Your DAC replacement thoughts please

Jan 15, 2020
11
1
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#1
I have been using an AMR DP-777SE DAC which is now having intermittent reliability issues. I'm considering replacing/upgrading to either a
1) Chord Dave
2) PS Audio Direct Stream or
3) APL DSD ($$)

I need to buy used, and I'm comfortable with that. My hopes are for reliability, deeper soundstaging, timbre distinctions (ie violin & viola) and, most importantly, emotional engagement. I'm now 70, so my hearing ain't what it used to be.

I realize that responders are expressing their opinions, and my system synergy & sound room acoustics impact everything. I'm only looking for a DAC. I do hope to hear from you. Thanks from Olympia, WA USA

Current second system: flac & hi rez files→ APL DP-777SE→ Pass Labs XP20→ Pass Labs XA100.5's→ Ridge Street Audio Design Sason speakers. Cabling is all Jena Labs.
 

DSkip

Industry Expert
Aug 26, 2013
338
65
260
Arlington, TX
www.audiothesis.com
#2
I had an amr cd-777 for a while and it was a very good unit. I’m sorry you’re having issues with your dac. I tried the original chord Hugo and was a fan of what it did as well, but it didn’t sit well in my configured system.

Within your price range new falls the Norma DS-1 which has changed my perception of what a dac should and shouldn’t do. It isn’t overly warm but it has nice warm timber. What it does better than the other two is opening up space in the room for the recording to showcase what it was intended to do. When it’s in place, the entire room becomes my systems playground. When it’s gone, my soundstage collapses back to the front half of the room. It’s the first digital piece I’ve truly felt is irreplaceable as I’ve been living without one for the past few months since someone bought my demo unit.

Norma isn’t well known but it’s because they haven’t been well represented yet (I bear some of that, but there was a plan all along). 2021 should see their mention become more common. Their prices aren’t sky high but their ability to avoid being a bottleneck in every system I’ve tried them in has been uncanny.
 
Mar 14, 2019
32
14
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France
#3
I have been using an AMR DP-777SE DAC which is now having intermittent reliability issues. I'm considering replacing/upgrading to either a
1) Chord Dave
2) PS Audio Direct Stream or
3) APL DSD ($$)

I need to buy used, and I'm comfortable with that. My hopes are for reliability, deeper soundstaging, timbre distinctions (ie violin & viola) and, most importantly, emotional engagement. I'm now 70, so my hearing ain't what it used to be.
A while back I was looking for involvement and dynamics and, as you note, timbre distinctions (metal guitar strings or nylon...). I had the big PS Audio PW and a dealer/ consultant I know recommended I audition a "very engaging and dynamic dac" I had never heard of -- called Ayazi (it's actually very well regarded). I ended up keeping it for the reasons above -- plus I got a good trade-in price...
Of the ones you mention I have heard the Dave and liked it for its restitution of detail and fantastic looks! OTOH, can't say I found it particularly involving. I like the APL as well but I couldn't justify the additional outlay to change from my Ayazi (at more than 2x the price). I haven't heard the Direct Stream.
Regards
 
Jan 15, 2020
11
1
5
69
#5
I had an amr cd-777 for a while and it was a very good unit. I’m sorry you’re having issues with your dac. I tried the original chord Hugo and was a fan of what it did as well, but it didn’t sit well in my configured system.

Within your price range new falls the Norma DS-1 which has changed my perception of what a dac should and shouldn’t do. It isn’t overly warm but it has nice warm timber. What it does better than the other two is opening up space in the room for the recording to showcase what it was intended to do. When it’s in place, the entire room becomes my systems playground. When it’s gone, my soundstage collapses back to the front half of the room. It’s the first digital piece I’ve truly felt is irreplaceable as I’ve been living without one for the past few months since someone bought my demo unit.

Norma isn’t well known but it’s because they haven’t been well represented yet (I bear some of that, but there was a plan all along). 2021 should see their mention become more common. Their prices aren’t sky high but their ability to avoid being a bottleneck in every system I’ve tried them in has been uncanny.
It seems that this is a CD player as well as a dac. I sold all my CD's, so I prefer to not pay extra for a playback med I a I no longer use. I'll see if they have a stand alone dac.
 
Aug 21, 2019
206
42
30
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UK
ifi-audio.com
#6
CD-777 SE and DP-777 SE both have DAC chips inside. However, their purposes differ significantly.

At the heart of CD-777 SE beats Philips UDA1305AT Multibit Chipset DAC. It is predominantly a High-end CD processor, but it is also able to receive a digital signal from your laptop through USB or S/PDIF or to send digital signals to an external DAC or laptop.

DP-777 SE boasts two separate DACs; a HD 32-Bit DAC and a Classic 16-Bit DAC with Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to handle all core digital duties, including the memory buffer and managing the signal processing.
 
Jan 15, 2020
11
1
5
69
#7
AMR-
Why are you sending me a generic marketing response? Did you even read my post??

Did you read that I have a unit that has intermittent problems, and is seemingly unrepairable. You manufactured muy problematic unit.

WHY DON'T YOU TRY TO HELP ME GET MY DP-777SE REPAIRED????
 

Fsonicsmith

Well-Known Member
Jun 25, 2015
35
13
88
#9
My DP-777 (not SE) has been trouble-free for five years. While the sound I am getting from an Aurender N100H via WW Starlight Platinum 7 USB is glare free, I don't find it to be analogue-like as it was described in Art Dudley's review in S'Phile. I don't get the musical involvement and truth of timbre that I get with my two analogue rigs. I am about to try a SW1X DAC II Special with USB. After hearing the somewhat similar Audio Note DAC at 2019's Axpona, I thought I would give it a try. I will report back.
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
3,193
1,095
390
#10
I hope you get your DAC repaired!

Otherwise I've been looking into DACs and have suggestions for Sonnet Morpheus and Matrix X-Sabre Pro in the <$5k price range.
 

Lee Henley

Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2014
137
72
235
England, UK
#11
Sub $5k Id be looking at the Lampizator Amber 3 myself, a friend has one and for the money they are very good, punches well above its weight

https://www.lampizator.com/amber-3
 
Likes: christoph

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
2,247
1,469
260
Principality of Liechtenstein
#12
Sub $5k Id be looking at the Lampizator Amber 3 myself, a friend has one and for the money they are very good, punches well above its weight

https://www.lampizator.com/amber-3
Absolutely true.
A friend of mine uses the Amber3 DAC with preamp function in a VERY decent system with great sonic success :D

And if your speakers are OK with 12 very solid and powerful watts, look no further than the Lampizator Amber3Amp :cool:

Easily filling my humongeous living room with my hORNS Universums with wonderful alive and very transparent sound.
An absolutely awesome all-in-one piece of gear I can whole-heartedly recommend.
Those measly 12 watts drove all my speakers with ease apart from the Acoustats, where I did not try them.
 

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
2,247
1,469
260
Principality of Liechtenstein
#13
And if your speakers are OK with 12 very solid and powerful watts, look no further than the Lampizator Amber3Amp :cool:

Easily filling my humongeous living room with my hORNS Universums with wonderful alive and very transparent sound.
An absolutely awesome all-in-one piece of gear I can whole-heartedly recommend.
Those measly 12 watts drove all my speakers with ease apart from the Acoustats, where I did not try them.
Lee, I bet your Mummies would sound fabulous with the Amber3Amp.
You should seriously give it a try ;)
 

Brucemck2

Member Sponsor
May 10, 2010
297
21
423
Houston area
#14
Bricasti m3 is excellent,and with the optional ethernet board is a Roon ready end point and with the optional headphone amp is an all in one headphone rig ... a notch up in price the Empirical Audio Overdrive, although limited to 192k and below, is excellent
 

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