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Balanced sources under $400

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
These are the balanced DACs under $400 that I know of:

XLR:
DACmagic
Behringer SRC2496
Little Dot DAC
Matrix Mini-i

TRS:
E-mu 0404 USB
ESI Juli@

I have a balanced HD650, and am going to use the Little Dot MK VII because of the apparent value for money.

Can anyone help me add to this list?
I will update it as we go along.
post #2 of 12
Matrix Mini-i

Matrix mini-i 24/192 Balanced DAC + Headphone Amp - eBay (item 350270613894 end time Dec-26-09 02:11:10 PST)


Jeffrey is also great to work with...I purchased one when they first came out....Nice...The headphone out is also a great addition not an afterthought. Nice smooth sound...
post #3 of 12
I would go with LD Dac or EMU. Dac Magic disappointed me in the tests I made.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sr.Burns View Post
I would go with LD Dac or EMU. Dac Magic disappointed me in the tests I made.
Now, that's quite interesting. I've heard only good things about DacMagic: can you please explain your impressions?
post #5 of 12
I didn't mean that it is not good, but it was worse than its competitors in the test I did. I compared it with EMU 0404, Juli@ and V-Dac, and it stayed in last place.
post #6 of 12
What kind of test is that?
post #7 of 12
The good old M-Audio Superdac was also balanced. Hard to find now but can be easily modded to make it an excellent performer.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post
Matrix Mini-i

Matrix mini-i 24/192 Balanced DAC + Headphone Amp - eBay (item 350270613894 end time Dec-26-09 02:11:10 PST)


Jeffrey is also great to work with...I purchased one when they first came out....Nice...The headphone out is also a great addition not an afterthought. Nice smooth sound...
x2! Very nice unit ... very impressed ... holds its own against much more expensive DACs.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Can anyone compare the DACmagic or Little Dot to the Mini-I?
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by P4Z View Post
Can anyone compare the DACmagic or Little Dot to the Mini-I?

I have all three P4Z, in different setups with different amps. I have been wanting to do a shootout with all three head to head, unfortunately have no time to do so. Since I have all three with different amps (tube, solid state, hybrid) it's difficult to pinpoint the differences. I paired the LD DAC_I with the MKVII and the synergy is very, very good with my balanced HD650s. I did try the MKVII with each DAC for a bit, but no extensive listening. All were very enjoyable.

I will say, you will not be disappointed with either of the three.


WARNING- Once you go to the dark side (balanced) with the HD650s, there is no turning back...
post #11 of 12
Other selections from the DJ/recording field:
Echo Audiofire series
M-Audio Firewire and USB series
I think some of the bigger Native Instruments brand might do it as well
post #12 of 12
You can also try to build the DAC on your own with a DIY kit like this:
DAC Kit AD1955 + AD1896 24BIT / 196KHz Balance Output on eBay (end time 12-Dec-09 18:19:06 GMT)
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