Getting a second life for my dCS Elgar Plus
I do not hide it; I'm a little crazy around the edges. I'm an audiophile, a music lover, but also a damn curious, always looking for the famous "Nirvana" audio ... Anyway, I play all the time on my system. Well, the last few years, physically, I did not really changed my system, except that I went to dematerialized music, understand here that I have no CD any more. My whole disco on a digital network Storage unit commonly called NAS (Network Area Storage). The big advantage is that I can access my music anywhere in the house and even wirelessly in my backyard in the summer, just put on an appropriate network device and voilà. Here for the practical side of things, but the real reason I opted for dematerialized music is mostly because this way we get rid of all the disadvantages that have compact discs and their readings. I would not do a lesson about this here, for me; the difference is obvious between playing a piece of music on a CD or playing it from my music server, it’s like day and night.
As audiophile, the fact of using digital files means a change in equipment. Of course I can no longer limit myself to the restrictions of CD player and standardization of Redbook (wav files sampling with 16 bits per 44.1 kHz). In fact, with today's digital converter, sampling beyond 32 bits 384 kHz is not uncommon. Studios offers more copies of their recording directly to the resolution at which they worked, without loss of information incurred possibly in resampling. For the happiness of audiophiles and purists of all ilk. Why this long preamble? To say that I have been tripping H-Res files for some time, I had the chance to get a dCS Elgar DAC. More precisely when dCS has marketed their new product line, the old models are often put into liquidation by owners anxious to have the newest devices. So I managed to get hold of a device of very high quality for a great price. But the real reason I wanted a dCS Elgar plus is that this device is a direct descendant of dCS studio devices and it supports DSD raw sample that we find on SACD.
Here I might make some waves and it is certainly not the purpose of this little paper. This is only my personal opinion and some other audiophile crack pot, but the SACD is the only scan size that approximates the analog and natural sound. Its dynamics, its micro dynamics, its bandwidth is unmatched in my opinion. I was fortunate to have a SACD player Linn Majik, a unique device, but I have - as I explained to you – passed to digital files, eliminating all forms of physical media, it's funny, because Linn has stopped producing CD / SACD roughly the same time. Unfortunately, all of what was related to the SACD / DSD / DIFF was protected by super effective protections set up by SONY, Phillips.............. Until recently.
Since his arrival, many people said that the SACD format was moribund and useless. It makes me think of some companies that did not even touch it; this format did not exist according to them.... Yet year after year, there is still a thousand SACD coming out, excluding direct DIFF productions - other types of DSD files use by firms such as 2L or Blue Coast Records - who understand the quality of DSD.
However, although lucky that my dCS supports DSD, I had no way to enjoy it unless I’ll get the dCS Verdi SACD player and buy SACD.... Ah yes, I could also get me Studio Professional equipment at a very big price.... Ouch! But things have changed recently. It is now possible to copy SACD and an increasing number of DAC also supports the DSD, the demand created the need.... Yessss!
So I picked up as much info as possible on the subject and two options became available to me: either I get a new Dac and abandon my dear dCS or seek a solution to provide a new life to my dCS. The more my research progressed, the more the solution was needed to keep my dCS was getting this dCS Verdi SACD player and convert all the files that I found and burn it all on homemade SACD.... Solution untested unless I buy the apparatus, a lot of money with no sure result. The other way was to get one of these new devices that also support all the new high resolutions audio files including DSD 64 and 128. All this was tempting, especially as dCS offers a solution at $ 15,000 (CDN) with the Debussy, a DAC as good as the Elgar plus according to many. Phew, it's a lot of money for a "maybe" solution. Being a modest worker with a modest salary, I had to find a modest solution. So I started thinking about changing my dCS for newer but more at an affordable price.
By searching the web, I realized that many things had changed in the world of DSD, with the availability of more easily accessible record, a good number of DAC can now read native DSD DAC true the USB. I came across some good reviews about a small Chinese company that offered DIY components to build a DSD USB DAC. I told myself if only I can use the output of the converter DSD of this USB to DSD and connect it to my dCS Elgar? So I contacted dCS England to know the characteristics of the DSD Elgar plus and I also reach Albert, the engineer behind eXD. Bad news, the dCS uses the SDIF-2 studio standard (left DSD connector, a connector and a final DSD right connector for the clock), standard which was not used by the eXD device. After several conversations with Albert, he has understood my request and my requirements and told me, "Never mind, give me a month and I produced it," This guy is amazing, he made SDIF-2 adapter that fits its USB converter DSD. He even programmed drivers for Windows. A real genius.
I got the digital interface a month ago and everything works perfectly with the dCS Elgar plus. The sound quality is amazing. I now have a custom digital interface for a reasonable price if I consider the money I should have put for the USB to DSD with the quality of a dCS.
If you ever have dCS Elgar plus and want to give a second life to your device, do not hesitate one second and make the move.
eXD makes the component that are in the Sonore DAC., You can reach him here: firstname.lastname@example.org
but be patient he is a busy man.
Ps, excuse my English, I’m a French speaking person