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I got mine used so it was already broken in. I wouldn't doubt at least 200 hrs. I use the aes/ebu input (purist audio anniversary) and balanced outs (Tara labs the one) with a shunyata python ac cord. My source is a squeezebox touch into an esoteric g25u upsampler/clock, feeding the dac a 176.2 signal (1.24 filter)and it absolutely sings. The dac sits on herbie audio tender feet and 2component top weights. The dac really hums. The herbs really did reduce the transformer noise. Enjoy the dac. It is awesome. My bass frequencies are articulated, deep and very well defined. The dac is capable of it. Try the 1.24 filter.
Gladly. The Berkeley replaced a benchmark dac. The Berkeley is more resolving and threw a wider and deeper soundstage. The biggest difference was that the music through the bada just sounded right. The touch into the dac sounds great but up sampling the touch with the g25u (replaced a monarchy combo which up sampled to 96k) brought it to a fascinating level. Increased air, detail and resolution. Picth black backgrounds and an absolute ease in listening. No fatigue at all. I can hear deeper into the music and have more tonal colors (the reeds, vocals, cymbals, bass strings). They sound much more like the real thing. Eerie, actually. I use 172k instead of 196k as it is a natural multiplier of 44.1. I will experiment with the 196k again in future.
I have been using the Berkeley for over a year now. I do think it went through some changes over the first month or so and a fellow member who received his around the same time had similar thoughts. I find the dac very sensitive to changes in digital cables. That sort of surprised me. I spoke with Michael Ritter about recommended digital outputs and cables. He strongly encouraged using the AES3 and with some prompting suggested a Straightwire digital cable. I did experiment with that cable and went through a lengthy trial of many others, all price points. This included Kubala Sosna, Stealth, Nordost, and many more. The no contest best in my system, for my taste, was MIT. I used the Digital Proline Reference for a while and eventually decided to invest in the Oracle MA-X. I am very pleased with the cable.
I also do find the dac sensitive to power cables and power devices. I won't bore you with the list I have tried but I currently use an Acoustic Revive Power Reference plugged into an Acoustic Revive RTP Ultimate. I also do like the MIT Oracle Z3 for a little more neutrality (the AR stuff leans to the warmer side).
I also use Logitech stuff, a Transporter currently. I plan to change this as I have the Berkeley Alpha USB converter on order. I have no idea if this will be better but figured I liked the dac so much I would try their proprietary interface.
Enjoy the BADA!
*** for Dennis:
my question about Logitech Squeezebox was simple: when I connect it to BADA i disliked the sound from this device. With the same cables, the digital output of my Acute CD (essentially Arcam stuff in digital section) sounds many times better than the Touch.
Because of this early experience I decided to ask in this forum, to BADA owners like you, which is your best configuration, thank you for sharing!
Actual digital cable is a MIT shotgun. I also tried a Kimber D60 with poor results... and now...
*** for Richard:
as you can read a couple of rows above, in these first days I discovered the BADA is very sensible to the digital cable :D and with MIT I taken the same direction of you, very intresting...
Is your cable a Shotgun or another model from MIT ?
Because, in this moment, EAR Acute is superior in global musicality imho and in my setup of course, but my intention is to let the BADA sound at its best.
My main perplexity is the (imho everytime!) poor performance on bass frequencies, especially the lowest ones, this is the reason because I asked about breaking-in. To clarify: in the last month I listen in my system a Vitus SCD10 with superb bass and even an Hegel DAC that was not bad at all. Both equipment was breaked-in. I'm sure I'm missing something but it is too early maybe to have a definitive opinion.
the filter I'm currently using is 1.24
I have an update: now, after 15 days of uninterrupted functioning, the sound has changed a lot, better bass frequencies but I can say globally better.
Somewhere I found a suggestion about breaking-in time of approx 200 hours and now I can confirm this is the right time for the Berkeley.
I can also confirm that the BADA sounds very well with MIT digital cables. About interconnects in my setup the Cardas Clear interconnects are not the best solution. I will try next week the Kubala Sosna Emotion and Kimber KS1130. I know Cardas Clear was not good also with Vitus CD but for EAR setup they are very good.
FOr power cables at the moment I haven't try anything due to not add too much variables ;-)
Stay Tuned. The BADA is starting to sing and it has a beautiful voice :-)
Great to hear. Mine does sound amazing. I found the Herbie footers do a good job at reducing the transformer hum. I use the 1.24 filer as well. I also found the power conditioner made a difference on sound. My Shunyata Hydra sounds much better than the Richard Gray 1200S (with the BADA plugged into it).
"Once your Berkeley is broken in, i'd love to hear your impressions how the Berkeley compares to the Ear Acute...thank you"
Yes, I would too. I found it a little curious that you would write that the Ear sounded better, but you are continuing on with the BADA as if you presume an outboard DAC has to sound better than a one-box player. That's not necessarily true. Have you tried changing the tubes in the EAR? They make a big difference.
My new Berkeley broke in quickly with subtle changes rather than anything major. I leave it powered up most of the time.
I also tried a number of mostly balanced digital cables but ended up liking the Oyaide 510 terminated with bnc's very much. This cable has the added benefit of being very reasonably priced.
One word of caution, the bass was initially extremely exaggerated and bloated (really bad) to the point that I almost got rid of the cable.
Gradually over about a month the bass become tighter and more realistic and the best I'd tried with the Berkeley. If you decide to try the Oyaide you must give it time to settle in.
BTW: My cable was cryo'd although I'm not sure this makes any difference or not. Definitely don't want to argue about it. 8^)
Maz65, forgot to mention, I owned an EAR Acute as well. Really liked the sound, especially with some tube rolling, but felt the CD transport was a bit on the cheesy side.
As far as I could tell most everything was replaced in the Acute except the transport. Just curious, did you check out the EAR stand alone DAC at all?