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Oh noooooo... another $$$ pit? I.e., help for a DAC noob - Page 2

post #16 of 21
More seriously, a lot of people rave about those older parasound tube DACs. I don't know the model number offhand (1000?), but it might be worth trying to find one. gamma-2 dac also sounds like a good choice.
post #17 of 21
+1 Audio-gd FUN! Seriously good 'starter' kit (DSP A version).
post #18 of 21
Check out the thread on the Nuforce HDP dac/amp. It is brand new & comes very close in quality to my $1700 Benchmark DAC1 HDR & it only costs $449. You have 30 days to figure out if it meets your needs. I've not used the Audio GD19 which I hear is very good but the HDP is a big step up from the Compas DAC in IMHO. I've been shocked at just how good it is & aonther thing I really like about it is that it takes so little desktop space. As an add-on the amp section's sound is as good or better than my DAC1.

Good luck with your search but just check out the HDP before you buy. It is killer for the price. If you do want to spend more add the Benchmark DAC1 usb. You can get it used for $900ish & as dacs go, that is about as good as it gets. Even couple the regular Benchmark DAC1 (which doesn't have a USB connection ) but a $20 Behringer u-control uca-202 (to provide usb linkage between the PC & DAC1 via it's optical port) and you can probably get a used DAC1 on AudiogoN for $700ish. If I didn't go for the new Nuforce HDP, then the latter is what I'd do. Spend the rest of the $1000 on good cables for your gear & you'll be a happy man.

Again, good luck. You have lots of good suggestions above. Just check out the HDP &/or DAC1 options before you buy. While you figure it out you might just buy the $99 uDac which is excellent for the price while you do more research. You'll get your money back real fast if you sell it here after you make your final decision. Heck, if all you have to compare is the sound that comes out of the PC, you'll think you died & went to heaven with the little uDac.
post #19 of 21
I second the PSAudio Digital Link III with the stage IV mods - right at $1K.

You realize that your SACDs won't send digital to your DAC. The DAC in the player has to do the work, and the analog sent to your amplifier. There clearly is some way to do this, as a lot of the downloadable hi rez stuff is ripped from SACD, but I don't know if its generally available yet.
post #20 of 21
I'll second the opinion of the previous poster who mentioned the Gamma2. Very nice sounding and the price is excellent.

I personally would stay away from vintage DACs unless you find one for very cheap, or happen to have heard one that you really liked for some reason. In my opinion, DACs don't really age that well (with some exceptions of course).

You might try a few of the cheaper suggestions from this thread, one at a time, and sell them off for a small loss if they don't work for you. Better to start low and move up than spend the full $1,000 and never know if something cheaper may have satisfied you (or performed just as well!).
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
You might try a few of the cheaper suggestions from this thread, one at a time, and sell them off for a small loss if they don't work for you. Better to start low and move up than spend the full $1,000 and never know if something cheaper may have satisfied you (or performed just as well!).
That's good advice. It's kind of silly to spend $1,000 on a DAC when you've never even had one before, not to mention singlepower amps, lol.
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