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Introduction--Looking to Upgrade DAC

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Hi,

I'm new to this site. I discovered it in my search for a DSD DAC to replace my Oppo 105. I have a HAL MS3 running JRiver and Aurender S-10 and want to be able to listen to my ~12 TB of hi-rez albums without worrying about conversion, drop outs, etc. I have about 300 DSD albums, so would prefer native DSD. Ideally I'd feed everything through the aurender, as I like the UI better than JRiver, and I haven't gotten JRemote to work yet.

 

I started looking at DACs below $2k used, but find myself looking at Meitner, PS Audio DirectStream, Bricasti M1, etc. Within my budget are Exogal Comet and Auralic Vega.

 

Thanks,

AC

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Hi,

I'm new to this site. I discovered it in my search for a DSD DAC to replace my Oppo 105. I have a HAL MS3 running JRiver and Aurender S-10 and want to be able to listen to my ~12 TB of hi-rez albums without worrying about conversion, drop outs, etc. I have about 300 DSD albums, so would prefer native DSD. Ideally I'd feed everything through the aurender, as I like the UI better than JRiver, and I haven't gotten JRemote to work yet.

 

I started looking at DACs below $2k used, but find myself looking at Meitner, PS Audio DirectStream, Bricasti M1, etc. Within my budget are Exogal Comet and Auralic Vega.

 

Thanks,

AC

 

I recently purchased a second hand Auralic Vega and can heartily recommend it. It is used as a reference by quite a few professional reviewers for a good reason. It really is a special piece of equipment.

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Bryston BDA-3, has HDMI inputs so you can connect it to the OPPO105 for DSD files, same price as Vega.

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Bryston BDA-3, has HDMI inputs so you can connect it to the OPPO105 for DSD files, same price as Vega.

I hadn't thought about using HDMI. How does HDMI compare to USB at handling hi-rez?

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I recently purchased a second hand Auralic Vega and can heartily recommend it. It is used as a reference by quite a few professional reviewers for a good reason. It really is a special piece of equipment.

The Vega was the first thing I thought of when I thought about a new DAC. Of course then I get to looking and am torn between not wanting to spend $3500 for a new one and wanting something better. I am deep in the rabbit hole!

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I hadn't thought about using HDMI. How does HDMI compare to USB at handling hi-rez?

 

The Bryston has both so you can compare.

 

There is also the updated T+A DAC 8 that has separate converters for PCM and DSD inside, with true 1 bit converters doing up to DSD512.

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The Vega was the first thing I thought of when I thought about a new DAC. Of course then I get to looking and am torn between not wanting to spend $3500 for a new one and wanting something better. I am deep in the rabbit hole!

 

Just keep an eye on second hand sales on various sites and be patient. I got mine for $2,000.00!

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Just keep an eye on second hand sales on various sites and be patient. I got mine for $2,000.00!

 

I'd hope to get an Exogal for about $1800 or a Vega for $2k.

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Got Vega a year ago for 2500. Found it via hifishark website.


MacBook Pro + Roon > Airport Extreme > microRendu + mbps-d2s > Auralic Vega > McIntosh MC275 > Yamaha NS-2000

Wired with: High Fidelity CT-1 Enhanced RCA, Revelation Audio Labs, Fadel Art Coherence PC

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Bryston BDA-3, has HDMI inputs so you can connect it to the OPPO105 for DSD files, same price as Vega.

 

With that configuration (Oppo --> HDMI --> Bryston BDA-3), it's also possible to play SACDs in DSD through the external DAC, which is a unique feature, as it requires a HDMI input and DSD input, that currently only the Bryston is offering (the NAD M51 has HDMI inputs but does not accept DSD).


Claude

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Ive tried quite a few DACS (Exogal, T+A DSD8, Naim, M2Tech, Chord) over the years and the one that sounded best to me on DSD was the Lampizator, it simply blew the rest of them away, Ive not yet heard a Auralic so cant comment on that


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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The Bryston has both so you can compare.

 

There is also the updated T+A DAC 8 that has separate converters for PCM and DSD inside, with true 1 bit converters doing up to DSD512.

The T+A DAC looks interesting. I've read about their preamps, which get pretty good reviews. Pretty odd name for an audio company--not comfortable searching for reviews at work! I'll check them out and add them to the list. I haven't really looked at Bryston--don't know why, but that brand hasn't really hit my radar.

 

Thanks!

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Ive tried quite a few DACS (Exogal, T+A DSD8, Naim, M2Tech, Chord) over the years and the one that sounded best to me on DSD was the Lampizator, it simply blew the rest of them away, Ive not yet heard a Auralic so cant comment on that

Ive heard nothing but raves about Lampizator products. Their entry level, however, is pretty far above what I want to spend (~$2k), and the raves I read are about their higher end, the Big 7 and Golden Gate DACs.

 

How did the Exogal, T+A, and Chord DACs compare? From my research the Exogal, QUTE, Hugo, and Aries Vega are more close than they are different, although reviewers can still talk about "significant" differences between them

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Got Vega a year ago for 2500. Found it via hifishark website.

What else did you audition/consider besides the Vega? I see used Vegas in the $2200 - $2500 listed price range. Are you happy with it?

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The T+A DAC looks interesting.

 

Be aware that there is an old (2012) and a new (2015) version of the T + A DAC 8. Only the new one (called "DAC 8 DSD") accepts DSD signals. There are probably still many old DAC 8 being available in stores.


Claude

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Be aware that there is an old (2012) and a new (2015) version of the T + A DAC 8. Only the new one (called "DAC 8 DSD") accepts DSD signals. There are probably still many old DAC 8 being available in stores.

That's good to know! Thanks.

 

Are there other firmware rev issues I should be aware of on Auralic, Exogal, Bryston, or Chord DACs?

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Ive heard nothing but raves about Lampizator products. Their entry level, however, is pretty far above what I want to spend (~$2k), and the raves I read are about their higher end, the Big 7 and Golden Gate DACs.

 

How did the Exogal, T+A, and Chord DACs compare? From my research the Exogal, QUTE, Hugo, and Aries Vega are more close than they are different, although reviewers can still talk about "significant" differences between them

 

They all faired ok on DSD to be fair, the Exogel is not native but did an ok job, the Lampi blew them all away, and no I don't own one but may get a Level 4 in the future if funds permit


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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They all faired ok on DSD to be fair, the Exogel is not native but did an ok job, the Lampi blew them all away, and no I don't own one but may get a Level 4 in the future if funds permit

Wow even a level 4 Lampi blew away the rest? How did its performance on PCM compare?

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Wow even a level 4 Lampi blew away the rest? How did its performance on PCM compare?

 

Really good, I may be getting one round for a demo in the next few days as its been quite a while since I heard one, thus demo will have an inbuilt pre amp where as the last one didn't


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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Another strong recommendation for Lampi here. I was in your position last year and could not decide which way to go specially with DSD. Went with the Lampi Amber which comes with the Sabre chip. Does all that I need - PCM 24/384 and DSD128. Needless to say it topped my previous DAC.

 

Waiting to see what the higher end Lampi DACs are all about - but very happy with what I have right now.


Win10 Transport + Fidelizer 8 + JRMC 26 & HQPlayer | Job INT | Green Mountain Audio Eos HX

 

 

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The Amber is at least in the realm of the reasonable. Some Lampi DACs seem to have some peculiar interfaces--switches, etc. although it's their sound that everyone raves about.

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