Anyone tell me about this? I have an Arcam CD92T, will this DAC make much difference to the sound?
Unison Research CDE, Leema Tucana 2, Kudos C2 and some cables.
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Andrew? Clare? Pete? Anyone?
I need something I can sneak in without the missus noticing
No, not much...
Audio Editor, Gramophone
You sure? I've read some very very good reviews.
Yup. If you like the sound of the Arcam, adding a DAC won't do much for you.
Why do you say that Andrew?
I've got the lower spec Arcam CD92 (minus the "T") hooked up with the Chord 64 DAC and it is sublime. I was sceptical about the external DAC idea but I had a trial period with the Chord machine and it's worked wonders for so much of my sprawling collection. I know I'm raving about a different DAC here but I just thought I'd mention it.
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Because for price of CD92 and Benchmark, you could buy a really good CD player
Yes I understand, but the CD92 is worth abot £300-£350 on eBay now so add another £655 and you've got about a grand. I very much doubt whether I would get something for that which would be better.
Also my rack is bespoke from hifiracks and another CD player wouldn't match the rest of my kit.
I'm intending to have this system for many years now and if I upgrade I will start afresh and keep the Arcam stuff as a second system.
Having said that I will need a bigger house first.
Don't you think it's worth checking out. I've heard it's a studio DAC which will walk all over sub £2k players?
Heard it once or twice and not been that impressed.
Do you like Arcam? As far as I can see the best players between one and two K are Rega, Astin Trew, Primare.
I may be wrong but can't you just look at the spec sheet and see what DAC the Arcam uses? And if it's good don't bother, if it's not that great go for it....??
I've just bought the Beresford DAC to experiment with as I have a Rotel RCD-1072 which according to ALOT of sources uses a pretty woeful DAC chosen only as it supports HDCD playback. I had a 640C V2 before hand which although alot cheaper uses a better DAC configuration, the two players however were very, very similar sounding and probably on a par. So I drew the conclusion (right or wrong) that the rest of the componentry in the Rotel must be of a good standard to offset the poor DAC and still sound as good? If that makes any sense? And then hopefully by adding the better off board DAC and using the Rotel as transport should make for a better listen?
We shall see...should be here midweek....
Sim, buddy the DAC you are considering will certainly make a difference to the sound, nothing doubting that. But there are two points that you need to keep that in mind.
(1) Would that be a welcome change, or just for the heck of it. Andrew said it. If you already have an all Arcam set, and loving it to max, I don't think you will be very happy with the change. Why change something you already like. That too at a big cost.
(2) That's where the second point is. Will you be doing justice with that money, investing it into a Benchmark DAC? I agree with Andrew, not a very wise decision. Think of it, you'd be using your Arcam as a transport, won't you?
I saw that you said, you wouldn't like mixing manufacturers for the sake of looks. But still I'd say, if I were you, I'd get a Rega Saturn, Primare CD31 or Naim CD5i.
I have never heard the DAC in question but in my limited experience with DACs (AUDIO ALCHEMY DAC, AUDIO SYNTHESIS DAX and now a CYRUS DACX) in each case I have noticed huge difference. In my case each change was an improvement. However simply changing to a external DAC does not automatically mean that the changes will be an improvement.
The are good reasons why external DACs should sound better like for instance the separation of the power suppliers stopping digital noise from the transport servos polluting the analogue sections. Indeed its the quality of analogue section after D/A conversion which can make or break a DAC.
I have notice big improvement in changing the transport (actually in my case CD players with digital outs) which are heavy (built like tanks) monsters. Protecting the read process from vibrations.
You really need to have the Arcam CD92T/Benchark DAC1 "demo"ed to you as such changes/improvements are subjective. You will need to decide whether you like the changes or not. Or inded if the changes are big enough to justify the price. Also you may need to compare it with equivalently priced integrated CD Players to qualify the improvement/changes.
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