Fair comparison? DA Conver vs HighEndCD

As I am making up my mind about my last CD player upgrade, I wonder if some of you gentlemen had any suggestions in what would be the better match, either buying a entire CDP or spending the bulk of the money in a separate DAC? I was pondering upon a Music Fidelity model at around 1k, the Rotel 991 at around $1295, a Classe .3-.5 (1.5k-2k)or even a Electrocompaniet Ec-1(3-4k) VS the DAC-1 ($1295) by BEL CANTO. I was thinking about using a DVD transport I have and tweek it with the DAC-1, what is better? Does anyone have experience with a set like the DAC-1 with a DVD player, and yes, I read the review in Soundstage, but I would like real people and not reviewers who look and listen for details that I might not to give me an honest feedback. Ay suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks PAUL JOON NYC
Hi Paul. I'm in the same boat, and am considering Resolution Audio CD55 OR DVD w/BelCanto or Perpetual Tech DAC. Found interesting commentary at tweakaudio.com re new Millenium DAC ($850) coming out soon. See Wes Phillips comments on the difference in sound of the MF A3 w/ and w/o the BelCanto. Anybody out there compared the CD55 to these 3 DACs? Ernie.
Forgot: Wes' reviews of both the MF and BelCanto can be found at onhifi.com. Ernie
If you're after the best sound, then the Electro EMC-1 would be the way to go. No, it's not the least expensive solution. However, I have little doubt that it is the best of the units/combos that you listed. A used unit would probably go for around $2700 to $3K. If you can make the stretch, you won't regret it.
I am in the same boat. I order the Pertetual Tech DAC and P1A (anti jitter/room correction/speaker correction). You can try it for 30 days without paying any shipping. I figured I would try it against a few combos to see if it is worth the $1600. I'll let you know my impressions after I have a few days of playing.
all advice you get is subjective. whether system subjective or subjective to your ears. a cdp that sounds phenomenal to me may not work in your system or be to your taste. You must look at the fundamentals: 1) do you have room for two pcs.? 2) you must buy extra cabling ($$$) to connect the dac to transport 3) do you listen to two channel only (16, 20, 24 bit cd will do) or do you wish to have video too (you'd want transport to play dvd as well) 4) are you running an all digital system (no phono, tuner, tape etc)...if so...you may wish to run a cd player with preamp direct to your amp. This can sound great and avoid the cost of a preamp which opens your budget for a better digital source. I recently had a very very nice separates from Muse 8/296 combo. I loved the sound...but had too much mechanical difficulties with the combo. I am now looking for substitution...and I have demo'd several pieces. don't listen to ANYONE who tells you "buy product xyz...it is clearly the best". that is bullshit. you must decide what type of source you want based upon your unique situation. (ie: if you want a digital only system and wish to avoid a preamp...you should look for a one box with preamp (like levinson 39, wadia 850/860 etc) that you enjoy listening to. But if you wish to use in a video/audio system....you may wish to have a dvd transport with a separate and upgradable DAC. I have found that some of the expensive one box players sound as good/better than many of the two box players. Best advice is audition...audition...and audition again. Spend the money on what you LOVE now....or it will cost you more later to get out of it and move to something you decide is better at a later date. j
Mfgrep, Would you kindly share the mechanical difficulties you had with the Muse 8/296? I certainly would apprciate it. Oh, and I thoroughly agree with the comments that you made here. Thanks!
I was in this kind of decision b4. Finally I am settled on the single box EMC-1, well so far so good! A friend told me that two box CDP will introduce jitter. Good luck!
I agree with the comments about the Electro EMC1 as I have one myself,I found the EMC1 better in every way than the Bel Canto DAC 1 and Pioneer DV 05 combo. happy hunting, Rmml