Bel Canto DAC 1 Upgrade

Here is a copy of the email I recieved from Bel Canto inquiring as to new upgrade for those interested: "Yes, upgrades are now available. Return your unit with a note requesting the upgrade, include a return shipping address with a check for $150.00. We will complete the upgrade in a couple of days. Regards, Michael " Guess they have to keep up with that Full Nelson on the MSB. Charlie
Hey man, What is the upgrade? I'm still on the fence re: what to do. Wait? Buy the MSB? Buy a BC?
A previous post mentioned a power supply upgrade. I did not get any more info from Bel Canto. Did you see the latest Stereophile? The reviewer likes the MSB, with all the trimmings, a little better than the DAC1. I bet you would like either one, (as long as you bought the Full Nelson upgraded MSB.) Your invitation still stands here, G13. Charlie
I am considering the purchase of a used Bel Canto DAC 1. I used to have a website with pricing on the MSB with upgrades but seem to have lost it in our last computer crash. Can anyone supply me with this site or the price of the fully decked out MSB? Price will unfortunately be my determining factor as I am already $500.00 over budget due to recent purchases, until I sell off some gear, (my wife's solution), as I have always preferred to have a well stocked "closet" :-(. Thanks.
Charlie The Bel Canto group is a low key bunch if ever the description fit. I just sent my DAC back a month or so back, a problem with the crystal chip. Spent an hour talking about music in general and their products in particular with Jay. He never once mentioned the DAC upgrade to me. I just heard about it here less than a week after I got the DAC back from them. They aren't very good on returning phone calls either. I guess they are keeping quite busy with the evo amp and DAC 1. Will
I located the old MSB link. Considering the additional cost of the 1000 power supply, I will probably go with the Bel Canto which is available used within my budget. I do not see any used/discounted MSB FN's and power supplies and do not feel like waiting around. I am also running out of cabinet space as well and the size of the Bel Canto is a plus.
Will, you must be a saint! I would be mad as all get-out if I thought I would have to do without my dac for another mailout session. My hat is off to you, sir. Charlie
bruce wenger of sez he has a bel-canto mod that will blow away anything up to $4k. dunno anything more about it. but, he also makes some really cool tube-gear... doug
Will, you must be a saint! I would be mad as all get-out if I thought I would have to do without my dac for another mailout session. My hat is off to you, sir. Charlie
My understanding is that the power suply upgrade will increase the dynamics of the Dac1. For more info and a good deal on a new piece, email Jonathon@GoldmanAudio.Com I spoke to him about it yesterday.
Here is a copy of the email I received from BWS after inquiring about their upgrade, (as per sedond's post,) if anyone is interested: Dear Charles, > > I do have an upgrade for the Dac-1, which includes: > > > > Power supply, diode and capacitor upgrades. > > > > Front end receiver upgrade. > > > > Audio section reconfiguration and filter upgrade. > > > > Custom Digital cable and line cord. > > > > The package costs $700.00 US. > > > > > > Please call me at 703-536-3910, if you are interested and we can > discuss this in detail. > > > > Best Regards, > > > > Bruce Wenger > > BWS Consulting" I am going to "chicken out" on this one. I think I would like to keep my 10 year warranty with Bel Canto. But I think one of you should definitely get this upgrade and let us all know how it goes. [:)] Charlie
I'm with you Charlie. So who is going to volunteer and let us know the results?
Dear Sir, Have you considered the exciting 24/96 P-3A DAC from Perpetual Technologies? Read what happy owners are saying at and more at Thanks for your time! - Scott
Well Sliddi I don't have to read what others say, I listened. Unless there was a problem with the chip which Mark Schifler never indicated to me through several e-mails, the Bel Canto is a better unit by a good margin, at least tonally. Other than the superb s/n and micro/macro dynamics of the P.T. unit, the tonality of MY unit was all wrong and unlistenable. I heard you had a problem with the chip AFTER I SENT MINE BACK but NO ONE from P.T. ever let me know about it and ALL I got back from Mark was his surprise that I was having problems. It seems EVERYONE with a field sample (30 or so according to Mark) was quite happy with the unit. I say this, if you have one legitimate complaint concerning a product (My first e-mail I didn't receive a response on until one week later during which time I sent the unit back) all efforts should be made to find out what the problem is. ESPECIALLY A NEW PRODUCT!! You folks never did follow up with me am I am disappointed. Maybe the problem could have been fixed or maybe SOMEONE could have let me try another unit. I received nothing but a polite e-mail from Mr. Schifler that indirectly indicated my problem was ISOLATED. In my estimation, not a very good business practice for a new company. I do however commend you on your 30 day money back guarantee and say that there is really no risk for those who haven't heard the unit.
I shipped my Bel Canto Dac-1 back one week ago for the upgrade and a hummmmming problem. I receive it back today (a lot faster than I anticipated) I am sure I need to break it in again however it sounds very good. There seems to be increased dynamics and a bigger more detailed bass. I am sure I should put at least 48 hours of use on the Dac-1 until I will really know what I hear.
Lak, let us know how it comes around! Charlie
Lak When you say "seems to be" is that I THINK there is or yeah this thing kicks ah ah ah....We can talk ourselves into believing things we want to hear but when we REALLY
boy I hate that. Just when you're in the middle of a thought what do you do, you hit the wrong key ...... HEAR something it should be quite apparent. At least to me. I don't want to struggle to discern minute differences. Could you clearly hear an improvement in DYNAMICS which is suppose to be a significant improvement in the upgrade and to my ears an area that the Bel Canto could well improve on.
I will get back to you after I do some additional listening. I say this because I use it with my Cary 2A3 monoblocks (5 watts/ch.) and a Conrad Johnson 11-A (70 watt). I only tried it last night on the CJ. I wll know what there is to hear after I demo both amps. Later tonignt!
All right boys and girl, here is what I hear using the upgraded Bel Canto Dac-1; All music (individual instuments, hand held percussion, bass including vocals) are more detailed, have a richer more dimensional sound with better resolution and body. I listened to 8 cd's I know extreamly well and heard small details that I never heard before. It was also as if a layer had been peeled off and I was closer to the music (this happens to me every time I make a significant upgrade). Please keep in mind this is a game of diminishing returns, for me it was worth the $150 plus one way shipping and insurance. I am happy with the upgraded Bel Canto Dac-1. Others of course mignt feel differently. I have not had the oppertunity to compare the Dac-1 to any competitor other than the Birdland Dac (send me other Dac's and I will do an A/B comparison)! Components used: Salamander archetype 5.0/Megaspikes, Chang Lightspeed 6400, Audio Points on all components, Silver Audio Symphony 48 speaker cable, Klipsch KLF 30 Series Towers (102 dB), Silver Audio Appassionata interconnects, Cary 94 Pre-amp/Silver Audio Power Burst PC, Wadia #20 Transport/Black Mamba PC, Illuminations D-60 digital cable, Bel Canto Dac-1/Black Mamba PC, Cary SE 2A3 Monoblocks (5 watts per ch)/Eel Reference PC and/or Conrad-Johnson 11-A amp. I hope this is helpful!
Thanks Lak. It appears that there is an improvement and for 150 clams sounds as though it might be worth it. One question though, did you notice an improvement in dynamic contrasts micro/macro dynamics or does it remain polite and evenhanded?
Tubegroover, I'd say polite and evenhanded. However I will say this; those little 5 watt monoblocks were really pounding out some highs, mids and lows, better than I had expected! Its hard for me to comment on the CJ 11-A because I am use to hearing it on a pair of Legacy Studio speakers. Now that I use the Klipsch 102 dB with either amp, obviously the CJ rocks the sound room.
Lak can I ask you how did the Bel canto compare with the Birdland dac
Chucky, I addressed that question in another thread; however, I don't remember the name. Using web tv it's a pain in the butt to go back and find it, so here goes from memory: I demoed the Bel Canto DAC-1 and the Birdland DAC (I forget the exact name) in my listening room (lair) using a Legacy (Coda) SS high current amp, Cary pre-amp and Legacy Signature III speakers. For the money I thought they were both good. I obviously purchased the BC. I thought it had greater bass extension and more detail. I have heard others say the opposite. Perhaps if I used the Birdland without pre-amp it would have sounded different, more fulfilling. Or maybe I needed to demo it longer to break it in. However, I used it for the specified length of time that was allowed. I wonder how much better the Birdland DAC would sound if it had a removable AC cord so you could use a power cord of your choice. I hope this is of some assistance, I would love to compare the upgraded BC to the Birdland.