Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Which DACs sound analog-like, fun, and musical?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Which DACs sound analog-like, fun, and musical? - Page 4

post #46 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by gevorg View Post
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



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?
Without consensus, does this means that all DACs sound relativility close? Or that most people just tried one and don't have other to compare?
post #47 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmmo View Post
Without consensus, does this means that all DACs sound relativility close? Or that most people just tried one and don't have other to compare?
Bingo. Most have only heard one or two dacs. You can see this when someone asks for a comparison of say, the Electrocompaniet to the Bel Canto DAC3. Many have heard one or the other, but hardly anyone has heard both.
post #48 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by denp View Post
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.
Thanks, denp. I might go with the C-core tranny but I still have to see a review of this one.
post #49 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimless1 View Post
Bingo. Most have only heard one or two dacs. You can see this when someone asks for a comparison of say, the Electrocompaniet to the Bel Canto DAC3. Many have heard one or the other, but hardly anyone has heard both.
Give me a couple months and I might be able to answer that question haha
but yes, very true

I liked my Electrocompaniet better than my Lavry. It had a huge soundstage and was warm and plush.
The Lavry sounded simply dull, overly neutral, and maybe even a bit compressed.
With the ECD1 the rolled off highs weren't great.. I really should've tried it with silver cables... dang
post #50 of 66
If you want an analog sounding DAC, look no further than the TADAC from Tube Audio (Tube Audio Design). The DAC is very musical with incredible detail without sounding harsh at all. Paul really knows what he is doing.

I am just dying to take this to the next Chicago meet so other members can hear what this DAC is capable of.

You actually get to control how warm or lean you want the music to sound via the "tubyness" knob. Now please don't knock it because of the tubyness knob before you get a chance to hear it. The technical term that Paul G. says the tubyness knob does is, "Introduce 2nd order harmonics without any distortion".

This thing just sounds right if you want an analog, musical sound. It really draws you into the music.
post #51 of 66
I recommend the Valab NOS DAC as discussed here:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/val...ssions-378459/.

Very analog-like, with great detail, transparency and gets out of the way. In my system, this killed the Bel Canto Dac 3 for musicality.

Kenobi
post #52 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenobi View Post
I recommend the Valab NOS DAC as discussed here:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/val...ssions-378459/.

Very analog-like, with great detail, transparency and gets out of the way. In my system, this killed the Bel Canto Dac 3 for musicality.

Kenobi
Experiences with the VALAB will be all over the map, as are the other recommendations on this thread.

What must be understood here is that DAC's when driven from jittery sources, such as most transports, will sound radically different from one another.

When driven from a really low-jitter digital source, they all start to sound very similar. However the NOS DAC's will pull ahead by a big margin for those that have resolving systems. Most NOS "simple" DACs will tend to sound bad if the source is jittery. With a low-jitter source, DACs like the VALABS are magical.

The point is: Focus on achieving a low-jitter source first, and then go audition DACs. And dont believe what others are telling you. There is no level playing field for comparison here.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
post #53 of 66
Excuse my noobiness, but what exactly is "jitter"? Is a computer a jittery source? A CD player?
post #54 of 66
hehe, trying to sell some pace car's eh steve? I'd love to have one, but pretty expensive, ever thought of making somthing like a pace car that average joe can afford? My entire setup does not cost what a pace car does, and it's a bit off putting that you have to send your computer in and have it manually tuned, what if your pc breaks' down and you have to replace the motherboard, or it's time to upgrade... wish someone made a pace car like device without this limitation and a more down to earth price.
post #55 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
hehe, trying to sell some pace car's eh steve? I'd love to have one, but pretty expensive, ever thought of making somthing like a pace car that average joe can afford? My entire setup does not cost what a pace car does, and it's a bit off putting that you have to send your computer in and have it manually tuned, what if your pc breaks' down and you have to replace the motherboard, or it's time to upgrade... wish someone made a pace car like device without this limitation and a more down to earth price.
x2....know it would help out my system immensely & would love to have 1, but it sure ain't happening anytime soon.
post #56 of 66
I think the NorthStar m192 is the most "musical" DAC in terms of low end, but the ESS ES9008 Buffalo is the most "musical" DAC for me because it has the most beautiful midrange at the expense of some the typical blooming low-end of most DACs people think are "musical".
post #57 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
All 1-bit DACs I've heard sound digital to me, which includes the Lavry DA-10, Apogee Duet, Benchmark DAC-1 and my current Northstar M192. The only DAC I ever heard that truly sounded natural to me was a Nakamichi Dragon DAC, which uses 4x multibit DA chips (PCM1704U-J). There are a few DACs around that use this set-up that I've seen, and, suffice to say, I want one that does.
I completely agree. The pcm 1704 is the best chip available (the J version there is not the premium one, though).

Another dac that comes close about analog sounding is the wolfson 24/96. Not sure of the model, but it has to be paired by a good tube i/v stage like it has been done on the EAR Acute cd player.
post #58 of 66
Here is one I find interesting but I dont see much about it here at head-fi.
.:: music hall audio :: dac 25.2
post #59 of 66
IMHO, NOS dacs with Philips converters (TDA 1541A, 1543) are for my taste the best dac for someone is searching for an analog, liquid, natural, full bodied sound withoud bias and artificial sound. It does not mean that NOS dac experience a toning down treeble. It means that with selected and good quality electronic componants (capacitors, resistors, quartz oscillators...), with minimal diagram circuits which minimize the number of componants and integrated circuits and exclude oversampling or upsampling, with fine transformer and supply, we can have a grainless and pure sound with marvellous quality in tone and large frequency bandwidth. However, the sonic performances depend of the source used to provide numerical data to the Dac. Low jitter source (for me Philips CD pro 2 drive) permit marvellous sound with this kind of DACs.

I have a Valab Dac (8xTDA1543 - receiver Dir 9001) that i am modifying a little and modded Satch Dac used in NOS mode (1x TDA 1541A - receiver Dir 9001).

I have had or tried before Bel Canto Dac 2, Dac 3 (Burr Brown PCM 1792), Stello DA 220 Mk2 with the same drive, Accuphase DP 67, DCS P8i, Primare cd31 (4xBB PCM 1704 K grade) and amongst this source most of them were severely "beaten" by my Satch dac on criteria mentionned above.
Satch DAC and Valab dac are the most musical and performer dac i have ever owned regardless the price. But i am sure that other NOS dacs should work as well as these Dacs or may be better...

I have spent so many years to find the fine player (or DAC) which was able to remind me analog listening i had when i was young. Now i have found again the pleasure (the grail ?) to listen and i do not feel the need to listen my vinyl LP.
post #60 of 66
I am currently auditioning the DAC64, DACmagic, a Chordette Gem and a Meridian 563. for musicality the Meridian is the clear winner!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Which DACs sound analog-like, fun, and musical?