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Old 18th April 2012, 02:08 PM   #1
jim1961 is offline jim1961  United States
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Default A DAC that blows away a Rega Apollo

I own a Rega Apollo. In general , I am pretty happy with it. But if you are like me, in the back of your mind, your always keeping in mind the word UPGRADE.

I am at a disadvantage in that I live far away from a metropolitan area, and so dont have the opportunity to shop at your local high end audio store. For upgrading, I am going to have to rely on reviews, testimonials and opinion.

So the question is this. Using the Rega as a transport, and feeding the digital outs to a DAC, at what level do I have to go to get considerably better? What can I expect to have to spend?

I really havent kept up with what innovations & advances have been made in the last several years, so I am unsure of what progress the digital industry has made in terms of closing the gap with analog.
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Old 18th April 2012, 04:19 PM   #2
jitter is offline jitter  Netherlands
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There's only one DAC around that costs € 800 but can compete up to the € 5000 price class and that's the: Metrum Octave.

I auditioned one nearly three weeks ago because of all the fuss in this thread. In that thread is some controversy between people who have heard this DAC vs. those that haven't and question the unorthodox approach that has been chosen for DA-conversion, but don't let that influence you. Simply put: this DAC has a price to quality ratio that is unheard of in the world of high end.
In it you will also find links to reviews by 6 moons and Hifi Critic, both of which a very enthusiastic about it.

I auditioned the Octave three weeks ago and bought one (and I wasn't even in need of another separate DAC). Mine is now nearly two weeks in the burn in process and I am really pleased with it.

Edit: I see that the dealer in the USA (HiFiHeaven) wants $ 1095 for it.

Last edited by jitter; 18th April 2012 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 18th April 2012, 04:52 PM   #3
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There is just one DAC to avoid and that is Metrum Octave.
Simply put - that DAC is garbage compared with what you aready have (Rega Apollo has Wolfson WM8742).

Last edited by SoNic_real_one; 18th April 2012 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 19th April 2012, 01:35 AM   #4
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It's tough to say if any source these days can really be a "massive" audible improvement over another, short of it being defective.

If you want something with excellent measurements, check out one of the well-made ES9018 based DACs floating around.
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Old 19th April 2012, 02:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1961 View Post
I really havent kept up with what innovations & advances have been made in the last several years, so I am unsure of what progress the digital industry has made in terms of closing the gap with analog.
The Octave is reportedly a significant step closer to analog. I haven't heard it myself but NOS dacs that I have heard do definitely sound more analog-like.
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Old 19th April 2012, 04:07 PM   #6
jitter is offline jitter  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic_real_one View Post
There is just one DAC to avoid and that is Metrum Octave.
Simply put - that DAC is garbage compared with what you aready have (Rega Apollo has Wolfson WM8742).
Ironically, it's just because of this kind of remark that I now own and enjoy an Octave! If it hadn't been for sonic and other sceptics, the thread I linked to in my previous post might not have caught my attention and I would probably have missed out on the Octave.

So a sincere thank you for saying over and over that the Octave can't be any good.

Last edited by jitter; 19th April 2012 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 19th April 2012, 04:10 PM   #7
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Evidence in favour of the hypothesis that 'there's no such thing as bad publicity'.
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Old 19th April 2012, 04:25 PM   #8
limono is offline limono  United States
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You Britons should know how Avondale modified Arcam 5 and older Naim (CDX , CDS1 2) stack against Rega Apollo , Saturn. Rega players (saturn) got bad vibe because of some transport or coding related problems in the beginning.
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Old 20th April 2012, 10:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic_real_one View Post
There is just one DAC to avoid and that is Metrum Octave.
Simply put - that DAC is garbage compared with what you aready have (Rega Apollo has Wolfson WM8742).
Your negative comments in various threads are annoying as they are only provoking and not constructive.

Did you hear the Octave ? No ? Then stop posting BS. If yes, let us know how it sounds and what you compared it with.

Besides that it is certainly not only the DAC chip or even the topology that is 100% of the final result so saying that design X is better because it has WM8742 is rubbish as you don't even know what chips are in Octave. Implementation is the key word. You simply decide that non OS is bad and that may be true for you in front of your computer but it would be better to judge in real life instead of virtual life.
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Last edited by jean-paul; 20th April 2012 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 20th April 2012, 11:09 PM   #10
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I just replied in kind to the secod post that is annoying and provocative:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jitter View Post
There's only one DAC around that costs € 800 but can compete up to the € 5000 price class and that's the: Metrum Octave.
...
Simply put: this DAC has a price to quality ratio that is unheard of in the world of high end.
If it was a more tone down statement (like I have it, I like it), I wouldn't even bother. But that definitive affirmations sounded like advertising to me.

Last edited by SoNic_real_one; 20th April 2012 at 11:14 PM.
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