Results 1 to 7 of 7
03-20-2011, 06:07 AM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2011
DAC preamp to replace Ayre QB-9 + preamp
I recently found out that my preamp is a HUGE limitation in getting the best perfomance from my system. When i connect my Ayre QB-9 DAC directly into my poweramp and use PureMusic to control the volume I am blown away by the soundstage, detail, nuance etc.
Since then I have auditioned a number of preamps (with and without tubes) but compared to connecting my Ayre QB-9 directly they are still limiting the performance of my system (depending on the preamp some of them perform better in one or more areas but the overall performance is still best when going direct).
So instead I'm turning things upside down and are now looking for a DAC where I can control the volume. My list so far is the following (in no particular order):
- Weiss DAC202
- dCS Debussy
- Wadia 521
Please share thoughts, suggestions or experiences in using a set-up like this and any comparisons between the Ayre QB-9 and the listed DACs.
The rest of my system is Avantgarde Acoustic Duo speakers, DOXA 62 poweramp and Transparent cables. I'm using MacMini with PureMusic and Ayre QB-9 DAC as source.
Thanks for any feedback!
03-20-2011, 07:29 AM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2009
Two more suggestions for DACs with volume control:
Bel Canto DAC3.5VB: I have a DAC3 with the VBS virtual battery supply and this is the best I've heard so far.
PS Audio PWD: Only heard this briefly at a dealer but seemed very good (I use the corresponding transport PWT)
Mac mini (2013 basic with 16GB RAM) OSX Mavericks, Audirvana+ integrated iTunes, ALAC library on Synology DS412+: STREAMING via USB > MF V-link192 > Metrum Octave DAC > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and MF X-CANv8p > Sennheiser HD800, and SERVING via ethernet > Airport Extreme bridge > Apple TV + iPad mini remote > Bel Canto DAC 3 with VBS1 > Krell S-275 > Harbeth SHL5s
03-20-2011, 07:55 AM #3
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
- Blog Entries
Wow some nice options there..
At this price point, you'd have to also add in the upper end Wavelength Audio's, and the Empirical Audio as well
I'm being objective here because I've gone down the hi-end streamer route...
Oh, and another tip. Try and get something with good analog volume control. As a matter of fact, come to think of it, that's a nice dac you have there..Why not keep it? Do a bit of searching on the forum: consider just replacing your preamp with a dedicated passive analog volume control. Weiss make a cracker..
New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening area: QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- Same QNAP>SMB>Oppo 105 (Pure Audio mode)>5.1 analog out>Yamaha Aventage RXA1010(Pure Direct mode)>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. RELQuake.
03-20-2011, 08:10 AM #4
You should have a read of
Resurrecting the Pre-Amp in the next thread.
The exact reverse of what you have in your system is applying to others where they have used a pre-amp with a lot better results with their Dacs...!
You haven't mentioned the pre-amp you're using, maybe others have the same model and offer some assitance. At that level, even simple things like the mini power supplies, the USB cabling, for example make a lot of difference.
Also, a search on digital volume here is invaluable, as well as driving amps directly.
(Library Management) Sony Vaio i7 F127 8GB RAM Win7 SP1 64bit, Vertex SSD, MP3Tag, dbPowerAmp, Music stored on USB3 portable drives.
(Listening) Apple Mac Mini 2011, 500GB rotating drive, Boot Camp Win 7 Pro, 16GB RAM, JRMC 18 - 19 in BETA, Oyaide Continental 5S USB-A/USB-B to Icron Ranger 2214 USB extender, Playback Designs MPD-3 DAC, Oyaide XX Terzo balanced interconnects, Accuphase E-450, Yamaha T-D500 Tuner - Oyaide DR510 Coax out to MPD-3, 2 x 10g SPC Teflon Bi-wire cabling, KEF Reference Three Speakers, Denon AH-D7000 & Audeze LCD3 Headphones, Solid-tech Rack of Silence 4 Reference
(Power system) TN Earthing system to Equi=tech 1RQE 1kVA Balanced Power Supply, Furman PS-8R II power conditioner / sequencer, four dedicated cable runs to 6 x Furutech FP-SWS [G] Schuko Wall Sockets, Oyaide P079 Schuko plugs, Oyaide Tunami power cable and Oyaide C-079 IEC Sockets
03-20-2011, 09:23 AM #5
As the OP of the "resurrecting the preamp" thread, I too would like to know which preamp you have been using. Before you trade in that QB9 (and spend big bucks on a new DAC), I suggest you audition different preamps to see if your SQ improves depending on which preamp you insert. You may find that the added gain and smoothness improves the SQ significantly. You may wish to audition tube preamps vs. solid state, etc. depending on your system. HTH
Steve Kuh[br]Mac Mini > Glyph HD > Weiss AFI1 (slave) > modded Esoteric D70 (master) > BAT VK51SE > Classe CA400 > Harbeth Super HL5[br]\"Come on the amazing journey and learn all you should know...\"
03-20-2011, 09:50 AM #6
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
The Classe CP800 should be dropping any day now and seems like it would fit the bill nicely.
PS Audio Quintet > Powerbook (iphone with apple remote app) > HRT Streamer II > Kingrex Pre-amp > Kingrex QS-01 > Devore Fidelity Gibbon 7.1\'s
03-20-2011, 10:04 AM #7
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
- N. California
You should also consider the
You should also consider the Anedio DAC. I bought one recently. It produces excellent sound, has a volume control and remote and uses one of the newer ESS dac chips. It currently sells for $1270 and they offer a 30 day trial.