Abrahamsen A-DAC

richard_jerome

Standard Member
This is a slight cross-post, but I feel it fits better in the 'streamers' section as it's about computer based audio,

I really just wanted to leave a Google footprint, and a realistic opinion, for anyone else considering USB DACs, and in particular the Abrahamsen A-DAC. This DAC stripped down version of the V6.0 with just a 44.1khz/16-bit USB input, oversampled to 192khz/24-bit. They are difficult to source outside of Scandinavia, so I got mine from [email protected] for £136 delivered.

I've been using CDs since I got fed up with the quality of my EAC/lame mp3 collection (started in 2003), but desperately wanted all my music at the touch of my finger again. The problem for me is that I just don't want a NAS or another PC, I want to automate ripping, and if I have to edit one more metatag in my life it'll be one to many.

When I condensed this down I concluded it would have to be Gracenote driven (not AMG/GD3), which realistically means iTunes or Olive O3HD/O4HD. Whilst the Olive looked and sounded good, I wasn't sure I could live with the proprietary-ness of it all and, quite frankly, the price tag.

My setup now looks like this, controlled by Apple Remote on an iPhone:

ALAC -> iTunes -> MacBook -> Abrahamsen A-DAC-> Rotel RA-1062 -> Quad 11L2

Itunes ripping is automated with error correction, and iTunes/Midi is setup to avoid iTunes resampling the files. I don't use Amarra, PureAudio, AyreWave or Play as I don't have anything ripped other than normal 44.1khz/16-bit CDs.

So, what is it like? Brilliant. Absolutely fantastic. Realistically, I can't tell the difference between the A-DAC and any other analogue source i've tried - my normal transport is a NAD C521BEE - and that's on well recorded [classical, folk, jazz, pop/rock] CDs. Even when I think I can tell the difference, I couldn't say which one is 'better'. Same goes for the wife (classically trained violinist w/ good ears), and she easily distinguished every other component change i've made to my setup over the years.

So, if anyone out there is hesitating about a Abrahamsen A-DAC just go for it. You can't go wrong. Now I've proved my concept, the MacBook will be swapped out with a headless Mac Mini, and screen sharing [or VNC] to intervene on the rare occasions itunes fails to rip fully automatically or it needs maintenance. Suppose I better get the wife an iPod Touch or iPhone for Xmas so she can use it too...

Thanks for reading, if you got this far.

Rich
 

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richard_jerome

Standard Member
Well, makes a change from the logitech/slimdevices ones ;-) Just a very happy punter...
 

surayne

Active Member
It's a superb piece of kit for the money.
 

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