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In the Forum: Didital Things
In the Thread: Reference Recordings “digital master” and Berkeley's new DAC
Post Subject: My attitude toward to the Berkeley DACPosted by Romy the Cat on: 12/20/2008

I admit that I had some interest to begin with when the Berkeley DAC was announced. I was told a year before Berkeley become available that thus guys are working on something new and I felt that whatever this team produces is worth to pay attention. When the Berkeley hit public I spoke with a person who I do respect (very few of them out there) who used both Berkeley and Pacific DAC about their differences. He was watchful, provided a positive feedback about Berkeley and claimed that they are different. Mind you that I am a big fun of Pacific DAC section. Pacific is exceptionally good 16 bit DAC but at higher rate and faster frequency I found the there are better sounding DACs.

I did not have and do not have any itch with digital and I am very comfortable with what it is but I use different DACs for CD transport and for DAW. Theoretically it would be nice to have just one DAC. The biggest motive for me was an ability to experiment with my DAW and USB connectors if the USB was properly done in Berkeley DAC. A few months ago, in August or July I believe, I packed up my Lavry 924 and my Digital cable and went to a person know who just got his new Berkeley DAC. I had opportunity to hear Lavry multibit and Berkeley side by side.

At that time I had two major intellectual disappointments with Berkeley DAC. Firs it had no USB connector a big blow. Second, it had digital volume control that instantaneously set the Berkeley DAC in the class of “good for idiots” category, putting all Berkeley’s demagogy about bit-perfect operation under doubts. Surely if to max out the Berkeley DAC attenuator then the digital volume would not be engaged and it might be a solution. However, Berkeley folks told me that they consider that the DAC sound its best a 5-6dB before the max out level and I founded is VERY suspicions.

How, the Berkeley DAC sounded relative to Lavry? I do not know. The playback I was playing it was horrendous and both of the DAC sound like crap. Which one was crappier? Who cares? Among anything the Berkeley DAC sound like it was a bit too new to list it – it was a week old. We had an agreement that is month of so what the DAC burn-in I would take it to my home. After a month past I decided not do it. I still had residual interest about the Berkeley DAC’s Sound but it was kind of minimized by a lock of USB and D-attenuator. I decided that even the majority of audio people who will be using the DAC are Morons (and the linked above Computer Audiophile is a wonderful illustration) but among them there is a few lucid individuals who might encourage the Berkeley people to work out their new DAC in better version. At that time I heard that Berkeley folks were working to address some bugs that were already found in this new DAC, so I would like to see Berkeley Audio Design Alpha MKII DAC with a properly implemented USB port. I would like also Berkeley people to have the digital volume control with some kind of internals jumper that would absolutely defeat it.

It is possible that Berkeley as is now a good sounding DAC but I think Berkeley folks need to work on it more to make it more making sense. I still watch what they do and when Berkeley MKII DAC with defeatable volume control and USB-like ability become available I will enthusiastically take another look at it.

Rgs, Romy the Cat

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