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Yannzola
2005-07-08, 14:49
Well, I did a blind test between my brand spankin new SB2 (plugged into the aux input of my Naim NAP102) and compared it to my loverly old CDS. No suprise really... the CDS won easily. But =not= by the huge margin you might expect... considering this was Naim's uber-pricey flagship CD player for many years.

I'll be doing more listening tests later this week, after giving the unit some time to "warm up" and break in properly (does this make a difference with the SB2?).

Any suggestions for an external DAC that might bring this puppy up to par with the ol' CDS?

Thanks!
y.

Mike Hanson
2005-07-08, 18:00
Well, I did a blind test between my brand spankin new SB2 (plugged into the aux input of my Naim NAP102) and compared it to my loverly old CDS. No suprise really... the CDS won easily. But =not= by the huge margin you might expect... considering this was Naim's uber-pricey flagship CD player for many years.

I'll be doing more listening tests later this week, after giving the unit some time to "warm up" and break in properly (does this make a difference with the SB2?).

Any suggestions for an external DAC that might bring this puppy up to par with the ol' CDS?
I've got two DACs here: the Benchmark DAC1 and the Scott Nixon Chibi Saru NOS DAC. The Benchmark sounds much more refined than the Scott Nixon, but sometimes it seems like the Scott Nixon is more fun. (The Benchmark sometimes sounds a bit too controlled.)

Neither is as good as my CDS2/XPS.

-=> Mike Hanson <=-

julian2002
2005-07-10, 07:58
try a dac with beefy analogue output stages. i use an audio synthesis dax decade and prefer it to a cdx2. as ever though it always comes down to personal preference.

Nikhil
2005-07-11, 08:06
I use a Cyrus DAC-X. The sound is pretty close when using secure EAC ripped FLAC files - though not quite there as yet - to the Cyrus CD8/PSX-R/DAC-X combo, so I am very happy. The files are on a Buffalo Linkstation 250GB NAS, so I don't need to have my laptop connected to the system to acess the music .. very convenient.

Some earlier posts in this forum have talked about the incompatiility of the DAC-X with the squeezebox, but those are older than six months. I am not sure why it worked for me, but several factors may be responsible. These include an upgrade of the DAC-X itself to allow more tolerance to incoming clock variations (http://www.cyrus.co.uk/news/news_0205_dacx.htm), use of shorter digital coaxial cables, and use of the Squeezebox 2 as against the original squeezebox.

Cheers,

Nikhil

Yannzola
2005-07-11, 08:25
Mike, are you using Scott Nixons 3Xac powersupply?
Sounds like I need to visit my local hifi shops and borrow a few DACs...

I'd love to get rid of my CD player entirely... but the ol' CDS has spoiled me to anything less.

I've never tried anything with tubes... for instance Scott Nixons Tube DAC. How would you describe the sonic character of a tubed DAC vs. the punchy CDS "Naim sound"?

Regardless... looks like it's time to tryout some alternative DACs.

Thanks!
y.



I've got two DACs here: the Benchmark DAC1 and the Scott Nixon Chibi Saru NOS DAC. The Benchmark sounds much more refined than the Scott Nixon, but sometimes it seems like the Scott Nixon is more fun. (The Benchmark sometimes sounds a bit too controlled.)

Neither is as good as my CDS2/XPS.

-=> Mike Hanson <=-

Yannzola
2005-07-11, 08:38
Poking around a variety of forums has led me to belive that the following are all decent (affordable) options:

- Scott Nixon ChibiSaru Dac+ and 3XAC PSU
- Benchmark DAC 1
- Musical Fidelity X-DAC V3 + X-PSU
- Audiosynthesis DAX Decade
- 47 Labs Progression DAC + PSU
- Cyrus DAC-X

Any more suggestions?

.y

WSLam
2005-07-11, 08:47
SB2 is impressive huh!
I am not in the Naim camp, but have a Linn CD12, which is also highly regarded.
As a transport, the difference is SO minute, i rather sell the CD12 and have some cash in my pocket.
as a player, i think the CD12 still wins by a fair margin.
I ordered a EMM Labs DCC2 which will be arriving this week. I plan to use that with the SB2,so everything gets upsampled to 5.8MHz DSD. shouldbe interesting.

Yannzola
2005-07-11, 08:59
Keep us posted!
Unfortunately, at a pricepoint of over $11K, the DCC2 is =seriously= out of my reach.

It better sound =damn good= ;-)

y.


SB2 is impressive huh!
I ordered a EMM Labs DCC2 which will be arriving this week. I plan to use that with the SB2,so everything gets upsampled to 5.8MHz DSD. shouldbe interesting.

Yannzola
2005-07-11, 09:13
I think the incompatibilty issues have been resolved with the SB2.

y.




Some earlier posts in this forum have talked about the incompatiility of the DAC-X with the squeezebox, but those are older than six months.

WSLam
2005-07-11, 09:14
And the biggest 'catch' of all, is that i am buying the DCC2 'blind'. I have never listend to it! WISH ME LUCK! This is very unlike me. I always audition the stuff I am interested in, but EMM Labs dealer in HK is just settingup, not even opened yet... so...

Mike Hanson
2005-07-11, 10:14
Mike, are you using Scott Nixons 3Xac powersupply? .... I've never tried anything with tubes... for instance Scott Nixons Tube DAC. How would you describe the sonic character of a tubed DAC vs. the punchy CDS "Naim sound"?
Actually, the Chibi Saru is the solid state DAC, not the tubed one. It takes 12VDC, which means using the 3Xdc, not 3Xac. Regardless, I'm using a DIY version. Currently, it's a cheap wall wart, which feeds a LM317TPR module from Avondale Audio. This is a tracking-preregulator based around two LM317 adjustable regulators, compared to the 3Xdc, which I believe is based upon a fixed-voltage 7812. Supposedly the LM317 will give better sound, so mine "should" sound better than the 3Xdc. Eventually I'm going to change this to a Super Regulator from Andrew Weekes, but I've been a bit too busy lately.


I'd love to get rid of my CD player entirely... but the ol' CDS has spoiled me to anything less.
Although my CDS2/XPS sounds better than the SB2 with the external DACs that I've tried, I've decided I'm going to sell it anyway. I've not been dedicating enough time to listening to it lately, and I feel guilty for having that much money tied up in it. Although the SB2+DAC isn't as good, it's "good enough" for what I need. At least I hope it is. :(

-=> Mike Hanson <=-

Tom Alves
2005-07-11, 14:44
I've got two DACs here: the Benchmark DAC1 and the Scott Nixon Chibi Saru NOS DAC. The Benchmark sounds much more refined than the Scott Nixon, but sometimes it seems like the Scott Nixon is more fun. (The Benchmark sometimes sounds a bit too controlled.)

Neither is as good as my CDS2/XPS.It's been a while since I've visited these boards but I feel the urge to put a different voice here.

As some of you may know I sold my Naim CDS2 after buying a SB1. Subsequently I've moved onto the SB2 which has a Chibi Saru Dac on the back. At no point have I missed my CDS2 and feel that the SB2 betters it by a sizeable margin. The SB2 also outperforms my Rega P9 turntable.

I realise that some of you have experience different results. Maybe I'm lucky, maybe we listen for different things, maybe my system works more synergistically, I don't know but my experience is certainly is the opposite of some here. The SB2 plays music better than my old 7500 CD player and at a fraction of the cost.

Mind you the biggest improvement to the enjoyment of my hi-fi has been the avoidance of hi-fi fora. ;)

Yannzola
2005-07-11, 15:05
It's been a while since I've visited these boards but I feel the urge to put a different voice here.

Good to see your posting here, Tom! You were my original inspiration for trying out the SB2+DAC combo as an alternative to the CDS(1/2/3). I would absolutely =love= to hear what you hear... and hopefully I will.

Anybody in the Seattle area willing to loan me a Chibi Saru DAC? Does Scott offer a some sort of return policy?
y.