I'm waiting too!
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Lang 76 -
I also had an Apollo, and the DAC is far better. I didn't have them at the same time, but I lived with the Apollo for about 4 years, and got rid of it about 3 months ago.
I run an Apple TV gen 1 into the DAC. The ATV reportedly has a good amount of jitter, but the Rega DAC uses proprietary re-clocking.
I'd imagine it would sound great. I don't have an AE, so I can't say for sure. All I can say is that my ATV1 and Rega DAC sound far better than my Apollo did.
I have the first one my dealer got. We opened the box and compared it to a few things and used it with a couple of transports and inputs without any warm up/break in to make sure everything was working and get a rough idea what it sounds like. We didn't try USB.
We couldn't hear any differences between transports and inputs. It was cold, so it sounded not as full and rich as it does now, but it definitely competed with what was at the shop. I have to swing by that shop within the next few days for something else, and I'll try to hear their's compared to the others for my own sake. Their DAC should be fully run in by now, so comparisons will be fair. I'll report what I hear. The other DACs at the time were the Naim DAC, Naim UnitiQute (as a DAC and as a whole unit), and Arcam rDAC.
Kbarkamian - Ok, thanks. So you have the ATV1 with the 160G that actually stores the music files? I think this is probably the better route vs. airport express or ATV 2. Those 2 stream everything from the MAC while you're listing, I think? I think I'm going to follow your setup vs. buying a new CD player now. Thanks!!
I haven't heard the ATV 2, so don't base your opinions on what I said. One or two people said the ATV 2 sounds better, while others have said the ATV 1 is better. Not that I've counted them, but more have said the ATV 1 sounds better, if that helps. Same as everything else in this hobby, I'm afraid.
I can only report what I hear - My ATV1 sounds better with music stored to it's hard drive than when it's streamed. Not a huge night and day difference, but definitely better.
I've stuck with the ATV 1 because of the hard drive. I don't want to have to turn the computer on just to listen to music, and I don't want to deal with streaming issues like dropouts and interference. Everyone's priorities are different.
The ATV 1 is still on Amazon for $150. The ATV 2 is available for $99 at Apple stores. Maybe buy both and compare at home? Make sure you can get a full refund though.
What I can definitively tell you is that my ATV 1 and Rega DAC sound fantastic in my room. If you like the Apollo, I'd bet a lot of money that you'd love the Rega DAC.
I run in our demo Rega DAC for a week or so before doing some comparisons with the Apollo and Saturn.. using either the Saturn or Apollo as a transport. The DAC with Apollo transport is clearly better than the Apollo and also the Saturn (better tone, bigger sound-stage, handles complex music passages better). My listening also showed that the Saturn is a better sounding transport than the Apollo... not a big difference, but most significant difference I hear was that the Saturn/DAC combo had more grunt/weight in the bottom end than the Apollo/DAC combo. I used stock power cords on all items and a $100 Cardas co-ax digital cable to connect to the DAC. So far, I'm really impressed with how the DAC sounds.
Lang 76 -
When you synch all your music to the ATV, use the ethernet connection over the wireless. Far faster. Not that it's fast by any means, but once the stuff is on there, you're all set.
The whole thread is about our findings on the Rega DAC, and mine are about the ATV 1 and Rega DAC. Regardless of our findings, go hear it for yourself. No one's ears and preferences are the same.
So I'm up and running. The Rega DAC sounds amazing. Everything (TV, DVD, Apple TV, CD) sounds warm and detailed. This is a great sounding DAC.
Music through Apple TV sounds really good, but I still think CD sounds much better (through the DAC).
All in all, I would highly recommend the Rega to anyone looking to buy a DAC.
I just purchased this DAC. So far I'm just using it hooked up to my hefty Cayin Cd player, and man it sounds awesome right out of the box. The bass is pretty amazing. I wanted to eventually use it hooked up to my macbook, but have absolutely no experience with the computer as an audio medium, except for itunes and ipods. I understand the mac has a toslink but I don't even know where it is on my computer or what it looks like. What would be a good mini-toslink converter, and what would be a good toslink cable?
The toslink output is shared with the headphone output, from what I've read. insert the mini toslink end into the headphone jack, and you should be good to go.
I haven't used a mini toslink, so no opinions from me. I use a full sized glass toslink cable - Sonicwave - that I bought on Amazon for about $25 shipped. Excellent cable IMO.
Great DAC BTW. I'm loving mine. As good as the Apollo is, and it's certianly deserving of all the great press it got, the DAC is far better for the same price.
Thanks Joshti. Will do. I also plan to check out some of the USB/SPDIF conversion cables. In the meantime, I'm doing some research on these 5 filter settings, and rediscovering my extensive CD collection, which has been gathering dust since I was bitten by the vinyl bug a few years back.
Interesting that filter #5, the minimum phase apodising filter (for CD playback) seems to be the same type of filter used by the famous Meridian CD player. For more plain english info. see http://hifiduino.blogspot.com/2009/05/wm8741-digital-filters.html (Filter #4 in that paper is actually filter #5 in the Rega DAC).
Does anyone have an issue with the RCA jacks on the Rega Dac in terms of grip? Everything looks to be solid build quality on the Rega DAC but the RCA jacks look to be flimsy and of inferior quality. They don't look like they belong on DAC made by Rega IMO. If I didn't know it was Rega I would have thought it was a much cheaper DAC. Does Rega offer an option to improve those RCA jacks?
Rega DAC rear.
What's the issue as far as grip? Are your interconnect cables coming loose easily, or are the RCA jacks wobbly?
I don't have any issues with mine. I didn't throughly inspect them, but had no reason to. If it helps, I used Audioquest King Cobras, which seemed a bit loose on everything (no more loose on the Rega), and now use Kimber Heros with locking RCAs.
I haven't purchased the new Rega DAC yet. I was going to try and find a dealer so I can audition it. I was just starting to do some preliminary research and saw the pics of the rear of the Rega DAC. When I compared it to the Wyred 4 Sound DAC-1 or even the Grant Fidelity DAC-09 or DAC-11 it looked like the Rega's RCA jacks were of inferior quality. The output jacks of my much older stock McCormack DAC-1 looked more solid which then lead to my previous post. I was just curious about the RCA jacks.
Good to know you aren't having issues with SQ of the Rega DAC and that those RCA jacks are holding up. I was planning to use Outlaw Audio PCA ICs with it which have a locking feature but are a bit bulky. I was also thinking of using MAC Velvet ICs which aren't so bulky and grip really well.