DAC: is DacMagic much better than Beresford Tc-7510

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Hi and Thanks for checking out this thread.

Both of these are great products and there is a £100 difference between the 2 but is the DacMagic £100 better than the Beresford?



Reason: i will be connecting a squeezebox 3 to a integrated amp (possible Marantz PM7003- demo depending) so i will be getting a DAC to improve sound quality. I will also be connecting to it a CDP as well ( haven't decided on which yet). TheTC-7510 had all the connections i require where as the DM is abit over kill for me and i probably will only use half its potential.

I will be buying blind because can't demo either one, so I'm putting the questions to those who have any experience with either or both. :lease:
I don't mind spending the extra so long as it worth it.

Opinions and advise is most welcomed

Cheers
 
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jbloggs

Active Member
I have been using a DACMagic with a SqueezeBox, connected to a Marantz PM7001 (amp) to Kef iQ1s since 22nd December (2008), and it certainly was a very decent improvement over the DAC of the SqueezeBox, whether or not it is worth another £100 over the Beresford is another matter, and something I can't answer. The DACMagic is a nice bit of "kit."

I did have one of the early Beresfords DACs, the MKII, and I didn't think much of it, but seemingly they have improved quite considerably since then....
 

evans

Active Member
m8 all you had to do is a google to tell you the dacmagic is better than the beresford. Is it worth the extra cash? Well i have tried both on the same system of a freinds as he has it and i have the dacmagic and the difference is not night and day. the beresford is well worth the money. The subtle difference the dacmagic has is it controls bass much better and the treble is not harsh. The bass of the beresford is bloated and the treble can give you fatigue after an hour of listening. Another thing is the jitter control of the dacmagic is superior so you need a good transport with the beresford. dacmagic also has usb connection. Now there is a mod my friend is doing to improve bass and treble but i havent heard it yet but most people say it is very good mod. Beresford have a usb model out or coming out so you could wait or get the dacmagic.
 

evans

Active Member
well the beresford was way better than cheapo dvd players in music reproduction as expected didnt compare it to more expensive cd players. The bass did have more than it should and put this down to distortion , also the treble was a bit too harsh. However the beresford overall sound was good, the vocals nice and clean instruments sounded natural. Im sure these problems of the older beresford have been addressed in the new model after user feedback:eek:
 

leedswillprevai

Active Member
Hi mate, what version of the beresford was it? and were you just using the dvd player as transport or was this lossless files playing back?
 
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evans

Active Member
it was the current one only bought a year ago. I see on these forums the new one is about to come out with usb which should be interesting to hear the reaction
 

Tfish

Active Member
move fast the Beresford is about to be replaced by a new USB model that will be around the same price as the DM.

id say go for the Beresford at £130 if you dont really need the USB, thats what iv just decided on and I am happy with that I find optical and coax are the best forms of digital transfer so didnt need a USB
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Thanks for all your replies.:thumbsup:

I can see most prefers the DM but can't really fault the Beresford quality for the price.
I wont be using the USB ports only 2 digital and RCA to the amp. All my music will be stored on a NAS unit and will be streamed across a network to SB3. The SB3 and a CDP will be connected to the dac.

I saw a Marantz CD5003 for £150 (RS), not that I'm getting it, but it got me thinking. If i am correct and i've read, the Dac will improve a not to expensive CDP quality up to and in some cases, beyond the more expensive CDP's which cost more than both dac and CDP put together, whether it be a DM or Beresford. And since i have to buy a dac for the SB3 why not use it to improve the CD quality as well. Save me from shelling out £300+ for a CDP

The DM now retails at £229 at RS. As i said, i don't mind the paying extra but it has to be more than just a marginal improvement to warrant the extra £100. If it means adjusting the bass/treble to suit then i might as well save the extra £100 and get the Beresford. From the replies, this seems to be case. Unless i can get a DM 2nd hand which i doubt.

Anybody selling theirs :D- lol only kidding.
 

evans

Active Member
I said before the beresford needs a good transport with low jitter to sound good. The dacmagic is magic with most sources thus the name:) We tried my friends sony cheap dvd player as a source and it was rubbish with the beresford. The beresford was however good on the toshiba xe1 hd dvd player. Then we tried the dacmagic on the sony and it was very good on the dacmagic. I heard somewhere that the upsampling makes a difference in lowering jitter but im no expert on this and im sure the sound maniacs can confirm this:boring:
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
I hear you, but i will be using a cdp not a DVD player.:) I understand that there are better dacs and transports in more expensive cdp's but the transport has to be up to some sort of decent quality level to avoid the 'jitters' even in cd playback, regardless of the price. So i would of thought the cdp transport in the £150-200 price bracket will be up to the job - or have i got that wrong?:confused:
 

evans

Active Member
If you buy a cd player in the 1000 pound range then it should have decent dac's but why go to that expense when you can buy a decent dac like the dacmagic and pair it with a dvd player or cheaper cd player. I was looking into a transport for my freinds beresford on the cheaper side and found one model of NAD had decent jitter control look here NAD Electronics :: C542 CD Player : Closer Look
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Again without wishing to repeat myself, you will get the best out of an external dac when you stream lossless files

I agree and with any new cd's or downloaded music will be ripped to lossless. I have over 15gb of stored music already in MP3 format and probably 2000+ cd's.This will take ages to convert to lossless. i will do some, but not all, so i still want to use a cdp. I am also aware that with mp3 i've already lost a bit of quality But even when it is converted, it will only convert what is there. It can't convert something which has already been lost.

If you buy a cd player in the 1000 pound range then it should have decent dac's but why go to that expense when you can buy a decent dac like the dacmagic and pair it with a dvd player or cheaper cd player. I was looking into a transport for my freinds beresford on the cheaper side and found one model of NAD had decent jitter control look here


:rolleyes: If you were agreeing with me then great.:) but it seems that You are misunderstanding me or not reading my post correctly. What you just said is literally the same as i said previously and i agree. look

I saw a Marantz CD5003 for £150 (RS), not that I'm getting it, but it got me thinking. If i am correct and i've read, the Dac will improve a not to expensive CDP quality up to and in some cases, beyond the more expensive CDP's which cost more than both dac and CDP put together, whether it be a DM or Beresford. And since i have to buy a dac for the SB3 why not use it to improve the CD quality as well. Save me from shelling out £300+ for a CDP.

Ok, not literally but near enough to what you just said. I believe we are on the same page.
Thank you for the Nad suggestion tho, it is a nice bit of kit so it is one to consider.:smashin:

So there is no confusion in what i'm trying to achieve, let me explain more clearly. I am in the process of separating the AV kit from the HIFI kit hence the need for a dac for the SB3 and cdp. All the music sources will be plugged into a integrated amp and dvd/tv hook up to an AV amp. All using the same set of speakers. The dvd will eventually be replaced with an PS3 and it will not be used to play cd's so a dac is not needed for that. I haven't ruled out the DM, i just wanted to know if the Beresford can do as good a job
 

leedswillprevai

Active Member
When you have a ps3, purchase an external hdd, rip your cds to lossless aka wav, connect the the external hdd to ps3 via usb, connect an optical cable from the ps3 to the dac and a cable between the amp and dac and voila, then you will appreciate why external dacs can surpass the performance of a good cd player.

You can also just do the same with an mp3 player btw, attach it to the ps3 and use the dac for playback.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Wouldn't that make the SB3 and Nas drive redundant?

I will can give it a try as i can use the missus ext hdd. It only a small one but it will do the job -thanks :thumbsup:

leedswillprevai; which dac have you got as u didn't mention it?
 

leedswillprevai

Active Member
Hi unfortunately I have not got a Dac at the moment but shall be getting either that or the beresford but listening intently to the Dac Magic. To answer your question re streaming, for people using their computers it's the ideal solution and it's easier for arranging playlists, i.e. continuous playing of random tracks.

In contrast if you wish to play continuous random songs with the ps3 then you have to move all of your songs into one folder. Not everyone has a ps3 or xbox to of course but if you do, well it will do exactly the same thing BUT if you wish to hear lossless, you have to download a software program which will rip the cds into wav such as freerip. It will rip a cd in 3 mins and then it takes 30 seconds or so to transfer it over to the external hdd. So firstly it's more convenient not having to transfer files and secondly there is no issue with buffering i.e. by default and annoyingly when playing songs through ps3, the next song will cut in, in the last second or so of the song you are listening to.

For me personally I don't mind that but some people might and I am not sure if I can get around that problem or not, if I can, will let you know.
 
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Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Ok,

What you explained there is what my SB3 already does. It can play flac, lossles, etc and i can arrange playlist, albeit created using the Squeeze Center 7 software to do it. It has an crossfade option which you adjust the timing of and internet radio is very good too although i haven't fully setup all the stations i want. Like the PS3 it also can do contious playback Beside that it has a whole hosts of features that i haven't used yet but will do eventually. If i have a gripe is that it will only use the squeeze centre 7 software to access and play music. It won't work with no other media player. :thumbsdow

My Nas has an 500gb hdd which is ample room to store all my music and takes minutes to replace if need be. For me, setting it all up didn't take long at all to get it going, but then i went all through all the possible NAS configurations and security for optimal performance. I also use the NAS to for backup and usage for the other pc/laptop in the house.

I will probably go for the Beresford as this has all the requirements i need and some great reviews from users and experts alike. In saying that, if I think its not all that then i can always flog it and get the DM. :D

I will try out what you said regarding the PS3 and see if it sounds any better.

Thanks all for your advise and help

Cheers :clap:
 

Inverted_Hover

Standard Member
Hi and Thanks for checking out this thread.

Both of these are great products and there is a £100 difference between the 2 but is the DacMagic £100 better than the Beresford?

The current prices are; DacMagic £199.95 collect in store or £206.94 delivered, Beresford TC-7510 mk6/4 £139.14 delivered - all prices UK, including VAT.

Yet I keep seeing posts comparing them at a £100 difference :rotfl: Whilst the beresford has had yet another price rise it has been pretty much the same price for the last month. The DacMagic has been at exactly the same price for a month or so.

The new Beresford with USB, the TC-7520 (aka TC-7510+) is also suggested to have a much improved headphone amp as well as the USB. But a delivered price in the region of £175-£200.

I you want a headphone amp I'd get the Beresford offerings (TC-7510 or TC-7520). If you want USB get the TC-7520 or DacMagic.

But to give a conclusion, if you want the best 'looking' build quality, the best reviewed (it was overall winner of hi-fi choice group DAC test, beating the TC-7510), and overall it seems from users the best sounding, then I suggest the DacMagic is the 1st choice, and the best value, and it's only £60 more.

In particular if your local to Richer Sounds, you can walk into a shop and buy the DacMagic, much easier for me than dealing with delivery company's and charges should any problems occur.
 
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Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
The current prices are; DacMagic £199.95 collect in store or £206.94 delivered, Beresford TC-7510 mk6/4 £139.14 delivered - all prices UK, including VAT.


Yes You are right, but when i first checked just before xmas they were retailing at £229. Most of the products in RS had a price hike of £20-£30 from Sept 08 or there abouts. Seems that the DM has been reduced back to £200 which is good news.

Anyhoo, i spoke with Stanley Beresford today and enquired about the the TC-7510. It turns out he lives not far from me and to come down and have a try with a view to buy if i like it and to bring some music to give it a good test. He didn't give any spill about why he thinks his product is the best or run down the other dacs (very nice man indeed):thumbsup:. So i will be going there Wed or Thurs to do just that and if it sounds good to my ears then its a done deal.

So i will let you know what i think later in the week.

Did i say he was a very nice man -i think i did.:smashin:
 

hen_dawg

Standard Member
I said before the beresford needs a good transport with low jitter to sound good. The dacmagic is magic with most sources thus the name:) We tried my friends sony cheap dvd player as a source and it was rubbish with the beresford. The beresford was however good on the toshiba xe1 hd dvd player. Then we tried the dacmagic on the sony and it was very good on the dacmagic. I heard somewhere that the upsampling makes a difference in lowering jitter but im no expert on this and im sure the sound maniacs can confirm this:boring:
Hi, excuse the amateur question but what do you mean by transport? The source of the music, CDP/DVD?
 

evans

Active Member
No problem, transport can be anything transfering the signal to the DAC, like a cd player but without a DAC inside, or can be a pc if your dac has a usb input.:smashin:
 

tizer2000uk

Standard Member
Recieved my TC-7510 yesterday, immediately hooked it up in parallel with my player and amp to see how it compares out the box. I have a Pioneer DV717, Cambridge A1 MK3 amp and Tannoy Mercury F1's, not top flight equipment by any stretch but very capable. The DV717 in its day was capable of giving £300 cd players a run around and up and till yesterday I was still perfectly happy with the setup. I listened to a few tracks without the dacs to warm my ears up and then switched over - WOW!

Even without burn in the sound was far better, definately night and day, I found it much easier to 'see' seperate instruments and voices in the mix and rythym sections that previously were just a part of the noise now stood out of the mix. The soundstage also widened beyond the Tannoys and vocals stood out fantastically, I am certain the those with better source and amplification will see a bigger difference, especially on older cd players.

I now have a dilemma as I originally purchased the DAC for use on my PC along with my Grado SR60's and so will likely have to buy another!

After my listening session in the lounge I moved to the office and wired the DAC up to my pc. Previously I had been listening to my Grados through the headphone section of my Logitech Z-5500's but had always been a little dissapointed with the sound, dissapointed is a bit too strong a word I suppose but I just knew the Grados were capable of so much more given the audition I gave them prior to purchase. The bass came across as a little weak, something I initially put down to the Grados reputation for weak bass, the output directly from the 'X-FI Xtreme Music' card even after the LM4562 opamp mod was only marginally better and so for convenience sake I resigned myself to using the Grados through the Logitech's.

I use the PC primarily for gaming and also listen to music on them, mainly lossless stuff. The X-FI soundcard was purchased for its gaming sound processing credentials above all else. I am currently playing a game called 'Left 4 Dead', a zombie shoot em up you can play with 3 other players, it is a very fast moving game and the action comes at you from all angles, being able to hear where the next threat is coming from really gives you an edge.

With the headphones running though the original setup with the game processing turned on you get a fantastic soundstage and can tell with great accuracy where zombies are, even as far as being able to tell exactly where they are behind walls and even above or below you.

With the Beresford added to the mix the sound takes on another dimension entirely, the difference is far more noticeable, not just a bit but ALOT.

Playing music through them showed an even bigger difference, a huge improvement over the sound through the Logitech's or indeed the direct output of the soundcard. The bass is now much more present, not overly..just right! This leads me to conlude that if you want to use your pc for playing music and are none too bothered about surround sound or gaming and happen to have onboard sound with a digital output, this is possibly the best bang for buck addition to your pc you could make. Having heard most high end soundcards in action I have say you would be wasting your money on them if 2 channel sound is your priority.

Overall I am more than happy with my purchase and don't have any criticisms at all, especially at the price.

Tyrone
 

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