47 views and no responses - OK I'm going to assume it was a stupid question... :-)
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Stanwal and Elderoth2 both posted in December, talking about results from a HiFiCritic magazine test that rated several DACs on a point system:
Pro-Ject USB BOX @ 100 GBP - 22 points
Firestone Audio Fubar II USB @ 124 GBP - 25 points
MF V-DAC @ 150 GBP - 42 points
CA DacMagic @ 230 GBP - 32 points
Acustic Energy DAC @ 800 GBP - 26 points
Benchmark DAC1 Pre USB @ 1633 GBP - 24 points
HiFiCritic also said the MF V-DAC had the lowest jitter measured.
Still, I want a new amp too, so a refurb Decco is economical for me, looks cool too. Horrible remote tho. I just thought I would toss this thread out there and see if anyone had a strong preference, but I think it might fall along NOS lines, V-DAC oversamples, I think. I want the best sound.
Does the Decco re-clock the signal? I don't know if the V-DAC does either. I don't think either one does.
The Decco is a simple all=in=one solution that is economical and saves space. I use mine in the bedroom. I don't like the amp that much. Most of the posters have added an outboard amp at some time so that raises the cost. In my case it is in the bedroom and I am using a T-amp. Works great and only costs $80. I don't play it very loud and the sound is great. I stream wireless from my G4 Apple to AE and use a Lifatec mini-to-standard Toslink. Works great, sounds great. Good luck and have fun!
Tgrisham - great suggestion regarding the choice of toslink cable. This is the first company I have seen that makes me confident buying plastic over glass (>GASP< what did I just write??!?)...
What is a T-amp? I am not getting a Decco if the amp is bad - I will stick with the MF V-DAC and buy an NAD or a CA 650 or a Music Hall on demo/clearance later.
I have the newer idecco version and I agree that the amp is rubbish. wish I would have just bought the idac. I also say the preamp in the decco is sub par. Dac is the only usefull part. Unhappy altogether. I wouldn't be surprised if the v-Dac is better. I'm sure I would be happier with my pocketbook!
The V-DAC is a good product, but I disagree about the comments on the Decco/iDecco. In the setup you're describing, the Decco would be better in my mind. Unless you're expecting the amp to sound as good or better than a $5-600 amp, the amp isn't complete rubbish. It's not the most detailed or dynamic amp I've ever heard, but it's balanced fairly well and it's plenty musical. Also, the preamp is pretty good. You can get the newer iDecco for ~$800 right now, and I can't think of one preamp I've heard in that price range that I would definitively take over the iDecco. I think you can find a used preamp for the same money that's better, but that's a different story. I like it as much or more than anything I've had from NAD. I actually do use an outboard amp, but that's mainly because I've been in the mood for some tube rolling lately.
All in all, if it would be replacing an older receiver or you'd be going with NAD and the V-DAC, I have to believe, that you'd be just as happy (if not more) with the Decco in that setup.
Although I appreciate the recent comments, my system has totally transformed. I moved the B&W 685s and the HSU sub into my HT setup. You can see my current 2-channel setup in my system link. I still don't have a DAC, and that is probably the very next purchase. Unless I come into some kind of windfall and can afford a speaker upgrade. Either way, its going to be a while until my next purchase! The MF V-DAC MkII, and the PS Audio Digital Link 3 are probably my top contenders right now, Music Hall and Cambridge Audio aren't far behind. Schiit also has a new DAC out, and Peachtree's DacIt looks good. I sometimes see Benchmark DAC1s in the under-$700 range. Plenty of decent options!
I haven't heard either unit; the music halls have vacuum tubes in them, but only on one set of outputs, either the balanced or the unbalanced outputs, I can't remember which. The Bifrost is solid state, so it would be interesting to compare it to both the solid state and tubed output from the MH 25.3...
I have heard the ESS Sabre DAC that is in the Peachtree DACiT and was quite impressed.