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Stello DAC comparison: Stello DA100 vs DA220 vs DA220MKII - Page 6

post #76 of 85
Damn!
Nice rig Iron_Dreamer!

Wish I had something like that one day.
Oh well, Christmas is close...
post #77 of 85
Has anyone compared the Stello DA100 to the Bel Canto DAC-2?
post #78 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patu View Post
How can you get any blacker background than DA100? It's dead black, no background noise at all.
I was going through this thread once again and noticed this comment of mine.

We just had a minimeet here and one attender auditioned DA100 + HP100 combo with his IEM's. I can't remember which model it was but some Shure IEM's they were.

His first comment was "this is the first setup on which I've heard no background noise at all with my IEM's".

I just wanted to share this with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoide View Post
Has anyone compared the Stello DA100 to the Bel Canto DAC-2?
I think Iron_Dreamer has some experience with both of them.
post #79 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
Well I know this may come as a major shock to some of you, but the DA100 actually is quieter than the DA220. With an efficient headphone, and my gain and volume maxed out, the DA220 has an additional hiss to the background noise that is not present with the DA100. It's very noticeable, but of course, nobody would listen at such a level, so it's a moot point.

The HP100 looks like it could be a pretty good amp, and it would not surprise me if it is, based on their track record. My guess is that it's good enough to be in the range where further improvement is quite subtle, and quite expensive. I'd be interested in hearing it someday. Until then, I'll have to get by with "just another headphone amp." [/IMG]
I noticed from your sig that you're using the MiniDAC, which I'm assuming you prefer over the Stello range. How does the MiniDAC compare to the DA100 and the DA220? Cheers.
post #80 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jules650 View Post
I noticed from your sig that you're using the MiniDAC, which I'm assuming you prefer over the Stello range. How does the MiniDAC compare to the DA100 and the DA220? Cheers.
It's not so much that I prefer it, but that my priorities for my audio system changed a bit. I'm using the Apogee as much for its' compactness, low cost, and versatility as I am its' sound quality. That said, the main differences I noticed between the DA220 and Apogee were a couple areas:

The Apogee had slightly more impact in the lowest bass, whereas the DA220 was more prominent in the mid to upper bass.

The Apogee's soundstage seemed a bit airer, but with smaller images than the DA220. Overall size was about the same, but presentation varied a bit between the two.
post #81 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
It's not so much that I prefer it, but that my priorities for my audio system changed a bit. I'm using the Apogee as much for its' compactness, low cost, and versatility as I am its' sound quality. That said, the main differences I noticed between the DA220 and Apogee were a couple areas:

The Apogee had slightly more impact in the lowest bass, whereas the DA220 was more prominent in the mid to upper bass.

The Apogee's soundstage seemed a bit airer, but with smaller images than the DA220. Overall size was about the same, but presentation varied a bit between the two.
This is a very good endorsement of the Mini-Dac. I think there are some major price differences. The DA220 is a bit more configurable I think.
post #82 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
It's not so much that I prefer it, but that my priorities for my audio system changed a bit. I'm using the Apogee as much for its' compactness, low cost, and versatility as I am its' sound quality. That said, the main differences I noticed between the DA220 and Apogee were a couple areas:

The Apogee had slightly more impact in the lowest bass, whereas the DA220 was more prominent in the mid to upper bass.

The Apogee's soundstage seemed a bit airer, but with smaller images than the DA220. Overall size was about the same, but presentation varied a bit between the two.
Thanks for that comparison.
post #83 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
It's not so much that I prefer it, but that my priorities for my audio system changed a bit. I'm using the Apogee as much for its' compactness, low cost, and versatility as I am its' sound quality. That said, the main differences I noticed between the DA220 and Apogee were a couple areas:

The Apogee had slightly more impact in the lowest bass, whereas the DA220 was more prominent in the mid to upper bass.

The Apogee's soundstage seemed a bit airer, but with smaller images than the DA220. Overall size was about the same, but presentation varied a bit between the two.
That's some interesting DAC path you've gone through. People's preferences seem to run the gamut when it comes to these "comparably-priced" DAC's: Apogee, Benchmark, Lavry, Stello, CIA, AQVox, etc.

BTW, have you tried the battery PS for the MiniDAC yet?
post #84 of 85
If you don't mind me asking, Iron_Dreamer, where did you buy your Apogee Mini-DAC?
post #85 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser View Post
This is a very good endorsement of the Mini-Dac. I think there are some major price differences. The DA220 is a bit more configurable I think.
Yeah, the DA220 certainly has advantages. The digital output section is super handy for meets or comparing DACs, among other possible uses. It's a good looking full-sized home component that's built like a tank. It has phase control, selectable upsampling, and multiple coax inputs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post
That's some interesting DAC path you've gone through. People's preferences seem to run the gamut when it comes to these "comparably-priced" DAC's: Apogee, Benchmark, Lavry, Stello, CIA, AQVox, etc.

BTW, have you tried the battery PS for the MiniDAC yet?
Yeah, it's been a fun run. I probably could have just stood pat with the DAC1, but it was a lot more fun this way. I'm sticking with the Apogee because it is the most practical option, and I'd want a much higher level of sound quality to sacrifice that. So until I've got $8500 doing nothing in my account...

Experimenting with different power for the MiniDAC sounds fun. I'm pondering AMB's Theta-11 power supply, as well as batteries. Certainly it's a good project for the next time I'm bored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azure View Post
If you don't mind me asking, Iron_Dreamer, where did you buy your Apogee Mini-DAC?
A'gon baby! The first and foremost source source, for me at least
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