Docmark, I have posted here on the GON reviews of both the Drive 1-MK2 and Dac 1-MK4. Also you might find helpful a thread entitled, Reference DACS: An overall perspective, that contains information on Accustic Arts gear.
I've had my AA transport and dac for two days. I have been using the excellent ARC CD3 MKII as transport feeding an Audio Logic 24MXL DAC. I always felt that my digital front end was very, very good and decided to change just because of the hobby compulsion - I was not in the least bit unhappy with my setup. Within two minutes, I was floored by the improvement in dynamics, bass, and "presence" that was provided through the AA units. To me, the upgrade was well worth the price ( $13,500 - Stealth Sextet IC --very subjective). I don't know if AA is the very best - nobody can know - but they should be auditoned against the very best. My reference was ARC/AL so I can't say that the AA is better or worse than Esoteric/dCS/Meitner/Reimyo/etc. - but I can tell you that I am very satisfied with the sounds of these units, and it does not hurt that they are beautifully built, and built to last. You'll find the thread Teajay mentions and very interesting discussion on the digital state of the art. Is Vinyl better? I don't know anymore - this stuff satisfies me.
Congratulations Pubul57, you already had an excellent system, now with the addition of the Accustic Arts digital front end and the Placette Active linestage to your Cat amp and Merlin speakers you now have a "butt-kicking" reference level rig that will sound as good as anything else out there in the crazy world of high end gear. Enjoy the music, I'm sure you will!
Pubul57, I just got a Accustic Arts Dac 1-MK4 yesterday and enjoying it.
I have a ARC cd3 Mk2 and hooked it up right now using it as the transport via AES Stealth Sextet digital cable. Did you compare the ARC cd3 transport against the Accustic Arts Drive 1-MK2 and if so what were your thoughts. I am really impressed so far with this Dac, I am going to be getting the Drive to hear for my self and do comparisons.
My set-up is Eggleston Andra 2's, McIntosh 501's, Arc Ref3 pre., McIntosh 300 Music Server for background music, Server connected to Dac using a Stealth Sextet digital cable also. Only two sets of interconnects both in balanced (XLR connection) Virtual Dynamics Revelation 2.0, speaker cables VD Sig's and waiting for VD Genesis 6 ft bi-wire. Power cords Shunyata Phython Helex Alpha and VD but I want to get some Stealth Dream power cords and I also want to try the Indra interconnects.
I am waiting for a Supratek Sauv. line stage pre. to arrive, suppose to better than my Ref3, this will be interesting.
Once I have this combo for a while and I am familiar with the characteristics then I am going to get a Bent Tap to audition.
Teejay, you have this combo "AA & Bent Tap" and have I read your threads, very informative, Thanks. A friend of mine has the Placette and also wants to hear the difference.
Teejay I use to have the Mag. 20's in my main system, they are a marvelous speakers so I am very familiar with the sound characteristics. The system that I'm refering to right now is not my main system.
While I'm sitting responding I am listening, this Dac is amazing.
Dev, I'm quite sure you will enjoy your Accustic Arts DAC1-MK4 in the context of your reference level system. I will be very interested in your impressions of the Bent Tap compared with the other preamps that you sonicly know already. You might want to share your opinions on the Tap review thread, it will add to the perspective of how a transformer based passive sounds compared to very high level tube linestages.
Teajay, I just returned the ARC CD Ref7 today that I had for two weeks and do not miss it in anyway. The ARC CD Ref7 even had to it's advantage "synergy" hooked up with my ARC Ref3 pre. but still not even close to the "AA".
The Ref7 is better than my ARC CD3 MK2 which is a great one piece player.
When I put the Accustic Arts Dac1 MK4 in my system using the ARC CD3 MK2 as the transport the improvement was huge.
I ordered the Line Drive1 MK2 and I am getting it today, I want to see if it is an improvement over my ARC CD3 MK2.
It's going to be hard though because the Dac was broken in but the Line isn't, what is the break in time for this unit?
Anyone using this "AA combo" what power cords have you tried and what were the differences?
ISOLATION platforms, any difference to the sound and if so what. On my ARC CD3 tried numerous, no improvement which I look as being good because that means to me that ARC has really addressed vibration.
Power conditioners on this unit make any major difference?, again the ARC did not seem to care.
Teajay I saw your thread about Running Springs Jaco, what are you currently using and what do you have hooked up.
I have 6 designated lines for this set-up and I believe my power must be very good because I have tried many power conditioners and really can't say that I have benefited from any. Only lets me sleep better knowing my gear is double protected because I also have G.F.I.'s right at the board. Any surges, spikes coming in will pop the G.F.I. before getting to my gear. The G.F.I.s do not clean up the power its self.
I have 2- Shunyata Hydra 2's for mono blocks
Richard Grey Pro 4 for components
BRT BP-3.5 Sig. not being used right now
i have and love the AA Drive 1 and DAC 1 MkIV.
to answer a few of your questions, i have been using VH Audio Flavor 4s with them, and i was pleased with the results. incremental reduction in noise floor over stock PCs. i am sure there are better PCs out there, but these were are very strong price/value.
then i introduced Isoclean transformer and 80A powerline. both using super focus PCs. the improvement was nothing short of astonishing. the additional details brought out by the reduced noise was incredible. i have a low tolerance for audio snake oil, but there was no denying how big a difference the isoclean stuff made.
the combination of the accustic arts equipment using isoclean power conditioning has really has taken me to the point of contentment with my digital front-end. the only move i would make at this point is to a HDD front-end using a USB DAC, but it will take a lot to bring it up to the level of the AA gear.
I just became aware of this thread and have the AA Drive 1 MkII and DAC 1 MkIV coming. I imagine that it will be some time before it is at its best and that I have much experimentation with isolation, power cords, and digital cords to do.
Did anyone have prior AA equipment which these components replaced? What improvements did you hear?
Okay Jeffreybowman2k so what's up? Above on the fifth in your thread above you wrote you love the "AA" but now five days later being today I noticed it's up for sale and you mention you are going in a different direction, so come on what direction is this?
Well I got my new AA Line Drive1 MK2 a few days ago, right out of the box hooked-up it sounds as good as my ARC/AA combo but not better. I know I am being impatient but my expectations are high. As time passes by and the unit breaks in it needs to improve allot and surpass the ARC as a transport or I will have to look for another transport. My reasoning for this is because it is an expensive transport, costing more than my ARC cd3 MK2. The later can be used as a cd player and transport so my thoughts are this AA transport should be allot better.
Tbg so we meet again, I still have not been contacted by anyone nor have my questions ever been answered regarding the H-CAT pre, I've given up on them. I have the Supratek Sauv. line coming and after that the Bent Tap. and both companies contacted me right away and answered any and all of my questions, I guess it shows because they are getting my business. I could only imagine if one had any problems with the unit or needed some questions answered after they invested money, I received allot of emails from other members with only negative experiences.
I recently placed an order for Virtual Dynamic Genesis bi-wired speakers cables, supose to be sent arround the 24th so that will be interesting.
The Stealth power cables you got, they are suppose to be amazing and I want to get some also along with the Indra balanced interconnect but not for a while.
Teajay those are some great reviews you did on both AA pieces, very informative Thanks.
Are my expectations to high for this transport? have you tried any other transports with the Dac? I was thinking of the Oracle 2000, CEC.
What are your thoughts?
I'm not wanting to jump the gun, the transport being new and all but I was sent a few emails saying not to expect huge but only slight improvements and that the biggest improvement is the dac.
Anyone reading this I don't want you to take my context in the wrong way, I am very happy with the sound that I am getting. I almost bought a Audio Research Ref7 cd player and this combo is just in a whole different league along with being the best I have had in my system but always looking at improvements.
Dev, all that I can say is that I know many very happy H-Cat users who listened first and asked questions afterwards.
I anxiously await my AA equipment. The reviews here and from other sources suggest that this maybe a major advance. I only know what I don't like, having own the dCS, EMM, and Levinson gear in past. I was very happy with the Esoteric X-01 LE and often regret having sold it.
dev: go back and re-read the last paragraph of my post. sound out the words if you are not strong reader. you'll see where i said that my next move would be to a USB DAC, which is what i have done.
Tbg the Esoteric X-01 LE is a great piece, I have not owned one but a friend does and loves it. What were the dcs and EMM pieces you owned?
Regarding the H-Cat you said "H-Cat users who listened first and asked questions afterwards."
Are you insinuating that I should not ask questions first? if you are I don't agree. Tbg this company has gone to the extent of giving a fictitious dealers name for in my area, no one knows of such along with the phone directory, business directory's etc. what a way of doing business and Roger him self has never given me any address or phone number.
Tbg before you buy anything or look at trying something are you implying that you don't ask questions prior? if this was true I don't believe we would have these threads.
Jeffrey, what hard drive have you gone to? I have been very interested in the StereoTimes review of the Memory Player by Nova Physics. It now is available with a dac included. I heard VRS equipment beginning about 5 years ago. They did manage great improvement and easy of use by the 2005 RMAF but since have been invisible. I understand there are several other companies moving strongly in this direction.
Dev, I owned the Dac6 and the Phillips SACD 1000 and the dCS Elgar with sacd capability and the pro 972 upsampler. In neither case have I heard much of an improvement, if any, in newer models.
I have no idea what the reason for the fictitious dealer was, but I know many of the dealers and they are quite real. I doubt seriously that this is the totality of your questions about the H-Cat, however.
You know that my philosophy is merely to tell of my personal experiences with components. If you or others listen and don't agree it does not bother me. If you question the integrity of people that I know to be good people I will not ignore it. Nor will I ignore dismissing innovations as hype when I know them not to be.
I am more interested in what people like Jeffrey above have to say than what you have to say, because he seems to listen more than pontificate.
Tbg, I was not personally attacking you but the fact making a true statement of my experience with H-CAT. so your sarcasm has no merits.
You seem to be so deffensive and sensitive when talking about H-CAT so there must be more to it than you are letting on.
Anyways enjoy, this thread is suppose to be for "AA" not H-CAT.
Dev, there's no doubt that the Dac1-MK4 was a vast improvement over the MK3. When I got the MK4 I was still using a reference transport from Ensemble, that's still a great piece, however when I auditioned the AA Drive1-MK2 every thing got better(transparency, details, soundstage, extension) but in small increments compared with the Ensemble. So, you might have to let the transport break-in awhile to see if there are significant sonic gains compared with your ARC player used as a transport to make the change.
Also, I don't know what digital cable you are using, but regardless what transport you decide on, I highly recommend you listen to a Stealth Sextet cable. I tried a bunch of highly regarded cables and nothing came close to the Sextet when it came to allowing the Acoustic Arts combo sing to total sonic abilities.
Finally, I use the Ensemble Duo Isolink digital transformer with the the AA combo and it improves all sonic factors by around another 10% to 20% in my system. The rest of my system downstream goes through the Running Springs Jaco power conditioner.
This thread seems to be begging to be hijacked ...
Tbg: I recently purchased a Wavelength Cosecant USB DAC. I reached the conclusion, as many around here have, that it no longer makes sense to continue investing in CDPs or CD transports given the decline in this media. I experimented a bit before i settled on this b/c i didn't want to take a step back just for the convenience of a HDD front end. I am happy to report that I blown away by the Cosecant -- and that is even before i convert from a PC to a Mac. It is every bit as resolving as my AA Drive and DAC and, in some respects, it may be more so. Add to that the convenience of having all of my digital music at myfingertips, and i find the Cosecant nothing short of revolutionary.
Dev: Some free, unsolicited advice: if you are going to start a thread, you likely will get better results if you do not harass those who offer you a response. We're not responding to you under oath pursuant to a subpoena; we're voluntarily offering an opinion that you can either take or leave. Questioning the motives of those who do you the favor of responding to your thread is not productive.
Teajay thanks you for the info. I am using Stealth Sextet digital, my favourite. You are correct I do need to give the Drive time to break-in I have just been spoiled by the Dac. Regarding the conditioners you are using thanks for clarifying.
Jeffreybowman2k, firstly I did not start this thread as you have stated, secondly I was not trying to harass anyone so you are obviously very confused and need to review before you make such a allegations.
I love opinions of others but you need to get your facts straight.
Enjoy I am.
I got my AA Dac Mk IV and Drive 1 MkII today. After four hours it is sounding much better than at first. I expect it will be several days before I can make any real conclusions. It is very quiet and has very nice extension at both ends, but the soundstage is what most pleases me. I have the Drive 1 on the Halcyonic active isolation base and the Dac on an Acapella base. I ultimately will try the Dac on the Halcyonics and the Drive on top of it. Not having a drawer transport makes the use of the Walker Talisman more difficult.
Dev. I owned the ARC CD3MKII and used it as a transport for an Audio Logic DAC. I bought the AA transport and dac after having spoken with Teajay about his experience with the units. The AAs are clearly superior for the ARC alone, or as transport for the AL (I thought the ARC/AL combo was an improvement for the player alone). So overall the change in equipment was well worth it. The AA may have limited distribution in US (big in Europe) but it sure is a great piece of digital equipment. Unlike Teajay, I did not compare with DCS,Meitner,Esoteric, etc - but frankly, with stuff this good, I'm satisfied (at least for a while). I'm glad I sold my ARC transport before receiving the AA, because I suspect the ARC is indeed an excellent transport in its own right, and does provide cd player capability should something happen to you DAC. I guess what you are hearing in the signficant superiority of the AA DAC chipset and process prowress, whereas the improvement is not quite so great on the transport side. I suspect, hope, that the AA transport does offer improvement over the ARC feeding its sibling, but in then end I would probably keep the AA transport anyway (if I still had the ARC) since the transport and dac look so darn good together. Well anyway, welcome to the small, but growing AA club.
Hi Pubul57 Thanks for the info. I just sold my ARC3 MK2 the other night when I put it back in my system for the guy to listen to I could not believe the difference.
The "AA" is in a whole different league, well I suppose the ARC was really a good player for it's time.
Teajay it doesn't look like I am going to get that Oracle to demo in my system so today I decided to just order one. I went with the 2000 transport because that is what I'm after, it has the Philips CD PRO 2 laser drive which is suppose to be very good.
Soon I will be getting my VD Genesis speaker cables and Supratek pre amp. and Sistrum Audio stand and amp and speaker stands and should be fun.
I referred the Indra cables to some one I know to try in his system and he said so far that he is not impressed. He said that they sound clinical in comparison to VD Masters and Revelation series. I was shocked to hear this, I suggested that he should contact Stealth with his serial numbers on the cables to confirm that they are the latest version because he bought it used and could be an older version.
He wants to trade so I was very interested but unfortunately they are rca to rca and I run balanced configuration darn it.
I have not heard anyone say this who has used Indra, any thoughts?
Regarding the AA dac, I spoke to some one today, the same guy who has the Oracle 2000 and AA dac MK4 he said that he has double roller blocks underneath the dac and really likes the result, ever tried it?
The Sistrum stands that I have coming will be really interesting. The same guy who is not sure of the Indra cable bought the Sistrum SP-101's and put them under his JM-Lab Nova BE speakers and said that he noticed a large improvement over all and is really impressed.
Dev, there were beta versions of the Indra. I had some. They differred from the production versions only in the connectors. If your friend has the low conductivity Stealth connectors, he has production versions. Indras are no longer available.
I put the AA Dac on the Halcyonics and then the Drive 1. I was totally shocked with the improvement-great dynamics, clean high end, profound bass, and total realism of the soundstage. Wow! I must say that I cannot afford another Halcyonics under my Shindo tt, so vinyl is disadvantaged.
>>Indras are no longer available<<
I just bought 3 pair. Somebody should tell Sergeui.
Tbg, which Halcyonic product are you using. How much does it cost?
Pubul57, see http://www.halcyonics.de/en/products/micro.php?navid=14&topId=13 This will at least give you a picture. I cannot really say what the price is as this is in flux. It is in the $8000 area, however. Yes it is very expensive but then again you cannot get its benefits in the sound of your components for any cost. I don't agree with the recent rave review that suggests the Minus K is its equal under turntables.
Last evening I just sat in disbelief of what I was hearing with the Accustic Arts Dac Mk IV and Drive One Mk II. My dCS, EMM, Esoteric, Exemplar, and SONY efforts just are no longer in the ball game.
Tbg, they really are wonderful pieces and I am also really enjoying them but you know how we all are always wanting to better our systems?
Well I have always wanted to try the Oracle product, actually the 2000 transport only because I have heard that it is really a great piece.
I have been in communication with an individual "Ron" who had bought the DacMK3 and original Drive prior, two years ago and replaced the DacMK3 with the DacMK4 last year.
The Drive MK2 was not available so he had a opportunity to try a Oracle 2000 transport. He told me that he first just put the Oracle in his system replacing his Drive to see what it could do, he said the unit was already broken-in, he said he was in total awe with the improvement over all and did not expect such an improvement. Then he put in the Dac MK4 and even more improvement over the Dac MK3 so I had no choice but to order one. I just have to find out for myself, suppose to get it in a weeks time. Ron the guy who I have been talking with says it's a no brainer and that the difference are "quantum leaps" and that I am going to be in for a major shock.
I hope so but my expectations are that if the 2000 equals my Drive MK2 I will be keeping it because I really like the look and have always wanted one.
I know of someone who I consider to be very knowledgeable with regard to music reproducion particularly vinyl playback who has tried the Halcyonic device and the Minus k in addition to several others, and he feels that the Minus k for a lot less money was actualy superior on his turntables.Others have also noted that the Minus k has special qualties on analog. I hope to find out for myself in the future, but the cost of the Halcyonic is a strong deterrent.
Srouse, I am a believer that most everything varies depending on ones system. I see no reason why a spring unit would equal the Halcyonics active isolation, but it would be great to have to spend less money. I have never had a Minus K unit but do know the benefits of the Halcyonic on at least the Shindo turntable. Unfortunately, I only have two and have found the Halcyonic under the amp is of such benefit that I cannot take it off to go back under the turntable.
Initially, I demurred on the reviewer's comment that one could put two components, one on top the other, on the Halcyonics as that was not my experience with the Esoteric X-01 LE and the Exemplar dac. But I put both my Accustic Arts Dac Mk IV and Drive 1 Mk II on the Halcyonics with incredibly better results.
I had a recent experience with the importance of the direction of fuses. Brian Ackerman had mentioned that the IsoClean fuses I was ordering should go in the opposite directions for the Dac and Drive 1. When I got the fuses I thought I was following his direct, but really had them reversed. I listened for one day with them backward and thought the sound was modestly better. Then yesterday, I learned that the fuse in the Dac is to face outwards not inwards. I changed both unit, and can honestly say I was shocked at how important direction was.
Since Lloyd Walker long ago suggested that I change the direction of the fuse on his turntable controller and I found him right, I have bothered to find which way is best. On the Accustic Arts it is greater than on anything else I have experimented with. I strongly recommend that you try which ever fuse you are using both ways. And if you have the good fortune to have the IsoCleans, do point the direction arrow out from the Dac and in from the Drive One.
Tbg was there that much of a difference once you put the IsoClean fuses in?
What was the noticeable difference?
I actually have not yet tried changing any fuses yet.
Ron the guy I met recently told me if I wanted a good bang for my buck was to get some HiFi Tuning fuses, he said he that he prefered them over the IcoClean fuses.
I have not tried either as of yet so I don't know.
Anyone else who has tried these fuses or any others if you could describe the benefits over the stock L-cheapos that are standard in the units.
Teajay have you changed these fuses?
I have heard that the Halcyonics is suppose to be great isolation platform so I can only imagine the improvement you must be getting from using them.
How many hours do you have on your "AA" pieces now?
Are you enjoying them?
Dev, I have only tried one HiFi Tuning fuse relative to the IsoCleans. It may have been that the IsoClean had been in use for some time before the HiFi Tunings became available, but I thought the HiFi Tuning was little different from the original fuses. The IsoClean sound more authoritative especially in the bass, if it is inserted in the right direction. Also the top end is more accurate on brass in particular.
Yes, the IsoCleans make a very noticable improvement, again if insert in the right direction.
My Accustic Arts pieces have nearly two weeks on them.
The AA is the best I have heard. Has someone auditoned or own the AA and found something better? If there is something better, and if someone has come to that conclusion after hearing the AA, I liked to know. Sort of ridiculous to call $13,000 worth of equipment as a great deal, but in the SOTA realm, these things seem to be a screaming "deal". But, I'm open to other opionions. What is clear to me is that anyone seeking the best should at least be familar with the AA studd - it is that food IMHO.
Optarchie, I have heard that this player is suppose to be good but have not heard anyone comparing it up against the "AA" combo as of yet.
By making your statement are you suggesting that you have? if so what were the difference.
read the review of the amr in 6moons
I have read the review, but it's only a review.
Have you actually done a comparison?
Optarchie, the review is great, and it seems worth considering. But it does not address my orginal purpose for the thread, or Dev's last question. Have you heard the AA and the AMR - and if so what are your particular and specific obeservations regarding the two. I ask you and keep the question open to others - has anyone heard the AA and found something better, and if so what, and if so in what way. Based on the AMR review, it does seem to be a unit to consider.
I have not personally done an a/b. My best friend just sold his accustic arts combo (current models on the dac/transport combo) with stealth sextet cabling in order to buy the amr. He said it's the best cd player he has ever heard. I listened to his accustic arts combo and thought it was very good. I thought the build quality was excellent, but i didn't think it was worth the money. I swapped out my Meridian 808 in his system and thought the sound was as good, more dynamic from top to bottom, but i thought the accustic art combo was maybe ( I mean maybe) a tad bit more analog like. His amr player arrives any day so I will comment when I hear it.
I think the real issue is the P3/D3 units from Esoteric not the AMR. Also the Memory Player may be a better source than the Drive One mk II. As usual even were someone or even several people to have compared each of these, I doubt if there would be much of a consensus.
Tbg, I agree with both your points. I think that the AA combo needs to be compared with componets at the level of the P3/D3, and I also agree that consensus is unlikely, and ultimately a search for something not possible - defining the "the best" for all people and all ears. I simply feel the AA has to be in that circle of products that needs serious consideration when looking for great digital options. You then deal with issues of price, ergonomics, flexibilty, and look and feel. The Memory Player, and future products based on the MP technology do seem to be very promising, but I can't help but feeling it would be best to get a generation or two to pass in the product cycle and get other designers to think about the approach and optimize the execution and implementation of the technology.
Pubul57, I agree, of course. I do think, however, that there has been four or five years experience with hard drive sources for cpm. I can remember hearing a first VRS unit at a show in Silverdale Washington at least five years ago. It was awful. But as in everything involving computers, next year's products obsolete those of today.
Thanks Optarchie, that lends some context to your comments. I get the feeling that we are talking about several pieces of gear, all of which are first rate. I also suspect the preference for one over the other might be dependent on the rest of the system and its sound signature. If one little cable can make a "big" difference, I would think that the choice of pre/amp, cabling and speakers would have a large influence on wheter one would prefer on CD player over another in a given system context. I going to work hard to stop thinking in terms of best this or best that - I think it is much more realistic to think of a choice of top flight alternatives for a given component that on should consider, and that system matching and room acoustics also play a large role in assesing equipment. The AMR does seem interesting, especially at its price point. Thanks.
Can anyone talk in detail about of the function of the DAC1 mk4's 66 bit/1536 kHz upsampling and digital filter? What are the sampling options and is the filter linked to the upsampling? i.e. does the filter perform noise-shaping on the signal it has upsampled or is it an interpolation filter that can it be employed at lower sample rates as on my elgar+?
Has anyone compared it with 176.4 or 192kHz signals from other dacs?
I heard the AMR at CES and learned that it used the old TDA 1541A chip as does Zanden. I liked the looks of the unit, but the sound like in all the rooms on the mezzanine was pretty awful. I lost interest.
I know how much difference the post dac filtering can make as I had the Exemplar 5910 with the initial mods and later with the post dac filter mods. The filter mods were a substantial improvement. Zanden, of course, spent a good deal of time dealing also with the issues associated with the TDA 1541A chip. I had the first version and found it quite good, but I think it is uncompetitive now.
Just wanted to share that I had the pleasure of having in my home two new audiophile friends to listen to my system last week.
The relevancy for this thread regarding their visit is that one of these gentleman mainly came over to hear the Accustic Arts combo. In his system he had already purchased and sold the Esoteric P3/D3 combo, he and his friend both found it kinda "ruthless" and not very musical in his system, and his present DAC is an Audio Logic, the latest generation.
Well, to say the least he thought the Accustic Arts pieces were "delightful" and offered a "million dollar Sound" at a very reasonable price, was much better then his Audio Logic DAC and now wants to do a home audition.
Hi Teajay, I heard the same from another owner of a P3/D3 combo which is just so bizarre.
So what's all the talk about these pieces? I have to say that I have not heard them so I can't personally comment.
I received an email from someone saying the AMR destroys the "AA" combo but to only find out that this person has never even heard the "AA" combo. Took some doing of emails going back and forth and at the end to find out that this person is a actual dealer of the product.
I have never heard the AMR unit and plan on it when I can get my hands on one but I believe that there is just allot of hype going on.
I had a Zanden in my system for the last two days, please this unit isn't as good as all the hype I've heard either. I was expecting it to beat on the "AA" DAC. This was not the latest and greatest unit which I have heard is greatly improved over the one I had. I can say any "AA" owners be grateful with what you have, I was so happy to get mine back into my system and the three other individuals that heard the two were in agreement.
If Tbg is correct about the components of the AMR unit along with the comments that I have read comparing it to the Zanden saying that it is as good or close which I believe is the same model that I had, no worries "AA" OWNERS.
If you refer back to my prior thread about one of my friends with the dcs gear well without me knowing he went out and purchased the "AA" COMBO. How I found out was he was one of the individuals that was over and heard the Zanden in my system and remarked I'm so happy with my "AA" COMBO.
I'm still awaiting for my Oracle 2000 transport to arrive, I have been told the break-in will take some time.
I had mentioned that I was awaiting for some Sistrum product to arrive well it did. I bought a SP-6 STAND and a pair of SP-1 platforms and the coupling disc's off of Megapixel. I want everyone to BEWARE! of Magapixel. The SP-6 stand I bought was suppose to be "brand new" as per his ad, as per the Link that he provided in his ad the same product. I actually confirmed with him prior to buying that it was the same unit as on the Sistrum site but what I received was not. The unit was only partially new!and not the same. The pair of SP-1's were also of different finish not matching each other. I contacted the seller inquiring about the situation, I asked to be refunded my money back and I would send the product back. He was reluctant to do so and replied back with a lessor amount back than I had paid. He said if you wanted that unit you should of bought it from them and you would of paid more, his remark about the pair of SP-1's being different was that the sound won't be effected by this. We went back and forth and got no where, Robert from Sistrum was so nice that he is helping me out with this situation so it won't cost me a whole lot to get what I was actually suppose to be getting. I was shocked though because this seller has a good feedback so if you plan on buying from him be cautious.
Dev, I saw that you have your Accustic Arts Drive1-MK2 on sell here on the GON. Does that mean you got your Oracle 2000 transport already and thought it out performed the Accustic Arts Drive? Please share what has taken place if that is the case, I'm quite interested in the details of your auditioning experience.
Just in general, if you ever hear someone say of two high-end pieces that one "destroys" the other, take it with a huge grain of salt. Nothing digital destroys the AA, though some may prefer another piece.
I have been emailed by numerous members asking to post my findings regarding the Oracle 2000 transport compared to the Accustic Arts Drive MK2, I had not because I did not want to offend any "AA" owners but at the same time I would like to know myself and obviously by the emails I keep recieving others would to also so here we go.
If you have been following along with what I have been up to you will read that I am really impressed with the "AA" Dac MK4 so I went out and purchased the Drive MK2 (TRANSPORT)
This really is a great combo but when I first heard the improvement of what the MK4 dac made it really impressed me because I was almost going to buy a Audio Research Ref7 player but the "AA" surpassed it in every way in my system.
I had the "AA" combo in my system for some time and was really impressed with the sound, friends that came over were also to the extent of selling of their combos and single players and getting "AA" gear.
Then I was introduced to this guy who told me what he had been up too over the past year or so and currently has the "AA" and "Oracle" combo.
I wanted to buy one used but non seem to come up used so I had no choice and ordered a new one.
I use the Stealth Sextet digital but with Stealth's connectors. Make sure if you buy any Stealth product that you get their connectors and not the cheaper neutrik ones because there is a big difference, I was told by Serg. that they are as important as the actual cables. I have tried many digital's and I don't search any more, nor do any of my friends who have Stealth.
Teajay has really done a great job in his reviews regarding "AA" dac and transport along with Stealth.
The Oracle is what I was looking for in a WOW! factor. This combo with my Accustic Arts Dac MK4 is just amazing. I originally was using a Arc cd3 MK2 as the transport and then got the "AA" Drive MK2 to replace it. The "AA" is better but not by much so my search was on. The Oracle just left me in awe from the get go with the very first piece of music put on and has not stopped, it's that good. This is a brand new unit not even broken in, how is this possible. It reminded me of the same feelings I had when I first put the "AA" DAC into my system.
It just improves everything, I could go on and on. All you "AA" users need to get one to demo, this one is a no brain-er.
I had a Metronome Kallistro Ref transport the I was considering buying and compared it up against the Oracle and really could not say which one was better, it was that close. Now this was hooked-up with my "AA" Dac MK4 and Stealth Sextet so other combos might differ.
I called over some friends to get their opinions, I don't care what gear it is. I am just after the best performance I can get out of my system. I had six different individuals over and we were all in agreement that the Accustic Arts MK4 and Oracle 2000 is just amazing in my system.
I recently purchased the latest and greatest Stealth Indra with Stealth's connectors (XLR connectors) Say good bye to my Virtual Dynamics.
I just got the Virtual Dynamic 6 ft Genesis bi-wire speaker cables but have not had any time to listen because I was at a 10 day trade show when they arrived, I will be commenting once I hook them up and give them some time. I can say I have never seen a pair of speaker cables built like they are.
I am still awaiting to get my Supratek Sauv. pre, it's sure is taking a long time and I hope it's worth the wait.
Sistrum platforms, get some they really work under your speakers, SP1's or SP101's, contact Robert and mention David referred you and he will take care of you. Every person I know that has tried them now has them under their speakers and are very happy with the improvement over all, it will be the first time you have really actualy ever heard your speakers.
Thank you very much for the insightful posting. Now the question is - at least for me: Does not only the Oracle CD 2000 sound better than the Accustic Arts, but also his younger, and cheaper brother, the CD 1000- transport? You did not do by any chance this comparison, too?
...and one more thing: Dev, you didn´t by any chance compare one of the Esoteric units or transports to the Oracle, or Accustic Arts? Or did somebody else? From what I have learned so far, I am now thinking about Esoteric - but then, which unit - or Oracle.