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The advice to not buy anything and use this money for other things is the best advice here.  Second best advice is, good sound doesn't have to cost x amount of dollars and nothing below it can sound good...  That's a silly way to buy anything, especially if you're going into it clueless...

No electron left behind...

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I'll probably go with an integrated solution. Stand alone DAC's seem like yesterdays technology. I decided I want something engineered so there's no need for any tweaks to make it sound at it's best. After all it's the music I'm in this for, not the gear. I certainly don't have a gear fetish. 

 

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14 minutes ago, Silly goose said:

I'll probably go with an integrated solution. Stand alone DAC's seem like yesterdays technology. I decided I want something engineered so there's no need for any tweaks to make it sound at it's best. After all it's the music I'm in this for, not the gear. I certainly don't have a gear fetish. 

 

Integrated solutions, while making things much simpler, and initially optimal, fail far too quickly as technology moves ahead. The DAC, especially, in your integrated unit may be outdated quickly, and then you are forced to replace everything.

 

JC

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Just now, TubeLover said:

Integrated solutions, while making things much simpler, and initially optimal, fail far too quickly as technology moves ahead. The DAC, especially, in your integrated unit may be outdated quickly, and then you are forced to replace everything.

 

JC

I suppose it depends how it was designed. I would never buy something that didn't have the ability to upgrade each section independently. Stand alone DAC's are like flavors of the month. I would rather just replace a low cost PCB, rather than a complete DAC. I also don't want anything to do with interconnects, or digital cables. Major waste of money when all the connections can be made much better internally.  

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1 hour ago, Silly goose said:

I suppose it depends how it was designed. I would never buy something that didn't have the ability to upgrade each section independently. Stand alone DAC's are like flavors of the month. I would rather just replace a low cost PCB, rather than a complete DAC. I also don't want anything to do with interconnects, or digital cables. Major waste of money when all the connections can be made much better internally.  

 

I tend to agree here, although it depends on the implementation. For example to use the ifiGalvanic, the upstream USB port must provide for USB3.0 power rating of 900mA. The USB extender from ICRON that offers USB3.0, costs well over USD1000, plus I would have to run a fibre optic cable and find linear power supplies that are stable enough for ICRON standard. This is no loose change, and integrated solutions like a Lumin T1, D1 Aurender somethings are looking more attractive every day.

Not only the cost, but the signal chain is short and simple, a Cat5e direct to a NAS. What could be simpler.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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1 minute ago, One and a half said:

 

I tend to agree here, although it depends on the implementation. For example to use the ifiGalvanic, the upstream USB port must provide for USB3.0 power rating of 900mA. The USB extender from ICRON that offers USB3.0, costs well over USD1000, plus I would have to run a fibre optic cable and find linear power supplies that are stable enough for ICRON standard. This is no loose change, and integrated solutions like a Lumin T1, D1 Aurender somethings are looking more attractive every day.

Not only the cost, but the signal chain is short and simple, a Cat5e direct to a NAS. What could be simpler.

Yeah I think what one needs to determine, in order to make the best decision is, are you an Audiophile, or a top quality music lover? Audiophiles like to tweak audio gear, solely for the experience of tweaking audio gear. Music lovers simply want the best sounding reproduction, with the least amount of messing around. Kinda like computers. If all I want to do is browse the internet, view photo's, and video's on a large, high resolution screen an Imac works for me. I don't need a big fanless tower, overclocked, with a giant video card. 

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1 minute ago, Silly goose said:

Yeah I think what one needs to determine, in order to make the best decision is, are you an Audiophile, or a top quality music lover? Audiophiles like to tweak audio gear, solely for the experience of tweaking audio gear. Music lovers simply want the best sounding reproduction, with the least amount of messing around. Kinda like computers. If all I want to do is browse the internet, view photo's, and video's on a large, high resolution screen an Imac works for me. I don't need a big fanless tower, overclocked, with a giant video card. 

I would suspect there's a mix of the tweakers and the music appreciation people to a certain extent, much like a washing machine, tips one way then another, not a cut and dried effect :) I'm kinda tired of trying this and that with computer audio and am quite happy to listen to SACD/CD cause it's simple and I enjoy it a lot, but like the convenience of picking an album in seconds rather than minutes of searching for example. 

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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Getting back to the OP's situation, and I don't know if he is still reading this, consider the following.

 

If you are going to spend serious bucks on a dream system, which end to start with.  Speakers or DAC?

 

I will posit that spending $10k on a well chosen speaker and connecting it to amps and DAC/pre costing a combined total of $2000, will definitely and clearly outperform any $10k DAC and $10K dac/pre you can come up with connected to $2000 speakers.  That is a $12k system versus a $22k system and the $22k system is going to suffer in comparison.

 

Does anyone disagree with that?

 

If I equalize the cost and make it $20k speaker with $2k of power/pre/dac the difference will be greater still.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Just now, esldude said:

Getting back to the OP's situation, and I don't know if he is still reading this, consider the following.

 

If you are going to spend serious bucks on a dream system, which end to start with.  Speakers or DAC?

 

I will posit that spending $10k on a well chosen speaker and connecting it to amps and DAC/pre costing a combined total of $2000, will definitely and clearly outperform any $10k DAC and $10K dac/pre you can come up with connected to $2000 speakers.  That is a $12k system versus a $22k system and the $22k system is going to suffer in comparison.

 

Does anyone disagree with that?

 

If I equalize the cost and make it $20k speaker with $2k of power/pre/dac the difference will be greater still.

I'm going with an integrated solution. Speakers and all. Grand total will cost around $40K. But all I'll have in my listening room is 2 beautiful clean speaker cabinets, and an Ipad for GUI control. As a music lover, that's all I want. Hell if I could get the same sound without even having the speakers in the room I would go that route. 

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1 minute ago, Silly goose said:

I'm going with an integrated solution. Speakers and all. Grand total will cost around $40K. But all I'll have in my listening room is 2 beautiful clean speaker cabinets, and an Ipad for GUI control. As a music lover, that's all I want. Hell if I could get the same sound without even having the speakers in the room I would go that route. 

 Sorry didn't notice you were still active in the thread.


Sounds like a good choice to me.  I would caution you to audition what you have in mind speaker wise and to listen to some reasonable competitors to make sure the speaker chosen is one you'll love for a long time to come.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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BTW, something like this was done by Wilson back in 2004 at an audio show.  They demo'd their Sophia speakers with a hidden $1k amp and an iPod source.

 

 

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Just now, esldude said:

 Sorry didn't notice you were still active in the thread.


Sounds like a good choice to me.  I would caution you to audition what you have in mind speaker wise and to listen to some reasonable competitors to make sure the speaker chosen is one you'll love for a long time to come.

Yes certainly. I won't be buying anything without hearing it first.

 

Doing things any other way this day and age just seems like going backwards. Speakers are something we still need in our listening room today. However the electronics can easily be hidden inside the cabinets. And with the right engineering, none of the vibrations from the speakers affect the electronics. Fro what I've been told, the only reason all systems aren't built this way today, is to support sales of all sorts of boxes, cables and gadgets. It's simply far too sustainable for dealers to make any money. But as a consumer, that's a non-issue for me. 

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Yes today all speakers should be active if they are serious.  Probably should all have digital input so the crossovers can be done digitally. 

 

I don't know if you have heard of the JBL M2 reference speakers.  JBL doesn't have a big rep among high end audiophiles in the US.  The M2 is a heck of a speaker by all accounts though I haven't heard them.  Lots of careful research (and I do mean genuine research not marketing pablum) behind their design.  A pair would cost you $40k. 

 

Digital input with DSP used extensively.

 

Only drawback I see is they aren't the prettiest speaker in the world by a long shot. 

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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1 minute ago, esldude said:

Yes today all speakers should be active if they are serious.  Probably should all have digital input so the crossovers can be done digitally. 

 

I don't know if you have heard of the JBL M2 reference speakers.  JBL doesn't have a big rep among high end audiophiles in the US.  The M2 is a heck of a speaker by all accounts though I haven't heard them.  Lots of careful research (and I do mean genuine research not marketing pablum) behind their design.  A pair would cost you $40k. 

 

Digital input with DSP used extensively.

Even if I like the sound of the M2's, they aren't a 2 box solution. They still have external amps and DSP. The Dynaudio wireless speakers are a better example of what I'm talking about. Only the ones I have in mind have native DSD up to 256 support with no downsampling. They also don't require an external server. You connect the Ipad directly to the speakers. You either stream from Tidal, or they will come with up to 40TB of internal hard drive space. However they won't be officially announced until RMAF 2017 according to the manufacturer. I guess time will tell. 

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On 16/03/2017 at 2:09 AM, esldude said:

 

Also my advice on building systems is start with the speakers. I should shout it.

 

START WITH SPEAKERS!

 

Speakers make by far the biggest differences.

 

This!

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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34 minutes ago, Silly goose said:

I'm going with an integrated solution. Speakers and all. Grand total will cost around $40K. But all I'll have in my listening room is 2 beautiful clean speaker cabinets, and an Ipad for GUI control. As a music lover, that's all I want. Hell if I could get the same sound without even having the speakers in the room I would go that route. 

What are you getting?

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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1 minute ago, semente said:

 

This!

Yes I'll be starting and ending with speakers! I personally don't really care what's in them to make them work. All I care about is if they work, and if they sound better than old fashioned multi box and cable systems. 

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Just now, firedog said:

What are you getting?

I'll tell you after RMAF. They still haven't been announced. And I can't disclose them. I'll leave it up to them. But they are a well known company who makes killer gear. I need to fly down to California to audition them. 

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12 hours ago, esldude said:

Getting back to the OP's situation, and I don't know if he is still reading this, consider the following.

 

If you are going to spend serious bucks on a dream system, which end to start with.  Speakers or DAC?

 

I will posit that spending $10k on a well chosen speaker and connecting it to amps and DAC/pre costing a combined total of $2000, will definitely and clearly outperform any $10k DAC and $10K dac/pre you can come up with connected to $2000 speakers.  That is a $12k system versus a $22k system and the $22k system is going to suffer in comparison.

 

Does anyone disagree with that?

 

If I equalize the cost and make it $20k speaker with $2k of power/pre/dac the difference will be greater still.

 

I agree based on non-experiential grounds.  If anyone wants to send me better speakers than I have now ($6,000 Maggies) and a $10,000 DAC I will be glad to perform extensive listening tests and maybe even jot down some notes.

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On ‎01‎/‎04‎/‎2017 at 5:22 AM, Silly goose said:

I'll probably go with an integrated solution. Stand alone DAC's seem like yesterdays technology. I decided I want something engineered so there's no need for any tweaks to make it sound at it's best. After all it's the music I'm in this for, not the gear. I certainly don't have a gear fetish. 

 

 

I know you asked for DACs Goose but just thought I'd chime in by saying if you get these, that part of your system (amp & speakers) will be done for life (and the lives your future beneficiaries): http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/hi-fi/loudspeakers/tower-series/scm300aslt/

 

Please be sure to make good revenue/growth investments with the majority of the remainder. ;-)

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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14 hours ago, intensemojo said:

An Aurender A10 and a pair of ATC 150's. Done...

 

Lovely system that would trounce many at multiples of coin, great suggestion. ;-)

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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