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Little Dot DAC_II

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
okay, so I searched the forum here (perhaps too quickly and not enough), but I didn't see a post on this yet...

Quote:
Davidzhezhe at LittleTube on Oct 24, 2009
We will be releasing the Little Dot DAC_II near the end of November. It will cost slightly more at 289 USD plus shipping, and will have a built-in headphone amplifier with performance on par (and essentially identical) with our portable Little Dot MK I+. The DAC functionality is exactly the same as the current Little Dot DAC_I. Essentially it will serve as an "all-in-one" package for those who desire the convenience of consolidation.
I was thinking about buying a LD DAC_I for myself, but now I must wait (this built in amp could replace my CMOY for now, giving me money making time before I have to buy a new external amp...). Plus I "desire the convenience of consolidation" for the time being. The price tag means they're only charging $40 more dollars than the LD DAC_I for the amp. The little dot MK I+ goes for $140 alone (I would assume the $100 difference is the battery, the enclosure, the lack of two PCB's, and the like). I hope the amp has the current for my HD595's. I'm assuming it should. Can't wait to toslink my macpro up to this baby and hear how it sounds. These LD guys are really impressing me.
post #2 of 20
May as well bump this to start some discussion rather than starting a new thread. IMO, someone that is on a budget, get the DAC_II. The DAC_I has balanced out but no headphone amp, which won't be needed if paired with something like the MKVII+.

Here are two examples of a good setup with Little Dot:

Non budget
Little Dot CDP_I
Little Dot DAC_I
Little Dot MKVII+
Headphones balanced

Budget
Computer
Little Dot DAC_II
Headphones SE

The only advantage of the DAC_I is the balanced out. If the DAC_II had balanced out, I would not think twice about buying it. The DAC_II could replace my Zero DAC, but considering I am going to have two different setups with a SS amp (MKVII+) for my ALO-780, I may as well go balanced. So my future setup will probably be:

Little Dot CDP_I
Little Dot DAC_I
Little Dot MKVII+
ALO-780

All depends on budget though, both great DAC's that could benefit from many setups.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stang View Post
The only advantage of the DAC_I is the balanced out. If the DAC_II had balanced out, I would not think twice about buying it. The DAC_II could replace my Zero DAC, but considering I am going to have two different setups with a SS amp (MKVII+) for my ALO-780, I may as well go balanced....

All depends on budget though, both great DAC's that could benefit from many setups.

you pretty much spelled it out there. i did a lot of weighing, and i decided to get the dac_II. i've had it for about a month now and LOVE it. i did a lot of looking around here about balanced and stuff, and although many guys preach how great it is, it's just SO expensive. i'm still in college (though graduating after this semester), so it'll be awhile before i can spend mass amounts of money like balanced requires to do it right. i've always been one to say spend a lot at a time and build a system piece by piece, but left balanced out of my future because i really don't think it'll be enough of a benefit to spend money on for a long time. i decided on the dac_II because it'll be awhile before i can buy a decent amp, so i really liked the idea of the dac_II holding me over while i save up for a $200-$400 amp for my NEW (as of yesterday) hd600s.

anyways, just got a pair of hd600s yesterday and WOW, dac_II + hd600 is heaven. next ill probably be getting the ld mkv or ld mkiii or similar. haven't decided between ss and tube yet. i REALLY love clarity, but liquid smooth is desirable too. too many options... anyways, probably won't be deciding that until after canjam, where i'll be trying many amps.

either way, you'll be getting a superb dac. i thought i was past the point where i would be hearing new stuff in music i'd listened to 100 times. i knew i'd benefit from some added clarity, instrument separation, and overall beauty, but didn't think i'd actually hear NEW things. the ld dac opened that up. there's a song i've listened to countless times by sufjan stevens and there's a part where he's singing harmony (with himself, overdub), and i'd always thought it was a simple two part harmony. turns out it's three part harmony, with the third part way back in the mix. unbelievable. finally hearing the music like it's intended i supposed.


edit: i had the ld dac with my other HPs (hd595s) for a month. the improvement stated above was only the improvement due to the ld dac, not my new hd600s.
post #4 of 20
I got a dac_I paired with a mkv, and a audiotailor jade. Wow! Really a great combo. The combo with the mkv is remarkable detailed. and its very smooth with a tube. If your interested I can pull out my mkiii and give it a listen. I got the little dot dac after i purchased the audiotailor jade, so I haven't pulled it out.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post
I got a dac_I paired with a mkv, and a audiotailor jade. Wow! Really a great combo. The combo with the mkv is remarkable detailed. and its very smooth with a tube. If your interested I can pull out my mkiii and give it a listen. I got the little dot dac after i purchased the audiotailor jade, so I haven't pulled it out.
Could you pull it out for me and give the combo (MK III + Dac_I) a lsiten for me as I am really thinking about this combo (MK III + Dac_I + HD600)
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shizdan View Post
Could you pull it out for me and give the combo (MK III + Dac_I) a lsiten for me as I am really thinking about this combo (MK III + Dac_I + HD600)
i'm actually really considering this exact same setup for my system. it's the top choice as of now for me. i already own the hd600s and DAC_II. i'm using the amp of the DAC_II for now, gotta save up some money before i can buy a dedicated amp. a review of this setup would be greatly appreciated.


edit: i also considered that mkv instead of the mkiii. which do you prefer and why?
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by etiolate View Post
i'm actually really considering this exact same setup for my system. it's the top choice as of now for me. i already own the hd600s and DAC_II. i'm using the amp of the DAC_II for now, gotta save up some money before i can buy a dedicated amp. a review of this setup would be greatly appreciated.


edit: i also considered that mkv instead of the mkiii. which do you prefer and why?
Hows the Dac_II? I'm debating between the Dac_I, Dac_II and Nurforce Udac.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
i can't compare the ld dac and the udac, but i do love my ld dac.

choosing between the dac_i and dac_ii depends on a few things:
1) if you (or plan to) have a balanced system, you need the dac_i
2) if you want to have an all-in-one, so you can save for an amp and buy it later, go with the dac_ii

other than that, they're identical as far as i know.
post #9 of 20
I'm thinking the Little Dot Dac_II because its only $20 more and has headphone amp incase I decide to sell ym Little Dot MK III.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shizdan View Post
Hows the Dac_II? I'm debating between the Dac_I, Dac_II and Nurforce Udac.
My Dac_II, purchased for the express purpose of replacing the Nuforce uDac in my home office rig, should be here any day. When it comes, I'll try to do a bit of a comparison.

FWIW, I pulled the DacMagic out of my living room system this weekend and tried it in place of the uDac, which had been the source for my Consonance Cyber 20 amp. Huge difference! I expect the Dac_II to show similar results, but still have to wait a while for that.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olias of Sunhillow View Post
My Dac_II, purchased for the express purpose of replacing the Nuforce uDac in my home office rig, should be here any day. When it comes, I'll try to do a bit of a comparison.

FWIW, I pulled the DacMagic out of my living room system this weekend and tried it in place of the uDac, which had been the source for my Consonance Cyber 20 amp. Huge difference! I expect the Dac_II to show similar results, but still have to wait a while for that.
Will you please so I dont end up dishing out $340 for nothing lol.
post #12 of 20
Well I'll give this a quick shot. I'm not amazing at reviews, and haven't done many so try to graze over some awful mistakes :-)

Alright well here's my setups.

Asus D2X>Toslink>DAC_I>little dot Mkiii

My mkiii uses blue glass ef91, upgraded power tubes as well.
Asus D2X>Toslink>DAC_I>little dot Mkv

Headphones:

HD650 (Clou Red Cable), k702 (zombie x cable!), Grado sr225, beyer dt880

Initial Impressions: Wow, this is a pretty stand-up amp. Forgot how powerful it was too.

Listening to Coldplay's 42

I picked this song because my girlfriend is a avid coldplay fan. One day she decided to give my set-up another listen, after not understanding anything of the headphones I was trying to show her. She said "it's strange its almost as if the singer is right infront of me and the piano is far off to the left" My heart fluttered

MKIII
I'm struck by how detailed vocals are, especially since this is a tube amp. Saliva can definitely be heard. Unfortunately, later in the song when the rock picks up, I have a sense that the music backed off. Strings obviously turn out fantastically, and very detailed.

Pros: Very strong presentation of strings, very very detailed, considering it is a tube amp. Very bright and peppy, matches the hd650's pretty well. Bass is surprisingly deep and transparent.

Cons: Unfortunately I have to compare it to my audiotailor jade, which is a slightly more pricey amp. Strings are not as life-like as they are in the jade (However the Jade isn't as detailed). Soundstage was pretty narrow as well.

MKV

Obviously a very powerful amp that matches well with HD650s. Provides a very neutral and flat presentation in comparison.

Pros: So detailed, every gasp of air is felt, and the saliva can be heard at some parts. Much more upbeat presentation when rock started. More upfront music

Cons: Strings are there, and can be heard, but there's not as much beauty or naturalness to them. Soundstage is really small.

Listening to Peter White's by candlelight (Flac)

MKIII

This song is a purely composed of 1 acoustic guitar. Soundstage is presented better, but still not as wide. Detail is still so remarkable, especially for a tube amp. Everything fades just naturally, without an echo or trapped feeling. This is actually a great song to match it with.

pros: Detailed guitar presentation. Everytime the pick hits the guitar string it's heard. Great presentation of strings

Cons: Still not too tubey for my liking. Soundtage is still not too wide.

MKV:

Pretty decent representation. Still a fairly lifelike touch to the guitar

Pros: Very detailed, and good representation

Cons: Soundstage? What's that?


Sorry, I got a busy day so this is all I can do right now. If you have any other combos you'd like to hear I'll give it a shot (Different music, headphones, etc.). And I'd love to answer questions. If anyone is interested, I may be willing to sell this MKIII so I can look at a new portable rig. Thanks
post #13 of 20
Thanks for the input! Its much appreciated. I think I will go ahead with the Little Dot Dac_II
post #14 of 20
I'm having trouble getting 24/192Khz to play through my Little Dot Dac_II. I have everything setup correctly but for some reason my Dac_II is silent when I test 24/192. I tested the follow sample rates

44.1 - Works
48 - Works
96 - Works
192 - Fails to play test tones

I get "No Signal" from my Dac_II's LCD as well! I'm using it as follows

Essence STX (Toslink SPDIF)-> Dac_II -> HD600

post #15 of 20

Bump.

 

Am thinking of getting an amp/dac for my new Shure SRH840 cans and this seems like a valid choice when it comes to "bang for the buck."

 

The problem is that I'm a complete noob when it comes to this stuff and am completely lost with those inputs.

I'm familiar with that USB and that TOS but i've never seen those other two.

So what are those and what do I need to hook up my xbox360 to it?

 

And also is this good for the Shures? They're pretty low impedance.


Edited by S1En1 - 10/13/10 at 12:12pm
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