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Call Wally - check his feedback at underwoodwally - he is one of the designers. I find him VERY HONEST, and willing to explain his product. Tell him I sent you (Ed Wilfong, shaqspack). PS - I have a REF 10 - is DTS worth it?? [email protected])
Shaqspack: I think he currently has a used one for sale on this site, 6 weeks old for 100 off the MSRP. Is DTS worth it, that is a tough one, I have about 5 DVDs with DTS (SPR,MIB, U571 and a couple of others) and I enjoy the sound. Seems to be more activity in the rear channels, but that is just my opinion. I am waiting to hear what B&K are going to charge to upgrade to the Ref 30. I am happy with the Ref 20 as far as HT is concerned, just trying to improve my 2 channel a bit. Got a Bryston 4B-ST from santa.
Hi Mikey, You might consider the MSB Link DAC with the 24/96khz upgrade also. From what I understand of the P3a, although a VERY good unit, The P1-A room correction unit (brother of the P3a), REALLY makes it shine. Bel Canto also has some excellent DAC's. As far as DTS sound is concerned, when I want to actually BUY a DVD it's a very large factor in my purchasing decision. Almost all the ones I've compared, I prefer the DTS track over the AC-3 track. (about 85-90% of the time) Plus you still get the option Dolby Digital anyway. Nice set-up you've got, you might have to splurge a bit to get an appreciable improvement over what you have, but, hey, it's a never ending quest for sonic enjoyment!!! Good Luck!
Bigwood: Thanks for the input, have you done any comparison between the MSB and the P3A. From what I understand, they would both offer me 24/96khz. I don't want the P1A right now, I can afford the DAC, but that is about it for now. Until of course upgrade fever hits again. How much do the Link DACs retail for, I suppose I could find a used one here though. Cheers.
Read the comparison between the MSB and the CAL Sigma II 24/96 DAC that they did in Stereophile before doing further research on the Link. I've heard them both and their is a noticeable difference in terms of "musicality" between the two. While the MSB might offer more "etched detail", it is WAY behind in the toe-tapping department. This is especially true if you replace the tube in the CAL with a Mullard from Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio. Sean >
Mike, I'd see about auditioning some DACs. I have a similar set-up to what you describe. B&K 202 (basically the Ref 20 with AV5000 in one chassis). Source is Marantz CC48 (Please don't laugh), Monarchy 24/96 DIP and MSB Link DAC II modified by Dan Wright. (Dwright-username). IMO the DAC's in the B&K are only so-so for stereo, if that. Going in 'Stereo Direct-Analog' via an external DAC is much, much better. I can't hardly listen to 2 channel with the digital connection FWIW. I'd venture to say you'll be quite surprised trying a decent DAC in Direct mode on the B&K. Hope this helps. P.S. I'd try the P3A, I'm looking to get a P1A soon.
Mel: The only way I can try any DACs is to order them online, I don't have any dealers in my area that carry the P3A or MSB. I am currently using the DACs in the B&K Ref 20 to decode stereo info for me. So you found a big improvement by using the external DAC instead of what is inside the B&K. My plan is basically the same as what you are doing, go with and external DAC and use the anlog bypass in the B&K. Cheers
i tink yule get the biggest sonic improvement by getting an audio-only preamp - probably tubed - and run all your audio gear thru *it*. it wouldn't surprise me at all if yer current cd-player, run thru a nice tubed preamp, would sound better than it run thru an outboard dac & the b&k. and, ya don't have to give up the h-t thing - many preamps now offer a default input for a h-t processor - chosing this input defaults all controls to the h-t processor, allowing the h-t processor to control the main 2-channel speakers, etc... vtl, sonic frontiers, adcom, linn preamps are like this, i'm sure there are many others.