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post #646 of 771
This is a very sweet sounding DAC. I'm listening to Handl "Watermusic" now and the performance is simply top notch. There is superb clarity and a great sense of "coherence" or balance - everything sounds natural and perfectly balanced throughout the entire freq. spectrum. I'm having a hard time finding any flaw at this price point. Excellent instrument separation, and very realistic soundstage.

Like I said, I don't want to do to much reviewing without more break-in, chance to evaluate, etc. but it's just hard to not say anything at all. On closer listening, this might actually be in a slightly higher class than the uDAC -- when you start getting down to the finer points, it feels more "serious" and seems like a bit of step up rather than sideways. Aside from all that lower mid stuff that's pretty much been beaten to death by now, the highs between the two are different, seeming to have a better clarity on the Extasy (strings sound subtly more "real") and something is different in the mids/upper mids, too, with the Extasy being a little more authoritative and fuller sounding there. I can't tell if that's because that area is very slightly recessed on the uDAC compared to its boosted lower mids, so it sounds more forward on the Extasy compared to the uDAC, or if it is in fact part of the Extasy "sound signature." I would expect more the former, because on its own it just sounds so balanced. Tonight I'll reference it against the V-DAC to try to get a better sense of what's going on there. But man, it just sounds fantastic. I plan to do the bulk of the listening this weekend, but even without any more reviewing it's clear this is a very strong and great sounding "mid level" DAC. Very impressive.
post #647 of 771
Your description of it sounds very Pico DAC-ish. It would it a great accomplishment if Dave indeed put together something that sounds almost the same at a lower price! I wish I could listen to these to compare, but I've got more than enough DACs as of now...
post #648 of 771
Quote:
Originally Posted by userlander View Post
This is a very sweet sounding DAC. I'm listening to Handl "Watermusic" now and the performance is simply top notch. There is superb clarity and a great sense of "coherence" or balance - everything sounds natural and perfectly balanced throughout the entire freq. spectrum. I'm having a hard time finding any flaw at this price point. Excellent instrument separation, and very realistic soundstage.

Like I said, I don't want to do to much reviewing without more break-in, chance to evaluate, etc. but it's just hard to not say anything at all. On closer listening, this might actually be in a slightly higher class than the uDAC -- when you start getting down to the finer points, it feels more "serious" and seems like a bit of step up rather than sideways. Aside from all that lower mid stuff that's pretty much been beaten to death by now, the highs between the two are different, seeming to have a better clarity on the Extasy (strings sound subtly more "real") and something is different in the mids/upper mids, too, with the Extasy being a little more authoritative and fuller sounding there. I can't tell if that's because that area is very slightly recessed on the uDAC compared to its boosted lower mids, so it sounds more forward on the Extasy compared to the uDAC, or if it is in fact part of the Extasy "sound signature." I would expect more the former, because on its own it just sounds so balanced. Tonight I'll reference it against the V-DAC to try to get a better sense of what's going on there. But man, it just sounds fantastic. I plan to do the bulk of the listening this weekend, but even without any more reviewing it's clear this is a very strong and great sounding "mid level" DAC. Very impressive.
Sounds like a great DAC mate. Which amp/headphone combo are you using with it?
post #649 of 771
Quote:
Originally Posted by angle_sh00ter View Post
Sounds like a great DAC mate. Which amp/headphone combo are you using with it?
I was using MS-1s straight out of both DACs to eliminate external amping as a factor.
post #650 of 771
After a week playing around with my Thunderbolt Max I can say it has made a big improvement for my proline 550 with the musiland 02 DAC. Songs just feels fuller and more alive, punchier sound overall. Bass slam is quite a lot better too. This is my first amp so I have nothing to compare it to but I reckon it's great value for money.
post #651 of 771
Oh and 1 other thing about it - it has power to burn! I never go past about 40% volume and it's ear splitting enough to cause hearing loss
post #652 of 771
Quote:
Originally Posted by angle_sh00ter View Post
After a week playing around with my Thunderbolt Max I can say it has made a big improvement for my proline 550 with the musiland 02 DAC. Songs just feels fuller and more alive, punchier sound overall. Bass slam is quite a lot better too. This is my first amp so I have nothing to compare it to but I reckon it's great value for money.
+1

This amp has a great affinity with DT880s, or I would imagine with any high impedance beyer or Senn. Your low impedance beyer is still a mystery, as it also seems to sound really great with grados. It has a very tube-like sound for an SS amp -- rich, warm and shimmery -- while also retaining the clarity, detail and speed characteristics of SS. I think a lot of people still don't know what they're missing with this little gem - maybe they think it can't be that great because of what they think is a lack of power, like that guy in the other thread. Oh, well, his loss.
post #653 of 771
I'm think to buy a dac from hotaudio40, it worth is better save money for another dac?
post #654 of 771
Quote:
Originally Posted by netsky3 View Post
I'm think to buy a dac from hotaudio40, it worth is better save money for another dac?
Get the DAC-Extasy on ebay for $99 plus $10 shipping, and don't look back:

DAC-EXTASY USB HIGH-FIDELITY PC STEREO DAC w/ LINE-OUTS - eBay (item 260521053379 end time Apr-08-10 13:10:51 PDT)

You won't find a better DAC for even twice the money, unless perhaps you know what you're doing with DIY. Even then doubtful.
post #655 of 771
with the DAC-Extasy is it recommended to feed it to an amp? like DAC-Extasy -> Amp -> Headphone

or is it recommended to just go straight to a headphone? like DAC-Extasy -> Headphone
post #656 of 771
Quote:
Originally Posted by userlander View Post
Get the DAC-Extasy on ebay for $99 plus $10 shipping, and don't look back:

DAC-EXTASY USB HIGH-FIDELITY PC STEREO DAC w/ LINE-OUTS - eBay (item 260521053379 end time Apr-08-10 13:10:51 PDT)

You won't find a better DAC for even twice the money, unless perhaps you know what you're doing with DIY. Even then doubtful.
Uhm...too expensive, I've seen a dac for only 50$, but I don't know about the sound, good I think...
post #657 of 771
Quote:
Originally Posted by EraserXIV View Post
with the DAC-Extasy is it recommended to feed it to an amp? like DAC-Extasy -> Amp -> Headphone

or is it recommended to just go straight to a headphone? like DAC-Extasy -> Headphone
Better to use an amp, imho. But the Extasy has a little "juice," so you can output direct to headphone if you want. Either way.
post #658 of 771
Quote:
Originally Posted by userlander View Post
Better to use an amp, imho. But the Extasy has a little "juice," so you can output direct to headphone if you want. Either way.
if i use a portable amp like a pico, will i be bottlenecking it (aka will the portable amp be the weak link)? would i be better off just outputting it direct to headphones instead of feeding into a portable amp?

i assume a desktop amp is preferred, but i just don't have the budget for that atm.
post #659 of 771
Quote:
Originally Posted by EraserXIV View Post
if i use a portable amp like a pico, will i be bottlenecking it (aka will the portable amp be the weak link)? would i be better off just outputting it direct to headphones instead of feeding into a portable amp?

i assume a desktop amp is preferred, but i just don't have the budget for that atm.
I've never heard the pico, so I can't really say if it would be a bottleneck. As a portable amp, it might very well be. But that might be a good thing in the case of IEMs, as Dave doesn't recommend the use of the Extasy direct to IEMs. But the pico costs more than some desktop amps, doesn't it? If you're paying that much, I would just get the Thunderbolt Max to pair with the Extasy, which together make an excellent combo.

The output from the Extasy alone however is very nice, and more than sufficient for lower impedance phones. It's just that you don't have amp control and would have to rely on software. But the sound is very pure coming through straight, in my experience.

When I compared the Extasy with the uDAC, I didn't use any amp so as not to influence the sound coming from the dacs, and neither one had any problem driving the phones straight from the dac. So I think it would definitely be enough for mdr-v6 or d1001, if those are headphones you're planning to use with it.
post #660 of 771
@userlander

What is the difference between the V-DAC and the Extasy regarding SQ?
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