DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

regarding Cyrus products and other hifi related threads
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Jonesey
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DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby Jonesey » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:33 pm

Hi there
I'm after some advice on a possible DAC upgrade to my system please. I'm currently running my CDXt Signature through the DAC on a Pre XPd pre amp. I'm wondering what DACs other members use to run with their CDXt transports ? So far I've been tempted to try one of the new Chord DACs ,but am open to other suggestions. Have other people upgraded DACs and seen a significant improvement?
Would probably prefer to buy new as I'd rather try before I buy. Price range would be £2k to £3k, but these upgrades usually tend to snowball don't they so may be willing to spend more (but unfortunately not up to a Chord Dave !!)
Thanks
Cyrus CD XT Signature - Cyrus Pre Xpd (with PSX-R) - Cyrus Mono X - PMC 5.23

Ianmac
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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby Ianmac » Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:42 pm

I have used Benchmark for a quite few years now. They are excellent performers and well reviewd on the net. Seriously outpeformed my Cyrus DAC XP at the time I purchased my first DAC1HDR.
You should be able to pick up a s/h DAC2 as its recently been replaced by the DAC3. There is little sonic difference between the two (according to Benchmark) whereas the DAC 2 is better than the DAC1 HDR which it replaced.
They are very versatile units accepting two unbalanced audio inputs as well as SPDIF optical and USB so more of a complete pre amp.
Balanced and unbalanced outputs.
User adjustable jumpers to allow one to match to almost any amplifier.

Check the benchmark website and find out who the UK importer is and get up to date prices. Discounts should be available from dealers.

You have just missed a very good Belcanto DAC 3.5 that a member was selling.
Id keep an eye on the S/h market there are some excellent buys out there as Hi fi gear seems slow to move at the moment.
Im sure others will respond with info on their DACs and you may get some feedback on the Chords - Ive never owned one so wont comment
Good hunting
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Cootie
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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby Cootie » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:07 pm

I’d recommend having a look at the latest Auralic Vega G1. Really natural sounding dac and the latest one has a built in streamer as an added bonus. Similarly the original Vega, which I’ve got is a real bargain second hand and works well with Cyrus transports

Other suggestions beyond Chord would be to give the latest offering from iFi a try. What HiFi were a bit lukewarm but it’s been very well received by everyone else and the technical spec is top drawer.

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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby Attonine » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:35 pm

Lots of Chord Hugo TT v1 around atm, new/ex dem and used. So these can be had for a pretty good price and are extremely good DACs. I think even the regular (portable) Hugo is worth a shot, again, lots available for really good prices, they get pretty close to the TT for less money. IMO, you can’t really go wrong with any of the recent generation Chord DACs, the only negative is perhaps the aesthetics can be a bit awkward, but if you can get past that, they’re all winners, easily available, and lots of dealers trying to move on the last generations because of version updates. As you can see from my sig, I have a TT, it’s a v important part in my set-up. Nothing Cyrus has comes close.

As Ianmac recommends, Benchmark is another good place to look and a strong used market presence too. Auralic, same again. Schiit is another brand to look at. M2Tech another......

For £2/3k you can get a really serious DAC, and if you can go ex dem/ used...wow. At this price there aren’t really any bad DACs. See what local dealers have a get some demos. At the very least this may rule in or out a certain brands house sound.
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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby callen24 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:08 pm

if you wanted to keep to the sane number of box’s you could home demo the qxr dac in your pre. will be a big jump from the vanilla one in your pre -xpd
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
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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby Lancashirelad » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:24 pm

With a budget of £3k you could buy a new DACXPSIG which obviously is designed to partner your CDXTSIG. I've recently upgraded to the SIG from Pre2dac (via p/ex) & the difference is very significant. Cyrus regard the SIG as their best Dac implementation. The SIG can also be found S/H & Ex Dem. Whilst an upgrade from PreXPd to the SIG does not appear in the list of available factory upgrades you could ask Cyrus if they can/will do it for you.
Some users of this forum do not rate Cyrus Dacs highly but I would not be put off by that. As ever the result of any change of electronics is subjective & whole system dependent.

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Jonesey
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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby Jonesey » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:36 pm

Thanks a million for all the suggestions, they have certainly given me a lot to think about !
To be honest all the suggestions appeal in different ways. I like the description of the Benchmark being a warm sound, and I think it has enough inputs such that I may be able to use it as a pre amp. The Auralic I must confess I'd never really heard of until now, but reading about it today sounds like a fine piece of kit. It's good to know that a Chord Hugo will work well. Decisions decisions ! It looks like I can demo most of the suggestions fairly locally so that's all good too !

I'm not too concerned about box count, Mission Control certainly hasn't complained yet, so I see that as a green light to just keep adding until she does ! I think the optimum hifi box count is a bit like the bike owners equation -
"The correct number of bikes to own is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner."

Exciting times, I'm really looking forward to getting a much better DAC to go with the CDXt. I was blown away by the sound quality improvement when I upgraded from a CD8X to the CDXt, but have been thinking for some time that the DAC in the PreXPD would be letting the side down. Callen24's description of it being "vanilla" made me chuckle and has convinced me I'll hear a decent improvement in sound quality by upgrading !
Cyrus CD XT Signature - Cyrus Pre Xpd (with PSX-R) - Cyrus Mono X - PMC 5.23

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Jonesey
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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby Jonesey » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:42 pm

Thanks for the advice Lancashirelad, I had wondered whether the DACXPSIG would be a good option. It's another one to think about and add to the list!
Cyrus CD XT Signature - Cyrus Pre Xpd (with PSX-R) - Cyrus Mono X - PMC 5.23

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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby Lancashirelad » Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:38 am

Afterthought: if you do go for the SIG you can continue to use your PSXR which is a great upgrade for the connected device & retain the matching casework (if that's important to you; I love it!).
In my experience of owning 10+ Cyrus boxes as I've clawed my way along the upgrade path it is worth noting that new Cyrus products out of the box sound thin & underwhelming. This makes auditioning a new product when considering upgrading somewhat tricky. I think an absolute minimum of 3 weeks solid use is required before making a judgement but that it takes 3 months to reveal full potential. I would dare to suggest that if you like the sound of what you've got then the SIG will only enhance your experience.
The difficulty which arises when asking the Forum for recommendations is that there are about as many answers as there are members. And each one is based on intensely personal preferences/biases/tastes/budgets/systems/etc. This difficulty is compounded by the declining number of dealers which makes finding & auditioning products pretty hard work.

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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby callen24 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Lancashirelad wrote:Afterthought: if you do go for the SIG you can continue to use your PSXR which is a great upgrade for the connected device & retain the matching casework (if that's important to you; I love it!).
In my experience of owning 10+ Cyrus boxes as I've clawed my way along the upgrade path it is worth noting that new Cyrus products out of the box sound thin & underwhelming. This makes auditioning a new product when considering upgrading somewhat tricky. I think an absolute minimum of 3 weeks solid use is required before making a judgement but that it takes 3 months to reveal full potential. I would dare to suggest that if you like the sound of what you've got then the SIG will only enhance your experience.
The difficulty which arises when asking the Forum for recommendations is that there are about as many answers as there are members. And each one is based on intensely personal preferences/biases/tastes/budgets/systems/etc. This difficulty is compounded by the declining number of dealers which makes finding & auditioning products pretty hard work.


great post
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

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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby Rune » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:29 pm

In the same price range as iFi I wold also look at Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital DAC at £295.
It substituted a Hugo in my system. It was a upgrade usability wise and SQ was more a sideway move.
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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby angelface » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:54 am

I had a Cyrus DACXP+ and went to a Bel Canto DAC3VB with VBS power supply which sounded better to my ears. I now have the 3.7 with VBL power supply that sounds great to me. Strangely Bel Canto have stopped making them and the second hand values have crashed making them an incredible bargain.

I would also hear Chord as they get rave reviews although I have never heard one myself.
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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby Ives » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:44 am

I use a Chord 2Qute with my CDXT Sig and I think it sounds wonderful.
Never heard a Chord Hugo (TT or other) and I will keep it that way for now as there is no budget for an upgrade ::) .
Nevertheless. That little 2Qute sounds at least as good as the Leema Acoustics Presiocion DAC I demoed my cd transport with.

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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby hifinutt » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:13 am

Ianmac wrote:I have used Benchmark for a quite few years now. They are excellent performers and well reviewd on the net. Seriously outpeformed my Cyrus DAC XP at the time I purchased my first DAC1HDR.
You should be able to pick up a s/h DAC2 as its recently been replaced by the DAC3. There is little sonic difference between the two (according to Benchmark) whereas the DAC 2 is better than the DAC1 HDR which it replaced.
They are very versatile units accepting two unbalanced audio inputs as well as SPDIF optical and USB so more of a complete pre amp.
Balanced and unbalanced outputs.
User adjustable jumpers to allow one to match to almost any amplifier.

Check the benchmark website and find out who the UK importer is and get up to date prices. Discounts should be available from dealers.

You have just missed a very good Belcanto DAC 3.5 that a member was selling.
Id keep an eye on the S/h market there are some excellent buys out there as Hi fi gear seems slow to move at the moment.
Im sure others will respond with info on their DACs and you may get some feedback on the Chords - Ive never owned one so wont comment
Good hunting


i still have the 3.5 , i just got fed up with trying to sell it. at 799 with a dedicated main supply its a bargain

https://www.stereophile.com/content/bel ... -converter
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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

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Re: DAC recommendations for CDXt signature ?

Postby hifinutt » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:15 am

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