Home Digital Drive

Upsamplers, DACs, jitter, shakes and analogue withdrawals, this is it.

RE: What is "expensive"? NTL, I suggest four options.

Thank you, John - perfect!

I'm drooling over the M920 but anything over $700 is "expensive" for us right now. Something in the $400-$600 range is ideal. Used or refurbished is fine, and another upgrade down the line is probable. I will definitely check out the Grace Design and Parasound dacs - I believe our local dealer has the Zdac. I'm an enthusiastic shopper on A-gon but will pass on the EAD. I'm surrounded by ancient audio kit that sorta but doesn't actually work.

We're replacing/blending the spousal unit's set-up - Masterlink, sound mixing board, Genelecs) for a modest conventional rig in the living room. Coming from a Cary 303, I find the Masterlink just "OK", a bit hard and glassy on massed strings among other shortcomings. My SO (hereafter referred to as "Opera Beau") loves his Masterlink and uses it frequently - he will keep it forever. And that's fine, as long as it's a decent transport and I can find a nice dac for not too much $$.

We are acquiring speakers (B&W CM6 S2) and found an insane deal on an integrated amp with phono stage (Marantz PM8004). But we haven't even started down the cables path yet. Opera Beau, a musician who uses xlr terminated pro wires for interconects and lamp cord/bare wire for speaker cables, is completely innocent of high end cabling. He nearly expired at the speaker audition when told the price of the Nordost Tyr2 that was feeding the B&Ws. He's handy with a sodering iron (built Dynaco amps back in the day) so I may steer him toward some DIY recipes on the Cable Asylum. Meanwhile, with some major medical and dental bills coming up, we're playing it very conservative on budget.

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