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Posts posted by DomT

  1. On 23/10/2021 at 08:03, Fourlegs said:

    My experience is that using a MFA Baby Ref V2 compared to taking a Chord Dave direct to the power amp was that the Baby Ref did not change sound at all in terms of character, tone etc but there was a very slight (and I mean very slight) difference in absolute transparency with the MFA. I am not being fooled, the MFA as near as makes no difference did not impart any sound of its own on the signal. Also I am not fooled because I have owned many TVCs and yes they are different but to my ears the best of them such as the Baby Ref V2 really are just about invisible from a sonic point of view.

    Was this one of the TVCs that you mention you have measured? It would be really useful to the conversation if you could actually be more specific in your claims because at the moment it is just generalisations and which seem to conflict with the specifics which others of us have experienced.

    Can we have some specifics named please? Also, it would be really useful to have some more specifics of what you say you measured. The fuzzy photo doesnt really help.

    Nick your findings are similar to what a I found when I placed a Creek OBH-22 after my Benchmark DAC; albeit the Creek was not as transparent as yours. The difference though with my active preamp was very distinct in that music had more life. Did you ever try an active preamp with the Dave?

  2. 19 hours ago, tuga said:

    You are listening through a system composed of electronic equipment and speakers in a given room.

    The same mic feed will sound very different with these systems in these three rooms:




    This was your response to justify why people may not enjoy listening to the actual recording in the mastering suite. I said that was weird and you say it’s normal. The thing is that unless the visitor had been to the actual recording session then they would not be able to comment as they would have no reference point and in any event relying on audio memory as the mastering would happen later  

    But nevertheless in your view people may not like the sound that they are hearing in the mastering suite, but you advocate strongly that these same people should spend money on HiFi equipment that is transparent and accurate to the original recording.

    Why on earth should people buy neutral and transparent systems if they didn’t even like the sound in the mastering suite? If it’s so very subjective as you say why be so forceful in your comments about neutrality and transparency? 

    • Confused 1
  3. 15 hours ago, tuga said:

    Also there's no guarantee that listening to the mixing or mastering system will provide more (or less) enjoyment than one's system and room. As you say, it's a matter of preference.

    Listening at the mastering session is listening to the actual recorded performance. People may not enjoy listening to the actual recorded performance but that would be a bit weird wouldn’t it?

  4. 2 hours ago, atopos said:

    Hi there.

    I advised them that this is an collector's item and require safe packaging.

    Gave them more than 10 days for packing job.

    Paid £120.

    It appears that you didn't get them to confirm how they would pack the item.  After you complained to them they told you they use their standard method which you now say is inadequate. Sorry to say this but you should have asked for confirmation of packing and insurance and you didn't.  If I was paying £120 I would have wanted detailed information than rely on assumptions. You don't appear to have confirmed who arranged the courier; big difference in liability if it was the auction house or you.

  5. 2 hours ago, tuga said:

    Am I? You've confused me now...

    No I have not confused you you have seriously confused yourself. You wrote 'to avoid the power amp' when you wrote connect Preamp Tape Out to ATC speakers.

    You also repeatedly suggested that I try an ARC DAC when I have only just bought another Benchmark DAC and never said that I was unhappy with it.  The thread was about preamp or no preamp in my existing chain.


  6. 20 minutes ago, tuga said:

    Sorry, I meant to write "into the power amp". But is it that difficult to get my point, considering that a line level signal won't drive speakers (unless you're using a supermagic Chord DAC)?

    My point still stands: dropping extra boxes into the signal path will degrade the signal (unless one believes that adequately designed solid state equipment is "transparent") and thus, considering the likelyhood of the ARC's circuit adding euphony then in my view you'd be better off .

    Also for an apples to apples comparison one has to remove the attenuator/pot extra variable from the equation, which is why I suggested a comparison between the Benchmark straight into a power amp vs. placing the ARC in between the two only as a "buffer", a bit like the Musical Fidelity X-10.

    The equipment is what the equipment is and I am using it as intended by the manufacturer.

    • Upvote 1
  7. 42 minutes ago, tuga said:

    I am not using my DAC as a pre-amp (in the sense that it can control volume level). I am feeding it DSD straight to the D/A chip (in DSD Direct mode there's no processing of any kind including the chip's embedded EQ, volume control, filters or SDM modulador) and the converted signal is indeed passing through the DAC's analogue stage before being fed to my integrated amplifier.

    I don't see how that's got to do with the topic though.

    You are suggesting for me to avoid the power amp stage, even though I have not declared that I have a problem with it, and yet using one yourself which is why your recommendation is baffling.

  8. 1 hour ago, tuga said:

    Can you point out where that question was asked to me?

    All DACs and CD players have an analogue stage. Some have a very "transparent" or accurate one, others one which is "designed" for a particular (euphonic) presentation. I suspect that adding the ARC between a DAC and a power amp will only serve to reduce accuracy (no electronic equipment is truly "transparent") but may in the process produce (listener dependent) euphony or pleasentness. If that's the case then personally I'd rather skip the pre-amp and get an ARC DAC instead.

    I suggested that you remove the volume control to determine whether this was a potential reason for the ARC sounding "better" to your ears. 

    Well you said use tape out to ATC aka don’t use a power amp. I quoted you and asked you a question about your idea and you didn’t respond and I then pointed it out. I think that someone on here said something about people not reading posts properly. 

    You also didn’t respond to why you appear to use the analog outputs of your RME into an integrated amp when you argue strongly that this is a bad idea although some people may like it.



  9. 12 hours ago, TheFlash said:

    Just looking at this again... and the Innuos, Benchmark and ATC's all have a reputation for being transparent, for telling it how it is. If you were seeking measured and heard accuracy, your "lifeless" (and ARC-less) system would satisfy the brief.

    I recall asking on this forum about pre/power combos a few years ago when I though that the flavour of a system would come mainly from the power amp(s). I was gently educated about the overriding importance of the preamp in shaping the sound of a system... and your experience supports this.

    Which is nice.

    I have no interested in seeking a =n unobtainium theoretical idea of accuracy with my system; I just like music presented how I like it.  It's worth trying out other people's ideas though as you might like it.  In my case I was surprised that I ended up using ATC speakers.  I was also surprised about the positive contribution that the SP17 preamp made in my system.

    Poweramps do make a big difference.  I did a comparison at home of Accuphase vs ARC vs Quad and the differences were very large and made a huge difference to the degree that it started to influence speaker choice ie I wouldn't pair Accuphase with ATC SCM11s.

  10. 2 hours ago, Bokke said:

    if you open up the benchmark - there should be jumper plug to change the gain to suit - check in your manual as ive got dac 3 not the 2 but suspect they identical.

    just remember to discharge the static or you can do damage.

    as an experiment - it may work for you

    Given that I don't have any complaints about my system with pre and power amps in what way would removing the power amp help me?

  11. 10 hours ago, tuga said:

    Benchmark equipment is known for it's measured transparency. If the ARC produces "drive and energy" then I suspect that it is "adding" to the signal.

    Can you not adjust the output level in your DAC2?

    The ARC may or may not be adding something but I find it very hard to believe that every musician/band/orchestra that I tested would be playing with so little conviction and that recordings would have diminished dynamics.

    You didn't answer the question about not using a power amp. Your suggestion is curious given that you appear to be using the analogue outputs of your DAC (that has a preamp) to feed an integrated amp (at least that's what your Wam profile suggests).  

  12. 1 hour ago, Lawrence001 said:

    Is the Benchmark being used as a pre when only using a power amp, or are you using a digital volume in the Innuos?

    I don't know the Benchmark but many DACs/ streamers have digital attenuation that involves reducing the bit rate. This will flatten the presentation and reduce resolution.

    Sabre DACs are claimed to be "bit perfect" but I can say from experience that at a low volume they are definitely not. Or maybe there's a measurement trick that means they technically are but they still don't sound as good.

    You could also compare the Arc pre to a similarly priced SS pre as you might be finding you prefer the presentation of valves.

    The default config is to use the Benchmark in this property as a DAC and the Innuos as a server. Just for test purposes I listened to the Benchmark as a preamp as others do the same. 

    I don’t prefer valves and am not looking to change anything in my system as it sounds great; I was just experimenting and sharing findings. 

    • Like 1
  13. 3 hours ago, tuga said:

    Can you try using the ARC SP17 Tape-Out into the ATCs' inputs?

    I suspect that it has nothing to do with having a pre-amp but that you prefer the more euphonic presentation which the Benchmark isn't giving.

    Maybe you could try an ARC DAC? Personally I would rather keep my system as simple as possible. KISS

    The ARC SP17 is far from euphonic and the modern ARC sound is criticised by some for not being euphoric. It’s the drive and energy that the SP17 has over the Benchmark that I like as I have said now a few times in this thread. 

    I don’t understand your point about using the tape output of the SP17. What do you expect it to do in terms of audio quality? Given that it’s a fixed signal and Benchmark designed the volume control to be optimised in the higher volume range the audio volume is likely to be very loud and unusable. 

  14. On 18/09/2021 at 08:33, Psilonaught said:

    Not convinced about all in one dac streamers. If I was going to consider one it would be the Bartok.

    I see that used ones are around £7k which isn't insane money.

    I'm about to buy an analogue crossover to avoid AD signal conversion downstream, so I need a streamer with parameteric EQ.

    I could use Room for that I guess.

    My Auralic Altair has parametric EQ so worthwhile checking if your G2 also has it.

  15. 6 hours ago, Andrei said:

    A year or so ago I sold my Triangle Magellan speakers to an acquaintance as I upgraded to Magico A3s. 

    First up; the Magicos were an improvement in my rig.  A bit subjective obviously but also they were different in type - being a sealed cabinet compared to the front-ported Triangles.

    Just recently I travelled from my home Napier to Tauranga.  'Very interesting - I am sure' I hear you say.  Hear me out.  I took the opportunity to visit my Triangles.  Wow! they were just fantastic.  What is interesting is the comparative gear.  I have a high bias 150 watt Pass Labs amp, my friend had a well reviewed (30 watt) Onkyo.  My DAC is the best piece of gear I own, my friend was streaming from YouTube! 

    He was set up in his lounge that was about three times larger than my listening room.  It also has sloped ceilings. The sound was at least as good as my expensive gear!  This is a big claim so I will try to give my best impressions.  In my current setup I have a tight soundstage, decent treble, good midrange, moderate bass.  Very important to me is timbral accuracy; Voice, woodwind and brass is good.  Massed strings are adequate, but a solo violin is ... well it is just not real at all.  Other strings such as solo guitar, piano, harp are not not as bad as solo violin but they are obviously not real instruments.  

    Now compare:  The soundstage was overwhelming - not really in the sense of 'cellos are a bit to the right and forward of the violas' but the sense of being present was so convincing.  To be fair (to my expensive and beloved gear) this was YouTube so there was a visual component.  But the overall experience was just "let us take in the moment".  There was a sense of you are there, I am here, I am listening to you.  I have long been a septic (oops did I really say that) of the 'I am there' or even 'Elvis was in my room' brigade but ... what can I say.  I have to say something to justify my post.  It is this:  I was sufficiently engaged so as to forget stuff and just get the alive feeling and not be aware of anything else.

    Yes the room is important but more importantly you have just brought back some wonderful memories.  I had a friend who lived in Tauranga whom I visited and I also visited Napier and many other wonderful places in NZ.  

    Back on topic one way to counter a potentially poor room is to listen nearfield or to use headphones. 

  16. And the other thing to point out that in Portugal one of my systems is currently digital only and I use either the Benchmark DAC1 straight into a Quad 909 or via a Creek OBH-22 passive preamp.  I was quite happy with the sound and in fact really loved the sound as it was well fleshed out with the P3ESRs.  

    Now that I have done these tests I really should put the ARC in that signal chain.  This was my initial plan anyway as the ARC has a phono input but I had moved away from that idea and was to use the ARC in the lounge instead of my Marantz. hmmm.  

    So my advice is to try a decent preamp in your digital chain but also to NOT try a decent preamp in your digital chain as you may end up liking it too much.  As always system and budget depending and completely subjective. I am sure that some people would hate the added drama that I am hearing.  

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