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How does the uDac honestly stack up? - Page 2

post #16 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by xuan87 View Post
it is a bit over the top to expect a $100 to be better than all items priced twice or more its value ( possible, but highly unlikely)
That's typical head-fi behaviour and effective marketing fluff
post #17 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyBent View Post
This is what I was looking for, but not the $400 barrier. I was hoping for a $250-$300 barrier
I would honestly stick it out with the uDAC. It is very good...so good, that you need to get to $400+ to really move forward.
post #18 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
I would honestly stick it out with the uDAC. It is very good...so good, that you need to get to $400+ to really move forward.
Thats my feeling as well.

Biggie.
post #19 of 82
For chump change is "stupid" good!
post #20 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
I would honestly stick it out with the uDAC. It is very good...so good, that you need to get to $400+ to really move forward.
$400 ? No way man. I remember someone told me that a $180 Ultra Ecstasy DAC sounds clearly better than the uDAC which is full of flaws
post #21 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Knight View Post
$400 ? No way man. I remember someone told me that a $180 Ultra Ecstasy DAC sounds clearly better than the uDAC which is full of flaws
I think you mean the DAC-Extasy, which is based on a wolfson dac and is clearly superior to the entry-level uDAC. But you've never heard that one, have you? So it would be kind of hard for you to know that it's better, wouldn't it?

And yes, the uDAC is full of flaws. It has an artificially boomy/bloated mid-bass, recessed upper mids, thin and grainy highs, and therefore is very far from a neutral sounding DAC. It's a "budget" item at best.

In fact, from an objective standpoint, you really can't get much worse than the uDAC unless you go with something like straight out from laptop soundcard or something like that. Objectively, it's not really that great of a DAC, imo -- well, unless you like the kind of artificial coloration and poor highs that it has. My sansa clip sounds a lot better than the uDAC.
post #22 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by userlander View Post
I think you mean the DAC-Extasy, which is based on a wolfson dac and is clearly superior to the entry-level uDAC. But you've never heard that one, have you? So it would be kind of hard for you to know that it's better, wouldn't it?

And yes, the uDAC is full of flaws. It has an artificially boomy/bloated mid-bass, recessed upper mids, thin and grainy highs, and therefore is very far from a neutral sounding DAC. It's a "budget" item at best.

In fact, from an objective standpoint, you really can't get much worse than the uDAC unless you go with something like straight out from laptop soundcard or something like that. Objectively, it's not really that great of a DAC, imo -- well, unless you like the kind of artificial coloration and poor highs that it has. My sansa clip sounds a lot better than the uDAC.
The Sabre chip is actually quite well respected and found in $5000+ gear. I am a fan of Wolfson, don't get me wrong (I do really appreciate the dual Wolfsons on my DacMagic).

But sorry dude, I'm going with HPA's comments and my ears on the assessment of the uDac.

Dave's products are great, my wife is a fellow Winnipegger and I respect what he has done, but you know what, both NuForce and Hotaudio can both build great products.

FWIW, I prefer the uDac by a reasonable margin to the DacStraight. Hazmat suit is now on.
post #23 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Knight View Post
$400 ? No way man. I remember someone told me that a $180 Ultra Ecstasy DAC sounds clearly better than the uDAC which is full of flaws
It's like you could see into the future!
post #24 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
The Sabre chip is actually quite well respected and found in $5000+ gear.
the Sabre DAC found in the uDAC is a dumbed down version that costs $0.98 per 5000 pcs...they prolly use the higher grade Sabre DAC chip in the units you are mentioning.
post #25 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
the Sabre DAC found in the uDAC is a dumbed down version that costs $0.98 per 5000 pcs...they prolly use the higher grade Sabre DAC chip in the units you are mentioning.
You'd be surprised on the costs of most chips. I doubt that NuForce would make a custom dumbed down chip that was NOT already off the shelf. That would actually cost more than the standard chipset.
post #26 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
I would honestly stick it out with the uDAC. It is very good...so good, that you need to get to $400+ to really move forward.
I agree with this.

To the OP, there's quite a bit of information stacking this uDAC up for products in it's price range (the headphoneaddict uDAC thread is great).
post #27 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
The Sabre chip is actually quite well respected and found in $5000+ gear. I am a fan of Wolfson, don't get me wrong (I do really appreciate the dual Wolfsons on my DacMagic).

But sorry dude, I'm going with HPA's comments and my ears on the assessment of the uDac.

Dave's products are great, my wife is a fellow Winnipegger and I respect what he has done, but you know what, both NuForce and Hotaudio can both build great products.

FWIW, I prefer the uDac by a reasonable margin to the DacStraight. Hazmat suit is now on.
I've never heard the Dac Straight, but personally I don't really like the PCM2704/05 that much, which to my ears doesn't have the high or low extension of better DACs. Even then, however, the 2704/05 is still more neutral than the uDAC, and that's a big plus in my book (edit: just noticed that the DacStraight uses the PCM2702, not the PCM2704 or 05, and afaik the 2702 is a well-respected chip used in other praised gear like the EF2).

The DAC-Extasy is in a whole other class, though. You can't really compare the $99 entry level uDAC to a $200-300 hand-made DAC, there's no contest. It's just absurd to say the uDAC is better than a DAC of that caliber - kind of like saying skullcandy iems are as good as HD600s. What's next? Are you going to say the uDAC sounds better than the V-DAC, too? Than the DacMagic? Where does it end? I mean, it really starts getting a little out of hand. When you hear the two together, it's clear that the uDAC isn't really in the same league at all.

Then when you compare it to something like the Clip, and the Clip comes out ahead for neutrality, less coloration, better highs, it starts to become clear where the uDAC really is in the pecking order, beyond all the marketing hype.

So you can rely on someone else all you want, be my guest. For myself, I'll avoid the "cult" mentality that seems to happen a little too much around here and rely on listening for myself based on direct comparisons to other products. That's the best way to not get taken in by all the over-the-top praise for a DAC that in reality is little better than just average at best -- and actually worse if you don't happen to like the brand of coloration it has. And that doesn't even account for the flaws, like in the high end. In reality, beyond all the hype, the bottom line is that it's really not that great of a DAC. I know it hurts to hear that after buying into all the hype, but that's just the way it is. And it's not like I'm the only one who thinks so. People who are more immune to hype have pretty much concluded the same thing, for example:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/lap...0/#post6396411
post #28 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
the Sabre DAC found in the uDAC is a dumbed down version that costs $0.98 per 5000 pcs...they prolly use the higher grade Sabre DAC chip in the units you are mentioning.
Exactly. It's kind of the misleading marketing that I've observed in some of the threads that leads people to believe it's the same as a $5,000 dac. It's all just part of the hype-machine.
post #29 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by userlander View Post
I've never heard the Dac Straight, but personally I don't really like the PCM2704/05 that much, which to my ears doesn't have the high or low extension of better DACs. Even then, however, the 2704/05 is still more neutral than the uDAC, and that's a big plus in my book.

The DAC-Extasy is in a whole other class, though. You can't really compare the $99 entry level uDAC to a $200-300 hand-made DAC, there's no contest. It's just absurd to say the uDAC is better than a DAC of that caliber - kind of like saying skullcandy iems are as good as HD600s. What's next? Are you going to say the uDAC sounds better than the V-DAC, too? Than the DacMagic? Where does it end? I mean, it really starts getting a little out of hand. When you hear the two together, it's clear that the uDAC isn't really in the same league at all.

Then when you compare it to something like the Clip, and the Clip comes out ahead for neutrality, less coloration, better highs, it starts to become clear where the uDAC really is in the pecking order, beyond all the marketing hype.

So you can rely on someone else all you want, be my guest. For myself, I'll avoid the "cult" mentality that seems to happen a little too much around here and rely on listening for myself based on direct comparisons to other products. That's the best way to not get taken in by all the over-the-top praise for a DAC that in reality is little better than just average at best -- and actually worse if you don't happen to like the brand of coloration it has. And that doesn't even account for the flaws, like in the high end. In reality, beyond all the hype, the bottom line is that it's really not that great of a DAC. I know it hurts to hear that after buying into all the hype, but that's just the way it is. And it's not like I'm the only one who thinks so. People who are more immune to hype have pretty much concluded the same thing, for example:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/lap...0/#post6396411
Why the hate for the uDac? Lighten up.
post #30 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
You'd be surprised on the costs of most chips. I doubt that NuForce would make a custom dumbed down chip that was NOT already off the shelf. That would actually cost more than the standard chipset.
I don't think I'd be too surprised as I always check the OEM price of DAC's and such

ESS Products - DAC

the uDAC runs the $0.98 ES9022 : http://www.esstech.com/pressPDF/ES9022_PR_090803.pdf
Quote:
The ES9022 is sampling in a 16-SOP package and priced at $0.98 in quantities of 10000
killer units use the higher grade ES9006, like the "Peachtree Audio Nova": ES9006 Sabre udac - Google Search

and the buffalo DAC runs the ES9018: ES9018 dac - Google Search

the ES9018 costs $39: http://www.esstech.com/pressPDF/Sabr...1230.final.pdf
Quote:
priced at $39 in quantities of 1000
there's no free lunch here...this said, price is not always an indication of SQ! a chip is usually priced to remain competitive, but the "Sabre DAC" hype is plain bs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by userlander View Post
hype-machine
huh, where?
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