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The Computer Audiophile

Article: McIntosh D1100 Digital Preamplifier DAC Review - Part One

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I've done allot of bitching about the DSD popping on other forums.  There solution is a fade in on the D1100.  I wonder if they are going to add this to the C47, C52, C2600 etc


Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

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I have D1100 in for review as well. Received the loaner yesterday afternoon. I am using it as a DAC first with my Simaudio Moon 430HAD headphone amplifier and Focal Utopia headphones. My source is a 2017 27" iMac running Roon with a mix of ,WAV CD files and DSD. I am getting a soft pop sound through the headphone when switching between .WAV and DSF files, not loud at all even through headphones and the Moon's volume at 44.5. Unfortunately, the D1100 does not play nice with my Sony HAP-Z1es via USB Audio so it leaves me the iMac + Roon as my best source. 

 

Early impressions are: very wide soundstage, superb imaging, instruments separation, D1100 extracts the smallest detail in the music giving me the entire frequency spectrum in equal parts. I own the McIntosh C50 since its release a few years ago. The performance level of D1100 is very clear even on CD quality music files. I'll have an unboxing video soon and a full review after some quality ear-time. ~ Mike

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Great review as always.  I've always had a fondness for McIntosh products.  Looking forward to part 2.  CA is consistently a rewarding read.

 

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I wish MAC would make a dedicated headphone amp. I'd love to see those blue dials staring back at me.


Furutech GTX-D>J River 23>Cardas Clear USB>Wyred4Sound DAC2v2 SE>Moon Audio Blue Dragon IC>Cavalli Liquid Fire>Q French Silk Headphone cable>Audeze LCD2rev2>my ears>audiophile brain

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2 hours ago, KDinsmore said:

I wish MAC would make a dedicated headphone amp. I'd love to see those blue dials staring back at me.

 

Screenshot_2017-08-14-16-00-02.png


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I would like just the amp. No DAC built in.


Furutech GTX-D>J River 23>Cardas Clear USB>Wyred4Sound DAC2v2 SE>Moon Audio Blue Dragon IC>Cavalli Liquid Fire>Q French Silk Headphone cable>Audeze LCD2rev2>my ears>audiophile brain

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Quote

Don't ask me why, it's just there

 

Direct to/from movie sound-track.

 

If you haven't seen it, you should.  (I alternate identifying with the kid and the parents. Hopefully, more with the kid.)


--

Do facts matter?

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Chris -

 

I own a D150 and was considering upgrading to a D1100 or adding a PS Audio Direct Stream Jr. I also have a MCT450 CD/SACD transport. I like DSD and SACD quite a bit and like the idea of the DirectStream Jr taking all PCM and doing it's thing with PCM signals.

 

However, part of the Mac appeal is the how they handle the analog side of the equation which it very important and this is where their 50 years of audio expertise really starts to shine. The transport is a 50 pound tank and the over performance is very impressive. I am wondering how much of an improvement one would see with the D1100 over my current setup vs. the Direct Stream which would definitely change the analog side of things. D150 would still do SACD in that case.

 

Downstream it is all tube pre-amp and amp although I could bypass the pre. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Very nice article - thanks for writing up. Lot's of folks ignore Mac and while it can be expensive I personally do see the value in it and have drunk their Kool-Aid. :-)

 


My System: McIntosh C47, McIntosh MC152, McIntosh MCT450, Prima Luna Dialogue Premium Tube Integrated, Dynaudio Special 25's, Transparent Super Interconnects and Speaker Cables

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My current setup uses a McIntosh MA6600 with a Bryston DAC. I had a D100, which a McIntosh devotee bought off me because I could not get past the edginess of its sound. However, in his system (MC501's with Aerial 8's), it sounds just right. Go figure. Anyway, I can very much imagine a combo of the D1100 with a MC452. That might do quite nicely, should you want to stay within brand. 

 

Chris, nice review! Played each track you played as I read through the article. Made it all the more informative. Looking forward to part 2!  

 

John


JJinPDX

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Chris, I'm interested in what your evaluation of the D11000 would be if it was strictly viewed as a DAC. I have a friend who is very interested in one, but he would not be utilizing any of it's digital preamp functions.

 

JC

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I just got my d1100, and have it integrated with my c1100.  I use Roon, and am not going to switch to JRiver.  So, unfortunately, it seems I am stuck with what you describe brilliantly as "The fade-in problem".  I am happy that McIntosh solved the DSD popping issue with firmware, but I really hope they put out a future firmware release that allows the rest of us that don't want to use the ONE piece of software they support, to enjoy albums without missing the first few bits of every song due to the muting logic.

 

I love the sound of this DAC in my system, but I'm pretty disappointed that my $20,000 worth of combined c1100/d1100 can't play an album without losing the first few bits of every track : (

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