1. Join Now

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

Tag Mclaren DAC20

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by overkill, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. overkill

    overkill
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,778
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Murkeyside
    Ratings:
    +1,194
    Seen one on ebay for a reasonable price. Tempted. However, ive seen a mixed bag of reviews. The critics rave over it but some of(well, quite a lot actually!) the consumer reviews are less kind!! Comments like; harsh, sterile, overpriced (a lot of those), great stereo but not great music, etc.

    What do you guys think?

    Any comments appreciated.
     
  2. sceptic

    sceptic
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    663
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Bridgend
    Ratings:
    +19
    I tried it with a Marantz cd6000KI and a Marantz stereo amp (can't remember the model but its rrp was £600) and it didn't make the slightest difference to the sound.
    I thought it might be my hearing but several friends did blind tests and couldn't discern any difference at all.
    I'd try to audition this before buying.
     
  3. michaelab

    michaelab
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    528
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Lisbon
    Ratings:
    +10
    I had one before my DAC64 and it was very good. Used it with my very old Marantz CD50SE as a transport and the difference was a huge improvement. Previous to getting the DAC64 it was the single biggest improvement I'd ever heard in my system. A bigger improvement than when I upgraded my Tannoy mx3s to Dynaudio Contour 1.3MkIIs :eek:

    For it's new price (£1200 or so) it was too expensive, especially as Tag had basically just taken the Audiolab DAC, rebadged it and whacked up the price by £400 :rolleyes:

    For the used price now (about £300-£400) they are a bargain and would be a significant upgrade to most sub £1K CDPs. They respond well to mains treatments and quality cables aswell. The improvement I got on the DAC20 by sticking a Eupen GNLM 05/2.5 mains cable on it was pretty astonishing.

    sceptic has mentioned using the Marantz 6000KI with it and not hearing a difference. He's not alone. The trouble there is that the nearly all recent Marantz CDPs have a digital output that sucks so if you're using a recent Marantz CDP as a transport it would be worth auditioning first (it's worth it anyway but especially in this case).

    What ever you do don't pay more than £400 for one. When Tag had it's little restructuring debacle not long ago they flogged of their remaining stock of brand new DAC20s for £400 each ;)

    Michael.
     
  4. CJROSS

    CJROSS
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2000
    Messages:
    5,072
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +343
    Overkill Im not being in the slightest bit facetious here but this is something you wrote last week in a thread concerning DACs on this forum, now I have a lot of experience (well opinion) on this very DAC above and I would hate to think Im giving forceful statements about it, that would not be my intention. I know you don’t really rate reviews but ti good sometime to read what a reviewer is saying even if your treating it with a huge pinch of salt (as I do) :

    http://www.tagmclaren.com/products/cds/sub_frame.asp?page=dac20&heading=200
    http://www.tagmclaren.com/products/reviews/reviewf.asp?prod=dac20&heading=155&readin=english
    http://www.tagmclaren.com/products/diagram.asp?prod=dac20&readin=english
    http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_print.asp?ID=2236
    http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_print.asp?ID=62

    You will note that all of the above have the DAC 20 used off its CD20T, and this is by all accounts is the perfect marriage for those intent on wringing out every last ounce of performance from the DAC with its XLR/AES connection, again the DAC 20 is thought of very highly by many others using BNC connections, I very lucky in that Im happy with what it can do in RCA mode. For £300 this DAC is a wonderful piece of kit, at its new rrp of £1249 it was over priced IMHO by £450, this rrp that Tag set on it reflects these days on opinion of the unit, as a £800 DAC available now between £300-350 second hand it’s a bargain, especially counting the number of inputs & outputs, and the quality of the digital inputs. Im not going to say what I think about it soundwise suffice to say that it will remain in my system for the immediate future – people can tell you what they think nothing wrong with that but we are vastly different, Ive heard a Marantz Cd 6000 KI and think I can tell a big difference, I know many audiophiles who subscribe to hearing huge differences with ICs I don’t aso were a disparate bunch, funnily enough I have heard another person saying they noticed no diff with a 6000 KI CDP & a DAC 20, conversely quite a few people use DAC 20s off all mnaner of Marantz player on the HFC forum, I have also heard another forum user here using one of a sony NSV-900 and hearing no difference whatsoever, which is also funny when I loaned this very DAC to a friend with the same Sony SACD/DVD player, it convinced him to buy a TAG AV32R (albeit another step up from the DAC 20 in quality) to act as a DAC/Pre amp in his system.

    One things that unfortunate about 2nd hand DACs is that you cant demo them, Ive bought 2 in my time and liked them both fully intending to sell on if I did not. One thing I will also say that I use this DAC off more than just redbook CD (including loads of HDCDs), DVD-V both music & film, Minidsic & Freeview Digital Radio (Higher bit rates than DAB FWIW). At the second hand prices this unit goes for it’s a steal as is a MF A3.24 at £400 BTW, what they both sound like well that could as different as say a DAC 20 or CD 6000 KI or as similar as a ….

    Michael is write dont pay anymore than £400 for one.

    ATB
     
  5. overkill

    overkill
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,778
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Murkeyside
    Ratings:
    +1,194
    Thanks all, esp Michaelab! Seen those comments on the DAC20 somehere else? Another forum i think..................

    CJcross, i stick by the prior comments. They were made on the basis of reading too many reviews which contradicted my own, and other members of the hi-fi trade fraternity's experiences, with the kit, in the flesh. Nothing personal intended.

    However, they ARE moderatly useful if you're going in blind. After that it's really up to you. I find consumer reviews far more helpful (in my frail dotage) as real world aspects that reviewers never allow to intrude on their "ivory towers" come into play. In that respect they can really help when buying 2nd hand.


    Thanks anyway for the links!!!!:D
     

Share This Page

Loading...