Amp: XPA-1 gen 2 using XLR connections. Speakers: Axiom Audio m80 V3, Sennheisser HD600 headphones. two pairs 12 guage speaker cables per monoblock for biwire. Headphone amp: Basx A-100 (INCREDIBLE VALUE WITH HD600s!!)
It worked best for me on fixed, when I tried the same set up.
Thanks - what did you think of that combo? Did you compare it to the DC-1 by itself?
I thought they were both very good but felt the xsp-1 gave a little more detail and a deeper image. The small display on the dc was a pain. At the time I was using a sub and needed the bass management as well. In addition I knew I was getting a turntable and would be needing the phono stage.
Also at the time I was doing this the system was fully balanced with the 1l, xsp, oppo 105 and dc-1. What I would do was to run the oppo analog outs to the xsp and the optical and coax to the dc-1 so I could compare and switch on the fly between the two Dac's. On both units i tried using the fixed and variable setting out to the xsp. On both units in my opinion you lost a little bit of the detail verses running fixed out. It was not night and day but you could tell. If you were just doing digital and didn't need the bass mgt the dc1 would work fine and wouldn't miss a beat.
The main virtue of the preamp, IMHO, is the bass management and input flexibility. I can say that my XSP-1 (generation 2) does slightly change the sound quality compared to my Oppo BDP-105 driving my XPA-1Ls directly. garbulky summed it up well when he said that the sound, with the preamp in the system, is more "solid" than without. Could I reliably differentiate the two in a double-blind test? Probably not. This is, by the way, a STRONG endorsement of the XSP-1's neutrality - it doesn't seem to add or subtract much from the signal!
So what did I actually get for my $1K spent on a preamp? I got the bass management (well worth the price of the preamp by itself, since I use a sub). I got the ability to use a turntable if I want to (I haven't wanted to yet, but who knows...). I got the ability to run more than one input at a time (again, I haven't used this feature yet, but I may start using my Apple Airport Express with an external, TOSLINK DAC for online streaming). And finally, I got the option of using tone controls (I don't - but on some poorly-recorded material, they might be OK). So was it worth the money? For me, probably yes. But if I were on a tight budget, the Oppo plays well directly into the power amps too...
If this isn't sounding like a ringing endorsement of the XSP-1, then I apologize - The XSP-1 does deserve a ringing endorsement. It does everything a preamp should do without introducing audible artifacts (other than the slightly greater solidity of soundstage mentioned in the first paragraph - which isn't a negative, IMHO). The bottom line question is: Do you really need any of the preamp's features? If so, then the XSP-1 is one of the very best options on the market (particularly for its price). If you really don't need a preamp, then save your $1K and use it on something else. My system did need a preamp, and I've been VERY happy with the Emotiva one.
There are some combo DACs and Preamplifiers out there too, but cost more, but don't sound better than the XSP-1, and DC-1 combo. Even it was the same money the optimization of the DC-1, and XSP-1, and their isolation of the vs. A combination which is a compromise. I.e. sharing the same main power supply, less optimized DAC inside etc.
Separates together rule.
You can't be brave to succeed unless you are not afraid to fail.
I have this exact set up. DC-1, XSP-1 (gen2) and XPA-1L amps. I find the sound quality to be best running the DC-1 at -7db through the XSP-1 to the XPA-1L's. The DC-1, IMHO, tries to over drive the inputs on the XPA-1L's when I listened to mine. Anything over about -15db sounded very harsh. I've not tried to check the exact output of the DC-1 but I suspect when set at 0 db it's higher than the input rating of the amps.
No listening yet but I want to point out how annoying it is on the XSP-1 that the left output connection is on the right and the right output is on the left. My XLR cables therefor are crossing each other, I'm a little OCD when it comes to cable management so I did groan a bit as I just started plugging everything in.
No listening yet but I want to point out how annoying it is on the XSP-1 that the left output connection is on the right and the right output is on the left. My XLR cables therefor are crossing each other, ......
Yep, swapped out some XLR cables last week and couldn't figure out what bothering me...my sound stage got flipped...sure enough forgot left is right and right is left when looking down from the top.
Pre/Pro: XSP-1 Gen 2, MC-700, Sources:Bryston BCD-1,Rega P25/Sumiko Blue Point II & Tangospinner upgrades,record clamp, sub-platter, pulley and feet), Sony BDP ,Apple TV2 Amps: Bryston 3BSSTsq FL/FR, Emotiva UPA-1 CC, Bryston 2BLP pro L/R surrounds Speakers : Dynaudio Special 25's Main, Contour Center & Audience 42Ws for surrounds,Sub Velodyne DD-12 Head-Amps: Bryston BHA-1 Headphones: Sennheiser HD800S, HD6XX< AKG K701 Epson Pro Cinema 4030 projector/Elunevision Luna 128"
Post by sheetmetalworker on Sept 19, 2017 19:30:39 GMT -5
go with the dc1 if you have just one source.
Xpa-1 (2) Level 2 Spring Audio DAC. Oppo-bdp 103 Sonore microRendu sonic Transporter i5 music server running roon Singer su-1 ddc NAD C426 tuner Tekton lore impulse microjukebox XSP-1 Pangea power cords Cmx-2 and Cmx-6 (2) Asst Herbie's isolation and de coupling products.
OOPS - I thought that vaporware was merely a product that was promoted before its actual availability. I never intended to imply that there was NO DC-2, or that it wasn't going to get to market - only that it wasn't currently available.
However, reading the Dictionary.com definition:
"Vaporware - noun 1. Computer Slang. a product, especially software, that is promoted or marketed while it is still in development and that may never be produced."
I see that I've misused the term. Sorry.
I agree wholeheartedly that the DC-2 is going to become available (and I hope, soon).
Last Edit: Sept 20, 2017 7:42:15 GMT -5 by boomzilla