DAC upgrade for SB3?

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by witters, May 28, 2008.

  1. witters

    witters
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    12,731
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +301
    It's difficult to tell how good the DAC on the SB3 is without comparing it to another. Has anyone done this, or can recommend an alternative upgrade please?
     
  2. Mr_Sukebe

    Mr_Sukebe
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,397
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +212
    If you hunt around, you'll find a number of users on here and on the Slimserver forums, who've successfully added external DACs and are very happy with them.
    Just one thing to bear in mind is that the SB3 can be bettered as a purely digital source. If you're looking at spending over say £500, I'd suggest you look at completely replacing the unit with either a Transporter or SB+, both of which seem to have the edge on an SB3/DAC combo.

    Also bear in mind that Linn have launched their DS Sneaky at a similar price to the SB+. I've not heard one, but it could be a goody.
     
  3. witters

    witters
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    12,731
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +301
    Thanks but I'm not looking at spending a grand!

    I was wondering about some of the older Meridian DAC's or similar. Can be picked up cheaply these days. Or even the Beresford DAC?
     
  4. mesajoe

    mesajoe
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Messages:
    93
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +4
    I'm running the Beresford DAC with my SB Duet, the Beresford is a very big upgrade for only £99, well worth looking at.

    Mark
    :)
     
  5. doubledrop

    doubledrop
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    43
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Ratings:
    +4
    Another vote here for the Beresford - I'm running it off of SB Duet and sounds way above it's pricetag I think.
     
  6. Shockabuku

    Shockabuku
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,805
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Ratings:
    +166
    I'm using a CI Audio VDA2 DAC with my SB3 in a pretty revealing headphone setup, with superb results. Imho, the SB3 is a fantastic value-for-money digital transport.
     
  7. badbob

    badbob
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Messages:
    4,591
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +318
    Tag Mclaren DAC20, bought for £350 bargain:) mate bought one for even less, £250 I think
     
  8. GW43

    GW43
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,633
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Out of my mind on dope and speed
    Ratings:
    +162
    I tried the Beresford, and could not tell the difference between it and the Squeezebox - not even after 7 days intensive "running in" (which I'm a bit sceptical about but will mention it here before anyone says "you should have run it in").

    I got my money back from Stanley Beresford under his guarantee, so it's a low risk decision to give the Beresford a go. It will only cost you postage both ways, so for less than £20 you can give it a good try out at home. It does have four inputs so if you have other kit to route through it then it could be a bargain for you.

    I'd say it's worth a try, your system may reveal more differences than mine did, but I'd reckon from experience they would be subtle at best.
     
  9. witters

    witters
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    12,731
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +301
    I bought one and it arrived yesterday. I noticed a differnece straight out of the box. It's much smoother, especially at the top end.
     
  10. Shockabuku

    Shockabuku
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,805
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Ratings:
    +166
    Out of interest Witters, what amp/speakers are you using? I guess everyone's mileage will vary depending on the components in the chain. I'm glad to hear you have noticed an improvement though. Personally, the addition of the DAC in my system had even more of a positive effect than introducing better amplification.
     
  11. witters

    witters
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    12,731
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +301
    I'm using it with a Moon i-1 integrated and Quad 21L speakers. I also upgraded the SB3 power supply.
     
  12. Whisper

    Whisper
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Interesting thread. I currently have my SB3 connected via a co-ax to my Sony 910 amp. But, if I wanted to (just curious for now), how would I connect an external DAC to the SB3 :confused: ?
     
  13. Shockabuku

    Shockabuku
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,805
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Ratings:
    +166
    Nice quality stuff, undoubtedly helps reveal the better quality DAC I would imagine.


    All you do is simply connect one of the digital outs from the SB3 (it has optical and coax electrical) into the new DAC. The DAC will have analogue LR RCAs, which you run into your amp just like you're doing now.

    Edit - just read your post a bit more carefully, I see you're currently using the DAC in your amp. Same applies as above, just run your existing coax into the new DAC, and run analogue LR from the DAC to your amp.
     
  14. Whisper

    Whisper
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks Shockabuku. I just get a bit itchy to try new things. If I don't notice a difference fair enough. Also looking at my speakers because they are ones I had from my previous amp.
     
  15. GW43

    GW43
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,633
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Out of my mind on dope and speed
    Ratings:
    +162
    My combo is Arcam A85 and Monitor Audio GR10 - couldn't tell any difference.

    Ho hum!
     
  16. Shockabuku

    Shockabuku
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,805
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Ratings:
    +166
    yep, I guess it's a case of YMMV ;). I've only used my SB3 in a headphone setup, where any small change in the signal path is generally quite noticeable.
     
  17. Druboo

    Druboo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    882
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Location:
    Cotswolds
    Ratings:
    +130
    Before going the DAC route, if you haven't already, try analogue from the SB3 to your Sony. ;)

    Having said that adding the X-DAC to mine made a noticeable improvement :rolleyes:
     
  18. Getgaff

    Getgaff
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    2,405
    Products Owned:
    3
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +492
    Another vote here for the Beresford DAC.

    Ditto.
     
  19. Whisper

    Whisper
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    What did you get - if you don't mind me asking :lease:.
     
  20. witters

    witters
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    12,731
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +301
  21. mesajoe

    mesajoe
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Messages:
    93
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +4
    I tried the SB Duet with and without the Beresford in both my HiFi and HT systems, in particular the HiFi is very revealing - I could hear a significant difference in both systems, the Beresford makes a very big difference IMHO. Bass was much much better controlled, timing is much better, stereo image is better but less improved than the bass and timing - both my HiFi and HT systems will show up flaws in this area, as does my preference in music.

    As pointed out, Stan will refund you if you aren't satisfied, so there is little risk...

    Mark
    :)
     
  22. Andy.T

    Andy.T
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,678
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Sussex
    Ratings:
    +73
    His site appears to be down and he doesnt have any listed on Ebay at the moment. I read on another forum he went to Amsterdam in January for a holiday, has anyone heard from him since? :D
     
  23. Whisper

    Whisper
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Yes I noticed that on Friday so I emailed him. He said he was working on the site and making price changes due to 'increasing production costs'. This means that the Beresford DAC will soon be £130 as opposed to £115. I'd get an email off quick if you want the less expensive one :devil:.


    EDIT:You can use the 'cached' version to see his site if you go through google -although probably not much use :).
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice