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adding a DAC

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by Radioactive__Man, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Radioactive__Man

    Radioactive__Man
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    With the exception of a pair of aPa7's I am currently in the process of selling on my Cyrus Preamp in favour of an Arcam AVR300 to partner my DV79.

    I am a little concerned that I may lose out on the 2 channel front with the AVR300 compared to my DVD8 and Cyrus Preamp setup, so looking slightly ahead somewhat I was thinking of getting a dedicated CD player.

    After reading a few posts on the forums I am now mulling over the addition of a DAC rather than another CD player, anyone able to shortlist suitable candidates in the 500-1000 price range that I can hopefully demo?

    System as of this Friday will be

    AVR300
    DV79
    Cyrus Monoblocs
    Mission 783's

    my current setup is as above but using a Yamaha DSPAX640SE instead of the AVR300, and I am not too happy with the results at the moment.
     
  2. Shaka

    Shaka
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    If you read some of my posts you'll note that I had the same problem as you. I bought the AVR300 too and although I didn't lose any stereo performance, I didn't gain any either, which I thought I would considering it's price. I was advised by my dealer that a new higher end CD player more than anything else would give my system an immediate increase in stereo.
    I'd never considered a DAC before until a few of the guys recommended that I try one out and that it'd outperform a similarly priced CD player. And they were right. I auditioned the Musical Fidelity Trivista 21 and it completely blew me away. For the demo I took my own CD player to use as transport and aksed them to connect it to the AVR300 so that I'd know what to expect. I've auditioned a similarly priced CD player in the past and struggled to hear enough improvements over my player to justify a purchase. With the DAC I had no hesitation. After an hour of listening I walked out of the demo room and bought one. It sounds even better now that I have it home and since Sunday I've been going through my entire CD collection.
    Read my other posts for more info by other members as they have some good advice and recommendations to give.
    I would instantly recommend you add the Musical Fidelity Trivista DAC to your audition list. I think apart from the detail and control it'll bring to your system, it also has that energy which will lift the AVR300's slightly smooth stereo sound.
     
  3. Radioactive__Man

    Radioactive__Man
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    thx Shaka your thread was one of the ones I had noticed, isn't there anything a bit less expensive tho to be considered?, I am gonna be rooked by the time I get a new display :confused:
     
  4. Shaka

    Shaka
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    Hmm, it is expensive, but it is actually worth it. I mean it is so much better than a similarly priced CD player. But I know where you're coming from. If it was just one thing you were to buy it's not too bad, but I guess you have a few other things to consider too - AVR300 ain't cheap.
    I'm sure you'll be able to find a second hand or ex-demo model for around £850. I actually saw a 2nd hand one for £875 sometime last week. But as I went and auditioned one I felt the dealer had earned his sale from me.
    I'm not sure what else is available at this price. The TAG AV32R was also recommended to me at around this sort of price bracket. I know Cyrus have DAC-X at £1000.
    How much are you willing to spend to get decent stereo performance? As I said I'd tried a £1k CD player before but I didn't part with my money cos the performance couldn't justify the price. I've had the Trivista for 4 days now and I keep listening to all my old CDs over and over again and it's like I'm hearing them for the first time. The sound is just so detailed like I could never have imagined ...
    Tough call mate, I was having the same dilema as you.
     
  5. Radioactive__Man

    Radioactive__Man
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    TBH I would expect decent stereo performance as is with an AVR300/DV79 and a pair of monobloc amps, technically I am replacing my aCA7 preamp with the preamp stage of the Arcam which is 4-5 years newer tech. I am merely thinking ahead, maybe I am thinking too far ahead, will wait and see over next few days, if I am being really honest I tend to listen to a lot less CD audio than I used to.

    So I will take this opportuninty to get out of that upgrade loop that always seems to accompany any new HiFi purchase :)
     
  6. Shaka

    Shaka
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    I think that the DV79/AVR300 combo should give you a decent stereo performance anyway. And in the futurs, you could always try out a DAC and see if it gives you a significant performance over your DV79 to justify a purchase.
    For me it worked, but then I did have a fairly old, modest CD player.
    Best of luck, and keep us posted on what you decide/get. Overall I think you'll be very pleased the AVR300. Oh and if you haven't already picked/ordered it, get it in black. I was lucky enough to have my silver unit replaced due to the fan and asked for the replacement to be in black. It looks so much nicer IMO :)
     
  7. andyAV

    andyAV
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    Shaka - I'm an Arcam 7 CD owner and thinking of an upgrade to the DAC (though not to the 1K level). I take it from you're coupling of the Arcam to a DAC that the Arcam 7 as a transport is pretty competent. I'm toying with the idea of upgrading the Arcam to the same DAC as in the CD82 (~£215) or getting a seperate DAC - upto £400 probably tops. Any comments ?

    Other key kit in the equation is a Pioneer 2011 amp to Kef Q7 speakers.

    Andy
     
  8. stebbo

    stebbo
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    Over on Cyrusunofficial which I am sure you frequent. Stickman has a Benchmark DAC1 for sale. £600.
    This is generally accepted amonst the pro-audio people as one of the best ever. You wont go far wrong with that DAC.
     
  9. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    How about the M.F. XDAC-V3 at £500. Give me a call at the shop if you are interested.
     
  10. Shaka

    Shaka
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    Andy, I'm aiming to keep just the DVD player and remove the Alpha 7 from the system as the DVD player can provide the transport functionality while the DAC will do the fancy work. I have used the Alpha7 for the transport for a few weeks and couldn't hear any difference between that and the DVD player. I imagine (and I have also read this) that with a decent DAC, you could probably use any decent player as a transport without hearing any noticeable difference.
     

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