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Got the Brooklyn Bridge this afternoon.  Still have a ton to figure out, but just listening to HiRes via Qobuz on old Emotiva power monitors I would say it is a hell of a DAC.  Shilling will begin soo

i ended up grabbing an Adcom GDA-700. the price was dirt cheap, it has the outputs i wanted, and it has all the old tech and sound i’m familiar with. no regrets.  

dac1541 is going to be the giant killer. r2r,sign/magnitude, fully balanced, and dsd for a price that is less than half of a yggy  

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I still like my M51. It is still the DAC I use in my Big-Boy headphone system. The only potential problem is it is not a streamer. But that can be rectified pretty easily if you need it. 

That is S'Truth above. I always liked the sound of the Opus 21.

Edited by morphsci
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I wouldn’t have a problem with the Benchmark.  Is Grace Design still around?  Jeffy is about to sell his Oppo or whatever he has and buy a Brooklyn Bridge.

Don’t listen to me, I’m behind the times, too.  Just ran across my MSB...

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For me its not about the bit rates or sample depth but the care and attention put into the recording/remastering process. Very few companies make dedicated recordings in each format, an exception is the label 2xHD which document the recording chain and use separate brand adc for the different formats, DSD vs PCM, and so you can expect to hear differences due to the different ADC as much as the different digital formats. I suspect most multi format releases are recorded and mastered in a single format at a single sample rate and then converted to the other formats. The conversion is not perfect and this is easy to demonstrate. If you take a very low frequency square wave and convert from 44K to 88K or go the other way the square wave is not preserved... conceptually you just remove half the samples or double each sample but in reality its a fast Fourier transform and digital filters (c.f. Izotope RX)... and FFT does not work well at low frequencies and neither do the digital filters.. 

I hear less differences between modern dacs than I do other components like speakers, cartridges etc. I will say the early dacs were terrible. I have spoken with one hifi designer who admitted that of all the audio technology dacs have probably improved the most in the last over the period late 80s-2010s. certainly I could not find a dac I could live with until the late 2000s and then it was super expensive, now I am happy with a V90 with a golden reference LV psu... A very cost effective combo which performs as least as well as my crazy expensive (even second hand) DCS elgar plus, even if the v90 does not have DSD support, input options etc. 

MQA is loss-full compression (it was original advertised as lossless but analysis has shown it is lossy) and has not really gained much traction, its potentially full of digital rights management and designed for surround sound. (https://audiophilereview.com/cd-dac-digital/mqa-the-facts-versus-the-fiction.html)... now its advertised as less lossy than mp3 and the DRM is not currently switched on... MQA playback requires licenses and so its unlikely to appear in open source playback software and even Jriver media centre has no plans to add it... I guess the license costs are too high.

Software like Jriver media centre can convert DSD to standard PCM and this is how I listen to DSD. The advantage of DSD is that the ADC converter is simpler and has less filtering. The disadvantage is that the playback requires more filtering (DSD generates a lot of high frequency noise) and its not easy to edit DSD... almost all editing is done by converting DXD 384K PCM and then converting back to DSD this process is supposed to incur no losses... There is very little music available in DSD format and even less thats only available in DSD...

My philosophy is get a modern dac, make the psu good and use the saved money on a better amplifier/speaker/headphone where there are still large performance differences... and don't forget to clean the connectors with deoxit or similar periodically. My mii T2 was recently sounding off colour,  a bit lifeless and lacking detail in the mids and just sort of tried. I cleaned up the rcas and its back to singing again...The connectors on my van den hul first seem to love to oxidise a lot and rather quickly too... the cotton bud came out almost black from a single rca connector...

regards and happy listening

James

 

Edited by jamesmking
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14 hours ago, robm321 said:

The Opus 21 has a pretty special sound. Sometimes, newer, better?, Can't replicate what the Opus does. Just a word of caution. 

This. I loved listening to that thing at meets when one would show up. If I owned one I wouldn't be looking to upgrade.

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14 hours ago, Dusty Chalk said:

Jeffy is about to sell his Oppo or whatever he has and buy a Brooklyn Bridge.

Correcting myself: No he’s not, he just got the Chord combo, I doubt that’s going anywhere.

 I was reminded because I’m in a similar boat—I have great everything else except the USB/DAC portion of the chain.  I’ve been listening with the Pico Power connected directly to the iPad or Walkman.  Now that I’m home I wanna start using the computer into something into the Earmax Pro.  I asked my imaginary friend who’s really into KEF and Dynaudio and room treatments, and he said Chord or Simaudio Moon.

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1 hour ago, n_maher said:

This. I loved listening to that thing at meets when one would show up. If I owned one I wouldn't be looking to upgrade.

Thanks Nate & Rob & Jim.  My dilemma.  I really like the Opus 21.  Not entirely convinced a newer dac is better.  

1 hour ago, shellylh said:

The extra M51 is here if you are interested!

 

The Brooklyn Dac+ is pretty awesome (don’t have or need the bridge) but I can’t say which I like better.

I forgot to mention the brooklyn dac+ .  also on my short list of current models to consider.  PM sent re the m51.  thanks!

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Nice deal.  Might have jumped on that but Shelly gave up her extra M51.  Don't know if it will replace the Opus 21 or not.  Listen to Raising Sand last night on the Opus.  OMG.

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My opinion is that the 1704 is a lovely chip that is probably not going to be easily bettered, there have not been leaps forward in DAC design in the last couple of decades, and that the analog portion matters more than anything in the digital chain. I can't comment on the relative merits of the specific devices.

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4 hours ago, dsavitsk said:

there have not been leaps forward in DAC design in the last couple of decades

I'd say that affordable delta-sigma DACs have become way less annoying. And the advent of R2R for less-than-MSB prices at least for me make hunting for rare old multibit chips largely redundant.

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on the dac note, I've had the opportunity to try Mike's Lumin T2 and it is pretty pretty good. So good that I ordered one. For those that like the Brooklyn this is a step up and has a fully realized streamer in the box as well. It also just works, no wonky set up issues and great sound. I would give it a week of play before serious listening though. I really like the Brooklyn and had one at the house for a bit.

Edited by jp11801
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/22/2020 at 7:14 PM, morphsci said:

I have an open box Brooklyn DAC+ someone returned because it didn't have ethernet

I also have an open box Brooklyn Bridge someone returned because they didn't want ethernet

If anyone is interested.. 😙

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I don't know, Mike is a Tom Bihn kind of guy, so I think I may need to buy a Mytek (RedOxx) from Justin, as it seems it may suit me better than a soft bag with pink lace interior.

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Speaking of old DACs, I have an opportunity to jump on a pristine Sonic Frontiers SFD-2 complete with the original packaging. Is it still worth their rather high asking price in 2020? 

I still have a Parasound 1100HD that has that @cetoole discrete analog stage and it remains quite good these days. 

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On 6/9/2020 at 2:00 AM, justin said:

I have an open box Brooklyn DAC+ someone returned because it didn't have ethernet

I also have an open box Brooklyn Bridge someone returned because they didn't want ethernet. 

The solution to this is so obvious it’s painful, like watching a Catholic coming to grips with transubstantiation.

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17 hours ago, Dusty Chalk said:

The solution to this is so obvious it’s painful, like watching a Catholic coming to grips with transubstantiation.

I saw transub, and my mind went to a whole other place. Nevermind...carry on.

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