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The hunt for an excellent sounding DAC continues - help please


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I had the perfect system but change one component while evolving to all ‘soft’ digital media. Traded in my Wadia 830 CD Player (henceforth referred to as Wadia) for a Benchmark DAC2 HGC (BM DAC2). Not at all happy with the results – while I would rate my original system a 10 the laptop / BM DAC2 would get a 6 or a 7 tops. While i find the new system (with the BM DAC) adequate and acceptable, as the music is all there, it’s missing some of the snap, sparkle and musical nuance I experienced with the Wadia (old system). My assessment on the difference between the two (sorry as I am sure I am not using the correct audiophile language to describe this):

- The voice is more forward/pronounced in the BM DAC while more integrated with the Wadia cd player

- Ok sound stage with the BM DAC but instruments/sounds are not always distinct and the sound stage tend to break apart during fast portions of the music or multiple instruments are competing for ‘center stage’. The Wadia had a well defined and stable soundstage where I could hear every instrument distinctly no matter the music.

- The BM DAC is unforgiving to poorly recorded media – while the Wadia seemed to compensate for that somehow.

 

Now for the questions as I am trying to recapture some/all of the ‘snap and sparkle’ I had with the Wadia and hoping others have been down a similar path so can offer advice and counsel. With this evolution to digital I had to make two changes at the same time so not sure if the ‘problem’ is the source/laptop or the BM DAC.

- Source: I have already optimized the settings on the pc (windows and iTunes) so wondering if going to a high-end streamer would yield better performance? Also, if the rips are certified bit perfect by DBPowerAamp is there any advantage to re-ripping with a different ‘high quality’ system / cd drive?

- DAC: I suspect that the BM DAC has a bit more musical integrity (tries hard to dutifully reproduce the source presented) while the Wadia is purposely flavored. If that’s the case then I am hopelessly hooked on the Wadia flavoring so heading towards trying out the Wadia 321 Decoding Computer. Any recommendations on other DACs I can audition in the 2 to 4K price range?

o Side note: The BM DAC i have is actually a replacement from the manufacturer. The first had to be returned due to a defect/failed component – it played but the sound was horrible. I am thinking the replacement BM DAC is at 100% of its game/performance as what are the chances that I would get a 2nd defected (all-be-it slightly degraded) unit?

o The current performance of the BM DAC2, in my system, does not seem to match the consistent positive reviews this units continues to get – so maybe I should get it check out by Benchmark Media Systems?

 

Background Info (optional reading)

My previous system was pretty simple – Wadia 830 cd player connectedly directly to a Music Reference RM-9 MKII tube amplifier via Kimber Silver Streak cables. The speakers are Vandersteens 2Ce bi-wired with OCOS cables. Nothing else in the signal path but everything is powered thru a PS Audio Premier power conditioner.

 

In the new system the BM DAC2 replaces the Wadia so is connected directly to the amplifier and the only other change to the system is the source. My new media source is a Lenovo x201 laptop (i5 4th gen processor with 8GB RAM and the music on a 500GB HDD in an internal docking station (sata connection)) which connects to the BM DAC2 via USB. All the music files were ripped with an external usb cd/dvd drive using DBPowerAmp (most certified good) in AIFF format and imported into iTunes.

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Hmmm, where to start?

 

A few inexpensive things to try would be:

 

1) ditch iTunes for one of the other music players such as JRiver or HQ Player. JRiver is the better interface & manager of music while HQP has better SQ in most cases. Probably several others out there for Windows but I use HQ Player for Linux so not as familiar.

 

2) use one of the many devices to clean-up the USB signal before it has your DAC ... Schiit Wyrd, Uptone Regen, etc.

 

3) a bit more extreme would be the new 2-PC solution with something like the Sonore Sonic Orbiter SE which allows you isolate all of the nasty electrical noises coming from your laptop. The second PC is generally low power, fanless, with no spinning HDD meaning that the noise is low. The HQ Player works well here in that you use the desktop version of HQP on your laptop and stream via Ethernet to the Sonore device which is already setup as a HQP NAA (network audio adapter). The 2-PC solution is fairly popular here on CA because of the isolation aspect.

Eric


Ubuntu Studio Linux box (i7-9700, 8 cores, 16GB RAM, Intel X520-DA1 NIC, HQP Desktop) > fiber optic > MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+ > fiber optic > fitlet2 (Linux Mint - HQP NAA) > T+A DAC8 DSD > Rogue Audio DragoN > Klipsch La Scala — digital volume control with HQP via Roon client, DSP with HQP convolution engine, Intel NUC (Roon server)

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At least get Foobar2K (free) and get it set up right. This alone can be an eye opener over iTunes.

 

JRiver and HQPlayer have free trials as well. Getting JRiver and Foobar2K set to bit perfect, and exclusive mode is where you are aiming. HQPlayer is a whole other ball of wax, with multiple filters, resampling etc. It should be possible to use HQPlayer to make your music sound different, perhaps in a way that makes it sound like what you want. Very complicated product, and you might read about it in the software forum here.

 

After you are satisfied with a "bit perfect" software player, then try one of the many USB clean up boxes. There are reviews galore here in this forum.

 

As for a "euphonic" DAC (euphonic is a term for the change to the music to make it "sound" better) There are DACs that are warmer, colder, and neutral. You might try and consider which way your desired "good" sound is, and read through the many DAC reviews here, on HeadFi, and any other audio site for that matter. Someone might describe the sound you are looking for.

 

Failing that, listening to some DACs at audio shows can be helpful, although since its not your AMP/Speakers/Room, it can be hard to know what is going to work for you, in your room, in your system. Which leaves getting a demo DAC into your room to listen to after the initial research. If you don't live in a major metropolitan area, like me, then that can be hard, or at least expensive returning stuff. Shipping, and possible restock fees can pile up.

 

Buying used gear, trying it out, and selling it again if you don't like works well for some people, and can minimize cash outlay.

 

I personally have never heard any Wadia gear, so I can't help you match up with a product directly.

[Home Digital] Bricasti M12 > DIY M2x Monoblocks > Daedalus Audio Muse Studio Speakers

[Home Analog] Technics SL-1200G > Boulder 508 (Zu DL-103/Hana ML/Denon DL-301 II)

[Office] Laptop > Kitsune R2R lvl3 > Violectric V281 > Focal Utopia Headphones (balanced)

[beach/Travel] Laptop > DragonFly Red > Ether Headphones

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I have been exactly where you are now.

 

Mine was a Wadia 750 and it was perfect ....... Except for the slight lack of air at the top end.

So off it went. The Benchmark HGC DAC 2 allowed me to play with Foobar 2k and DSD 64

So I was happy for a whiles.

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Sorry for the interruption.

 

Like you I realised the Wadia experience was different and special and so full of bandwidth.

The Auralic Vega / Aries combination brought be nearer to what I thought was my goal. Coupled with all the latest USB third party enhancements my musical pleasure increased.

However the Wadia experience still haunted me.

By chance I came upon Daphile a media / streamer audio player and tried it.

It is now providing me with the pure musical pleasure I have yearned for since my Wadia days.

 

The subterranean bass of the Wadia has still to be achieved but everything else including the top end air is all there. But the main thing is it's musicality - the foot tapping joy that only your ears can tell you.

 

My advice: Find another Wadia or buy a Vega and run Daphile through a fast processor to it.

You will not be disappointed.

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How long have you had the BM? Mine took quite a while before it really showed it's stuff. I did find, in the end, that it did lack snap ( which I think of as a function of PRaT) but I actually think it did a good job on sound staging, imaging, etc. Which is what makes me think it's not yet broken in. Not my favourite DAC, but it did some things very well.

Mac Mini (+Tidal +Roon) -> WiFi -> Lyngdorf TDAI1120 ->JM Reynaud Lucia (Tellurium Q Black v2)

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I've had the same experience. I went from my Sony CDP to a laptop with a Bifrost, the laptop was very boring and had no liveliness compared to the CDP.

I then bought a HP desktop with a J2900 CPU from Wal-Mart and it was a great improvement. Still not quite as lively as the CDP. I'm going to try a Mytek Brooklyn and see if I can re-gain the excitement I used to get with CD playback. I'm hoping that between the built in preamp and better op-amps in the Brooklyn DAC, I should get it back.

John Withem

 

Proprietor

JW Audio.

http://www.jwaudio.net/default.html

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It just goes to prove that it can be difficult to better a good CDP.

I had the BM for over 3 years.

It's full potential was being run "flat out". The Vega has managed to sound better to me with less.

CPU speed and high system throughput without any undue processing makes all the difference.

Good luck with the Brooklyn it's got a great spec.

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I gather Wadias are pretty awesome players; never heard one myself. But I think 3 years is a fair trial; you have more patience than I did :)

Mac Mini (+Tidal +Roon) -> WiFi -> Lyngdorf TDAI1120 ->JM Reynaud Lucia (Tellurium Q Black v2)

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I am likely to get flak for this, but my impression is you will never get what you want out of the Benchmark. Up thread someone mentioned PRaT, and if I understand your dilemma, that is what is lacking in your presentation. I've not heard the Wadia, but have spent many an hour with BMs having owned two of them. A new player program may help a little, same with a new source cpu, cabling or even a USB Regen(eration) device. They will all likely be band aids. Your Wadia simply outclasses the BM in refinements the BM openly opposes via their measurement centric approach. They do not do micro dynamics/ebb and flow well.

 

I had the perfect system but change one component while evolving to all ‘soft’ digital media. Traded in my Wadia 830 CD Player (henceforth referred to as Wadia) for a Benchmark DAC2 HGC (BM DAC2). Not at all happy with the results – while I would rate my original system a 10 the laptop / BM DAC2 would get a 6 or a 7 tops. While i find the new system (with the BM DAC) adequate and acceptable, as the music is all there, it’s missing some of the snap, sparkle and musical nuance I experienced with the Wadia (old system). My assessment on the difference between the two (sorry as I am sure I am not using the correct audiophile language to describe this):

- The voice is more forward/pronounced in the BM DAC while more integrated with the Wadia cd player

- Ok sound stage with the BM DAC but instruments/sounds are not always distinct and the sound stage tend to break apart during fast portions of the music or multiple instruments are competing for ‘center stage’. The Wadia had a well defined and stable soundstage where I could hear every instrument distinctly no matter the music.

- The BM DAC is unforgiving to poorly recorded media – while the Wadia seemed to compensate for that somehow.

 

Now for the questions as I am trying to recapture some/all of the ‘snap and sparkle’ I had with the Wadia and hoping others have been down a similar path so can offer advice and counsel. With this evolution to digital I had to make two changes at the same time so not sure if the ‘problem’ is the source/laptop or the BM DAC.

- Source: I have already optimized the settings on the pc (windows and iTunes) so wondering if going to a high-end streamer would yield better performance? Also, if the rips are certified bit perfect by DBPowerAamp is there any advantage to re-ripping with a different ‘high quality’ system / cd drive?

- DAC: I suspect that the BM DAC has a bit more musical integrity (tries hard to dutifully reproduce the source presented) while the Wadia is purposely flavored. If that’s the case then I am hopelessly hooked on the Wadia flavoring so heading towards trying out the Wadia 321 Decoding Computer. Any recommendations on other DACs I can audition in the 2 to 4K price range?

o Side note: The BM DAC i have is actually a replacement from the manufacturer. The first had to be returned due to a defect/failed component – it played but the sound was horrible. I am thinking the replacement BM DAC is at 100% of its game/performance as what are the chances that I would get a 2nd defected (all-be-it slightly degraded) unit?

o The current performance of the BM DAC2, in my system, does not seem to match the consistent positive reviews this units continues to get – so maybe I should get it check out by Benchmark Media Systems?

 

Background Info (optional reading)

My previous system was pretty simple – Wadia 830 cd player connectedly directly to a Music Reference RM-9 MKII tube amplifier via Kimber Silver Streak cables. The speakers are Vandersteens 2Ce bi-wired with OCOS cables. Nothing else in the signal path but everything is powered thru a PS Audio Premier power conditioner.

 

In the new system the BM DAC2 replaces the Wadia so is connected directly to the amplifier and the only other change to the system is the source. My new media source is a Lenovo x201 laptop (i5 4th gen processor with 8GB RAM and the music on a 500GB HDD in an internal docking station (sata connection)) which connects to the BM DAC2 via USB. All the music files were ripped with an external usb cd/dvd drive using DBPowerAmp (most certified good) in AIFF format and imported into iTunes.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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If you like the Wadia sound why not look at one of their new Dacs, they seem to be a very capable piece of kit

 

Wadia di322 digital audio decoder

Sources are: Mac Mini 2010 / Nottingham Analogue Hyperspace c/w Jelco 750 D and Denon DL 103 MC cartridge. Phono Stage: EAR 834P. Power Amp: Audio Note Empress Silver into a Hattor passive pre. DAC: Lampizator Atlantic and Humming Board NAA Speakers: Horns.pl Mummys. Cables: Duelund DC 16 GA  - Audionote AN-SPX 27 Strand RCA and Albedo Silver RCA and Western Electric WE 16 GA. All digital music played through a Mac Mini using Roon and HQP. Power Supply: Gigawat PC2-EVO

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I am likely to get flak for this, but my impression is you will never get what you want out of the Benchmark. Up thread someone mentioned PRaT, and if I understand your dilemma, that is what is lacking in your presentation. I've not heard the Wadia, but have spent many an hour with BMs having owned two of them. A new player program may help a little, same with a new source cpu, cabling or even a USB Regen(eration) device. They will all likely be band aids. Your Wadia simply outclasses the BM in refinements the BM openly opposes via their measurement centric approach. They do not do micro dynamics/ebb and flow well.

 

100% agree

Mac Mini (+Tidal +Roon) -> WiFi -> Lyngdorf TDAI1120 ->JM Reynaud Lucia (Tellurium Q Black v2)

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I am likely to get flak for this, but my impression is you will never get what you want out of the Benchmark. Up thread someone mentioned PRaT, and if I understand your dilemma, that is what is lacking in your presentation. I've not heard the Wadia, but have spent many an hour with BMs having owned two of them. A new player program may help a little, same with a new source cpu, cabling or even a USB Regen(eration) device. They will all likely be band aids. Your Wadia simply outclasses the BM in refinements the BM openly opposes via their measurement centric approach. They do not do micro dynamics/ebb and flow well.

 

+1 - My Benchmark is well loved, but it is not really the best DAC for kicking back and grooving on tunes with. Still good, just not the best.

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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I would ditch the Lenovo instantly (I work with that brand all the time). Good for cheap windows word processing, that's all. It would not surprise me that if the power supply and all other discount parts in there add "noise" to the signals. I am extremely happy with my setup (see signature). Audirvana makes a HUGH difference, the latest version makes the modest Dragonfly sound very very nice. My two cents would be to work around the Benchmark (source, player etc). I was about to spend on a new DAC and then Audirvana 2.3.3 came out and now I can wait, the sound changed so much for the better.

---------------------------

WD 1TB —> MacMini —> Ayre QB-9 DSD —> PrimaLuna DL5 —> Monitor Audio S10

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I can empathize having come from a similar background of getting rid of my Ayon and moving to a 100% PC solution, and never actually getting the sound of the Ayon. And believe me I have tried quite a bit of solutions from the likes of Rega to Wyred 4 Sound, but could never get the sound of the beloved Ayon.

 

The good news though is all is not lost, and there are a few solutions (even free ones) you can start with.

 

1. Daphile (Daphile ? Digital Music Convenience for Audiophiles) is an excellent audiophile grade music player and server. However, it does need a standalone PC so you will need to set one up separately apart from a Windows or Apple PC.

2. Music Player Daemon (Music Player Daemon) is another excellent solution.

3. Raspberry Pi with a Music Player Daemon fork (moOde, Volumio and Rune).

 

For easier setup (and testing) you can start with the likes of Foobar, JRiver, or Audirvana, but the Linux class of music players pretty much outclass everything else from what I have tested.

 

Isolation is a huge game changer, so a NAS or music server located in another room is highly recommended, and you're looking at a 2 PC solution here, but totally worth it IMHO as I have had excellent benefits from a 2 PC/music server/NAS-based setup. The front end can be a mini PC like Raspberry Pi or CuBox.

 

I would start with the free or cheap changes before venturing into expensive DAC territory.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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  • 1 year later...

Apologies for the delayed response, and much thanks for the helpful advice. I have been following this thread and have implemented some of the suggestions but was locked out of responding on the site. Furthermore, the company I work for got acquired, early in 2016, and they have been working me like a rented mule so did not have much time to try many changes to my system. EricUco & Bones13, I did ditch iTunes – tried FooBar2k with noticeable improvement but a bit cumbersome so moved on and settled on JRiver MC. Also planning on a new pc (I like the Dell x13 i7 with the 512GB SSD) just waiting for a good deal on a used one. Deks, I like the idea of a music server and it turns out my new DAC has one built in. Trappy, yes I had the BMD2 for just under 2 years so it’s been burned in and if I did not have the Wadia 830 experience I think I would have been very pleased with the BMD2

 

I actually had a little downtime over the xmas holidays so embarked on a most wonderful experiment – I purchased 3 DACs with the hope of keeping one of the them; The Auralic Vega, the PS Audio DirectStream Jr (DS Jr) and the Wadia di322 – in that order. A disclaimer before I share my impressions; a. I don’t claim to be an authority on music or evaluating equipment so can only relay my impression, hampered as they are, by my many personal filters, preferences and limitations including a hearing defect (hearing challenged at high frequencies since my teens) and b. begging your forgiveness as I possess the proper audiophile vocabulary to eloquently convey fully my experience with these DACs.

 

First I had only the Benchmark DAC2 HGC (BMD2), the A Vega and the DS Jr and the decision was easy as the DS Jr sounded more musical then the other two DACs and much closer to what I had with the Wadia CD Player, not exactly but just as nice in a different way – I suspect the Wadia 830 had some devil-worshiping, voodoo-magic DSP going on that perfectly matched mine and whole bunch of other people’s personal music filters. Compared to the DS Jr the Vega and the BMD2 (with the exact same inputs and all the right drivers and settings) sounded as if a layer of the music was stripped off. Then I added the Wadia di322 to the mix and it was just as smooth and musical as the DS Jr but it seems to highlight/amplify more of the nuances in the music – so overall seemed a bit more musical to me and I liked the sound a lot.

 

I have been doing back to back testing with the Wadia and the DS Jr for over a week now and loving every minute. I would be happy keeping either of these DACs as both brought back memories of the Wadia 830 CDP where I get the tingles and/or an involuntary smile when listening to my favorite parts of my favorite songs. The DS Jr has emerged as my favorite though by a narrow but significant margin. I took notes as each DAC played the same files/songs:

 

On the Wadia my notes reflects words like great sound stage, tight base, detail (highlighted nuances), punch and sparkle – hearing clearly stuff in the music/files that was lost played thru the BMD2 or the A Vega. On some files (from vintage cds) I also noted a smidget of harshness as the Wadia seems not very forgiving of poorly recorded media? To me the Wadia also seems a bit on the bright side – not overtly but wondered if fatigue would set in when listening for a long time.

 

Similar words are in my notes for the DS Jr, it matched the Wadia’s great base and sound stage and very detailed nuances all-be-it more subtle than the Wadia’s presentation. However, a few other words were need to capture my experience with the DS Jr – the music seemed smoother, more natural and more integrated – distinctively aggressive in sections with every note / every instrument heard separately and clearly but still flowing with an integrated relaxed ease – I feel like I could listen for hours and not tire of the sound from the DS Jr. Even the files from my vintage (poor quality) CDs was very smooth and enjoyable.

 

After some time with the Wadia I had more entries of harshness or blaring – it does an excellent job with sharpness and emphasizing every instrument/note but to me it seems to go too far on a few of even my better quality cd/files. Similarly observation with the nuances in the music, at times the background music / nuances (soft ticks, dings and so on) were brought so much forward that the music lost a bit of layering. Not a deal killer by any means as was not overt and maybe attributed to my personal filters so most people may not even notice? I did not observe any of these issues with the DS Jr as it nailed the presentation every time / every note so overall seems a bit more natural than the Wadia. And in the final analysis I wish the DS Jr was a bit more aggressive, a small step towards the Wadia’s presentation.

 

This concludes my hunt for a new DAC but I will continue to play with further fine tuning such as a better pc, get the bridge in the DS Jr going and trail a few gizmos to clean up the USB feed. Thanks to all who responded and TTFN (ta ta for now).

 

p.s.

Further observation on the two DACs that might have influenced my decision if their sounds were tied for my affection:

Technology (Propaganda):

I will not pretend to understand all that I read on both these products but my impression is the Wadia is an evolutionary product (a significant step forward) while PS Audio is forging new territories with the design of the DS and DS Jr. (advantage DS Jr)

Size / Weight:

The Wadia is large and hefty (cumbersome to me at 18 x 20 x 3-3/8 weighing 25 lbs) while the DS Jr has a more manageable size of 17 x 14 x 2-3/4 and weight of 18 lbs (advantage DS Jr) – of note though is that Wadia’s size (I think) is driven by the ability to stack the DAC with other components from the same family i.e. the preamp, streamer and power amp.

Packaging:

Even though the Wadia is much larger it’s box was actually smaller than that of the DS Jr. The Wadia used customized foam inserts to pack/protect their unit while PS Audio uses universal/flex packing that can fit various units they sell. (advantage Wadia)

Interface / Remote:

Both DACS were very easy to operate from the front panel and the remote – I liked the Wadia remote much better though (small and sleek) while the DS Jr’s universal remote was large with sharp edges. Big plus for the Wadia is a headphone jack, was not critical for me just more of a ‘nice to have’. (advantage Wadia)

File Types (Sample Rates):

The USB on the Wadia can process higher resolution files (32 bits / 384kHz, DSD of 256kHz and DXD or 284kHz) while the DS Jr stops a little short of those specs (24 bit / 352.8kHz and DSD of 128kHz) (advantage Wadia). Not sure if DS Jr can ‘fix’ this via a firmware update (suspect not as a hardware limitation - but note to self to check with PS Audio to confirm)

Inputs / Outputs:

About the same for both (normal connections) except that the DS Jr has a built in Bridge, with a LAN connector, for streaming from a NAS/remote source – Wadia offer a Media Server (M330 which stacks nicely with the di322) as a separate unit. (Advantage DS Jr)

 

For reference: the rest of my system is Lenovo x201 laptop running JR River MC -> Pangea USB Cable -> PS Audio DirectStream Jr -> Kimber Silver Cables -> Music Reference RM-9 MKII Tube Amp -> OCOS bi-wired Cables -> Vanderstein CE2 Signature Speakers.

 

170115-2 All DAC'ed Out.jpg

170151-1 All DAC'ed Out.jpg

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Hi Buckmaster,

 

You have been busy the last year and I do like the rig.

 

Like you the quest to find that musical sound has driven me all year.

 

The Aries Vega combination continued to enthral and disappoint in equal measure.

 

Later in the summer purchasing a Sms 200 with a Sms battery / mains unit did improve the sound through the Vega.

The Ultracap Lps1 was the game changer for the Sms 200 and coupled with Wyred Rcvry when using the Aries it took the sound to where I wanted it.

 

Total system resolution was further enhanced in buying a Benchmark AHB2 with a Benchmark Dac3.

 

It has been a very satisfying time in that the system now plays music the way I want it. Am very fortunate. Never give up the quest.

 

Golden ear 5's with corner subs - AHB2 - Dac3 - iFi 1Usb - Rcvry - LPs1 /Aries / Sm200 - Melco N1A

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

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......I purchased 3 DACs with the hope of keeping one of the them; The Auralic Vega, the PS Audio DirectStream Jr (DS Jr) and the Wadia di322 .......

Hi, let me know if you have problem to get rid of the spare 2 Dacs when you have taken your decision!

I can easily help with one! :)

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Hi Buckmaster,

 

You have been busy the last year and I do like the rig.

 

Like you the quest to find that musical sound has driven me all year.

 

The Aries Vega combination continued to enthral and disappoint in equal measure.

 

Later in the summer purchasing a Sms 200 with a Sms battery / mains unit did improve the sound through the Vega.

The Ultracap Lps1 was the game changer for the Sms 200 and coupled with Wyred Rcvry when using the Aries it took the sound to where I wanted it.

 

Total system resolution was further enhanced in buying a Benchmark AHB2 with a Benchmark Dac3.

 

It has been a very satisfying time in that the system now plays music the way I want it. Am very fortunate. Never give up the quest.

 

Golden ear 5's with corner subs - AHB2 - Dac3 - iFi 1Usb - Rcvry - LPs1 /Aries / Sm200 - Melco N1A

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

 

So you use the Aries (which one?) in conjunction with the SMS200? How does that work? Thanks!

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just buy a modern day dac with current technology which includes "true" usb isolation and supports mqa and dsd and you are set.

 

What Dac is that?

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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Wadia was a company which knew how to get the best out of digital media, and were well ahead of their time. You probably need to consider some more advanced DACs with more sophisticated digital filtering, power supplies, and output stages than what Benchmark offers.

You would probably prefer something like the new Ayre DAC...

 

For computer audio you also need to pay attention to the source, the software player matters for sound quality. there is good advice on this in the posts below.

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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