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In Reply to: RE: Comparing DAC's posted by email@example.com on July 01, 2017 at 09:05:09
The problem with DACs and digital audio playback in general is that most people haven't heard a really good one..... To better know what to listen for......
Also, I personally need to live for at least a month with a DAC to determine whether I really like it. I've often rejected a DAC after just a few days. (Often after being "wow'ed" by it on initial listen.) The better ones I can live with for a few weeks, but I still ultimately reject them. I've owned only three digital sources that I could live with for at least six months time. The Prism DA-2 (maybe the 2nd best DAC I've heard, but expensive), Schiit Bifrost (Uber or later), and Philips 935 changer with its output stage replaced by a good high-end circuit. (The DAC on the 935 is to die for, but only after replacing the output stage.)
The first item, if you know anybody who has a Wadia 7/9 combination, that is the reference to judge all digital audio playback against. Most stuff put out since the year 2000 hasn't impressed me all that much.
The second item, do you start feeling like shutting it down after just half an hour to an hour? Do you have the urge to play vinyl or open reel?
I don't find quick A/B comparisons particularly useful for digital audio..... Analog audio, yes. But not digital audio.
Edits: 07/02/17Follow Ups:
I owned a Wadia 7/9 DAC and Transport. Believe me, this is no reference compared to modern DACs such as the Ayre QX-5 Twenty. Not even close.
"I owned a Wadia 7/9 DAC and Transport. Believe me, this is no reference compared to modern DACs such as the Ayre QX-5 Twenty. Not even close."
There was a time where I thought CD playback was hopelessly flawed, and it would never sound right regardless of technology or money spent.... (I've felt this way about high-resolution digital audio for the past 15 years.) The experience with the Wadia 7/9 at an audio store in Cleveland in the early 1990s transformed my outlook on CD playback. The Wadia/Rowland/Avalon system, to this day, threw the most sculpted soundstage I've ever heard.
(One of the CDs was a Deutsche-Grammophon Pierre Boulez Stravinsky "Petrushka" w the Cleveland Orchestra..... It felt like I could smell the floor polish inside Severance Hall.... I have this CD, but never sounded like it did in that Cleveland audio store, "Sound Resource", which closed just a few years after that.)
But this doesn't mean everybody who experienced it would like it.....
If the Wadia 7/9 system weren't so darned expensive (even used- the resale value of this product is insane), I would have sought one.
There are plenty of great DACs around, if one is prepared to do a little research. Schiit might make nice ones, but they are far from the only ones about.
Many of us have heard great DACs, commercially available or not. Give us some credit!
"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."
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