Find an NAD or Primare CDP, and mate it to a Denafrips Ares DAC.
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I replaced my tube cdp with a SimAudio 260d transport, Chord Qute Dac and a Empirical Audio BNC to BNC Digital Cable.
Call Steve Nugent at Empirical Audio and even if you don't buy the equipment I listed. Give that digital cable a shot. It was $250 and came with a 30 day money back. Best digital cable I have come across.
Well the dac you get used for around $600. Go to hifishark.com and type in Chord Qute hd. Also I highly recommend the MCRU Linear Power Supply. About $340. Here is a link below
As far as transport maybe check out the Cambridge CXC Brand New for only $400? Used PS Audio Perfect Waves for $1000 which you noted on your original post.
$250 for the Empirical Digital Cable (541) 595-1001 (a must) email@example.com
Thats about $2200 total with the Perfect Wave... $600 less with the CXC.
aniwolfe; thanks for providing more information. The difference between a transport like the Cambridge and the PS Audio, as you surely must know, is that the PS Audio stores the digital data in memory first, and then plays it. I do not want to get involved in computer audio but this seems like a way to get similar benefits. It turns out that the Schiit Gungnir I'd hoped to demo, would cost me $200 (Schiit's 5% fee + shipping) should I elect to return it, which seems awfully expensive to me. I'm open to any alternatives I can demo affordably. I stopped purchasing gear I could not first hear in my system, in my room, years ago. Is the Empirical cable HDMI or Toslink?
Empircial Cable Info:
This is a 75 ohm low-loss cable that Empirical Audio makes. It has true 75 ohm BNC connectors. The 75 ohm coax cable contains a center pure silver conductor and silver-plated copper shield over foil. The dielectric is expanded Teflon. The BNC-BNC cable comes with two 75 ohm RCA adapters so you can connect to any S/PDIF coax connector
aniwolfe; I asked because my impression (based on 6Moons review)
is that the best sound to be gotten from the PS Audio player is via the PSA I2S interface, which is accessed via HDMI, not coax. I am a total newbie at this DAC stuff, though, so I could very well be mistaken.
aniwolfe; here's the (I think) relevant quote:
"For communication between separate transport and DAC, S/PDIF transmission via coaxial cable became the standard. The clear advantage of I²S is that the four signals of Master Clock, Bit Clock, Word Clock and music data are sent down a cable in separate paralleled conductors. S/PDIF combines them in a serial stream and the DAC receiver must ‘unzip’ the various signals and process them further. Clearly I²S has many advantages. It’s simply curious that PS Audio opted for the HDMI standard as the physical carrier for its I²S interface".