• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

I wanna get rid of my Beresford, would you help me pick something???

DSJR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
3,227
Likes
4,342
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
The ARC SP9 was I feel, one of their better preamp designs as it was simple enough with less to characterise the signal passing through it, unlike many later models which added a signature colouration to everything played through them.

The Beresford isn't a 'bad' device as such, merely totally out of step with ASR vibes as regards furthering the state of the art. If it subjectively helps, I have a 2012 issue 'dac for a fiver' jobbie (they're now a tenner in updated internal form but still the size of a fat matchbox, the main subjective issue being the 1V output. Listening via headphones I got a mental impression of slight 'dirt' in the very far background of reverb tails or tape hiss reproduction (on early transfers that hadn't had the often over-used 'no noise' tech done on them) but for 90% of the music I play, it's perfectly adequate...

Good luck.
 
OP
G

Giuanniello

Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2022
Messages
20
Likes
6
Location
Italy
@Giuanniello are you aware that the way you approach audio is quite opposite from what this forum aims to do?

No offense at all. Just wondering what you feel ASR can offer you in your current quest.
I asked what could do it to replace my Beresford and somebody came up with the idea of bypassing the preamp and using a DAC alone, somebody else suggested a class D, nothing I been asking about, maybe we got off topic
 

Svend P

Active Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2022
Messages
127
Likes
240
Location
Århus, Denmark
I asked what could do it to replace my Beresford and somebody came up with the idea of bypassing the preamp and using a DAC alone, somebody else suggested a class D, nothing I been asking about, maybe we got off topic
Maybe you should read this first.

 

Rednaxela

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 30, 2022
Messages
1,992
Likes
2,598
Location
NL
I asked what could do it to replace my Beresford and somebody came up with the idea of bypassing the preamp and using a DAC alone, somebody else suggested a class D, nothing I been asking about, maybe we got off topic
Agree. So again - no offense at all. Happy to have you here. Honestly!

Still my question remains.
Just wondering what you feel ASR can offer you in your current quest.

I mean what makes you value @amirm's take on the PS Audio DAC you were considering at one point?

Genuinely interested.
 
OP
G

Giuanniello

Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2022
Messages
20
Likes
6
Location
Italy
Maybe you should read this first.

Well, I read the test of the PS Audio Nuwave DSD and it kinda made me rethink about it and as such I thought I could get some advise but so far I got it wrong, sorry for ripping your time and space and for my misunderstanding, have a great day
 

Willem

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
3,623
Likes
5,249
The diagnostic phase always comes first, and in your case there are several issues with the electronics chain, and dealing with them separately is not necessarily a good idea. Moreover, the conceptual framework behind them is problematic. It is not based on good science and engineering insights but more likely on subjectivism. As a result you are short changing yourself.
So these are the points:
1 These power amps are inadequate. You need at least some 100 watts, and in a larger room more. The good news is that watts are cheap
2 The simplest classic set up is a Yamaha AS801 integrated amplifier. For a quite modest price it has everything you need, and in abundance. It measures very well and has no sonic signature. It is also well made and reliable. An even simpler all in one option would be the similarly priced Sonos AMP.
3 As for separates, a Hypex or Purifi based class D amplifier is the modern best choice for normal money. You get plenty of ultra clean power in a small box and with low electricity consumption.
4 Pre amplifiers are unnecessary with modern DACs with volume control. All preamps can do is degrade the signal. A DAC with some form of dsp room eq is hugely benefical for clean sound in the actual listening room rather than outdoors without any reflections/room modes.

p.s. if you want a superb DAC with all the bells and whistles you can think of, look no further than the RME ADI-2DAC.
 
Last edited:

Rednaxela

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 30, 2022
Messages
1,992
Likes
2,598
Location
NL
[...] so far I got it wrong [...]
In all fairness, this is not true. See posts #2 and #3.

Speaking for myself, I have put in quite some effort trying to understand what it is that you have now and what it is that you are seeking. I googled a couple of options to reject them because they did not meet one or two of your requirements.
 

Svend P

Active Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2022
Messages
127
Likes
240
Location
Århus, Denmark
Well, I read the test of the PS Audio Nuwave DSD and it kinda made me rethink about it and as such I thought I could get some advise but so far I got it wrong, sorry for ripping your time and space and for my misunderstanding, have a great day
It was not meant in a bad way. People are actually trying to help you. But in order to do that, you have to question everything you thought you knew about audio.
 

DavidEdwinAston

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Messages
738
Likes
558
Well, I read the test of the PS Audio Nuwave DSD and it kinda made me rethink about it and as such I thought I could get some advise but so far I got it wrong, sorry for ripping your time and space and for my misunderstanding, have a great day
If you look back over the thread, you have been given some great advice. It's fine if you don't want to take it.
Have a great day yourself. :)
 

JeremyFife

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Messages
648
Likes
746
Location
Scotland
I asked what could do it to replace my Beresford and somebody came up with the idea of bypassing the preamp and using a DAC alone, somebody else suggested a class D, nothing I been asking about, maybe we got off topic
Rethinking, and based on what you actually asked ... the Denafrips that you are considering measures well - sounds like a good option

Thread 'Denafrips ARES II USB R2R DAC Review' https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/denafrips-ares-ii-usb-r2r-dac-review.11166/
 

DSJR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
3,227
Likes
4,342
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
The diagnostic phase always comes first, and in your case there are several issues with the electronics chain, and dealing with them separately is not necessarily a good idea. Moreover, the conceptual framework behind them is problematic. It is not based on good science and engineering insights but more likely on subjectivism. As a result you are short changing yourself.
So these are the points:
1 These power amps are inadequate. You need at least some 100 watts, and in a larger room more. The good news is that watts are cheap
2 The simplest classic set up is a Yamaha AS801 integrated amplifier. For a quite modest price it has everything you need, and in abundance. It measures very well and has no sonic signature. It is also well made and reliable. An even simpler all in one option would be the similarly priced Sonos AMP.
3 As for separates, a Hypex or Purifi based class D amplifier is the modern best choice for normal money. You get plenty of ultra clean power in a small box and with low electricity consumption.
4 Pre amplifiers are unnecessary with modern DACs with volume control. All preamps can do is degrade the signal. A DAC with some form of dsp room eq is hugely benefical for clean sound in the actual listening room rather than outdoors without any reflections/room modes.

p.s. if you want a superb DAC with all the bells and whistles you can think of, look no further than the RME ADI-2DAC.
Willem sir, I do know where you're coming from here, but something I've (hopefully) learned late in life is that going for it all guns blazing in terms of dissing every component in the OP's system and recommending the same old same old (otherwise excellent) alternatives mantra can put established audiophiles with a subjectively biased viewpoint and gear choice TOTALLY off and drive them away (something I've been recently accused of elsewhere as you know, which is why I'm taking a long sabbatical from there if willpower allows :( ).

Somehow, you and I (and others I'm sure), have to find a gentle softly-softly approach to newcomers who come at the gear/hobby side of music reproduction from a totally different mindset to 'ours' and hopefully gently show them what's really what in terms of the reproduction gear. I have to admit I'm not really good at this and like you, always have the best intentions at heart (I was able to get away with this in my career but I have memories of disasters along the way which make me wince to this day). I have analogue sources and currently, increasingly dated passive speakers, so having a full function dac would be worthless to me at present. I have nothing but positive feelings towards the ARC SP9 on its line stage after a lengthy dem at the time and wouldn't turn one away if it was still running right after thirty five years or so. I even owned an SP14 fet preamp from new for a year or two and wonder how it'd fare today..

Just to confirm I'm NOT really disagreeing with you at all. The RME dac is arguably about as good as it gets really, but it IS expensive. The audiophile fraternity is still largely resistant to class D amp designs although more are investigating it seems, but the well priced Quad Artera Stereo could be considered as a (now) traditional amp of good all round conventional performance. I'm afraid that the sub £/$1000 Yamaha amps will be totally dismissed by forum and magazine reading 'audiophiles' as they're too cheap, too appliance-like in function and from a mass market kind of supplier, no cachet at all (I'd go as far as to suggest that even the top models and fancy speakers they make these days aren't quite 'audiophile' enough despite great styling and build and with a thoroughly decent and consistent performance too).

I hope my thoughts above aren't too muddled or muffled, but in wanting to help the OP, I fear we may have driven him off and if we have, that's sad!
 

Galliardist

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
2,558
Likes
3,267
Location
Sydney. NSW, Australia
Willem don't take it bad, some amps depend on the preamp to give music a signature, my solid state Class A power amp is a buffer and its sound signature depends on the source and I won't feed such an amp with the MacMini DAC's signal nor I would bypass the AR SP9 and, sorry again, if you compare FirstWatt by Nelson Pass or KT88 tubes to a class D amp we are talking apples and clams
I've done a bit of digging and reading up on this system. It's a collection of vintage and less usual items that I'm not convinced about. But it is your starting point and you've chosen these components...

The first step is to get the speakers looked at, if you haven't already. The L220 is supposed to be good on the impedance front, and for the F4 to have a chance of working you'll need that to be right. If you have problem components in the speaker the whole thing is going to fall to bits, especially if the impedance falls in the bass, in which case the amp won't provide enough power. I think the F4 is borderline here in any case, but it's not the worst pairing you could have.

Newer, well designed speakers would make the biggest improvement usually, but the amps limit choice and you appear to be on a vintage kick, so if the L220s work and you like the sound, I'd say work with them. If you don't like the sound, then lose the lot and start from scratch. You can build a good modern system for the resale price of your components and your apparent DAC budget.

Personally, I'd replace all of your electronics with a good all in one or integrated amp, and would suggest (since you seem to be a traditionalist) a decent Yamaha, or stretching to the Marantz Model 40 - class AB, more than capable of driving your speakers.

If you must keep the FirstWatt, I would strongly suggest you need a proper preamp. The SP9 adds distortion to the FirstWatt's distortion, the Beresford more again: and that would be too much for me personally. You may differ, of course. I'd be looking for a solid state preamp with low distortion and good voltage output and gain. Such things are expensive new, unfortunately. Benchmark (we get to be stuck records here, either Benchmark or Topping/SMSL) preamps would be a good choice. Two F4's run as mono power amps is another upgrade that may help with your speakers if you are committed to them. They are not recommended items here, of course!

A lot of the modern DAC/amps as suggested by some here will not work with the F4, which needs good voltage and some gain. And digging in, I agree the Beresford is the first thing that should go. A Benchmark DAC may be the best answer if you intend to keep everything else (again, we have to be a bit concerned about decent output levels from the DAC). If the Denafrips appeals, though, again it's not the worst choice. Any DAC recommended here will work with a proper preamp to the F4, and a cheap model gives you more room to work with the next steps. The Beresford isn't a great DAC, from what I can see. I suspect that it won't provide sufficient voltage for the F4, so wouldn't take the advice to connect it directly.

You do not need fancy cables and especially not fancy AC cables. Even if you want them, they should come well down the list.

So, you are closer to correct with your ideas here than we may at first think. Forget cables, though: replace the Beresford with a low distortion DAC, and get the speakers properly checked and refurbished if necessary and doable, if you haven't done that already. Then consider amp choices. If the speakers have impedance problems such as a dip below even 6 ohms (I can't find a good measurement) then your system is probably mismatched, and you'll need to look at what you want to change.
 

Willem

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
3,623
Likes
5,249
I hope my thoughts above aren't too muddled
You confuse me: on the one hand you call the RME ADI-2 DAC expensive, and on the other hand you call the Yamaha too cheap. Yes, the RME is expensive, but not really that much more than the DAC that he was considering, and a lot, I mean really a lot, cheaper than the Benchmark DAC. Conversely, the OP laughed at my really budget friendly suggestion that the DAC in his MAC is probably good enough.
I agree that the message is tough to take, but not facing reality is ultimately more expensive.
 
Last edited:

DSJR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
3,227
Likes
4,342
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
'Expensive' is obviously a relative and subjective term - and I'm not challenging you in that recommendation of the RME (my level is the SMSL SU1 currently ;) ).

In the terms of 'audiophile' dealers and gullible followers, those Yamaha amps (801 and lower) are almost derided as too cheap for consideration - remember the other forum where said amp range can't be over-promoted as the dealers selling said forum's products want to upsell to far more profitable products even if the actual performance isn't really any better - heaven forbid Class D which is often something they don't want to think about (maybe NAD and one or two others might gain some inroads though).

It's difficult though, as newcomers here may be overwhelmed at first by the rigid objective stance 'we' have here, but hopefully, a few can hang around and re-learn what's happening in reality away from subjectivist fantasy :)
 

Willem

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
3,623
Likes
5,249
We are not here to protect dealers, let alone dealers who sell overpriced audiophile gear. The point of sites such as ASR and any sane minded other sources of information is to protect people from such greed. The real problem is the spread of fake information that dupes people into spending heavily on overpriced and/or subpar gear. Sadly, there is a lot of that, and most dealers are guilty. As a result, I have not bought anything from a regular dealer for quite some time. I buy online for a good price and less waffle from salespeople who don't know a thing about audio engineering. My only concession is that I try to favour the online sites of brick and mortar shops on main street.
 

DSJR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
3,227
Likes
4,342
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
We are not here to protect dealers, let alone dealers who sell overpriced audiophile gear. The point of sites such as ASR and any sane minded other sources of information is to protect people from such greed. The real problem is the spread of fake information that dupes people into spending heavily on overpriced and/or subpar gear. Sadly, there is a lot of that, and most dealers are guilty. As a result, I have not bought anything from a regular dealer for quite some time. I buy online for a good price and less waffle from salespeople who don't know a thing about audio engineering. My only concession is that I try to favour the online sites of brick and mortar shops on main street.
I don't totally disagree, but this kind of attitude will kill off the audio industry as we oldies know it and has almost done this in the UK, where a certain speaker brand we know well, sells mainly now as 'ex dem' and 'seconds' all too often (I suspect the 'seconds or ex-dem' labels are a way of discounting A1 ex-factory products to get sales, something that would have been unheard of ten or more years back). Having said that, many well off people seem to LIKE to spend their copious income on lavish high end confections whatever the interest (we had B&O which was actually a lot better than we thought at the time, while also having two other basically rip-off (I now see) agencies ruling our takings and profits - our livelihoods couldn't survive on Quad alone sadly).

Many here may disagree, but buying speakers for example on a Klippel test alone, unheard anywhere and online 'mail order' is risky to say the least. This is where dealers can be helpful - but I would say that, wouldn't I as I was one for decades? Audio shows are feasts for the hobbyist eyes but almost never ears as the sounds are often awful and TOO LOUD to counter the din in the next room and attendees still seem increasingly aged (50+ looking at the pictures posted here and elsewhere). Amir has posted pics of the headphone sections or dedicated headphone style shows where attendees are very much younger. No idea if mainland Europe is the same though, especially Germany where much of our imported high end audio seemed to come from (one man/distributor with a chequebook taking a trip every so often to top up).
 

DavidEdwinAston

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Messages
738
Likes
558
I don't totally disagree, but this kind of attitude will kill off the audio industry as we oldies know it and has almost done this in the UK, where a certain speaker brand we know well, sells mainly now as 'ex dem' and 'seconds' all too often (I suspect the 'seconds or ex-dem' labels are a way of discounting A1 ex-factory products to get sales, something that would have been unheard of ten or more years back). Having said that, many well off people seem to LIKE to spend their copious income on lavish high end confections whatever the interest (we had B&O which was actually a lot better than we thought at the time, while also having two other basically rip-off (I now see) agencies ruling our takings and profits - our livelihoods couldn't survive on Quad alone sadly).

Many here may disagree, but buying speakers for example on a Klippel test alone, unheard anywhere and online 'mail order' is risky to say the least. This is where dealers can be helpful - but I would say that, wouldn't I as I was one for decades? Audio shows are feasts for the hobbyist eyes but almost never ears as the sounds are often awful and TOO LOUD to counter the din in the next room and attendees still seem increasingly aged (50+ looking at the pictures posted here and elsewhere). Amir has posted pics of the headphone sections or dedicated headphone style shows where attendees are very much younger. No idea if mainland Europe is the same though, especially Germany where much of our imported high end audio seemed to come from (one man/distributor with a chequebook taking a trip every so often to top up).
D, as a fellow Brit, can I ask which Brand of speakers you are referring to?
Personally, in the last year, I finally moved the Spendor s100's off their stands, and replaced them with Ascend Acoustics Sierra LX. Purchased solely on Sweet Chaos recommendation!
After learning to cope with the visual difference, I now think they are "perfect"!
 
Top Bottom