I have a Chord DAC64, in conjunction with a CEC TL1X, and couldn't be happier (except perhaps with a Burmester combo!)
This is my first experience with separate transport/dac combinations, having replaced a Wadia 830. I only know that I've gotten rid of most of my objections to CDs, primarily the shrill, etched, sibilance that I've found in the past. I can't honestly say I fully enjoy every CD I have (there are good and bad recordings in all formats) but I now enjoy MORE of them than I have in the past.
My $0.02, and worth every penny!
I also have a CEC TL1-X and a Chord DAC, the combination has been wonderful, sure the Accuphase DP-85 and the Audio Aero Capitole Special edition are a league of their own, but the Chord DAC is a wonderful piece of machinery, but you have to have at least 20 hours of break in time before you really start to listen...also I have sold my Chord to take ZANDEN which is the closest you can get to the Elgar DAC. Best regards, Joe
Really it not even in the same league as audio aero capitole
because i have seen people upgrade from audio aero to chord in audio asylum site and he said there also impovement over the capitole. However what is the ZANDEN, just wondering, never heard them before.
I used the Classe dac & transport for years, switched to the EAD Ultradisc 2000 & now to the Chord. I loved the convenience of the single box EAD & believe it to be a superbly musical product. Once I had the Chord in my system however, there was absolutely no way back. As Jim says, all discs benefit from the Chord's sophisticated design: every listening session extends into the wee small hours as delight succeeds delight. Until the Chord I never even considered the possibility that redbook cd could overtake vinyl in my hierarchy. It has now.
Barry---I'm delighted that you agree with me, and for the same reasons.
I had just about given up on CDs, and still find very little of interest in available SACDs or DVD-As. If those formats are successful, the situation should change for the better, but for now I simply don't want to start duplicating what I presently have, either on LP or CD. There's not much attraction to me in old analog masters that have been trotted out to flesh out the SACD repertoire.
I happened on the Chord DAC64 purely by accident: I was in a local store that has a limited selection of CDs, and noticed issue 14 of HiFi+, a mag I'd never even heard of. Browsing through the mag, I noticed the review of the DAC64, and it appeared that here was something out of the ordinary, not the usual over-/up-sampling that is pretty common. (So I found not only a new piece of equipment, but another magazine as well. Beautifully presented, but full of typos, misspelled words, and grammatical errors, I'm sad to say.)
Later I found Delve Audio's ad on Audiogon, contacted Oliver, and bought a unit. Had to wait couple of weeks but it was certainly worth the wait. Oliver cautioned that I should play the unit constantly for at least three weeks for proper burn-in. He was right, and it just kept getting better and better. I've had the unit several months now and I swear it's still improving! I still love analog, and have no plans to abandon that format, but the Chord/CEC combo has convinced me that the depths of CD sound are just now being plumbed---in the same way that modern analog equipment is only now revealing the true quality of LPs.
Hi everyone, So did you guys try others dac as well before brought the chord. Is it really outperform twice the price dac and cd player.
I don't know if I would say that the Chrod is not in the same league as the Audio Aero. I only saw one thread like that, and the guy (who actually did a review on the Chord) commented on the improved bass. I can believe it, given the tube output of the Audio Aero, but the guy never did an A/B on the two because he sold one and bought the other. He had owned the Chord 5 months before writing the review, and mentioned the differences from his memory of what the Audio Aero sounded like. There is also a thread on Audio Review.com under the reviews of the MF X-Ray CD player where the guy claims it outperformed the Chord.
I'm sure the Chord is a great DAC, and I would have bought one to try out had it not been for the lack of an RCA input (which seems incredible to me). Over the last two years, I've been testing a lot of DACs, and the ones that use the Anagram Technologies resampler (Audio Aero, Audiomeca, and Camelot) all perform extremely well and are some of my favorites. What I have noticed is that, after a certain price point, the differences in DACs are extremely small, and one is never clearly better than the other, but may be more to your liking. For instance, I prefer the Camelot Uther Mk4 over the Audiomeca Enkianthus for it's enhanced bass response and dynamics. My buddy prefers the Audiomeca for it's smooth and analog like presentation. There is a law of diminishing returns in high-end audio, but I think it is even more prevelant in digital.
Now I'll throw another wrench in the machinary. I put a Tact 2.0 in the chain, and the differences between DACs became even more negliable. Why? The Tact corrects time and frequency problems with room and speaker interaction. It does this by analyzing a series of impluse tones generated by a computer program and played through the the speakers. The Tact records the tones through it's own individually calibrated microphone, and compares the results to an accurate sample recorded in it's memory. Then the Tact corrects the deficiencies through time and frequency response. The system suddenly and dramatically becomes quieter, more coherent, and much more accurate. I was blown away by how this piece virtually eliminates tuning a system to a certain sound through equipment substitution. The difference between a system without the Tact and with it are amazing, especially if you have an untuned room or problems in the system. I consider the Tact indispensible. I sold my 2.0 to a friend who loved what it did in his system, and ordered a 2.2X, which includes a digital crossover to better integrate my subwoofer.
Now to the point. The Tact now comes with a 24/192 upsampler DAC as a $490. option. Combine that with room correction, and it may yet be the best DAC yet. The 2.0 I had did not have a DAC in it, so I couldn't make any comparisons. The 24/192 DAC for the 2.0 was not available yet. I should have the 2.2X in about two weeks. If it works as well as i think it does, I can elimnate a pre-amp and outboard DAC in my system, along with the cables that tie them togerther. Stay tuned.
Chris--I didn't try anything else, since, as I said, all other DACs appear to use the same up- or over-sampling devices. I'm sure I'll get an argument on this score, but that's my feeling.
As for trying other components, I'd like to know how this realistically can be done. I imagine if I lived in a major metropolitan area there would be shops more than anxious to lend equipment for home trial (although even under those circumstances possibly excluding components as new and rare as the DAC64?), but this is impossible in my town of approx. 35K population. As for auditioning equipment in a shop, I feel this is a lost cause. Room acoustics, equipment combinations,limited audition time,etc.
strike me as making it highly misleading. Chances of getting equipment/room mixes representative of one's actual home environment are slim and none.
No, I may be crazy to do so, but I rely on the "golden ears" of the audio mags, primarily TAS. I can't recall a time when I have been led astray by this method, every component "upgrade" being just that: an upgrade, however subtle. Sometimes there is a more-than-subtle improvement, like the DAC64 accompanied by the CEC transport. (I'm not truly convinced that, as declared in TAS recently, the belt drive feature makes a lot of difference, but the CEC is truly a joy to look at, listen to, and simply to use. Perhaps it's the rather retro feature---the "ritual", if you will---of sliding the glass cover back, removing the weighted platter, placing the CD on the "turntable", etc. that I enjoy.)
As for your question regarding the performance of the Chord, I replaced a Wadia 830 (retail of about $3800 as I recall)with the Chord/CEC combo (for about $6000) and I certainly don't regret the expenditure. It's my feeling that since we are obviously "stuck" with some sort of digital format, at least for the forseeable future, we must go as far as is affordable toward getting the most out of the recordings that we have. Otherwise, we may as well pursue another hobby (read: "addiction").If I could be convinced that a Burmester 001 is another substantial step up, I'd seriously consider its purchase; I'm happy for now, however.
I'm lucky enough to have a Toronto dealer [Ed Stone of Executive Stereo] who has spent most of his life in recording studios. Since he has enough experience & integrity to recognize a 'breakthrough' when he hears it, I took him up on his offer of a loan of the DAC 64. As implied above, my experience with the Classe separates & my casual exposure to other high end cd players had made me extremely skeptical about the medium. The Chord has made me a believer however. It probably wont please 'youngsters' whose hearing has been corrupted by digital audio in general but for those of us who loathe the threadbare antiseptic sterility & typical low resolution of the medium this unit is a godsend.
I did notice a rather teasing term used in this months Hi-Fi News(UK mag)for a review of the "final" version of the Chord 64 DAC in next months issue(which issome three weeks away).
What this consists of I have no idea but thought those who had a unit or were considering one should know some mods or upgrades have been done recently or are about to be done.
To. the dac 64 user
Is their any problem with digital inputs because i heard that the aes/balance input is not work and it's sound bad with optical inputs.
I tried to post earlier but for some reason it didn't go through.
The DAC64 I'm now using (Ser. No. 5100) is actually my second, since we (the dealer, the Chord rep., and I) discovered a defect in the first one (Ser. No. 5063). Not to belabor the point, but I wonder if the "defect" was actually the "major design flaw", as mentioned by "reliable sources". To be brief, my first unit would not play at all---the sound was absolutely garbled--- with my Rotel RCD 950, and incorrectly on certain CDs with my CEC transport, although I had no (discernible) difficulty with my Sony DVD player. Go figure!
The unit I now have continues to perform flawlessly.
As for inputs: I've found the XLR input(using a BEL cable)to be the better of the two---XLR/RCA(using the supplied adapter)---available to me. (The optical output connector on the CEC is incompatible with the Chord input, so I haven't even tried to devise a method of using that inter-connection. Optical connections strike me as just so many unnecessary monkey-motions, going from electronics to optical on one end and vice versa on the other end. So why do it, unless there is a problem with electrical interference in the interconnection?)