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So my dad needs a new source


jinp6301
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So, my dad's ponying up like 10 grand for a McIntosh integrated tube amp and a pair of B&W speakers and needs a source to go with them (as well as interconnects).

I'm not well informed about high end sources so can some of you guys help me find something that's up to par with the amp and the speakers? Looking for DACs or CD/SACD players

Lets say $5000 limit :)

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man im reading up on everything. It all looks good!

Its kinda sad since I realize that I'm using a ~$50 source (Entech Number Cruncher) for my 225s and my dad's going to be using a $3000+ source :(

oh well, when he gets the whole rig set up, I probably wont listen to my 225s for a while (until I go back to school :()

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If he can get in home auditions with his speakers that would probably be one way to determine what sort of sound he likes.

yea that would be awesome, and me and my dad know our local speaker store guy pretty well, so we'll see

btw, hows the benchmark dac1? I always hear people talking about it on the other headphone forum, so I assume that its not that bad

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btw, hows the benchmark dac1? I always hear people talking about it on the other headphone forum, so I assume that its not that bad

It's pretty good, but you can do better for the price, even the used price. I prefer the Apogee Mni-DAC, Channel Islands VDA2, Lavry DA10, and Stello DA100 in that immediate price bracket. They aren't monumentally better, but better nonethless.

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btw, hows the benchmark dac1? I always hear people talking about it on the other headphone forum, so I assume that its not that bad

Eh, it's alright. I compared one side by side with my Lavry DA10 and preferred the Lavry in nearly every way. And I was able to compare my North Star with the Lavry and that really wasn't a contest.

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ok thanks guys, I'm leaning toward the DAC + transport just because of the convenience of being able to connect different transports.

How does the northstar mods work? Which mods should I get? The superclock or the turbo thing?

I believe you can get the turbo mod for the DAC and get all the mods for the transport.

I think the superclock4 is if you're using something other than its dedicated CD Transport. Because it's for SPDIF, and the Northstar Transport uses I2s.

Take this with a huge grain of salt since it's 6moons (and not 6moon's Ryan) but the reviewer said he preferred the modded North Star components to Empirical Audio's Spoiler DAC.

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the Capitole, Opus21, 306SACD and Accuphase all have digital inputs, though i doubt any transport available would be an upgrade over what is already in those machines. great for connecting to a computer, though.

yea thats what i was thinking in the first place, that a dedicated CDP will probably be better then a DAC + transport combo

and hows that meridian g08? Ray uses one! ;D

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yea thats what i was thinking in the first place, that a dedicated CDP will probably be better then a DAC + transport combo

and hows that meridian g08? Ray uses one! ;D

Single box won't always be better than a two boxer and vice versa.

North Star's transport is using the Philips CD Pro 2, one of the best.

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ok thanks guys, I'm leaning toward the DAC + transport just because of the convenience of being able to connect different transports.
Yeah, but then you rule out SACD and/or DVD-A.

Denon 3910, modded by perhaps SACDMods (I'm extremely happy with mine)

Ayre C-5xe (MSRP US$5995 -- used should be less)

Linn Unidisc SC (MSRP US$4995)

McCormack UDP-1 (MSRP US$3495)

deluxe Conrad-Johnson version (MSRP US$3995)

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The opus 21 is a 2 box solution, and allows additional digital connections. It's a great sounding device, too. (Well, the ref. modded one todd has is...)

I wouldn't worry about SACD or DVDA at this point, if you don't have an investment in them already.

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I wouldn't worry about SACD or DVDA at this point, if you don't have an investment in them already.
I disagree with this entirely. Redbook and SACD and high-rate PCM are just different. I don't care what sort of processing you do to them, I have yet to hear SACD rendered moot.

That said -- I wouldn't worry about getting a disc player at all unless it had more than just redbook capability -- if you're only concerned about redbook, I'd get a media-server type computer and a nice external DAC. But I believe in the shiny, so that's why my recommendations were what they were.

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Staying within the $5k limit, the best players I've heard are the Audio Aero Capitole Mk2 and the Simaudio Eclipse, the latter I believe is discontinued but they still turn up a bit on Audiogon from what I hear. In terms of resolution, they're pretty much the same, rather, it's the presentation which is different. The Capitole has a more liquid sound and big analog-like soundstage, while the Eclipse is more weighty & solid at the expense of that big airy soundscape. They are both really nice and it does come down to taste, though given the McIntosh tube amps I'd personally lean towards the Eclipse.

Price no object? Simaudio MOON Andromeda. The best of both worlds, with even more resolution.

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