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Thread: about to do it.

  1. #1
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    about to do it.

    I am thinking very strongly about pulling the trigger and ordering the ps-audio digilink 3. I have looked at several dacs out there and the ps audio seems to have a following and there are even modifying options out there if I ever wanted to make it better. I have looked at the cambridge audio dacmagic and music hall 25.2 dac and the tube section in the 25.2 seems like a cool idea for smoothness but the specs and following on the ps-audio look better to me. I know that the ps-audio unit is a 100 to 200 bucks higher than the other two and way more expensive than other units out there but I wanted something that I could eventually build an even better system around. my source will be a Oppo bdp-83 which is in my opinion an excellent transport for audio and awesome dvd,blue ray player and the other source is my laptop pc that I will run with the usb output. I think I am going in the right direction but I would like to here input from some of my audio review friends to make sure I am go the right way before going for it. I will be buying within a week or so so any input would be appreciated.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Dynaudio audience 60 mains
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  2. #2
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Take a look at the new Van Alstine DAC with multiple inputs. It's $1K and has bettered Bryston DAC's and CDP's costing thousands more. Check out the audiocircles forum. Its supposed to be tubey in sound. Many people with Van Alstine tube, ss and hybrid DACs have sold them and bought this new DAC. You can't loose with a 30 day money back no questions asked guarentee. I'm going to try and do an audition of this DAC.

    http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=75323.0
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  3. #3
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    blackraven thanks for the input. I looked at this dac and it looks really good but it does not have toslink or usb connectivity. I am going to run coax digital from my Oppo but I also need usb connectivity for my computer audio and the Van Alstine does not have these hookup options that I could see so even though it looks like a killer dac it will not service all of my needs. Thanks allot for the suggestion though, this kind of input helps me.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Dynaudio audience 60 mains
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  4. #4
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    Hello Harley.....since you asked.....

    Have you researched from April Music, Stello DA 100 Signature DAC? I now have this DAC to go along with my Stello CDT 100 Transport.

    The Stello DAC has the following connectivity:
    5 Input ports...AES/EBU, COAX, OPT, USB, and I2S.

    You can select either the 24 Bit/192kHz upsampling or 24 Bit/96 kHz upsampling or BYPASS which means the digital output is exactly the same and the digital input up to 24/96.

    For more info www.aprilmusic.com

    So, which DAC is my favorite you might be wondering.....the Naim DAC...but that's $5K..so unless I win the Lotto it's not gonna happen. Which CD player do I prefer over the the Stello DAC.....the Lektor tubed CD Player and it's like $6K....so that ain't gonna happen either....now enter the Stello gear....and it's just what I need/want and the price is right.....I paid $850.00 for the transport and $900.00 for the DAC.

  5. #5
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    What about the Grant harley? I thought we agreed it's the greatest DAC ever. Actually, if I was to upgrade my DAC, I would be between the Grant Tube DAC-09 and this NOS Lite DAC...

    http://www.pacificvalve.us/LITEDACAH.html

    It's supposed to be smooth as silk. I have joined the cult of TDA 1543. You should pm RGA, I saw that he's reviewing the Grant DAC right now. He's probably been living with it for a few weeks already. I think it's inputs would be a nice move in terms of future upgrading and expanding. Don't forget, it can be easily modded into a dedicated preamp as well.

  6. #6
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    I've had a PS Audio Digital Link III for almost a year now, I think. It's very smooth. No need for a tube stage, here. I use it with my Music Hall CD-25, my Blu-ray player and my netbook computer. I have been very happy with it. I really like being able to maximize the 2-channel sound quality of my concert videos.


  7. #7
    Learning from the Best BallinWithNash's Avatar
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    what does DAC mean?

  8. #8
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BallinWithNash
    what does DAC mean?
    Digital-to-Analog Converter

  9. #9
    Learning from the Best BallinWithNash's Avatar
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    Ok, that's what I thought but it just didn't seem to make sense to me that's all ... thank you audionoob

  10. #10
    Ajani
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07
    I am thinking very strongly about pulling the trigger and ordering the ps-audio digilink 3. I have looked at several dacs out there and the ps audio seems to have a following and there are even modifying options out there if I ever wanted to make it better. I have looked at the cambridge audio dacmagic and music hall 25.2 dac and the tube section in the 25.2 seems like a cool idea for smoothness but the specs and following on the ps-audio look better to me. I know that the ps-audio unit is a 100 to 200 bucks higher than the other two and way more expensive than other units out there but I wanted something that I could eventually build an even better system around. my source will be a Oppo bdp-83 which is in my opinion an excellent transport for audio and awesome dvd,blue ray player and the other source is my laptop pc that I will run with the usb output. I think I am going in the right direction but I would like to here input from some of my audio review friends to make sure I am go the right way before going for it. I will be buying within a week or so so any input would be appreciated.
    As much as I like my Benchmark DAC1, if I was in the market for a new DAC, the PS Audio would be near the top of my audition list, simply because of the excellent price reduction... It's a highly rated $1K DAC, now available for around $600... Well worth auditioning at the price IMO...

  11. #11
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I would go as high a 1k for a quality dac. I am trying to strengthen the front end of my system and get the most out of it so if and when I think about new speakers I will have equipment able to handle it.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Dynaudio audience 60 mains
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  12. #12
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Hey harley, snubbing me? Just kidding buddy...

    Sounds like your mind is made up. The PSA DL3 is a great machine and Ajani is right, the price point can't be beat now.

    I still have a hard time trusting anything that 02audionoob guy says. Be careful of him harley...

  13. #13
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I went on audiogon and looked at the forums and most people have said that the ps audio digilink 3 is a better dac than the cambridge and music hall dacs which I was looking at. But I have not made my mind up fully yet. But I am close. the ps audio unit looks like the one for me and they have been making dacs for a long time and I feel that they are very good at it. But if there are anyone else out there with a different direction I am open to advice as well.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Dynaudio audience 60 mains
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  14. #14
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    The PS audio should be better than the MH and Cambridge just by going by cost. I've seen a lot of the digilink III's modified. I'ts supposed to be a very good DAC with a tube like sound.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  15. #15
    Ajani
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07
    I would go as high a 1k for a quality dac. I am trying to strengthen the front end of my system and get the most out of it so if and when I think about new speakers I will have equipment able to handle it.
    That's a good move, IMO - it's what I've done... I've put together some good quality, affordable electronics in anticipation of purchasing some decent speakers

    $1K new or would you buy used? Since, you need USB (unless you have optical out on your computer) then you could easily pick up the Benchmark DAC1 USB on Audiogon for under $1K... If you don't need USB, then the regular DAC1 is available new at $1K...

    The DAC1 will give you a more traditional Solid State sound than the PS Audio... I've certainly enjoyed using mine.... Whether you prefer the DAC1 or the DLinkIII is likely down to whether you prefer a traditional SS versus a more tubey sound....

    If you are not in any kind of rush then you can wait around for Emotiva to release their XDA-1 DAC... Expected MSRP $300, it is their assualt on the $1K DAC market and might actually be pretty good...
    Last edited by Ajani; 03-27-2010 at 06:25 AM.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I agree with Ajani, the benchmark will give you more of a solid state sound and plenty of detail. It has been compared to the Cambridge Audio 840cm in sound which is neutral to maybe a hint of SS brightness but it is very detailed and resolving. The PS audio will be more forgiving to poorly recorded material with its slightly less detailed, warmer sound.

    I did't know Emotiva was coming out with a DAC. Hopefully it will have a warmer sound because I want to buy an inexpensive or used DAC to use with my MMG's.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  17. #17
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    The DL III is not tube like and I wouldn't describe it as warm. I have listened to the DL and the DLIII extensively.

    Check the Moodlab Dice out harley. Also the Lite DAC from Pacific Valve. These are warm and dynamic to the point of sounding analog. Of course, the Grant with it's tube output.

  18. #18
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I necessarily don't want my dac to sound warm but more neutral and natural. I have a warm sounding system by nature anyway since I have done my mods so I don't have a bright system that I am trying to warm up or anything but I also don't want to make my system to bright by introducing a bright dac into the signal streem.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Dynaudio audience 60 mains
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  19. #19
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    The DLIII is smooth, but not warm.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    that's exactly what I want. So It sounds like my mind is made up. And after I order it and get it in my system I will give you guys an update on what I think.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Dynaudio audience 60 mains
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  21. #21
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Harley...your Posts: stands at the Number of the Beast. You need to post again...fast!

  22. #22
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    It's true...the dark one lives!!!

  23. #23
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I did not think of that. I will just ramble about the joys of post number 667 and be good that I got past it.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Dynaudio audience 60 mains
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  24. #24
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    I have a similar system

    My fronts are Paradigm Signature S4, Signature C3
    Amp B&K 7270 7 X 200
    preamp B&K ref 30
    My cd player being the Technics SL MC 7.

    Adding a MHDT Havana. should be with me in about two weeks. You know Paradigms are Bright, I was looking for Tube based output, so picked up MHDT HAvana.

    Will post my impressions after I listen to it.

    Thanks
    pandu

  25. #25
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdhanwada
    My fronts are Paradigm Signature S4, Signature C3
    Amp B&K 7270 7 X 200
    preamp B&K ref 30
    My cd player being the Technics SL MC 7.

    Adding a MHDT Havana. should be with me in about two weeks. You know Paradigms are Bright, I was looking for Tube based output, so picked up MHDT HAvana.

    Will post my impressions after I listen to it.

    Thanks
    pandu
    If the MHDT, does not do the job consider getting a marantz CD player or the single tube Yaqin Tube buffer. I have not really read anything bad about these tube buffers. Just about everything I have read has been positive about them warming up the sound. They can be placed between your CD player and preamp or the preamp and amp.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

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