McCormack DAC-1 Deluxe

Category: Digital

I recently purchased a near mint McCormack DAC-1 Deluxe for $285 in the hopes that it would cure the "digititis" of my old sony 5 disc CDP 75es. I ran a 1M Sonicwave 280 glass fiber toslink from the sony cd to the DAC and used the RCA outs into my Luxman R-117 receiver. When playing CDs, I used the CD bypass on the receiver which essentially bypasses the preamp controls and connects the CD player to the receiver's amp.
First I noticed an increase in gain which may be due to the short length &/or other properties of the toslink and I now have my volume at the ten to eleven o'clock position instead of the twelve to one o'clock position. There has been an increase in the width of the soundstage and the space between and outside my magnepan 1.6 QRs has filled in and there is slightly more depth. There is a noticible increase in the attack and decay of notes and a large increase in both micro and macro dynamics. It gives the maggies the "sizzle" of good electrostatics. It is as if a few layers of gauze were removed from the speakers. There is much more authority to the bass which gives even these smaller maggies the bass slam I remember of the old tympanies. On recordings well known to me, I am hearing details I never heard before. I have heard these speakers being driven by Classe electronics with a Classe 1.5 CD player and I have heard the speakers with a Krell 300il and Meridian 508 CD player and the sound was not even close to what I have, although I'm sure some of the perceived differences are due to the different room acoustics. That said, if you want to keep an older multidisc redbook CD player and still have great audiophile sound, look for a Deluxe McCormack DAC-1. I can't think of more bang for the buck than this DAC on the used market especially when you take into account that the upgrade from the standard McCormack DAC-1 alone cost $250.
I have used a DAC-1 for a long time and find it to be very musical. I have auditioned a number of the 'latest, high-tech, upsampling, zillion bit, high priced' D/AC's along the way and have always gone back to the McCormack for the pleasing way that it sounds.
I concur that the DAC 1 Deluxe is a great sonding unit(used one for several years).Great "bang for the buck" can also be found with the Soundstream DAC(designed by Krell Digital).
Has anyone ever compared the McCormack DAC-1 Deluxe to the stock McCormack DAC-1? What are the differences in sound qualities between the both of them? What are the physical differences between them both? As of late it is almost impossible to find a DAC-1 Deluxe for sale here. To find either one in nice condition for under $300 is quite rare as well. The OP was very lucky to find a DAC-1 Deluxe for $285 IMO.
I have one I am about to list for $450 and I hate to let it go. I've had it now for going on over 15 years and have never heard anything better. I paid over $600 for it 15 years ago! So you better believe the guy who said he got it for $285 is ONE Heck of a LUCKY GUY!

Unfortunately, the economy has forced me to sell almost everything of value I own. My McCormac system is the last to go almost besides some of my book collection.