Curious if anyone here owns this DAC and their experience with it. My understanding is relatively few were every manufactured as CJ decided in the end not to devote resources to this equipment category.
Yes, I've used this one as well as auditioned it extensively at our CJ dealer's store in Melbourne. Before that, I used the Weiss DAC for a while, and returned both. Eventually I preferred the onboard dual DAC's in the MCD301 SACD player by McIntosh, which I've been using since 2010, and very pleased with what it delivers.
The CJ DAC is an "ok" DAC. Good quality and well built but does not have the same purity as: Allnic, Mac, ARC, or other well known top contenders. Also the price in Aus is way over kill compared to US prices, hence I could not justify spending that kind of money for a DAC of this nature. Spending several grand on a top end DAC, yes maybe worth it, although I still prefer the overall sound of LP's.
I am sure this DAC by CJ must be quite affordable in the US... I would assume? If you are planning on getting one, just try it out first, if possible.
It does add some CJ finesse to the sound but that is only if you haven't experienced other equally top DAC's or DAC's that can really create those emotions from digital recordings.
Overall, the Mac SACD unit was just a little over than the hd3 and it offered a whole lot more, including variable outputs! plus balanced & XLR if required. Very versatile as Mac is always, attending to everyone's needs.
Hi RJ, I own the HD3 and would agree. I was able to purchase it some time ago at a reasonable price used here in the States, and did so for three reasons: 1) on the basis of CJ's reputation for building quality products; 2) to inject CJ's house sound (warmth and musicality) into my system; and 3) Alan Sircom's 2013 glowing review in HiFi+ (http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/conrad-johnson-hd3-digital-converter/).
There are so many quality converters out there, I'm tempted to explore. Thanks for your feedback -
Glad to hear that you are enjoying the hd3, it will definitely put a smile on your face, plus allow you to further enjoy your favourite recordings.
To me reviews are just reviews... Unless I was to hear/audition for myself, I don't get too overly excited any longer. I also feel reviews and systems can vary drastically from place to place- room to room. Varied configs, ancillary gear, system matching, AC power conditioning, room correction tweaks and so on, would all make a significant difference.
As I mentioned, if you managed to get hold of this DAC for a very reasonable price in the US market, than that should be a great deal! And also one DAC that will give you lots of satisfaction as compared to the others. However, the Aus price compared to the others was just not even a comparison. CJ gear in Aus costs a fortune, we talking really big bucks over here.
The Weiss DAC201 or 202 something it was, wasn't to my liking at all. Although better matched with servers or PC direct perhaps via some high quality USB cable from Nordost was ok. Once I plugged in my Mac, it beat all of this fancy stuff by a far margin. The Mac was just far more musically engaging that either of these, and it offered a significant presence in sound quality, both in sonic performance and looks. Mac as just built like tanks and beautiful ones too!
I am sure the hd3 will give you many years of trouble free operation with that special CJ warmth and musicality, no doubt!
Cheers mate and enjoy. RJ