I have owned my Hegel H80 for two plus years, and am investigating a dac upgrade as well. Currently am using a Bryston BDP-pi digital player into the Hegel internal dac, powering a set of Vandersteen VLR speakers. Kimber Kabyle interconnect, speaker wire and power cable. Considering Hegel HD 12 and HD25 dacs, although somewhat dated. Also considering Mytek Liberty, which just received a great review in Stereophile at $995. Will report back with findings.
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Nice to hear about your experience. I have a few questions:
a) prior to getting the Mytek, were you feeding the Hegel onboard DAC with the USB or the SPDIF output of the Bryston BDP-Pi.. and what if any differences did you notice?
b) did you notice a difference when you switched from the stock power cable to the Kimber power cable? Which version of the cable did you get?
b) On the Mytek Liberty, are you using single ended to Hegel or balanced via a converter.?
thanks much and congrats!
I'd go with a Metrum Amethyst, especially if you can find one used. It's their entry-level R2R NOS DAC, but a good amount of proprietary technology is trickled down from their much pricier models. I'd think it would be a significant step up from your amp's internal DAC.
Here's a review FYI...
Best of luck.