Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff)
Feb 12, 2014 at 4:44 PM Post #496 of 6,492

thathertz

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Hey Elmoe!
 
Sorry to go off-topic for a mo...
 
I see you have a Singlepower MPX3. I had one a few years back. did you get your's checked?
The MPX3 is a great amp providing you get someone in the know to look over the internals.
Big caps, high voltages can be scary...as some owners have attested...
I now have an Extreme Platinum which I can't part with....don't use it at the moment but I have plans...:)
 
I have yet to hear a Benchmark DAC (1 or 2)...bow long have you owned it?
 
Feb 12, 2014 at 4:54 PM Post #497 of 6,492

elmoe

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If you love the sound of the DAC1, I would just stick with it and try out a few converters (with return option).
 
Don't get bitten by "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome. The other DACs with the most similar characteristics in the list are the Mytek, X-Sabre, and Vega. The Vega is kind of like a super refined and resolving DAC1 and the one most likely to provide obvious gains. It is also extremely expensive and probably way over what you want to spend. The Mytek accentuates the what the DAC1 does both good and bad, but it has a difficult treble hardness and glare which I feel that the DAC1 does not have. The X-Sabre probably has the most balanced presentation. More bass volume and power, particularly in the sub and low bass regions and doesn't need a USB converter to shine.
 
Everytime I hear "I love what I have, but I'm bored" and someone gets something else, it's never good news.
 
 
Hard to say. The "better" DAC may sound "different". And "different" may not necessarily result in the synergy that you had before.

 
I have a tendency to load my system carefully inside my car, drive to the audiophile stores near me, and demo things with my own gear, so synergy shouldn't be a problem. The audio store owners know me pretty well, they are usually lenient with me 
wink.gif

​ I would be willing to spend upwards of 3000usd, if the result is worth the price to my ears. In any case, I wouldn't spend a dime without some demo'ing first.
 
Quote:
  Hey Elmoe!
 
Sorry to go off-topic for a mo...
 
I see you have a Singlepower MPX3. I had one a few years back. did you get your's checked?
The MPX3 is a great amp providing you get someone in the know to look over the internals.
Big caps, high voltages can be scary...as some owners have attested...
I now have an Extreme Platinum which I can't part with....don't use it at the moment but I have plans...:)
 
I have yet to hear a Benchmark DAC (1 or 2)...bow long have you owned it?

 
It's a funny story but my MPX3 had a problem at some point (I bought it way back when Mikhail was just starting to sell them) and I had it sent back to him for repairs. He fixed it right up and sent it back (yes, I got lucky, this was before the whole SP trainwreck). I since then had it checked by a technician after reading about some of the other MPX3 owners troubles - mine was perfectly fine. It's probably the one piece of gear I will never sell (not that it would net me much), I absolutely love it.
 
I've had this DAC1 for a long time now (it is the non-USB version that came out before most DACs even had USB inputs), about 8-10 years I think? I really dislike its sound on its own (using the headphone outputs), but paired with the MPX3 and SA5k/SR325i, there's just something about this combination that really works well for me.
 
Feb 12, 2014 at 4:59 PM Post #498 of 6,492

purrin

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  I have a tendency to load my system carefully inside my car, drive to the audiophile stores near me, and demo things with my own gear, so synergy shouldn't be a problem. The audio store owners know me pretty well, they are usually lenient with me 
wink.gif

 
I would be willing to spend upwards of 3000usd, if the result is worth the price to my ears. In any case, I wouldn't spend

 
LOL, then why are you asking me? You are lucky enough to have an (presumably decent) audio store nearby. Most of those are gone in the USA. Amazon killed everything.
 
Feb 12, 2014 at 5:03 PM Post #499 of 6,492

elmoe

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Well, because debating the finer points of my hobby is a national past time, haven't you heard? :wink:

On a more serious note, most of these stores don't really carry USB converters which is what interested me to begin with.
 
Feb 12, 2014 at 5:03 PM Post #500 of 6,492

62ohm

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Purrin,
 
Have you heard the Arcam rDac? If so, may I ask how in your opinion do they compare to the Bifrost Uber? Thanks.
 
Feb 12, 2014 at 5:12 PM Post #501 of 6,492

purrin

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  Purrin,
 
Have you heard the Arcam rDac? If so, may I ask how in your opinion do they compare to the Bifrost Uber? Thanks.

 
Nope and probably won't for a while because I am sick of comparos for now and just want to enjoy ... but you never know. Random peeps send stuff to me and sometimes I can't refuse.
 
Feb 12, 2014 at 5:13 PM Post #502 of 6,492

thathertz

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It's a funny story but my MPX3 had a problem at some point (I bought it way back when Mikhail was just starting to sell them) and I had it sent back to him for repairs. He fixed it right up and sent it back (yes, I got lucky, this was before the whole SP trainwreck). I since then had it checked by a technician after reading about some of the other MPX3 owners troubles - mine was perfectly fine. It's probably the one piece of gear I will never sell (not that it would net me much), I absolutely love it.
 
I've had this DAC1 for a long time now (it is the non-USB version that came out before most DACs even had USB inputs), about 8-10 years I think? I really dislike its sound on its own (using the headphone outputs), but paired with the MPX3 and SA5k/SR325i, there's just something about this combination that really works well for me.

 
I had my MPX3 checked out in the UK and it was fine. Gorgeous amp....like you say, I was lucky I guess. I moved on to the Extreme Platinum (with a Plitron transformer and TWO independent power supplies) which I also had checked out, and it's been a dream amp I must say. Right now I have D7000's and my amp supposedly doesn't play well with low impedance phones - the bass control is not great but overall they sound way better than they ought to :wink:
 
I can imagine the DAC1 pairs very well with the MPX3...you have the slightly (sorry) clinical nature of the DAC1 paired with the warmth and romance of tubes :)
 
I see why it's hard for you to decide on the next step. Anyway, I wish you the best and don't give up on the MPX3 :)
 
Feb 12, 2014 at 5:23 PM Post #503 of 6,492

purrin

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Well, because debating the finer points of my hobby is a national past time, haven't you heard?
wink.gif


On a more serious note, most of these stores don't really carry USB converters which is what interested me to begin with.

 
Just got a PM from a friend. He said to try the Benchmark DAC2. That if you like the DAC1, forget the USB converter crap and just get the DAC2.
 
Feb 12, 2014 at 5:41 PM Post #504 of 6,492

Maxvla

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Sounds like two people walked into a DAC thread expecting a USB convertor thread. :rolleyes:
 
Feb 12, 2014 at 8:29 PM Post #505 of 6,492

fishski13

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as someone who recently went through a lengthy in-home DAC shoot-out, i can appreciate the efforts put forth by purrin et al.  i found it arduous to compare only 4 different DACs, and even more so when mixing it up with a USB-S/PDIF converter.   
 
also, my comparisons suggest that playing around with USB-S/PDIF converters is fertile ground for possible improvements.  the MF V-Link has a sonic sig that made every DAC sound more like the BM DAC1/V-Link pairing.
 
Feb 12, 2014 at 9:21 PM Post #506 of 6,492

Argo Duck

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+1 fishski.

Similar story when I compared just three DACs.

OTOH, I learned a lot about how I listen and what I prefer, and improved my listening skills and attention.

Because of this, I have a lot of respect for purrin and his ninjas. Whilst there is risk of group-think, there is also a large advantage to focused group-comparison in terms of mutual calibration and development of a common vocabulary and understanding.
 
Feb 12, 2014 at 10:48 PM Post #507 of 6,492

music_man

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I just compared 13 a few weeks ago. thank you to my generous salesman. I picked the best value, and the best overall. one cost me $500 and one cost me $62,000. actually I think that says more about the one that was $500 lol. it perhaps also says something about my sanity. yes, it is very difficult. these are not huge differences we are talking about. you also must be sure it is not your mind.---oh, wait I forgot. my cheapie choice is loathed by purrin. so I suggest you listen to anything first or returnable. be it under a grand or a 100 grand. one thing I hope we all can agree on, is it is up to each individual as to which they prefer. if there was such a thing as right and wrong in regards to this game many a company would be out of business.
 
Feb 12, 2014 at 11:43 PM Post #509 of 6,492

Armaegis

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I think I could hire a small chamber orchestra to play once a week for that kinda money...
 
Feb 13, 2014 at 1:09 AM Post #510 of 6,492

music_man

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it's the msb diamond dac iv with some upgrades. I even got a deal on it! one of the dumber things I have done. on the other hand no one seems to agree with purrin about the teac. it is not the best by any means but it is not class "s" either really. maybe he had a busted one or something. I just don't agree with him. I would take the m51 over the pwd mkii. just goes to show, as I said everyone must listen for themselves. I think the schiit and teac are comparable. I made mods to the teac and now to me it is better than a stock pwd mkii. the msb is like Ferrari. ultimate performance at any cost. i already have bands playing every day as i operate a recording facility. playback can be even better in some cases. i know i rubbed this in already but there are dacs under a grand that are nice. of those everyone already knows which i pick currently. before that it was the bm dac1. oh, for the record the dcs dac is like 100 grand. do realize diminishing returns kick in at a mere 5 grand.
 

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