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What's a good stereo DAC for TV listening?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by NicolasB, Jul 4, 2004.

  1. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I've no idea whether a product like this actually exists, but, if it does, it'd be interesting to know about. :)

    If it exists, it would have the following characteristics:

    1) It's a stand-alone stereo DAC, with a line-level output. (Pre-amplifier capabilities might be useful, but are not necessary).
    2) It'd have to sound better than my Bryston SP1.7 does in stereo.
    3) It has to suitable for TV viewing with headphones.
    4) Price of not too much over £1000 second hand.

    My SP1.7 sounds pretty good, but it doesn't have a full-scale jitter removal device, so high-jitter PCM sources don't always sound that great. To sound better, a DAC would probably have to buffer and re-clock the signal (e.g. by upsampling to 96 kHz).

    But, and this is the tricky part, if it's to be used for watching TV, it would have to do this without a perceptible delay. Something like the Chord DAC 64 (which I'm sure sounds fabulous for music) buffers the signal for anything up to 4 seconds before producing sound output. That would lead to a 4-second time-lag between video and audio, which would be... well, not good!

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. chrisgeary

    chrisgeary
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    what about a Meridian 518?
     
  3. VirusKiller

    VirusKiller
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    In conjunction with a DAC of course :devil:

    I finally completed my Meridian 500 series set up and have my Pioneer Freeview box --> 518 --> 566 --> 551. Sounds great.

    If you're interested, the chap who sold me his 566 this weekend also has a 518 to sell...

    Cheers,
    Joel

    Edit: Forgot to mention, no significant delay.
     
  4. chrisgeary

    chrisgeary
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    for how much?
     
  5. VirusKiller

    VirusKiller
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    Don't know Chris. I could ask him if I could pass you his email address if you are interested...
     
  6. GaryG

    GaryG
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  7. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    NicB

    I pretty sure you don’t have to have a £1000 DAC to get what you need above, for example I currently use my TAG DAC 20 (stunning to these ears) for CD, DVD-V (5.1 DD downmxied to stereo – surprisingly good on stereo rig, Linear PCM both 16 & 24 bit 48Khz), Minidisc lastly of most interest to you via a Freeview Nokia 221T (situated 10m away via a DIY coaxial cable). There is no time delay whatsoever when Im lsitening to Freeview via my DAC, Now the only thing I cant see above on a DAC 20 is a dedicated headphone socket but what it has (to answer your bullet points above) :

    1) It's a stand-alone stereo DAC, with a line-level output. Tis a wonderful Stereo DAC with all manner of audiophile digital inputs (to keep your audiophile concerns at bay), including : 2 RCA SPDF, 1 BNC, 1 XLR AES 110. But it has very very good quality analogue outputs, 2 sets in fact that are buffered” for very long run IC usage if required ie running to a headphone amp (see point 3)

    2) It'd have to sound better than my Bryston SP1.7 does in stereo. Hmmmm well of course it “old” CD technology so it wont sound as good as that then.

    3) It has to suitable for TV viewing with headphones. My suggestion would be to buy a £100 headphone amp, like the Rega Ear (£120) and use headphone from the DACs anlg outs up to your long runs of cable, short runs to hpamp

    4) Price of not too much over £1000 second hand.They can be picked up for £300-400, but you obviusly know of TAGs, Pre32R & AV32Rs, which can be had for £900-1000, These of course give you pre-amp facilites that may come in handy. Again I would be running to a headphone amplifier with the outputs. The Pre32 & Av32R offer analg inputs from anlg TV if you prefer the sound of Nicam broadcasts to Digital broadcasting

    So in answer to your query I use a DAC 20 and for TV its sounds fantastic (and CD, DVD-V & MD.

    HTHs
     
  8. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Several people are suggesting I buy a headphone amp - I already have a quite nice one (Graham Slee "Solo", 2004 spec) so I have that covered. The trick is getting a good quality analogue signal to feed into it.

    CJROSS, I've not listened to a Tag DAC 20, but unless it's a LOT better than an old AV32R processor it's not going to sound as good as my SP1.7 does. The Dual-SHARC Tag AV32R is, I would say, comparable in quality to the SP1.7, at least in terms of its D/A capabilities. (SP1.7 is a considerably superior pre-amp in bypass mode, while the DS Tag is a long way ahead on feature-count).
     

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