1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

dpa 32r question

Discussion in 'TAG McLaren Audio Owners' Forum' started by real batman, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. real batman

    real batman
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    this may seem a silly question but can the dac in the dpa 32r be bypassed? for instance if i upgrade my cd player to a , to say ,a wadia 302 would the signal just sound the same as my cd20r after its gone through the dac? and also do transports on thier own make much difference to the sound ? thoughts please chaps. cheers the batman
     
  2. liam_b

    liam_b
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    390
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Wilds of north Leicestershire
    Ratings:
    +25
    The DPA32 doesn't work like the AV32, the analog inputs are NOT taken from the digitised out instead the analog inputs are fed via relay to the analog volume control and output buffer section, they don't use the DAC at all. Digital inputs obviously use the DAC chip and then through the analog output.

    So if you prefer to use the DAC in a digital player just use its analog outputs via the analog section of the DPA32 and the DPA32 DAC will never be involved.
     
  3. Kevinc

    Kevinc
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    97
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +11
    Re Wadia, after the change of TAG ownership last year and with the well documented problems US TAG owners such as myself had experienced even while TAG was up and running, I decided that the time had finally come to stop waiting and upgrade my Stereo system from my then Audiolab 8000CDM transport and TAG DAC20 to something made and supported in the US. I auditioned the Levinson 390s ($6750) and also Wadia 861SE ($9950) as well as current British offerings from Meridian and NAIM and other US lit such as Ayre for reference. At the dealer's, using my B&W 802N speakers and a similar setup, I fell in love with the Wadia 861SE which we could reliably A/B/X tell from everything else, irrespective of what recordings we listened to. I really disliked the Levinson. A Meridian 808 was not available, but the Meridian Gs were very dull relative to the Wadia and the NAIM combo was lacking in resolution. Excitedly, we borrowed the Wadia and took it home where we A/B/Xd it against my old combo. We were shocked to find that we could only tell them apart around 50% of the time overall (interestingly whether we could or not seemed to be dependent on the recording we listened to. Frequently we preferred the old combo to the Wadia.). This was the case even when we compared the Audiolab/TAG combo into the Musical Fidelity A3 pre-amp vs the Wadia direct into the balanced inputs of my Bryston amp using the Wadia's digital volume control (at high levels to avoid digital degradation). We matched levels using a sound meter and test disc. Although extended listening over 5 days suggested subjectively that I preferred the Wadia, the difference was, to my ears, overall shockingly small, tho on a few recordings the Wadia sounded gorgeous. I further experimented by running the Wadia as a transport into the TAG DAC and the Audiolab transport into the Wadia as DAC. This was equally confusing, but the Wadia as transport clearly gave better results than the Audiolab (it should do! the Wadia has the state of the art TEAC VRDS mechanism, while the 8000CDM used the old Philips CDM 9pro mechanism), while the two DACs seemed indistinguishable. I sent the demo Wadia back - there was no point paying $10,000 for that!

    It seemed to me from memory of listening to the DVD32R into the DPA32R with 96k DAC in London a few years ago that the TAG updated equipment had definitely been better than my existing combo, and fortunately at this point the recent TAG sell-off intervened, so I decided that the cost for TAG was now relatively low risk enough to buy out here in California, so I grabbed a DVD32FLR+PSM and AV32Rbp 192 (Single processor sadly) unheard. When they arrived I switched on with low expectations but my jaw dropped when I heard the improvement vs the old combo. To my unreliable memory the 192k DACs made a big difference vs the 96k I heard a few years ago. Whatever: the difference vs the old was/is huge, and I am certain that this combo is significantly better than the Wadia 861SE. The Audiolab/TAG/Musical Fidelity combo is now all history on eBay.

    I have suggested to my dealer that he brings the Wadia around for a head to head shootout... and I am, once again, a true TAG believer and (partnered with my speakers and amp) can't think of anything else under $10,000 I'd rather own (above $10,000 maybe a full dCs stack? maybe the Wadia two-box combo? maybe the TEAC Esoteric two box combo?).

    Anyway, sorry for the lengthy post, but the upshot is based on this I am not convinced that the DAC in any of the one-box Wadias is likely to represent an upgrade vs your DPA if it has 192k DACs. You would need to audition carefully vs alternatives. The VRDS transport in the 861SE is quite something and may or may not give better results than the CD20R you are using as a transport: in my testing the best sound was Wadia (transport) + Wadia (DAC); then Audiolab + TAG; then Wadia + TAG; then Audiolab + Wadia: this suggests that mixing makes is not a great idea, especially if it is costing you the ability to sync link. If you picked up a cheap DVD32FLR (isn't there a demo one going on eBay for GBP600 today?) or CDT20R-T2L you could use the sync link and get the full effect of your DPA: have you tried that? Anyway, at the end of the day, your ears have to make the decision...

    good luck
    Kevin
     
  4. real batman

    real batman
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    thanks guys got all the answers i need there, kevin , your post was just what i wanted to hear :smashin: .sometimes you just need to be told how good the tag stuff is and how it compares with others . and also no i haven,t heard the cd20r transport with tl and yes the dac is 192 also mate heres another one for you how was the av32 compared to the dp32 ? any experience? cheers Batman
     
  5. Kevinc

    Kevinc
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    97
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +11
    Batman, I have only heard the DPA32R and the AV32R head to head once, in 2000 I think, in Harveys in Manhattan (a large high end dealer where, like most other US supposed TAG dealers of the period, they kept the two items locked away in a closet gathering dust, didn't carry any other TAG equipment whatsoever, and when I asked to audition them did everything possible to convince me that all US brands were vastly superior). At the time they were both 96k DACs. Listening with a Levinson transport and Martin Logan speakers I convinced myself that the DPA was (as I expected for stereo) marginally better, but I didn't have the opportunity to ABX test. Based on that, I persuaded Buzz from TAG US to ship me a demo AV32R to trial against my existing DAC20 in home (he didn't have a demo DPA). I was not greatly compelled by the AV32R96k vs the DAC20 (probably because I was unable to use the sync link and hence not getting the best out of I suspect), so I decided to hold off upgrading. Later I auditioned the DVD32R and DPA in London and was very impressed but by then TAG had essentially no US dealers or support and based on the horror stories I was reading on the TAG forum at the time about shipping experiences and reliability issues with the DVD32R I decided I could not really risk $10000+ on importing the pair, so I decided to run my existing pieces for a few more years.

    Anyway, though it's a long time ago, I did give the edge to the DPA vs AV32R with like-for-like DACs, but only at the absolute margin. However, based on the feedback on this forum I would now guess that the AV32R with dual processor and TMREQ is a good step up from either the DPA or the single processor AV32R...

    Finally, just to be clear I do not wish to disparage Wadia in any way - I have huge respect for the brand and am delighted that they continue to produce high quality digital stereo equipment. However, they have been through difficult times and many changes of ownership and structure themselves in recent years, and as a private company I have no idea how much money is actually going into development any more. It may be that the 861SE is not quite the step forward internally that you would hope to justify its step up in price over the regular 861 or 861b. It sounded to me more like an update of the 861, which should just have been priced as a simple replacement, rather than some kind of next step up justifying higher pricing. Unfortunately however we in the US are always attracted to more horse power, cylinders, weight etc and the addition of SE badging and a higher price may indeed be working for them. If so, good luck to them - a flick through the pages of Stereophile magazine or a visit to the Home Entertainment show demonstrates just how difficult the two channel market has become here: it's now the domain of hand built tube amps with toggle switches and very questionable measurements which must generate amazing margins but only sell two or three a year. By comparison, the Wadia 861SE is built like a tank (if only the DVD32FLR felt as solid!) and is clearly based on solid science and good engineering. Wadia have also kept to their promises about upgrades - you can always ship it back to them and get them to upgrade the DACs etc when they update a piece. That's great for someone living in the US like me. So here's hoping that Wadia finds the money to produce a totally updated no holds barred stereo design at some point that I can aspire to long before my TAG kit wears out!

    Kevin
     
  6. real batman

    real batman
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    thanks kev
     
  7. Inotrope

    Inotrope
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Messages:
    680
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Ratings:
    +39
    I have a DPA32R and a AV32R BP dp, and prefer the DPA for 2-channel againsted the NON-TMREQ AV32R. (using both CDT 20R and DVD32R).
    However, a recent house move means I'll be setting the AV32R up and TMREQ'ing so this may change!
    Principally i found that the AV32R didn't handle the bass as well as the DPA, (for which TMREQ is obviously the solution), so I am excited to hear it (when the paint dries in the listening room...).

    Between the CDT20R and the DVD32R FLR, I prefer the CD transport, although sonic differences are subtle.

    I would be interested to hear any other views on this same subject!
     
  8. eisenach

    eisenach
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    191
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Herefordshire
    Ratings:
    +7
    I've recently changed my Audiolab 8000CD for a TAG CDT20RT2L. Although based around the same transport, the difference in the sound I hear is huge - the transport's much better than the player. I'm not sure how much better the CD20R is than the 8000CD, but I suspect you'll hear things better with a dedicated transport.
     

Share This Page

Loading...