Will a DAC-V1 meet my needs?


My NAC 72 / HI-CAP / NAP 160 amps have been at the heart of my ever developing HiFi/AV set-ups for over 20 years. They currently feed Rega RS1 speakers via 2 x 4m NAC 5. All my sources are now digital and they come together in an Arcam irDAC connected to the NAC 72 with a Chord Cobra RCA to Naim DIN lead.

I have recently tied my whole music/AV system together with a Logitech Harmony remote which works brilliantly and makes it all much easier to use - except for volume control, which still involves a walk across the sitting room floor to turn the knob on the NAC 72.

I was considering upgrading the Arcam irDAC to the newer irDAC II, which has a variable output that I can control with the Harmony remote. Then I began to question the wisdom of using the DAC’s variable output as a proxy volume control for the NAC 72, which would amount, effectively, to using one pre-amp to feed another pre-amp.

So I am now thinking about a DAC-V1 / power amp set-up. My questions are:

Am I right in thinking that feeding any DAC’s variable output into my pre-amp is a bodge better avoided?

Would I lose a great deal by replacing my present NAC 72 / HI-CAP pre-amp with the DAC-V1’s inbuilt pre-amp? Or would the superior DAC compensate? I am not talking about ultimate sound quality; the digital sources I listen to most of the time (streamed music, Netflix, TV sound, etc) do not demand that. I just want to avoid a noticeable downgrade with those sort of sources.

Would it make sense to feed the DAC-V1 into my old (1983) NAP 160? If so, am I right in assuming I would connect them with the 4 pin SNAIC?

Or would I be better with a NAP 100, which is matched with the DAC-V1? That would obviously be a more streamlined, modern system, with components designed to ‘talk’ to one another. I may shed a tear letting the old kit go, but I will if it makes sense.

I should be grateful for any thoughts.


The V1 can be used as a ‘DAC n Pre’ or ‘DAC only’.

If used as a DAC only, the in-built pre and volume control is by-passed. I’ve used the V1 in both modes (initially feeding a NAP200 direct and now feeding a 282 with HiCAP-DR)

The V1 comes with a SNAIC-4.

A home demo would answer the other questions you have (perhaps of a V1 and a NAP200, depending on the service state of your 160). Worth noting that the V1 does not have an analogue-in, so not good if you plan or find that you need this at some point in the future.

My experience of the V1 is that it sounds amazing after 6 years and signficiant upgrades to the rest of my system. It’s well thoughtout, designed, incredibly versatile, easy to use, and integrates with computer software such as Audirvana.

Comes with a remote that can control the built-in pre.


Thank you, jude, that’s really helpful.

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