Naim V1 dac and others...................
For anyone who is interested I finally had a good listen to this yesterday along with the MDAC (again) and the new arcam ir dac.
Started with the mdac using my usual selection off a cd drive and then started swapping between this and the Naim and unfortunately no pleasant surprises.
The MDAC is still the best I have heard at detail and range , a fantastic but to my ears slightly flawed product, only slightly but enough, top ends a little sharp and doesn't seem to fully organise the music in a totally balanced way.
The Naim V1 has much better organisation, flows better, not everything shouting at once and very good to listen to, but not the detail of the mdac or the range esp at the top end but maybe no bad thing for it.
The Arcam is a great performer for the price has same inputs plus an extra usb but is a step behind the other two but is £200 cheaper than the mdac but £850 less than the Naim !!
We listened to some hi res material and both the Naim and MDAC stuck to their charcteristics and sounded fantastic in their own ways.
I should add was listening with a pair of KEF 300's and they are a cracking speaker, didn't miss a beat anywhere fantastically balanced and would advise anyone looking for speakers at this price should give them a go.
To my taste I prefer over the LS 50's but I think I am in a minority here, I should also add I am not a great kef lover either but the R series has changed that for me.
So back to my dac dilemma and I am still none the wiser, the MDAC is great but am not sure I could live with it day in day out but it would only be one of my sources and it is good value for the price.
I prefer the Naim overall but the price is hard to justify, I was really hoping to hear something special, had my expectations low and although there was a grin the huge smile was not there because the price difference is too big, £800 and it could be a winner but double the price of the MDAC !!
Also tried moving from 'silvery' cables to copper to reduce the harshness of the mdac but the change was slight and didn't alter the organisational issues .I didn't know what cables we had been listening to or what had been changed so it was a worthwhile test for my ears but I would say there was a tiny bit more detail with the silver but a harsher top end, this was minimal.
In a way the Naim was more similar to the Exposure dac that again can't compare with the detail of the MDAC but has a better sound balance and organisation and when it gets it right, esp. with rock it is fabulous but £200 more than the MDAC.
I have been offered a home demo of the mdac and the naim to see what the uplift will be from my SBT and how they sound in my system in my new bigger room, the Proac's now look normal size !
Will have to work on the other dealer to see if they will lend me their Exposure, the only negative on the Exposure is the size as it is full width, not a big problem but was hoping for a half size box.
I have been at this for nearly 18 months now and still not found the perfect product, maybe this is one compromise but I like to hope my patience will be rewarded, may be I am fooilng myself.
Thanks for reading if you got this far any comments thoughts gratefully recieved as always.
Oh nearly forgot, big thanks to Simon at AudioT in enfield yesterday for all his time and effort, a man who is waiting for a serious cable to come in, he said he is willing to lend it to me for my thoughts, never say never , I could be converted !!