In continuation to the "A new round of Pacific’s DAC listening" post....
I have a number of revisions of this little contest between two DACs in this thread and in other threads. In all of them the Lavry 924 has a little edge over Pacific Microsonics’ DAC. Now, after acquiring the Pacific Microsonics Model 2 I have reviewed those old competitions between two very good DACs. Here are my foundlings.
Result in short: Lavry gold “won” again but with much much much narrower margin. In fact the result that Pacific and Lavry demonstrated were not better and worst but rather slightly different type of sounds. Both of them are EVRY good and I should easily leave with both of them. I do not think that I would be able blindly to distinct them and the different is auditable ONLY during the running both of the DACs from the same source and immediate switching the preamps inputs, using the short-term memory (thanks for Placette that is very good in doing it)
A Caveat: with all things being equal I have to confess that my Lavry and my Pacific run different analog cables to preamps. Lavry runs 1M Dominus, Pacific runs 2.5M Redco. I span quite a lot of efforts trying to find a cable that would be able to match Dominus, Redco is not the match but it has less problems that MANY other high-end cable I tried in THIS location. Also, my Lavry's PS are modefied...
Reasons: the reasons the revision of the Pacific vs. Lavry competition feel would be necessary because a few things are change on my site.
1) I use Pacific Microsonics Model Two instead Model One
2) I run Pacific Microsonics in master clock mode
3) I found how to salve the Lynx card “more properly”
4) I use better cable between Pacific and preamp.
5) Mani Sandher with his idea to use Pacific as the ONLY processor kind of reignite my interest the subject
Material: I used mostly my own FM recording for imaging control and the grasp of the total sound, a few my own Stallavox tape transfers for HF tonal control, the 3-point modulated test for pitch control and SoundMirror’s Mahler 6 file for “the sounds controls” (I find that file is faulty to use for other testing purposes). All material was 88/24, I did not run the DACs at 16 bit. I did not read the SoundMirror’s HDCD encoding.
Result in Details: Pacific Microsonics vs. Lavry Gold do have different type of sounds. Pacific in a way is very similar to Bidat but with much-much higher degree of transparency. Bidat pushes lower MF a bit upfront, creating a VERY locative “body” in the “fundamental channel”. Pacific does the same but to much less degree. It is so delicate that it is absolutely not auditable in most of the music unless you search for it, the 3-point modulated test, choruses or the voice of newscaster probably was the best to highlight it. Lavry Gold has no minute domination in “fundamentals channel” and it is very neutral everywhere. It is also less “upperbassy” and more “bassy”. Pacific has “event” in bass - what bass reaches the lower region then is has a feeling of a little “injection” of power. It does not sound artificial or anything like this. The bass is very-very-very good but the Pacific bass has rather a “collapse” of bass after the bass reaches the lower point. With Lavry Gold it does not happen – Lavry has no “event” in bass and Lavry’s lower bass runs uneventfully deeper. It is not that Lavry has deeper bass but it rather that Lavry deeper bass has no “breathe change” event. They are very minor thighs and probably would not mater for most of the people but they meter to me.
The Pacific Microsonics and Lavry Gold do have different imaging pattern. Again, it is not about the better or worth but rather different. Lavry has a sound field very slightly larger geometrically (what they call “soundstage”) and the spate is more ignited with diversity of excitements. Pacific is less about excitement, less about the geometrical excitement but more about delicacy, gracefulness and sophistication. It is very interesting to switch between the DACs. Pacific has fancier imaging but not effective, you need to look into it to “get” it. Lavry opens its arms and show off itself right the way… Kind of different not capacity but presentation manner… Still, both DACs is way “out there” in term of imaging quality. I have two other 24bit-able DACs, one is a consumer DAC and another $350 pro DAC. It is even hard to describe how much Pacific and Lavry out of competition with those “little DACs”. It is not even a different league, it is 42393 leagues away…
Anyhow, in the end the Pacific showed itself off better then it did in the past as before it was just losing to Lavry in bass more aggressively. Now I do not feel this disadvantage, there are different characters but not that one is unambiguously better than other. I can clearly see that Pacific might be a fine only Reference DAC in a good playback, particularly if payback uses only one sampling rate and the bits depth.The Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche