Is this a sensible plan?.....

Eddieedwards

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As time progresses with my system, I find myself increasingly loving the sound of vinyl on my entry level pro-ject, rather than my considerably more expensive Opus 21. The Opus is a great player but, to my ears, I simply prefer vinyl and I'm sure a lot of you share this same feeling..... this is the wam afterall! Yes, there is less detail, treble is less etched but the mids and lows have a timbre and presence that CD (as a format) seems unable to match. Listening to CD is like watching HD TV..... it simply doesn't look/sound real.

This has got me thinking about how I may be able to improve my system, so that I get a more "analogue" sounding digital source and an improved vinyl set up. An option that I had thought of, was to trial a Jolida DAC vs. the Opus as it is often reported to have a vinyl/ analogue like quality to it (and I have loads of FLAC files from when I had a Linn DS). If the comparison went well, I could sell the Opus, sell the Pro-ject, buy a Jolida, pocket a few £hundred (and save a bit more) to invest in a good quality TT.

With this in mind, are there any particular DACs that I should consider trialling? In general, does this sound a sensible plan?!

Cheers, Eddie.

 

rod

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As time progresses with my system, I find myself increasingly loving the sound of vinyl on my entry level pro-ject, rather than my considerably more expensive Opus 21. The Opus is a great player but, to my ears, I simply prefer vinyl and I'm sure a lot of you share this same feeling..... this is the wam afterall! Yes, there is less detail, treble is less etched but the mids and lows have a timbre and presence that CD (as a format) seems unable to match. Listening to CD is like watching HD TV..... it simply doesn't look/sound real. This has got me thinking about how I may be able to improve my system, so that I get a more "analogue" sounding digital source and an improved vinyl set up. An option that I had thought of, was to trial a Jolida DAC vs. the Opus as it is often reported to have a vinyl/ analogue like quality to it (and I have loads of FLAC files from when I had a Linn DS). If the comparison went well, I could sell the Opus, sell the Pro-ject, buy a Jolida, pocket a few £hundred (and save a bit more) to invest in a good quality TT.

With this in mind, are there any particular DACs that I should consider trialling? In general, does this sound a sensible plan?!

Cheers, Eddie.
You could go the other way at it.. sell the dac and TT, buy the good TT and buy a cheap dac until you buy a better one once money saved..and a few dacs tried by loan and /or bakeoff.

 

George 47

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Eddie,

I understand what you are saying (even though my TT is a little sick and needs a good soldering iron in there). An alternative is an Audionote DAC 1.1x which is a NOS DAC that sounds very organic and musical; or a used DAC 2.1x, but the price climbs high there. I have tried other NOS DACs and they do not do it, so it is more than just the DAC. Some CDs/DACs are more in the detail, detail, detail camp where you can even tell what shade of orange socks the drummer is wearing. Great for a few minutes but wearing afterwards. For the more musical message Audionotes are excellent. I have not heard the Jolida but people who I trust have it is and it is definitively in the musical message camp and not the detail camp. Pity you were not nearer or you could have heard my 2.1x DAC.

 

Eddieedwards

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Thanks for the replies.

George, you are spot on with what you say and, even though you're too far away, thanks for the offer of a listen. The AN 2.1s seem to go for around £1.5k, so that wouldn't free any cash up to put to a TT. Ideally, I need a DAC that I like the sound of and for it to cost a fair bit less than I could sell the Opus for! I'm perhaps being overly ambitious, but will give things a whirl.

Cheers

 

Eddieedwards

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There's a fairly well priced 2.1x herehttp://www.hifiwigwam.com/forumdisplay.php?53-Ebay-linkshttp://www.hifiwigwam.com/forumdisplay.php?53-Ebay-links

http://www.hifiwigwam.com/forumdisplay.php?53-Ebay-linksThere's some great mid level dacs out there too Eddie. For instance the Jolida dac I have here currently is very good and would free up plenty of £££ for a higher spec TT
Hi Jake - yes, that is a decent price but, like you say, it won't free up any cash.

Funnily enough, I nearly pm'd you as I note you've had a fair bit of kit, including the jolida and metrum! Anyway, jolida is on the way for a trial!

 

bandit pilot

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My current player is the most analogue sounding I've had. That wont help you much, as they are about as common as Platinum. I'm preferring vinyl, but still enjoying the silver disc spinner.

Feel free to pop down the M1 a few junctions for a listen.

 

Eddieedwards

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Feel free to pop down the M1 a few junctions for a listen.
Thanks a lot for the offer Rick, much appreciated. Looking at prices, it'll be out of my price range though.

 

lordmortlock

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Anyway, jolida is on the way for a trial!
Good call Eddie. A very capable bit of kit. Very balanced across the range and a great mix of detail and musicality. I'd love to hear how it compares to the opus to your ears.

 

rabski

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May well be worth a try, but my 2p worth is that you've discovered what many of us have: vinyl is simply more 'natural' sounding than CD.

FWIW I had a pretty similar system to yours before the last round of changes. Opus 21, SJS pre and 845 SET power into Living Voice OBX-RW. The vinyl front end was much then as it is now.

You could try the Audio Note DACs. Above the entry level, they may well give you more of what you're looking for. However, why bother? It won't slaughter the Opus by a long way. FWIW, I still think the Opus is one of the best CD setups around and it's one of the few bits I regret selling. However, I regret more having to sell the Transfiguration cartridge and the Art Vinyl One phono stage.

If that's the sound you like, then spend the money on the vinyl front end and stop worrying about it. Get a better cartridge, partner it with a serious SUT and phono stage and bask in the glory.

 
M

Mike P

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I think you will struggle to get a better DAC for what you will get for the Opus. Second hand they aren't making much more than £1K now which is ridiculous given the sound quality on offer.

 

graham67

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May well be worth a try, but my 2p worth is that you've discovered what many of us have: vinyl is simply more 'natural' sounding than CD.
I second this, vinyl has its problems but to my ears it still sounds more real and tangible where it matters. Like you I have a good CDP (Acoustic Precision Eikos) which is an excellent analogue sounding CDP, but assuming similar quality source material vinyl on my Garrard 401 still has that wow factor that CD struggles to match. Like most things, it is a personal preference but if that is what you find, then just enjoy it.

 

lordmortlock

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I think you will struggle to get a better DAC for what you will get for the Opus. Second hand they aren't making much more than £1K now which is ridiculous given the sound quality on offer.
Completely agree with this Mike. I think the plan here though is to see if Eddie can live with a cheaper dac to free up £££ for a turntable upgrade

 

Eddieedwards

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I think the plan here though is to see if Eddie can live with a cheaper dac to free up £££ for a turntable upgrade
Yes, this is the crux of the original questions really. In summary, is there a dac costing circa £500 that will get anywhere near the opus? If so, I'd sell the opus, pocket the difference and invest it in a tt. Like many wammers, money isn't as easy to come by as it used to be! :(

The dacs that got me really thinking this way are the jolida and, to a lesser extent, the metrum octave. I've heard neither, but have read good things about both (jolida all positive, metrum seems to divide opinion more) and both can be picked up circa £400.

Jake, you have had both haven't you? The metrum didn't hang around long though did it (not through any fault as I remember)?

 
M

Mike P

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I'd be surprised if you could find a DAC for £500 that would come anywhere near the Opus. Still, it's a technology which is moving fast at the moment and prices are coming down all the time.

 

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