Preamp

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VonHess

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Preamp
« on: 12 Jan 2021, 11:33 pm »
I’m guessing this is the correct forum.  I am currently using a dacmagic plus as a preamp.  Tidal-dacmagic-odyssey monoblocks- spatial m3 triode masters.  I am looking at the Schiit Saga and wondering if there would be an improvement or would it be a lateral move, using the schiit preamp and the dacmagic just as a Dac?

rotarius

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Re: Preamp
« Reply #1 on: 13 Jan 2021, 01:48 am »
Mostly lateral move I think using a tube buffer.  Your front end is definitely the weak link.

mresseguie

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Re: Preamp
« Reply #2 on: 13 Jan 2021, 03:33 am »
The DACMagic Plus was my first separate DAC. As I upgraded my other gear, I was perplexed that I could not hear the great sounds that people were talking about. That’s when it dawned on me that the DACMagic Plus was acting as a bottleneck. There are a myriad of very good sounding DACS with volume control available in the ~$500 to $1,000 range.

I just reread your post. Taking into consideration your amps and speakers, I’d definitely recommend you look into a considerably better DAC/pre component or separate DAC and preamp. Determine your budget. Then, start researching possibilities. Do you want to go with solid state or tubes? NOS (Non-OverSampling) or DSD capable DAC? 

Michael

JackD

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Re: Preamp
« Reply #3 on: 13 Jan 2021, 03:58 am »
I'm with Michael as to the whole front end not being up to the level of the rest of the system and a tube buffer won't solve anything.

jjss49

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Re: Preamp
« Reply #4 on: 13 Jan 2021, 04:52 am »
i will pile on and also agree... suggest op get a high quality preamp it will do wonders

VonHess

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Re: Preamp
« Reply #5 on: 13 Jan 2021, 04:13 pm »
So I want to say that I want to stay under $1000 but I’m wondering if there would be anything in that range that wouldn’t be just another bottleneck.  Perhaps something used might fit the bill. 

rotarius

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Re: Preamp
« Reply #6 on: 13 Jan 2021, 04:26 pm »
Look for a nice 6sn7 based preamp.  You have options under 1k that will add some refinement.  I have tried dacmagic and dacmagic100 in the past.  A bit too edgy for me. 
Mapletree preamp is a good option new.  The Schiit 6sn7 preamp gets good reviews, not tried it myself.

mresseguie

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Re: Preamp
« Reply #7 on: 13 Jan 2021, 04:30 pm »
$1000 can get you a lot of DAC - even more if it is used - with a volume control thrown in for good measure. I'll admit upfront that I have moved well past the $1000 threshold, so my suggestions will be pretty limited. Jack (in my opinion) probably has a better understanding of choices than I do.

If you are able to spend more down the road, consider getting a decent quality preamp first with the intention of upgrading your DAC when (if) funds become available.

Call Klaus. Ask him if he's got any used or demo preamps available.

Topping D90  $750 new
Sabaj D5       $470 new [I own this one in a secondary system. No complaints; sounds good.]
Soekris 1541 $1299 new
Schiit Bifrost or Gungnir Multibit
I haven't heard either the D90, the Soekris or the Schiit DACs, but they have garnered many great reviews.

Question for the board:

Would it make any sense to upgrade the caps in the DacMagic Plus as a temporary solution? Then, apply the $1000 towards a decent preamp?



mick wolfe

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Re: Preamp
« Reply #8 on: 13 Jan 2021, 04:37 pm »
The Saga is pretty neutral, so it's not going enhance anything even with the tube buffer engaged. As others have suggested, perhaps a better DAC with a volume pot or that in combination with an active tube pre-amp.  The Schitt Freya+ might be a good fit from an impedance matching standpoint... as I believe both of their (Schiit) solid state amps have the same 22K input impedance spec. as your Odyssey's.  That said, there are endless  pre-amp choices  that will satisfy that parameter. But having owned both the Saga and Freya+, the Freya+ is the clear winner in active tube mode. I'll leave it to others to debate the DAC issue.

Bill O'Connell

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Re: Preamp
« Reply #9 on: 13 Jan 2021, 04:53 pm »
The Soekris 1541 if you can find a used one as I believe they have been discontinued as the profit
on them was very little but with a little luck maybe somebody selling one to move up to the 2541.
 You would never be sorry with this DAC.

Delta77

Re: Preamp
« Reply #10 on: 13 Jan 2021, 04:58 pm »
Everything I've bought and actually kept, has been about 2 to 3 times my original budget.. ( Just telling my experience )

Cambridge Audio , CXN (V2) - Network Audio Streamer is right about your budget $1,000 , and down the road you can have it modified by Modwright..
This unit is getting pretty good feedback from some established Audiophiles.. ( Steve Decart, Dan Wright, Darco, and a few others I can remember at the moment)..

If I didn't have the OPPO 205 (modified by Modwright ) , I would be all over this one..

$ 2,500 total for a Modified DAC, Streamer, Preamp, all in one seems to be a reasonable price to be at this level of audio equipment..

It took me about 2-3 years before I had my Oppo 205 modified , it was hard to spend $2,500 on the Mod... But after I did it's been one of my most used, can do with out, piece of equipment I have..

My $0.02...
 :dunno:

mcmusicman

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Re: Preamp
« Reply #11 on: 13 Jan 2021, 08:55 pm »
Op,   
      I have used the NuPrime DAC10 for a couple of years and have no intention of changing it out. Sometimes can be found used for around 900-1k.  It stands in front of a Freya Plus with expensive NOS tubes, then on to a 4B3 & Magnepan.  Something about the ES9018K2M and the input/output stages of that DAC10 sound better to my ears than many of the recent DACs with the ES9038.  Sound is involving, and the right balance of warmth with the Tube Preamp. Listening to Qobuz and can not imagine why I would want to change that DAC after 2 years. Its a DAC they got right when it was designed. I avoid looking at the "measurement sites" regarding DACs because an excellent SINAD number can sound thin to my ears. The output stage is so important. lastly the 99 step volume only has one resistor in the path at any given time. Good luck, but yes improve the DAC I think and if you can, put a nice set of 6SN7 Tubes behind it.   Cheers.
« Last Edit: 14 Jan 2021, 02:07 pm by mcmusicman »