What DAC to use with a Sony XA7ES

I find my XA7ES which is a stock unit is on the heavy side of sound. Meaning I feel I have to much low end and not controlled. Want to get more excitement into this unit. I can use more detail in the mids and less boom on the low end. I want to try a Dac and hoping someone else is using the XA7ES for a transport and what Dac you may be using with good results.
Any help on picking out a Dac would be appreciated.
Museatex Bitsream or Chord 64 are two dacs that really sound analog. The Bitstreams go for around $400-$500 and the Chord probably around $2K & up.

Happy Listening.
I wanted to send you a e-mail and once again this Audiogon system will not allow it to go through? dadt531@aol.com
Have you considered that your speakers or speaker placement may be to blame? At the level of sound quality of your unit, it's exceedingly hard to improve upon...
Do you have the XA7ES, or have had and have found the 2 Dac's mentioned above to be best suited for this player?
Any comments on the Benchmark?
I'm havng fun with a MHDT Paradisea DAC paired with my 1992 Sony CDP-C77ES.

It's very musical, but since it gives up a bit of extension and resolution it probably wouldn't win a contest among SOTA DACs . I find it doesn't matter to me. It just sounds great, and it's brought new life to my 16 year old Sony changer.

Check out the review. It's on target, IMO.
Just a suggestion, but you should definately look into NOS DACs, they are currently all the rage, and many prefer them over oversampling designs.

You can also get a NOS DAC at a fraction of the price of an oversampler.

Once you decide whether to upsample of not, you'll have a better starting point.

If this hobby were easy, it wouldn't be as much fun!

Good Luck
I've heard your player. It's a very nice unit. I didn't find the qualities you mentioned though.
Anyway, if you want a mid priced dac, look into Bel canto DAC2 or the newer DAC3. But I would suggest looking at your interconnects and speaker cables first, before spending on the dac, because I beleive your player is excellent. The cables could be your problem. Which IC and speaker cables are you using?.....unless you're not open to other suggestions and have your mind made up on getting an outboard D-to-A.
Audphile 1,
I am using Signal Cable for my speaker cables and Acoustic Zen Matric Ref. MKll rca's. for interconnects. In the last couple days I have been wondering if it's not the speaker cables.
You can do better than Signal Cable for not much more money. MAS Signature Hybrid, DH Labs, Goertz, Speltz to name a few.

I agree 110 percent on the cables. The Integrated only accepts Bare Wire and I am gun shy on buying a pair of $$$
Cables and having to cut the termination off. If it comes down to just being a cable issue I would do it in a minute.
I got get a pair of DH Labs and at least try.
Thanks again for your input.
Dave, check out the products I mentioned. I believe all are available unterminated, and several, if not all are available with 30 day MBG. I use the MAS Signature Hybrid. I love it.
I will do that, I am not familiar with the MAS but will check that out. When I had my last system ( love to change ) I used Harmonix though out. Prior to that I used many others but another I preferred was the HT Pro 9 Plus.
Dave, I think you will waste money if you get a cheap dac. I beleive that to beat your player, you have to spend doube of what the player costs, as far as a new source component. I don't know your speaker cables, never heard them, but if you want faster sound and more detail, plus more controlled bass, you may want to try Audience AU24 speaker cables or Acoustic Zen HologramII speaker cables. I think your interconnects are fine. I have the same ones. They do have nice bass, but also are pretty detailed. I'd suggest looking at speaker cables. Also, power cords could bring a nice improvement. If you didn't upgrade PC on your player, I'd recommend Audience powerChord. Works good with digital. What integrated are you using? Is it tubed or SS? Does it accept balanced interconnect? Id yes, you may want to try Sony balanced.
I have some unterminated copper/silver clad wire in Teflon that you could try.

I should have known, you have more extra gear, cables, interconnects, speakers, etc then any 3 audio stores I know of. I will touch base with you.
Auphile1 seems to believe the answer to all audio issues is new or different wire. It's a constant theme. Wire change is one approach. It's not the only approach.

I hear differences in wire, and I use some very expensive cabling, however the wire has not had nearly the degree of impact on the sonics of my system as have the the components themselves: amplifier, preamplifier, source, DAC.

Audphile1 also seems to endorse what he owns, and he dismisses what he doesn't. He refers pejoratively to the Paradisea DAC when he writes about cheap DACs, yet he certainly has never heard one. The price has little relation to performance in this case since the unit is made by hand in Taiwan by one man. No advertising. No middleman. No distributor. No traditional retail business model. Therefore the product is vastly less expensive than would be a DAC that's distributed through normal channels.

As I mentioned, I own a "cousin" to your Sony CD player in my Sony CDP-C77ES. The sound through the Paradisea DAC is glorious compared to the Sony's internal stock DAC. My wife noticed the same difference, and she rarely comments on the stereo.

Try whatever approach you like: new DAC, wire, whatever. Keep your mind open to new possibilities. It's the path to discovery.
Tvad, I never reffered to Paradisea DAC. I have no idea what it is.

it's that time of the month for you, ha Grant?

I always knew it.
I used to own the XA7ES. Unfortunately I've never tried any DAC with the Sony before selling it off to one of my buddy so I can't offer any advice. However, just to let you know that even with my CEC transport coupled with the extremely cheap budget Gamma DAC, they outperform the Sony with the most apparent improvement in bass definition. Yes you are correct on the 'heavy' bass which seemed undefined with the 7ES.
11-16-06: Tvad
Auphile1 seems to believe the answer to all audio issues is new or different wire. It's a constant theme. Wire change is one approach. It's not the only approach.

Only because cabling and the rest of the system wasn't mentioned in original thread, I thought I'd explore the possibility. Also, because I am familiar with the sound of the Sony XA7ES.

I've heard a cheap dac. Not the one you mentioned though.

And what should I endorse? Should I recommend something I am not familiar with? I can't do that.
Aren't you endiorsing products you own? Moscode, the above mentioned dac, purist dominus power cord? Next time when you try to accuse someone of something, make sure you're not guilty of the same crime.

You seem to take offense when other people's opinions differ from yours. That's fine. You also self-proclaimed to be a moderator to some posts....well sort of...

Have a nice day.
Audphile1, sorry for the criticism. You offer credible alternatives.
I've heard a cheap dac. Not the one you mentioned though.
Then I hope you'll agree that to make a generalization based on experiencing only one component could be interpreted as being less than fully informed.

And what should I endorse? Should I recommend something I am not familiar with?
Of course not. I simply have seen several suggestions of wire made recently in response to questions having nothing to do with cabling. Perhaps I am also guilty of generalizing.

Aren't you endiorsing products you own? Moscode, the above mentioned dac, purist dominus power cord?
I recommend products with which I am familiar, whether I own them, I have owned them, or I have simply heard them in a familiar system. Recently, there have been several questions raised that correlate to products with which I have first hand knowledge. The Moscode amp, Paradisea DAC, and Purist cables are a few. I have also mentioned other products that I don't own presently, but that I have heard in my system and which might be worth hearing for the person asking the question.

Finally, I hope you'll see my criticism was based on your recommendation as it applied to the question, and that I did not at any time attack you personally.
I want to thank all of you for your input. I have decided to buy a Dodson 217 MKll up graded to the 218. I bought this late last night on Audiogon.
Once I get this in place I will then look for better speaker cables then what I have now. I think either in the Audience line or HT Pro 9 Plus. I had the Pro 9 Plus a couple years ago and was very impressed. I then moved onto Harmonix. The only difference I could hear between the 2 was the low end was deeper and tigher with the Harmonix.
Should be some difference at 2 1/2 times the cost.
Thanks again fellows for you help, it is appreciated.
Valleyplastic, excellent dac!!! Enjoy it.
Used to own a XA7ES about 3 to 4 years ago. Very competent unit. So be sure that you are actually upgrading by going to a DAC solution, not going side ways.

I did try a few DAC with the Sony player but did not find anything better. Just different favors. Cal Sigma, Wadia 16 cd player's digital input, and Meridian 566 DAC.

I like the ideas of tube buffer stage DAC though. Allows some experiments on tube choices to change the sound.
Glad you found a nice Dac. Well I'm going with Tvad on this one. I've heard the Paradisea Dac and still listening..there's not a chance in hell of the Sony competing with it in musical sound quality! Cheap or not this is one helluva Dac! If you ever get the chance to hear one ..you'll be kicking yourself for not trying it first! As far as needing to spend double of the Sony on a Dac to get better.. I doubt it very seriously. As with everything in this hobby..it all depends on what you're looking for though.

Good listening
I use Benchmarks Dac1 with Transparent Audio Super power cord.Audio Alchemy's Data Stream digital transfer cables.The result is sweet, accurate and dynamic music reproduction like none before.Not a kings ransom either.This Sony Straight Plays Music...and match it up like this,now You start to understand that E.S. meant just that! when Sony made this one.I will gladly compare My setup with anyone who does not mind getting their feelings hurt because it can't hang with this combo.The list of humbled continues to rise.The ears tell it all folks.
Follow-Up comments: The XA7ES and Benchmark Dac1 in my configuration not only equals SACD and DVD Audio but in most cases,The Benchmark is superior!It's like "being there",the most minute sounds are all delicately separated and are almost "suspended" in air.The inflection of plucked bass and the sustain of the like's of Anthony Jacksons Contrabass is like a Disney Ride.If You are like me and want exactly what is on the Disc. 100% every detail nothing more,nothing less...then I urge You to try it as I have.I now experience the recording on a level I never imagined possible, rather than just listening to the Disc.No other player resolves Redbook recordings better than the XA7ES,add the Dac1,Audio Alchemy Data Stream,AA Power Supply 2,Transparent Audio Powerlink Super Power cord and the worst recordings become almost remastered!Open up the Sony,then open the newest one{SCDXA9000ES},they don't make players like the XA7ES anymore,Sony broke the mold with this one.I own a SCD555ES SACD player and DVD Audio player, but the majority of work is done with the XA7ES-Benchmark combo.It is an audio marriage made in heaven for your ears.
>>No other player resolves Redbook recordings better than the XA7ES<<

I owned this player for 4 years and while I agree it is a superb piece there are many many superior players at this moment. However, when released in 1995 it was one of the finest players money could buy.

Calm down and enjoy the music.