dCS Elgar plus vs. Delius - confused

This is pretty confusing for me...
I've been on dCS page,and it seems to me that Delius is "trickled-down" version of Elgar plus,with some added features.It seems to me that Delius can accept DSD data.Can Elgar plus do that?For instance,can they both accept cd-upsampled-to-DSD data from Verdi La Scala transport?
One more thing - do both of these DACs feature volume control in digital domain?Is it accesible both on the unit and on the remote?
Delius has adjustable output voltage ("up to 6V").What other values are there for output voltage?This is very important to me.
Has anyone heard both of these DACs?
Those who have heard both - which one would you rather own?
Please help-i am puzzled here
neither try and MSB Tech Platium DAC you maybe plesantly surprised
Hi audiobb,

Delius DAC was a no-frills version of the dCS DAC. My understanding is that it has a less costly power supply and less costly casework than Elgar Plus but is otherwise the same.

In relation to the Firewire/1394/DSD input, this is a matter of chronology not model. Late model Delius and Elgar Plus both have it. Early models don't. Don't buy either if it doesn't have the 1394 input (that's assuming you have a transport with 1394 output).

The other output voltage is 2V.

Both have volume control in digital domain. My Delius remote appears to have volume control although I've never used it (I have integrated amp so the digital volume is set permanently to highest value - 0db). If you run the DAC straight into a power amp, the switchable output voltage is used in conjunction with the digital volume to put the fine control into the right loudness area for the listening room.

I own Delius but haven't heard Elgar Plus in an A-B situation.

Delius will always be cheaper for same age and features. My advice is to get the latest model in the best condition that you can. Then if you can afford what sellers are asking for Elgar Plus, go for that. If not, Delius is still stunning.

The dCS stack is wonderful with either DAC. It is uncompromising and won't tart up the sound if it's not on the disc, so if that's your desire, look elsewhere.

Note that you can download the dCS manuals in PDF from the site. Thay are as detailed as you could want.

Finally, if you do buy dCS stack, upgrade the Firewire cable from the one supplied. There are big gains from using the Esoteric 8N-6p-6pi cable.
Hi Gtfour45,

Thanks a lot for your very helpfull answer.
I am not sure yet is Elgar plus capable of accepting 24bit/192 kHz data?
For instance,if someone uses a Purcell in front of Elgar and feeds it 24/192,is Elgar plus able to process it?
As i understood,with Purcell,you can feed it with any (RCA,BNC or Toslink) 16bit/44.1kHz data,and get out of it anything you want?24/96,24/194 or even DSD at Firewire output?
Yes, Elgar Plus accepts 24/196 with their dual AESBU. And I also second Gtfour45 opinion in that replacing the stock firewire cable is a worthwhile upgrade. In my case using all Siltech cablings. Prior to fw cable change have always preferred their dual AESBU, whereas now, mostly listens to the DSD up-sampled format.
Do consider including their Verona master clock in the stack if budget permits. Another 'very worthwhile' difference! Making the whole musical presentation more analogue and relax sounding, with you feeling just more 'there' there.

Also pay particular attention to cabling - ICs, power cords and good AC too. Otherwise they might leave one the impression of being a tad cold / clinical as often wrongly perceived by some. Having lived with them happily for 5yrs now, I can confidently say that they are anything but "that". When optimally set up, imo it still is one of the better digital playback system worthy of respect today.

And I believe, with their newer releases, classic DCS stack could be snap up quite reasonably in the second hand market now (thus very good value). Hope all this help. Best!
To the best of my knowledge DCS DACs do not use a volume control in the digital domain, rather they use a switched analogue attenuation network. I have found the DAC attenuator to be less intrusive than any preamp that I have inserted afterward,

Hi audiobb,

You are right - if you have a Purcell and a 1394-equipped Delius or Elgar Plus, you can feed in native CD sample rate and choose which upsampled rate you want to listen to, all the way up to the DSD rate. So if you want to make the effort, you can decide "I like CD A best upsampled at 96kHZ, but prefer CD B at 192 and CD C, D, E and F at DSD".

The Purcell can also take a range of different rates as input (see the website for the exact values).

There's a good review in the on-line Stereophile archives (about 2003 I think) that goes through the possibilities.

You haven't said what you are considering as transport, so I should mention that dCS Verdi is a transport only and requires a Purcell for upsampling, whereas Verdi LaScala and its replacement Verdi Encore have DSD upsampling built-in.

That means you don't need a Purcell, but then your choices are limited to CD upsampled to DSD through the Firewire or CD at its native rate through another digital input.

You can still use a Purcell with the LaScala and Encore, to get the wider range of upsampling choices.

It gets a bit complicated...
Hi everybody,

Thanks a lot for your answers.Gtfour45,it does get a little bit complicated.Upgrade after upgrade after upgrade etc.I started searching for a good DAC,and Elgar plus and Delius emerged.I am looking for a DAC with volume control in digital domain.I think both of these DACs have digital volume control,as mentioned in Stereophile.

I am usually not a fan of digital volume control,but i will soon own a pair of mono attenuators using only Vishay S102,so it will be possible for me to adjust the volume using them. Dig. vol. control is there only to be used with remote near the top of the range,so i don't have to get up every time i want to listen a bit less loud.

I am still in doubt whether to go dCS or not,as it seems there is no end.First Elgar plus,then Purcell,then Verona,cables..Seems like a long way to go.

Bvdiman,thanks for the info.I like the idea of having the possibility to change the sound with different upsampling settings.You are right,this could be very good value second hand with the release of Scarlatti.
I am planning to use my Quad CD-P2 as a transport first (as a player or DAC the bass is somewhat slower,altough tolerable).Then later Verdi,if i go the dCS route.

Still not sure is it maybe better to go in "one-box-solution" direction.It started with P8i,but then i found out there is no Program,Repeat or Random functions.
I don't want to have a 14k player which is not capable of doing things 200$ player can.It just frustrates me.
Puccini has them,but 12.5k$ used is too much for me.
Accuphase seems also as a possible solution (DP-500,or DP-75V or similar,it depends),but i am searching for the fast,tight bass source (among other things).dCS seems more like that.
So many options and questions..
Thanks for the answers everybody!
Also,i just got the information that Elgar plus is capable of upsampling on its own.What sample rates Elgar plus can upsample to?24/96,24/192 and DSD?
If Elgar plus is capable of 24/192 upsampling,then this should give the same result as using a Purcell set to 24/192 output to Elgar plus?
Hi audiobb,

Were I you I would check that information - that Elgar Plus can upsample on its own - very carefully. I believe it to be wrong.

However, I don't own one, so perhaps an Elgar Plus owner can give a definitive answer.
Unfortunately no, Elgar Plus/Delius does the digital-to-analogue conversion only. You will need Purcell or Verdi LaScala to do the up-sampling.
Yes,Bvdiman,you are right.I was misinformed. Elgar plus only accepts data of diff. sample rates.Has anyone had a chance to audition Verona/Purcell 1394/Elgar plus against P8i or Puccini?
I wonder how these would compare to one another..
Some time since this thread was active, but I will add in some comments.
I have the dCS verdi-purcell-verona and elgar + stack and have used it for some years now, apart from the verona which I buy sometimes later.

If money is not an object I think I would go for a full stack, however performance for money I quite sure that the dac is the part i would have pay my money on, I have tried with different transport then the verdi and it still sound superb, the verona clock, I think if you read the review in stereophile their conclusion is correct, it means it is a worthwhile upgrade for an audiofile but I think value for money is not the word to be used, but if you have the fund ok.

Regarding the purcell, if you have more the one source it is ok, for me only using the verdi source i stick with upsampling to DSD and apart from the time I was servising my verdi and using a dvd player as a transport, no other sample rates used.

My brother have the Delius 1394 but I have not use his dac comparing with my one, but I was using his delius when I had my previous cd player and the combination was so good that I decide to go for a full dCS stack.

I'm now tempted to go for the scarlatti stack, but it is expencive but the dealer will take my old one so maybe.

So I'm pleased with dCS, but if I have to choose one unit only, I will go for the dac, it will most likely be the main difference.
If you later on want to invest in dCS transport-upsampler-clock you will have an improvent in performance, but not similar to the dac.

Kind Regards

I agree that the Elgar Plus DAC is the one piece from the classic stack I'd own if able to have just one. I'd pair it with an Esoteric P-70 rather than the Verdi, given my experience owning both transports with dCS DACs.

Blessings to you and all for a healthy and happy 2009.

John, I agree about the Verdi it's an anchor on the stack.

You cannot realize how good the Elgar plus is until you lose
the Verdi and hear the it with the new DCS Paganini trans. I have not heard the Esoteric Trans.
Regards, Alan