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Need DAC & Stereo Amp Idears

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Paul K. View Post
    The higher-power build cost me about $1100, which upset my wife at the time, but she felt much, much better after I bought her a $1200 diamond tennis bracelet!

    It's funny how that financial compromise works. I always think that I'm ahead and "due" for a new toy. Then I find that my balance is $0 and I still have to get her something. I must have missed some of the fine print...


    • #17
      My wife doesn't ask me for permission to buy anything and I don't ask her. Earlier this year I got a text saying she'd be late coming home because she stopped to buy a new car.. fortunately we're both pretty financially responsible.


      • #18
        If this is the AVR-X4000 then this is a heck of a deal. Shipping alone is going to be $50-75


        • #19
          Originally posted by Dirttracker73 View Post
          It's funny how that financial compromise works. I always think that I'm ahead and "due" for a new toy. Then I find that my balance is $0 and I still have to get her something. I must have missed some of the fine print...
          At the risk of hijacking this thread....

          There is no compromise at my house. I am the adventurous one in our relationship. The other day I was getting dropped off at a dealership to pick up my vehicle and told my wife to stay near her phone, just in case I needed financial information. My inference was that I might buy a Gladiator Rubicon which had been parked out front the day before. She just said "OK." After picking myself up of the floorboard, I commented that she hadn't even hesitated. Her response was, "I know you and expected as much." Truth is it was all for a laugh and the joke was on me.
          If life were fair, Elvis would still be alive today and all the impersonators would be dead.
          ~ Johnny Carson

          Bungelow Ed's Photo Album


          • #20
            Current amps under consideration

            VTV Amp using Hypex NC252 board, but I wish it had a sub out just to have the option.

            Cambridge Audio AXR100

            Any feedback from anyone with experience with either? Gracias.


            • #21
              The VTV with the hypex board will measure better, although perhaps it's so good the distortion is below the threshold of human hearing. The Cambridge S/N of 82dB can't touch the Hypex, but it has lots of other features which make it more useable.

              Regarding VTV, I'd probably consider another vendor of the NC252 - I used audiophonics out of France (and Nord out of the UK for that matter). Long ship time, but much better build quality and comparable price. Check out this thread at ASR about the VTV build quality.

              While you are there, stay a while and look at their amplifier ratings/reviews. You may get some other ideas or find some gems you hadn't considered.


              • Kornbread
                Kornbread commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for posting that. I was interested in the VTV amps.

            • #22
              The Hypex is definitely the more HiFi amp and has better measurements, but it's class D vs class A/B, doesn't have a sub out..Based on the reviews I've found on both the Cambridge seems to have more the sound I'm going for, but who really knows which I'd actually like better. The Hypex clearly test better. Would be lovely if I could put both in my system and see which I prefer.

              That's too bad about the build quality. I don't love the idea of ordering international. Thanks for the info.


              • #23
                I think I know the pair of speakers you're talking about and at 100wpc, your amp will clip before those speakers complain. Not that big a deal, but when the flashing red clipping light comes on and you know there's more to hear, I think you'll be disappointed (I know I always am). At your price point, I'd be looking at a used Adcom 5500.

                Tall Boys
                NRNP Computer Sub
                The Boxers
                The Hurricanes
                The Baronettes


                • squib
                  squib commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Agreed. Given the range of options SQ is considering, I'm not sure whether an integrated amp is a better fit for his use. If not, a Parasound HCA 850, 1000, or 1200 would provide a set of RCA outputs for a subwoofer and still push a lot of current.

              • #24
                Ran across Schiit Audio. $100 and $200 DACs that may be decent. Trying to update what is what these days as my last research is very old.

                And another with outstanding specs:

                I see the old Music Fidelity V90 has pushed out of our price range. They use to be go-to. Cambridge MagicDac 100 specs good but maybe old. Don't know about the chips. Sounds like the ESS and Burr Brown are current tops.


                • #25
                  I was going to build my own amps (I need 6 channels for my 3 way actives), but gave up after realizing I could buy lots of very capable used amps in pristine condition for much less. I ended up with a Savant 8125, which is a rebranded Lexicon DD8, which is a rebranded Crown 8150. 8 channels of 125W/channel class D. It sounds just fine and takes very little space. You can find one of these Savant/Crown/Lexicons for under $400 used. There was no way I could build the case and power supply for $50/channel - let alone the amp (and i already have transformers).

                  Just my 2 cents


                  • #26
                    Anybody have any experience with the Parasound NewClassic 2125? Looks promising, although reviews seem scarce.


                    • djg
                      djg commented
                      Editing a comment
                      No, but you got me looking on ebay. Scads of Parasound amps there.

                  • #27
                    I have been trying to justify a New Classic 200 and 275 myself but truth is, I don't really need them. I do not know if the NC line has the same architecture as the HCA line. As you really have to listen to an amp carefully, get it from someone with a return policy. One caveat: One of the reasons I like the HCA series so much is the method of compensation in the second stage. John used Miller Compensation. Other amps, like the Rotel 800 series of the time, used second stage loading for the dominant pole. The difference shows up in the distortion profile over frequency. Miller will tend to excite the breakup modes of cheaper tweeters where the other will not. Use a high end amp with high end tweeters. If lessor tweeters, then go for the Rotel architecture. When I built/bought lessor speakers, the Rotel was much more pleasant. Once I moved up to the 27TGFC level, the Parasound was far more open. It took about a couple of years of being prodded by John Curl, reading Cordell, Self, Diddon, Leach and others, swapping amps, moding Rotel and Hafler amps, eventually leading to my designing and building my own MOSFET amp with transient miller compensation to understand why power amps with .001% distortion sound different. This shows up with strong horn and string sessions. With the lessor, I won't say bad, tweeters, my wife could not stand my Harry James or Buddy Rich when cranked up. The other tell-tale is on some Julian Bream, the strings sound metallic. SPICE model shows it clearly what is going on.

                    All old amps need re-caping. Lifespan of an electrolytic cap is 7 to 10 years unless abused. The better amps having very few caps. Many of the active components in older amps are no longer available. Matched FETs, MOSFETS, etc. A lot of people run old amps oblivious to the very slow degradation. Please, no "Mine is 20 and fine" as it is not. Physics says so.

                    I have owned about 15 power amps including Sanyo, Sony, B&K, CM Labs, Hafler, Rotel, Parasound, Adcom, Creek, Kenwood, Denon, Pioneer and my own not counting half a dozen tube amps. I brought home to audition probably 20 more. (some from the 80's were really bad!) I am sticking with my little 60W MOSFET for now. If I won the lottery, I would buy a Halo A23 and P6 without question. The finest amps I have heard are the HCA 2200 Mk II and Aragon 2002. Oh yea, there was a baby Krell that was really nice, but way out of my league. Levenson's were nice. Cary made it sound like melted butter over your music, best tube amp I heard if you like that sort of thing. As much as I love my music, If I had the money, it would be a new SawStop table saw. In hind-sight, If I had bought the Aragon when it first came out, it would have been cheaper as I would not have gone through so many. Going cheap is expensive. The other older amp I wish I had was a Nak P6. My sub is an O-Audio plate. When I ran two in my last house, I had a modified Berhringer. I am considering a class D/DSP replacement for the plate.


                    • #28
                      I saw somewhere in my wonderings on the net that they used a halo to demo the speakers I have. Which made me think it was probably a good pairing and I should look into it. Obviously the halo was a bit pricey so I thought I'd look at their cheaper offerings. I have no desire to recap so I'm not looking at used options.


                      • #29
                        I believe the HALO is a last 1% to a 1500 and 2200. At least that is what John implied. He is a man with a horse to sell Yea, pricy. If I was still working I might go for it, but retired on a negative income, I look down line. Of course, I was born with a soldering in one hand and a Simpson in the other, so restoring is a piece of cake for me. Try to find a dealer where you can listen to them. I know for sure, with an older 1500 or 2200, if you heard a fault, it was not the amp. Just don't use them on $20 tweeters. He expects them to be used on $50 tweeters.

                        The New Classic is half the price. Only listening on your speakers will tell. You should be able to find some in Huston. A bit sparse around here.( NC) Better in DC/Balto, but Boston and NY seem to have more high end dealers. I would try and hit some when I was on TDY back in the day.

                        I was just tweaking my main system. Yup, time for new P/S caps. Don't quite hear the hum yet but it is peaking up about 10 dB from background which it did not do when everything was new 10 years ago. Ah, some Dave Grusin cranked up!

                        Get out and hear some. I used to lug my speakers around to pre-screen. Then spend a weekend with the prospects. .Let us know what you find. Of course, take music you know really well.


                        • #30
                          For specs, as little as they tell you, I look for DF greater than 100, 4 Ohm power at least 50% more than 8. These two things tell you if they have enough outputs transistors. Everything else you have to listen for. The more massive the heat sinks might imply higher class A overlap. Might. Fancy cases don't sound any better than sheet metal. At least we don't have to pay for meters and lights any more.