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Old 26.08.2013, 19:30
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New Amplifier / DACs

OK this is one for the more beardy side of HIFI. In the process of shortlisting for a new amp. Priority is for music, so stereo only. Sources will be streamed music (likely from Sonos connect) and CD - and will probably also connect the Horizon box.

I notice more amps now have build in DACs. One I am looking at is the Rotel RA-12. The question is - is it worth spending the (extra) money on an amp with build in DAC vs say a possibly better amp for same money without DAC, and then buy an external DAC if the need arrises - i.e. not sure how good the build in DAC in Sonos is?

I also figure that external DACs are cheaper to replace a long the way as the technology improves, which I am sure it will, whereas amp technology as such does not seem to have improved much over the last decade - some may disagree with this.

Thoughts?
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Old 26.08.2013, 19:43
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Re: New Amplifier / DACs

Take your ears to a shop and let them decide.
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Old 26.08.2013, 20:05
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Re: New Amplifier / DACs

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Take your ears to a shop and let them decide.
Agree with that and I will. It was more the specific internal vs external DAC question.
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Old 26.08.2013, 20:12
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Re: New Amplifier / DACs

Hi there. I would suggest that a separate DAC would provide a better sound solution. Note that Arcam actually produce a DAC specifically for Sonos, which fits neatly underneath the Sonos Connect and looks like part of it.
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Old 26.08.2013, 20:14
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Re: New Amplifier / DACs

What are you going to feed the dac with?

Early next year I hope to buy a streamer with built in dac that I expect to last roughly 10 years. So I am not worried about it becoming out of date.

Having said that my second amp has a built in dac that I am quite happy with.

If you buy an amp with a built in dac and decide that you don't like it in the future then there is nothing to stop you using an external dac.
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Old 26.08.2013, 20:24
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Re: New Amplifier / DACs

Feed will be a streamer (probably Sonos due to ease of use) and for now my old Denon CD player.

Tbh, I will probably not get at DAC from the outset. I was more thinking is it worth at this point to get an amp with build in DAC rather than buying a similar priced amp without DAC and then at some point if the need arrises buy an external DAC. I know that ultimately sound is personal and what might sound great to one, will sound ordinary to another.

My thinking is to now spend some money on a good quality amp, which will form the base of building a good sounding (but still living room and wife friendly) stereo over the next years.
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Old 26.08.2013, 20:24
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Re: New Amplifier / DACs

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Note that Arcam actually produce a DAC specifically for Sonos, which fits neatly underneath the Sonos Connect and looks like part of it.
Interesting. Need to check that out.
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Old 28.08.2013, 09:32
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Re: New Amplifier / DACs

I was shopping for an Amp and speakers earlier this year and tried out a Naim UnitiQute and also one of the Cyrus 8 with DAC.

Both times I thought they were really good, until we tried out separate systems, and both times I realized immediately that the sound of separates were better (although in the case of Cyrus, I thought going down one step to the Cyrus 6 separates did not really make much of a difference). So on one hand, if I hadn't listened to the separates immediately afterwards I would have been perfectly happy with the combo box, on the other hand I know the upgrade bug will bite soon....

At the price range of the Rotel you mentioned, I tried out the Musical Fidelity M1 Clic, DAC and M1 Power combo (in London though) and the sound was amazing. Maybe I loved it because I grew up with my dad's classic Musical Fidelity amp and just love that sound. I decided in the end to splash on speakers instead, and got second hand separates (Cyrus & Audiolab... thanks to the forum marketplace), but when I get some spare cash I will look into a higher level Musical Fidelity combo.
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Old 28.08.2013, 14:58
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Re: New Amplifier / DACs

I think this is pretty much the route I am going.
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Old 28.08.2013, 18:50
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Re: New Amplifier / DACs

Just buy Naim.
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Old 13.09.2013, 15:28
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Re: New Amplifier / DACs

UPDATE

After hearing various, I ordered a NAD C356 BEE, always been a fan of NAD. I like they modular add on, where I can add a DAC at a later stage.
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Old 13.09.2013, 16:44
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Re: New Amplifier / DACs

NAD's a very good choice! Enjoy!
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