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sharetor
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Best DAC for Primare i32 and a PC??

Hi all
I know the “best…” is very subjective but this is me trying to find out what would be the best DAC options to connect an Audio PC (with AEC CD’s and HD flac files) to my Primare i32. The speakers are Proac Studio 140 with QED Sig. Revelation cables.

I’ve been reading a lot about DAC and I can find lots of things in different price levels. I think my big question is. What price level should I go? Once I decide about the price level then I have what model/brand, but that’s another story. I know Primare will produce a Digital Media extension for Primare i32 but I have no idea when, cost and if is good for PC.
Not sure if I will ever buy a CD player like Primare CD32. I prefer the a PC to a CDP. Now, the other question. Will a DAC sound as good as Primare CD32?
NOTE: I live in a small place and can’t test/try stuff. I have to buy these things through internet (I know that to be able to go to a store and try things is a must but I just can’t do it. Nowhere to go).
Here are some examples of DAC I’ve been reading about.
Some prices my not be correct and some of DAC are older, It’s just a reference. If you know others, please tell/advice.
Berkeley AlphaDAC ($ 5000)
Bel Canto_DAC3 (USD $ 2495)
Grace m903 (USD $ 1700/1800)
Stello DA220MK2 (USD $ 1650)
Wyred4Sound DAC-2 (USD $ 1499)
Lavry Engineering DA11 (USD $ 1480)
Bryston BDA 1 (USD $ 1995)
AQVOX_USB2DAMKII (Euro 998)
BenchmarkDAC1 (USD $ 975)
Any feedback is more than welcome

Thanks, Luís

neiltingley
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I'd Rip your CDs and buy the

I'd Rip your CDs and buy the Ayre DAC. Its really fantastic. I decided to go USB all the way after some reading and thinking about what I really wanted to do.

sharetor
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Hi neiltingley I'm

Hi neiltingley

I'm considering seriously to go for QB-9. This is not definitive yet. I can't stop looking for weiss 202 (despite the price). I also read a lot about W4S DAC 2. Many people talk about QB-9 USB only but I don't care about (unless anybody knows USB will end in next years).

My doubt is what DAC will give me the best I can take from the gear I have. I know 300 € DACs aren't that good but I have no idea if there's any profit for me by going for an expensive thing like Weiss DAC 202 or Berkeley AlphaDAC.

Thank you for your input

Enjoy life

MJHnap
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Best DAC for Primare

G'Day,

 

Been in contact with Primare,  they told me last year that a standAlone DAC is beiing developped.

Time Flies like an arrow, and fruit flies like bananas!!

However till now no news, just dropped them a email again to request status of a DAC

Did see the BlueRay Disc Player with all possible connections you'll ever need.

However this is out of my Leauge with 3850Euros

Thought it would be not so difficult to built in the Media Module into Primare Case, add some powersupply and make it available just under 1000Euros, that would be enough for me, Module is sold for I32 at 425Euro i Believe, and A Casing and Power supply should not be this expensive.

Anyway, once I know the answer to a StandAlone DAC i will com back to you

 

RGDS, Marco

sharetor
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Hi Marco Thank you for your

Hi Marco

Thank you for your input.

I also contacted Primare again, not so long a go, and they pointed somewhere in the future. I think they don't know when the Media Module will be ready/out. I didn´t know about the price. In any case, I only hope they make a good "DAC". Ayre QB-9 is not forgotten but the price, in Portugal, is higher than a year a go (now, aroun 3000 euros).

Enjoy life

24x48
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DAC should be as simple as possible
sharetor wrote:

Here are some examples of DAC I’ve been reading about.

I don't know why you have so expensive list for a very simple device. If you are looking for sound recording devices, your list make sense. But if you are looking for devices that convert sound bit stream into analog sound waves, they are way too expensive. Which means you are buying infereior sound at extra money. DAC does very simple work. That is, it receives sequences of 16 or 24 bits of sound volume information up to 192,000 times a second and feed into a microchip which generates electrical power output. I have a 24 bit DAC which can handle up to 192khz. It's USB based. It does not have analog volume control since it generates output directly to the headphone level power. Yes, this is a kind of "Class-D digital amplifier" for headphones. Sound is amazing! Zero audible noise! No audible distortions. The cost? Just $149. Sound hearing over Bose AE2 headphones is fantastic. It also has RCA for amplifiers. But after amplifiers, sound quality deteriorates significantly. That's why I prefer unamplified hi-fidelity headphones.

If you buy DAC with lots of features and options and especially with analog volume knobs, you are buying crap sound! You have to look for;

- sampling bits covered: 16, 20, 24

- sampling frequencies: 44.1, 48, 96, 192khz

- codecs covered: LPCM, Dolby, DTS, etc.

Also make sure at least USB2.0 and compatible with USB3.0! Other interfaces such as expresscard, iLink, etc., are disappearing in new computers!

jackfish
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Class D amplifiers are not digital amplifiers! They can be

either digitally or analog controlled, but the end result is always an analog signal.

"unamplified hi-fidelity headphones" No such thing exists.

struts
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Another suggestion..
sharetor wrote:

Hi all I know the “best…” is very subjective but this is me trying to find out what would be the best DAC options to connect an Audio PC (with AEC CD’s and HD flac files) to my Primare i32. The speakers are Proac Studio 140 with QED Sig. Revelation cables.I’ve been reading a lot about DAC and I can find lots of things in different price levels. I think my big question is. What price level should I go?

Hi there sharetor,

Unfortunately only you can answer the question "what price level should I go?"  I am not familiar with your exact combination of amplifier and speakers but based on reputation and reviews I would expect them to reveal the differences between any of the contenders on your list.  Remember however that even with really expensive components it can be just as much a question of "different" as "better".

Once you have decided your budget (how much you are prepared to spend) then the question becomes how best to spend that budget to achieve the biggest increase in sound quality to your taste.  For instance the Weiss, although it is an absolutely great product, costs more than your amp and speakers combined (at least it does where I live), and arguably you could realize a greater improvement spending less on a good value DAC and upgrading the amp or speakers.  Also, if you're holding Euros, this is not exactly the best time in history to buy a product whose costs are based on Swiss Francs.  Just a thought..

This is not intended in any way to be an "answer on a plate", but one product I would suggest you add to your long-list is the Calyx 24/192 (lots of reviews online).  It is sold directly by mail order in most markets and so the price is a very reasonable (IMHO) $2000 including the outboard linear power supply.  I'm afraid I haven't been able to compare directly to the Ayre QB-9, but compared to the Weiss I don't feel it gives up anything at all.  It has a more easy laid back presentation, less in-your-face revealling, but I don't feel it gives anything away to the 3-times more expensive Weiss on any major musical parameter.  I significantly prefer it to, for instance, the dCS Puccini for extended listening, I am not saying it is better, just that I prefer its more laid-back presentation.  If your circumstances condemn you to buying without audition I can assure you you could do a lot worse.

Good luck!

struts
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Oops..

Ha! Just realized that the original question was posted a year-and-a-half ago now! blush

So what did you go for?  Are you happy with it?

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