Battle of the balanced DACs
Nov 18, 2005 at 11:13 PM Post #2 of 75

Runningwater

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I have a stereo96DAC
very_evil_smiley.gif
 
Nov 18, 2005 at 11:48 PM Post #3 of 75
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Here's a link referencing the Mytek and Lavry Blue (which is supposedly very similar to the Black), and the Lavry is much preferred: http://34th.us/kerlii/HTML/c_thoughts_04dac.htm

The Aqvox looks very interesting, in that it has a number of features that I generally think improve sound quality (i.e. no opamps or negative feedback; class-a discrete output), and has a very attractive package with many options, and a lower price (esp. in EU).

It'd be a blast to have them all in a room for an audition. The Lavry looks most intriguing to me at this point, with the digital volume control and many jitter-control options, as well as its' pedigree.
 
Nov 19, 2005 at 7:09 AM Post #6 of 75

thomaspf

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I have my money on the Lavry as well right now but for completeness I might want to add the Universal Audio 2192.

http://www.uaudio.com/products/digital/2192/index.html

This model is both a AD and DA converter and has a high precision local clock. The strategy for low jitter is to either use the digital output or the wordclock to synchronize your digital source to the clock in the DAC.

Cheers

Thomas
 
Nov 19, 2005 at 8:46 AM Post #7 of 75

Hello

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I've read nothing but good things about the Lavry Blue, and the Lavry Black is supposed to have the same DAC design. I'm seriously considering getting one -- too bad it hasn't been released yet.
 
Nov 20, 2005 at 7:00 PM Post #8 of 75

halcyon

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Sorry, can't vote, haven't heard those.

I do find the new Lavry DA10 interesting though.

I just hope somebody tests it thoroughly first.

Lavry's last design (for home use) had some quirks (no pre-emphasis, no dsd/dd-bitstream muting & loss of sync with incoming pcm bitstream), which I'd rather not have in a $1000 DAC (see Stereophile test for more info on these).

Also, it has volume controller that affects all outputs (including the balanced outputs), which afaik cannot be bypassed.

Still, I'm waiting for more impressions of it (esp. versus Apogee and Benchmark offerings).
 
Dec 10, 2005 at 4:00 AM Post #11 of 75

BANGPOD

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The Muse Model 2 Plus (about $500 used) is a very cost effective DAC.
At the price, there is nothing more that I could have wanted from it.

It had a smooth, rich sound, bloomy midrange, and quality bass.
All of this while maintaining a clear treble with great detail. :)

The Muse 2 Plus DAC gets my vote, as it can decode HDCD.

BANGPOD
 
Dec 10, 2005 at 9:21 AM Post #12 of 75

halcyon

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Update:

I had the EXACT same line up to choose from myself ("other" included Benchmark DAC1, Apogee Micro DAC with USB and a high end DIY DAC).

I chose Aqvox. My reasons:

- reviews (not overly bright), supposedly very good analog section with no pots/volume controls on that line
- flexibility (number of inputs/outputs, pulse/flat filters, phase 0/180 for those amps/sources that reverse absolute phase, selection of oversampling and input sampling rates)

I didn't choose the following (reasons):

- DAC1 (was afraid it was too bright, I'm bright sensitive, plus it has volume control in the analog output chain which I don't need)
- Lavry Black DA10 (issues with reclocking on earlier consumer model as per Stereophile review, non-bypassable analog volume control in line out)
- Mytek (reviews, user comments, lack of higher output sampling rates, features, cosmetics)
- DIY dac (decided I didn't have enough time to build and the real performance still relatively unknown)


Now, of course I can't say Aqvox is the best choice or I did the best selection myself (I didn't have the chance to compare the sound of all the contestants).

I'm just explaining the rationale, so it may reflect on some issues to consider.

YMMV of course.
 
Dec 10, 2005 at 4:05 PM Post #13 of 75

J-Pak

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Quote:

Originally Posted by halcyon
Update:

I had the EXACT same line up to choose from myself ("other" included Benchmark DAC1, Apogee Micro DAC with USB and a high end DIY DAC).

I chose Aqvox. My reasons:

- reviews (not overly bright), supposedly very good analog section with no pots/volume controls on that line
- flexibility (number of inputs/outputs, pulse/flat filters, phase 0/180 for those amps/sources that reverse absolute phase, selection of oversampling and input sampling rates)

I didn't choose the following (reasons):

- DAC1 (was afraid it was too bright, I'm bright sensitive, plus it has volume control in the analog output chain which I don't need)
- Lavry Black DA10 (issues with reclocking on earlier consumer model as per Stereophile review, non-bypassable analog volume control in line out)
- Mytek (reviews, user comments, lack of higher output sampling rates, features, cosmetics)
- DIY dac (decided I didn't have enough time to build and the real performance still relatively unknown)


Now, of course I can't say Aqvox is the best choice or I did the best selection myself (I didn't have the chance to compare the sound of all the contestants).

I'm just explaining the rationale, so it may reflect on some issues to consider.

YMMV of course.



Don't think the DAC1 is really bright...it's supposed to be very neutral
 
Dec 10, 2005 at 7:51 PM Post #15 of 75

audioengr

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Quote:

Originally Posted by halcyon
Update:

- DAC1 (was afraid it was too bright, I'm bright sensitive, plus it has volume control in the analog output chain which I don't need)
YMMV of course.



The Benchmark DAC-1 has undergone a LOT of changes in the last year, maybe 10. Not the same DAC maybe that you auditioned. The stock DAC-1 is now the best stock DAC that I have heard, with the exception of the very costly Dodsons. It still has a bit of hardness, but not bad enough to cause fatigue. The heaphone outs are not the best though, probably better to use the XLR outs.
 

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