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How does the uDac honestly stack up? - Page 4

post #46 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
hahaha, you guys are going WAY over the top over here!

ok, first I bought a firestone spitfire 2009, but you cannot roll opamps in the damn thing, it was a HUGE let down for me ..so I've found a great deal on the old spitfire where you can actually roll opamps...and this DAC looks great in gray w/ the dragon on the front panel, it does 24/96 over toslink/coax, runs on their "supplier" discrete linear regulated PSU, is apparently compatible w/ every opamp on earth....and I'm sure is gonna rock w/ either a burson V2/LT1028/AD797 as LPF

RMAA rules on the old stock spitfire: RightMark Audio Analyzer test: SPITFIRE

about the Audio-GD parts? I only ran them on ±9V so YMMV...but:
-Moon was distorted to death like those RMAA measurements are more or less showing: RightMark Audio Analyzer test: comparison
-Sun V2 made me feel half-deaf, as there's a lot of tonal nuances it doesn't output(majkel said the same thing)
-Earth was really nice! but the Burson V2 is the same, just muuuuuuuuuch better...clearer, more natural, simply far more enjoyable.

so in the end I could have just bought one burson V2 and save time and money.

to me the best opamps are AD797B/LT1028AC and the Burson V2...and majkel would agree on the two firsts: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/aud...-v-2-a-397691/

RS does too: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/6402627-post77.html

and what if the HOTAUDIO guy was calling an OPA2604/2134 "AMAZING"? customers deserve to know what they're buying...exact DAC model, opamps, etc.
In my defence... If I can defend myself without being banned for talking ( and yes I was banned or as it were my password was mysteriously changed... )

I really do get my PCM2702E for $15.40 follow the link and see for yourself...
PCM2702E Texas Instruments Audio D/A Converter ICs

I really don't buy them by the 1000s as I can't possibly HAND SOLDER that many units...

I've NEVER used an OPA2604 and NEVER said it sounded great, although I'm sure it does,...

I did say the OPA2134 sounds amazing and this is true..

I'm sure you can find better sounding op-amps then the OPA2134 but NOT in DACs and AMPS costing $60 or less as I often sell my stuff for $49.99..... Really can you find a amp or dac with the AD797B/LT1028AC chips in them ????

If so where are they ??? ( I mean for $49.99... )

And the LT1028AC op-amp is a very nice op-amp on paper, BUT it really was never meant to drive loads lower then 600 Ohms... Driving headphones with ANY IC that is NOT spec'ed for driving headphones loads like 32 Ohms or 16 Ohms or even 300 Ohms just doesn't work all that great...

Most op-amps are only spec'ed out down to 600 Ohms, and below that, sure they work and work pretty good, BUT they DO NOT sound as good as CHIPs designed to drive the headphone impedances...

Yes, I'd like to make my stuff in better cases, but again for $49.99 it's pretty tough to do...

And I have YET to see any op-amps spec'ed out for driving 32 Ohm loads....

And also, I only use a couple audio grade amplifiers now, I don't use regular op-amps as I found they ALL lacked the esential audio qualities that I enjoy...

...
The above is just my personal opinion and Some facts thrown in to keep it real...

I'm sure this post will be deleted, so read while you can!!!
post #47 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
hahaha, you guys are going WAY over the top over here!

ok, first I bought a firestone spitfire 2009, but you cannot roll opamps in the damn thing, it was a HUGE let down for me ..so I've found a great deal on the old spitfire where you can actually roll opamps...and this DAC looks great in gray w/ the dragon on the front panel, it does 24/96 over toslink/coax, runs on their "supplier" discrete linear regulated PSU, is apparently compatible w/ every opamp on earth....and I'm sure is gonna rock w/ either a burson V2/LT1028/AD797 as LPF

RMAA rules on the old stock spitfire: RightMark Audio Analyzer test: SPITFIRE
That RMAA program looks awesome - do you happen to know if it runs in linux (i.e., through wine?) I'll try it anyway - I would *love* to run the Extasy through that - only wish I still had the uDAC to then compare. But someone else could probably do it on the uDAC, and then we'd have some objective info to look at. I am fully 100% confident of the superior neutrality and better sonic characteristics of the Extasy over the uDAC, if those are things that can be measured, so that would really be a nice comparison to have.

You don't need any other equipment for that, do you? Just run it with the DAC? If worse comes to worse I could boot my laptop into windows and do it there. Looks cool!
post #48 of 82
@hotaudio40: hi, I'm truly sorry....I didn't mean to sound personal! I still think that you should be clear about the parts in your DAC's IMVHO...saying "wolfson" on its own doesn't mean much.

the HLLY DMK-IV runs four AD797BR on its CS4398 DAC, and it's $300...that's also the whole point of opamp rolling, as the old firestone spitfire comes w/ a lousy OPA2604...but is fully compatible w/ the 3 opamps I mentioned, and running on its discrete linear stabilized 24VDC PSU it'd be an op-amp roller dream I think.

All the chinese manufacturers are proud to show the inside of what they're selling you, it would be nice if you did the same...and maybe put opamps on socket so ppl can roll them, and add decoupling caps to avoid oscillation...anyway if the ugly case/$50 market is your niche, be it
post #49 of 82
Thread Starter 
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post #50 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by userlander View Post
That RMAA program looks awesome - do you happen to know if it runs in linux (i.e., through wine?) I'll try it anyway - I would *love* to run the Extasy through that - only wish I still had the uDAC to then compare. But someone else could probably do it on the uDAC, and then we'd have some objective info to look at. I am fully 100% confident of the superior neutrality and better sonic characteristics of the Extasy over the uDAC, if those are things that can be measured, so that would really be a nice comparison to have.

You don't need any other equipment for that, do you? Just run it with the DAC? If worse comes to worse I could boot my laptop into windows and do it there. Looks cool!
well, SNR/THD/IMD and all these are not warrants of a "better" SQ! but what I learned from the Spitfire measurements is that its discrete linear PSU helps to get a clean signal out(in the top summary the average THD figure is twice lower than on the Asus ST) and all the specs look quite good, except for IMD but we're not really supposed to care for that one, as we're not quite mixing modulations...we're barely playing them one at a time.

you would need a good line-in(w/ 110dB or better SNR so it does get in a way as a bottleneck), plug the output of the DAC to the input of your soundcard, calibrate the volumes so you get as close to 0dB w/o clipping, and let it run do its thing...in the end you'll get all those nice graphs.

ideally if you got a friend w/ a high end external soundcard, like Roland or so it'll be a good asset to meaningful RMAA measurements.
post #51 of 82
lol, Nothing taken personal at all... I've learned to take nothing personal EVER...

I have long since detached my personal feeling far, far away from my products and my hobby....

I actually enjoy the comments and suggestions...

I think youre posts are some of the more informed and educated that I've read

And yes those little ABS cases lack the glimmer and shine that I'd like..

And of course I'm working on new cases...

I'm thinking Solid Oak cases would be nice
post #52 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
@hotaudio40: hi, I'm truly sorry....I didn't mean to sound personal! I still think that you should be clear about the parts in your DAC's IMVHO...saying "wolfson" on its own doesn't mean much.

the HLLY DMK-IV runs four AD797BR on its CS4398 DAC, and it's $300...that's also the whole point of opamp rolling, as the old firestone spitfire comes w/ a lousy OPA2604...but is fully compatible w/ 3 opamps I mentioned, and running on its discrete linear stabilized 24VDC PSU it'd be an op-amp roller dream I think.

All the chinese manufacturers are proud to show the inside of what they're selling you, it would be nice if you did the same...and maybe put opamps on socket so ppl can roll them, and add decoupling caps to avoid oscillation...anyway if the ugly case/$50 market is your niche, be it
Yes I sometimes put up pictures of the 'guts' of my gear, but then I take them down if I see no improvement in sales...

I don't really want to be in the $50 'entry level' gear catagory.... It just ended up that way...
post #53 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyBent View Post
Again, I hate defending people when I don't know the story behind things, but this sounds a bit personal although your original thesis says otherwise.
huh??? he tells me that he's a got a $50 price point to achieve...I can fully understand that he can't afford a nice case for that price.

last time I spoke to a Pro audio headamp manufacturer, he told me that half the price of what it cost him was actually going into the case

you won't get a nice brushed aluminium case for $50...that was my point, can you try to stop being oversensitive please

anyway, we've got terriiiiiiibly OT I'm afraid...to answer the OP subject, buy it and see for yourself...don't let anyone tell you either to buy or to drop it.

good sides = it's said to sound REALLY good, and doesn't use opamps
bad sides = the pot is cheapo and will have stereo imbalance at low volume, *but* all cheapo pots do
moot = it runs a $0.98 DAC that's 24/192 capable, but they've used a 16/48 max USB chip.

try to find one second hand maybe? if you don't like it, it'll be easy to sell w/o losing much money....the audiophool business is about buying a lot of gear and ditching what you don't like
post #54 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
huh??? he tells me that he's a got a $50 price point to achieve...I can fully understand that he can't afford a nice case for that price.

last time I spoke to a Pro audio headamp manufacturer, he told me that half the price of what it cost him was actually going into the case

you won't get a nice brushed aluminium case for $50...that was my point, can you try to stop being oversensitive please

anyway, we've got terriiiiiiibly OT I'm afraid...to answer the OP subject, buy it and see for yourself...don't let anyone tell you either to buy or to drop it.

good sides = it's said to sound REALLY good, and doesn't use opamps
bad sides = the pot is cheapo and will have stereo imbalance at low volume, *but* all cheapo pots do
moot = it runs a $0.98 DAC that's 24/192 capable, but they've used a 16/48 max USB chip.

try to find one second hand maybe? if you don't like it, it'll be easy to sell w/o losing much money....the audiophool business is about buying a lot of gear and ditch what you don't like
I wasn't being oversensitive, just felt bad for someone who seems to get a lot of negative attention on here. But I agree, OT. Thanks for your suggestions as they have helped a lot.
post #55 of 82
Omg... This thread is quite something for me. And I'm
not talking about DAC at all
post #56 of 82
Back to the original poster's question, if I may...

I have owned both the uDac and the LD Dac_II, which is reported by the manufacturer to be identical to the Dac_I. The Dac_I will cost you approximately 3 times as much as the uDac, but in my opinion it is a very worthwhile investment.

The uDac is a fine unit for its cost and function. It hangs with the majority of the portables I've tried. It's real merit comes in its versatility -- it has a decent DAC that handles USB better than most in its class and a decent amp that pairs acceptably with a range of cans, and it's small and inexpensive. Good combination. Objectively speaking, however, it does not hang with what you might think of as second-rung desktop units (like Little Dot). Used as a standalone DAC and paired with a good headphone amp, the uDac's relative weaknesses are clear to me: dull and flabby bass, uninvolving highs, and an overall feeling of compression and digital-ness.

The LD Dac, on the other hand, holds its own with desktop units in and slightly above its price range, including the CA DacMagic and the unmodded PS Audio DLIII. It is by no means a high-end DAC, and in fact I personally find it inferior to the MHDT Paradisea v1 that has recently taken its place in my speaker rig. But at around $300 shipped from Asia, the LD provides clean, natural and relatively analog-sounding results that are for me markedly better than those provided by the NuForce.

Both units have something in common: they are solid choices in their respective categories that easily match or slightly exceed the bang-for-the-buck provided by their peers.

My $0.02.
post #57 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotaudio40 View Post
the LT1028AC op-amp is a very nice op-amp on paper, BUT it really was never meant to drive loads lower then 600 Ohms... Driving headphones with ANY IC that is NOT spec'ed for driving headphones loads like 32 Ohms or 16 Ohms or even 300 Ohms just doesn't work all that great...

Most op-amps are only spec'ed out down to 600 Ohms, and below that, sure they work and work pretty good, BUT they DO NOT sound as good as CHIPs designed to drive the headphone impedances...
[..]
And I have YET to see any op-amps spec'ed out for driving 32 Ohm loads....
oh sure, LT1028/AD797 are not meant to drive headphones...but we're talking about DAC's in this thread I think? both work quite well as DAC LPF, if you check page 20 of the PCM1794 datasheet....they actually advise LT1028 as LPF

I usually don't like dual opamps because the center channel is just one blurry mess, but I have to admit that JRC4580 is really great to drive headphones....cheap and very sharp sounding, feed it w/ a very detailed sound(1028/797) and it'll reward greatly IMHO.
post #58 of 82
I am going to get a few of the op-amps you mentioned and give them a shot....

Everything I have now feeds into my tube amplifiers as I have no SS amps that can compete against the sound of a vacuum, metal and glass...
post #59 of 82

Anyone have that one: TELEFUNKEN SoundYou Alu ?

Please delete, wrong topic
post #60 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotaudio40 View Post
I'm sure you can find better sounding op-amps then the OPA2134 but NOT in DACs and AMPS costing $60 or less as I often sell my stuff for $49.99
If ppl here are looking for a bargain dac then check out the Headphonia usb dac cable. It uses a Ti pcm2706/7 receiver, Wolfson WM8740 ( their top of the line dac until recently ) and an ad8656 op amp (far better than opa2134 imo).

It costs US$60 incl shipping.
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