DAC for M700 etc

Hi guys!
Nice to meet all of you here :slight_smile:
First , I’d like to ask: are Directstream DACs well suitable for M700 or lowest CellGain DAC was specially designed and more compatible for M700?
I also saw that lot of forum members wrote that plan or already changed M700 to M1200. Sure M1200 is better. But most of us like to leave tubes in the past, isn’t it? Or I am wrong?

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I have a friend that just upgraded from GainCell DAC to a DirectStream Sr. It’s definitely a major step up, but so is the price. The GainCell DAC does a very good job however.

RE: tubes, no tubes doesn’t belong in the past. Correctly implemented, they can be as good or better than any other gain device. The tubes in the BHK pre are not only there to add gain (for example as part of the volume control), but does allow you to “tune” the system to perfect the sound in YOUR room. Tubes are a bit more hassel than transistors… they do wear out, but changing an input tube is NOT a big deal and they’re not that expensive. You easily get 5k+ hours, so it’s not with a high frequency you need to change them.


I purchased the M700 in July. I am using a Schiit Gungnir multi-bit. So far I like the M700 a lot.

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Oh, should’ve added, the M700’s sound absolutely glorious driving his Audio Physic Virgo II’s. These speakers are know for their soundstage and the M770’s does an amazing job placing musicians in space (both width and depth), but they also added a drive (low end and mid-bass) to the speakers that they did NOT have before. Almost like added a topnotch subwoofer to the system. Remarkable!

I’m at the point where I’m going to borrow them for a weekend of hook them up to my Wilson Watt Puppy 8’s. They really sound THAT good!!!

Tubes - no tubes…. I missed period of tubes. But I like warm tube-like sound. That’s why I use Luxman 590 (SS class A) to drive Harbeths. But still looking for something powerful to drive Sonus Olympica. Proven but heavy A/B or light but…. D - that is the question!

I am using the M700’s with SF Olympica Nova III’s. They can drive these speakers easily and the sound is gorgeous. Mind you, I started this journey a couple of years back with the SGCD and the M700’s. At the time the speakers I was using were Focal 826V’s. Along the way traded in the SGCD and upgraded to the DSD sr. dac and the BHK pre.

Do I have the urge to replace the M700’s? Not in the near future.

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The promotion has not tempted you in the least?

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Thank you for useful response. Directstream DAC and BHK pre together?

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The Direct Stream DAC has no analog Pre-Amp section like the Stellar Gain Cell DAC.

If you need analog pre-amp and a DAC the Stellar Gain Cell DAC is the best match.

By budget, by looks and SQ. If I had to put the 5000 $ extra budget of the Direct Stream somewhere it would be speakers or amps. Direct Stream DAC is also becoming replaced in the next coming years.

Also, 6500 $ for the direct stream is a lot of money, compared to the M700. There are a lot more very attractive options on the market.

If I could afford BHK amps and 15000 $ speakers I’d probably take the Direct Stream into consideration.


Oh yes

If only they were selling Pass amps :slight_smile:

I have got to be careful here, but yes I do understand.

FYI, there is a DS Sr. DAC currently available on this forum for $2,700. That price is considerably less than the average going price on Audiogon.

If that is in your price range/reach, I would not hesitate to grab it. Unless you have previously owned a very high end and expensive DAC, I think you will be blown away by what it can add to your digital signal chain.



I ran the DSSr. with 2 M700’s without a preamp and it sounded great. You won’t be disappointed.

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If you do not need a analog pre amp i.e. your sources are digital only.

If you are OK with second hand and depending on the status (scratches, original packaging), power supply inlet (EU or US), reason for selling (has it been back for repairs) and shipping cost, $2700 is probably OK.

I have been wondering this one myself. I have a SGDC/M700’s connected to a PSA Detect running CDs through a Marantzs CD6004 CD player playing through either a pair of Klipcsh Chrorus II or Focal Electra 1028 BEs. All sounds good but know there is a week link and been trying to figure it out. So recently purchased a Stellar P3. I have noticed a change in sound stage and bass depth. The P3 is not broken in but I am guessing the bass will get tighter/faster with more clear mids.
I have been thinking dumping the Marantz for a Jays Audio CDT2-MK3. The Jays does not have an onboard DAC as does the Marantz. My question when it comes to DACs will a CD transport without a DAC sound as good with CD player with a DAC going into the SGCD? Or should a DSD be put into the chain?


Looks like you have a nice setup already. Re you last question, it boils down to whether you like the sound of the DAC of the Marantz vs the DAC of SGCD. Before buying a new transport, you could start by connecting the digital coaxial output of the Marantz CD6004 to the SGCD and listen for improvements. If you opt for a transport-only configuration, the selection of a good digital coaxial cable will immensely change your experience.

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Any suggestion for a quality digital cable? I have been using Nirvana with BNC terminations and BLC with coax terminations.

I bought AQ Coffee BNC to RCA a few years back, and I am sold on to it. It was my upgrade from Van den Hul and Atlas before that. I used it with both GCD and DS DAC. Later on, I saw under connections on PSA site which confirmed what my ears were hearing :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

May be I should give it a try. Thx