SOA Digital Server/DAC for $2,300. ?

T_Bop -- Sat, 09/13/2008 - 10:55

Things that make you go hmmmm.....(musings on Robert Greene's review of the Benchmark DAC Pre 1)...

How close to digital State-of-the-Art would I get for $2,300.00 if I did the following:

1. Uploaded all my CD's, in lossless format, to my Apple iPod Classic
2. Attached the iPod to the Wadia iTransport - which pulls a bit-perfect copy off of the iPod and by-passes the iPod DAC
3. Ran the Wadia iTransport output into the Benchmark DAC Pre 1
4. Ran the bit-perfect, re-clocked, converted output of the Benchmark DAC Pre 1 into a great amp and on to a great speaker

The price is right, you can fit the whole thing in a briefcase, and you can easily take that briefcase to your favorite audio dealer to audition their equipment with your front end)!

Day dreaming...or just dreaming...comments anyone?

Steven Stone -- Sat, 09/13/2008 - 15:06

I see no reason why the system you've outlined wouldn't be a winner.

As for State-of-the-art, well, that's such a subjective and moving target, why should it be your goal?

I think you'll find that your system will be both musically challenging and fulfilling, which is what we strive for, isn't it?

Also being able to easily bring it to any amp/speaker system makes picking just the right back-end gear quite a bit easier.

You might want to pick up that i-Pod classic soon however - Apple is discontinuing the 160 Gb version in favor of a slimmer 120 GB model.

I'm sort of miffed that Apple would opt for appearance over substance, but "Welcome to the modern world."

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound,, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

Anonymous -- Wed, 11/26/2008 - 00:55

I've just received the Wadia & DAC1-PRE and am lookong to buy the best Amp/Speakers I can afford... I'm thinking NuForce Signature for the amps with dynamic and romantic speakers, but it will just boil down to the best speaker/amp combo I can comeup with... I would love to hear from anyone with suggestions...
Lesly Jr.
Zeno11 [at] hotmail [dot] com

Robert Harley -- Wed, 11/26/2008 - 11:25

I use a Wadia 170 iTransport (and iPod Classic) feeding a Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC as a regular part of my listening. The PC-based music server (described in detail in the January issue, which mails to subscribers December 2) sounds better, probably because the PC's digital-output board has low jitter, and the data are read from a solid-state drive.

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