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Old 28th November 2007, 07:23 AM   #1
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Default Cambridge s700 vs NOS or other DIY DAC

Hi,
Having dragged my s700 out of storage to compare it to the DAC in my TAG AV32R processor I find myself preferring it's sound for most music I listen to. So this has got me thinking, if a 100 DAC can challenge the TAG, should I be looking at one of the more recent DIY designs out there?

My system consists of a PC (outside the listening room) with a RME HDSP9632 sound card feeding S/PDIF to the s700. This uses the 5 channel bypass input of my TAG AV32R which in turn feeds a 2 channel ColdAmp based class-D power amp driving over-specified KLS9 speakers.

The question I have is, how do the NOS DACs (e.g. Monica) compare with both the likes of the s700 and other oversampling DIY designs (e.g Opus)?

I listen almost exclusively to rock/pop/folk so PRaT is as important to me as midrange clarity etc.

Any advice appreciated
Simon
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Old 29th November 2007, 06:15 AM   #2
MJW is offline MJW  United Kingdom
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Default s700

Apples and pears Simon. The nos dac have strengths BUT they have problems also. Both dacs you mention are highly regarded but how can you really know unless you're prepared to dive in???

Spdif is a transmission modality thats had it's day. Recent experiments with USB-I2S that I have been experimenting with this last year show conclusively, our future audio happiness lies here.....

There is a lot happening now in this direction and I would advise you explore these avenues avoiding as always the lunatic pricing of some vendors. Explore the technical possibilities of installing a USB input in your S700. The sound card in your pc for me is irrelevant in the near future and if make the junp to USB with something like the 700 you don't need it.

And, if your wondering if I was prepared to dive in as it were.
I myself over the last 7 years have been searching and struggling with concepts and idea's both old and new, looking both backwards to past equipment and taking an even harder look forward at the trash many (not all I hasten to add) are making now.
It's cost thousands Simon, tens of thousands. Perhaps you could dip your toe in and buy a monica to build. If it cost a 100 to build and enjoy and you subsequently don't like it, put it on e-bay for 50 and its been a modest investment/experiment.

And no I'm not suggesting anyone should spend bundles of cash figuring out what they want. I'm single and semi-retired, have no kids to feed or wife to placate so I can do what I want.
And I do.
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Old 30th November 2007, 10:00 AM   #3
Puffin is offline Puffin  United Kingdom
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Have a look at this. An article I wrote for A$$A

http://www.affordableaudio.org/LiTeDACAH.pdf

I have since modified it to passive output for which there is another artice in a later edition.
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Old 30th November 2007, 10:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Puffin
Have a look at this. An article I wrote for A$$A

http://www.affordableaudio.org/LiTeDACAH.pdf

I have since modified it to passive output for which there is another artice in a later edition.

Where please?
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Old 30th November 2007, 01:37 PM   #5
Puffin is offline Puffin  United Kingdom
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What the passive mod ?
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Old 30th November 2007, 02:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Puffin
What the passive mod ?
Yes!
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Old 1st December 2007, 06:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for the link to your article Puffin, have you had a chance to try the IsoMagic against the Lite Ah yet?

I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that the world is polarised between those that love the sound of NOS DACs and those that think they sound unrefined and innacurate.

I'm now torn between the Opus USB kit and a NOS DAC and I guess NOS might be the more interesting, if riskier option?
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Old 1st December 2007, 07:06 PM   #8
Puffin is offline Puffin  United Kingdom
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I wouldn't say that the NOS dac was a "riskier" option. I found the LiTe Dac AH a breath of fresh air. It seemed so much less "hifi" than other dac's I had tried. If you do get one, then you must correct the resistor error (if the one's they are selling now are still affected) and then perform the passive mod. For the money I think it's a no-brainer.
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Old 1st December 2007, 07:42 PM   #9
Puffin is offline Puffin  United Kingdom
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Qserra.

Have a look at this long thread. You should find the answer here.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/dac...06/index8.html
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Old 2nd December 2007, 08:15 AM   #10
Puffin is offline Puffin  United Kingdom
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Qserra. This is the thread I was looking for ! It describes how to do the passive mod.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/hel...b-pics-164399/
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