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Toward higher end DACs - Page 4

post #46 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by facelvega View Post
Interesting poll. I'm very surprised that source is trouncing amp by such a margin.
I expected 10-15% to choose for source, so this is actually far beyond my expectations.
post #47 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by AS1 View Post
I expected 10-15% to choose for source, so this is actually far beyond my expectations.
I wonder, though, what the results would be if people could only choose between amp and source? I bet the headphone category soaks up most of the would-be amp people, while the source firsters, like all puritans, stay strong on their views. Judging from equipment lists in profiles and sigs, I get the feeling people tend to sink more cash on their amp than their source-- especially the large demographic with sub-$1000 systems.
post #48 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal
High end : current out DAC chip, discreet I/V, discreet analog stage

Mid end : current out DAC, opamps for I/V & analog stage
or voltage out DAC + discreet analog stage

Low end : voltage out DAC, opamps for analog stage
In the past perhaps. Modern voltage out DACs are very good, some would even argue that they have the potential to be better than their current out cousins. It's all about the implementation. Take a look at the $25,000 NWO-2.5, it uses 20 AKM4396 per channel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by regal
Buffers and jitter reduction voodoo are snake oil IMO.
Buffers decrease the output impedance and increases the damping factor. As for jitter reduction, there have been numerous papers written on this topic by some very knowledgeable people, it is all but snake oil.
post #49 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by facelvega
I wonder, though, what the results would be if people could only choose between amp and source?
It's difficult to put one before the other, since they're both important. I guess that if two items are almost equally important, the item at the beginning of the signal path is usually chosen, then moving down the line. This seems to be most peoples' philosophy of upgrading: transducers, source, amp, etc.

After all, a killer amp can only amplify what it's given.

Anyway, about the OP's question... In terms of the numbers and qualities of DACs available, the $250 to $500 DACs tend to be "mid-range," whereas the $1,000 DACs tend to be the start of high-end. Diminishing returns happen along the whole way.
post #50 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Sukebe View Post
Just out of curiosity, what other DACs or CDPs have you heard in your own system? It's always useful to understand a persons context.
I have been am audio repair engineer for over 20 years. How many pieces of equipment you think I listened to in all those years? A couple of thousands? In terms of DAC chip based equipment (DAC, CD/DVD players, DSP Amps, etc) it must have passed 1000 by now.
post #51 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
It's all certainly very true. A $1000-$1500 headphone or headphone amp can be extremely close to the very top, whereas a source on such a level would cost at least $5000 (based only on my own listening experiences). In fact not too long ago I sold a headphone amp which was on that level, because I knew it could scale up to a source that I might never spend enough to afford, so the amp was effectively being wasted. I used the proceeds to upgrade my headphones, and have been happier with my system ever since.
What 5000$ would your recommend as the start of the high end of DACs? Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herandu View Post
I have been am audio repair engineer for over 20 years. How many pieces of equipment you think I listened to in all those years? A couple of thousands? In terms of DAC chip based equipment (DAC, CD/DVD players, DSP Amps, etc) it must have passed 1000 by now.
The problem with the Beresford TC-7510 Mk6/3 is that it has changed so much over a fairly short period and people have not listened to the Mk6/3 enough to really compare them. This unit as I understand it, is a significant upgrade to the earlier versions. I can attest to it being surprisingly good. The Beresford comes in at a bargain from my perspective.
post #52 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser View Post
The problem with the Beresford TC-7510 Mk6/3 is that it has changed so much over a fairly short period and people have not listened to the Mk6/3 enough to really compare them. This unit as I understand it, is a significant upgrade to the earlier versions.
We have been hearing that, mainly from one person, each time a new version comes out. But each time 90% of reviewers don't think it's on a similar level than the more expensive dacs. We already got one down for the Mk6/3.
It's a great dac for its price, we all agree on that, but you can do a lot better without breaking the bank, especially when buying used.
post #53 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser View Post
What 5000$ would your recommend as the start of the high end of DACs? Thanks.
A used EMM Labs DCC2 or DAC6e.
post #54 of 142
The EMM is possibly one of the best deals in Audio when it comes to DAC's. Try to get the SE version. In my opinion, you need to spend a lot more money to top it, and until recently wasn't even sure it could be done. I've heard a lot of top tier CDP's and DAC's that have some sort of coloration or take but essentially are on the level more or less (personal taste does play a role) as the EMM (and the like). There has really only been one thing I have heard that clearly and cleanly beats it in the way that the EMM clearly sounds better than a benchmark DAC1.

Neil
post #55 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herandu View Post
I have been am audio repair engineer for over 20 years. How many pieces of equipment you think I listened to in all those years? A couple of thousands? In terms of DAC chip based equipment (DAC, CD/DVD players, DSP Amps, etc) it must have passed 1000 by now.
That's cool. So what did you think of the Estoteric units, or the DCS? Anything else in their league that you'd recommend?
post #56 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Sukebe View Post
That's cool. So what did you think of the Estoteric units, or the DCS? Anything else in their league that you'd recommend?
Nope. Unless you got esoteric amps, speakers, cables, power conditioners etc., you are wasting your money just having an expensive DAC.
post #57 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herandu View Post
Nope. Unless you got esoteric amps, speakers, cables, power conditioners etc., you are wasting your money just having an expensive DAC.
Why? If the DAC is clearly better then my Benchmark, why not buy it.. It would be my reference DAC..
post #58 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herandu View Post
Nope. Unless you got esoteric amps, speakers, cables, power conditioners etc., you are wasting your money just having an expensive DAC.
You wouldn't be wasting your money at all. Especially with headphones where we have no need for speakers and speaker cables (and Esoteric doesn't make speakers). Besides, a good dac is a good dac and thats all there is to it.

Neil
post #59 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilvg View Post
You wouldn't be wasting your money at all. Especially with headphones where we have no need for speakers and speaker cables (and Esoteric doesn't make speakers). Besides, a good dac is a good dac and thats all there is to it.

Neil
X1
post #60 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilvg View Post
You wouldn't be wasting your money at all. Especially with headphones where we have no need for speakers and speaker cables (and Esoteric doesn't make speakers). Besides, a good dac is a good dac and thats all there is to it.
Neil
X3
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