Digital Drive

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

Return to Digital Drive


Message Sort: Post Order or Asylum Reverse Threaded

FInd me a DAC for the Masterlink.

76.219.165.148

Posted on February 21, 2017 at 18:52:11
Harmonia
Audiophile

Posts: 1877
Location: Midwestern USA
Joined: November 3, 2000
Would love to hear your suggestions for an outboard Dac using spousal unit's Alesis Masterlink 9600 as transport. Digital has moved up several light years since I last thought seriously about CD players and Dacs.

I am now an audioholic of modest means, so nothing expensive please.

 

Hide full thread outline!
    ...
What is "expensive"? NTL, I suggest four options., posted on February 22, 2017 at 07:05:37
John Marks
Manufacturer

Posts: 5625
Location: Peoples' Democratic Republic of R.I.
Joined: April 23, 2000



Grace Design sells their m920 DAC/LS/HPA at $1895. Link attached. At the moment, they have no factory refurbished ones to sell. (Note, I have been paid to give advice to Grace Design on exhibiting at RMAF and picking out demo tracks.)

http://gracedesign.com/products/m920/m920.htm

If you can be patient, the affordable ($499) m9XX that Grace Design makes for Massdrop should come up for a new offering sometime soon--at this writing, 212 people have expressed interest. (Link below.)

If you cannot be patient, Parasound's Zdac v.2 at $549 is a good choice.

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PAZDACV2

If $549 is too much, you can roll the dice on an Enlightened Audio Designs DAC on eBay, but, at this date, most of them will have some known-to-fail parts that have fallen out of spec, and a rebuild that replaces all diodes, all capacitors, and some resistors will end up costing you total as much as the Grace m920, which I call "the poor person's Bricasti" in that it has a Minimum Phase PCM filter (as well as multiple DSD filters).

Best of luck

the once and future JM

 

RE: What is "expensive"? NTL, I suggest four options., posted on February 22, 2017 at 11:50:28
Harmonia
Audiophile

Posts: 1877
Location: Midwestern USA
Joined: November 3, 2000
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.

 

Schiit. Bifrost Multibit. $599. Nt, posted on February 22, 2017 at 17:09:41
G Squared
Audiophile

Posts: 4028
Location: Washington, DC Metro Area
Joined: November 16, 2004
.

 

OK--round two, posted on February 22, 2017 at 17:28:46
John Marks
Manufacturer

Posts: 5625
Location: Peoples' Democratic Republic of R.I.
Joined: April 23, 2000
Hi-

Well, I'd suggest registering with Massdrop and adding your name to those who want a new batch of Grace x Massdrop m9xx, and wait for them to announce it.

Opera--hah. I just posted last week on Music about my recent blog post about how Abraham Lincoln's love for opera caused his detractors to chide his frivolity during the Civil War--with two embedded sound examples from Lincoln's favorite opera, von Flotow's "Martha," if you can believe that.

Please click over, and leave a comment if you feel that is the thing to do.

ATB,

John

 

Done and done., posted on February 22, 2017 at 22:20:24
Harmonia
Audiophile

Posts: 1877
Location: Midwestern USA
Joined: November 3, 2000
I'm on the list at Massdrop. How did I miss your thread on Music? Good to know you have the blog going (love the name), plus I give you two gold stars for the vids of Wunderlich and Kaufmann.

Opera Beau and I met at the local MET HD of Meistersinger. We struck up a conversation during first intermission and we've now been together two years. He couldn't believe there was a female in town that loved Wagner, Hindemith and the Reiner era Chicago Symphony.

Most couples do the dinner, candy and flowers thing on Valentine's day. We did a Greek food lunch and spent the afternoon auditioning speakers. Match made in heaven.

 

Thanks, added to list. Nt, posted on February 22, 2017 at 22:22:43
Harmonia
Audiophile

Posts: 1877
Location: Midwestern USA
Joined: November 3, 2000
*

 

RE: FInd me a DAC for the Masterlink., posted on February 23, 2017 at 15:40:19
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12497
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002



I recommend using the AES/EBU digital output jack of the Masterlink. I'll be glad to share a high-performance DIY AES/EBU digital cable recipe for your technician to build. There is a used Gustard DAC-X12 DAC with an asking price of $325 on Audiogon with full-featured I/O connectivity. The price to performance ratio of the X12 is so good that I bought two of them for use in my main audio system.

See link:

 

RE: FInd me a DAC for the Masterlink., posted on February 24, 2017 at 14:01:49
cdb
Audiophile

Posts: 2720
Joined: April 6, 2001
"The power supply uses two sealed cattle,..."
"Two custom sealed cattle fever, provide plenty of power ..."

Uh huh...
I'd hope ESS provides correctly translated application and engineering data sheets with their chips.

 

RE: FInd me a DAC for the Masterlink., posted on February 24, 2017 at 15:18:48
QuadTodd
Audiophile

Posts: 572
Location: Midwest
Joined: October 22, 2004
Yes, but music out of this DAC is very Mooo-ving!

I apologize in advance.

 

RE: FInd me a DAC for the Masterlink., posted on February 24, 2017 at 16:57:17
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12497
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
The poor translation of Chinese to English is unfortunate, but it's not a deal breaker, IME. I'm sure North American and European audiophile manufacturers who source their parts from China also find a level of frustration if not contempt about the issue. It's important to consider the fact that China is a relatively isolated culture that involves a large population with minimal interaction with English speakers unlike those in European countries who have very solid English speaking skills as a second language. As long as products are of high-quality at a desirable price point, I can tolerate the often silly translations that are often found, such as many listings on AliExpress.

Cheers, Duster

 

RE: FInd me a DAC for the Masterlink., posted on February 24, 2017 at 21:43:55
Harmonia
Audiophile

Posts: 1877
Location: Midwestern USA
Joined: November 3, 2000
Thank you for the suggestion and I will take you up on your offer for your digital IC recipe.

 

Awww, what a sweet meet story nt, posted on February 25, 2017 at 08:11:14
John Marks
Manufacturer

Posts: 5625
Location: Peoples' Democratic Republic of R.I.
Joined: April 23, 2000
JM

 

RE: FInd me a DAC for the Masterlink., posted on February 25, 2017 at 17:02:04
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12497
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
I'll post the recipe in Cable Asylum, and shoot an AA email to you when it's ready to view. BTW, the used Gustard DAC-X12 asking price dropped down to $299, which is a great moderate-cost level DAC find, IMO.

 

RE: FInd me a DAC for the Masterlink., posted on February 27, 2017 at 18:49:28
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12497
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
BTW, if you make a decision about a target price point, and the length of cable that you require, let me know since it will help me understand what recipe might fit your budget level.

 

Grace Design Massdrop m9XX is back..., posted on February 28, 2017 at 19:45:38
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35393
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001

What are the real differences between the Massdrop m9xx and the full priced m920?





 

RE: Grace Design Massdrop m9XX is back..., posted on February 28, 2017 at 22:01:44
Harmonia
Audiophile

Posts: 1877
Location: Midwestern USA
Joined: November 3, 2000
Thanks, I'm on the list.

 

Page processed in 0.029 seconds.