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Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference V1 vs V2 vs V3


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Can anyone comment on the relative benefits or improvements of the various Berkeley Reference versions. I have always wanted to try a Berkeley Reference DAC. The price differences for each step, even bought used, is high. ~$5.5k for a used  V1 and ~$12k for a used v2. V3 is unobtanium from any perspective and I would also imagine getting pretty far out onto the flat part of the cost/benefit curve.

 

Technology for DACs has been moving very quickly over the past couple of years with remarkable DACs now available new for less than $6K. I would list the Denefrips Terminator 2, Holo Audio May KTE, the Lampizator Baltic, and distantly the Schitt Yggy as close, or even better, contenders against a use Berkeley V1. Of these I have already owned an updated Yggy and currently a Terminator 2.

 

Any idea how a Berkeley Reference v1, which is in my realistic price range, would hold up against these new generation DACs?


"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

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I haven’t heard the Ref 3, but I have a Ref 2 MQA this is for sale. My Ref 2 was originally a Ref 1 and I had the factory upgrade it to a Ref 2. Then when MQA software came out, I installed that.  I agree with Chris that there were improvements in each step.  But they all do sound quite similar and are all excellent.  As I understand from speaking with Berkeley, the Alpha 3 is quite close the Ref 3, and that unit sells for just under 11,000.  They are no longer upgrading Ref DACs, which is unfortunate.  I expect this is why the Ref 1 and Ref 2s are selling at lower prices than they did previously.   

Audio Alchemy DMP-1 / Roon / Berkeley Alpha RS 2 / Constellation Monos / TAD R1s

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Thanks! I wanted a Ref 2 but even with the lower used prices it felt a bit out of my reach. I got a Denefrips T2 with a Hermes DDC and they are sounding very good as they break in.


"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

System

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