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I am interested if anyone could provide your thoughts or personal experience on the sound quality differences between the Berkeley Reference and the EMM LABS DAC2X? I have a PS Audio Direct Stream now which I like but the rest of my system is higher end components and j think the DAC may be my weak link. Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.

 

Jeff

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Can't comment about the Berkeley, but I know someone with the EMM Labs. Like me he is a bit of a DAC collector and he recently got a Direct Stream. I have heard both but have more experience with the Direct Stream. To me the EMM Labs is a bit like the Playback Designs - via PCM a bit thin and distant, but really opens up via DSD where its very good indeed, but no better than the DS to my ears. However via PCM the DS was way ahead - with detail and demon speed that is jaw dropping - although not to my personal taste.

 

Here is a comparison I was at between an upgraded Oppo, the DS, and a rare DAC called a Killer:

DAC's and IC's and USB cables - Queensland - StereoNET

 

The Killer is made in minuscule quantities by a guy up the road (thats Rawl in the the above GTG) so you are unlikely to be able to hear it. But evidently its in the same mould as a Lampizator. This type of DAC is my bag, it may not be yours, but there is only one way to find out - get a hold of a Lampi (or similar DAC) in your system and see what you think.

 

Thanks

Bill

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I sold my EMM for being sterile and unengaging. I would look at Empirical Overdrive SE with all options available. That said, I know one buyer of EMM purchase a new in box DAC2x for under $7900, from an authorized dealer. That would make the Empirical and EMM the same price point. Regardless, Empirical was wonderful.

 

Another audiophile engineer swears by the Resonnance Invicta Mirus. $5000 retail and has best measurements/detail to date and most musically engaging.

 

Audition gear in your system and see for yourself.

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I am interested if anyone could provide your thoughts or personal experience on the sound quality differences between the Berkeley Reference and the EMM LABS DAC2X? I have a PS Audio Direct Stream now which I like but the rest of my system is higher end components and j think the DAC may be my weak link. Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.

 

Jeff

 

Hi Jeff, welcome to the CA Forum.

 

While comments are somewhat helpful, I'm sure you know that in this price range you absolutely have to listen to the DAC before making a purchase. I don't know where you live, but if there is a dealer not far away, he will hopefully let you audition the DAC in your own system. Ultimately, of course, that is the only true test.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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