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Comparison of JKDAC(32) to dCs digital front end

posted 20 Nov 2011, 10:48 by John Kenny   [ updated 20 Nov 2011, 10:48 ]
Spent an interesting afternoon listening & comparing the JKDAC & JKDAC32 to a very high end dCs system. The dCS system consisted of the following 3 units:
Verdi La Scala CD/SACD Transport
Scarlatti DAC
Verona Clock
Together with Airtight ATC-3 preamplifier, AirTight ATM-3 monobloc tube amplifiers & kharma cermic 3.2FE I think, with a kharma CE SB1.0 sub This is a high-priced system.

It threw up some interesting but confusing issues.
One issue was that the JKDAC was preferred over the JKDAC32 but this was not too surprising as the JKDAC32 did not have enough burn-in.
The biggest issue was that I had -6dB of digital attenuation in my playback software, Jplay & this collapsed the sound completely - no dynamics, no ambience cues! This is not what I have found in other systems.
Anyway, not surprisingly, the dCs came out as the winner. It was close enough that there was no shame on my DACs & close enough that the 60 time multiplier in price difference was not reflected in the sound.
Read about the event here