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  #11  
Old 11-26-2020, 05:30 AM
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Try an Gustard A18 ,has everything your looking for. I tried the topping D90 mqa but sent it back and tried the Gustard A18 and just can't believe how good this dac sounds, both use the latest AKM 4499 chip and both have measured at the top of the chain.
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2021, 03:48 AM
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Each of your components can be significantly upgraded. Are you looking to move your system performance up a level? It sounds like you are. Typically I have found you have to roughly double or triple the cost of a component to be assured of a significant improvement in sound. This is a bit overly simplified, but most of my components once were at one level of performance say $1,000, then $2,000, $5,000, $10,000 and finally $20K. I stayed for many years at each level. I have always looked for the next key component to upgrade. Contemporary DACs can be very good and improve at higher levels of cost. I think if you are looking to jump up a level then upgrading the DAC is a good choice. Set your DAC at the next level of performance. I would not worry about what formats of music you own so much as making sure it does contemporary formats. Streaming is here and is the future. My streaming now is better than my analog end ( so of course I ordered a new turntable). So after the DAC you can upgrade the streamer... an Aurender N10 would be a couple levels up (if that is a level you can reach later). Having stepped from a N100 to a W20se I can assure you there are very substantial improvements with each jump in streamer. It is like the analog chain... the closer to the source the bigger the impact it can have. But you need a really good DAC. I am not very familiar with the Mac lines, somewhere in there you would want to upgrade the preamp... probably first, amp last... but that is a personal preference thing.

One way to look at system performance is that of diminishing returns. I have not found that to be personally true. An audio system is like an scientific instrument, the higher the quality the more sensitive the system is to improvements in components. So for me, each increased level of performance have brought greater rewards and satisfaction, outstripping the ever increasing cost. A lot of people that have pursued high end audio have systems costing $20K, $100k and a lot more. Many are not “rich people” but normal folks that have upgraded slowly for decades to achieve the sound they enjoy.

Anyway, kind of sounds like you may be in that camp... so if you think you are then I would go for a separate DAC.
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Last edited by George Prentice; 01-09-2021 at 03:58 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2021, 01:06 PM
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jojo, don't underestimate the quality of the DAC in your Accuphase.

I would carefully test a separate DAC in your system and compare it to the one you already own.
A separate 3K DAC might be better, but not necessarily so.
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  #14  
Old 01-09-2021, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bart View Post
jojo, don't underestimate the quality of the DAC in your Accuphase.

I would carefully test a separate DAC in your system and compare it to the one you already own.
A separate 3K DAC might be better, but not necessarily so.
Exactly... truth be told, I cannot hear a difference between my dCS, the Accuphase DP-560 or the Accuphase DG-68 DACs.... if there is a difference, it's lost on my 51 year old ears.
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2021, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM992 View Post
Exactly... truth be told, I cannot hear a difference between my dCS, the Accuphase DP-560 or the Accuphase DG-68 DACs.... if there is a difference, it's lost on my 51 year old ears.
Don't listen to your DACs, listen to the music. The one DAC that presents the music to you and connects with your inner music lover, that's the right DAC for you.

The reality of things is such that the inner music lover is blind to the fancy boxes and their prices. Close your eyes and listen.

I once deeply connected with a $300 DAC card inside a German high end headphone amplifier that I used temporarily in my system. It was silly to leave it there permanently but in retrospect, why not if it brought so much of that synergy we always seek.
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  #16  
Old 01-10-2021, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHC1 View Post
Don't listen to your DACs, listen to the music. The one DAC that presents the music to you and connects with your inner music lover, that's the right DAC for you.

The reality of things is such that the inner music lover is blind to the fancy boxes and their prices. Close your eyes and listen.

I once deeply connected with a $300 DAC card inside a German high end headphone amplifier that I used temporarily in my system. It was silly to leave it there permanently but in retrospect, why not if it brought so much of that synergy we always seek.
Great feedback, +1 on this!
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  #17  
Old 01-13-2021, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bart View Post
jojo, don't underestimate the quality of the DAC in your Accuphase.

I would carefully test a separate DAC in your system and compare it to the one you already own.
A separate 3K DAC might be better, but not necessarily so.
You'd have to spend at least double that to get something comparable. Accuphase makes some really good DACs
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  #18  
Old 01-14-2021, 04:09 PM
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Jojo maybe this is too much but a Bricasti M3 for about double your spend and you will be extremely satisfied
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  #19  
Old 01-14-2021, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GW1800 View Post
Jojo maybe this is too much but a Bricasti M3 for about double your spend and you will be extremely satisfied


+1. Extremely good sound and overall value for money as a result!
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