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Article: Audiophile 5: Elac DDP-2 DAC / Preamp / Streamer In 5 Minutes

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I don't use Roon, so until DDP-2 UPnP support is available my interest in this product is on hold.  It does have some very attractive features.  Any idea whether it's AKM or ESS DAC?  I'd also have to be certain that MQA can be completely disengaged.

 

 


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Great teaser! I really liked Peter Madnick's explanations of the design. Having an on-board streamer synch with the DAC clock via I2S is brilliant. Hopefully the DLNA issue is resolved soon.

 

I used an Audio Achemy DDE3, DTI and PS2 in the 90's. I sold a bunch of old gear recently and connected the AA stuff to my main system to ensure everything worked. It did, and was a bit shocked at how good the old AA stuff sounded.

 

Peter's a talented designer with decades of experience, and the DDP-2 includes everything I want in a DAC/Preamp. It's definitely on my short list. I'm looking forward with great anticipation to the full review, and hopefully some comparisons.

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Peter Madnick is brilliant and I thought the Acoustic Alchemy products were just fantastic so this is almost guaranteed to sound amazing.

 

I'm wondering if this product's industrial design will make it a tough sell? It reminds me of a satellite TV receiver - not very kind of me to say I realize. The last round of DAC's and amps from AA had such a cool and hip industrial design.

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15 minutes ago, loop7 said:

Peter Madnick is brilliant and I thought the Acoustic Alchemy products were just fantastic so this is almost guaranteed to sound amazing.

 

I'm wondering if this product's industrial design will make it a tough sell? It reminds me of a satellite TV receiver - not very kind of me to say I realize. The last round of DAC's and amps from AA had such a cool and hip industrial design.

Agree on all points. 


Founder of Audiophile Style and Superphonica

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On 7/16/2019 at 2:12 PM, loop7 said:

Peter Madnick is brilliant and I thought the Acoustic Alchemy products were just fantastic so this is almost guaranteed to sound amazing.

 

I'm wondering if this product's industrial design will make it a tough sell? It reminds me of a satellite TV receiver - not very kind of me to say I realize. The last round of DAC's and amps from AA had such a cool and hip industrial design.

I was going to say the same thing. Looks like they took close out cable boxes and put them to use. Not very pretty indeed

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The look won't discourage me from buying, but I do need to see how the sound compares to other DAC/Preamps in this price range, e.g. Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, Benchmark DAC3, iFi Pro DSD, etc, and how the inboard streamer stacks up vs. separates from Sonore or SOtM. The PS Audio Stellar Gain Preamp with an Ultrarendu would be an interesting comparison and very close in price .

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Is DSD incorporated? I didn't hear that mentioned but Roon users will be happy to hear about this product.

Since I'm favorable to Audirvana, I'm awaiting to learn more. 

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17 hours ago, yahooboy said:

Well I basically do not trust ANY company trying to push MQA.

So this company is of the list

So you wouldn't buy anything from Elac, over this? I see no evidence that they are "pushing" MQA. The only reference I can find is a simple statement that the DDP-2 is MQA capable, but not functional yet. I assume this is a business decision. The marketing department likely determined that leaving MQA out would negatively impact sales more than including it. 

 

I'm not a fan of MQA processing. I believe the technology will fail and die, but no one knows for certain. My overriding interest is in buying the best sounding DAC/Preamp I can afford, with the features I want. MQA is not one those features, but inclusion will not affect my purchase decision. The DDP-2 is a contender, with all the features on my needs list, and the right price.

 

My main system has three clocks right now, in the wi-fi/ethernet bridge, renderer and DAC/Pre. I am well aware of the benefits of a single clock from past experience. The fact that this unit has I2S wi-fi puts it ahead of the others on my short list.

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4 hours ago, audiobomber said:

So you wouldn't buy anything from Elac, over this? I see no evidence that they are "pushing" MQA. The only reference I can find is a simple statement that the DDP-2 is MQA capable, but not functional yet. I assume this is a business decision. The marketing department likely determined that leaving MQA out would negatively impact sales more than including it. 

 

I'm not a fan of MQA processing. I believe the technology will fail and die, but no one knows for certain. My overriding interest is in buying the best sounding DAC/Preamp I can afford, with the features I want. MQA is not one those features, but inclusion will not affect my purchase decision. The DDP-2 is a contender, with all the features on my needs list, and the right price.

 

My main system has three clocks right now, in the wi-fi/ethernet bridge, renderer and DAC/Pre. I am well aware of the benefits of a single clock from past experience. The fact that this unit has I2S wi-fi puts it ahead of the others on my short list.

 

It's about the signal that ELAC sends as a company, by including it in their product they are endorsing all the ills that MQA is.

One way to rid the world of this illness, is letting manufacturers know that any association with a company that has been shown to have a strange take on the truth, looses them sales.

 

 

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3 hours ago, yahooboy said:

One way to rid the world of this illness, is letting manufacturers know that any association with a company that has been shown to have a strange take on the truth, looses them sales.

Certainly that is your right. It's a no-win situation for the manufacturers. I have a friend who's also shopping for a DAC, and will not consider anything lacking MQA. As mentioned, I don't care that it has MQA or doesn't, I just want the best value DAC/Pre I can find. I suspect both opinions are more prevalent than someone who will boycott a company because they've included it.

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10 hours ago, audiobomber said:

Certainly that is your right. It's a no-win situation for the manufacturers. I have a friend who's also shopping for a DAC, and will not consider anything lacking MQA. As mentioned, I don't care that it has MQA or doesn't, I just want the best value DAC/Pre I can find. I suspect both opinions are more prevalent than someone who will boycott a company because they've included it.

 

I do believe as a manufacturer You should back each and every part of Your product. If You include MQA, that's an endorsement. As a constructor/manufacturer You are informed by MQA what that entails. In the case of ELAC (for instance) the information about the ills was available when the DDP-2 was under construction.

 

I have talked to a lot of manufacturers whose product i liked but that included MQA, almost all of them had included MQA because it was the latest buzzword. A lot of them don't even understand how MQA works (or the implications of this) So the manufacturers just included it to have another thing on the checklist.

 

When I buy from a manufacturer, I don't want buzzwords or "features" that have been proven to not do anything (good) for the sound

 

And I will not support anyone that endorse MQA

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