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Best stereo D/A converter??
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RooF
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#1
27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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Best stereo D/A converter??

Hello fellows,

The choice of picking a good d7a converter for my monitoring (KRK V6+10 inch active sub) on my digi 002 rig.
The budget is around 1000$ US not more so my choices are
Apogee Dac 995$
Lucid D/A 9624 700$
Benchmark Dac 1 975$

Any experience, thoughts, advice?
Your help is very appreciated

As you guys know i do not require more than 96khz and i would like to use the s/pidif so i can keep the adat free.
Thank you!
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27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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Unequivocally, the Benchmark DAC-1!!!!
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27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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i've got the dac-1 tied to the back of my 002r and like it a lot. redco made a custom rca->coax s/pdif cable for me.
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27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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Another happy DAC-1 owner here . . .
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27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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Apogee Mini Dac here.... Nice ...very happy with it.... Total of about 2 hours of use !! but I want a DA16-x, so I'll sell you this for 850 bucks !!!!
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27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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If you can swing 300-400 more dollars, consider the Lavry Blue D/A. From just about everything I've read (mostly in mastering forums), the units you mentioned above are great, but the Lavry is sort of in a different class for only slightly more $.

I just ordered one. It should be in tomorrow. You would have to get an AES-S/PDIF transformer though ($35 from Neutrik) . . . I did for my 828. The Blue only has AES input.

An anecdotal thing that I also pay attention to. You rarely see Lavry's for sale used . . . You can find the others on eBay and 2nd hand forums any day of the week. Must be some happy Lavry owners out there.

Mike
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27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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I have enjoyed my Lucid, but have never compared it to the DAC-1.
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27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by heartsoffire
I have enjoyed my Lucid, but have never compared it to the DAC-1.
+1, the Lucid sounds great to my ears!

War
#10
27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by zimv20
i've got the dac-1 tied to the back of my 002r and like it a lot. redco made a custom rca->coax s/pdif cable for me.
Just curious why you needed to purchase a special cable when the unit ships with a standard S/PDIF to BNC adapter. Perhaps, I'm missing something...sorry. The unit also has RCA outputs, so I still don't understand the need for this.
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27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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DAC-1 or if budget permits, Lavry
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27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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dac-1
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27th January 2005
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Mytek Stereo96 DAC
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27th January 2005
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I remain very happy with the results I'm getting with the Benchmark. So happy that I'm sure it would take me a few months of using something else to really be convinced it was significantly better as opposed to just a bit more flattering and possibly a bit less revealing of sonic warts.
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27th January 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by picksail
Just curious why you needed to purchase a special cable when the unit ships with a standard S/PDIF to BNC adapter. Perhaps, I'm missing something...sorry. The unit also has RCA outputs, so I still don't understand the need for this.
i'm going from RCA out on the digi to the coax in on the dac-1. those RCAs on the dac-1 are analog outs.

yes, it did come w/ an adapter, but i still needed a cable, so i figured why not get exactly what i needed.
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27th January 2005
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Lavry Blue series significantly beats anything in the "mid range", as in price level. It's a few hundred over your stated budget, but IMO more than worth it. Ask mastering guys like Jay Frigoletto and Brad Blackwood. Here is a helpful unbiased end user comparison/contrast between the Lavry Blue, Mytek, and Benchmark:

http://forums.mackie.com/scripts/for...c&f=1&t=006000
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27th January 2005
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I'm going to have a nice and clean Benchmark DAC-1 coming up for sale soon, as my good fortune suddenly left me with 2 of them

check the slutz classifieds in a couple of weeks!
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27th January 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by zimv20
i'm going from RCA out on the digi to the coax in on the dac-1. those RCAs on the dac-1 are analog outs.

yes, it did come w/ an adapter, but i still needed a cable, so i figured why not get exactly what i needed.
I didn't realize the 002 had RCA/S/PDIF outs. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Otherwise, I'm sure you can see how that could be confusing to an ignorant bastard like myself.
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no worries.
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27th January 2005
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GO for the Lavry! You'll end up getting one anyway.......
#21
27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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BurrBrown PCM/DSD1792 dac. Simply wonderous. -129 db dynamic range, or -133 using two. I feel so sorry for all the folks that haven't been able to hear what great digital playback can sound like. You may never be able to hear this top notch stuff 'cause all you converter designer's are too cheap to use this vastly superior converter. Come on, use this stuff and help make music sound better. Us dumb ass consumers are waiting for it! (Even if you don't think you need it).

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
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27th January 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Williams
BurrBrown PCM/DSD1792 dac. Simply wonderous. -129 db dynamic range, or -133 using two. I feel so sorry for all the folks that haven't been able to hear what great digital playback can sound like. You may never be able to hear this top notch stuff 'cause all you converter designer's are too cheap to use this vastly superior converter. Come on, use this stuff and help make music sound better. Us dumb ass consumers are waiting for it! (Even if you don't think you need it).

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
ouch!!! and i thought i had it cool, painful words for a slut to hear still the dac-1 sounds great and very happy here.
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27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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I use the Class A Pacific Microsonics HDCD and the DAC1 from Benchmark

the thing I like about the DAC1 is the slightly strident top from the 5534 op amps. say what they will, you do hear these parts, and having that edge, it's closer to most consumer playback systems.

the DAC1 headphone outs are a real plus as well.



If I want it cleaner the Pacific box does clean beautifully (it was $16,000 when new in '96) yet it's no longer made due to a lack of the large, discrete parts.

If I were to buy a new D/A to replace the Pacific it would be Lavry Blue, Gold or maybe Prism.
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27th January 2005
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DAC-1

DAC-1 !!
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27th January 2005
Old 27th January 2005
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You Guys are all great thanks for all the answers? So the apogee is not as popular as i expected hmmmm...
I think that to resume we have a majority of benchmark a bit of lucid then comes the rest and for the cream top notch we have burrbrown and the lavry that is good for the dollar and superior....

Anybody want to develop on the subject a little more why do you DAC-1 people love it so much?
Why is there so few lucid and apogee owners?
Is the lavry that crazy?
p.s:thank you nathan for the link.

Thanks guys help me make the right decision it s for the music!!
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27th January 2005
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this is coming from a musician/producer , not a mastering engineer(those guys are nutz honestly i would be happy with any of them regardless, i think the sound quality difference is very subtle, even tiny between Mytek,Apogee,benchmark, from what i read on forums, and heard elsewhere. The DAC-1 looks much better (if it looks good , it most likely taste's good too , the DAC-1 has a great dual headphone amp, a big volume knob. For me this was enough along with great specs on paper(not that i know much)...im not sure how these three would compare to a lavry but...Oh , and one other thing that one won me over, was that benchmark is a NY company...go NY "support your neighbors"!!!!....its good for the community, go NY!!...sorry Mytek, next time, promise.


PS note to designers: Please pay attention to the appearance of your hardware, it has to reflect the state of the art designs you put into the machines.
Some present designs makes me wonder how one can understand so much about the inner workings and yet appear to have never taken an art class
#27
28th January 2005
Old 28th January 2005
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The Lavry doesn't have a volume knob . . . you can't go "wrong" with any of them in that they are an improvement. The DAC-1 may have the feature set you need . . . think about your work flow, do you need headphone output, etc.?

I could be wrong, but I remember Bob Katz giving the DAC-1 a thumbs up . . . especially for the value factor.

Mike
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28th January 2005
Old 28th January 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Williams
BurrBrown PCM/DSD1792 dac. Simply wonderous. -129 db dynamic range, or -133 using two. I feel so sorry for all the folks that haven't been able to hear what great digital playback can sound like. You may never be able to hear this top notch stuff 'cause all you converter designer's are too cheap to use this vastly superior converter. Come on, use this stuff and help make music sound better. Us dumb ass consumers are waiting for it! (Even if you don't think you need it).

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Hi Jim, is it the chip used in Tascam's DV-RA1000($1300) ?
http://www.tascam.com/Products/DV-RA...RA1000FAQ.html

I dont know anything about the unit and it's not a stand-alone converter , but I wonder if it can be used in this capacity.

Regards,
Alex
#29
28th January 2005
Old 28th January 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Williams
BurrBrown PCM/DSD1792 dac. Simply wonderous. -129 db dynamic range, or -133 using two. I feel so sorry for all the folks that haven't been able to hear what great digital playback can sound like. You may never be able to hear this top notch stuff 'cause all you converter designer's are too cheap to use this vastly superior converter. Come on, use this stuff and help make music sound better. Us dumb ass consumers are waiting for it! (Even if you don't think you need it).

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Hey Jim,

I've seen you post this info before. Does anyone make a commercial converter with this chipset or is it only a reference design? If not commercially available, have you or would you build one for your customers?

Thanks,
Synth80s
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28th January 2005
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What definetely NOT to use is any digidesign converter. I still have a few just waiting there to rust. I tried some and indeed the benchmark is a lot of quality for that money. However, I went for the ADA-8 of Prism. If you check out some dealers you'll get them for slightly more than a 192 digi but that "subtle" difference is to be multiplied by each channel and then multiplied by 2 because you DA again too. Having been fed up with that muddy sound I chose to only use the best of the best and I believe I finlly got it. For me, Prism rules!

Regards
Lawrence
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