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What's particularly good about the pcm1704?

It's a really good D/A converter. Old, but still currently in production and used by many top tier DACs/CDPs.

The best DAC I've heard uses a PCM1704, and others here like it as well.

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It's a really good D/A converter. Old, but still currently in production and used by many top tier DACs/CDPs.

The best DAC I've heard uses a PCM1704, and others here like it as well.

Thanks, deepak. What is the DAC you are referring to (the best one)?

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Yup, I'm buying a Reference 1. I got a chance to try the rare and weird Nakamichi Dragon DAC some time back, which uses the PCM1704 x4, and was totally blown away, it making my Northstar sound muddy. After picking my jaw off the floor, and after an unsuccessful hour trying to find one for less than the cost of a kidney, I tracked down the schematic, and , figured, from discovering the similar DA chips, that if Audio-gd could produce anything like that Nakamichi that'd it'd be seriously good, and decided to take the chance. It arrives next week.

The delivery man will have fun: I live on the 5th floor, there's no elevator, and I have 20+ kg of gear arriving.

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Yup, I'm buying a Reference 1. I got a chance to try the rare and weird Nakamichi Dragon DAC some time back, which uses the PCM1704 x4, and was totally blown away, it making my Northstar sound muddy. After picking my jaw off the floor, and after an unsuccessful hour trying to find one for less than the cost of a kidney, I tracked down the schematic, and , figured, from discovering the similar DA chips, that if Audio-gd could produce anything like that Nakamichi that'd it'd be seriously good, and decided to take the chance. It arrives next week.

The delivery man will have fun: I live on the 5th floor, there's no elevator, and I have 20+ kg of gear arriving.

The North Star is a good DAC, but my PCM63 DAC sounded better as well.

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I've only heard the first gen/test version of the Compass but will be hearing the final version soon. That Ref 1 is a beast though, at least it looks like it.

I can say that while you might deal with a bit of rough English their service is really second to none.

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The Ref 1 supposedly has a custom digital filter that outperforms the PMDs et al.

The North Star is a good DAC, but my PCM63 DAC sounded better as well.
The PCM63 is regarded by some as one of the best DACs out there, in fairness. The PCM63's current output/output impedance is also somewhat better than the PCM1704's, so its also easier to design an I/V for them.
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So what's the difference between the regular PCM1704 and this 1704UK? Is it safe to assume all versions are pretty similar?

I'm hoping it has PMD200 as well. ;)

Are those still in production? haha

K grade is just a higher grade. Supposedly there's audibly less distortion. I dunno if they use PMD200.. I'd be surprised.

Filburt mentioned that he wasn't terribly impressed with their design though.

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The North Star is a good DAC, but my PCM63 DAC sounded better as well.

Since I'm using the North Star as my reference point, I'm trying to get a handle on the differences here. How would you guys say the PCM63 and PCM1704 differ from it. Currawong, you said the 1704 made the North Star sound muddy. Is it also brighter?

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Since I'm using the North Star as my reference point, I'm trying to get a handle on the differences here. How would you guys say the PCM63 and PCM1704 differ from it. Currawong, you said the 1704 made the North Star sound muddy. Is it also brighter?

To me, the Northstar M192 MKI sounds digital. Not as digital as the Lavry DA-10 I used before it, but not much less. The Nakamichi didn't sound digital. I put on some Hiromi, and the piano sounded really like a piano, not a digital attempt at re-creating a piano. Jeff Buckley was very clearly defined and absolutely amazing on stage when listening to one of his live performances. It was as if that "he's somewhere out there on stage with his guitar, but I can't define where, only that it's towards the middle" feeling of listening was gone, and he was distinctly separate to everything else on stage, including his guitar. This was with a 717/O2mk1 rig. The only thing I regret not trying was something with violins in it, which I've never heard reproduced from digital in a realistic manner. I guess the feeling was like going from dynamic cans to Stax in many ways, plus believable realism in the reproduction from digital.

Some things to take into consideration though: I don't think the Nakamichi was brighter. I discovered later that the Northstar benefits from a good power cable, sounding a bit brighter and less dull. I like the sound of the Benchmark DAC1 with the O2s, which is probably a bit brighter.

I'm planning to take the Reference 1 round to Craig/LobsterSan's place sometime so he can have a listen with it as well, and compare it to his Benchmark. The Nakamichi was one of his customer's orders, which he offered to let me be present for when he tested it before shipping. I didn't mention this before as I didn't know what the deal was with his status or lack of being an MOT on HF and didn't want to get him in trouble. But anyway, you might be able to ask him too what he thinks of it, if we can find a couple of spare hours on a weekend to play with gear again.

Also, I have the service manual for the Nakamichi which I found online, if anyone's interested.

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