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Tozen

DAC advice please

6 posts in this topic

I would welcome any comparisons people have between decent mid-price stand alone DACs vs. the digital input implementation of good mid-price CD players. I have the Quad CDP2 and the Marantz Pearl Lite and have enjoyed using both with the digital inputs. However I only need one as a CD player and so will probably sell the Marantz, even though it is much newer, and buy a DAC instead.

So my question is, do the newish crop of £500ish DACs easily better the digital inputs of my Quad and Marantz players or are they only of a similar quality? The DACs I am thinking of, hopefully second hand, are the EE Minimax (first version) and the Rega DAC, although I am sure there are others I should consider. At the moment I am not into computer audio, so the main use would be with a SB Touch.

In terms of what I am hearing from the CDP2 and the Peal Lite I like the sound of both, not really feeling one is 'better'. Perhaps the Quad is a bit more punchy and dynamic sounding and the Marantz is a bit more open, but I think they are both good. So I would sell the Marantz simply because it takes up more space.

If anyone has done these sorts of comparisons I would be interested in your thoughts.

Cheers,

Will

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I have 3 at the moment Will, RDAC, MF M1 and MHDT Havana, they all sound very good....and very similar! I had a play with them all in my main system a few weeks back and only found tiny differences and would happily have any one of them, The M1 and Havana probalby just top the Arcam but not a lot in it

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Id personally avoid "hifi" brands like the plague. They are long on "magic" and "hifi marketing" and short on build quality, effectiveness and , most importantly, SQ.

Your best bet, IMO is to go with pro audio brands Like Lavry, Mytek, Grace, Lynx, Apogee, Prism, DaD, and so on.

I have personally used Mytek DACs for a decade now. I bought my first Stereo 96 back then and in all these years, my Mytek has been my constant companion..I still use the very same one. No issues with repair, no issues with SQ, and as is the trademark with all **good** products, it has retained its resale value.

The new Mytek 192 DSD DAC is excellent as well. USB , of course DSD capable(it seems as though Michal (the designer) saw the DSD revival coming) and SQ is of course spectacular.

the best part about pro audio brands is that they perform as well(many times much better!) than comparable "hifi" brands at a very small fraction of the price.

Depends on what your needs are I suppose. Whether you want Jewelry or Performance...? :)

I will say that I am very, very impressed with every REGA product I have ever heard. Their DAC is great too. Good luck man!!

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I would try and gather a bunch of possibles, and compare them to each other and to your CDP in your own system.

I suspect there will be little difference between your CdP and the Touch,+ external dac, but the only way is to compare them at home.

Keith.

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