DAC for ESL

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Josephamarino

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Hi all,
New to the forum. Glad to be on.
Looking for recommendations for a good DAC (for around $500) for my ESLs.

I have a pair of EM ESLs, with Marantz AV7005 pre tuner, MM7055 amp, Marantz SA8005 SACD, plus Sonos for music on a NAS.
Music through the SACD DAC was too bright / edgy through the ESLs.
Thought I'd try an older Peachtree DAC for Sonos and CDs (interesting, can't bypass the internal SACD DAC when playing SACDs, but can when playing CDs).
I liked the Peachtree, sound was warmer and full. But the Peachtree has gone T up.
So, hoping someone can make a recommendation for an ESL compatible DAC.

Thanks ahead.

Joseph
 

ElectroNoob

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I'm not sure if there's any ESL specific DAC's but since you have a solid state amp you might want to look at DAC's with a tube buffer to warm the sound. I normally use the built in DAC in my Marantz 7702mk2 since my system is mostly used for HT now but I have hooked up my Aune T1 Mk2 DAC(now on headphone duty) before and had good results.
 

amey01

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DAC for ESL is no different to DAC for anything else. You obviously prefer a warmer DAC, sto listen to a few of those and I'm sure you'll be happy.

See what Audioconnection has lying around.
 

Josephamarino

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Still learning, but I thought this was a common attribute with ESLs. I purchase my equipment from a high end installer in the US. When selecting the SACD, he suggested the Oppo would be too bright for the ESLs. He actually suggested the higher end Marantz, which wasn't in my budget at the time, so settled for the 8005.
 

Andrew Perry

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Hi,
new to the forum me too, but now my EM ESLs have been playing for almost two years in my room. :)
I've had different DACs (TacT, Wadia, Teac, and now Matrix Audio), and tone-color differences are certainly present, but mere nouances compared to the overall importance of room+(room treatment)+speakers+recording.
In other terms: if the sound is really "edgy" (and we all agree that it ain't a fault of the ESLs...), probably changing the DAC doesn't solve the problem.
Anyway, I've found that The Matrix Audio Mini-i Pro 2015 (now replaced by the Pro-2) is an excellent product for the price (about 500$ the new model): build quality is top notch, USB drivers are updated and stable, sound is well-balanced and refined.
Just my 2 cents.
 

Rich

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Andrew Perry has it right. Your problem likely isn’t a bright-sounding DAC; it’s a bright-sounding room (i.e. too many high frequency reflections off the front and side walls). Purchasing a different DAC isn’t going to help that problem much. Toning down the room reflections will help much more.
 

JonFo

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+1 on the room treatments before playing the DAC roulette game. Much bigger and beneficial impact than any piece of electronics could ever have.

Here is a recent thread over in our Room Treatments sub-forum, my first post in that thread also includes links to some very detailed threads on room treatments, replete with measurements and other documentation. http://www.martinloganowners.com/forum/showthread.php?17562-Acoustical-Treatment
 
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TomDac

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Still learning, but I thought this was a common attribute with ESLs. I purchase my equipment from a high end installer in the US. When selecting the SACD, he suggested the Oppo would be too bright for the ESLs. He actually suggested the higher end Marantz, which wasn't in my budget at the time, so settled for the 8005.
He was just trying to push you into spending more money.
 
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