yes true, I am considering a USB udac2 because it is inexpensive and even after I (become richer and) purchase high quality equipment I can always take it to places with my laptop.
- brandGradotagged by System, 11/5/10
- productGrado SR60 Headphonestagged by System, 1/6/11
- productNuForce Icon uDAC (USB DAC and headphone amp)tagged by System, 11/5/10
- productUltimate Ears SuperFi 5vi Noise Isolating Earphones w/ Microphonetagged by System, 3/21/11
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Is the uDac overrated? - Page 2
Poll Results: Is the uDac a good source in your opinion?
Gear mentioned in this thread:
I don't feel the UDAC either v1, or v2 is overrated, I don't claim it to be the best source or amp out there, it is what it is, a 100 dollar amp and source, for me thats enough at the moment. It was better than my onboard sound, and i liked the sound better than the STX when I had it. Not saying its better than either, i just liked the sound better. I don't really think anyone is claiming it to rival thousand dollar set ups, and if they are, well i usually avoid posts like that.
Since I don't have a chance to use a good PC for quite a long time, I honestly don't know how good the on-board audio in PC is (PC that has good motherboard without dedicated soundcard like X-FI stuff).
Is it more or less the same as that of laptops (nice sounding ones)?
The reason for asking is I'm thinking of buying an uDac-2 HP for my dad. Things like uDac-2 clearly put laptop on-board audio into shame but I don't know if that's still true with PC. If PC is anything similar to laptop sound wise I would buy the uDac-2 HP for my dad in a blink.
All onboard sound is crappy. Really crappy. I really wish onboard sound like Realtek would go the way of onboard video and just die. Just give us an extra PCI slot or something. But yeah, to get back to your question, if it's onboard sound, even on a PC, it will suck. Just get your dad the uDAC2.
So uh..have you tried a motherboard built after Y2k?
The uDac is a great upgrade from SR60i/MS1/M50/AD700/HD555 + onboard. It's probably an even choice between headphone + udac or headphone + udac money if you already have the headphone. Otherwise I'd put that extra money into the headphone every single time. If you've actually planned out your journey, then something more concrete would be an easy choice over it, but for people who aren't able to dump a wad of cash at once on a $200 headphone, or can't break the $250 barrier for upgrades, the uDac is a good choice. I dismiss any post that claims it can do everything from being an awesome sauce to curing cancer.
Edited by Trysaeder - 11/24/10 at 12:02am
I was very impressed with the uDAC paired with SR325i. I bought it but using it with any other headphone I think it is just another headphone amplifier. So the right pairing and synergy definitely is everything with the uDAC.
I'm in the camp that thinks the uDAC is really, really good for what it is. At work I use a uDAC -> mini^3 -> Livewire Trips rig, and I consider the sound I get to be very good. It's not quite as liquid and natural as my home rig, but the sound that I get from a <$200 DAC/amp combo is, in my book, damn good for the money.
as per my ears, the udac2 off my pc usb sounds better as dac hooked to the stax srm-1/mk-2 + lambda pro than the asus xonar d2, my long-standing soundcard...
the xonar sounds cleaner, but the details come through better on the udac2, and the overall sound is more pleasing. since i got the udac2 for less than the original purchase price of the xonar, i'd say it's a great buy :D
I still have one and use it... it's not the most neutral gear out there but can sound fantastic with certain headphones and is really versatile in uses. Hard to ask more for the money IMO.
ALL DACs are overrated since a long time, especially the digital side of them.
There are some audible differs analog wise, if the output is stable and powerful enough, you hardly hear any changes by switching DACs.
OTOH, it's nice to own a solid and well built DAC.
Keep in mind also type and quality of computer used plays a fair deal with the output of the udac-2. In my experience it did not best my laptop used with the internal Sigmatel HD. When that said my laptop puts out some of the best sound i've ever heard from a laptop. And maybe didn't deliver the best usb signals for the udac-2...? High end gear are still light years in front of u-dac 2 soundwise IMO... But good for what it is valuewise. Question is if its good enough for each ones desire for soundquality?
Edited by Gartner - 1/5/11 at 10:46am
I like the udac very much. You get rca output, which is very useful. Portability is good as well, fits nicely into the ath hard case along with an iQube amp, cables and other stuff... I use my udac at office, pairing it with either iQube V1 or Lisa III (depending on choice of headphones). I find the DAC section in the udac to be great value for the money. The amp is just a little extra, as I see it. It's not a great amp, but I find it to be ok with Yuin G1a, G2a and esw9. It's pretty handy to have a little amp - even though it's not so good for high impedance cans IMO.
So I'm not smoking crack when I thought my cell phone sounded better than my laptop as a source. Granted once I add a real amp in the picture, the differences start to become minor. Never having heard a uDAC, I have no doubts that for it's price, it's probably the best bang for your buck in audio upgrades after the headphones themselves. Especially in the case of a laptop sound card.
I didn't think the amp in the uDAC-1 was too good for anything other than low impedance headphones, and even then, the gain was slightly difficult to manage. However, for $100, it was a nice improvement over what my laptop could provide, and was easily portable when I was travelling a lot for work. I did end up selling it since my portable music listening has been mostly out of an iPhone and I have a different DAC for my home set up now.
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