HiFi Critic DAC shootout - Page 4
Welcome to the AudioShark Forums.
Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 LastLast
Results 31 to 40 of 68
  1. #31
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    63
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: HiFi Critic DAC shootout

    Quote Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
    Jim.......According to The Absolute Sound review found here: http://www.theabsolutesound.com/arti...-dac-series-2/ , the original price of the Berkeley Alpha Reference DAC was $16,000; the Series 2 is $19,500. Owners of the original can upgrade for the $3,500 difference.
    True, kinda.

    Several months ago, when I spoke with one of the two Michaels who started Berkeley, he said that $3.5K price for the upgrade is only for original owners.

    But if you bought your Berkeley Ref used, in the secondary market, the price for the upgrade is $5,000.

    When I asked him why the kinda large cost discrepancy, he responded with something about wanting to discourage the used market.

    Really.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Aurender N10 >
    Audience Au24 SE AES/EBU digital cable > Chord DAVE DAC > Audience Au24 SE XLR interconnects > Luxman L-505uX integrated amplifier > Audience Au24 SE speaker cables > DeVore Fidelity Gibbon 88 speakers

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  2. #32
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    14,995
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: HiFi Critic DAC shootout

    Holy cow!

    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. I don't like that kind of "marketing" at all. That's insane to me. Ayre never does anything like that and all products that are upgraded along the way are offered to whoever sends one in. Maybe another reason to stay away, in my opinion.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cycleman View Post
    True, kinda.

    Several months ago, when I spoke with one of the two Michaels who started Berkeley, he said that $3.5K price for the upgrade is only for original owners.

    But if you bought your Berkeley Ref used, in the secondary market, the price for the upgrade is $5,000.

    When I asked him why the kinda large cost discrepancy, he responded with something about wanting to discourage the used market.

    Really.
    Joe

    JBL L100 (orange), Luxman MQ-300, JBL 4312SE 70th Anniversary,
    Pass XA25, McIntosh MCLK12, Job INTegrated, Cary 300B SE, JBL 4367, Revel Studio 2, JBL 4312D, Klipsch RP-160M, Klipsch RB-75, KEF LS50, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES, ASL Wave monos, Kimber Kables, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables, Burmester 948, Linear Tube Audio MZ2, Bricasti M1SE, Naim Supernait 2.

  3. Likes kzhtoo, Kuoppis liked this post
  4. #33
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    360
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: HiFi Critic DAC shootout

    Quote Originally Posted by Cycleman View Post
    True, kinda.

    Several months ago, when I spoke with one of the two Michaels who started Berkeley, he said that $3.5K price for the upgrade is only for original owners.

    But if you bought your Berkeley Ref used, in the secondary market, the price for the upgrade is $5,000.

    When I asked him why the kinda large cost discrepancy, he responded with something about wanting to discourage the used market.

    Really.
    That is really short sighted thinking. The used market is a big factor driving new purchases. Without it the ability to upgrade and purchase expensive new products would be greatly reduced. In essence this manufacturer is only interested in servicing original owners. In my opinion not a smart strategy in a product category with often short product cycles or frequent upgrade options.
    Buddy

    Avantgarde Duo XD Speakers
    Audio Research Ref. 160M Amps, Ref. 6 Pre, Ref. 3 Phono Pre.
    Lampizator Pacific DAC
    Audioquest Niagara 5000 Power Conditioner w/ Hurricane HC PC
    Bryston BIT-20 Power Conditioner
    VPI Scout TT w/ ADS and Ortofon Cadenza Bronze Cart.
    AMG Giro TT w/ AMG Teatro Cart.
    Naim UnitiServe
    Silenzio V.3 Music Server
    Adona Equipment Rack and Amp Stands
    Furutech outlets and plates
    Transparent, Unity Audio Design cable

  5. Likes joeinid liked this post
  6. #34
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    2,829
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: HiFi Critic DAC shootout

    Quote Originally Posted by Cycleman View Post
    True, kinda.

    Several months ago, when I spoke with one of the two Michaels who started Berkeley, he said that $3.5K price for the upgrade is only for original owners.

    But if you bought your Berkeley Ref used, in the secondary market, the price for the upgrade is $5,000.

    When I asked him why the kinda large cost discrepancy, he responded with something about wanting to discourage the used market.

    Really.
    That doesn't strike me as a good business plan. It's a turn off in my mind. Second or third owners aren't asking for free warranty support. Burdening those who wish to upgrade the Berkeley Alpha Reference DAC to the Reference 2 DAC with an additional $1500 penalty because they aren't the original owner is a slap in the face. The used market supports their business to a degree even if they wish to ignore it. Honestly, how many $16,000 Alpha REF DAC's did they sell? Rather short sighted if you ask me.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC452, MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  7. Likes joeinid, Dguitarnut, kzhtoo liked this post
  8. #35
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: HiFi Critic DAC shootout

    I have to share my story of a high end DAC shootout. As Mike knows, I got to know him through Audioshark Forum. Elsewhere in this forum you can learn that Mike (Suncoast Audio) has finally put down brick and mortar. My wife and I happened to be traveling in Mid-Feb and made arrangements on a Friday to have a blindfolded shootout of 5 top DACs. first, I can't say enough about the Suncoast facility - it has to be one of the top spots in U.S. - absolutely fantastic. Mike replicated a version of my equipment (Ayre pre/amp, Aurender and Vandersteen Quatros - vs my Ayre ref Kx-R/VX-R and Carbon 5As. My wife and I were blindfolded through all but the final two selection. Going in, my wife was fully locked like Harry Potter "..Not Slytherin, not Slytherin..." but rather "....not Lampizator, not Lampizator..." due to the WAF factor.

    Key results:
    - Used my Dana USB cable on all DACs
    - Tunes varied from Annie Lennox - Into the West, Brad Mehldau - Waltz for J.B., Stevie Ray Vaughn - Tin Pan Alley, Symphony #2 in E Minor Op. 27 - Budapest Festival Orchestra, Moondance - Van Morrison
    - So here is how they sorted - first the eliminations:
    - Ayre Qx-5 - was immediately eliminated as too bright for both of us. Sound was good and soundstage was clear but the hair raised on the back of our necks during the Annie Lennox crescendo ( note after the shootout, Mike mentioned he likes the QX5 with another USB
    - Berkeley Ref 2 - this was my initial favorite but my wife felt it was mushy in the soundstage background. We did listen again after the shootout and enjoyed it more and the sound was excellent just not the top one
    - Dave Chord - this one had amazing depth to the sound stage, excellent separation and clarity BUT it was also too bright. Mike tried another USB cable but alas, was still a bit too shrill for our tastes
    - You guessed it - when we took off the masks - left standing were the B7 and Atlantic Lampizators - The music was warmer and more organic. For us, it sounded more analog and natural.
    ...And the winner is: after 6 1/2 hours with Mike and swapping tubes in the B7 and the Atlantic rectifier, the B7 clearly was the winner. The clincher was the Symphony #2 which was mesmerizing - truly one of the most emotional connections ever with the music. My wife is thrilled with the sound (and will live with the aesthetics) and swears there must be some type of gypsy magic sprinkled onto the B7.

    We essentially ordered the B7 with the set up we loved ( tubes and wires) and included a Denali 6000T per Mike's recommendation.

    As a couple who has shopped most Hi-Fi shops -on the East Coast we enjoyed our experience with Mike in his new shop. Mike is passionate and spends less time selling and more trying to find the right sound for us. He guided us in the process and adjusted as we reflected on each DAC. It's nice to have a guide on the trail. Truth of the matter, I think he enjoyed the shootout too.

    What fun! Can't wait for the equipment to ship to our house.

  9. Thanks Mike, wisnon thanked for this post
  10. #36
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    14,995
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: HiFi Critic DAC shootout

    Welcome to the forum, thank you for joining.
    Joe

    JBL L100 (orange), Luxman MQ-300, JBL 4312SE 70th Anniversary,
    Pass XA25, McIntosh MCLK12, Job INTegrated, Cary 300B SE, JBL 4367, Revel Studio 2, JBL 4312D, Klipsch RP-160M, Klipsch RB-75, KEF LS50, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES, ASL Wave monos, Kimber Kables, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables, Burmester 948, Linear Tube Audio MZ2, Bricasti M1SE, Naim Supernait 2.

  11. #37
    Audioshark
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    22,752
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: HiFi Critic DAC shootout

    Quote Originally Posted by Moneypenny View Post
    I have to share my story of a high end DAC shootout. As Mike knows, I got to know him through Audioshark Forum. Elsewhere in this forum you can learn that Mike (Suncoast Audio) has finally put down brick and mortar. My wife and I happened to be traveling in Mid-Feb and made arrangements on a Friday to have a blindfolded shootout of 5 top DACs. first, I can't say enough about the Suncoast facility - it has to be one of the top spots in U.S. - absolutely fantastic. Mike replicated a version of my equipment (Ayre pre/amp, Aurender and Vandersteen Quatros - vs my Ayre ref Kx-R/VX-R and Carbon 5As. My wife and I were blindfolded through all but the final two selection. Going in, my wife was fully locked like Harry Potter "..Not Slytherin, not Slytherin..." but rather "....not Lampizator, not Lampizator..." due to the WAF factor.

    Key results:
    - Used my Dana USB cable on all DACs
    - Tunes varied from Annie Lennox - Into the West, Brad Mehldau - Waltz for J.B., Stevie Ray Vaughn - Tin Pan Alley, Symphony #2 in E Minor Op. 27 - Budapest Festival Orchestra, Moondance - Van Morrison
    - So here is how they sorted - first the eliminations:
    - Ayre Qx-5 - was immediately eliminated as too bright for both of us. Sound was good and soundstage was clear but the hair raised on the back of our necks during the Annie Lennox crescendo ( note after the shootout, Mike mentioned he likes the QX5 with another USB
    - Berkeley Ref 2 - this was my initial favorite but my wife felt it was mushy in the soundstage background. We did listen again after the shootout and enjoyed it more and the sound was excellent just not the top one
    - Dave Chord - this one had amazing depth to the sound stage, excellent separation and clarity BUT it was also too bright. Mike tried another USB cable but alas, was still a bit too shrill for our tastes
    - You guessed it - when we took off the masks - left standing were the B7 and Atlantic Lampizators - The music was warmer and more organic. For us, it sounded more analog and natural.
    ...And the winner is: after 6 1/2 hours with Mike and swapping tubes in the B7 and the Atlantic rectifier, the B7 clearly was the winner. The clincher was the Symphony #2 which was mesmerizing - truly one of the most emotional connections ever with the music. My wife is thrilled with the sound (and will live with the aesthetics) and swears there must be some type of gypsy magic sprinkled onto the B7.

    We essentially ordered the B7 with the set up we loved ( tubes and wires) and included a Denali 6000T per Mike's recommendation.

    As a couple who has shopped most Hi-Fi shops -on the East Coast we enjoyed our experience with Mike in his new shop. Mike is passionate and spends less time selling and more trying to find the right sound for us. He guided us in the process and adjusted as we reflected on each DAC. It's nice to have a guide on the trail. Truth of the matter, I think he enjoyed the shootout too.

    What fun! Can't wait for the equipment to ship to our house.
    Thanks Jim. It was great visiting with you and your lovely wife. I had a blast doing the blind shootout myself.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Bryston, Chord, ClearAudio Turntables & Accessories, Constellation Audio, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Furutech, Gryphon Audio, iFi Audio, ISO Acoustics, JL Audio, KEF Loudspeakers, Kimber Kable, KL Audio Record Cleaning Machines, KR Audio Tube & Amps, Kronos, Lampizator, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MicroMega, MIT Cables, MSB Technologies, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, PS Audio, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables, Roon Labs, Shunyata Research, Siltech, Solid Tech Racks, Sony, SRA, Stein Music, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, Tannoy Loudspeakers, Transfiguration Cartridges, Trenner & Friedl, Triode Corporation of Japan, VAC, Verity Audio Speakers, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  12. #38
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    420
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: HiFi Critic DAC shootout

    Mike's the man!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Speakers - Magico S5mk2 Integrated - Vitus SIA-025 Analog - Vpi Prime Signature/Ortofon Cadenza Bronze Digital - Lumin A1
    Power - Shunyata Denali 6000S/Alpha HC/Alpha Digital Cables - Kimber KS-6063/Nordost Frey IC

  13. #39
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    14,995
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: HiFi Critic DAC shootout

    Thank you Jim for the detailed write-up.

    I have to say that I was rooting for the Ayre. Even the Berkeley wasn't there, wow! I do love Lampizator, maybe it's time for a second or third look.




    Quote Originally Posted by Moneypenny View Post
    I have to share my story of a high end DAC shootout. As Mike knows, I got to know him through Audioshark Forum. Elsewhere in this forum you can learn that Mike (Suncoast Audio) has finally put down brick and mortar. My wife and I happened to be traveling in Mid-Feb and made arrangements on a Friday to have a blindfolded shootout of 5 top DACs. first, I can't say enough about the Suncoast facility - it has to be one of the top spots in U.S. - absolutely fantastic. Mike replicated a version of my equipment (Ayre pre/amp, Aurender and Vandersteen Quatros - vs my Ayre ref Kx-R/VX-R and Carbon 5As. My wife and I were blindfolded through all but the final two selection. Going in, my wife was fully locked like Harry Potter "..Not Slytherin, not Slytherin..." but rather "....not Lampizator, not Lampizator..." due to the WAF factor.

    Key results:
    - Used my Dana USB cable on all DACs
    - Tunes varied from Annie Lennox - Into the West, Brad Mehldau - Waltz for J.B., Stevie Ray Vaughn - Tin Pan Alley, Symphony #2 in E Minor Op. 27 - Budapest Festival Orchestra, Moondance - Van Morrison
    - So here is how they sorted - first the eliminations:
    - Ayre Qx-5 - was immediately eliminated as too bright for both of us. Sound was good and soundstage was clear but the hair raised on the back of our necks during the Annie Lennox crescendo ( note after the shootout, Mike mentioned he likes the QX5 with another USB
    - Berkeley Ref 2 - this was my initial favorite but my wife felt it was mushy in the soundstage background. We did listen again after the shootout and enjoyed it more and the sound was excellent just not the top one
    - Dave Chord - this one had amazing depth to the sound stage, excellent separation and clarity BUT it was also too bright. Mike tried another USB cable but alas, was still a bit too shrill for our tastes
    - You guessed it - when we took off the masks - left standing were the B7 and Atlantic Lampizators - The music was warmer and more organic. For us, it sounded more analog and natural.
    ...And the winner is: after 6 1/2 hours with Mike and swapping tubes in the B7 and the Atlantic rectifier, the B7 clearly was the winner. The clincher was the Symphony #2 which was mesmerizing - truly one of the most emotional connections ever with the music. My wife is thrilled with the sound (and will live with the aesthetics) and swears there must be some type of gypsy magic sprinkled onto the B7.

    We essentially ordered the B7 with the set up we loved ( tubes and wires) and included a Denali 6000T per Mike's recommendation.

    As a couple who has shopped most Hi-Fi shops -on the East Coast we enjoyed our experience with Mike in his new shop. Mike is passionate and spends less time selling and more trying to find the right sound for us. He guided us in the process and adjusted as we reflected on each DAC. It's nice to have a guide on the trail. Truth of the matter, I think he enjoyed the shootout too.

    What fun! Can't wait for the equipment to ship to our house.
    Joe

    JBL L100 (orange), Luxman MQ-300, JBL 4312SE 70th Anniversary,
    Pass XA25, McIntosh MCLK12, Job INTegrated, Cary 300B SE, JBL 4367, Revel Studio 2, JBL 4312D, Klipsch RP-160M, Klipsch RB-75, KEF LS50, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES, ASL Wave monos, Kimber Kables, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables, Burmester 948, Linear Tube Audio MZ2, Bricasti M1SE, Naim Supernait 2.

  14. #40
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Genf
    Posts
    3,536
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: HiFi Critic DAC shootout

    Mike, like Bob V. is an audiophile first. Living the dream...

    Moneypenny, please consider getting an upowered USB cable. It makes a difference.
    NORMAN
    M-Mini/ i7PC/ Modded Denon CD transport>Lampi GG Dac> Rowen Swiss Power NAD c375BEE /vintage McIntosh 2225/Lampi Silk power cond.+ Phase flipper> Energy 8" sub> Heil AMT KITHARA bi-wire. Swiss cables (Reference line) for PC/interconnects and speaker cables. Goldmund Sweetcord PC. Unpowered USB cable, Uptone Regen. 2nd system:KenWin Bluetooth speaker 3rd system TBI Millemnium amp with Aulos speakers and SB Duo hookup.

 

 
Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 LastLast