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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

INTRODUCTION- PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound, realisable by controlling the confounding variables between tthe microphone and the listeners' ears.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. To reproduce the sounds captured by the recording microphones, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would naturally select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

Identifying components for their system neutrality should, logically, start with the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, as any and every deviation from a measurably flat frequency response at any point along the serial chain from microphone to ear is very likely to cause the total system to have an audible sonic personality. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound, HUG cannot be really be expected to guide in the selection, approval, endorsement or even discussion of equipment that is intend to introduce a significantly personalised sound to the audio signal chain. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various electronics offered there. There is no on-line substitute for that time investment in a dealer's showroom.

If you desire to intentionally tune your system sound to your personal taste, please consider carefully how much you should rely upon the subjective opinions of strangers. Their hearing acuity and taste will be different to yours, as will be their motives and budget, their listening distance, listening loudness and listening room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

Alternatively, if faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over your speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that objective is what this forum has been helping with since 2006. Welcome!"


Jan. 2018
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DAC suggestions

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  • DAC suggestions

    Hi all,

    Got my SHL5s not too long ago and I'm very pleased with them indeed. Now looking to get a good DAC and would really appreciate the input of fellow harbeth fans which ones I should look to audition. I listen to all types of music and my main criteria is the musicality of it. I first and foremost want to enjoy my music, so I wont sacrifice coherence for detail etc.

    Feel free to give suggestions up to about $5000.

    Signal chain: Macbook - Kimber BBUS AG - DAC?? - Luxman 505u - Kimber Timre - SHL5.

    Input greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards

    Per

  • #2
    The new Rega DAC has been well received and is very affordable at 1/5 of your budget. You may also want to upgrade from the Kimbre Timbre as well. The Kimbre Hero will give you considerable improvement.

    Comment


    • #3
      As above. The Rega DAC sees off many very expensive DACS. Try also the Naim DAC, which is very good indeed.

      Comment


      • #4
        The Beresford Caiman punches well above its weight.

        http://www.beresford.me/main/main.html

        Buy it with the Gaitor pgrade.

        From the world of Pro Audio look at

        http://www.tcelectronic.com/bmc-2.asp

        http://www.dv247.com/studio-equipmen...troller--63517

        Comment


        • #5
          DAC suggestions

          I have a Cambridge Audio DAC Magic. Reputedly the best option below 1000. Sounds like the new Rega could be a challenger though!

          If you can get hold of one (they seem to be US-only?) Havana Labs MDHT tube DAC is a well-regarded option and very musical, but only 16/44.1. Above that price are the Wavelength Audio tube DACs that can do upto 24/192 if you're inclined...

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for your input.

            Art K: Thanks for the rega and cable advice. However I see things was written a little hastily on my part - I apologise - but I have kimber 8tc for my speakers, timbre is the interconnects from my current loaner DAC. Missed one out and ordered them incorrectly...

            Labarum: I'll have to look Beresford DACs and your other links as I know nothing about them. I only glimpsed at the Beresford link and they seemed extremely competetively priced - do you think they can compete with the likes of naim dac for instance once upgraded?

            hifi_dave: recommending both - what would you say is the strength of the rega vs the naim and vice versa? Apart form the obvious price advantage of the quite inexpensive rega dac (looks like it's around 550GBP in Sweden)?

            Comment


            • #7
              GregD: Thanks. I've heard the DacMagic, not in my own system though but it seems a competent DAC for the money. Havana Labs may not be available as you say. Know little about them but haven't seen them around for as long as I've been DAC-hunting at least. Wavelength - heard good things about these dacs - have you heard any of them? If so - which one+would you care to briefly describe its sound signature? I'd really appreciate it.

              cheers

              Comment


              • #8
                The Bereford DAC has quite a following here

                http://www.theartofsound.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=3

                It is a product in continuous development through a dialogue between users and maker.

                Stan Beresford will offer you your money back if yo don't think the DAC makes a worthwhile improvement.

                The BMC-2 is a professional audio product. No nonsense, just a fine product.

                Nether of these products has remote control volume or source switching.

                In the HiFi market you can end up paying a big premium for a name and a smart case. With DACs this is especially so. Most of the work is done in the main chip. Provided the supporting circuitry is competent the same chip sounds the same.


                Going up market, look at the first two products in the left frame on this page

                http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/

                or the basic model DAC-1

                http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/dac/dac1

                Domestic DACs from a Pro Audio manufacturer.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I own a Benchmark DAC1 USB that I use with my nearfield system. As this DAC is going to move to my video edit workstation soon, I've been looking for a new DAC as well.

                  Right now, the hot value in the DAC market seems to be the Wyred4Sound DAC2:
                  http://www.wyred4sound.com/webapps/s..._groupid=18157

                  Originally posted by Labarum View Post
                  Going up market, look at the first two products in the left frame on this page

                  http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/

                  Domestic DACs from a Pro Audio manufacturer.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I recommend that you give the Bel Canto DACs an audition - see HUG thread here:
                    http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/s...1828#post11828
                    The DAC3 with VBS has now been replaced by the DAC3.5.
                    You might find some of the other suggestions in the above thread useful.
                    David

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I use the Musical Fidelity M1 DAC in my Naim system driving my Harbeth P3ESRs and have found the results to be very satisfying. It's definitely worth considering. The more expensive option would be the Naim DAC which I've not heard but is supposed to be excellent.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wavelength tube DAC

                        Originally posted by megamonkey View Post
                        GregD: Thanks. I've heard the DacMagic, not in my own system though but it seems a competent DAC for the money. Havana Labs may not be available as you say. Know little about them but haven't seen them around for as long as I've been DAC-hunting at least. Wavelength - heard good things about these dacs - have you heard any of them? If so - which one+would you care to briefly describe its sound signature? I'd really appreciate it.

                        cheers
                        Here is a link to the Wavelength site: http://www.usbdacs.com/Products/Products.html

                        (I hope that worked!)

                        There are many options available for them and even NOS tubes. Stereophile rates them class A in the past. Unfortunately I have not heard them. Just a thought, have you considered Weiss DACs? Pricey and with a professional background but again very well-regarded near your $5000 budget.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Labarum: beresford seems interesting on account of it’s affordability, and if I can return it I guess you cant go wrong really. Only I’m in Sweden and it’s painstaking to send things back and forth just to audition. Recently did just that with a dac. If I don’t find anything soon Beresford might be a good start/interim costwise.

                          I’ve had mixed reviews of the benchmark. Maybe this is always the case with audio components but I’ve heard a few things that has put me off them as a main contender.

                          jplaurel: Have you heard the W4S DAC2 - whats your verdict?

                          singslingr: yeah have heard good things about both M1 and naim but heard neither myself. Sent a request to audition the naim.

                          GregD: Wavelength is definitely a contender. Haven’t found anyone willing to let me audition it though – makes it difficult…

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You have a Rega distributor in Sweden, so why not try that. It has been very popular over here.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by megamonkey View Post
                              Labarum: beresford seems interesting on account of it’s affordability, and if I can return it I guess you cant go wrong really. Only I’m in Sweden and it’s painstaking to send things back and forth just to audition. Recently did just that with a dac. If I don’t find anything soon Beresford might be a good start/interim costwise.
                              Sign up to http://www.theartofsound.net/forum/ and make a few posts. If you order by Private Message (PM) Stan may give you a discount. If you want a Caiman with the Gator Board pre-installed, you will have to do it that way. Stan sends stuff all over the world, so you won't have problem.

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