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Old 05-25-2013, 09:18 AM
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Default AMR DP-777 vs ARC DAC 8

I have now had the AMR DP-777 DAC, which replaced my ARC DAC 8, in my system for several months.

I did not A/B the two DACs but took listening notes when I first installed the AMR. The two DACs sound very different, so the distinctions I'm about to talk about are fairly obvious.

In general, these are two very musical components. But the AMR DP-777 is clearly a notch if not two above the DAC 8 (a happy fact since I bought it blind on the strength of Art Dudley's review in which he called it the best DAC he had heard to date). The two most salient differences are in the high frequencies and bass. The DAC 8 highs can sound a little thin and, with higher volume, a little hard. There can also be some ringing in piano high notes. (I thought this was an artifact of some recordings, but was proven wrong.) The AMR highs are, in comparison, natural and relaxed and extended without hardness or glare.

The increased bass, both in weight and tonality, was another obvious improvement the AMR brought to the table. Along with this, is a texture and weight that I think was lacking in the DAC 8. Acoustic instruments especially take on more presence and air.

I have no idea how the AMR DP-777 stacks up against some of the top of the line DACs popular on this site--the dcs and Esoteric models for example--but for the money I think it is an extraordinary value (one quarter or less than those other models) and has brought my enjoyment of digital music to a new level. It sounds very close to my analog rig, which I don't think is too shabby--high praise indeed.
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Shindo 301 Vinyl Player; A23 Hommage T1; Shindo Giscours; Shindo Lafon GM70; Shindo Petite Latours field coil speakers; AMR DP 777 DAC; Sound Science Music Vault M7 Music Server; Shindo, High Fidelity and WW Starlight Platinum Cables; Shindo Mr. T, Audience PC; Stillpoints Ultra ss and Ultra 5
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:38 PM
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Steve...thx for the comparo . I have been intrigued by the DP-777 for a while. Your experience mirrors that of the shootout done by Emile and others on this site a while back, where the DP-777 came out on top.
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:29 PM
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Cyril,

Yes, I completely forgot about that review which claimed the DP-777 was a giant killer.

There are other things to like about the AMR DAC: the way it turns off the tubes in Standby but keeps the ss circuitry warm; the various digital settings and filters that give you playback options; it's looks; the remote which useless a "lossless" volume control (but it sounds better to my ears bypassed) and its read out with is visible from my chair. In fact, I don't feel like I'm missing a thing except SACD playback.
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Shindo 301 Vinyl Player; A23 Hommage T1; Shindo Giscours; Shindo Lafon GM70; Shindo Petite Latours field coil speakers; AMR DP 777 DAC; Sound Science Music Vault M7 Music Server; Shindo, High Fidelity and WW Starlight Platinum Cables; Shindo Mr. T, Audience PC; Stillpoints Ultra ss and Ultra 5
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shindostevesan View Post
Cyril,

Yes, I completely forgot about that review which claimed the DP-777 was a giant killer.

There are other things to like about the AMR DAC: the way it turns off the tubes in Standby but keeps the ss circuitry warm; the various digital settings and filters that give you playback options; it's looks; the remote which useless a "lossless" volume control (but it sounds better to my ears bypassed) and its read out with is visible from my chair. In fact, I don't feel like I'm missing a thing except SACD playback.
I talked the the U.S. distributor about this product. He says guys have come by his place with Dacs that retail for up to 30k. He said everytime the guy with the more expensive dac was pissed off because he didn't buy the AMR. He said some guys have sold their dac for a loss just so they could buy the AMR. He said it is the closest thing to analog on the market. I've been watching for a used one but they don't show up.
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:45 AM
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I did not get sufficient time to complete burn-in process (I should go for the next CoE) with my new DP-777, but I will continue with this evry attractive device upon my return to home (Sept-Oct 2013). I already have some ideas for 3 tweaks.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:19 AM
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Threads like this makes me wonder if mine is broken. I bought this early in its release but just cannot warm up to it. I am owner of the ARC piece as well. Sigh...

Regards,
Joe Ling
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:24 PM
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Perhaps you had it improperly configured (left it on a wrong filter/setting/DAC chip).

Because it is one hell of a DAC for the $5k retail.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taters View Post
I talked the the U.S. distributor about this product. He says guys have come by his place with Dacs that retail for up to 30k. He said everytime the guy with the more expensive dac was pissed off because he didn't buy the AMR. He said some guys have sold their dac for a loss just so they could buy the AMR. He said it is the closest thing to analog on the market. I've been watching for a used one but they don't show up.
taters.......Imagine my complete surprise at reading the distributor of the AMR DP-777 would be boasting about a product he sells. Absolutely astonishing.

I'm not saying the DP-777 isn't a fine DAC with great reviews but come on, would the U.S. distributor say anything else? I don't consider that a proof source, more like a sales pitch.
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Living Room System: McIntosh C2300, MC601 (2), MS750, MR85, Esoteric K-03, Olive 04HD, Magnum Dynalab MD-205, Sony K890ES, Micro Seiki DD-40 w/MA-505 tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Furutech AG-12 phono cable, Aluminati Sound record clamp, Sonos ZP90, PMC EB1i, Fathom f113 w/ Sound Anchor stand, PS Audio Power Plant Premier (2), PS Audio Soloist Premier SE (3), Furutech Flux 50, Symposium Rollerblock Jr.'s, Fanfare FM-2G, Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's & Silver Electra PC's, Wireworld Supernova & Silver Starlight digital cables, Kimber 8TC speaker cable w/ WBT NexGen Silver Angled Locking Banana Connectors, Solid Pure Silver Speaker Terminal Jumpers.
Studio System: McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Esoteric K-03, Olive 04HD, Michell Gyro SE w/SME 309/Ortofon Cadenza Black, Michell HR Never Connected Power Supply, Sonos ZP90, Sonos ZP120, Wyred 4 Sound Remedy, Magnum Dynalab ST-2, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, PS Audio Soloist Premier SE, PS Audio Dectet, Sonus Faber Amati Anniversario, Symbosium Rollerblock Jr.'s and Fat Padz, Wireword Silver Eclipse IC's, Silver Electra PC's, Supernova & Silver Starlight digital cables, Wireworld Silver Eclipse speaker cable, Klaudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.
Home Theater System: McIntosh MX120, MC452, Oppo BDP-95, PS Audio Soloist Premier SE, JBL LSR-6332 (2), JBL LSR-6328P (3), McIntosh XLS112 (2), Sony 52XBR9, Tributaries Silver IC's, Wireworld Starlight 6 HDMI cables, Wireworld Silver Electra PC's.
Headphone System: Sennheiser HD800 headphone, HDVA 600 headphone amplifier, CH 800 S balance headphone cable, Wyred 4 Sound DAC2, Oppo BDP-83, Wireworld Silver Starlight 7 digital cable, Silver Eclipse 7 balanced interconnects, Aurora 7 power cables.
Vintage System: McIntosh MA230, MR74 tuner, Denon DVD-2800 CD/DVD, JBL 4312A speakers, Wireworld Solstice 7 speaker cable., Tributaries Silver Series IC's.
Other Vintage Gear: MA5100, JVC XL-Z1050 K2 CD, Tandberg 3008A preamp, Tandberg 3026A power amp, Tandberg 3011 tuner, Yamaha P2100 power amp, McIntosh 4300V.

Last edited by jdandy; 05-27-2013 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ;495598
I have now had the AMR DP-777 DAC, which replaced my ARC DAC 8, in my system for several months.

I did not A/B the two DACs but took listening notes when I first installed the AMR. The two DACs sound very different, so the distinctions I'm about to talk about are fairly obvious.

In general, these are two very musical components. But the AMR DP-777 is clearly a notch if not two above the DAC 8 (a happy fact since I bought it blind on the strength of Art Dudley's review in which he called it the best DAC he had heard to date). The two most salient differences are in the high frequencies and bass. The DAC 8 highs can sound a little thin and, with higher volume, a little hard. There can also be some ringing in piano high notes. (I thought this was an artifact of some recordings, but was proven wrong.) The AMR highs are, in comparison, natural and relaxed and extended without hardness or glare.

The increased bass, both in weight and tonality, was another obvious improvement the AMR brought to the table. Along with this, is a texture and weight that I think was lacking in the DAC 8. Acoustic instruments especially take on more presence and air.

I have no idea how the AMR DP-777 stacks up against some of the top of the line DACs popular on this site--the dcs and Esoteric models for example--but for the money I think it is an extraordinary value (one quarter or less than those other models) and has brought my enjoyment of digital music to a new level. It sounds very close to my analog rig, which I don't think is too shabby--high praise indeed.
Steve.......Interesting to hear you state the AMR highs are natural, relaxed, and extended without hardness or glare, plus increased bass weight and tonality. Obviously the tubes in their circuits are working some magic. Some would argue that the presence of tubes would mean less bass and low frequency control, along with a rolled off top end. I am not one of those people. Thats' why I find it interesting to note you find the tube influence to your liking. Good to read your impressions.
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Living Room System: McIntosh C2300, MC601 (2), MS750, MR85, Esoteric K-03, Olive 04HD, Magnum Dynalab MD-205, Sony K890ES, Micro Seiki DD-40 w/MA-505 tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Furutech AG-12 phono cable, Aluminati Sound record clamp, Sonos ZP90, PMC EB1i, Fathom f113 w/ Sound Anchor stand, PS Audio Power Plant Premier (2), PS Audio Soloist Premier SE (3), Furutech Flux 50, Symposium Rollerblock Jr.'s, Fanfare FM-2G, Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's & Silver Electra PC's, Wireworld Supernova & Silver Starlight digital cables, Kimber 8TC speaker cable w/ WBT NexGen Silver Angled Locking Banana Connectors, Solid Pure Silver Speaker Terminal Jumpers.
Studio System: McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Esoteric K-03, Olive 04HD, Michell Gyro SE w/SME 309/Ortofon Cadenza Black, Michell HR Never Connected Power Supply, Sonos ZP90, Sonos ZP120, Wyred 4 Sound Remedy, Magnum Dynalab ST-2, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, PS Audio Soloist Premier SE, PS Audio Dectet, Sonus Faber Amati Anniversario, Symbosium Rollerblock Jr.'s and Fat Padz, Wireword Silver Eclipse IC's, Silver Electra PC's, Supernova & Silver Starlight digital cables, Wireworld Silver Eclipse speaker cable, Klaudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.
Home Theater System: McIntosh MX120, MC452, Oppo BDP-95, PS Audio Soloist Premier SE, JBL LSR-6332 (2), JBL LSR-6328P (3), McIntosh XLS112 (2), Sony 52XBR9, Tributaries Silver IC's, Wireworld Starlight 6 HDMI cables, Wireworld Silver Electra PC's.
Headphone System: Sennheiser HD800 headphone, HDVA 600 headphone amplifier, CH 800 S balance headphone cable, Wyred 4 Sound DAC2, Oppo BDP-83, Wireworld Silver Starlight 7 digital cable, Silver Eclipse 7 balanced interconnects, Aurora 7 power cables.
Vintage System: McIntosh MA230, MR74 tuner, Denon DVD-2800 CD/DVD, JBL 4312A speakers, Wireworld Solstice 7 speaker cable., Tributaries Silver Series IC's.
Other Vintage Gear: MA5100, JVC XL-Z1050 K2 CD, Tandberg 3008A preamp, Tandberg 3026A power amp, Tandberg 3011 tuner, Yamaha P2100 power amp, McIntosh 4300V.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
Steve.......Interesting to hear you state the AMR highs are natural, relaxed, and extended without hardness or glare, plus increased bass weight and tonality. Obviously the tubes in their circuits are working some magic. Some would argue that the presence of tubes would mean less bass and low frequency control, along with a rolled off top end. I am not one of those people. Thats' why I find it interesting to note you find the tube influence to your liking. Good to read your impressions.
Dan,

I realize I left out one big impression the DP-777 left on me: it plays hi res files much better than the DAC 8. In fact, I really wasn't hearing what hi res was all about. Now I do and it's a wow. I'm sure there's a reason for this--either in the Dp-777 processing power or its filters, but I don't know enough about digital to venture a guess.

You're right--a dealer conducted shoot off is always suspect. Until someone sends me their K-03 for comparison I am going to assume that for 3x or more the money you're going to get something quite a bit better. But for now I'm enjoying my upgrade. And I really should be spending more time with vinyl--have a few thousand albums I've never heard!
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Shindo 301 Vinyl Player; A23 Hommage T1; Shindo Giscours; Shindo Lafon GM70; Shindo Petite Latours field coil speakers; AMR DP 777 DAC; Sound Science Music Vault M7 Music Server; Shindo, High Fidelity and WW Starlight Platinum Cables; Shindo Mr. T, Audience PC; Stillpoints Ultra ss and Ultra 5
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