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Digital Pre-Amp or DAC + Pre-Amp?

Discussion in 'TAG McLaren Audio Owners' Forum' started by dynamic turtle, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Hello,

    I can't seem to find any info on the DPA32r on the TAG website. Is it a stand-alone product that was discontinued early on in TMA's life, or is it a "flavour" of AV32r?

    I'm just wondering if it would be better to use a DPA32r instead of my DAC20 & PA20r. It would be useful to have a one-box solution to these functions and save on space (and plug sockets ;) ).

    Unless, of course, ultimate sound quality will be greatly diminished? I've never heard/used a DPA32r. Have any forum members compared it to the above combination? How does it fare?

    Another reason is that they can be bought with the DAB card at very reasonable prices. Whatever your misgivings about DAB, it would be a useful feature.

    DT
     
  2. Polecatpete

    Polecatpete
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    Hello DT,

    I used to have the PA20, 8000DAX and the CDT20 and switched over to the DPA32DAB mainly because I wanted one box, DAB and to be able to use T2L. I couldn't find a dealer in my area who had the DPA, and TAG wouldn't lend me a unit at the time to compare so I bought blind. It is a very good unit though and detail is of another level compared to the old setup. Somehow though, I prefer the overal sound of the PA20/DAX so if I could turn the clock back, I probably wouldn't buy the DPA. Having said that though, I thought the DPA was FAR superior to the AV32SP for 2 channel... Best thing to do though as always is to have a listen before you decide.....
     
  3. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    And therein lies the problem. I don't think there are any dealers in London with the equipment in stock, let alone on demonstration.

    So even using the T2L link, you prefer the sound of the dac+pre. Interesting. Was the DPA detail really on "another level"? Why did prefer the "old" sound anyway? Any technical reason why that might be? Better DACs maybe?

    Really surprised the unit isn't mentioned on the TMA website. How come it was overlooked :confused:

    Thanks for your input, Pete, it is greatly appreciated.

    DT
     
  4. MartinFXDX

    MartinFXDX
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    Hi,

    Until recently I had both the DAC 20 with a PA20 and the DPA32. I partnered both with first a CDT and then a DVD32R.

    To me the DPA sounded much better than the DAC20. Without the timing link there was less to choose between the PA20/DAC20 combo and the DPA unit but once the link was in place the detail and "shape" of the music snapped into focus. It does sound leaner though. But also cleaner. Depends on the type of sound you like I guess.

    I sold my DAC 20.

    A further improvement was achieved by having the 192 DAC upgrade to the DPA unit. To me, with this fitted and using the link the sound is in another league. But as I said, it depends on what you personally like.

    I don't think that the DPA was ever a big seller as most people went for the AV32R. With the 192 DAC upgrade (for earlier AV32R models) there isn't a big difference between the DPA and AV units. For stereo and especially in conjunction with the PPA20 phono stage I prefer the DPA.

    Hope this is of some help.

    MartinFXDX
     
  5. Polecatpete

    Polecatpete
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    I prefured the pre/dac option for two reasons. The first was because I felt it sounded a little warmer to my ears (but some may disagree) and the 2nd reason is that the DPA really does show up a poor recording. Now that's definately not a criticism of the DPA as it shows just how good it is but for the majority of my cd's, it does them no favours!

    The DPA is definately much more detailed and I would stick by what I said about "another level". With a good recording it is stunning. You can also for some reason, run it a lot louder than the PA20.... There really are a lot of plus points for getting the DPA.

    The DPA was originally listed on the IAG site when they first got it up and running but a few weeks later it was removed. I did ask IAG at the time why the DPA wasn't listed and was told it was in the process of being added to the site.... So, quite why they told me that I don't know (well I could guess!) but regardless of that, it is a great shame if I'm correct and it has been dropped from the line up.
     
  6. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Once again, thanks for your replies.

    Martin, I am not using (and very much doubt I will ever use) a T2L enabled transport, so the potential benefits/improvements offered with this connection are not my primary concern.

    I like "lean & clean", but not sterile (a la Cyrus - the choice of operating theatres around the world :laugh: ) I would expect the DPA to have the signature TMA sound - which I like to describe as "gentlemanly & quietly confident"!

    I am quite keen to give the DPA a go. If one turns up in the classifieds or ex-dem, I'll probably be tempted to give it a whirl.

    How much was the 192 dac upgrade, martin? Was it worth the money?

    DT
     
  7. MartinFXDX

    MartinFXDX
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    Hi DT,

    The sound is certainly not sterile. Nor warm and fuzzy. Better with T2L but very good without it. From memory it sounded a touch "warmer" but with a bit less focus. If yopu are that interseted I can unplug the T2L link this weekend and see!

    Sorry but I can't remember how much the 192 conversion cost (and it's prob different now anyway) but I was impressed with the difference and remember thinking that that it was well worth the money. Of course if you find a later DPA unit it will already have the 192 DAC.

    Another useful (for some) feature of the DPA is that it can pass analogue signals through without converting them to digital as well as converting analogue signals to 96kHz/20bit digital and outputting in that format for digital recording.

    I still use the DPA for stereo playback and an AV32R for cinema duties. Both with the DVD32R transport.

    As you can see I may not be a impartial witness for the DPA! I think it's probably the most under-rated TAG product. But then the PPA20 phono stage is also under-rated. Especially good if you can pick one up cheap :)

    Happy hunting

    Martin
     
  8. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Great, thanks for the info, Martin :smashin:

    It would be really nice to be able to read the white paper & instruction manual for the DPA32r. I don't even know about the most basic features of this unit (like analogue by-pass).

    Request to forum moderator/ex-TMA folk - can I download this material anywhere???

    DT

    I've heard the PPA20 is very good. I recently invested in an analogue front-end (thought I'd give it a go, after reading all the hype - amazed with the results btw :eek: ).

    The dealer offered me a phono stage with it, at a very reasonable price, so I went for it. The only thing putting me off, is the sheer size of the PPA20 - its a monster compared to those dinky little Ear/Dino/Slee amps!
     
  9. Spenny

    Spenny
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    DT

    I have a DPA32R in its 192/24 version with two Audiolab 8000P Bi-amping my speakers (AVI Positrons), it sounds fantastic!!!

    I have a the instruction manual in PDF format if you want PM I'll send you it.

    Regards.

    Spenny
     
  10. JohnMulcahy

    JohnMulcahy
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    Attached is the technical paper on DPA32R - was written before the 192k DAC upgrade came along.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Superb, thanks for that, John.

    And thanks again for the manual, Spenny.
     

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