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$450 budget what dac? - Page 4

post #46 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmind View Post
Hi Bootleg

I havent seen anyone recommend the CityPulse in this thread, are they inferior in sound or value compared to the Ori modded Zhalou?
2nd post

Hard to say which is better, since I haven't seen any comparisons.
post #47 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmind View Post
Hi Bootleg

Did you get a chance to listen to the 0404 USB and compare to your Benchmark?

I haven't seen anyone recommend the CityPulse in this thread, are they inferior in sound or value compared to the Ori modded Zhalou?
Unfortunately no, but the 0404 gets enough solid press that I would not hesitate to go for it if that were all my budget could bear.

I will say the following:

1. If you get a Benchmark DAC1 USB, you will not have a single regret. Not one. If you buy the Benchmark, YOU ARE DONE with redbook dac's...Period. (and by the way, the internal HPA2 amp rocks...0.00045% distortion and enough juice to power ANY dynamic headphone)

2. Amps and dac's are WAAAAAAY overrated. Spending the money on music and cans will provide farr better returns for your money.
post #48 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bootleg View Post
I will say the following:

1. If you get a Benchmark DAC1 USB, you will not have a single regret. Not one. If you buy the Benchmark, YOU ARE DONE with redbook dac's...Period.
.......................that is.......Untill you buy a Lavry Black, then you are really done.
post #49 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by adanac061 View Post
.......................that is.......Untill you buy a Lavry Black, then you are really done.
Just out of curiosity, does the Lavry Black do 24/96 BIT PERFECT over USB?


right back at ya!

...but I digress.

Bootleg -- The Benchmark DAC1 USB's BIGGEST fanboy!
post #50 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bootleg View Post
$450 is a very tough price.

At $1000 or so I say go Benchmark...otherwise, the 0404 (under budget) is probably the best bet.
E-MU 1616 bests 0404. Still under the given budget, its a fairly warm source that can wage war with the Benchmark.
post #51 of 74
I'm basically in the same situation, not trying to hijack this thread but since the OP has already chosen a Dac, let me recylce it. I have a total budget of 1600 dollars for a Hi-fi system (speakers though, already got the headphones) so that includes speakers, dac and amp. I was thinking about putting 500 dollars into the dac. Does that seem reasonable? Or should i get a cheaper Dac and put more money into the other components? While the citypulse and beresford are attractive, i think I prefer getting a slightly higher end dac such as the oritek modded zhaolu or mhdt labs paradisea. The paradisea seemed like a good idea but i cant seem to find it for sale anywhere on the net. Oh and can someone explain why there are tubes in that, thought it was reserved for amps. Any other recomendations? I'm prolly going to go for the oritek zhaolu but I just want to make sure.
post #52 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuryA View Post
I'm basically in the same situation, not trying to hijack this thread but since the OP has already chosen a Dac, let me recylce it. I have a total budget of 1600 dollars for a Hi-fi system (speakers though, already got the headphones) so that includes speakers, dac and amp. I was thinking about putting 500 dollars into the dac. Does that seem reasonable? Or should i get a cheaper Dac and put more money into the other components? While the citypulse and beresford are attractive, i think I prefer getting a slightly higher end dac such as the oritek modded zhaolu or mhdt labs paradisea. The paradisea seemed like a good idea but i cant seem to find it for sale anywhere on the net. Oh and can someone explain why there are tubes in that, thought it was reserved for amps. Any other recomendations? I'm prolly going to go for the oritek zhaolu but I just want to make sure.
$500 for a DAC in a $1,600 speaker-based system is a HUGE mistake.

HUGE!

Let me repeat: HUGE MISTAKE!

Get a used NAD integrated amp for $250 or so on ebay or audiogon and spend the rest on speakers. Check out the best stuff from Axiom Audio or the Revel Concerta line...Huge bang for your buck.

Speakers (like headphones) are easily the most influential link in the chain.

I guarantee that whatever cd player or ipod/mp3 player you use as a dac will be more than fine for quite a while...not until you start hitting the $3,000/pair range (or more) should you even think about an external DAC. ALL of your extra money should go towards speakers!

Not trying to bully you, just trying to help you get the most for your money.
post #53 of 74
But I'm using my laptop as source. Wouldn't it be a bad thing for the sound to be converted in my internal soundcard, than amplified by my soundcard (no line-out) and then re-amplified by my amp? Just with a pair of alessandro ms1's I can hear that the quality of the sound card is really not so good, even if its a macbook pro. Plus the sound quality is only as good as the weakest link in the hi-fi, and my soundcard seems to be a pretty ****** link if you ask me.
post #54 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuryA View Post
But I'm using my laptop as source. Wouldn't it be a bad thing for the sound to be converted in my internal soundcard, than amplified by my soundcard (no line-out) and then re-amplified by my amp? Just with a pair of alessandro ms1's I can hear that the quality of the sound card is really not so good, even if its a macbook pro. Plus the sound quality is only as good as the weakest link in the hi-fi, and my soundcard seems to be a pretty ****** link if you ask me.
This is an interesting development....if you mentioned it earlier I missed it.

Dont you have an ipod or cd player or some other source to go into the amp?

If not, go for the EMU 0404, but do you best NOT to skimp on your speaker budget.

Nothing affects your experience like speakers.
post #55 of 74
Well, all my music is digital, I have an ipod yes but I can't believe that using the dac in the ipod could be a good thing, and I dont want to use it for that anyways as my laptop is my media center. I guess I'll then look for way cheaper dacs, the emu should be good enough, or atleast way better that my soundcard! As for the speakers, you seem to know alot, wadya think of b&w bookshelves? I'm leaning towards those...Thanks a bunch though!
post #56 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuryA View Post
Well, all my music is digital, I have an ipod yes but I can't believe that using the dac in the ipod could be a good thing, and I dont want to use it for that anyways as my laptop is my media center. I guess I'll then look for way cheaper dacs, the emu should be good enough, or atleast way better that my soundcard! As for the speakers, you seem to know alot, wadya think of b&w bookshelves? I'm leaning towards those...Thanks a bunch though!
I don't know a lot, but what I do know is that nothing affects the sound that you hear as much as the speakers (assuming that your amp is not clipping and the source music is professionally recorded).

B&W is a big name that no one can trash too much. But there are better bang-for-your buck values to be found in your price range.

I STRONGLY suggest you check out Axiom Audio. I just bought a pair of their outdoor Algonquin speakers for $330, and prior to putting them out on the patio I plugged them into my main rig which temporarily had the Totem Model 1 Signatures ($2,200 per pair).

Bottom line, the Totem's are now sold and I'm upgrading to a pair of Revel F52's ($7,000/pair list price)...the Axioms bested the Totem's by a good margin in my book (and my non-audiophile wife's).

If I were you, and I had room for floorstanders, I'd get the biggest Axiom's I could afford and just sit back and enjoy the music. (The Axiom price includes shipping by the way)
post #57 of 74
^ are you doing just a 2.0 setup with two floorstanders?
post #58 of 74
Well, can't do with floorstanding, as im infront of my computer on my desk all the time and listen to music there. So I'm getting a new huge desk, large enough to get a good distance between my ears and the speakers. Yes only 2.0. I'm going to order the emu 0404 usb which also has sp/dif entries and that should do the trick. As for the speakers, well im just going to go to a shop and ask around, but prolly some b&w and a nad or marrantz amp. Does that seem like a good setup?

Edit: Or was that for the revels?
post #59 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuryA View Post
Well, can't do with floorstanding, as im infront of my computer on my desk all the time and listen to music there. So I'm getting a new huge desk, large enough to get a good distance between my ears and the speakers. Yes only 2.0. I'm going to order the emu 0404 usb which also has sp/dif entries and that should do the trick. As for the speakers, well im just going to go to a shop and ask around, but prolly some b&w and a nad or marrantz amp. Does that seem like a good setup?

Edit: Or was that for the revels?
Revel Concerta M12's: http://www.revelspeakers.com/product...asp?product=20

Axiom M3 v2's: http://www.axiomaudio.com/m3ti_main.html

Either one will do you FINE.
post #60 of 74
And my apologies to the OP...we need to take the speaker discussion to another thread.
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