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A great little portable DAC

A Review On: Hifimediy Sabre USB DAC

Hifimediy Sabre USB DAC

Rated # 4 in DACs
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Price paid: $40.00
xkonfuzed
Posted · 3095 Views · 8 Comments

Pros: Sound, price, portable, really small

Cons: cheaply built

This little DAC really surprised me with its sound quality. I have an Aune T1, and this is about 85-90% as good for a third of the price! 

Recommended to anyone just starting this hobby and is looking for better sound than his computer's onboard soundcard. Some improvements i noticed over my laptop's soundcard:

-Tighter bass

-More forward mids

-treble a bit more sparkly

-HUGE uprgarde in terms of imaging and soundstage

etc

 

Whenever im not using the Aune t1, this is plugged in. My only complaint is that it feels a bit cheap in the hand, but thats because it is. You can get it for under $40. 

8 Comments:

How do you feel about the aune t1 though?
The T1 is excellent, and i do prefer it to the Sabre for a variety of reason like tubes, built-in amp (which is quite powerful actually), much better build and better versatility.. However keep in mind that this costs $150 less, and for that, you're getting sound only, in a small, portable unit.
If You do capacitor upgrade (cheap) to Aune T1 and get a great tube (might be expensive though), then I think there is no comparing moment anymore - T1 goes to another level ;)
@CoiL yeah the main reason why these are comparable is because im still using the stock 6922 tubes on my T1 which are mediocre at best. im actually saving up for 7308 tubes. 
If You have some skill to solder, then capacitor upgrade is cheap to do and improves this unit a lot, both - amp and DAC part ;) 
unfortunately i have no soldering skills whatsoever :D is there anyone who did the upgrade and took step-by-step pics? I might be able to do it if i have the instructions
If You have no skill with soldering, then I do not recommend to try it yourself (thin PCB lines) and would let some friend to do it.
You can locate stock capacitors and their values from my Aune T1 gallery pics: http://www.head-fi.org/g/a/869245/aune-t1/ ...they have description underneath. There are very different stock capacitor setups and some units have very low quality capacitors in them, not to mention that some capacitors legitimacy is questionable. I had this combination as stock capacitors:
Quote:Stock caps:
 
Main power supply caps > ELNA RJB series 3300uF 25V
Secondary power supply caps > Panasonic FC 470uF 25V (Purple caps)
Headphone amp board rail voltage caps > Nichicon VZ 470uF 25V
Headphone amp board coupling caps > ELNA 47uF 50V
 I have tried 3 different capacitor setups and I`m recommending this upgrade combination:Final caps:
 
Headphone amp board coupling caps > ELNA SilmicII 47uF 50V
Headphone amp board rail voltage caps > ELNA SilmicII 470uF 25V
Secondary power supply caps > ELNA SilmicII 470uF 25V
Main power supply caps > Panasonic FR 3300uF 25V
Two users have followed this exact capacitor upgrade and are very pleased with the result. For more information and guidelines ask from thread.
Thanks for this useful information @CoiL
Im not sure i know anyone in person who has soldering skills, i do know some fellow head-fiers who are really good at it, but they live on the other side of the world :D so shipping my unit to them will be hella expensive.
 
but hopefully i'll be able to learn some soldering skills eventually and do it myself someday.. i really need to learn some soldering :p not only because of the capacitor, but also because i have a couple of headphones with a fixed cable that i'd like to convert to a fully-detachable cable. 
 
Again, appreciate your help . 
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