Best system I've ever heard...

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by michaelab, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. michaelab

    michaelab
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    Heard a system this weekend which convinced me that:

    a) stereo is still best for music
    b) CDs can sound easily as good and better than LPs
    c) you don't need a sub if you have the right setup.

    basically, it was the best system I've ever heard:

    Wadia 8 CD transport, Wadia 15 DAC with digital pre-amp, Belcanto Evo 200.4 digital 4ch. power amp running bridged (360Wpc and runs totally stone cold!!), Monitor Audio GR20s. For those who visit the HiFi Choice forums it's Big Tone's system :)

    The most amazing thing was the incredibly tight and controlled bass which could vibrate the room if loud enough - better than any sub system I've heard.

    Also, he has an FMJ DV27 DVD player and he demonstrated it as a CD source (into the Wadia DAC)...the Wadia transport just destroyed it. I couldn't believe that 2 transports could sound so different.

    The upshot of all this is basically that now I know what a Wadia etc. type of stereo system can do I know that no AV processor (used as a DAC or pre-amp) will ever be as good :(

    Michael.
     
  2. GaryG

    GaryG
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    Nice one Michael, so when can we expect you to join the separate transport/dac club?
     
  3. michaelab

    michaelab
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    I'm already in the club mate :) CJROSS press ganged :devil: me into getting a Tag DAC20 and I haven't looked back.

    My 12yr old Marantz CD50SE is a reasonable transport but it's about to get a new lease of life as a transport, I'm installing a Trichord digital output board next week. Should be a big improvement :p

    Michael.
     
  4. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    You will be in the serious Transport / DAC club :D

    seriosly you now know why I have argued for 'proper' transports. They are all producing the same 001010001011110s but they sound SO different. Amazing isn't it.

    Next job, ditch SPDIF;) You know it is the decent thing to do.:D
     
  5. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    The Trichord DOB as well as having clock upgrades comes with a whole new output board Beesy with a RCA 75 Ohm SPDIF, BNC 75Ohm & Wait for it : a XLR/AES 110 Ohm digital output which will hook up nicely with Mikes XLR/AES 110 digital input on his very nicely specced old DAC 20.
     
  6. michaelab

    michaelab
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    Yes - I'm going to add an XLR balanced digital out to my CDP but surely and XLR digital connection still uses SPDIF?

    btw CJ, there are only 2 hook ups on the DOB, a 75ohm unbalanced and a 110ohm balanced, I guess I could put a BNC socket on the end of the 75ohm hook up instead of an RCA socket but I think I'll just stick with the RCA.

    Beekeeper, I don't see how I can ditch SPDIF with the DAC20 - surely only a proprietary sync link will do that??

    Michael.
     
  7. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Hey Michael, Im not sure wha they mean below then from their site regarding the BNC connection :

    3. High performance, ultra high speed, SPDIF output buffer. This circuit replaces the pulse transformer and provides a true 75 ohm output impedance. With an inherent response time of less than 1ns, we recommend that this signal is fed out through a 75 ohm BNC connector, as the majority of phono connectors have an unspecified characteristic impedance.

    Maybe Trichord give you the option of both types of output to impliment ie RCA or BNC, there are RCA to BNC adpators available, but I could not vouch for their quality.

    HTCs
     
  8. michaelab

    michaelab
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    Well, the board comes with output pins for a 75ohm connection and a 110ohm balanced one. What sockets/connectors you decide to hook up to them is up to you (it doesn't come with any).

    I've ordered the best gold plated RCA connector that Maplin had available and Big Tone gave me an XLR connector :)

    I don't know that the actual connector itself has 'unspecified impedance' - I think it applies more to most RCA/Phono interconnects. QED Qunex P75 should be fine though.

    Haven't bought a digital XLR interconnect yet though - got any suggestions?

    Michael.
     
  9. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    You can't with the DAC20. A sync link will still used SPDIF, I am just trying to get you guys to 'look to the future' :D

    As great as the Trichord stuff is (I have DOB) it can still be bettered :)
     
  10. michaelab

    michaelab
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    Well I'm not going to shell out on a complete new transport and DAC that doesn't use SPDIF just at the moment...I've hardly had time to use it yet!

    And, if I had the money for a dCS Verdi/Purcell/Elgar+ front end burning a hole in my pocket I'd rather pay off a chunk of my mortgage with it ;)

    Still, Tone's system uses a s/h Wadia transport and DAC that does use SPDIF (without even a sync link) and it blows the doors off anything else I've heard. And Tone recently tried a dCS Purcell/Delius combo in place of his Wadia DAC (still using the Wadia transport) and there wasn't much between them.

    dCS may make great stuff but it's not what you'd call value for money :D

    Michael.
     
  11. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I also have a Transport of this quality, it also blows the spots off.... with SPDIF however I can take it a stage further by removing SPDIF all together.:D

    My stuff was bought after demo'ing Wadia and DCS. All great kit.

    This stuff need not cost silly money either
     
  12. michaelab

    michaelab
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    You're very coy about what kit you've got, so come on, spit it out - the curiosity is killing me :D

    Michael.
     
  13. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    Alreet guys, i take it you are speaking of big tone's system @ HFC forums. I will *have* to hear that system on of these days.... :D
     
  14. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Interesting point this one, very little difference between these top transports. AS, Wadia, Theta and DCS are all making decent transports and yes there is little difference between them. I agree with this totally. This is the ‘rate limiting step of SPDIF’ that I have always talked about. To better it you need to remove SPDIF. We have several solutions here including, ADL, MHR, SDIF, SDIF 2, N code, C code as well as some others.

    I have an assortment of 'digital' kit inc

    Tricord DOB modded high end player used as transport
    Two sync linked players (one DVD and one CD) and matching pro / DACs
    A high end transport DAC combination that I can run in toslink, rca, bnc, xlr and ST connections in either SPFIF, C code or N code.

    There are an assortment of other stuff as well inc Dacs etc to test inc homebrew stuff
     
  15. GaryG

    GaryG
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    Michael

    To quote a popular TV show.

    "The clues are there..."

    Check back over a few of our recent discussions on jitter.
     
  16. michaelab

    michaelab
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    Beekeeper, sounds like you and Big Tone from HFC forums should get together to compare notes...his Wadias aren't exactly as they left the factory :D When I visited the cover was off the DAC and a new 'trick' PCB of his was sticking out of it :eek:

    Michael.
     
  17. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I've had three PMs pointing me to these HiFi Choice threads asking me to contribute. Unfortunately I am off to London now for a couple of days with my 'Ambassadors' hat on :blush: I might have a go when I get back

    I hope he has got rid of the ST Wadia interface ;) that might be a good start :D
     
  18. CarlBkk

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    Hi guys, interesting for me to have found this thread because right now I'm considering a 2nd hand Wadia 8/15 combo. It's being offered for 2000 GBP and is in seemingly good condition with no visible marks. Do you think that's an acceptable price? I would expect it to be cheaper than its UK equivalent as the American makes are 20%+ cheaper new in Asia (where I am) than in the UK. Are there any internal or operational faults that I could look for while demoeing?

    Many thanks.
     

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