Abbingdon Music Research DP-777 D/A processor Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog Sources: Garrard 301, Thorens TD 124 turntables; EMT 997, Schick tonearms; Ortofon SPU, EMT TSD 15 70th Anniversary, EMT OFD 25 pickup heads; Auditorium 23 Standard (SPU version), Silvercore One-to-Ten step-up transformers.
Digital Sources: Wavelength Proton USB DAC; Apple iMac G5 computer with Apple iTunes v.10.2.2 & Decibel v.1.0.2 playback software; Sony SCD-777 SACD/CD player.
Preamplifier: Shindo Masseto.
Power Amplifiers: Shindo Corton-Charlemagne & Haut-Brion.
Loudspeakers: Audio Note AN-E/SPe HE, Quad ESL.
Cables: USB: Nordost Blue Heaven. Interconnect: Audio Note AN-Vx, AudioQuest Columbia, Nordost Blue Heaven, Shindo Silver. Speaker: Auditorium 23. AC: Ocellia Reference.
Accessories: Box Furniture Company D3S rack under source & amplification components; Keith Monks record-cleaning machine.—Art Dudley

Abbingdon Music Research
US distributor: Avatar Acoustics
545 Wentworth Court
Fayetteville, GA 30215
(888) 991-9196

FSonicSmith's picture

Here we go again; a DAC that leaves the reviewer gushing with praise juxtaposed with a so-so bench report from JA. Sometimes I see the dichotomy and suspect the reviewer is the culprit and sometimes I suspect the measurements simply fail to measure what is truly important. When it comes to listening impressions, I have faith in Art. It is obvious from the description of the design that some very solid engineering went into this product coupled with much attention to the all-important analogue output stage. The "problem" with reconciling listening impressions with measurements of DACs is that JA can't really measure the effectiveness/quality of the output stage. Put differently, a DAC can have the very best chips and good power supply regulation and measure just dandy and yet still leave the listener on edge. I am not in the biz and I am not an engineer. But that said, I (think I) know that with high-end DACs, you just have to listen. I would love to hear what folks who either own this DAC or who have auditioned this DAC think.

VandyMan's picture

The gear Dudley praises almost never tests well. I enjoy his writing, but I read his reviews with a very skeptical eye. Some of the other reviewers seem to more frequently align with the measurements.

>>JA can't really measure the effectiveness/quality of the output stage

That is just not true. He measures pre-amps all the time. It is basicly the same thing.


Surge's picture

Can JA comment on differences between the DP-777 and the NAD M51?

Both DACs are new and offer new technology to produce "analogue-like" sound, from what I gather.

Is the DP-777 that much better for 2.5X the price?

jsch123's picture

I've had two of these DAC's and both has issues in different ways. The SE upgrade keeps getting pushed out...I've been finding it hard to have faith in what their distributor says. The units do sound good after a very long burn-in.

Avatar Acoustics's picture

JSCH123 purchased his DP used on A-gon. I have an email from him extolling the sound of the machine. Subsequently he sent me another email telling me he rolled his tubes and it wasn't working. He had no warranty when he purchased used and tube-rolling also voids the warranty but Avatar agreed that we would repair it for a customary and reasonable fee. He agreed and sent it to us.

Then he purchased a second used DP-777 (not from us) which was broken when he received it, that he wanted fixed at a discount and then for free. If it was broken when he received it, he should have sent it back to the seller instead of leaving negative feedback for us.

We offered him the opportunity to upgrade from a repair to the SE version since his machine was here but advised him that AMR was still finalizing the upgrade and their might be a wait. At no time did we mislead him on a concrete timeframe. He elected to wait rather than pay for a standard repair.

He sent emails to the manufacturer demanding free repairs or he'd leave negative posts about AMR, iFi, and Avatar Acoustics.

As a gesture of goodwill, I sent him an iFi iDAC to use in the interim while he waited. He then logged on to Amazon and left negative feedback on a product that worked fine that he received for free.

I've tried to work with this individual but I am not repairing a machine he damaged for free when I have to pay for the boards myself. Nor will I be bullied into it because he posts negative, half truths.