I am considering an Apogee Mini-Dac -- AND -- wondering about combining it with a Big Ben -- for playback of AIFF files from my computer. How are you using your Big Ben?
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I have 2 Big Bens. One is after my modified Wadia 270se and Genesis Digital Lens...and one is after my TacT RCS 2.0s. Both additions offered considerable improvement, presumably through reclocking and dejittering.
In regards to AIFF playback....I've copied a lot of my CD collection onto my computer and am playing it back through a Slimdevices squeezebox through the Genesis Lens and Big Ben. I'm amazed at how great the uncompressed AIFF sounds. Very close to the Wadia 270se....but not quite.
Isn't the lens and the Big Ben redundant? I just read up on the lens -- interesting product. But, don't you need to feed the signal from the lens to a DAC? Or, the signal from the Big Ben to a DAC? The Slimdevices Squeezebox in another interesting piece of gear -- just read up on that, too. Lots of great info -- thanks! Is there a way to feed a digital signal from my G4 Powerbook directly to the Lens? Do you use a DAC? You've got me excited at the prospect of turning my computer's hard drive into the transport for playback that can sound close to the Wadia. Is the squeezebox a necessary part of the chain?
One would think perhaps the Lens and the Big Ben are redundant. But I have tried them independently and both together. I find the sound improved with both. Plus the Lens has a remote and accomodates my multiple digital inputs including the ST/ST glass input of a Wadia 270se. Yes...the BB and the Lens both function entirely in the digital domain. I use a dCS Delius dac.
I don't think you will be able to feed the digital signal from your computer straight into the Lens or a BB. That's why you will need something like a Squeezebox. You'll need something that will accept a WAV or AIFF or MP3 stream and convert it to PCM for output to your system.
The Big Ben functions in the digital domain. It must come before the DAC. But I think Apogee has come out with a new Dac (Rosetta 200) that incorporates much of the benefit of a Big Ben.
You could skip the Big Ben...and go with:
G4 -> Rosetta 200 -> preamp
I'd discuss it with the folks at apogee before you make a decision.