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Carlosrs

Streaming Preamp DAC

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Hello everyone, I currently have a 2 channel setup with RF83s, Sunfire 300 Two amp and a Yamaha WXC-50 Streamer/internet radio/preamp/dac.  Sounds fabulous to my ears, but the sound profile changes when the volume is turned up, it gets a little hot.  From what I have read, the WXC-50 volume looks like the culprit here.

 

I am looking for a streamer/dac/internet radio/preamp that is MATCHED to the level of the RF83 speakers and the Sunfire amp's abilities.  Not a US$10k exotic DAC, which would be overkill. I have been looking at the Oppor Sonica DAC, Cambridge Audio CXN and 851N, Naim, Aurelic Alair, Mcintosh MB50, among others. Since I am international I can't really buy to audition and return to try different ones, so I have to research a lot before purchasing.

 

All suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

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Hello, I'm using an Oppo Sonica DAC with my RF-5's and Sunfire 300x2 and the combination sounds great. The Oppo seems to be very low gain though can really turn up the volume quite a bit compared to my old Sunfire Processor. This hasn't been a problem for me in my bedroom system (13x14 room) with the RF-5's and I haven't investigated whether or not gain is adjustable. I recently tried a pair of homebrew speakers and the lack of gain was quite noticeable, what I did was use the Sonica as a source through my preamp which boosted the gain quite a bit and still lets me use all the features of the DAC, works great now.

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Auralic has a great reputation... probably better than those others listed. On top of it, Auralic is European.

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You might want to check out the bluesound products. I have the node 2 and it works well. You can you a smart phone or tablet to control it. It connects to many different streaming services including Amazon music, tidal, Spotify, iheartradio, etc.

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Sorry, meant to mention that bluesound was developed by NAD

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Would the Node 2 be comparable to the "higher end" offerings under US$2K, or is it more in line with the WXC-50 or Sonica DAC?

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1 hour ago, jjptkd said:

Hello, I'm using an Oppo Sonica DAC with my RF-5's and Sunfire 300x2 and the combination sounds great. The Oppo seems to be very low gain though can really turn up the volume quite a bit compared to my old Sunfire Processor. This hasn't been a problem for me in my bedroom system (13x14 room) with the RF-5's and I haven't investigated whether or not gain is adjustable. I recently tried a pair of homebrew speakers and the lack of gain was quite noticeable, what I did was use the Sonica as a source through my preamp which boosted the gain quite a bit and still lets me use all the features of the DAC, works great now.

 

I was thinking of getting a Parasound Halo P5, preamp with bass management and DAC, and a streamer as source.  What preamp are you using??

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Just now, Carlosrs said:

 

I was thinking of getting a Parasound Halo P5, preamp with bass management and DAC, and a streamer as source.  What preamp are you using??

  •  

Right now a Sunfire Ultimate Receiver (basically using this right now for the sole purpose of tuning my speakers) but I have a Sunfire TG-III / 300x2 combo I was using before the Sonica purchase. I'm hoping to get my custom speakers dialed in so that I can go back to just the Sonica DAC as my pre with the 300x2, it works great with my RF-5's without the help of a preamp. 

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1 minute ago, jjptkd said:

Right now a Sunfire Ultimate Receiver (basically using this right now for the sole purpose of tuning my speakers) but I have a Sunfire TG-III / 300x2 combo I was using before the Sonica purchase. I'm hoping to get my custom speakers dialed in so that I can go back to just the Sonica DAC as my pre with the 300x2, it works great with my RF-5's without the help of a preamp. 

NICE!!  I have an Ultimate Receiver in my HT setup with RF63s and dual RSW-10D subs, absolutely wonderful!!! Switched  from a modern Yamaha and have never looked back.

 

The Sonica or the Auralic Altair is what I am leaning towards, both seem great, just that one is twice the price of the other!

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I would have recommended to take a listen to both Sonica and CXN. You should be able to find the CXN at a good price because they just released a CXN V2. 

But to be honest, the Bluesound Node 2 might very well be just as good in your system and a lot cheaper.

So i would give that a listen first of all.

 

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32 minutes ago, Carlosrs said:

 

I was thinking of getting a Parasound Halo P5, preamp with bass management and DAC, and a streamer as source.  What preamp are you using??

  •  

 

The P5 is a fine choice.  If you want to take a step up the Cambridge Audio 851 series are an excellent choice as well.

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13 minutes ago, Wim M said:

 

The P5 is a fine choice.  If you want to take a step up the Cambridge Audio 851 series are an excellent choice as well.

 

I agree, the 851N, MB50 and Aurelic Altair seems to be the higher end for my under US$2K budget.  Of these 3, which do you think would pair well with Klipsch rf 83 speakers and Sunfire 300 Two amp??

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1 hour ago, Carlosrs said:

I agree, the 851N, MB50 and Aurelic Altair seems to be the higher end for my under US$2K budget.  Of these 3, which do you think would pair well with Klipsch rf 83 speakers and Sunfire 300 Two amp??

 

I only know about the Cambridge 851 series, so I can only comment on this one.  I choose the 851 series because it has that typical 'British Sound' tuning, this makes that it has a slight tendency to sound a bit smoother on mids and highs, but without loss of resolution.   Which I think is an important feature when pairing it with horn loaded speakers.   Hope this helps...

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The Auralic is running about 1500-1700 used here in the states...

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8 hours ago, Carlosrs said:

Would the Node 2 be comparable to the "higher end" offerings under US$2K, or is it more in line with the WXC-50 or Sonica DAC?

I really don't know a lot about DACs. The node 2 is about $500. You can get the vault 2 for about $1200 which includes a CD drive to rip your CDs onto the 2 TB hard drive.

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Oppo Sonica is a fantastic choice. I own 2. Its has 1 pair of RCA inputs too. 

Will stream Tidal or Spotify.

Can also pipe music to it directly or plug in USB drive.

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