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DAC of Avocet IIA, M905 vs Burl B2
Old 18th February 2016
  #1
DAC of Avocet IIA, M905 vs Burl B2

Hi Guys,

There have been comparison threads in the past regarding the avocet vs grace and such, but since the new IIA is now out with an updated dac i wanted to get some input as to what you guys think? I had a avocet on order before thinking it was a iia but it wound up being just the ii, and i needed the sub outs so now im revisiting the topic. I have the option as well to get a Grace M905 Analog with a Burl B2 DAC for around the same price as the full m905 digital. Any thoughts on how these dacs compare? Not really anywhere local I can easily try them.

Thanks!
Old 18th February 2016
  #2
Damn that sucks!! There's a new ver!?!? I just got mine 4-5 months ago :/ any way to send in my avocet for the update?
Old 19th February 2016
  #3
Not sure if there is a way to change it out. Yah, the IIA is fairly new. It has been available for a little while to my knowledge though. Updated DAC and subwoofer outs.
Old 20th February 2016
  #4
Spoke to the guys at cranesong, its possible for the adc to be upgraded to the new one but at a 499$ fee ;(
and the new sub output is not possible ;(
Damn if I had just waited 4 more months!
Old 21st February 2016
  #5
Lives for gear
 
XKAudio's Avatar
 

Dont think the IIa is shipping yet. Ordered almost two months ago and am still waiting.

Will report back to see how it compares to symphony, burl and prism.
Old 22nd February 2016
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by XKAudio View Post
Dont think the IIa is shipping yet. Ordered almost two months ago and am still waiting.

Will report back to see how it compares to symphony, burl and prism.
The 2A's are slowly but surely shipping. Just installed a new unit at a clients studio. It is a marked improvement to my ears!!!

Wow, is all I can say!
Old 3rd March 2016
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
JonasW's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
The 2A's are slowly but surely shipping. Just installed a new unit at a clients studio. It is a marked improvement to my ears!!!

Wow, is all I can say!
Do you know if the D/A is much better than the Burl Mothership D/A?

Cheers
Old 9th March 2016
  #8
Well ive arranged to try a few DAC's out next month, so i should have more info then. Will update
Old 13th March 2016
  #9
Lives for gear
 
XKAudio's Avatar
 

Reporting back with the new Crane Song Avocet Quantum D/A.

Comparing with the Symphony D/A (which is the same in both MK1 and MK2 I believe)

Switching back and forth was not night and day. Certainly wouldnt complain with either... and could not tell you which one was playing If i heard it out of a comparing context.

The Avocet seamed to extend a tad higher, more air. I found the high end was clear, it lacked dynamics and sort of helped some of the mixs I was listening too. I switched back to the symphony and could hear the dynamics of the high hats better, they were moving towards me as they got louder. The Symphoony pointed out more problems in the mix where as the Avocet made it sound ok.

Low end was more pronounced on the Symphony. It feels more dynamic and warm.

Mid-range on both was very comparable.

Overall stuck with the symphony and am looking to upgrade to a higher end converter after hearing these two side by side.

The biggest conclusion I could draw was that while the Avocet had maybe a "flatter response.. The dynamics of the Symphony drove me to hear the depth a tad more.
AND.. converter comparisons after a certain upper midrange market are very small preferences that are absolutely minuscule compared to room treatment, speakers and smart decisions. MINISCULE.
Old 14th March 2016
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by XKAudio View Post
Overall stuck with the symphony and am looking to upgrade to a higher end converter after hearing these two side by side. .
When you say you will look for a higher end converter. What else is out there? Thank for the input also.

Gets me thinking what other D/A and controller combo could i get. Since I'm getting a MK2 soon.
Old 18th March 2016
  #11
I'm looking at doing a grace m905 Analog with a Burl B2 DAC
Old 20th March 2016
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celinara View Post
I'm looking at doing a grace m905 Analog with a Burl B2 DAC
In that price range, you might want to consider the Crookwood C1 with DAC and bass management card.

I've been checking out different monitor controllers, and Crookwood is the only analogue monitor controller, I've found, with proper bass management - filtering both the sub and satellite signals.

Crookwood is modular and you add the modules that you need.

I have ordered a C1 with DAC, ADC and bass management that will arrive in two weeks or so. Four stereo analogue inputs, four digital inputs and three stereo speaker outputs, dual sub outputs, headphone output, transfer signal-path etc.

The Grace monitor controller has some really nice features, so does Crookwood - they've been making monitor controllers for 25 years.


Just my two cents

Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
Old 26th February 2017
  #13
Gear Nut
I got my iia 3 days ago, and I feel as though the da is clearly better than my symphony. I guess we all hear different.
Old 27th February 2017
  #14
Lives for gear
 
XKAudio's Avatar
 

after some time, I think I was being fooled by the color of the symphony. I now have a Forsell DAC and I prefer it to both.
Old 27th February 2017
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kushyman View Post
I got my iia 3 days ago, and I feel as though the da is clearly better than my symphony. I guess we all hear different.
Did you have a Symphony mk1 or mk2?
Old 1st March 2017
  #16
Gear Nut
I have the mk1
Old 24th April 2017
  #17
Lives for gear
 
bigbaby987's Avatar
I have the MKI Symphony and the Grace M905 digital. I was initially blown away between the dac of the M905 and the Symphony. Now that I've had it for about 9 months now, I can say with an educated response that the M905 (digital) has a better dac than the Symphony. It has a much more defined mid and center. It has a better defined bottom and air. It's not a "pretty" air like Symphony. Think of it as more "solid". What you hear is what you hear. The highs are not as "smeared" as the Symphony (and I love that Apogee sound). The Grace has a very focused sound. One you can count on. The headphone output is excellent also and exact to the main output. It controls my sub and output level of my sub. It has so many features for a monitor control and I use it for a pitching dac, that it's worth far more than I paid for it; and I paid more for it than the avocet iia is listed. Some may not agree and to each his or her own. Of course no piece of gear is perfect and probably doesn't give you everything you want, but if it checks off the essential boxes and does it exceedingly well, what's to argue with? If you have the dough to spend on the analog 905 and a Burl dac, you absolutely have the money for the digital version. That's just my recommendation.
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