I haven't heard this unit yet. From the description by a few audiophiles I've communicated with and one whose ears I trust. The Attraction DAC
is the cats meow. If I had the loot to do both, I would have your music server/ cd player combined with this DAC. I believe you would be in for some of the best digital playback possible today.
This is the combo I'm looking at as well.
Some good reviews on the Attraction DAC, but charging close to $1600 for one of the worst DACs, the TDA1543 ($2 a chip) with it's high distortion and low resolution, seems a bit much. I know he did some proprietary work, but this is something you can put together for a hundred bucks in parts cost with some soldering skill. Don't get me wrong - I like the sound of the TDA1543 myself with it's immediate, live sound but I think it's due to disortion akin to the classic tube sound. But it's still over priced IMO. If like that sound, it doesn't matter I guess.
Dracule1..one question..have you heard it? This DAC complete sales for $1250. From all I've communicated with, this IS NOT a standard 1543 DAC.Proprietary developement cost. No one else can claim their digital playback equipment does what this DAC does..not even the most expensive cd players or DACs in the world. So for the fellows that can afford $15,000 cd players.. this unit cost peanuts.Charles can pretty much charge what he likes..he holds the patent.$1250 for claimed SOTA sound is a bargain...though a unit like this may piss a few off that have spent more and gotten less. Where I'm from they call this Playa Hating..LOL.
Gmood, you make a good point - I have not heard the DAC. I was not commenting on the actual sound of the unit, but the the unit's cost relative the cost of its parts. Yes, for those who spend $15k on a CDP, this is peanuts. But then again someone who spends that much on a CDP needs his head examined. BTW, for all the bells and whistles, the Attraction DAC is close to $1600 as reviewed on PFO.
"No one else can claim their digital playback equipment does what this DAC does..not even the most expensive cd players or DACs in the world." Based on the website, his proprietary work is not revolutionary. And yes, it's only a "claim", and it doesn't necessarily make a DAC better or worse. They're are DIYers out there who are just as innovative, if not more, who go against the conventional hype in high end. I'm not trying to discredit this DAC - but when there is too much hype attached to a unit, it usually just that "hype". My 20+ years in highend audio has taught me that. So like all things in high end, it's all a matter of taste. One man's treasure is another man's junk.
If this DAC lives up to its hype, I wish all the success.
Sorry James, did not mean to stray from the subject. Try looking into Scott Nixon's tube DAC, Ack! DAC, various DACs from LiTe Audio - they are all reasonably priced from $200-700.
My Olive Musica should come back soon with Bolder Cable modifications. I'll look for new Exempler DAC ($1699) or new Monarchy M24 DAC to pair it with my TacT 2.2xp...
BTW, the Monarchy M24 DAC is a rebadged, modified DAC from LiTe Audio. The unmodded LiTe Audio DAC is close to half the price. You'd be surprised how many US manufacturers do mods to a Chinese unit and rebadge and sell it for significantly higher price - one of the worst culprit being Red Rose Music and their rebadged Dusson units from China.
What about the Olive Opus? It's supposed to have a high end DAC built in. I think Jeff Kalt, of Resolution Audio, had a hand in it's design?
The opus is without a doubt a better machine, but the price is much higher as well. I plan on using the musica with a $500-750 preowned DAC for as good, I hope, results.
I see ...and thats a good plan IMO. You get more bang for your buck on the used market, and if the DAC doesnt suit you, or if you want to upgrade, it wont be very difficult or costly.
If you want a DIY DAC a good choice is the Rakk Dac from K&K Audio. I am currently using one with a Musica with Great results. http://www.kandkaudio.com/
I am also using one with the DEQX 2.6p which is a little more than a DAC but I am getting good results from it as well.
I know it's been discussed before, but how about the benchmark vs. the audio mirror. They are very different animals, but for my use with the olive which is preferred. I doubt the olive will have the finest transport mechanism so are upsampling and jitter control an important issue?
The point of the transport on the Olive is to make a copy of your CD onto the hard drive, not to play CDs directly from the transport. Using hard drive, in theory, is much better than a CD transport in terms of noise. HD proponents claim that it is better than any CD transport out there, no matter the cost. For us that's the most important aspect of HD based music servers, besides the unbridled convenience of accessing all of your CD collection in a matter of seconds. Long as your DAC has a USB connection, you can play directly from the HD. "That's all I have to say about that." - Forest Gump.
The Olive units use a rca type dig. out connector so any dac can be used! The usb connections (2) are for adding outboard HD's...
I run my Olive Opus 3 aka musica through a tube audio designs TADAC and love the sound. It sounds better than my current audiphile grade CD player.
The olive has seperate analog RCA L & R outputs and also seperate pure digital outputs using optical and coaxial connections. A new Opus 4 is coming out. The old Opus 3 and Musica had a decent dac in them and the benefit of being able to back up your music on a hard drive.
Most DACS can be used with it. Just be sure the DAC handles the format that you put on the disk, as the output is pure digital and not converted back from how it is stored.