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The Great Dac Search - Page 5

post #61 of 76
This thread is immensely informative and I also thank all the posters in this thread for the detailed information on these dacs. But has anyone compared the Azur 840c to any of these mentioned dacs?
post #62 of 76
some of the dacs i'd tried off my head.

zhaolu 2.0/2.5 cs chip, damned good for the money (best for the money)
like to try ori version someday.

monarchy m24 - still something missing, oh it's the details.

electrocompaniet ecd-1 - an improvement over monarchy m24 in all areas, still not wowed me.

bel canto 2 - very engaging/musical dac, maybe just a tiny bit of digital sounding.

benchmark dac1 - could be the best sounding dac with a few songs. very analytical to the points i thought it added details where the source didn't have any.

lavry da10 - best all around dac. very neutral. it just sounded right.

apogee minidac - almost like lavry da10, but not quite. had better hp section than da10 though.

audio research dac5 - maybe old, but it sounded just like the lavry da10. if anything, it's even more analogous sounding than da10 the longer i'd listened to it.

but the mhdt constantine/paradisea dacs got my vote for the best dacs per performance/price ratio, esp. for headphone use due to i wanted small footprint equipments.
post #63 of 76
Take a look at my recent post on the Zhaolu 2.5C with some extensive mods against a Reimyo CDP-777, which is a $17,000 CD player.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/mod.../index201.html

Enjoy,
Bob
post #64 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobMcN View Post
Take a look at my recent post on the Zhaolu 2.5C with some extensive mods against a Reimyo CDP-777, which is a $17,000 CD player.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/mod.../index201.html

Enjoy,
Bob

I wonder how much of the two DACs performance had to do with the Reimyo transport? Have you tried your modified DAC with a different transport and compared it to the Reimyo?
post #65 of 76
doesn't seem to be a lot of experience with the Bel Canto DAC3 or DAC64 or higher costing DACs.

This thread is great. Wish others who completed a quest to higher costing DACs would also weigh in so we can see if it was all worth it-- or if the Stello DAxxxs, Lavry DA-10, Apogee Minixxxs of the world are 95% of the way there.
post #66 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom hankins View Post
I wonder how much of the two DACs performance had to do with the Reimyo transport? Have you tried your modified DAC with a different transport and compared it to the Reimyo?
You're right. The transport makes a big difference in the quality of the sound. No, we didn't have another transport around to use. The point was to only have one difference for comparison, but the Zhaolu DAC was damn close to the Reimyo's internal DAC. We did try different digital cables and heard slight differences there also. Perhaps some of the difference was due to that. Who knows.

The point was that the modded Zhaolu was damn close to the Reimyo, which in itself was pretty astonishing and unexpected. Just remember though, this Zhaolu was far from stock. It's been modded pretty extensively and the analogue output board is completely different.

This whole thing leads me to believe that yes, differences are apparent in CD players and DAC's, but if engineered correctly the differences diminsh down to marginal levels. In summary, if done right, the difference between high $$$ DAC's and middle of the road DAC's are slight and probably more a matter of taste than an actual improvement. The money is yours to spend, but you may not actually have to lay out all that much for very good sound.

Again, all things are not equal and not engineered properly. Every designer uses a different cookbook, and some inevitably tend to be bad books.

Enjoy,
Bob
post #67 of 76
Has anybody listened to the Brigatta from Pacific Valve & Electric Company? It's a USB dac and looks pretty interesting.
post #68 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by montana girl View Post
Has anybody listened to the Brigatta from Pacific Valve & Electric Company? It's a USB dac and looks pretty interesting.
"We used the Musiland LILO driver,
already well known in Asia and
Europe of its outstanding USB
capabilities to drive USB to SPDIF
conversion."

IME, these "USB DAC's" that are nothing more than a regular DAC with an internal USB-to-spdif converter really does nothing to improve SQ over its regular spdif coax digital input. In fact, usually the regular spdif input sounds better than their USB inputs, which has to be converted to spdif and then sent to the exact same spdif input receiver as any other spdif input.

Having said that, the rest of the mods look like high-value. I like the Jensen oil caps in the power supply as well as a third transformer dedicated to tube filaments.

The JJ tubes with upgraded output coupling caps (can't read which, though) will make a nice improvement.

Personally, I wish they would drop the USB-to-spdif thing and reduce the price by $50-60
post #69 of 76
The reason that I want USB is because I don't want to have to buy a converter; just another piece of equipment to own and I'm also not sure if the cheaper converters would change the sound (Trends; Hag), etc. for the worse.
post #70 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by montana girl View Post
The reason that I want USB is because I don't want to have to buy a converter; just another piece of equipment to own and I'm also not sure if the cheaper converters would change the sound (Trends; Hag), etc. for the worse.
you could go for an upgrade to your soundcard and use it as an easy transport. ex: emu 0404. then usd the spdif/optical/AES out
post #71 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by montana girl View Post
The reason that I want USB is because I don't want to have to buy a converter; just another piece of equipment to own and I'm also not sure if the cheaper converters would change the sound (Trends; Hag), etc. for the worse.
you could go for an upgrade to your soundcard and use it as an easy transport. ex: emu 0404. then usd the spdif/optical/AES out
post #72 of 76
^

Or, use USB.
post #73 of 76
I use the chaintech av-710 which cost like 17 dollars at the time and has an optical out. This is a better option than the EMU if you are going to be using a DAC imo.
post #74 of 76

Chord DAC64 - Used Price & Availability

I have a Bel Canto DAC3 coming on- bought it from Audiogon. Hopefully I will love it and see it worth its premium price over the Lavry DA-10 and Stello DA220. Maybe I will, maybe I won't.

I really had my eyes on a Chord DAC64 but have not come across any used models. New models are unaffordable plus I would imagine reselling the item to not be difficult.

Any suggestions on how to get a used one? Is it really easier for European hed-fiers to pick up a used DAC64? Also what is a good price for a used one?
post #75 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by spraggih View Post
I have a Bel Canto DAC3 coming on- bought it from Audiogon. Hopefully I will love it and see it worth its premium price over the Lavry DA-10 and Stello DA220. Maybe I will, maybe I won't.

I really had my eyes on a Chord DAC64 but have not come across any used models. New models are unaffordable plus I would imagine reselling the item to not be difficult.

Any suggestions on how to get a used one? Is it really easier for European hed-fiers to pick up a used DAC64? Also what is a good price for a used one?
You really should try a modified zhalou(Ori, Zap) too. I would like to see how you compare it to those dacs. All of them are a good idea for sure.
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