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rega dac, cdq, young dac bake off

Discussion in 'audio' started by bottleneck, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Martin D

    Martin D Libertarian Division

    been waiting for a thread like this - cheers all involved
  2. jonesi

    jonesi pfm Member

    I think sticking to the top three is a good idea. I was at Rob's dac bake-off the other year where we had four dacs and that worked quite well. Too many and you spend too much time swapping out equipment.
  3. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    Also at the end of the day, some dacs work better in some systems.
  4. bottleneck

    bottleneck pfm Member

    oh yes.
    It's not about establishing some kind of ''buy this one'' or whatever.

    I'd hope we can do something a bit more grown up than that, hopefully establishing if the DACs have some kind of sonic signature, within the limits of the system I use.

    For me, I really want to see how far the sub £1k bracket has come of late. DAC's and CDP's have cost so much in the past, yet technology has moved on. Has high-end DAC performance reached entry level budgets?

    ...or being digital will the differences seem marginal between these and a humble squeezebox?
  5. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    It has Chris I really believe it has.
    But I shall look forward to your thoughts.
  6. Alan Brown

    Alan Brown Registered LUser

    I think there has been a really sizeable advance with DACs very recently - the newer designs mostly have moved on very considerably; I reckon the sub 1k bracket might show just about anything that came previously a clean pair of heels.
  7. bottleneck

    bottleneck pfm Member

    Hi Alan ..

    It will be interesting to see.

    I wish I had a Resolution Audio Opus 21 to hand. That thing kicks ass on the occasions I've heard it, but never at home..
  8. Pete the Feet

    Pete the Feet pfm Member

    If you don't mind me saying, comparing new Dacs straight out of the box will not be a true comparrison as they will require a few days continous burn in, as the owners of the products will no doubt testify.
    It would be better if you could involve owners of each type od Dac then they can bring their own Dac along.
  9. bottleneck

    bottleneck pfm Member

    Hi Pete -

    That was exactly what I had in mind, sorry if I hadn't been more clear.

    Im hoping to get a Rega Dac owner and an Audiolab CDQ owner over, with their DAC/player tucked under their arm.

    We can then see how all 3 dacs compare with standard res and high res files through a hi-face.

    I'm humbly satisfied the system sounds good enough to establish if the DAC's have a sonic character... I just need to work on Rega and Audiolab CDQ owners in the M4 corridor now..

    Any takers?

    ... there will be nice coffee and maybe pizza? :D
  10. anubisgrau

    anubisgrau pfm Member

    chris, can't help as i'm a few thousand miles south and have no any modern DACs, all my stuff is prehistoric 16/44.1 crap like altmann or twinDAC+, but i'm looking forward to the results. probably the best topic in ages at PFM

    as you've mentioned a more costly RA opus 21, it would also maybe make sense to have naim DAC there for a definitive test. despite a price difference and naim attitude, it seems like a very competent player, some people here has switched to it from well respected DACs/CDPs.
  11. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    Adding Naim to the DAC stack at the bake-off sounds like a good idea. I have read brief reactions from people who think that the Rega Dac is not as far behind the Naim Dac as the price tag might suggest. It will be interesting to hear people's thoughts about the three/four DACs at the bake-off.

    Best wishes,
  12. bottleneck

    bottleneck pfm Member

    still no PMs yet from Rega or Audiolab CDQ owners..
  13. Sovereign

    Sovereign pfm Member

    I'm very interested to read the results of this bake off.
    I'm sure you have considered this but are you not able to borrow DAC's from a local hifi shop. 'for the sake of the greater good'
  14. bottleneck

    bottleneck pfm Member


    There is the local Audio T, but they want to take the cash value of the two DACs - over £1,000.

    Also, it is taking the piss (on my part I feel) when I know I intend to take them both back.

    I think we may have a CDQ assistance, from the ''At Last... " thread.

    ... so now probably just the Rega DAC.
  15. avole

    avole The wise never post on Internet forums

    Are the V-DAC, the Firestone Spitfire and the Dacmagic included? I've lost track of this thread a bit.
  16. halvis

    halvis pfm Member

    I certainly think the DacMagic and possibly V-DAC would be worthwhile also. The DacMagic as I see it is the first bargain DAC, although a few years old now. It would be interesting to see how it stands up against the others mentioned, especially as some people on this forum actually seem to prefer it over the Rega.

    Not that I can assist in this bakeoff in anyway unfortunately, as much as I would liket to, as I am across the Irish Sea.
  17. avole

    avole The wise never post on Internet forums

    I'm across the Channel. I'm happy to send the V-DAC and V-LPS, providing return postage is paid by someone.
  18. Pete the Feet

    Pete the Feet pfm Member

    A single day bake off is it, or a full weekend?
  19. bottleneck

    bottleneck pfm Member

    Hi All

    Sorry, don't get here as often as I'd like to post.

    I'd hope we could do this in an evening, or a Saturday I suppose.

    I know we need to include -

    Young Dac
    Rega Dac
    Audiolab CDQ

    for ''sanity check'' we have my in-situ Squeezebox 3, obviously with an inbuilt DAC.

    A VDAC and power supply, or Dacmagic (v2) would also provide a good ''sanity check'' on spending more money...

    I might try a PM to Jonw and Paul of Rega, to see if they can help with a demo unit.

    The Young DAC will come (via Keith), but if we can't get forum people to come with Rega and Audiolab, maybe the manufacturers can help.
  20. sam_cat

    sam_cat C'est Crounchifique!

    My Audiolab CDQ has been delayed by around a fortnight, if you can find one elsewhere feel free.

    Why not see if a few of the manufacturers are up for a bakeoff after the Bristol show.... How confident are they in their products....


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