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Music Fidelity A324 192 DAC

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Hawklord, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    I have found a dealer up north that is selling this dac for around £600. Is this a good deal and would it be ok to use in conjunction with my cd72t (as transport).
    Would it give me a comparable performance increase over an upgrade to the arcam cd93t which would cost £550?

    any help appreciated
     
  2. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    From a dealer yes IMHO. That’s a 25% discount not bad, and I would assume with a 12 month warranty ? FWIW I have seen these DACs sell for between £425-550 for private users so that’s a good deal to me. There is a private here for £550 BTW and a dealer on for £599 on the same site.

    http://www.adverts.hififorsale.com/results.asp?dbfield=All&dbsearch=A3.24

    Your CD72 has a RCA SPDIF output on it I believe, the A3.24 MF DAC also has a RCA SPDIF input on it so I think it will be perfectly alright to use. I know one of the DAC users over on HFC used a CD82T as his transport into this very DAC and was pleased with the playback, he has since went onto a Trivista running off the same CD player as transport. I personally think bolting on a £800 DAC to your CD72 is going to take you well into the next level of digital replay ie £1000 & above.

    Good luck
     
  3. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    Would I be able to use my Sony dvp ns900v as transport or would the cd72t be a better transport? I'd like to have as few boxes as possible and being able to sell the arcam would help towards the cost too.
    If keeping the arcam is the way to go so be it :)
     
  4. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Personally I would be using the Sony NSV900 but hey thats just me !! For a number of reasons :

    Ive never heard much difference with transports off decent DACs like the one your thinking of.
    DVD-V music via the DAC is a bonus
    Selling your CD72 will partly fund the DAC
    One less transport to worry about packing in.

    These are purely personal opinions to me though Hlord. FWIW I have heard a NSV900 fired into my old MF X-24K DAC and it sounded pretty damn fire to me. Much better than the £500 CD territory , the A3.24 is another step up the ladder from there.
     
  5. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    Just emailed audio-t Basingstoke to see what they can offer me:-

    purchased some Linn Ninka's from yourselves some months ago to complement my Arcam CD72T and Arcam A75+ Integrated amplifier for music play back. Although I'm fairly happy with the sound I currently get with this current set up I'm in a position to upgrade to the next level. I have a budget of up to around £700 to spend on improving my kit and since my speakers are not being used to their full potential I feel I do not need to upgrade these at this time. They also have an upgrade path via bi-amping and eventually made to become active via cross over cards etc.
    The next logical step is to upgrade my cd player and/or amplifier. I'm in several minds about how to go about upgrading my cdp. I could upgrade from the CD72 to CD82 for £200 or CD93 for £550 (as per Arcam), buy a Music Fidelity A324 192 DAC or similar for around £600 (price I've found on the internet) or buy a new cd player altogether. With regard to the amp I currently own (A75+) this seems to drive the Ninka's effortlessly (Currently bi-wired) but could be improved upon by either getting an additional power amp (like the p75) for bi-amping or selling and getting a A85+ or similar specked alternative.
    These are just the options I've managed to come up with and would like some guidance and advice on which direction would give me the best performance increase for the outlay. I'm open to any suggestions that fit into my budget and I'm prepared to go ex dem and second hand to make my budget stretch further. I'm on holiday Friday and would be able to come to your premises for an audition of any likely candidates your feel suitable. Would you be able to offer and audition with a similar set up as to my own or would you allow a home trial of some kit?


    Hopefully they may be able to help. The only way I'm gonna know what the benefits are is to go listen:)
     
  6. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    What is dvd-v music?
    I'm familiar with cd, sacd, dvd-a and hdcd but not the above?
     
  7. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    DVD-V Music is any DVD-V disc that has music content and includes various audio tracks from stereo to 5.1 surround, Dolby Digital to DTS. Quite a few bands have their “video” collections on DVD-V but the real highlight of DVD-V music is actually live concert events, these can be either enjoyed in stereo format via a hifi system or 5.1 format in either DD or DTS from a AV 5.1 surround setup. The reasons I mentioned it Hlord is that I use my DV-V player via my hifi setup for movies as well, even when there is not a stereo track on DVD my DVD player still can send out a 5.1 mix and when it arrives at my DAC it is “downmixed” into stereo, I even find DD 5.1 mixes sound very musical when processed in this fashion and played out thru a stereo system. But in a lot of cases there is actually a Linear 16/24/48Khz PCM stereo track on these “music” DVD-V, some of these sound truly stunning in stereo, I have included some below that I own and would reccomend, but my collection is huge for DVD-Vs with live music content, think about some of the benefits of these discs : they are generally on a par (or IMHO better quality) than the CD comparison, you generally get 15-25 tracks on each disc, they contain extras, they have multiple audio tracks ie stereo or 5.1 surround. They sound absolutely stunning and in a lot of cases cost pennies (for example Fleetwood Mac : The Dance Live : £9.99 Play, George Benson : Absolutely Live : £11.99 Play.) But most of all when you have a 48Khz capable stereo DAC & a DVD-V transport the effect in stereo well is awesome IME. I have sort of gone off buying CDs TBH these make so much more sense in that they have :excellent stereo ability, and are 5.1 capable if you want surround as well (ie now or future).

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...2274/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_11_1/202-2697339-0992632 David Gilmour : 24 Bit 48Khz Linear PCM Stereo, DD 5.1

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...2338/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_11_1/202-2697339-0992632 Peter Gabriel, DD 2.0, DD 5.1 & DTS 5.1

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...2426/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_10_2/202-2697339-0992632 Lauryn Hill : 16/48Khz Linear PCM Stereo, DD 5.1

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...2473/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_11_1/202-2697339-0992632 U2 Live Slane Castle : 16/48Khz LPCM Stereo, DD 5.1 & DTS 5.1

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...2575/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_11_1/202-2697339-0992632 Fleetwood Mac Live : a “flipper” with 16/48 LPCM stereo on one side & DD 5.1 on the other

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...2594/sr=2-2/ref=sr_2_11_2/202-2697339-0992632 Neil Finn Live : 16/48 LPCM Stereo & DD 5.1

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...5315/sr=2-2/ref=sr_2_11_2/202-2697339-0992632 George Benson Live : DD 5.1 & DTS 5.1 (wonderful downmxied to stereo IMHO)

    http://www.play.com/play247.asp?page=front&r=R2
    Under Search : Music DVD Title / Music DVD Artist
     
  8. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    Booked an audition with audio-t for tomorrow 10 am.
    Going to listen to the usual suspects cyrus, rega, cd82t, cd93t and they also have the Naim CD5i (£825 a bit over budget though). They don't have any DAC's available to have a listen to though which is a shame as I'd like to compare the difference:(
    I'm bound to find something suitable I hope. If I wish to go for a non-Arcam make what could I expect to get for my CD72T? It's only 8 months old and in mint condition. (I was thinking around £275).

    ho hum:smashin:
     
  9. 337GUS

    337GUS
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    Just replied to your other thread, I see now you have a good DVD player so I would seriously consider getting a DAC and selling the 72T for £250-275.

    Dealers are selling ex-dem ones for £300-350.

    Gus
     
  10. mjn

    mjn
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    The A3.24 DAC is a nice bit of kit, use it on my 301 disc CD changer.

    But one of the advantages, is that it has a co-axial pass thru, so you can attach your DVD player, with 1 lead, for both DVD and CD.
     
  11. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    Just to keep you posted I started another thread on auditioning cd's. If you haven't seen the end result then this is what I ended up with :) :-

    Just got back from a good auditioning session with my wallet £825 lighter lol.
    Listened to a cyrus cd8 (with and without power supply bit), Arcam CD82T and CD93T, Rega Jupiter, Naim CD5i and a few others I can't remember tha names of
    They used a similar set up to my home kit (Arcam A80 amp and Linn Katans (they didn't have Ninka's but are a similar tonal match)) and I took along the best of the cure, best of Chili Peppers and Echo and the bunny men Songs to Learn and Sing for comparison.
    First off I listenend to the upgrade path Arcam have on offer starting with the CD82 then the CD93. I noticed an imediate improvement with the cd82 over my cd72 but was less noticable between the cd82 and cd93. The sound was more detailed , transparent and neutral as you would expect with the Arcam sound (which is what I'm used to). I initially bought my arcam kit when I had some B&W 602 S3's which did a good job of taming the bright sound they had and complemented the B&W's admirably.
    Since purchasing my Linn Ninka's which are more relaxed in their presentation (imo) I thought it'd be very interesting to see what other manufacturers had to offer and see what character they could add to these speakers. I feel I was looking for something more dynamic and warm if you get what I mean
    I then compared the Cyrus cd8, Rega Jupiter, naim CD5i and a couple of others using the CD93t as a bench mark to beat (if possible).
    All were very impressive and comparable to the cd93t just different in the way the sound was presented. I got this list down to three being the CD93t, Cyrus cd8 and Naim Cd5i.
    I prefered the sound of the cyrus best of all with the Naim coming a very close second. They seem to offer more warmth and feeling to my choice in music making the Arcam seem more clinical and a tad lifeless in comparison. The music seemed to sound more enegetic and emotional with the cyrus and naim.
    The next step was purely a matter of money I'm afraid so I ended up purchasing the Naim CD5i purely as it seemed to offer more value for money at £825. The cyrus would've been my choice given I had the extra funds but never mind I'm sure the Naim is a wonderfull compromise.
    Just to rub salt in the wounds the demo guy brought out the next level up Naim (the cdx2 I think). This completely blew my socks off but I nearly fell of my chair when he told me the cost (£2600). He did offer a good finance package but I didn't take the bait lol.

    Sorry if my experience of this audition is not very descriptive but I find it hard describing what I'm hearing

    so I'm soon to be a proud owner of a Naim CD5i and will have to sell my CD72t at the earliest opportunity.

    thanks for the pointers and help people
     

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