System edited->after having lived with various ESS Sabre DACS over the last 4 years, I kind of felt the overall sound of this system veers a bit too lean and dare I say "bright"? Replacing the loudspeakers was not an option so there went the entire Benchmark suite up front. Now, a little more than a month in, I am thankfully relieved that the Bel Canto DAC has provided an acceptable level of oh so subtle easing of the system's sonic signature. Smoother, more analogue and a bit simpler with less listening fatigue. Every once in a while you make a change and get lucky. Whew!
@dougsat - Thank you. The system in it's present state meets my needs and am very satisified.
@harry26 - Thank you,. I will do my best to answer your questions as accurately as possible. The BDP3 goes into the DAC3 via a spdif connection and from there to HPA4 preamp to control the CIA MK2 amps. Regarding the Prestige speakers, the 85f can be placed into a smaller sized room. My dealer advised the 85 for the slightly better bass extension, which I was was looking for. I really like the exceptional fit and finish on these speakers as well.
As for how i settled upon these products, first and foremost, i only buy equipment from well established manufacturers. Secondly, i audition when i can but often times I lean heavily on reviews. I know the type of sonic signature i am looking for and of course I have always had a financial budget to work within. The class D monoblock amps were chosen for their sound, price, class D efficiency and Dusty Vawter's (Channel Islands Audio) outstanding craftsmanship and customer service.This system is incredibly transparent and super dynamic with excellent imaging. It isnt overly romantic sounding however. Thanks again. Mike.
@judomaniak- thanks for the compliment. As to your question-the amp is regarded to sound trsnsparent and dynamic. I like it as it allows each set of cans to really show their true colors so to speak. The Elears are really punchy with it. I do not think you can go wrong w/purchasing one. Good luck.