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Which DACs sound analog-like, fun, and musical? - Page 3

post #31 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnOYiN View Post
Is it just me or is everyone just recommending the DAC they just happen to own? Odd.

That said. I kinda like my stello DA100, but I wouldn't know if it's the most musical out there since I haven't heard that many DACs in a higher price range. Probably there are better things out there.
Not necessarily, some people own or used to own multiple. I still own Stello and Chord. Stello is a great dac, very musical and engaging, for its price it's a killer, it's just not Chord level.
post #32 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS View Post
Many people own the DAC that they do because they auditioned other DAC's and ended up with the one that sounded the best to them.
No doubt. However, I think people pick a few DACs which happen to fit in their price range and audition those. Maybe somewhere between six or ten DACs if they happen to go to meets and such. After listening to those things they buy the DAC which they happen to like best. I think most people hardly ever listen to much more expensive DACs extensively which limits their experience and also makes them a lot less trustworthy when recommending gear to other people. Might just be me though. There might be a lot of people who listen to several DACs of more than $1000 extensively when looking for a DAC of about $300.
post #33 of 66
i would hardly call any of the dacs mentioned analogish and if anything more digital sounding. high end cd players rarely pull it off, and even fewer dacs do... majority of the less hifi and more like music ones are of vintage dating, but they severely lack detail.

any of these should do, however they are hard to find:

meridian 563
linn numerik
micromega duo
audio note dac 1.1
sonic frontiers sfd-1
post #34 of 66
Thread Starter 
Wow, so far it seems that there is not even a sign of some consensus or a popular favorite, unlike on the other side (i.e. DAC1 is believed to be neutral, revealing and analytical). Only NOS dacs have some lead, although its statistically insignificant.

Here is what we have so far:

Ack! Dack 2.0 (x2)
Monarchy NM24 (x2)
NOS TDA1541A dacs like MDHT Havana(x4)
Mytek Stereo 96
Lavry
Apogee (x2)
Grace 904
Blue Circle Audio Shoe Box Dac (x2)
AudioNemesis DC-1
Northstar M192
Northstar MK II
Nakamichi Dragon DAC
Electrocompaniet ECD-1 (x3)
Bel Canto Dac3
Stello DA100 Signature (x2)
HifiDIY.net PCM1793
Chord DAC64 (x2)
OMZ DAC (x2)
audio-gd 3SE

Quote:
Originally Posted by panda View Post
i would hardly call any of the dacs mentioned analogish and if anything more digital sounding. high end cd players rarely pull it off, and even fewer dacs do... majority of the less hifi and more like music ones are of vintage dating, but they severely lack detail.

any of these should do, however they are hard to find:

meridian 563
linn numerik
micromega duo
audio note dac 1.1
sonic frontiers sfd-1
What makes those 5 dacs so special, and better than the dacs listed above? If they're that good, why don't any of the modern dac utilize their capabilites?
post #35 of 66
If this is a poll I vote to the Lavry since I have two of them. Does this count twice?
post #36 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser View Post
If this is a poll I vote to the Lavry since I have two of them. Does this count twice?
This is more of a list than a poll since every new poster adds another new dac. If you have two pairs ears, you get two votes.


updated.
post #37 of 66
because the market gravitates toward popular trends and 'musical/analog-like' is the opposite direction of what hifi gear is mostly accepted as... besides nobody respects old technology save for a few crazies like myself.

out of the list compiled, the electrocompaniet (more colored) and ack dac (more engaging) are closest.

while i havent heard the nos tda1541a dacs mentioned, i am told a good amount of them do sound nice. the dac that i use myself is actually a similar type, but i did not mention it to avoid conflict of interest.
post #38 of 66
my vote is red wine audio isabellina
however,its $2500 new
post #39 of 66
it's all about synergy. mushy DAC + mushy amp + mushy speaker/cans = dull/blend/mind-numbing
post #40 of 66
Im looking for something similar, cant see past the RWA Isabellina, only problem is the UK distributor doesnt stock them so got no chance of hearing one Reviews seem to suggest its pretty analogue and not digital sounding.
post #41 of 66
Promitheus NOS DAC - definitely!
post #42 of 66
i have a smooth non digital sounding dac available for sale if anyone's interested. it is rega io. pm me for details.
post #43 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by denp View Post
Promitheus NOS DAC - definitely!
Hi denp,

Do you have the basic unit or the upgraded one? I'm also looking at this DAC and I'm very interested regarding your comments about it.

Cheers!
post #44 of 66
After trying a few DACs(Paradisea+, Beresford) I decided to try a little DIY project based on an inexpensive Cirrus CS4398 DAC board. It uses twin torroidal transformers(12&15V), discreet opamp(http://www.audio-gd.com/enweb/pro/diy/OPA.htm) (same design as the more expensive Burson) and Cardas connectors. Total cost was around $150 and it turned out to be the warmest, most musical DAC of the lot. The Paradisea has since been sold and the Beresford is hooked up to cable box.

[IMG][/IMG]
post #45 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by efm2 View Post
Hi denp,

Do you have the basic unit or the upgraded one? I'm also looking at this DAC and I'm very interested regarding your comments about it.

Cheers!
efm2,
it's upgraded with 6N silver - although its not the latest version with USB - its one before that, so with Coax and BNC inputs.

very warm and lush - almost tube-sounding. Excellent full mids. Probably the fullest/lowest bass from any NOS DAC - these are comments from other Promi users. You may have a tad missing from high frequencies - esp if you compare with over/up sampling DACs, but not a great deal.

With older models there are some reservations about the quality / consistency of the manufacturing - some have been reported to produce a hum - audible at full (or near-full) volume; mine does not have such problems.
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