Upsampling DACS: Take the Pepsi Challenge

HAs anyone used 2 of the following 3 relatively inexpensive upsampling DACs: Perpetual technologies, Bel Canto, MSB Link 3 with upsampling upgrade?? I am trying to sort out the details of the new technologies. The Perp Tech can "interpolate", while the others do not. I am under the impression that the "24 bit" part of this new technology has to do with s/n ratios aroung 140 db, which is great, but a little useless considering the other equipment in the system. The sampling freq is the part that has me all aflutter, because it seems to be getting closer to analog quality "infinite sampling" if you will... What do you think? Has anyone compared these dacs?? Thanks, gang.

Showing 2 responses by kweifi

I too have been worrying about this problem. The problem is that one really has to listen to these DACs to compare them and it is not possible to find dealers that carry more than one line. It becomes especially difficult with the various upgrades available and the availability of kits. I was considering the Bel Canto, the MSB LINK (and its various variants), and the Sonic Frontiers Assemblage D2D-1 upsampler and the 2.6 and 3.0 DACs. I was leaning toward the Assemblage stuff but heard from friends that the kits were difficult to assemble (especially with the upgraded components). I also went to hear and compare the dCS Purcell/Delius combo with the Mark Levinson Reference 30.6, both using a ML 31.5 transport. (I thought that the dCS sounded better, but not by much). I then heard really good things about the Dodson DA217 MkIID upsampling DAC (, and will have one on approval for a week or so at my home in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know of the out come.
I have been trying out a Dodson DA217 MkIID upsampling DAC in my system and it sounds fantastic. It has MUCH better soundstaging, tonal balance (musicality), bass and treble extension, and resolution than my current Mark Levinson 36. The difference is dramatic and made my whole system sound better! I have a system with mostly Mark Levinson equipment and bi-amped Vandersteen 3A Signature speakers. It would have been better if I could have arranged a comparison of the Dodson with an M-L 360S or a dCS combo, but I couldn't arrange it in time. If anyone has an opportunity to do this, I would be interested in hearing of their results. I did compare the 3560S with a dCS Purcell/Delius combo, and I thought that the latter sounded better, but only marginally.