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Old 23rd December 2010, 03:55 PM   #1
HimeshP is offline HimeshP  United Kingdom
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Default I require a DAC

Surely this is where the true mad scientists and experts chill... so Its only correct if I ask my question here!

I am a newbie and have joined the DIY audio forum to get to the bottom of my query regarding DACs

My current set up is as follows:
AudioLab 8000 CDE --> LD MKIII --> HD650

I wanted an external DAC to bypass the audiolab CDP DAC.

At the back of the audiolab cdp there is only an SPDIF and the standard analogue out.

I have read much about this audiolab MDAC by John Westlake but i'm not sure when it is coming out in the UK.

Please can somebody advice me on what DACs there are out there on this 'underground scene'. The commercial brands like Arcam rDAC etc i beiieve are so overpriced and after hearing one the other day it sounded way to digital for my liking - i just found it to be a mini amplifier and not much more.

Can anybody recommend a nice DAC that will produce an analogue sound or if there are any other Westlake products I am not aware of?

Sorry about the basic questions

Thanks

H
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Old 27th December 2010, 06:34 PM   #2
HimeshP is offline HimeshP  United Kingdom
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Surely somebody can help me?

Thanks

H
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Old 27th December 2010, 07:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HimeshP View Post
Can anybody recommend a nice DAC that will produce an analogue sound or if there are any other Westlake products I am not aware of?
If you want to stick with John Westlake products (like me ), get an 2nd hand Cambridge Audio Isomagic S700 dac.
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Old 27th December 2010, 07:53 PM   #4
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Himesh-
I don't understand your desire for an 'analog-sounding' DAC.
Perhaps that's partly the reason (Xmas holiday being the other) for the lack of comments here. ???
I'm happy with the cheap DACs I use. (Gigawork, ZeroDAC).
Generally, if I want to 'warm up' the sound, I put a nice-distorting tube amp into the chain.

John
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Old 29th December 2010, 02:05 AM   #5
HimeshP is offline HimeshP  United Kingdom
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Hi there John,

I have read from a recent audiolab thread with John that the new Audiolab DAC which may or may not come out soon has a very "analogue" sound. So i was just intrigued by that. And after testing the rDAC the sound was a bit too clinical for me if that makes sense.

I already have a tube amp - Little Dot MK IVSE... which i use predominantly as a Headphone amp as well as a preamp for my system.

The CA ISO700 looks great - but should i be concerned about the fact that the technology is approx 10 years old? These days i imagine that technology moves fast especially with DACs...

Also.. anybody got any more suggestions about which DACs to buy?

Thoughts anyone.. thanks
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Old 29th December 2010, 11:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HimeshP View Post
The CA ISO700 looks great - but should i be concerned about the fact that the technology is approx 10 years old? These days i imagine that technology moves fast especially with DACs...
If you want an "analog" sounding dac, S700 is the way to go, it does have that "analog" sound ,which you are seeking, in spades ...and don't be concerned about 10 years old technology in S700, you will find best sounding HDCD filter (PMD100) and best sounding Philips bitstream 20-bit dac (SAA7350) in it, as well clock-lock output to eventually synchronise cd player/transport to dac (read very low jitter).
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Old 30th December 2010, 12:54 PM   #7
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I use an I2S connected Chinese upsampling dac board with Jensen OP trafos in my old NOS CDM-4 player. IMHO, you can't get any closer to analog for Redbook playback.
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