Beresford Caiman Review

Wharfedale EVO 4.1 4.2 Speakers

ashishkesarwani

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Its said that when you add something new to a setup then you also need to upgrade something else too in that existing chain. In my case too when I bought a new Onkyo Digital Ipod dock which led me to add another device into the chain and that is a DAC.
I had done an experiment with a loaned Beresford TC7510 DAC from one of our forum members Sumit and the difference was outstanding, this led me to buy my own DAC and I went ahead with the Beresford 7520 Caiman (Special Edition) one which set me back by another 199 Pounds. I would also like to add to the fact that it just took 4 days for the parcel to reach my door steps and it was sent through EMS Courier services. The packaging was excellent with the bubble wrap on the top of the box to protect it from any unforseen circumstances. Inside the box the DAC was well protected by the side protectors, also the adaptor which came along with it was a well made one, even through its a made in China thing. Look wise this DAC is identical to its Sibbling i.e TC 7510 but the volume control knob is of better quality, only difference between the 7510 and Caiman in look department is that the led in Caiman lights Blue whereas in 7510 it lights Green and at the back of the unit there is a USB port whereas 7510 hasn't.

I have tested this DAC by connecting it to the following Devices:
AMP: Onkyo Nr905 used in pure direct mode.

Source: Ipod 5th Generation 60 GB contains both Apple lossless format as well as AAC files, placed onto the Onkyo Digital Transport which extracts digital signal from your Ipod.

Connection: Digital Transport is connected with the DAC through the Optical Cable and from the DAC Monster standard IC were used to connect to the CD input of the AVR.

In the above test I have played apple lossless as well as AAC files on my system and they were all amplified by Onkyo 905 in Pure Audio mode.
The music played was sounding smooth with ample detailing and bass weight which was hard to find when the Digital Transport was using the DAC of the AVR rather than the External one, I could easily identify all the instruments played with excellent seperation. I have even played few of the AAC files which were transfered to Ipod after conversion from 320kbps MP3 files and here I could notice that it was sounding very well indeed which gives a hope to many users.
Since its not possible to buy all CDS and keep everything in Lossless format so anyone who has a huge collection of MP3 files could use this method of connecting an External DAC to listen to those tracks on a descent system.
The Difference which I have noticed between this and 7510 is that with the former the sound was a bit on the bright side in comparison with the Caiman, also the Bass weight was more in 7510 whereas the approach towards Bass was rather balanced one with the Caiman, this difference could be due to the fact that there are reference quality components used in Caiman.
The above test also leaves me with an option of comparing a setup like mine with a dedicated CD player in the budget of say 50K, so here I would like to ask for volunteers to bring a similar kind of CD player to do a one on one comparison test in which I would dump the same CD in digital format to the Ipod and play the same music through both the options. photo.jpg
 
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audiodelic

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Great buy congrats ashish. :clapping:
I have a plan to buy a caiman myself as soon as i collect some funds that is :rolleyes:.

Have you tried the usb input playing files straight from the computer would like to hear your views on the sound via usb.

Also have you tried any new age trance or techno music on this with fast bass beats would also like to hear your views on that.
 

ashishkesarwani

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Great buy congrats ashish. :clapping:
I have a plan to buy a caiman myself as soon as i collect some funds that is :rolleyes:.

Have you tried the usb input playing files straight from the computer would like to hear your views on the sound via usb.

Also have you tried any new age trance or techno music on this with fast bass beats would also like to hear your views on that.

Will sure test them tonight and report back.
 

unleash_me

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Congratulations on your new toy Ashish. I had the 7510 sometime back. Beresford products are indeed excellent vfm solutions.

Enjoy!
 

madbullram

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Asish, congrats on the buy and thanks for the review. Did you pay any custom apart from 199 pounds? if yes, how much?

Also, can you do a small test? Can you convert a loseless file into mp3 format (320 K BPS) and play both files using the dac and see if there is any difference?
 

ashishkesarwani

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Asish, congrats on the buy and thanks for the review. Did you pay any custom apart from 199 pounds? if yes, how much?

Also, can you do a small test? Can you convert a loseless file into mp3 format (320 K BPS) and play both files using the dac and see if there is any difference?

Thanks Ram,
I didn't pay any customs duty over and above the actual price i.e 199 pounds as when I placed the order I specifically requested Stanley to under invoice and that too around 100$.

About the test which you have asked me for, would do that surely and revert back.
 

spirovious

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Thanks for rev & wish to get few more combinations with DAC(CDp/DVDp)
What makes Caiman costlier & different than 7520?
 

Kamal

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Congrats Ashish!
It would be very illuminating & instructive for many members to compare this kind of front end with a dedicated mid quality CD player.
If it works out well, it will indeed be the source setup ( Hard Drive + DAC ) of the future.
I will be keenly looking forward to reading abt the results of the shoot out.
 

audiodelic

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Thanks for rev & wish to get few more combinations with DAC(CDp/DVDp)
What makes Caiman costlier & different than 7520?

From the website:

The ground breaking Beresford Caiman is the accumulation of various modifications and the use of the latest high performance components that were proven to enhance the standard TC-7520.

The Beresford Caiman is the first commercially available DAC to use some of these components, and the only one to incorporate so many of them all in one go.

Each Beresford Caiman is individually modified and assembled by hand, before undergoing a test session. Such level of workmanship is unheard of in the DAC market at this price level. But it ensures that each one of the limited quantity production run is built to the highest standard and care.

WM8716 - 64x, 192KHz oversampling DAC chip. The majority of high-end consumer DAC chips are only 8x oversampling types. The Caiman DAC chip is only matched or surpassed by the DSP based DAC chips. As far as we know, the Caiman is the first and only DAC that makes sole use of the latest 64x oversampling technology in an affordable consumer aimed product.

Digital Filter Circuit. There has been much debate as to how much damage is done to the audio signal by the various analogue filtering networks that are found in a DAC. The new 64x oversampling technology used in the Beresford Caiman relies instead on a digital filter. This makes the Caiman less prone to anti aliasing filter residues and noise.

LM4562NA - Recording Studio specification audio operational amplifiers. The 64x oversampling technology requires a far higher slew rate from the audio chips in the signal path if the extra speed, detail, and accuracy of the decoded signal is to be maintained at the RCA/PHONO and headphone socket output of the Caiman. THD + N figures are a mere 0.00003%.

PCM2902 - Adaptive Mode for Isochronous Data Transfer
Latest generation USB input with professional performance levels that finally brings USB audio into mainstream HIFI audio applications. Several times better performance compared to the level entry PCM2702 that is commonly found in a large number of USB capable Digital to Analogue Converters.

Class-A headphone amplifier circuit. The new generations of high-end headphones have up to now only been able to operate properly on expensive stand-alone headphone amplifiers. The Caiman inbuilt headphone amplifier is designed to drive even the latest range of high-end headphones and reproduce musical detail that these new headphones are capable of.

Dedicated Caiman power supply. The Caiman circuitry benefits from a better power supply that can deliver the higher current discharge rate and voltage swing demanded by wide dynamic range and complex musical passages. The Caiman power supply delivers an additinonal 3Volts Peak to Peak of supply headrooom. The result is firmer and deeper bass, more detailed midrange, and greater soundstage in the treble region.
 

rallynut

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congrats ashish on the caiman purchase.as is evident from the growing no of dac threads,it seems to be the path to take these days.hope it brings you hour on hour of music heaven.i myself have gone the usb way and got a keces da151 mk2 for integrating my laptop into my humble rig.still to hear it tho so will post details as and when possible.enjoy,cheers
 

ashishkesarwani

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Thanks to all fellow members, without their help and knowledge I wouldn't have been able to procure such devices like DAC, which doesn't have a mass market in India yet, but the future for these kinds of product is very bright as we are becoming more and more dependant on the digital storage as well as server based system, then in that scenario this kind of path breaking setup makes a lot of sense. As we all know that CDs are becoming extinct and we have been moving towards digital domain.
To perform all the above tests I have taken the day off and would defenitely post results to all the queries by tomorrow.
 

sound and music

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It would be very helpful if you could also review the headphone output quality of Caiman. I have used 7510 and it's HP output was of a bad quality. But I am told that on 7520 and Caiman Stan has used better op amps.

Look forward to your comments
 

audiodelic

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Dedication at its best 'taken a day off'. :clapping:

Last time when i got my audioengine subwoofer i asked for a day off from my boss which is my dad he went berserk branding me a audio lunatic. :eek:hyeah:
 

ashishkesarwani

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It would be very helpful if you could also review the headphone output quality of Caiman. I have used 7510 and it's HP output was of a bad quality. But I am told that on 7520 and Caiman Stan has used better op amps.

Look forward to your comments

Last night I connected my Head Phone which is a Bose and I bought it long time back for 9.5k so please don't bash me for it:eek: but I noticed that when I kept the volume low on the Caiman then it sounded wonderful, I would also say that it was a little on the bright side which was more prominent when the volume was increased. This test I think could not be decided well due to the head phone which I have so if anybody have something of reference quality then I would request this test to be carried through that Head Phone.
 

ashishkesarwani

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As of now I have connected my Laptop to the DAC through the USB port and for this test I had to specially download few 320KBPS Mp3 files. I found out that when I kept the volume on the lower side i.e uptil -20db from the reference level these tracks were listenable with ample detailing and bass weight but this was not the case when the volume was increased and I could hear Mp3 like feeling specially on the top end of the frequency range with the background sizzling. But its still better than the standalone track placed directly without the DAC in between. I hope this helps in making an informed decision for people looking to buy this DAC.
 

vinod_david

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Hi Ashish:

Congrats and great buy indeed. Nice piece of equipment for your lovely setup.

Having said that, nice first impressions on the Caiman. But, we have to keep in mind that the Caiman must have done hardly 30 hours burn-in or even less i suppose? I think you will hear it improve remarkably and sound lovely after 100-150 hours burn-in. Caiman is not supposed to be bright at all. It has to be better than the 7510 and 7520 considering the better opamps installed in Caiman.

:)
 

gobble

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As of now I have connected my Laptop to the DAC through the USB port and for this test I had to specially download few 320KBPS Mp3 files. I found out that when I kept the volume on the lower side i.e uptil -20db from the reference level these tracks were listenable with ample detailing and bass weight but this was not the case when the volume was increased and I could hear Mp3 like feeling specially on the top end of the frequency range with the background sizzling. But its still better than the standalone track placed directly without the DAC in between. I hope this helps in making an informed decision for people looking to buy this DAC.

I think this may have to do with output impedance values changing with volume? I cant recall the explanation or the post where a similar characteristic was discussed regarding preamps recently.

but the result is more detail at lower volumes for certain devices built a particular way.

Regards
 
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