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  #41  
Old 04-07-2021, 06:52 PM
meltemi meltemi is offline
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Originally Posted by C4STR0 View Post
I'd imagine you're coming from the experience of jumping up in new units nearly every release.
Not quite. I could absolutely not afford to do that. Took only a few big steps during the years:

1) January 1985 – March 1989 (4yrs 2 mths): Marantz CD-74
2) March 1989 – November 1990 (1yr 8 mths): second hand Accuphase DP-80 / DC-81
3) November 1990 – January / June 2002 (11 yrs 7 mths): Accuphase DP-80L / DC-81L
4) January / June 2002 – June 2014 (12 yrs): DP-80L and dCS 974 Upsampler / dCS 954 DAC
5) August 2011: second hand Accuphase DP-700, resold quickly because its DAC had sonically absolutely no chance against dCS 974 / dCS 954
6) June 2014 – September 2019 (5 yrs 3 mths): Accuphase DP-900 / DC-901 and dCS 974 / dCS 954
7) September 2019 - ?: Accuphase DP-900, dCS 974 Upsampler and dCS Vivaldi v2 DAC

The system currently used consists of
the Accuphase DP-900 transport (bought June 2014; >6 yrs), the dCS 974 Upsampler (bought January 2002; >19 yrs) and the dCS Vivaldi v2 DAC (bought September 2019; >1 yr).

Last edited by meltemi; 04-07-2021 at 06:54 PM.
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  #42  
Old 04-07-2021, 08:28 PM
C4STR0 C4STR0 is offline
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Originally Posted by meltemi View Post
Not quite. I could absolutely not afford to do that. Took only a few big steps during the years:

1) January 1985 – March 1989 (4yrs 2 mths): Marantz CD-74
2) March 1989 – November 1990 (1yr 8 mths): second hand Accuphase DP-80 / DC-81
3) November 1990 – January / June 2002 (11 yrs 7 mths): Accuphase DP-80L / DC-81L
4) January / June 2002 – June 2014 (12 yrs): DP-80L and dCS 974 Upsampler / dCS 954 DAC
5) August 2011: second hand Accuphase DP-700, resold quickly because its DAC had sonically absolutely no chance against dCS 974 / dCS 954
6) June 2014 – September 2019 (5 yrs 3 mths): Accuphase DP-900 / DC-901 and dCS 974 / dCS 954
7) September 2019 - ?: Accuphase DP-900, dCS 974 Upsampler and dCS Vivaldi v2 DAC

The system currently used consists of
the Accuphase DP-900 transport (bought June 2014; >6 yrs), the dCS 974 Upsampler (bought January 2002; >19 yrs) and the dCS Vivaldi v2 DAC (bought September 2019; >1 yr).
Very impressive. Those dcs units are very expensive. I was actually just looking at the vivaldi upsampler today. What exactly does it do? A redbook dac like the DC-81 can get upsampled by that unit? Maybe i dont even want to know considering the cost.

So you have not heard the DAC-50?
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  #43  
Old 04-08-2021, 09:42 AM
meltemi meltemi is offline
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Originally Posted by C4STR0 View Post
Very impressive. Those dcs units are very expensive. I was actually just looking at the vivaldi upsampler today. What exactly does it do? A redbook dac like the DC-81 can get upsampled by that unit? Maybe i dont even want to know considering the cost.

So you have not heard the DAC-50?
The signal flow is: source > (room correction) > upsampling > DAC.

The Vivaldi Upsampler does network streaming and upsampling of all sources connected to it (upsampling from standard PCM to high def PCM, DXD and DSD; signals must then be fed to a DAC, which can handle these formats). DC-81 DAC can only handle 16bit 44k or 48k.

I have not heard the DAC-50, only the units I mentioned (and owned).

FYI (off topic)
dCS offers three systems: Vivaldi (four separate units or one box), Rossini (including optional CD transport or with separate SACD transport) and Bartok (including optional headphone amp).
All three systems feature network streaming, upsampling and proprietary technology DAC (Ring-DAC).
www.dcsltd.co.uk

Last edited by meltemi; 04-08-2021 at 09:47 AM.
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  #44  
Old 04-08-2021, 05:16 PM
C4STR0 C4STR0 is offline
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Originally Posted by meltemi View Post
The signal flow is: source > (room correction) > upsampling > DAC.

The Vivaldi Upsampler does network streaming and upsampling of all sources connected to it (upsampling from standard PCM to high def PCM, DXD and DSD; signals must then be fed to a DAC, which can handle these formats). DC-81 DAC can only handle 16bit 44k or 48k.

I have not heard the DAC-50, only the units I mentioned (and owned).

FYI (off topic)
dCS offers three systems: Vivaldi (four separate units or one box), Rossini (including optional CD transport or with separate SACD transport) and Bartok (including optional headphone amp).
All three systems feature network streaming, upsampling and proprietary technology DAC (Ring-DAC).
www.dcsltd.co.uk
Yeah dCS offers nice gear. In the $10k+ range, i honestly would account for aesthetics as a big part of it as well. Something like Nagra gear which looks like it belongs in an 80s NASA space shuttle. I just love the aesthetics. Accuphase for it's vintage look as well.

So, on the DAC-50, i do hope i'm not disappointed. Like i said, it's rarely spoken of in web searches. The top search result is someone who spoke of it's harshness and sibilance, 1 mention of it getting better after burn in and then finally saying he could never enjoy it and purchased a different DAC. I did see some say the Accuphase board options perform at a $2k to $4k DAC value. This topic is the longest on the DAC-50 and it was mostly spent saying to purchase other dedicated Accuphase DACs over the DAC-50.

Cause for my concern? I have used foobar2000 for so long and i came across an article speaking of the sound quality differences in certain software players. I went ahead and tried Roon for the first time and upsampled everything to DSD512 with the Ares II and i'm extremely impressed. Where upsampling to DSD on foobar sounded lean and sucked the life out of the music, Roon DSD upsampling actually sounds full bodied and highly detailed with no digital glare. On Foobar with PCM, the Ares II did nothing that the DAC-10 was giving me(hence DAC-50 or older Accuphase DAC curiosity), but w/ Roon and upsampled to DSD the Ares II takes a big leap over the DAC-10. I haven't tested PCM vs PCM between the 2 dacs on Roon.

I'm now wondering how this:


at more expensive cost, could outperform this:


I don't know anything about the tech side of things, but it's not logical to my little brain.

We'll see how it goes. Maybe the jump from the DAC-10 to DAC-50 is a massive leap? This little r2r dac is reminding me why i told myself i'd only buy NOS r2r dacs from now on, and yet here i am waiting on a little delta sigma pc board dac for several hundred more than the Ares II cost me.

Last edited by C4STR0; 04-08-2021 at 05:19 PM.
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  #45  
Old 04-09-2021, 06:07 AM
meltemi meltemi is offline
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Originally Posted by C4STR0 View Post
We'll see how it goes.
Please let us know.

I'm convinced the DAC-50 will do an excellent job. The overall result however will also be influenced by the other devices in your system (preamp, power amp, speakers, cables, room).

Accuphase did r2r in their DC-81 / DC-81L / DP-70 / DP-70V and then went for parallel multiple DACs based on chips.
The problem with r2r is, that you have to meticulously handselect all resistors in order to acheive good linearity. Just using low tolerance resistors without handselecting is not sufficient.
Temperature differences and ageing may further degrade the quality of the DAC.
That's why dCS chose another approach than r2r from the beginning (dCS Ring DAC, see attachement).

Upsampling allows to use less steep anti-aliasing filters and improves impulse response.

Martin
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dCS_Ring-DAC.jpg (35.8 KB, 27 views)
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  #46  
Old 04-09-2021, 05:26 PM
C4STR0 C4STR0 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltemi View Post
Please let us know.

I'm convinced the DAC-50 will do an excellent job. The overall result however will also be influenced by the other devices in your system (preamp, power amp, speakers, cables, room).

Accuphase did r2r in their DC-81 / DC-81L / DP-70 / DP-70V and then went for parallel multiple DACs based on chips.
The problem with r2r is, that you have to meticulously handselect all resistors in order to acheive good linearity. Just using low tolerance resistors without handselecting is not sufficient.
Temperature differences and ageing may further degrade the quality of the DAC.
That's why dCS chose another approach than r2r from the beginning (dCS Ring DAC, see attachement).

Upsampling allows to use less steep anti-aliasing filters and improves impulse response.

Martin
I think most modern r2r dac have "hand selected resistors" as part of the selling point. I don't know anything about the aging process and why a ds dac chip dac would or wouldn't age as well.

I just know with my horned speakers, NOS Audio Note 0.1x and a higher Audio Note moded model(i forget what model) and this NOS r2r dac have sounded the best. r2r having a very analogue and pleasant sound that made me listen to more albums start to finish than i had in a long time.

As far as the DAC-50 depending on my set up, i'm certainly playing with entry level stuff as newer models in the US are priced way too far out of my budget and so is their best vintage. I never listened to an Accuphase pre amp. There was barely anything to research about the CX-260. Saw photos of the inside and was blown away by the modular design and the aesthetic design overall. I wanted surround sound as an option without compromising 2ch(plus option to use HT passthru/bypass/ext pre in if i upgrade 2ch preamp) and i like remote control and am tired of digital getting out dated quickly or having parts fail-also quickly, so the CX-260 all analog 5ch pre made sense over similar priced stereo pres mostly of the 80s era like the C270. The CX-260 along with the AD-10 and DAC-10 boards was selling for less than others were going for without the option boards and the unit looks immaculate so i was sold on it.
The CX-260 was the first to use MCS technology by Accuphase. I don't know what that's worth, and maybe it's not taken seriously around here, but the CX-260 beats any McIntosh preamp i've had or listened to. It's also got some tube like glow and a sweet midrange like a VTL and Pathos i've recently demoed in home before buying the CX260-all from a cool to the touch solid state pre. I can only imagine the quality jump with other Accuphase preamps i've never heard. I want to upgrade my McIntosh MC202 to either a more robust McIntosh amp or a reliable vintage Accuphase amp, but i doubt their Class A in my budget would be enough power to satisfy my low end needs. Vintage Accuphase amp recommendations?

Back on point- no idea if the DAC-50 would perform better on a better Accuphase preamp. I only just recently discovered the difference cables can make by having several Shunyata pc's and a few Duelund DIY cables and a siltech xlr and a crystal cable rca, but i'm okay with the stock cables for now. I was looking into Accuphase SR interconnects, but i just can't invest that much right now. If i get annoying sibilance, i'd borrow those high end cables again to see how the DAC-50 improves, but would i want close to or more $$ than the dac actually costs? Not likely, i'd just sell and try something else at that point. DIY market might be my best bet for budget cables. Suggestions for a good match with Accuphase?

Thanks
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  #47  
Old 04-15-2021, 03:30 PM
C4STR0 C4STR0 is offline
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First impressions. Very detailed, high resolution. Deep and fast low end. Dynamic. Midrange seems too forward for my taste, especially since i'm using Klipsch. There seems to be a path you have to take where you have to make compromises in certain areas - the r2r NOS gave me that relaxed midrange and not so much rolled off top end, but pleasant for horns, yet on the downside, it had slow/muddy low end.

So this dac has more benefits while losing that relaxed non fatiguing midrange of the NOS r2r dacs ive tried. I am upsampling to dsd256. I have -6 headroom in Roon and i'm still playing around with the upsampling settings, but nothing really tames that forward midrange. My right ear is ringing after a listening session and i find i have to turn it down. Its very enjoyable at lower volumes because that detail resolution and deep low end remains. With the NOS r2r dac, i couldn't stop listening to albums from start to finish. No fatigue whatsoever and just a pleasant and emotionally engaging feeling that i'm lacking right now.
There was this sort of glow and bloom that i got with this preamp using the dac-10 and the r2r and other dacs, and every time i'd hear it, it would make me smile because it was very tube like and i would reach out and touch the preamp and how cool to the touch it was and smile again knowing i didn't have to bother with tube heat or rolling anymore.
With this new dac-50, the tube like bloom is lost for hyper detail.

I am using stock cables. Will try better cables as i continue to give it time. The seller said it was used and it was burned in, but no actual info on how long he had it in use, etc. I'll ask for more detail. Maybe there's still time for it to break in?
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