Add a external DAC, buy EAR Acute or go PC`?

I am wondering what to to right now. I have put my Electrocompaniet EMC1up up for sale. I love the design and the build quality of this player, but want to upgrade my digital front end. My options is; Keep my EMC 1 and add an external DAC (i will not have the funding to buy a state of the art DAC then), sell it and go for a EAR Acute player witch will match my EAR 864 and 890 amp set both in looks and i presume in sound, or convert to PC-audio and use the funds from the sale of my EMC1 and go for a Audio Note 2.1 signature DAC or evtn a used EMM Labs DAC6. Theese are my alternatives. Any suggestions of what i should do?
Huh, PC audio would be my last choice. A used dac is what I would do. Like a Levinson--they show up here sometimes.
Hi ..I went to a modded squeezebox and haven't looked back...Its a close call as to whether the internal dac or an outboard dac is better. I have tried several moderately price DACs. They all change the sound but it is entirely subjective as to whether its for the better. Right now I am usning a Channel Island DAc with matching ps and I like it very much
If you buy an EAR Acute you will be able to sell your preamp (assuming you have no other components that need it). The Acute has a tube output stage with an analog volume control making a preamp un-necessary. So sell your CDP and preamp and buy the Acute! Any money left over, buy music. This suggestion is assuming you have many CDs and aren't interested in SACDs.
PS: I've heard the Acutes are back ordered because of demand, however I may be wrong on this.
Thanks for your response. I think (and have done so a lot lately on this subject) i have narrowed my choices down to the EAR Acute or the Audio Note DAC 2.1 signature kit. I have a very highly regarded vinyl rig with two arms and two pickups. I absolutely need a separate pre. But the Acute will give me a remote controlled volume when playing digital. A nice benefit, as i use a EAR 864 pre without remote volume control. I have an idea that my EMC 1 player will be a better transport than the Acute, and the Audio Note kit, would preserve my "lust" for tubes in the DA conversion and in the analogue circuit. I have only one big con to the Audio Note kit. I am not a skilled DIY. I can make my own cables and solder rough connections, but a circuit board make me sweat. I have friends who are skilled enough to help, but they have family and other things to do than building audio components for me. I guess i could try the building process and hope for a therapeutic effect :) Has anyone listened to these two alternatives? Or have any of you fellow audiophiles tried the combination Electrocompaniet EMC as transport with the Audio Note DAC 2.1 kit??
Have you looked into a Monarchy M24 or the newer model the NM24? These are DAC/preamps with tube output stage. It also has a set of single ended inputs for another source so you could connect your phonostage to it. I don't recall what an AN DAC 2.1 kit costs and I think that is an excellent DAC, but maybe you would like the convenience the Monarchy offers.
I now own the EAR Acute and have previously owned another
formidable CDP w/ volume control. FWIW, I almost always prefer
going through a good preamp. It may not me as simple as
just bypassing your preamp and going direct to achieve the
sound that is better for you. The Acute is a good player, but
you should at least try it through your 864 IMHO.
you probably know this already but if you buy the EMM to use with your pc you won't get the SACD function of the EMM Labs.
I've read everything I can about the Acute. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to listen to one or to speak to an owner. Could you share your impressions of the units performance?
Wish i could. I haven't heard it, nor the Audio Note or the EMM labs DAC's. Thats partly why i find my choice so difficult. I understand that there are others in the same situation. Conclution; there are way to few good hi-fi shops in this world. I have to depend on the advices i get from my fellow audiophiles! I think that the Acute is a relativly new construction from EAR, and it seems that there are not to many around. I have contact with at least one owner. He is very satisfied! My only consern regarding the Acute, is that the owner i know reports variations in performance when placed on various bases. This can mean that the transport is not mechanically isolated, or at least not good enough. Knowing that the trandport and the DAC is basicly an Arcam player, i am a little afraid that my Electrocompaniet will be a far better transport, and migth give an overall better performance if it is paired with a very good tube dac. So i am more into the Audio Note kit now, after thinking and talking to others. I am awaiting an answer from EAR where we ask mr. Paravichini about the transport part of the Acute player. I will be shocked if he has not given this subject any thought! Will keep you guys updated. Thanks for your inputs guys by the way!
I have now made up my mind and bought myself a high end Norwegian brand dac, called Dynamic Presicion (company has now been bought up by Electrocompaniet and will be launced abroad as Electrocompaniet high end brand. This dac has been modified with battery powersupply, new op-amps and som more mods. The construkction is a 10 year old design, based on a 18/64 dac, and is withouot filters. I tried this converter just for fun, and because it was half the price of my other choises. I can only say that i am deeply impressed! This dac, blows the internal EMC1 dac with solid margins. I have consulted people that have compared this modified dac with EMM Labs dac6 and Audio Note 3.1x and have preferred the sound from this 10 year old design! I love the sound of this dac, and have ended my search for digital upgrade for now. My friend have ordered an EAR Acute player, and i am looking forward to test theese to digital rigs in a direct comparison.
Gut man - curious about this DAC. I Googled but could not find out much. Can you elaborate or post links to where I can get more information. Feel free to email me offline if you like.
Information on this dac would be quite hard to find i think. The Dynamic Presicion dac's went out of production in 1996 i think. The company now produces power, pre amps, active loudspeaker filters and a riaa. I have a link where all products ever produced are described in Norwegian. You can find the info here:
some info in english (about the company, not the dac though):
I belive the products from Dynamic Presicion have briefly been available in Scandinavia. I don't think the dac's ever were sold/distributed outside the Scandinavian countries. I have taken some pictures from both outside and inside the dac if you are interested Clio09, i can email them to you, when i get to snatch them from my camera!
I just got an offer i couldn't refuse. Tomorrow i will get my new transport delivered at my doorstep! A Forsell Air Reference mkII transport heavily modified by scilled people..I am really looking forward to this! This combination have been preferred/or jugded as equal by several listneres in direct comparison with EMM Labs transport and dac! The same people has also arranged a shoot out with EMM Labs and Esoteric digital rigs, with a marginal difference in perfomance. This is for me an indication of what level my new digtal combo performs! I have no way of making these comparasons myself, and do not think that my digital rig will be on par with theese digital rigs in everybody's opinion. The fun part of this shoot out, is that the people doing it, in fact owns theese high end digital combos! One of them, in fact sold his EMM labs transport and kept his custom transport, made by the same people who modified my Forsell transport. I am so looking forward to this. In a week, i will also have my new amp combo; EAR 864pre and 890power.. I expect to come closer to my hi-fi nirvana very soon :-)