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Best DAC around $100-$150? - Page 3

post #31 of 38
Originally Posted by verteqz View Post
You scared me there. For a moment I thought the price of the EF2 dropped 30 bucks since I ordered one last week.

It's $169 + shipping.
Heh, sorry about that; still a great deal!
post #32 of 38
For the amp only, it is powerful but rough.
Use DAC/AMP together, the sound is much refined and musical.
My other DAC/AMP is Grace m902 which is way above the price mark, so I don't know how Aune compare to other DAC/AMP within slightly higher price mark. Aune is no comparison against m902. But I will be happy enough to use it without m902 presence.

The comparison between Aune and D2 boa is more about desktop vs. portable. Even though D2 boa is powerful enough, you can still find it relatively underpower comparing with desktop ones. Comparing side by side, I won't be surprised that some may prefer the more analytical sound signature of DAC in D2. But as for DAC/AMP combo, analytical with less power is always less preferable to me.

In the end, as for either DAC or AMP part itself, you can easily find some units wins over Aune. What I like about it is that the DAC/AMP combo really works out. I'm not DIY guy, the stock sound is good for me especially considering the price mark.

Originally Posted by sid311 View Post
That Aune looks like a really nice DAC. The impressions I've read so far on it seem to be very so/so. What are your thoughts on the sound of this unit?

post #33 of 38
Originally Posted by angle_sh00ter View Post
I will look forward to your comparison of it to the STX and ST. I have very limited experience with this stuff, all i know is the musiland was a giant leap from my onboard realtek which I used to think was pretty damn good.
ok, I've ordered it for good this time! $140 shipped by EMS Express on ebay w/ a 1y warranty, very good price

I hope it won't be as agressive as the STX...which had a very forward and fatiguing sound, w/ very sparkly edgy trebles

the best I've heard so far was the Prodigy HD2 Advance DE w/ four AD797B opamps on the AK4396 output, and two LT1028A as final buffer...but many drawbacks:
-the HD2 PCB ground layout sucks...and my cd1k is very sensitive, so it was picking up quite a bit of random interferences..it was also making loud "pops" when turning on/off the computer
-the HD2 PCB layout being crap, it was making loud glitches when someone turned off the bathroom neon light(no other sound device ever did this to me )
-neither the 797 or 1028 were stable on this board...as they are too pesky to be blindly rolled!

all this said, I will try my cd1k(32Ω/104dB) on the two HP outs and the RCA out w/ an adapter...and if I *really* miss the 797/1028 combo from the HD2, I'll grab a tube amp.

the sound these two opamps were giving together was simply astounding...tons of bass, 3D holographic SS, very creamy natural mids, nice non-agressive trebles...simply perfect, and from what I understand that's what tubes do to audio...they give a distorted "human" touch to digitis.
post #34 of 38
I might need a cheap DAC myself and have heard good things about Zero DACs. Unfortunately (despite reading the Zero DAC -guide found on this forum) I'm a little confused about what version/upgrade should I get. Bare in mind that I have no knowledge or will to upgrade the unit myself so what I buy I will use. So... which one of these two Zero units would be the best bet (they are about the same price):

ZERO (Tianyun) 24/192 DAC + Headphone Amp (OPA627+USB) - eBay (item 260422597983 end time Feb-28-10 21:27:38 PST)


Zero 09 24BIT/192 DAC HEAD AMPwith USB, HDAM and LT1364 - eBay (item 230434187973 end time Feb-13-10 23:45:34 PST)

I would use the DAC to connect Audioengine A2 active speaker set to 2009 model Imac.
post #35 of 38
There are better options than the zero dac and some of them cost even less than the zero.
post #36 of 38
Originally Posted by angle_sh00ter View Post
There are better options than the zero dac and some of them cost even less than the zero.
for example what??
post #37 of 38
uDAC and Musiland monitor 02
post #38 of 38
Originally Posted by apyy View Post
Looks like it was 'inspired' by the Kingrex T20U. But the Topping has a headphone amp section!

The Kingrex uses the Tripath TA2020 chip and Dac uses Burr Brown 2604 opamp.

6moons audio reviews: KingRex T20U & Pre-Amp

But the Topping you mentioned is way cheaper. You get it for US$109 on ebay shipped!

6Moons raved about the Kingrex. This Topping might be good value.
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