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Amp with integrated DAC


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I'm looking to replace my current amps (Arcam 290/290P bi-amped) and current CD player (Arcam 70.1) and it seems sensible to put all of my music onto the computer (something I've put off far too long!), so I'm looking for an amp with an integrated DAC or a DAC with a remote controlled pre-amp. The Benchmark seems to meet my criteria except that it doesn't have a remote control. The only other amp that I'm aware of with a DAC built in is the Naim Supernait but I have no idea how this DAC compares with external DAC's. Anyone got any advice?

 

I'm also totally confused as to how DAC's operate and hope someone can enlighten me. I have been thinking of buying something like the DACMagic just to experiment. But my current amps are remote controlled and have a number of inputs. If I connect all my current inputs to the DACMagic do I then have one connection from the DACMagic to the amp and if so can I still remotely control the input selection? I apologize if this is a really basic/stupid question but it's something I've totally failed to understand. I've no idea if US hifi dealers stock DAC's but I've failed to find anyone in the UK who does, except of course for online stores.

 

Last question! Sometime ago I purchased a Squeezebox Classic which I've never got around to connecting. If I get a reasonable DAC will this sound as good as my current CD player? My current intention is to rip all of my music to FLAC using EAC.

 

Many thanks,

 

David

 

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The lack of DAC/Preamps and DAC/Integrated Amps is realy annoying. We will just have to wait for the market to mature.

 

Yes, you could experimet with a Dacmagic without breaking the bank, but a Beresford DAC would give you more of what you want for less money, and some say it is the better DAC.

 

The Beresford has 4 switchable digital inputs (2 on phono sockets and 2 optical), it has a manual volume control and a viariable and a fixed output. This makes it very flexible, but without remote control of sourse or volume.

 

I have a Squeezebox Classic on Channel 1 (digital phono cable), the optical out from the Virgin Media Box is on Channel 4 (optical) and the optical out from the TV is on Channel 3.

 

The variable output drives and upgraded Quad 405-2 directly.

 

The Squeezebox is much improved by the Beresford DAC - I use it for Internet Radio up to 320Kb/s, and for steamed FLAC. A Squeezebox playing FLAC through a Beresford with give even very expensive CD players a good run for their money.

 

The optical out from the Virgin Box gives me excellent audio when watching TV, and gives me a second sourse for radio - 128Kb/s for BBC Radio as it's lower of Internet.

 

DVDs I play from my laptop connected to the TV by HDMI - the audio is looped from the optical out on the TV into Channel 3 of the Beresford DAC. The quality is not as good as streamed FLAC or internet radio via the Squeezebox, but it is good enough for soundtrack of a film on DVD.

 

So, if you want tyo experiment without breaking the bank while waiting for those head-in-the sand HiFi manufacturers to catch up, try a Beresford for about £120.

 

http://www.beresford.me/others/main.html

 

Do see that this is quite a small box - not a full width unit. It is well made without any flashiness. It sounds great.

 

You will note that I only have digital sourses so they are all switched at the DAC. The volume control is analogue and the last process that happens in the DAC box.

 

If you want to retain some analogue inputs, you would need to keep a pre-amp, or the pre-amp section of an integrated amp in circuit. In such circumstances you could used the fixed output of the Beresford DAC. You would then have remote control of volume and of analogue sourses, but no way of remotely switching between alternative digital sourses - but you may only have one digital sourse - the Squeezebox.

 

Well, you have lots of choices there.

 

Another thing to note

- the Beresford has switchable inputs all S/PDIF, 2 electrical, 2 optical.

- The DACmagic has two S/PDIF inputs (either electrical or optical) but is does have a USB input which you may this is an advantage. It has no variable output, which is a fatal flaw for me.

 

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/assets/documents/DACMagic2_A5.pdf

 

 

 

Brian

Squeezebox Classic - Beresford Caiman-Gator DAC - Quad 520f with Dada refresh - Quart 980s German Tower Loudspeakers.

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Both Tact and Lyndorf make such products and are considered to be serious high end equipment.

 

The Tact 2150 which I own two of and use to Bi-amp my speakers was Clement Perry's at Stereo Times reference amplifier for several years before switching to the "if you have to ask you can't afford priced" Behold amps.

 

From the Tact web site: "They are D/A converters that just happen to put out enough current and voltage to drive speakers directly, without the need of any amplification. This way it will perform the functions of: D/A converter, Preamplifier and Power Amplifier, without having any analog circuitry after D/A conversion other than one coil and one capacitor performing a 60 kHz, 2nd order low-pass filter."

 

Definitely check out the Tact 2150 the S2150 model is under 2K, Lyndorf are more expensive although based on same technology.

 

http://www.tactlab.com/tact_products.html#digital_amplifiers

 

http://www.lyngdorf.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=33

 

 

 

PC running XP pro, C Play, TC Electonic Konnect 8 Firewire to Spdif, 2 Lyngdorf 2200TDAi amplifiers, Synergy Acoustics crossoverless monitors driven actively by the 2200TDAi\'s, custom subwoofers driven by a Lyngdorf SDA2175

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Both Tact and Lyndorf make such products and are considered to be serious high end equipment.

 

Maybe, but where are the mainstream products at reasonable prices?

 

AVI ADM 9.1s are such a product, but go on to the next stage and integrate the speakers. Thatbapproach has a very great deal of merit, but is not a solution if you want to keep a very nice pair of speakers.

 

The ADM 9.1s allow the remote control of digital and analogue sourses and have a remote analogue volume control - now if that electronics were available without the speakers - ie a digital input intergated amp - that would be a solution for many.

 

There is, think, a DAC- Preamp on the market - one only? - so industry WAKE UP.

 

http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/dac1pre/index.html

 

Brian

Squeezebox Classic - Beresford Caiman-Gator DAC - Quad 520f with Dada refresh - Quart 980s German Tower Loudspeakers.

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Define mainstream?

 

Tact is a well known established brand in the industry; the 2150 series amps are excellent value.

 

$2000.00 for a pre-amp / 150 watt quality amplifier/ Top notch dac seems like a reasonable deal to me compared to the benchmark- dac1pre. Oh ya in a much better looking case too with a remote. What sort of half decent power amp would you suggest to go with the benchmark that would not put the combo over $2K

 

As for less expensive integrated or preamps with dacs on the market there are quite a few others that come to mind.

 

Shanling - http://www.charismaaudio.com/A40.html

 

Music Hall Mambo - http://www.musichallaudio.com/mmf_products.asp?show=true&prolook=mambo

 

KingRex (even has USB)- http://www.audio-magus.com/category_s/39.htm

 

inexpensive Dacs with Volume control - http://www.audio-magus.com/category_s/6.htm

 

Bryston also has a Integrated that has an optional dac card not inexpensive though.

 

The much praised Berkley Alpha dac also has volume control; not inexpensive

 

Hey is that coffee I smell

 

PC running XP pro, C Play, TC Electonic Konnect 8 Firewire to Spdif, 2 Lyngdorf 2200TDAi amplifiers, Synergy Acoustics crossoverless monitors driven actively by the 2200TDAi\'s, custom subwoofers driven by a Lyngdorf SDA2175

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  • 2 years later...

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