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Maverick D1 vs Audio-gd FUN vs Beresford Caiman

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys,

I am in the need for a desktop DAC/AMP to run from my computer (usb or optical). I think I have narrowed it down to these but am open to any suggestions. HELP!

I love big, tight deep bass and am looking for a warm, musical sound signature preferebly with some slam.

I will be using denon LA-2000, dt-990 600ohm, grado HF-2, hd-650.

Any help would be really appreciated.

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

Come on guys! Can't anyone give me some advice on a musical DAC/amp under $600??

post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by customNuts View Post

Come on guys! Can't anyone give me some advice on a musical DAC/amp under $600??


Audio-GD Fun with OPA-Moon (for the warm signature), or more expensive but in a upper league a DAC-19 DSP and a C2 (or cheaper option a DAC-19 DF and a C2).

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks cheaphifi. Have you heard the maverick or caiman? The maverick is getting rave reviews and is alot cheaper than the FUN. Do you think the increase in sound quality with the FUN is significant over the maverick?

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by customNuts View Post

Thanks cheaphifi. Have you heard the maverick or caiman? The maverick is getting rave reviews and is alot cheaper than the FUN. Do you think the increase in sound quality with the FUN is significant over the maverick?


I have read few review about the Beresford Caiman, it's described like an "Must Buy" : 

- Great DAC very detailled, sound not harsh, well defined and controlled bass and very good medium and high and an excellent soundstaging and instrument separation.

 

At start i was interested about the Maverick D1 but i want a DAC which work "out of the box", I'm sure there are people here who can mod an Maverick extremely well and they manage to get an excellent sound with this piece of hardware, but i think a "Stock unit" Maverick D1 isn't a great deal, it's described as harsh and don't fit with "bright" headphones, and i don't like the "tube buffer" principe, it's not coloring the sound "sound tubey" it just add some % in the THD => Gadget.

 

I think for example an Audio-GD FUN is a more serious option, but i have not listened it, just rode a bunch of review about it, and i think it's a good value DAC. If you want to know about my rig, i'm currenly using an Audio-GD DAC-19 DSP (Mk-IV) and a pair of Active Bookshelf Monitor : Swan M200 MkIII and i'm very, very, very satisfied about the sound gently blowed by this "Music Pack" (just hesitating between "Amazing", "Wow" and "Incredible" to describe the sound :) ).

 

You can't go wrong with Audio-GD DAC-19 DSP but it's more expensive, i know an other DAC which worth the price but it's not on the Warm side, it's the Yulong Dah1 MkII : Good Dynamic, Very detailled, a little bright but pleasant sound. But this DAC have some "fiability issues" if you go with a good unit you'll be very satisfied with it, but if you are unlucky you'll get an "electrical interference amplifier" with sometimes let you listen some music (lol).

post #6 of 15

The Beresford Caimen does sound quite good for the price.  There is also more audio goodness to be had via' modding.

The Maverick D1, is also highly recommended based on it's price...Again can be improved with some modding.

I heard the Audio-GD fun quickly and it also seemed like a rather nice sounding unit for the price.

 

They are all really good units for their price...

post #7 of 15

the audio-gd sparrow is a wonderful unit for the price - very, very similar sounding to the fun according to the manufacturer.  I would go with that to save money, or make the jump up to the DAC19DSP + C2

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheaphifi View Post


At start i was interested about the Maverick D1 but i want a DAC which work "out of the box", I'm sure there are people here who can mod an Maverick extremely well and they manage to get an excellent sound with this piece of hardware, but i think a "Stock unit" Maverick D1 isn't a great deal, it's described as harsh and don't fit with "bright" headphones, and i don't like the "tube buffer" principe, it's not coloring the sound "sound tubey" it just add some % in the THD => Gadget.


I'll agree that the D1 is bright and harsh out of the box but it's VERY simple and cheap to upgrade the opamps and gain clarity. 8 screws and 3-4 minutes, it doesn't get much easier. The "tube buffer" is optional. There's both solid-state and tube outputs on the back. If you're a little more daring you can pop a SUN HDAM and Western Electric 396A tube into the D1 and a user on here claims it to be on par with $500-$600 DAC's. Changing the opamps and tube requires 30 seconds of knowledge and no soldering is necessary. To sum it up, the D1 is an affordable all in one unit, sure you can spend more on just a DAC or just an amp to get better quality but it's a solid unit that's backed by excellent support.

 

*EDIT*

I'll be honest and share the biggest downside/disappointment for the D1: USB input. No matter how you slice it, it seems that 16-Bit / 48kHz is sent to the DAC. 


Edited by _Spanky_ - 7/25/10 at 5:34pm
post #9 of 15

 

I'll be honest and share the biggest downside/disappointment for the D1: USB input. No matter how you slice it, it seems that 16-Bit / 48kHz is sent to the DAC. 


I have tested 24/96 vs. 16/44.1 via USB of same recording thru an Audio-gd Ref-1 and Phoenix and the differences are very small to none on all but best recordings. I feel too much is made of this and I consider it a non-factor.

post #10 of 15

True but I figured it was worth mentioning. The owner of Maverick Audio (Ryan) uses the USB input on his D1 and doesn't have any complaints. It's not like the USB is the only input on the D1, the SPDIF inputs are great.

post #11 of 15

A vote for the Maverick here. I have one with the NOS tube installed and it sounds great. For getting the sound through speakers, I am putting the tube output through a Fatman Itube amp.

Sounds delicious!

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys for your help. I think these are 3 big contenders for entry level DAC/AMP with fantastic features/value. I bought the Maverick D1 and have ordered the parts to the skyline mod with HDAM of RieserFS - thanks again. Can't wait to get into modding/soldering etc.

I'll post my impressions in a couple of days.

Keep posting everyone - I think this thread will help alot of Entry level DAC buyers out there.

post #13 of 15

Would love to hear your impressions when it all arrives!

 

I'm seriously considering the Maverick D1....

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by customNuts View Post

Thanks guys for your help. I think these are 3 big contenders for entry level DAC/AMP with fantastic features/value. I bought the Maverick D1 and have ordered the parts to the skyline mod with HDAM of RieserFS - thanks again. Can't wait to get into modding/soldering etc.

I'll post my impressions in a couple of days.

Keep posting everyone - I think this thread will help alot of Entry level DAC buyers out there.


So what do you think now of the D1?

just curious :-)

post #15 of 15

I am looking at the Audio-GD FUN (+ Earth Opa) to run my Grado RS1s and Rokit RP8 monitors. Should sound amazing. Can't wait till everything arrives!

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