Adcom GDA-700 DACs

GDA-700

HDCD, 2 Burr-Brown 1702 (20 Bits), 2 transformers, very high quality components, inputs : AES/EBU, Optical, 2 Coax ; outputs : RCA and XLR

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
Jim VD   AudioPhile [May 08, 2006]
Strength:

Bulltetproof. Same DAC set-up and digital filter as Mark Levinson No 36 for $7k.
About 90% of the Levinson for next to nothing. Was a bargain for $1,000 when new.

Weakness:

No digital output.

Bulletproof design after 10 years of use. I recently bought two new players, a Denon (1500W CDR) with their Analog Devices 24 bit DACS and a decent Sony DVD player with some 24/96 stuff.

Even brand new D/A technology in the new players sounds lame compared to this 10 year old DAC. Not even close. Far better dynamics, much more powerful and controlled bass. Far better clarity. This or one of the mid-90's Theta DACS are great pick-ups. At the time, this DAC sounded better than Theta though.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Belgarchi   AudioPhile [Jun 09, 2005]
Strength:

Connections, features, built quality

Weakness:

Sound dry, lack of low bass, fuzzy image

The look is utilitarian. But the connections are first rate, as well as the built quality. But, despite the advice of others and this great technology, it doesn't souds good at all. Too much medium, no extreme bass, fuzzy image, slightly harsh... I compared it, in my main system, with : - MSB Link II : better than GDA-700 - CAL Icon II : better than GDA-700 - Marantz CD-17-II : better than GDA-700 - Musical Fidelity A3CD : similar - Marantz CD67SE : even worse than GDA-700

Similar Products Used: MSB Link II, Muse Model 2+
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
timrhube   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 27, 2003]
Strength:

Quality build (made in USA), quality parts. Plenty of inputs for future upgrades.

Weakness:

None.

I am no longer a skeptic when it comes to hearing differences in digital audio equipment. Switching from an older Sony cd changer to a 20 bit Denon got me thinking and using the GDA-700 sealed my conviction. I purchased this dac becuase some of my favorite CDs (Joni Mitchell) are HDCD encoded and I wanted to hear what HDCD would do. I was not dissappointed. This unit sounds wonderful, especially with HDCD. It has improved the sound of my system in every respect. I have used it with several different cd players and have settled on an inexpensive single disc Sony with the optical output. The Sony has a quick and quiet transport that sounds awesome through the Adcom. Highly recommend the GDA-700 as a way to improve the sound from a budget cd player. I can't see giving this dac any less than five star rating.

Similar Products Used: PS Audio, Bitwise.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 23, 2002]
Strength:

Stronger, more defined mids. Bass hits much cleaner. HDCD decoding.

Weakness:

Not enough frequency samplings.

I am running the Adcom with a Sony CDP-CX450 Mega Changer and Oknyo TX-SV747 home theater receiver through Acoustic Research AR1 speakers. The ARs sounded pretty good before but produced very sluggish mids. The Adcom has brought out the midrange while delievering a more precise bass. The difference in sound is unbelievable; this DAC was a steal at just over $300.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
JOHN   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 22, 2000]
Strength:

Used price , build quality ,detail , inputs

Weakness:

lack of 24/96 decoding

picked this unit up used from a friend and am very happy. I have been looking for a DAC with HDCD for sometime and had considered the Adcom , Parts Connection and MSB , when this one came up I had to go for it at the price. Connected to by old JVC 444 I have heard an improvement. Highs are smoother , bass seems about the same but the depth and detail are greatly improved. Small sounds are heard that I didn't hear before and I find that I can listen much longer now , actually that's all I want to do.The difference in sound is not noticed as much in direct A-B comparison , except for the voices, bear in mind what I am using as a transport(budget player from 89). I have tried outputing my Yamha dvd 795 into the Adcom , but it sounded worse than the CD player. If you have have a decent player with digital out and can come across one of these used it is a cheap way to get a few more years out of your player and I think the Adcom will stand up to further upgrades in the transport.It also has 2 inputs co-ax and balanced and of course the bonus HDCD decoding

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Lawrence   Audio Enthusiast [May 28, 2000]
Strength:

A very good sounding dac for the money. Build quality is better than many thar claim "High End".

Weakness:

No digital out for recording. Other than that, nothing.

This dac is one of the best dac's at any price, a real sleeper. I compared the adcom to the AA and it was not in the same league as the adcom. The counterpoint was very close but I thought the adcom had a little deeper bass and more detail in the mid-range but the highs were about the same. Both of them have HDCD decoding and sound excellent on these discs, I just preferred the music from the adcom more than the counterpiont. The funny thing is the counterpoint cost close to $4000.00 with the dac card and HDCD installed(it was a friend's that I borrowed who BTW has an Adcom!). This is my second GDA700, the first one I bought for $500.00 then I traded for a PS Audio 200cx power amp from the friend with counterpiont. I was in my local stereo store were they had one for $350.00, my dealer sold it to me for $300.00. At that price ist a steal and the value is very high. Also it seems to work very well with the tos-link input. Add to that balanced outputs two coax and an aes/ebu digital inputs solid build and you have a screeming good deal. Well done Adcom.

Similar Products Used: Audio alchemy ditb, Counterpoint DA10.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
George   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 27, 2000]
Strength:

Detail, transparency, depth

Weakness:

none

This Unit is quite the surprise, Fully balaanced, and a outright bargain, in the under $2000 DAC market. I have spent Hours in A/B comparision with the CAL and Meridian, and I will have to admit this unit presented a truely holographic soundstage that is hard to compare considing the price difference of the competition. The Alpha presented a work forward sountage, front row center, the Meridian, exterminely detailed, but the Adcom was less fatiguing and while giving up little and detail, and presnce of the other two units. I believe this to be the steal of the group especially with finding a demo or used model, which might be difficult to do. I replace a CAL CL-15, with this DAC with a Meridian 500 transport. Surprising enough, my Sony DVD sounded GREAT as a transport with this unit also. I use a Meridian 518, which does help any digital components. The Amp I used was a Pass Aleph 3, and a SF Power2, Nordost Red Dawns all around.

Similar Products Used: Cal Alpha, Meridian 566
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Regis Poirier   Audiophile [Mar 16, 2001]
Strength:

smooth, detail, HDCD, balanced

Weakness:

none at price point

Hands down the best digital playback I have had the pleasure of owning. As detailed as the Aragon, the pace and smooth sound of the Classe and none of the problems of the Sony or GDD-1. Highly recommended. I use it as the DAC for both the Sony DVP-S7000 and my PC. Matched with the Adcom GFP-750 and GFA-5802 pushing on through to PSB Stratus Golds and I'm back in business. Next on the list are better video and digital cables which are currently Monster.

Associated equipment:
Sonyu DVP-S7000
Adcom GDA-700
Adcom GFP-750
Adcom GFA-5802
PSB Stratus Gold
Kimber Hero
Kimber 8TC
Monster HTS2500

Similar Products Used: Aragon D2D MKII, Adcom GDD-1, Classe CDP.5, Sony DVP-S7000, Marantz CD65SE
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Abraxas   Audiophile [Apr 22, 2001]
Strength:

Great features (XLR,HDCD,AES/EBU),big improvement over CDP's DAC

Weakness:

No upsampling but at a (far) below

I'm one of those cynical people who used to think a DAC is a DAC is a DAC until I hooked up the 700. My previous attempt at a DAC-the MSB Link II-left a lot to be desired because I couldn't really hear any improvement over the CDP's DAC. The Adcom is a different story alltogether. Vocals came to life and the highs got crispier. I also started noticing "sounds" I never new existed in my CDs. This DAC looks and feels like high-end audiophile gear. The balanced outputs are a huge plus for me and HDCD comes in handy. And at this price...fuggedaboutit!!!

Similar Products Used: MSB Link II
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brad   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 13, 2000]
Strength:

Used cost. Absolute steal when price and performance are compared to other expensive dac's.

Weakness:

None.

Got mine used for $400 and this dac is better than others in the $2000 plus range. At $400 it is an absolute steal. Unless you have money to burn buy this dac if you can find one. Seriously.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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