Originally Posted by Hun7er
Hello I own a AGD M7.
And I might if a good idea to upgrade for PS Audio PWD2 or Berkeley Alpha Series 2 but it seems cheaper to got an used OR5 ?
Which cable did you use for the I2S ? The m2tech evo will work with AGD M7 ?
Did you hear the coax from Audiophileo ?
Did you have the exact reference for the vintage Denon CDP ?
PWD2 / Alpha are different in presentation to the M7 (which uses an ancient R2R DAC chip). Even though I have indicated the DACs in order of personal preference, that doesn't necessarily mean they all have a similar sound. I have a set of sonic priorities and pet peeves, but sometimes if a DAC does certain things really well, I am willing to overlook certain "issues". The Vega is one such DAC; and so it the PWD2 but to a much lesser extent.
The M7 has a nicety and correctness of tone (rendering of voices, treble / timbre, and bass texture) which neither the PWD2 or Alpha quite have. "Less digital" for lack of better words. The M7 needs a good source (not the built in USB2) to be on par with the PWD2 / Alpha in terms of soundstage, fine detail extraction, separation, layering, attack, precision, and clarity.
I looked into the m2tech EVO, but to get comparable performance, you will need three boxes: 1) EVO; 2) Power supply; 3) Word Clock Box. What killed it for me was that I would need to manually set the sampling frequency, i.e. 44.1, 96, etc on the Word Clock Box. That was a showstopper issue since my music files vary in sampling frequency. I have mix of Redbook and various hires formats. I'm not going to get up and turn the dial to match the sampling rate of the recording every other time I wanted to hear something.
I have only heard the coax of the AP1 with other DACs such as the PWD2, Gungir, and few other random DACs; and then without the power supply upgrade. The base AP1 was worse than the built-in XMOS of the PWD2 and it didn't do anything for the Gungnir. People I trust have remarked that the AP1 improves a bit with the power supply, but I have not heard this configuration; and I doubt the gains from a power supply would be that significant. If they are, them shame on Audiophilleo for gimping their product to mediocrity when the base unit is used without the power supply upgrade. I'm not against "upgrades", but I hate it when manufacturers provide a base unit which in actuality requires upgrades to perform at a decent level.
The really special advantage of the OR5 is the i2s output, which even other good USB converters such as the Berkeley Alpha USB, do not possess. The OR5 i2s is seriously another level better than the coax I've heard from other USB converters. For i2s, I use a CAT6 cable, short length, terminated myself.
LOL, I should know the model # of the Denon CDP. It belongs to one of the other ninjas. EDIT: DCD 2700
Originally Posted by cizx
Keep the M7 and get the OR5 is my recommendation.
Yeah. What he said. ^
Edited by purrin - 1/6/14 at 1:35pm