dAck! v2.0 with EastSound CD-E5?
Mar 26, 2006 at 5:26 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

Bob A (SD)

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I have an Ack dAck! version 2.0 that I've taken through upgrades since it was first introduced to the market. I love what it wrings from my redbook CDs.

I have an ancient Philips CDC-935 which with its CDM12.1 transport has served me very well. I also employ a Monarchy Audio DIP Classic (for jitter and clock stability plus the capability to convert optical and RCA inputs to balanced output in addition to S/PDIF if ever needed) between the CDP and DAC. Over the years I've made minor repairs to keep the CDC-935 functioning. Currently the S/PDIF connector has developed a mount flex issue which can be easily fixed. But it has me thinking about upgrading.

The three obvious paths are:
- dedicated transport
- tweaking/modding a cheap CDP or DVDP for use as a transport
- more upscale CDP as a transport

Dedicated transports are spendy although one can find used Parasound, CAL, Theta, etc. transports at less cost but they still have mileage on them. Tweaking / modding cheap units when an external DAC is going to be used would be confined to power supply, isolation, and digital output path circuitry only. A more upscale or expensive CDP would be assumed to already have such features built in obviating the need for modifications. And here is where the Eastsound CD-E5 comes into consideration. Plus the Philips VAM 1202/12 in the CD-E5 is a modern update to the classic Philips CDM 12 series that I've found so reliable in my CDC-935. Granted neither may be considered in the same class with some esoteric mechanisms such as the CEC belt driven ones but still....

Bottom line is that I'm curious if folks here think that using a CD-E5 as a transport passes the sanity check. Yes costs are a consideration with the CD-E5 at the top end of what I would want to spend. Am I missing something in my analysis of choices here? Any counsel, advice, or wisdom would be appreciated.

--Bob
 
Mar 26, 2006 at 10:20 PM Post #2 of 9

Bob A (SD)

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While I continue to contemplate the long term solution, I've pulled the CDC-935 out of the system so I can make repairs. To hold me over I inserted a Panasonic DVD-RV32 taken from my bedroom system and hooked it up to the Monarchy Classic DIP via a Monster Lightspeed 100 TOSLINK cable. I put the Panny on some isolation cones and fired it and my dAck! up. From what I'm hearing it'll do quite nicely until I come to some decisions.

Any input?

--Bob
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 2:37 AM Post #3 of 9

gordolindsay

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Well, if your "stuck" on keeping the Dack 2.0, you might want to look at dedicated transports. On audiogon, they have pages of them so that would be my first place to look.

I have no idea what price level cd player would over take the dack but I'm sure it would be quite expensive.

But if you got a cd or cd/dvd player to use as a transport you wouldn't be "stuck" with an external dac and could use just the player if you needed to.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 2:58 AM Post #4 of 9

Bob A (SD)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by gordolindsay
Well, if your "stuck" on keeping the Dack 2.0, you might want to look at dedicated transports. On audiogon, they have pages of them so that would be my first place to look.

I have no idea what price level cd player would over take the dack but I'm sure it would be quite expensive.

But if you got a cd or cd/dvd player to use as a transport you wouldn't be "stuck" with an external dac and could use just the player if you needed to.



Appreciate the response! I wouldn't say I'm "stuck" per se. I just find the dAck to be better to my ears and for my tastes than anything else I've heard, so updating would definitely still include it.

I have been looking at Audiogon and elsewhere and I think you're right about a dedicated transport. The CD-E5 is no doubt an exceptional CDP but much of the cost of acquisition would be wasted given my use of an external DAC. I may just go for a good used dedicated transport
smily_headphones1.gif


As for the DVD bit, that's indeed what I'm using temporarily while my 12/92 vintage Belgium assembled Philips CDP is torn apart.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 1:37 PM Post #5 of 9

sacd lover

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob A (SD)
Appreciate the response! I wouldn't say I'm "stuck" per se. I just find the dAck to be better to my ears and for my tastes than anything else I've heard, so updating would definitely still include it.

I have been looking at Audiogon and elsewhere and I think you're right about a dedicated transport. The CD-E5 is no doubt an exceptional CDP but much of the cost of acquisition would be wasted given my use of an external DAC. I may just go for a good used dedicated transport
smily_headphones1.gif


As for the DVD bit, that's indeed what I'm using temporarily while my 12/92 vintage Belgium assembled Philips CDP is torn apart.





The E5's analog outs certainly wont hurt and offer a nice contrast to the dack v2.0. I do slightly prefer the dack v2.0 overall, however. But the E5 is excellent sounding in its own way.

I have tried the E5 as a transport and the player did an excellent job. Clearly better than a less expensive Marantz player the E5 was compared to in one case .... and on par with my upgraded sacdmods players. I have used the dack v2.0 with a number of transports and the better the transport the better the sound. The players that have the upgraded clocks .... like my sacdmods 555es make particularly good transports .... and the E5 was close.

For as much money as you can pay for a used, dedicated transport with no guarentee the E5 is atleast as good an option. The E5's do sometimes have transport issues .... likely from the bumpy ride from China. A good used E5 with a verified problem free transport would be ideal for you. There have been several used E5's on the for sale board lately.
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 1:19 AM Post #6 of 9

Bob A (SD)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sacd lover
The E5's analog outs certainly wont hurt and offer a nice contrast to the dack v2.0. I do slightly prefer the dack v2.0 overall, however. But the E5 is excellent sounding in its own way.

I have tried the E5 as a transport and the player did an excellent job. Clearly better than a less expensive Marantz player the E5 was compared to in one case .... and on par with my upgraded sacdmods players. I have used the dack v2.0 with a number of transports and the better the transport the better the sound. The players that have the upgraded clocks .... like my sacdmods 555es make particularly good transports .... and the E5 was close.

For as much money as you can pay for a used, dedicated transport with no guarentee the E5 is atleast as good an option. The E5's do sometimes have transport issues .... likely from the bumpy ride from China. A good used E5 with a verified problem free transport would be ideal for you. There have been several used E5's on the for sale board lately.




I was hoping you'd respond as I read where you had both the dAck! v2.0 and the E5
smily_headphones1.gif
I certainly appreciate your comparative analysis. I heard from another but he still had v1.3 and against it favored the E5 by a significant margin. Having had that version and now the 2.0 I know that the newest is a quantum improvement.

Well I missed out last night as Dr. Wells sold one of his E5s for $570 on eBay
frown.gif
The only transports I had been seriously considering are out of production, used, and cost close to that of a new E5 (Parasound CPD-2000 Ultra and CAL Delta). I'll just have to keep my eyes open!

One other thing I'm curious about (and probably should be in a new thread, but....) is whether the E5 can be fitted with the newest Philips VAM 1202/19 as a replacement for the 1202/12. In all honesty I'm still not quite sure what they've improved but I figured it was logical to ask.
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 3:44 AM Post #7 of 9

Mikey01

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PSSSSST! Mikey01 has an E5 for sale on the HeadFi's for sale board. $600 plus shipping
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Mar 28, 2006 at 3:59 AM Post #8 of 9

Bob A (SD)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikey01
PSSSSST! Mikey01 has an E5 for sale on the HeadFi's for sale board. $600 plus shipping
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