External DAC to improve on AV9 internals

Magic Beans

Active Member
Bit special out today :cool:

I've had my AV9 for about a couple of months or so now and am very very happy with the performance improvements over the old Onkyo :thumbsup:

One of my key reasons for upgrading was to improve stereo playback, which has been achieved and made even better by the Boulder upgraded SB3. I'm got the SB3 outputting using the coax connection to the Av9, as it's one of the areas which was upgraded by Boulder. However the reading i've done suggests that the digital aspect of the AV9 isn't it's strong point and that the analogue is where the action is.

It's a shame to not utilise the digital upgrades in the SB3, so am looking for an external DAC which will be an upgrade over feeding directly to the AV9. I've heard good things about the Beresfords and the CA DacMagic. However should i be looking at something better to get the performance increase i'm looking for?

Thoughts welcomed as always :smashin:
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I don't think you'll find a stereo DAC at £300, even used, that betters the performance of the AV9's internal stereo DAC (a 24-bit 96kHz Wolfson WM8740).

In any case when you do decide to try something, make sure you can borrow it to permit a proper comparison at home.
 
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Magic Beans

Active Member
I don't think you'll find a stereo DAC at £300, even used, that betters the performance of the AV9's internal stereo DAC (a 24-bit 96kHz Wolfson WM8740).

In any case when you do decide to try something, make sure you can borrow it to permit a proper comparison at home.

I guess i'll be digging a little deeper then. What kind of thing should i be looking at?
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
The CA DACMagic is way better than the AV8 DAC and no doubt the AV9 DAC. This particular unit I have put up against the Weiss, naim, naim with XPS, the Bryston and the TRoN.

Don't get me wrong the CADM is not better than the high end DAC's but not sufficiently so for me to shell out between £2 an £5k to replace..... none were must have....

In many cases I could hear the increase in resolution but they added nothing musically to the CADM.
 

Magic Beans

Active Member
It is the one that's caught my eye.

Is the upsampling done automatically? If not, have you noticed a difference between the standard and upsampled feeds?
 

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