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AlurkA

Accuphase DAC-50 add on card

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Haha @a.dentDP-750 it is then.... thanks heaps. I currently have a PS Audio Direct Stream Junior which I am quite happy with sound wise. But now I have ventured down the Accuphase path was looking at pairing my Accuphase integrated with an Accuphase DAC or DAC/Transport. The price of the DAC-50 is much easier to swallow when compared to to the standalone gear.  Was wondering how much of a compromise it may be. 

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Not exactly addressing the OP’s question, but this thread piqued my interest in doing a similar comparison. I thought the results might be of interest to others. 

Source: Accuphase DP560

Alternate DACs: DAC30 (fed by coax spdif), DP560 (single ended analogue out via included Accuphase interconnects), DC801 (via HS-link, with output via balanced Cardas golden cross)

 

Each feeding into Accuphase E560 - Cardas golden cross biwire - proac response D38s

 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, each step up in (original) price yielded improvements in sound quality - mostly in terms of transparency and noise floor, but also with (consequent?) improvements in tone, soundstaging, attack and decay. Not that the differences were earth-shattering - I could live with any of them. 

 

I also suspect that the quality of the transport may be a limiting factor - the DP560 as a transport sounds much better than my largely unmodified Mac mini (SSD, 16GB ram, Audirvana+, Weiss Minerva FireWire to spdif conversion), particularly in the upper registers. I suspect the differences I heard in the comparison using the DP560 as a transport would be much less if I used my Mac. 

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Hi @Weissman  Thanks for the information. This is the kind of information I am after. I am considering the DAC-50 in the short term. Have also been told the DP-430 is an excellent source. CD and DAC. I don’t do a lot of listening to discs and am thinking ultimately the DC-37 is the end game for me. The DP-560 has SACD support but I have none of these but am sure it’s DAC capabilities are also up there. Offers more flexibility than a pure DAC. 

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I’m glad it was useful. Over the next couple of days, I’ll try to do a comparison of the DAC30 and the dac section of the DP560 by feeding both with my Mac. Would that be helpful? I figure it might give you a reference point for how much a compromise using the DAC50 will be while you use a Mac as source. 

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9 hours ago, Weissman said:

I’m glad it was useful. Over the next couple of days, I’ll try to do a comparison of the DAC30 and the dac section of the DP560 by feeding both with my Mac. Would that be helpful? I figure it might give you a reference point for how much a compromise using the DAC50 will be while you use a Mac as source. 

That would be fantastic, thanks heaps.

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Hi. I spent a bit of time on Sunday comparing the DAC30 and the dac section of the DP560 with my Mac mini as source. I used a generic USB cable and Audirvana+ playing the tunes. 

 

Short answer is that I could clearly hear the difference between the two which I wasn’t really expecting - I thought the Mac might been too much of a limiting factor. 

 

They both sounded good, but there was a noticeable flattening of the soundstage, less extension in the highs and a bit less definition in the lows with the DAC30. Still enjoyable, and I would probably be happy if I wasn’t able to compare it to a better dac, but there was definitely a notable difference. 

 

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@Weissman Thanks for taking the time out to do this...gotta luv this community.  You'd kinda hope there would be a difference given you are comparing a $1000 component to a far more expensive one.  I am running my previous DAC, Cambridge 851D at the moment as my Direct Stream Junior is off to get its bridge replaced. Its been a similar experience for me.  The 851D is pretty good but the DSJ has a better sound stage, a touch more detail in the highs, Vocals are sweeter and bass is more controlled and detailed.  Immediately after swapping them over I didn't really notice the differences as much as I do a day later listening funnily enough.

 

Like you I run a mac mini, Media Centre 24 (instead of Audirvana) via a Curious USB is used to my DAC.  From here XLR to an E-470 out to my Dyns.  I am a fan of using a computer based source but the lure of SACD and original discs is drawing me to the DP-430 and DP-560 as I get the best of both worlds.  Decisions Decisions.

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One thing to consider if you end up going the disc player route is that the DP560 will plat data discs (ie DVD-Rs with dsd or pcm data files on them), meaning you could burn hi-res downloads to disc and play them. I don’t think the DP430 can. 

 

I haven’t tried this myself yet but but it was one of the key reasons I went for the DP560 as I expect it will become more difficult over time to buy high res on physical media. 

 

I don’t envy your choice though. It’s hard to weigh up a number of different factors with little or no chance to audition the components 

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I’m hoping the local accuphase dealer may be able to help me out trialing the various components. Price as always comes into play. None of this gear is cheap!!

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On 21/08/2018 at 5:54 PM, AlurkA said:

@Weissman Thanks for taking the time out to do this...gotta luv this community.  You'd kinda hope there would be a difference given you are comparing a $1000 component to a far more expensive one.  I am running my previous DAC, Cambridge 851D at the moment as my Direct Stream Junior is off to get its bridge replaced. Its been a similar experience for me.  The 851D is pretty good but the DSJ has a better sound stage, a touch more detail in the highs, Vocals are sweeter and bass is more controlled and detailed.  Immediately after swapping them over I didn't really notice the differences as much as I do a day later listening funnily enough.

 

Like you I run a mac mini, Media Centre 24 (instead of Audirvana) via a Curious USB is used to my DAC.  From here XLR to an E-470 out to my Dyns.  I am a fan of using a computer based source but the lure of SACD and original discs is drawing me to the DP-430 and DP-560 as I get the best of both worlds.  Decisions Decisions.

If you're serious about buying a DP-560 I'm seriously considering trading mine to upgrade to a DP-750. Not that I'm unhappy with the DP-560 but I have a C-2850 so the DP-750 would match better aesthetically with the same Persimmon cover.

Maybe we could work out a mutually agreeable price on a barely run in DP-560.

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