Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

post questions / problems regarding Cyrus kit here, or any other queries of a tech nature.
User avatar
border
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 8:57 pm
Location: North Devon

Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby border » Tue May 07, 2019 1:10 pm

I am thinking of using an Audiolab M dac as a pre amp with my Cyrus power amps does anyone have experience of this and also will it control volume?

User avatar
angelface
Addicted
Addicted
Posts: 2019
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:00 pm

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby angelface » Tue May 07, 2019 1:22 pm

I think you can use it as a pre-amp

https://www.whathifi.com/audiolab/m-dac/review
CDXTSE2/PSX-R(Nordost Silver Line)BC DAC3.7/VBL(Atlas Navigator)MF Baby Mk2(Atlas Navigator)2xMonoX300Sigs(Coherent 4D)WB Arc
HUMAX Freesat+/Sony BDPS280>AVMaster8 and SP+>Spendor C5e>> Monitor Audio RXW12 sub>>4xSpendor SR5

User avatar
callen24
Addicted
Addicted
Posts: 3508
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:39 am
Location: lesta

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby callen24 » Tue May 07, 2019 5:42 pm

works fine, but make sure it is set in variable mode, not fixed output.
i replaced a dac xp with an mdac, obviously a better dac i liked the added detail and insight.
But eventually i felt it it didn’t have the soundstage of the dac xp. Soon as i got a cheap passive pre amp it was really good, and even better with a music first passive.
i also got hold of a mcru linear power supply s/h , that made it better still
All in to mono x amps
cyrus stream X2, Oppo HA-1SE, IMFs, NORD OneUP, VA Beethoven Baby Grand
ML binarystar digital, DenchXLR, RFCneptune RCA, VanDamme OFC spk cable. AG 500 ac regenerator and Townsend Seismic sink stand, sonority roller platform
rega RP6, AT95e/paratrace, Clearaudio nano, sub-platter upgrade
Former owner of 20 Cyrus boxes

User avatar
hifinutt
Addicted
Addicted
Posts: 4800
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:21 pm

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby hifinutt » Tue May 07, 2019 6:31 pm

yes i find that dacs into power amps can sound a bit fatigiung after awhile , worth trying though

a good pre amp is so much more musical
1]bc pre 3 vbs
msb s200 power amp
/vbs1 FM1 tuner
rotel cd /teac ud-ho1 , tannoy eaton legacy 2] arcam a75 , jolida modwright dac marantz sa8005 RFC impulse ta`us horns

User avatar
callen24
Addicted
Addicted
Posts: 3508
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:39 am
Location: lesta

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby callen24 » Tue May 07, 2019 7:33 pm

what other kit are you using it with?
it will be fine, lots of people use them as pre
cyrus stream X2, Oppo HA-1SE, IMFs, NORD OneUP, VA Beethoven Baby Grand
ML binarystar digital, DenchXLR, RFCneptune RCA, VanDamme OFC spk cable. AG 500 ac regenerator and Townsend Seismic sink stand, sonority roller platform
rega RP6, AT95e/paratrace, Clearaudio nano, sub-platter upgrade
Former owner of 20 Cyrus boxes

User avatar
border
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 8:57 pm
Location: North Devon

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby border » Tue May 07, 2019 7:56 pm

Not got one yet,just thinking of trying out some different options for a change.
At the moment I am using a Cambridge CXC transport into an 8 DAC bi amped with a 6 Power into Epos M12.2 speakers.

User avatar
callen24
Addicted
Addicted
Posts: 3508
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:39 am
Location: lesta

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby callen24 » Tue May 07, 2019 8:32 pm

border wrote:Not got one yet,just thinking of trying out some different options for a change.
At the moment I am using a Cambridge CXC transport into an 8 DAC bi amped with a 6 Power into Epos M12.2 speakers.

if you were replacing a pre dac i can see the logic but i suspect i would get much more out of trading your 6 power for an x power.

Butbalso the qxr dac upgrade doesn’t just give you a very good dac, you get lots of other tweeks in the signal path, and a guarantee
cyrus stream X2, Oppo HA-1SE, IMFs, NORD OneUP, VA Beethoven Baby Grand
ML binarystar digital, DenchXLR, RFCneptune RCA, VanDamme OFC spk cable. AG 500 ac regenerator and Townsend Seismic sink stand, sonority roller platform
rega RP6, AT95e/paratrace, Clearaudio nano, sub-platter upgrade
Former owner of 20 Cyrus boxes

jemhayward
Five+
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:48 pm
Contact:

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby jemhayward » Tue May 07, 2019 9:56 pm

I use a Lakewest modified MDAC into a Radford STA25 and then Martin Logan Summits. The MDAC is by a huge margin better than any preamp I have ever used. It helps if your power amp isn't too sensitive as the volume control seems to work best when around -20dB, though to be really honest i cannot really tell any difference at -40dB - I use in-line attenuators anyway, for peace of mind. the MLs are very, very revealing, so if there was a problem, I'd probably hear it.

User avatar
border
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 8:57 pm
Location: North Devon

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby border » Wed May 08, 2019 8:06 am

In the past I have tried many of the Cyrus power amps,XPA,Smartpower, 6 & 8 Power,X Power and in my most expensive set up Mono`s.
I have never experienced a substantial improvement in sound quality when comparing them merely a difference in tone and presentation but that is possibly down to my hearing deteriorating over the years.
What I was planning on trying was to sell the 8 DAC and its PSX-R and use the funds to buy the M DAC and another Power to bi amp.
I would love to go for the Cyrus DAC XP+ and give that a whirl with a couple of power amps but funds won`t allow it.

User avatar
callen24
Addicted
Addicted
Posts: 3508
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:39 am
Location: lesta

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby callen24 » Wed May 08, 2019 9:34 am

jemhayward wrote:I use a Lakewest modified MDAC into a Radford STA25 and then Martin Logan Summits. The MDAC is by a huge margin better than any preamp I have ever used. It helps if your power amp isn't too sensitive as the volume control seems to work best when around -20dB, though to be really honest i cannot really tell any difference at -40dB - I use in-line attenuators anyway, for peace of mind. the MLs are very, very revealing, so if there was a problem, I'd probably hear it.


i’m not sure he will be able to get a lake west modded one at the right price, and limited availability, whereas unmodded are plentiful
cyrus stream X2, Oppo HA-1SE, IMFs, NORD OneUP, VA Beethoven Baby Grand
ML binarystar digital, DenchXLR, RFCneptune RCA, VanDamme OFC spk cable. AG 500 ac regenerator and Townsend Seismic sink stand, sonority roller platform
rega RP6, AT95e/paratrace, Clearaudio nano, sub-platter upgrade
Former owner of 20 Cyrus boxes

User avatar
border
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 8:57 pm
Location: North Devon

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby border » Wed May 08, 2019 10:02 am

Please excuse my ignorance but what are in line attenuaters and what do they do?

Lancashirelad
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:24 am

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby Lancashirelad » Wed May 08, 2019 2:01 pm

In line attenuators are similar to RCA plugs fitted to the destination end of existing RCA ICs to attenuate (reduce) the output voltage of a CDP to more closely match it to the input sensitivity of an amp. Some suggest that if there is a mismatch, ie the output of the CDP is too high for a particular amp, then this may contribute to digititis or the sometimes harsh sound of CD.
Adding attenuators increases the usable range of the volume control.
RA sells them with different values & there's a table on the website for calculating value required. Rothwell Audio also offer them but in one value only (I think) & very much cheaper.

User avatar
border
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 8:57 pm
Location: North Devon

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby border » Wed May 08, 2019 2:19 pm

Thanks for that.

User avatar
border
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 8:57 pm
Location: North Devon

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby border » Sat May 25, 2019 10:50 am

Took the plunge and bought an Audiolab M-DAC and so far very pleased with it.Thanks to those who gave advice.
I first tried it using my 8 DAC as a pre amp and then after a couple of days of listening to various genres I removed the 8 DAC and used the M-DAC as a pre amp for a further listening session.
These are my impressions but please take into account my ageing hearing as I am sure that some of the higher ranges in my hearing are slightly compromised.
Through the 8 DAC the presentation seemed warmer and more rounded and dare I say it for a Cyrus amp laid-back.
Through the M-DAC it felt more open and sharper especially so at the top end and I definitely heard things that I had not picked up on before like the triangle in Dvoraks Symphony No.9 From the New World.
It did get a little bit shouty on some of Dylans harmonica playing but that could be down to the recordings.
I have now sold the 8 DAC and Ianmac has supplied me with an old Smartpower which is singing well.
I would like to bi amp again to take some of the work load off of the Smartie at high volumes so if anyone has one that they are thinking of selling please let me know,it needs to be smooth black to fit in.Alternatively maybe an integrated like an 8 or 8a or 8vs.I think that I can by pass the internal pre amp by going through the AV and locking the volume.
Please let me know if I am wrong.

User avatar
angelface
Addicted
Addicted
Posts: 2019
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:00 pm

Re: Audiolab M dac as a pre amp

Postby angelface » Mon May 27, 2019 11:01 am

It sounds like you are hearing things I would expect from a better DAC.

I would definitely get another power to bi-amp. There are always lots of them on ebay if you buy things there.
CDXTSE2/PSX-R(Nordost Silver Line)BC DAC3.7/VBL(Atlas Navigator)MF Baby Mk2(Atlas Navigator)2xMonoX300Sigs(Coherent 4D)WB Arc
HUMAX Freesat+/Sony BDPS280>AVMaster8 and SP+>Spendor C5e>> Monitor Audio RXW12 sub>>4xSpendor SR5