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REVIEW: The Stunning McIntosh D100 - Page 6

post #76 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xcalibur255 View Post
 

I was cautioned by more than one person about software glitches and lock ups with the D100 while researching.  An interesting question is which company did the primary development work on the D100 and its twin, McIntosh or Wadia?

 

It's still an attractive product in many ways and has the right feature set for the most part, not very many products are really getting the digital pre amp thing right.  I feel like more companies are taking a stab at the whole pre-amp capability for DACs more as an excuse to add another bullet to their marketing sheet rather than have the product be capable of actually fulfilling that role without compromise.  The D100 feels like it was designed to be a pre-amp from the beginning rather than just a DAC, and it shows.

 

I'm particularly amazed that so few of today's DAC/pres have 12V trigger out ability, this should be a given on anything calling itself a pre-amp but I find this feature missing in most of the products I have looked at.

 

I fully agree. Most DAC/preamps seem to be half baked. I heard the D100 drive a couple 1.2kW McIntosh mono blocks with B&W 802 Di speakers and I had to say it was the best I've heard those speakers sounding so far. Whether that is down due to the mono blocks or the preamp I can't say, but the D100 certainly didn't seem to detract anything from the performance. My Hi-fi dealer suggested I save up for the D100 as I told them I was looking for a dedicated DAC and that I listened to headphones.

 

I also believe I read somewhere that Centrance was involved, but I'm not sure whether it was only for their USB implementation?

 

Honestly for a digital only based audio system, the D100 is an ideal starting for a very capable setup. Its a pity the headphone amplifier is not really in the same league.

post #77 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by daerron View Post
 

 

I fully agree. Most DAC/preamps seem to be half baked. I heard the D100 drive a couple 1.2kW McIntosh mono blocks with B&W 802 Di speakers and I had to say it was the best I've heard those speakers sounding so far. Whether that is down due to the mono blocks or the preamp I can't say...

 

1,200 W worth of monoblocks. That's why.

 

;)

post #78 of 148

that is really odd. I was just comparing them to wadia's pricing structure. I had no idea they had something to do with each other. you mean the 321? it seems the 121 has the highest specs which I also find odd. I have read the thing can be a nightmare. if I had either one and it locked up more than once I would be very unhappy. the thing is depending on how it locks up digital noise can instantly kill an amp and speakers. it really seems to me right now there is no great option in this segment for $2-$3k. perhaps the new nad that is coming out will be the ticket. a digital preamp is very nice if it is glitch free I reckon. I could use one in fact. it would be nice to see what McIntosh could do for 10+ grand. their monoblocks sure rock out.

 

yeah, it is the 321. who knows who even makes these things. having issues at this price is unacceptable. to me at least. hopefully not as big a disaster as the 121.


Edited by music_man - 2/25/14 at 1:59am
post #79 of 148

I see "Reference Level" used a lot here in describing this DAC.

 

On what is that based?

 

IMO, the NAD M51,the Grace m903, the Benchmark HGC, Mytek and the like have likely earned that title for less.

 

In its price class, we have the Lynx, the Bryston, the Antelopes, Ayre, etc.....

 

I totally get the McIntosh moniker, but beyond that???

 

Maybe some real test results would help.

 

Thanks,

post #80 of 148

Everything is relative. To me calling something "Reference Level" just means it is the best equipment of that type I have heard to date. The D100 certainly meets that criteria. Doesn't mean it is the best in the world.

post #81 of 148
Thanks.

Have you heard any of the others I listed?

No foul intended.....
post #82 of 148

the bm dac1 is a reference and so is the diamond dac iv select. depends on what your reference is.

post #83 of 148

What you you mean by the DAC locking up? Never heard of that.  I've got the Naim DAC-V1 and really wished that I had auditioned the D100 before I purchased it.  I still might.

post #84 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
 

that is really odd. I was just comparing them to wadia's pricing structure. I had no idea they had something to do with each other. you mean the 321? it seems the 121 has the highest specs which I also find odd. I have read the thing can be a nightmare. if I had either one and it locked up more than once I would be very unhappy. the thing is depending on how it locks up digital noise can instantly kill an amp and speakers. it really seems to me right now there is no great option in this segment for $2-$3k. perhaps the new nad that is coming out will be the ticket. a digital preamp is very nice if it is glitch free I reckon. I could use one in fact. it would be nice to see what McIntosh could do for 10+ grand. their monoblocks sure rock out.

 

yeah, it is the 321. who knows who even makes these things. having issues at this price is unacceptable. to me at least. hopefully not as big a disaster as the 121.

 

Yes, the Wadia 321 is $500 more expensive and it has fewer features.  Nicer remote though.  :tongue_smile:  I can't say it is confirmed they are the same thing for a certainty, but if you compare them closely it seems really obvious to me that the two products are twins.  I bet internally they are identical safe for minor implementation changes.  Not saying this is a bad thing, but Wadia has a reputation for buggy products and the D100 has had some bad feedback for being buggy so that suggests Wadia might have done the principal engineering work.  Both companies are owned by the same parent, it would make sense for that sort of collaboration to be going on.

 

Unless somebody releases something better I will still probably end up with a D100 at some point.  Nothing else has the mix of features and inputs I want.  Well, except for the $269 Emotiva XDA-2 amusingly enough.  At that price it was a no-brainer so I bought one to fill the void so I could watch the DAC/pre market for a little while and feel confident in my final purchase.

post #85 of 148
The new Cambridge Audio, for 1500 has the same feature mix in a good sized component......
post #86 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xcalibur255 View Post
 

 

Yes, the Wadia 321 is $500 more expensive and it has fewer features.  Nicer remote though.  :tongue_smile:  I can't say it is confirmed they are the same thing for a certainty, but if you compare them closely it seems really obvious to me that the two products are twins.  I bet internally they are identical safe for minor implementation changes.  Not saying this is a bad thing, but Wadia has a reputation for buggy products and the D100 has had some bad feedback for being buggy so that suggests Wadia might have done the principal engineering work.  Both companies are owned by the same parent, it would make sense for that sort of collaboration to be going on.

 

Unless somebody releases something better I will still probably end up with a D100 at some point.  Nothing else has the mix of features and inputs I want.  Well, except for the $269 Emotiva XDA-2 amusingly enough.  At that price it was a no-brainer so I bought one to fill the void so I could watch the DAC/pre market for a little while and feel confident in my final purchase.

I just gotta say - runnin the D100 ahead of the Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold last night (Amarra & my VPI Traveler deck w/ Unison Research Simply Phono tube stage) - into my Audeze LCD-XC's and X's (balanced front to back) - - I stayed up ALL night.

I couldn't tear myself away from the rig!

 

post #87 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xcalibur255 View Post
 

 

Yes, the Wadia 321 is $500 more expensive and it has fewer features.  Nicer remote though.  :tongue_smile:  I can't say it is confirmed they are the same thing for a certainty, but if you compare them closely it seems really obvious to me that the two products are twins.  I bet internally they are identical safe for minor implementation changes.  Not saying this is a bad thing, but Wadia has a reputation for buggy products and the D100 has had some bad feedback for being buggy so that suggests Wadia might have done the principal engineering work.  Both companies are owned by the same parent, it would make sense for that sort of collaboration to be going on.

 

Unless somebody releases something better I will still probably end up with a D100 at some point.  Nothing else has the mix of features and inputs I want.  Well, except for the $269 Emotiva XDA-2 amusingly enough.  At that price it was a no-brainer so I bought one to fill the void so I could watch the DAC/pre market for a little while and feel confident in my final purchase.

and I neglected to say - I haven't experienced a single bug w/ the D100, and I've been running it non-stop for a couple months now.

I've also owned Wadia gear since I got into the high end audio press back in the 90's when I was at The Absolute Sound, working as a teenager - and I've never had a problem with any of their products I've owned (from CD players to transports, DACs, and the original docks that gave us digital access to the iPod). Now I just rock the newer dock & PowerDACmini in the bedroom - never an issue!

 

Also - Fine Sounds is the parent company - but McIntosh and Wadia function completely independently of each other.

I asked a board member of Fine Sounds because you guys got me curious after this post - which I always LOVE about this community!

It's good to question these things - so I sought out an answer! I've known the man for many years and he's a trusted friend who wouldn't steer me wrong.

post #88 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post
 

I just gotta say - runnin the D100 ahead of the Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold last night (Amarra & my VPI Traveler deck w/ Unison Research Simply Phono tube stage) - into my Audeze LCD-XC's and X's (balanced front to back) - - I stayed up ALL night.

I couldn't tear myself away from the rig!

 

 

Oh I'm jealous! I want to try Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold :mad:

post #89 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by madcat View Post
 

 

Oh I'm jealous! I want to try Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold :mad:

Man,

 

I just finished up two pieces, and I'm so attached to the Liquid Gold/McIntosh D100 combo I gotta fight to step away and SLEEP.

 

I'm going to write up a Head-Fi review I think before my in-depth review elsewhere.

I don't truly think you can ever end up with an "end game" rig. Things keep evolving.

 

But the sound of my music is so seductive and rich with color and texture through this DAC and amp together.

I love it with my Audeze LCD-3, X, XC, Senn HD800, and, this Audio Technica ATH-900X I just got!

 

sorry, I know I'm off-topic a bit here - but the D100 balanced into this fully balanced amp is just ridiculously lucsious and dynamic.

It's like a great drug...

post #90 of 148


Any idea if the Mcintosh D100 110V can be converted to 220V using a transformer?


Edited by louis9 - 3/20/14 at 7:16pm
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