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DA&T U1/U2

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Anyone have any experience with this USB DAC/Amp?

 

I'm curious about it because it's selling for a much better price here in its native Taiwan, at 12000 NT (~$400), which is on par with the Nuforce Icon HDP. However, the DA&T looks to be a more serious product. It seems well engineered and well made.

 

6moons did a review on it here: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/trueharmonix3/1.html

 

They didn't absolutely love it, but they quite liked it in many ways too... makes me want to try it out. I guess I'll have to go fish around for it in Taipei one of these days...

post #2 of 16

Hello

 

I am from Taiwan as well, and as someone who has heard this product at length (I got a loaner from my colleague at work), it IS really a good DAC/Amp combo for headphones.

 

I love the Grado sound (SR250s), but they always come across as a little bright with many amps, but with this amp - and PROPERLY ripped material (FLAC/320kps MP3), the sound smooths out and more detail and spatial information is revealed. The meaty midrange of the Grados cleans up considerably too. The only thing that didn't improve much was the bass, but that could be the Grados. Friends with Senns loved this amp. Anyhow, this amp is superb for the price point.

 

It received glowing reviews in the Taiwanese and Japanese press. But that's just what other say.

 

If you have the chance, audition it at any stockist in Taipei or Taichung, you will not be disappointed.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Yeah I saw them in one of the shops in Taipei, but didn't get a chance to listen. They certainly look very well built. Sitting next to the Firestone Audio Libby, the U2 looked much more refined in terms of looks too. I'll definitely go take a good in-depth look one of these days; I have a bunch of 24/96 files that I wanna listen to via USB to see how the receiver holds up. I heard they had a custom software interface that can be downloaded but apparently doesn't work for x64 Windows. Too bad.

 

post #4 of 16

Anyone paired it up with AKG702?

 

Just ordered a pair of AKG702 and found that headphone dac amp is hard to come by in Malaysia. Noticed they are also selling at Singapore This fits my needs nicely bbut not sure it can feed the hungry AKG702 :P

post #5 of 16

For that price it just sounds right. Don't like the looking of the attenuator btw.


Edited by fdhfdy - 5/30/11 at 10:13am
post #6 of 16
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Just bought one second-hand... sounds very nice so far. This is my first true DAC/Amp unit, so take my impressions with a grain of salt.

 

I'm playing music off foobar 1.1.5 with the SoX resampler on at 96 kHz (the U2 can't natively play 88.2 kHz music), passing through ASIO4All v2 to the U2's USB receiver. I also have DA&T's custom ASIO driver installed, but it doesn't seem to work any better than ASIO4All and tends to lag my equalizer visualization.

 

Initial impressions are that the sound quality improves dramatically with high-resolution music. I lent my full-sized headphones to a friend, so I'm listening to it through my DBA-02. The LD output is nice and rounded, giving a gentler output compared to the HD output, which has a bit of a line level hiss coming through my sensitive IEMs. My quick listen to the HD output showed that it is more detailed and extended, however. As for now, I've been mostly listening with LD output because of its less fatiguing presentation and lack of hiss.

 

Soundstage is not especially large, especially compared to Firestone Audio's new ILoveTW asynchronous 24/192 DAC (the ILoveTW has a very large soundstage, almost too large to be true to source). Rather, it is about the same size as the Audinst HUD-MX1, but with better texture and transparency, as well as a sense of power not found in the small Audinst.

 

In terms of styling, it is most certainly one of the most handsome of the recent barrage of budget-priced DAC/Pre-Amp/Amp combo units out in the wild. The casing is a very solid, black brushed aluminum, and the faceplate is thick, clear acrylic. The standby/on button is touch sensitive, instead of a physical button, which gives the entire unit a touch of class, but is prone to accidental pressing. The volume control knob is a tall, tapered frustum design, held together my a hex screw (which presumably allows you to change it out if you so please). The tactile response is pretty good, gliding smoothly but with ample resistance as well.

 

Overall, I'd say that in terms of looks and ergonomics, only the Nuforce Icon HDP and the Burson Audio H160D outstrip it. It is a far better looking model compared to the Firestone Libby, and by all accounts (I have not heard the Libby myself) the U2 is the more sonically neutral unit of the two. I have no experience with the Yulong D100, but the U2 is unequivocally a better looking model.

 

All in all, for $300 (list price is around $400 USD), I think I've got a pretty good product in my hands, from the craftsmanship to the sound.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

The K702 should not have any problems with it... the guy I bought it off of said that his DT880 600 ohm only needed the pot at 9 o'clock for normal listening levels.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneSec View Post

Anyone paired it up with AKG702?

 

Just ordered a pair of AKG702 and found that headphone dac amp is hard to come by in Malaysia. Noticed they are also selling at Singapore This fits my needs nicely bbut not sure it can feed the hungry AKG702 :P



 

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

Soundstage is not especially large, especially compared to Firestone Audio's new ILoveTW asynchronous 24/192 DAC (the ILoveTW has a very large soundstage, almost too large to be true to source).


I'd love to hear more about the ILTW 24/192 DAC.  There aren't many reviews online, and at this price point, it seems too good to be true for someone like me who is shopping for their first USB DAC but wants to find an asynchronous USB DAC that can handle 24/192 natively for under $1000.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

The I <3 TW DAC is pretty good; you can look for reviews in Chinese on sites like mobile01.com and andaudio.com.

 

It uses the same housing as the other cute series products, so if you have existing ones, it'll fit well cosmetically, although personally I think the housing is a bit ugly. Word is that Firestone is using this machine as more of a proof of concept rather than a long-term release product, and that it makes the DAC at either zero profit or at a loss.

 

Firestone definitely put all the money into the DAC. For starters, it uses a bespoke Galaxy Tenor TE8802 chip as a USB receiver. Most budget 24/192 DACs use the Tenor TE7022 or some variant of that chip.  The new chip is what enables the asynchronous USB transfer mode, which needs to be enabled through a toggle switch within the circuit board. Users also need to download a custom driver (currently only available for 32-bit OSes) that allows ASIO output asynchronously over foobar or whatever else you use. At the front, there are indicator lights telling you what sample rate and bit depth the DAC is receiving.

 

When I auditioned the DAC, I thought that it definitely was very airy and transparent, a definite step up over the Audinst. It's designed as a DAC with very high cost/performance ratio, and most people who have auditioned it agree. Unfortunately, I can't really tell you how it compares against other asynchronous 24/192 DACs for I have not heard any. I'll try to audition the Benchmark DAC1 when I have the time.

 

As for how it compares to my U2, I can't say for sure, because I haven't isolated the DAC stage of my machine for testing. It uses different chips though, with the U2 employing the Cirrus Logic CS4398 and the I <3 TW using the Wolfson WM8740. I'm unclear what opamps are used at the analog stage. The U2 also uses only adaptive USB data transfer with anti-jitter circuits.

post #11 of 16

Thanks for your reply.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find the reviews you mentioned, but it's nice to hear from someone who has experienced this unit firsthand.  I'm deliberating between this one and the Lindemann 24/192 USB DAC (which is twice as expensive, but still a great deal for the money considering the build quality and positive reviews).  I'd love to hear from others who have heard either unit.

post #12 of 16

i tried

HA-1 which was just the headamp

sound filling on my hd600 the new HA2 comes with a DAC......should be a good buy too

 

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well, it's worth a shot -- the Lindemann is certainly a very nice option and will probably give you a better hold on value; the I <3 TW is just too limited a production run and is really only meant for the Taiwan market.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigotone View Post

Thanks for your reply.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find the reviews you mentioned, but it's nice to hear from someone who has experienced this unit firsthand.  I'm deliberating between this one and the Lindemann 24/192 USB DAC (which is twice as expensive, but still a great deal for the money considering the build quality and positive reviews).  I'd love to hear from others who have heard either unit.

 

Yeah, I've heard good things about both the HA-1 and HA-2. The HA-2 is significantly more expensive than the U2, however, and competes on a higher plane with its sequestered power supply and higher quality components. The U2 is still a very nice, budget all-in-one machine, which is why I'll probably stick with it until I can afford something like the HA-160D or Black Cube Linear USB.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by argivian View Post

i tried

HA-1 which was just the headamp

sound filling on my hd600 the new HA2 comes with a DAC......should be a good buy too


Edited by tomscy2000 - 5/4/11 at 8:56pm
post #14 of 16


Thanks for your advice - I settled with Asus Xonar Essence ST and hide from head-fi since then. Probably I'll start looking into upgrades later when USB3 becomes the de-facto interface...


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

The K702 should not have any problems with it... the guy I bought it off of said that his DT880 600 ohm only needed the pot at 9 o'clock for normal listening levels.
 



 



 

post #15 of 16

Does anyone have the detail specification of U2. 

I am interested to know the True power output under 32 Ohm load . reading should be in RMS for True power and mw for peak power 

 

Thanks 
Raymond Lim
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneSec View Post


Thanks for your advice - I settled with Asus Xonar Essence ST and hide from head-fi since then. Probably I'll start looking into upgrades later when USB3 becomes the de-facto interface...


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

The K702 should not have any problems with it... the guy I bought it off of said that his DT880 600 ohm only needed the pot at 9 o'clock for normal listening levels.
 



 



 



 

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