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Old 19th September 2012, 04:10 AM   #1
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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Default Dac's for use with the Ncore Amps

If anyone would care to know, the PS Audio Perfectwave DAC MKII is stunning when used in combination with the ncores. No preamp required. It put's out more then enough gain to drive the amps directly to their full capability, and has a built in volume control. Anybody want to buy a Eastern Audio Minimax plus with Burson and Dexa upgraded opamps?
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Old 19th September 2012, 04:15 PM   #2
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At that price it better be stunning! It's like saying a McLaren is a fast car.
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Old 19th September 2012, 05:09 PM   #3
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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If you take into consideration that it's sound quality and versatility is up in the league of the Linn Klimax DS @ $20000, it's a bargain. If anyone know's of a better DAC\Media streamer for $4000 or less please let me know.
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Old 19th September 2012, 06:49 PM   #4
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Not trying to create a war here, but this it Do-It-Yourself Audio, not How-Much-Money-You-Got-Audio. How about a Twisted Pear Audio Buffalo DAC ($500). If you need streaming add a Squeezebox ($170 stock, $300 modified), a $300 netbook, or a $500 laptop for full HTPC.
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Old 19th September 2012, 07:07 PM   #5
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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Hey I'm all for DIY. If I could get the same sound as what I heard from the perfectwave, out of a Buffalo DAC for $500 then I'd be all for it. The Eastern Audio Minimax plus that I own uses the same ESS Sabre chips in a similar configuration as the buffalo and to me,the sound is far inferior. If anybody has done a head to head comparison between the buffalo and the perfectwave MKII, I would love to hear it. And if anybody on here has some other DIY solution for under $4000 that will smoke the perfectwave I would love to hear that also.

Last edited by bavmike; 19th September 2012 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 19th September 2012, 10:04 PM   #6
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Default Hmmm.

Well $500 for a Buffalo DAC is not really very representative of the cost:

Buff-III module................................$379
Legato III module.............................$ 90
Placid HDBP.....................................$ 90
Placid HD........................................$ 60
Transformer....................................$ 25
Transformer....................................$ 23

Chassis..........................................$ 200 for something half decent. Much more for something nice.

Miscellaneous jacks, hookup wire, hardware
.................................................. ...$150

OOPS, we still do not have any controls, or any way to interface the DAC with a computer, so, lets say a good USB interface plus power supply
.................................................. ..$350
And I guess an Arduino set up to control it all and a power supply for that
.................................................. ..$300

So now we have a Buffalo DAC for USB at: $1667.00

But we have not allowed anything for our 50 or so hours of labor we used to put it all together, and we have not allowed any $ for shipping expenses. What is your time worth?

BTW, I have a really good Buffalo build, with Salas regs, many upgraded ($) parts, an onboard SOtM async USB receiver modded with CCHD Series clocks all in a custom chassis. I'd say it probably cost me $3K in parts alone, and indeed, it sounds very good. I also have quite a bit of experience listening to the PWD. I cannot say my DAC "smokes" the PWD, both DACs are very good, and differences may be just a matter of sonic preference rather than one really being superior. But the bottom line for me is that the PWD offers a good value for a made in USA commercial product.

Sorry for the OT nCore folks, I have heard my DAC with nCores briefly, and the combo sounded nice.
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Old 19th September 2012, 10:38 PM   #7
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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So the Buffalo loaded up with all the goodies, with labor (unless your time is valueless) is pretty much the same price. But you are still missing the ethernet link and being able to directly access your media library via network storage with no computer, squeezebox or anything else required, and conveniently control with a user friendly interface via iPhone, Ipad or Android. As well as a top quality 24\192 Asynchronous USB interface, XLR, Coaxial and optical inputs, as well as balanced XLR outputs along with RCA. Volume and balance controls, along as enough gain to drive the ncores to level that will blow most speakers out there. So I won't need a preamp anymore, saved thousands there. Don't forget the 5 filtering options to tweak the sound of lower quality recordings. Oh ya the touch screen, thick aluminum chassis and remote control are also nice too. Now if you ever decide to upgrade your buffalo, think your gonna fetch the same resale value on the used market as a PWD? I think my mind is made up unless anyone can talk me out of it. BTW did you compare your Buffalo with the MKII edition? It's vastly superior to the original.

Last edited by bavmike; 19th September 2012 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 19th September 2012, 10:44 PM   #8
cab is offline cab
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How about the upcoming oppo-105? Sabre dac, does everything but laundry....$995....
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Old 19th September 2012, 10:55 PM   #9
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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I think Oppo has awesome equipment for the price, but I highly doubt that the quality the Perfectwave offers can be manufactured for $995. Many companies will probably take the guts out of one, upgrade key components, pop it in a thick aluminum case and charge 4k. But even then, I doubt it will be better. But who knows.
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Old 20th September 2012, 12:03 AM   #10
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Default BAV:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bavmike View Post
So the Buffalo loaded up with all the goodies, with labor (unless your time is valueless) is pretty much the same price. But you are still missing the ethernet link and being able to directly access your media library via network storage with no computer, squeezebox or anything else required, and conveniently control with a user friendly interface via iPhone, Ipad or Android. As well as a top quality 24\192 Asynchronous USB interface, XLR, Coaxial and optical inputs, as well as balanced XLR outputs along with RCA. Volume and balance controls, along as enough gain to drive the ncores to level that will blow most speakers out there. So I won't need a preamp anymore, saved thousands there. Don't forget the 5 filtering options to tweak the sound of lower quality recordings. Oh ya the touch screen, thick aluminum chassis and remote control are also nice too. Now if you ever decide to upgrade your buffalo, think your gonna fetch the same resale value on the used market as a PWD? I think my mind is made up unless anyone can talk me out of it. BTW did you compare your Buffalo with the MKII edition? It's vastly superior to the original.
Hmm, like I said, my feeling is the PWD offers good value. And yes, I have heard the mk II. I used to work at PS Audio, and I live in Boulder, and still visit the listening room at PS occasionally.
BTW, the Buffalo drives the nCores directly very well, with either the IVYIII or the Legato output stages. And the Buffalo volume control is superb, no preamp needed (I sold my Ayre). Either way I would say you cannot go wrong, both are excellent DACs to my ears.
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