’t sound right.  This may be because of the Duelund VSF Black Cast Capacitors.  I’ve read these caps take a while to sound right. After the required break in period the sound truly blossomed, Jazz recordings sound closer to the way I’m used to hearing them in live performances.

 

 

Disclaimer again:

I can't emphasize this enough, these are purely subjective impressions and your experience may vary.

post #154 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

 

 

 With the AMR I forget about technicalities and just get immersed in the music.

 

 

^ This is how I feel about the AMR as well.  Nice write up!  

 

Are you able to post a pic of the AMR with the Duelands installed?

 

Cheers,

 

gav.

post #155 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavtorn View Post
 

^ This is how I feel about the AMR as well.  Nice write up!  

 

Are you able to post a pic of the AMR with the Duelands installed?

 

Cheers,

 

gav.

Thanks :biggrin:  It truly is a good DAC

 

I'll work on it..

post #156 of 356

Very nice Darryl! Love the style and wording... excellent write up. You mirror a lot of my own thoughts on the AMR. It is sad to see this thing move on, but something sweeter is on the horizon. Well maybe... 

 

In any event, props for taking the time and effort to write this up and thank you for the comparison between those 4 popular DACs. I'm sure it will help many. 

post #157 of 356

Thanks Eric.

 

Ok so spill the beans....  What you got up your sleeve now??

post #158 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

Thanks Eric.

 

Ok so spill the beans....  What you got up your sleeve now??

 

Responded in my ad. Have some time to decide but I have a few favorites right now..

post #159 of 356

Epic write-up there Darryl!

 

It gets more and more tempting as it reflects my feelings of the NFB-27 + SA-31 in the glory days (detailed and dynamic but never irritating). Plus this DAC is gorgeous!

post #160 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

Epic write-up there Darryl!

 

It gets more and more tempting as it reflects my feelings of the NFB-27 + SA-31 in the glory days (detailed and dynamic but never irritating). Plus this DAC is gorgeous!

 

Thanks Clem,

 

It's big as hell to..

post #161 of 356

I enjoyed your review of the DP-777, Preproman, and I have to say I agree with essentially everything you said, although I haven't had the opportunity to compare it to the specific DACs you mentioned. It's the wholeness of the performance that distinguishes the DP-777. Your comment about blackness of the background reminds me of the "jump factor" that I think adds to the aliveness of the DP-777. It will occasionally startle me with sounds that pop out of the performance - in a realistic way. Imagine a track with a distant voice that is somewhat soft, drenched in ambiance and rather rolled-off sounding. Then suddenly, a crisp attack of percussion pops out of the mix with sizzle and up-front presence. Almost like multiple recording styles in one recording. The DP-777 is capable of simultaneously reproducing dissimilar-sounding instruments in any one track. Sounds in the same track can be readily separated by differences in their "edge", nearness/distance and dynamics using the DP-777. The DP-777 seems to be agnostic; it delivers what's there without adding a glaze of sameness across each cut. Most DACs homogenize to a greater extent, giving every instrument a degree of sameness, a degree of the constant character of that DAC being overlaid.

 

I have a rather elaborate LP set up, and it's been revealing to compare the two sources on the same recordings where I have them. I have to say that the DP-777 rivals and often exceeds the analog. Not always. The analog is just a tad more effortless and sweet in the natural sense of the word on well-recorded classical LPs. But I never dread going to good digital recordings on the DP-777, which hasn't always the case with my prior digital sources. That's about as high a compliment as I can pay.

post #162 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post
 

 

Responded in my ad. Have some time to decide but I have a few favorites right now..

I wouldn't bother with the VEGA or M7 if I were you... not bad units but not at the level of AMR or MSB.

 

I think the Phasure - NOS 1 or Overdrive would be the way to go (or the dp-777 SE :) )

post #163 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavtorn View Post
 

I wouldn't bother with the VEGA or M7 if I were you... not bad units but not at the level of AMR or MSB.

 

I think the Phasure - NOS 1 or Overdrive would be the way to go (or the dp-777 SE :) )

 

Yea, I've looked at the Phasure before I bought the AMR. It seems like a very impressive DAC internally, but the software/drivers were raw and needed work. I haven't kept up so I'm not sure if that is still an issue, but stable drivers and a top class usb implementation is a must for me. 

post #164 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Beck View Post
 

I enjoyed your review of the DP-777, Preproman, and I have to say I agree with essentially everything you said, although I haven't had the opportunity to compare it to the specific DACs you mentioned. It's the wholeness of the performance that distinguishes the DP-777. Your comment about blackness of the background reminds me of the "jump factor" that I think adds to the aliveness of the DP-777. It will occasionally startle me with sounds that pop out of the performance - in a realistic way. Imagine a track with a distant voice that is somewhat soft, drenched in ambiance and rather rolled-off sounding. Then suddenly, a crisp attack of percussion pops out of the mix with sizzle and up-front presence. Almost like multiple recording styles in one recording. The DP-777 is capable of simultaneously reproducing dissimilar-sounding instruments in any one track. Sounds in the same track can be readily separated by differences in their "edge", nearness/distance and dynamics using the DP-777. The DP-777 seems to be agnostic; it delivers what's there without adding a glaze of sameness across each cut. Most DACs homogenize to a greater extent, giving every instrument a degree of sameness, a degree of the constant character of that DAC being overlaid.

 

I have a rather elaborate LP set up, and it's been revealing to compare the two sources on the same recordings where I have them. I have to say that the DP-777 rivals and often exceeds the analog. Not always. The analog is just a tad more effortless and sweet in the natural sense of the word on well-recorded classical LPs. But I never dread going to good digital recordings on the DP-777, which hasn't always the case with my prior digital sources. That's about as high a compliment as I can pay.

 

I couldn't have said it better my self.  In fact that sounds like something I would've said.  :biggrin:

 

Very well put Brian..

post #165 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavtorn View Post
 

I wouldn't bother with the VEGA or M7 if I were you... not bad units but not at the level of AMR or MSB.

 

I think the Phasure - NOS 1 or Overdrive would be the way to go (or the dp-777 SE :) )

Yup - I was looking very hard at the Phasure.  Peter is a really cool guy that will help you out to the end.  I'm just not ready to change software.  Looking to step up to the SE as well - hope it solves the bass impact for me.

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