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Advice needed on a DAC upgrade

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by smoothlondoner, Sep 8, 2012.
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  1. smoothlondoner
    Hi Folks.

    I'm looking to upgrade from my cyrus DACX+ which I use with a cyrus external power supply also.

    I have been considering Chinese alternatives to get more for my money.

    DAC@S Ive been looking at include 

    Lite DAC 68 (tube anologue stage)

    Lite DAC 83

    Monarchy Audio NM24

    Wired for sound DAC-2 (TAS210)

    I'm considering new & second hand so I'd be open you DACS from any where I just want to better what I have.

    I'm Running the DAC in to Beyerdynamics A1 connected to the Beyerdynamics T1 headphones.

    Also Into My Amplifier an AVI S21Lab Series Intergrated Connected to a pair of Spendor A6's.

    All units connected with quality cabling.

    Any suggestions, reviews & experiences greatly appreciated

  2. smoothlondoner
    PS Just been looking at  audio gd's reference 7.1 & NFB 9.2.
    Any thoughts?
  3. smoothlondoner
    It's feeling a little siberiatic on My thread :/
    Has anyone any views or help?
    Hello, hello, any one out there!!!!!!
  4. vampire5003
    Move this to Dedicated Source Components thread.
  5. smoothlondoner
    how would I go about this?
  6. minimus
    Just start a new thread there and ask the same question.
    You might also consider asking this question on Audiogon or Audiocircle.
  7. colinharding
    Look, you're getting more gear in your DAC...true.  But ultimately less sound.  Just because it has the best chips, tubes, new fangled technology does not mean it will sound any better, its all in the IMPLEMENTATION of that technology and I would argue that those you've picked are fairly weak in that area.  W4S is bright and harsh, Lites are ok, and the Monarchy is probably the best out of the options you've got.  They are all quite lean and bright though.  I'm not saying that is bad, if that's the sound you're after.  If you want more music and less sound though look at a Meridian 563, Theta Pro Basic III, or Audio Note Zero.  Any one of those will be a serious bang for your buck second hand.  Huge 3D sound, warm, musical.  Think of your Spendors, great british speakers btw, now think about your Beyers.  Which is more musical?  I'd be willing to bet it's the Spendors.  The W4S and Audio GD will be more like the Beyers and the DACs I've mentioned more like the Spendors.
  8. smoothlondoner
    thanks for the advice.
    Yes I would prefer it more musical and am definatly one for lower end heft and detail.
    I'll look up the dacs you've suggested.
    I was starting to lean towards a naim dac.
    How would you rate that compared to your suggestions?
  9. colinharding
    I auditioned a Naim Dac with the Flat Cap power supply a year ago or so and it was your typical hifi fare.  Sparkling highs, slightly recessed miss and a fat bottom end, altogether it was a bit thin.  While a lot of these new DACs really excel in one area they have a hard time performing as a cohesive unit, and really that's the only way you'll get a richly layered performance, ie music.   I'd really give one of the older DACs I've mentioned a try and if you don't like it there is plenty of resale value in them so you might be able to sell it for more than you paid, but at the very least you'll break even.  Don't be goaded by the more technology = better sound formula, 90% of the time it simply doesn't add up.   
  10. i019791
    For musicality, I suggest you also look at Audio-gd SA-2 or SA-1. I got the SA-1 and I am more than happy with its musicality.
  11. smoothlondoner
    Yes I'll take thast on board.
    What you are saying does ring true as when I sift through review after review there is always something a miss with the latest DAC's.
    Old school may be the way to go and as you say relatively in expensive.
    My Criteria is much as you have stated, I also do enjoy plenty of detail and layering.
    Have you come across any other old school gems that may fit the bill?
    I frightened to ask lol but have you heard the cyrus dacx+ ?
  12. smoothlondoner
    Ps what do you think of the musical fidelity tri vista dac?
  13. colinharding
    In my teens and early twenties I worked in a local HiFi shop and Musical Fidelity was the number one piece of gear we had come in for trade or to be sold for the owner.  Frankly, you can get a lot further for your money.  The VLink is fine but only as a UBS to COAX etc conversion, it then must go through a proper DAC.  It really does a wonderful conversion job though.  Haven't heard the Cyrus DAC so I cannot comment there but I did own two Audio GD DACs.  NFB 2, if I remember correctly, and a Reference 7.  They both sound exactly like his website describes, neutral and transparent.  You literally cannot tell it's there...but also means it's very boring.  There's no sound that comes out, it's just data transmission.  Yeah I'll catch a lot of flak for not liking the "neutrality" of the DAC but since when has neutral ever been positive, or negative for that matter?  At least give me something.  To really assess a components musicality you need to have a wealth of comparison, trust me Audio GD is not musical, there may be more musical Audio GD DACs as compared to Audio GD DACs but that isn't saying much in the grand scheme of things.  Try one of the DACs I've mentioned, specifically the Meridian 563, it will easily compete with anything on this forum.  People don't realize its worth or even give it a try because it's 'old technology'.  Makes no difference, they had the sound right, not the measurements, but the sound....that's where it counts.
  14. smoothlondoner
    bidding on one as we speak so hopefully will win and be able to give it a shot.
    Yes I agree some equipments sound signiture is actually nice, exhilerating enjoyable etc...
    I remember hearing and having the one of the first mission cyrus cd player the pcm2 running on an aurora integrated amplifier on a set of b&w DM5's & it sounded terrific, loved it and it was cloured for sure but such an engrossing sound.
    You hear bits of kit like this as you go through life and thats what im looking for something where i JUST THINK YES! AND CAN SIT BACK AND ENJOY IT!!
  15. colinharding
    Exactly!  "Coloured" equipment sounds real, if everything was neutral and exacting it just sounds boring and harsh.  Most people forget that they need to train their ears (go to concerts) not hone their math skills with equipment output specifications.  If everything was dependent upon specs then we'd all have what we want, unfortunately that's not the case, specs are a great guideline but hardly tell you what the end result will sound like.  Go for something that sounds fun, musical, punchy, dynamic, with a bit of warm distortion, that's where music is...that's where emotion is.  
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