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adamrobertshaw's picture
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Integrated DAC vs separate DAC
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I have completely updated the analogue sections of my Cyrus system by adding outboard PSX-R so I'm happy that is working as well as it can withoutngoing down the balanced route

Also i'm happy with the Cyrus sources.

What I would like here is some informed advice on the DAC sections. Currently I have a QX enabled amplifier, so effectively the DAC section is integrated close to the pre-power. I've read that this is preferable to having the DAC separate and connected via RCA for example.

Does everyone agree with this?

I have been considering updating the DAC to something like the Chord Qute HD or maybe even the DAC X signature. Would I gain in cleaner and more precise data conversion but potentially lose out in a longer signal path to the pre-power section?

I'll welcome any input to this query Smile

Main. Stream X Signature, CD T, DAC XP Signature, X Power, 2x PSX-R, PMC twenty.22  Snug. Stream X, Mac Mini, Qute HD, 8XPdQX, X Power, PSX-R, Pathos Aurium / HD800, MA GX50

 

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RE: Integrated DAC vs separate DAC

Isn't the XpdQx Cyrus' top of the range DAC? I very much doubt the Chord would improve on it. It might have a different presentation but I doubt it would actually be better. Is there a problem that you're trying to fix?

adamrobertshaw's picture
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RE: Integrated DAC vs separate DAC

My question was specific to understanding benefits of integrated DAC / pre-amp (such as in the 8xpdQX) vs non integrated DAC and pre-amp

 

The DAC X or (DAC XP integrated with a pre-amp) are the top of the range as they are 32 bit dual mono DACs.

Cyrus never seem to let on what components are being used though.

The QX is a decent DAC card on Coax inputs ... but to my reckoning not so good on USB.

I have the ESS Sabre DAC in two guises both of which knock the spots off the QX card on USB performance. I would therefore never put a computer within my Cyrus based hi-fi system

My hi-fi dealer rates Chord Electronics as the best on D to A conversion. Chord point to their network players that have high quality DACs on board.

It's just likely the Cyrus QX card needs an update as competition have moved on a touch recently.

Main. Stream X Signature, CD T, DAC XP Signature, X Power, 2x PSX-R, PMC twenty.22  Snug. Stream X, Mac Mini, Qute HD, 8XPdQX, X Power, PSX-R, Pathos Aurium / HD800, MA GX50

 

adamrobertshaw's picture
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RE: Integrated DAC vs separate DAC

It seems the Audirvana Plus plug in on my Mac has improved the music on the USB input of the Cyrus QX DAC card, which was poor direct from I-Tunes without Audirvana.

The QX card can only process 16/44.1 or 16/48 resolution. Not a problem for me at present.

But I have a feeling my QX card is old spec. I know modern QX DAC cards have 24 bit and 192khz upsampling ability.

So at some point I'll need to upgrade the DAC if I go high res.

Since I first posted the original query I have read more reviews advising positive benefits of having an integrated DAC / pre-amp section.

Unfortunately I have no means of upgrading my 8XPD QX (now called 8QX DAC) through Cyrus and retaining a type B USB input.

 

Still wondering if anyone else out there has had similar issues with Cyrus or can suggest how they upgraded to a new high res DAC?

Main. Stream X Signature, CD T, DAC XP Signature, X Power, 2x PSX-R, PMC twenty.22  Snug. Stream X, Mac Mini, Qute HD, 8XPdQX, X Power, PSX-R, Pathos Aurium / HD800, MA GX50

 

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