But for £40 more you could! (Audiolab M-DAC), in my very humble opinion.
Amp: Leema Pulse; Source: Naim CD5i-2, Denon 260MKII, Pro-ject XP I; Speakers: PMC TB2i
Formerly known as plastic penguin
Don't ruin my evening, Alears.
Nice. What's plugged into it?
He loaned me Audioquest Optilink, straight into the back of the Arcam
(Ah, before anyone pulls me up on my comments a couple of weeks ago, the past and a week and a half has been hidious with poxy computers. Choked me off streaming in the short/medium term).
The dealer offered me a ex-dem Nait CD5i for £650. I asked him how it compares to the Rega dac and Arcam used as transport: "Don't know. Would you like to try one at home?" How could I refuse.
So far, although growing on me slowly, sounds pretty good.
have you played with the filters? Do you ear any difference between them?
Yes. Perhaps I'm going mutton but I can hardly hear any difference. Anyway, it has pretty little red lights....
Yes. Perhaps I'm going mutton but I can hardly hear any difference.
Welcome to the clube, because i can hadly hear any difference as well...
Exactly... in your opinion
There are not better than each other! Just depends on what presentaion you prefer and the Rega DAC will match the Brio R better than the M-DAC - its synergy init!
Icon Audio ST40 III / KT88, Rega Apollo R, DAC, RS3
Rega RP6, Nagaoka MP-200, White Belt, Michell Tecnoweight, Rega Fono MM
Rega Quattro, Couple 1 & 2
Ah, while I remember: When I spoke to the nice chappy about turntables and told him about the ClearAudio I purchased from that shop, and he reckons it'll blow the Rega cartridge away. Interesting that a Rega dealer trying to sell a Rega deck recommends a ClearAudio cart.
my Rega dealer advised me to buy the Rega RP3 with the Goldring 1012gx cartridge. I've demo the RP3 with that cartridge, connected to a Brio R and took with me my Dyns, and loved it! But i did not listen to the Elis2 cartridge thogh.
But the feed back that I collect in some Forums, and this one as well, I ended buying the RP3 with the Goldring.
There was a post from a a Forum member in AudioKarma that i found quite interesting :
- "A lot depends on the sound you like. The Elys is quite a bit on the "bright" side, where the Goldring has a warmer sound. I've listened to both, and I much prefer the Goldring. However, a lot has to do with your personal preference and the rest of your system. If your speakers are bright themselves, the Elys will accentuate this, perhaps too much. If your speakers need a bit of up-top "oomph", then the Elys is an excellent choice. I've never heard your Dynas, but I don't think they're known for brightness.
More than the electronics, speakers and cartridges need to complement each other. Only you can decide if the Goldring is worth it; I've spent considerable time listening to one, and I prefer it. I've also listened to most of the Regas, and they're not to my taste...but that's just me."
I know - it's like when manufacturers state: Turn your display off (on CDPs) for an improved sound. Well it doesn't. It may in their labs but not in normal listening times and environments. Still it's a novelty thing IMO.
Last night I got my daughter to press the filter button slowly and I struggled to hear the difference. Perhaps it may just influence the midrange ever-so-slightly, but nowhere near enough to call it a 'Filter setting'.
Maybe the effect is more plausible when streaming... really stumped for logical explanation.
i cant tell any difference with the filters on my Rega DAC either way!
Lovely DAC! I demoed mine at home against the Audiolab M-DAC. I like both, albeit the Rega did appear to have superior build quality to me. For me the choice was the Rega purely because it suited my Naim amp and MA speakers better. On my system, the Rega had a less clinical sound and woofed out the bass! On a less lively system, no doubt the Audiolab would have been my choice.
Sound: Naim Nait XS | PMC GB1i | Avondale Black Link speaker cable | PC with J River MC19 | Teac UD-501 DAC + Vetere D-Fi USB lead | Audio-Technica ATH-M50
Vision: Oppo BDP-105 | Pioneer PDP-LX5090 | Yamaha YSP-4100 | BK XLS300/PR Subwoofer
£200 more could get you Kef's X300A. Its a DAC with added speaker and amplifiers ...
Pretty ... and pretty proud of it
I notice you have Rega Dac / Nait XS combo.
I am toying with upgrading amp from Nait 5i-2 to the XS. Have you made similar comparisions and wondered how well the 2 synergise.
Hope to find out for myself if dealer has a trade in XS.
Source:- Naim CD5XS
Amp:- Naim Nait 5i-2
Speakers:- Neat Motive 3 on Partington Super Dreadnoughts
Speaker Cable:- NAC A5
Mains:- Wireworld Matrix Block + Music Works ReEntry
I can't comment on the difference in the 5i and the XS as I haven't heard the 5i. But as to how well the Rega Dac works in my system, I'm very pleased. The Nait XS and Monitor Audio RX6 speakers are quite revealing, in that respect I didn't want an overly clinical sounding DAC. I think the combination works well by comparison with say having the Audio M-DAC in this particular set-up. Having said that, if your speakers are on the warmer side of neutral, the M-DAC would probably work better.
When I was auditioning for the amp, the XS was out of my price range, I actually wanted to hear the 5i, but the dealer didn't have one. I demoed the Rega Brio-R, Cyrus 6, Audiolab 8200a and Nait XS, all through a Rega DAC and MA RX6 speakers. The Audiolab was a clear winner to me against the Rega and Cyrus amps, but not so the XS. Having said that, I didn't think the difference was worth more than twice the price for the XS. In the end I sourced a used Nait XS.
I've heard the 5i and XS several times over the years, although not in the same room. The XS is a more accomplished machine in pretty much every area: Detail bass definition, separartion, clarity...
Or put another way, the XS is on par with Leema, Roksan Caspian, Audio Analogue, while the Nait 5i is around the Kandy K2, Creek Evo2
Before I start can I emphasise to all the followers of Rega, this is purely based on my current system and room size and acoustics.
Okay... the Surrey Hills jury has come to a conclusion.
The first couple of hours I started to question why the there was so much hype, initially, couldn't really decipher between the DAC and the Arcam CDP under its own steam. Bit-by-bit, the DAC grew on me: It was pleasantly smooth, detailed very cohesive, especially the midrange. This is contrary to the Apollo I tested back in the summer.
I noticed the DAC's bass was broader than the Arcam, with vocals beautifully textured - this has been a slight criticism of the Leema/MA combo in the past.
There really is no negatives or buts, honestly.
The other real positive is the MAs domed tweeter is soothed a little by the DAC, again the polar opposite to the Apollo, which tended to produce a edgy sound when really pushed.
I suppose the only comment which could be construde as a minus is I really haven't had anything to compare with the DAC: The DacMagic, although cheaper, was slightly underwhelming. Not very impressed at all.
So does this mean I'm going to part with money on this one? very possibly. I would, however, love to hear the Naim CD5i I've been offered at the same shop first.
I'm certainly getting ever closer to my sonic 'sweet spot', and as a result feeling a lot more optomistic.
Ah, with the richer presentation of the DAC it does mean that playing bass-heavy tracks like Amy Winehouse's 'Our Day Will Come' sounds a tad bloated, as does early Elvis Costello material. However, this isn't a Rega issue: It's a Monitor Audio/room size problem. It'll really need some kick-ass speaker in the region of PMC Twenty series (21 or 22) or Totem to express the whole system.
Do I think it's a top class £500 DAC? Don't know really, purely because I'm not sure what a £500 DAC should sound like, and/or whether the Arcam as transport, is getting the best from it... this will become clearer over the next couple of weeks,
As KC and the Sunshine Band sang: "Dac's the way (ah-ha ah-ha) I like it..."
Good review PP! Like you said, it express your room acoustics, system sinegy etc...
Let me give you some leads in music to benefit from the Rega DAC, have you some acoustic guitar music?
Like, Eagles, Eric Clapton, Cat stevens, Firehouse (good acoustic album)
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