it's uterly crazy what little gains we think are value for money. I'm still swayed by the knowledge that it's an additional £500 for ultimately a more musical box that delivers in everymans terms as a barely noticeable smidgen of detail and smoothnes
I think you would've always had that smidgeon in your mind if you'd gone with the M-DAC.
When I relistened to my B&W 685 vs my PMC DB1i, there probably wasn't that much difference, but that little bit meant a world of difference to me. I think you mentioned in your other thread that you might wait and see what Roksan comes out with and wait for the NADs to turn up 2nd hand, which sounds like a wise way of getting some perspective, but nowhere near as thrilling as an impulse purchase.
Observe the signature in its natural habitat.
My post was perhaps a bit ambiguous - the M-DAC is staying, the Chord is going home. The dacmagic will be up for sale, assuming I decide to keep the M-DAC and not it. I decided to wait a while; new DACs are streaming onto the market right now....
JRiver MC17 -> Cambridge Audio DACmagic+ -> Roksan Caspian M2 -> ProAc D18
Apologies if I have posted twice, so the qute has gone, do you think you would have kept it if you didn't know about the upcoming Roksan's ?
How are you finding the mdac, did you ever try the Rega, I found little between them going through the Caspian.
From what I see here I think the Rega seems to work better with other rega components so may be the synergy between components.
I have to say my previous experience with Audiolab is finding detail above musicality, whatever that means, so was suprised it was the one I prefered, I thought it would have been the MF !
I am not buying until next month so still looking, did you ever consider trying the Benchmark USB Dac ?
Have fun, at least until you get the urge again, should add quietly if you ever tried a Sneaky ?
Roksan Caspian M2 cd/amp ; Proac Studio 140 Mk 2
Ariston RD11s SME 111 AT95e Rega Fono MiniA2D Arcam Alpha 9 B&W CDM1NT
Steve, what is the downside of the M-Dac?
Amp: Leema Pulse; Source: Naim CD5i-2, Denon 260MKII, Pro-ject XP I; Speakers: PMC TB2i
Formerly known as plastic penguin
This is exactly how I feel about it:
I have to say my previous experience with Audiolab is finding detail above musicality
It sounds very "hi-fi" but it's not very foot tapping. TBH, I'm not even sure I prefer it over the Dacmagic which seems to work well in my system. The issue is a lack of focus to the soundstage. The instruments and voices are there, but it's like looking through periferal vision.
Shanka, no I would not have kept it - I'd rather the NAD (even though my ears tell me the Caspian sounds more to my taste in my lounge). Partly because there are compromises with the Qute - single inputs for a start, and te USB hums with a ground loop. The NAD on the other hand can fit everything in and some, and it's deathly silent when it's supposed to be.
should add quietly if you ever tried a Sneaky ?
Damn, I'm sussed!
Yes, I am planning to try the integrated steamer DAC route next. On the basis that I've not heard a negative comment over the Linn DS range then it's the obvious thing to do.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
Interesting discussion. Could you audition the chord QBD76 in comparison to the other days you have tried. It would be informative to hear your views having listened to these various dacs in your home listening environment.
Amp, ATC P1, ATC CDA2, ATC SCM40, Chord QBD76 DAC, Sonos ZP90. 2 x Sonos Play 5. Sony Bravia 40" LCD, Sony S363 BDP, Sony 500GB DVD recorder, Pioneer VSX-920 AV. Monitor Audio Radius HD, 270HD, 225HD 90HD. Monitor Audio GSW-12 Subwoofer. iPad 2.
Mark, I listened to the QBD76 in a dealer demo, not at home. No chance now of that heppening TBH. It was good mind you, as I posted elsewhere, but I would not buy it.
If you are looking at streamers try MF Clic, from what I have listened to so far would be my choice if thats what I was gonna do.
However I will add last night I was listening to my SBT, first time had a proper listen and was comparing it with my cd player, there wasn't a lot in it which is staggering.
The price difference of £1200 and the Caspian knocked spots over every other cd player I listened too, no contest.
Will be doing a few little tests over the weekend but the quality of the SBT is incredible esp. at the price, I am a convert.
Good Luck with the search Steve, I have a NAD C370 turning up today, will be looking to see how it compares with my Alpha 9 which I love, FIGHT !!!
If you don't like the NAD then you can use it to heat your house, and still have some power spare.
If you can, then demo the NAD C390DD - I'd be keen to hear your thoughts. I think Andrew reviews if for WHF in the next edition (according to the NAD website anyway...) Unsurprisingly it gets a glowing review. I'm going to wait now until Roksan launches a similar power DAC+amp system comparable to the NAD and then stikc them in a room together until one emereges the winner.
I think this is good advice.
Maybe should be a new thread but was wondering if Steve or anyone had any updates on the Roksan DAC.
I am holding off on the Mdac at present but gonna start ripping my cd's tomorrow with the new ripper and will start with just using the sbt but know I will want them going through a dac soon.
Nothing new to report I'm afraid. I would be surprised to se anything this side of Easter to be honest, but like you I am waiting patiently. I'm going down the impulse buy route (yeah really!) and will grab the M2 pre + power combintaion when (if?) it's launched, even for the 2 x 150W of M Power, let alone an onboard DAC.
Rihgt now though, I am keeping the damagic plus. I find it's almost everything that WHF thought it wasn't. It's weakness is it's not the most subtle tonally, nor the most detailed, but its got a huge soundstage and rocks the hell out of my system (my interpretation of PRAT). If the onboard DAC is at least as good (and I expect it to be better) then it's going to be one heck of an amp system, hopefully evetrything thatthe Cyrus 8xpd series isn't*
* for me. YMMV of course.
Thanks for the update, I am guessing their DAC won't be less than £1k , I am going to try and get a dacmagic plus to borrow and the Mdac, they both have the connectivity I would like and see how they compare.
I now have my NAS ripper and am keen to start streaming which I will use the SBT for to begin with so am eager to get the dac, I keep hunting for a cheap M1 Clic but no joy as yet.
The Qute didn't have the connectivity I needed, the only other consideration is the Nad M51 (I think) but a bit pricey for me,have also discounted now the Linn and naim options as do want to run AV through the dac as well.
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