Upgrade from Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital DAC

Menoetius

Active Member
I have just sold my Pre Box S2 Digital and am looking for an upgrade.
I've changed a couple pieces of kit recently, acquiring a Musical Fidelity A3.2cr power amplifier and a pair of PMC OB1 speakers.

The Pro-Ject was purchased for MQA via Tidal but it dropped out a lot. Very frustrating.
So it's gone and I'm looking to replace it with a better piece of kit.
Watched reviews on products by the likes of Topping and Denafrips.

Given the performance of MQA with the Pro-Ject I'm not too concerned about a DAC with MQA.
I just want a good DAC. I can't go into a thousand plus territory but could go to £700 or so for the right item.
I don't mind buying used kit.

My new (used) Musical Fidelity A3.2cr and PMC OB1 combo is excellent and I'd like a DAC to match.
I'd appreciate some advice.

Thank you.
 
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dollag

Well-known Member
do you need streaming capabilities?

There arte many dacs in that price range that are pretty amazing.

if s/h is an option like you said,

RME ADI-2

Chord qutest

Both are as clean as they come and would be where my money goes.

the denafrips ares is also a great r2r dac. maybe my money would go here....

hmm na would defo be the rme. it's just so versatile but as just as happy being turned on and just sitting there decoding away without the gimmicks. it's eq capabilities are none other than extraordinary and has this above the other dacs.
 

Menoetius

Active Member
Hi dollag,

I don't need any streaming capabilities. I wouldn't write off a dac with this abilty but it's not really needed.
Just the best value. And performance for the money
 

dollag

Well-known Member
Hi dollag,

I don't need any streaming capabilities. I wouldn't write off a dac with this abilty but it's not really needed.
Just the best value. And performance for the money


Then from my experience, you be hard pressed to find anything that can touch these three.

rme - eq and flexability

chord - it's a chord dac which says enough but cleaner than dacs 10 times it's price (the rme is too) and changeable filters

ares - r2r - very clean yet natural sounding
 

Menoetius

Active Member
I've never heard an r2r dac.
Watched a few video reviews but never experienced one first hand.
How good are they?
 

3rdignis

Active Member
Audio_Equipment_Reviews
 

Menoetius

Active Member
Audio_Equipment_Reviews .. Thank you 3rdignis.
Anyone here have any first hand experience with the Denafrips Ares ?
 

3rdignis

Active Member

Menoetius

Active Member
I haven't.
It's something I've considered.
But I sold the Pro-Ject yesterday and want a new dac.
Having sold the S2 digital, PC audio coming into my amp is via optical from the TV and it isn't great.
I need a new dac.
 

3rdignis

Active Member
 

dollag

Well-known Member
Audio_Equipment_Reviews .. Thank you 3rdignis.
Anyone here have any first hand experience with the Denafrips Ares ?

yes i had one for a while.

r2r dacs are nothing new, far from it. it's just a different way of decoding a digital signal compared to a delta sigma chip. I wouldnt get too hung up on the difference. that's just my 2 pence.

if you look at @3rdignis link, you will see the rme and chord are amongst the cleanest dacs. r2r's do not measure that well and some people feel the distortion is the reason for it's good sound. a bit like tubes. i dont agree with this as i feel it's clean but generally r2r measurements are a lot worse than DS
 

Menoetius

Active Member
Thanks dollag,

I'll be buying blind, second hand. No demo. Very much a suck it and see situation.
Looks like the Qutest or the RME could be the way forward. I can always relist if it's not for me.
Which one to go for?
Hopefully I will get it right first time.
I'm chuffed to bits with the PMC OB1 and Musical Fidelity A3.2cr purchases recently so I'm hoping for 3 for 3.
What do you reckon?
 

dollag

Well-known Member
I like both but thr RME has so many eq settings that you can really tune your speakers to your room.

I ran a room sweep with REW and had a fairly large peak at around 65hz. I used my RME to drop the peak by a few DB and the boomy peak was gone. I just really like the flexibility with it. I also like the green spectrum analyser :D

as an out and out dac, you really cant go wrong with either. I highly doubt you will be sending either one back.


Here is a comparison from a member on here from @Timbo21
 

Menoetius

Active Member
Thanks so much dollag,

One more question if you don't mind .....
What's the difference, if any, with the Pro FS version I can see for sale at the moment?
Thanks.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
The pro has more functions and is a adc (analogue to digital) converters as much as a dacs. More so designed for the studio. From a sq stand point, I believe they are pretty identical
 

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