I'm looking to insert a DAC into my existing 2 channel system. Here are my parameters:
Budget - Under $2,000.
System - MacBook Pro and Simaudio CD5.3 --> Conrad Johnson CA200 control amp --> Renaissance Audio Group (formerly Morel) Preludes.
Musical preference --> All over the map; primarily small group jazz, but also rock and blues and classical and pop and you name it.
I had a Music Hall DAC25.3 in that system, and really like it. That DAC is now part of another, more modest, system. I've considered getting another Music Hall, because I think it sounds very nice and is a great value, but can't help but want to upgrade at this point and think my system justifies an upgrade.
I just auditioned a bel canto DAC1.5, which I liked a lot and am considering getting. Actually, its quite hard for me to distinguish the bel canto from the Simaudio CDP whether feeding it from the Mac's USP or from the Simaudio's S/PDIF coax. The Music Hall, on the other hand, added some bloom and enlarged the soundstage a bit, but at the expense of some neutrality and, I think, some detail. I am considering auditioning the bel canto DAC2.5, because it has the improved LNS1 power supply built in, and would like to determine if I can hear any difference (If I do, I would likely get the 1.5 with the outboard LNS1 power supply).
Am also considering the Peachtree iDac, but would prefer to buy a piece manufactured in North America if possible. (Nothing against the Chinese or Europeans, mind you, but would prefer to support local labor and entrepreneurs.)
I am not religious about technical approaches (the bel canto has adaptive USB and switching power supply and sounded great to me). Would also prefer multiple digital inputs, but would be willing to consider a USB only DAC if it sounds great, because that would likely be its only use.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
EDIT: The CJ amp is wonderfully transparent and neutral, but at the expense of some dynamics, so I would rather err a bit on the lively side of lively vs. laid back.
"If you are the owner of a new stereophonic system, this record will play with even more brilliant true-to-life fidelity. In short, you can purchase this record with no fear of its becoming obsolete in the future."
Edits: 05/01/12This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors:
Topic - DAC recommendations wanted - JoshT 09:41:16 05/01/12 (56)
- RE: DAC recommendations wanted - TubeDriver 14:41:43 05/04/12 (0)
- Follow up questions on W4S Dac2 . . . - JoshT 18:25:28 05/03/12 (6)
- RE: Follow up questions on W4S Dac2 . . . - Vic D 22:44:45 05/03/12 (0)
- RE: Follow up questions on W4S Dac2 . . . - pictureguy 20:49:27 05/03/12 (0)
- RE: Follow up questions on W4S Dac2 . . . - AbeCollins 20:03:38 05/03/12 (3)
- RE: DAC recommendations wanted - Nglazer 10:36:13 05/03/12 (0)
- Thanks for the recommendations - JoshT 18:10:30 05/02/12 (0)
- RE: DAC recommendations wanted - Vic D 16:34:20 05/02/12 (0)
- I've had three - mbnx01 10:51:07 05/02/12 (0)
- RE: DAC recommendations wanted - fstein 15:15:29 05/01/12 (0)
- RE: DAC recommendations wanted - pictureguy 13:43:53 05/01/12 (0)
- W4S Dac2 - $1499.00 - mgbpuff 12:11:09 05/01/12 (1)
- 2nd....nt - samoore 08:33:39 05/02/12 (0)
- Neko Audio - Awe-d-o-file 11:15:06 05/01/12 (1)
- RE: Neko Audio - Wesley Miaw 10:53:21 05/06/12 (0)
- let me be the first to thank you - Joe Murphy Jr 10:44:24 05/01/12 (37)
- Jeez, Joe . . . - JoshT 18:09:53 05/03/12 (12)
- amazing - Joe Murphy Jr 12:39:09 05/04/12 (11)
- Very poor post structure with all that blank space (nt) - mgbpuff 15:13:45 05/04/12 (7)
- that sound you heard... - Joe Murphy Jr 17:04:54 05/04/12 (6)
- Don't know if Inmate mgbpuff is referring to your message immediately preceding. ... - Neil49 05:11:32 05/05/12 (5)
- the original one - Joe Murphy Jr 10:38:32 05/05/12 (4)
- That's what we wanted, sir, the facts...just the facts! (nt) - mgbpuff 12:01:21 05/05/12 (3)
- personal opinions aren't facts - Joe Murphy Jr 17:56:24 05/05/12 (2)
- You throw a mean curve ball (double entandre intended) nt - mgbpuff 05:25:36 05/06/12 (1)
- correction "entendre" (nt) - mgbpuff 06:33:00 05/06/12 (0)
- Ooops . . . well I'll be . . . - JoshT 14:53:56 05/04/12 (2)
- 'budget' as an adjective is pretty clear' - Tom Schuman 15:48:45 05/02/12 (23)
- when a number figure is attached, - yes. - Sordidman 09:47:10 05/03/12 (15)
- RE: when a number figure is attached, - yes. - Tom Schuman 13:31:06 05/03/12 (14)
- I hear you..... - Sordidman 09:36:10 05/04/12 (13)
- RE: I hear you..... - pictureguy 00:29:31 05/06/12 (0)
- RE: I hear you..... - Hazel 11:53:05 05/04/12 (11)
- Hazel - Sordidman 09:48:13 05/07/12 (10)
- Your products are high priced, so perhaps you are biased. - mgbpuff 16:18:16 05/07/12 (9)
- I don't have any products - Sordidman 17:05:02 05/07/12 (8)
- You're listed as a Blue Circle Dealer - want to come clean? - mgbpuff 02:48:27 05/08/12 (7)
- I am a member of Audio Asylum as an audiophile - Sordidman 07:42:11 05/08/12 (6)
- RE: I am a member of Audio Asylum as an audiophile - Tony Lauck 08:44:48 05/08/12 (3)
- asked and answered so many times now - Sordidman 12:25:37 05/08/12 (2)
- Rudeness - mgbpuff 08:29:06 05/08/12 (1)
- Disdain? - Sordidman 08:53:29 05/08/12 (0)
- thanks for the reinforcement - smart845 17:05:32 05/02/12 (6)
- something is amiss [nt] - Joe Murphy Jr 17:11:20 05/02/12 (5)
- Too strange.... - Rod M 18:03:08 05/02/12 (4)