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REVIEW (more to come) - CEntrance DACport 24/96 USB DAC Amp - Page 7

post #91 of 483

I actually listen that low. That's why it is a problem for me since I have to turn it up and lower foobar volume.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monsieurguzel View Post

Yeah, I played with mine a little to see how the volume tracked and it is pretty much perfect all the way through low volume.  There is only some imbalance at the very lowest level (7-8 o'clock) which is normal with pretty much any volume pot which isn't a stepped attenuator or something like an Alps RK-50.  I wouldn't worry about it and I don't think your unit is defective.

 

On a side note, I'm really loving mine paired with the Ed 8 headphones!  Great match!



 

post #92 of 483

I think CEntrance actually mentioned turning up the volume all the way if you want to use it as a pre-amp.

post #93 of 483
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crumpler View Post

Just a quick question, i'll be able to use my DACport purely as a DAC with a 3.5mm - RCA cable yes? And in this configuration, i'll just have to turn the volume dial all the way up to ensure no audio data is lost?


I have an ALOAudio cable specially made for this, with a 1/4" plug on one end and a pair of RCA on the other end, to feed the DACport into an amp as a pre-amp.  This way I don't need to use a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter as well.  It works great, and since the volume is an analog output you wont lose any resolution in the digital domain by using the DACport volume knob.  I'm not finding a noticeable loss in SQ from the DACport amping the signal before it goes into the bigger amp, and it seems to do well feeding the high impedance load of an amplifier input.  It's more like an active pre-amp than a passive volume control from a DAC.  

 

My Apogee mini-DAC works the same way, and the balanced XLR and single ended outputs are both driven actively and controlled by the volume knob.  The Apogee can also drive headphones from the XLR output or the SE pre-amp output.  However, the DACport sounds so good that the only reason to feed it into another amp is if you need a more powerful amp to drive very difficult headphones or speakers from the bigger amp.  The mini-DAC does not sound quite as good as the DACport when driving headphones directly.  I am actually using the DACport and DACmini more than my Apogee now.

 

post #94 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

The mini-DAC does not sound quite as good as the DACport when driving headphones directly.  I am actually using the DACport and DACmini more than my Apogee now.


I'm intrigued.

 

post #95 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post




I have an ALOAudio cable specially made for this, with a 1/4" plug on one end and a pair of RCA on the other end, to feed the DACport into an amp as a pre-amp.  This way I don't need to use a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter as well.  It works great, and since the volume is an analog output you wont lose any resolution in the digital domain by using the DACport volume knob.  I'm not finding a noticeable loss in SQ from the DACport amping the signal before it goes into the bigger amp, and it seems to do well feeding the high impedance load of an amplifier input.  It's more like an active pre-amp than a passive volume control from a DAC.  

 

My Apogee mini-DAC works the same way, and the balanced XLR and single ended outputs are both driven actively and controlled by the volume knob.  The Apogee can also drive headphones from the XLR output or the SE pre-amp output.  However, the DACport sounds so good that the only reason to feed it into another amp is if you need a more powerful amp to drive very difficult headphones or speakers from the bigger amp.  The mini-DAC does not sound quite as good as the DACport when driving headphones directly.  I am actually using the DACport and DACmini more than my Apogee now.

 



Good point on the 6.3mm to RCA connectors. Looks like i'll have to scour for a reasonably priced one now. 

 

And i'm really interested to hear the Z1000s being driven by the DACport now after hearing about the fantastic SQ out. I've been using the headphone out from my Mac Air for close to a month and i initially thought i would be able to "settle" for this interim solution till i have access to my STAX rig again but took the plunge and went for the DACport. Just couldn't take the soft and somewhat lacking SQ from the stock apple sound-card. Yeah, don't know why i even tried to make it work in the first place.

 

I'll probably be using it for a long time to come, since i don't have a DAC with a regular RCA output with me at the moment. What a great little versatile device this is building up to be. And all done without external power. Incredible!


Edited by crumpler - 3/10/11 at 6:45pm
post #96 of 483

The DACport has just arrived. And i'm really really enjoying the sound out of this little USB powered wonder. The improvement in clarity is phenomenal compared to the stock Mac Air headphone out. 

 

I was initially looking at the uDac2 since i wanted a clean solution that consists of a DAC/AMP combo at a reasonable price with more than average sound quality but after reading up on the problems of the uDac2, i decided to steer clear of it. 

 

Concerning the DACport however, it was backed by stellar credentials and after reading all these postive impressions, i sure am glad i decided on it. 

 

I've previously used the HDP for approximately 8 months and the DACport is clearer and sweeter sounding than the HDP, albeit not as powerful from what i've read. I definitely recommend the DACport to anyone not looking to contend with an external power supply and still need a fantastic sounding all in one unit.

post #97 of 483
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crumpler View Post

The DACport has just arrived. And i'm really really enjoying the sound out of this little USB powered wonder. The improvement in clarity is phenomenal compared to the stock Mac Air headphone out. 

 

I was initially looking at the uDac2 since i wanted a clean solution that consists of a DAC/AMP combo at a reasonable price with more than average sound quality but after reading up on the problems of the uDac2, i decided to steer clear of it. 

 

Concerning the DACport however, it was backed by stellar credentials and after reading all these postive impressions, i sure am glad i decided on it. 

 

I've previously used the HDP for approximately 8 months and the DACport is clearer and sweeter sounding than the HDP, albeit not as powerful from what i've read. I definitely recommend the DACport to anyone not looking to contend with an external power supply and still need a fantastic sounding all in one unit.


The biggest difference I find between the DACport's sound and the HDP (other than the extra power in the HDP) is that the DACport is a little more refined and transparent sounding (sweeter), while the HDP is a little more colored and aggressive sounding (like a balanced RSA Protector clone).  

 

The HDP initially gives the illusion of more air and micro-detail, but in reality none of that is missing with the DACport.  The second thing I like more is the volume pot on the DACport tracks extremely well at very low volumes with IEM, and the HDP makes me lower the system volume once the knob gets to about 9 o'clock.  When we go on a trip over spring break I'll bring the Macbook Pro and DACport with me, and a Pico Slim for my Nano, and that will be all I need.  I know this isn't the thread for it, but want to say the uDAC2 is not as bad as the measurements would indicate, but while closer to the DACport than the original uDAC it still doesn't reach this high - the DACport is still the best portable DAC/amp that I have heard (as stated in my first post).

 

post #98 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post




The biggest difference I find between the DACport's sound and the HDP (other than the extra power in the HDP) is that the DACport is a little more refined and transparent sounding (sweeter), while the HDP is a little more colored and aggressive sounding (like a balanced RSA Protector clone).  

 

The HDP initially gives the illusion of more air and micro-detail, but in reality none of that is missing with the DACport.  The second thing I like more is the volume pot on the DACport tracks extremely well at very low volumes with IEM, and the HDP makes me lower the system volume once the knob gets to about 9 o'clock.  When we go on a trip over spring break I'll bring the Macbook Pro and DACport with me, and a Pico Slim for my Nano, and that will be all I need.  I know this isn't the thread for it, but want to say the uDAC2 is not as bad as the measurements would indicate, but while closer to the DACport than the original uDAC it still doesn't reach this high - the DACport is still the best portable DAC/amp that I have heard (as stated in my first post).

 



I would have to agree to the comparison against the HDP, especially concerning the volume pot. I've yet to use the DACport with my SM3s but i'm loving every moment of it with the Z1000s.

 

I can scarcely believe this little device is able to reproduce the sound it does, considering the size and lack of an external power. This really is one of the most bang-for-buck devices i've yet encountered on head-fi so far. 

 

Thanks for the recommendation!

post #99 of 483

Just to inform the members and owners of the Centrance Dacport that I have a custom made Silver cable for pre-amp setup available in FS section here.

Thanks

Simon

post #100 of 483

Looks like my first impresion about DACport some months ago is totally wrong, at that time I was using the songs that I'm not really familiar, and the bitrate also low (128/256), what I got is the sound is a bit bright, little harsh, good bass extension and nice staging.

 

Well, last week I ordered DACport, I think it's just for fun, because many people always saying this thing is so great, also I get very steal price (around $200, and it's 100% new with 1 year guarantee)

 

after 2 days spent with my DACport, it's really blown me away, the sound is warm, very smooth yet transparant and the detail retrieval is nice, it's just so refine. Bass extension and Soundstage is good as expected.

 

What surprising me is, this little thing can kick down my previous set-up, uDac2 + M-Stage, DACport wins in almost all aspect, except the speed, but my mainly songs are just pop,acoustic, so speed isn't that important for me.

 

DACport is very nice product indeed.

 

One question, why I feel my DACport will be so hot after about 30 minutes? hot, very hot, it's simply surpass the "hot" coming from M-Stage


Edited by TheMiddleSky - 4/7/11 at 7:09am
post #101 of 483

The Dacport does run pretty hot after a while and it is expected to run that way too. This thing has many power supply for different section of the DAC & AMP circuitry. Just enjoy the music L3000.gif.

post #102 of 483
Thread Starter 

The amp runs Class A and so it will be hotter than other similar products that don't run in Class A.  It doesn't hurt anything.

post #103 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

The amp runs Class A and so it will be hotter than other similar products that don't run in Class A.  It doesn't hurt anything.


yeah, I know that very well.

I have other amps class A too (M-Stage is class A anyway), even my classs A speaker amp doesn't produce heat that much, so I just a bit confuse why DACport can be that hot, I was thought that maybe there's problem with my DACport.

but looks like everything is normal smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by TheMiddleSky - 4/7/11 at 11:52pm
post #104 of 483

so today I just realize that, I can control volume via my computer too, I'm running Windows XP.

 

is that normal?

 

another question, if I let vol control on my computer at full volume, then I reduce volume from Foobar (say -10 db), will that degrade the SQ? 

 

because I feel the different in sound, between -10 db and - 0 db, with -10 db all sound from DACport seems very slightly more full bodied and smoother.


Edited by TheMiddleSky - 4/9/11 at 8:58am
post #105 of 483
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMiddleSky View Post

so today I just realize that, I can control volume via my computer too, I'm running Windows XP.

 

is that normal?

 

another question, if I let vol control on my computer at full volume, then I reduce volume from Foobar (say -10 db), will that degrade the SQ? 

 

because I feel the different in sound, between -10 db and - 0 db, with -10 db all sound from DACport seems very slightly more full bodied and smoother.

 

Software volume attenuation should not significantly hurt sound quality but it does reduce the bit rate, so it's best to only do that when you are already listening too quietly for it to make a difference.  I'm not sure why it would change the sound signature for you.  I don't recall software volume control working with my DACport and Macbook Pro, but I can check that again when I get home later.
 

 

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