McCormack DAC 1

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McCormack DAC 1

Post by eagle6014 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:30 pm

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I just recently acquired the McCormack DAC-1 Deluxe Edition. I'm not so sure what makes it a deluxe edition, but it sounds great and looks nice too. This one I obtained for $550 (s/h included). However it came with a BNC connector so I had to buy from Radio Shack a cheap $3 adapter. This is until I'm ready for SMCAudio.com to upgrade it. They said no problem changing that over to a WBT input. As far as comparing this to other dac's I've had, it sounds great. No complaints here, classic dac sound for my huge 80's collection. Since I have so many cd's a good dac for playing those 20+ year old cd's is a must. I connected it to my ET3 via Nordost Heimdall interconnects, a Kimber AGDL half meter digital to my Oppo 105, and a Nordost Blue Heaven power cable.
Last edited by eagle6014 on Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MCormack DAC 1

Post by admin » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:48 pm

Looks great. That a great price for a good DAC. How do you think it compares to the more modern DAC in the Oppo 105?

You may enjoy this read: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/smcaudio2/dac.html.
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Re: MCormack DAC 1

Post by eagle6014 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:54 pm

Well I guess how it sounds compares to the Oppo is dependent on what you want to hear. The Oppo is great for high res, HDCD, SACD, and video no doubt. That is what it was designed for. This dac doesn't sound as "fuzzy" or laid back as others. By comparison, the Mark Levinson 360S I had was just awful. I thought a premium price meant you would get superior sound. I was so wrong. This dac is very quiet, light in weight, and simple. I didn't spend any extra cash in cables, I wanted to use what I had in stock. My first disc I played was Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of reason. Sounded just like it did 20 years ago when I had a very simple system. Second disc was Alan Parson's Try Anything Once. Clean sound that disc is & so well balanced.
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Re: MCormack DAC 1

Post by admin » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:24 pm

Good description. Again, great score for $550. Looks like it's in great cosmetic condition as well. Aesthetically it matches well with the CJ preamp. Overall very nice, if I didn't have the CJ D/A 2-b already I could totally see myself trying to get one myself.
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Re: McCormack DAC 1

Post by eagle6014 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:52 pm

Today I spoke with the main man himself, Steve McCormack. Nice guy, he knows his gear and what it should be doing. He quoted me a price of well over $2K for a complete upgrade. Well for what it is, that's out of budget. I respectfully told him no thanks. He did however suggest I upgrade the fuse to a HIFI Tuning Silverstar fast 500mA. Music Direct sells them for $40. Not sure what I'm going to hear if I do, but I might just b/c Steve Mc said so. I'm an obedient minion. But he did say that if I wanted to, I could send it in and have the output jacks and the digital input changed over to a WBT set. Also the IEC input could be changed to a Furutech one. He said that would be more affordable and make a difference as well. The current power inlet is an affordable one that snaps in. The Furutech also needs holes drilled and will be far more secure. Other than that, I enjoyed our brief talk. That is all, Pat.

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Re: McCormack DAC 1

Post by Joe Appierto » Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:38 pm

I recently changed the five fuses (4 B rail and 1 mains) in my CA200 from HiFi-Tuning Gold to their Silver Star and the difference was not subtle and overall, definitely for the positive. I've used their Supreme in the past which to me sound like a cross between the Gold (rich tonality, increased detail) and Silver (greater presence, somewhat lighter tonality and more detail without being in your face). The only thing the Supreme lack in the applications I've tried them is that last degree of presence that the Silver Star possess. For the price, I think the Silver Star is the sweet spot in their line.
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Re: McCormack DAC 1

Post by eagle6014 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:15 pm

Just a pic of the DAC-1 inside.
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Re: McCormack DAC 1

Post by eagle6014 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:55 pm

Perhaps someone can shed a little light on this: According to McCormack this dac was originally equipped with a Crystal Semiconductor CS8412 chip. But, as it turns out it has a Cirrus CS8414 chip. Now, according to the eBay original listing it was boxed for a decade and has signs of little use. OK fine. But clearly someone swapped it out. Now I just want to know if anyone thinks this is a bad thing or not. It sounds fine as is. I've been watching Blu-ray movies thru this dac and they sound good in 2 ch of course. I've seen pics of what Mr. McCormack does for the upgrade. Basically he literally guts the thing for $2K. What's to say it's worth it. Why should I drop that kind of scratch when I could by something else for the same price. I guess I'm over thinking this again.

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Re: McCormack DAC 1

Post by admin » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:37 pm

Not sure which chip is better or worse. I think at the end of the day it comes to how you like the sound. Although the upgrade sounds tempting, I'm thinking is $2.5k going to give you better performance than more modern high end DACS? Not sure. What I do know is that at $2500, there are a lot of high end DAC options. I'm not being very helpful here.... :) At the end of the day, I think you got a great deal on this DAC as it is now.
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Re: McCormack DAC 1

Post by eagle6014 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:29 am

Your right admin. I'm going to leave it alone and I will sell it only if I find something else better that peaks my interest. Axpona is next month here in Chi-town so hopefully I can get a sense of the latest fads.

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