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Is the uDac overrated? - Page 4

Poll Results: Is the uDac a good source in your opinion?

  • 59% (52)
  • 40% (35)
87 Total Votes  
post #46 of 56

never the less, I'm still happy with my udac. I don't think I've seen the thread, you mention. But hey, there's lots of these marketing things going on everywhere. And it has been going on forever. What's the big deal? I can assure you, that I never buy a product based on one forum members writings...

post #47 of 56


Originally Posted by librarian View Post

never the less, I'm still happy with my udac. I don't think I've seen the thread, you mention. But hey, there's lots of these marketing things going on everywhere. And it has been going on forever. What's the big deal? I can assure you, that I never buy a product based on one forum members writings...

Here is the thread in question, First Impressions: Nuforce uDAC USB DAC AMP with line out and S/PDIF out. I read this thread about six or so months before I joined Head Fi and it was the primary motivator as to why I chose the uDAC over a Total Bithead from Headroom. Overall, like you I was pretty happy with my uDAC while I had it. Personally I think it's a good product and works as advertised.


I never used the line out feature while I had mine. My primary reason for getting the uDAC was to have something better to drive my headphones than the headphone out on my PC. The uDAC does that. The difference is night and day really. It's put together nice and seems to be well constructed. Overall I think it's a cool little gizmo to improve the Audio quality of PC's and laptops. It has a line out function that let's you feed it to an amp so it's scalable.


Like I said, I never used the line out feature but apparently there was a channel imbalance problem with the RCA outs, some problems with the volume pot, and other assorted complaints that didnt seem to square with the hype in the above thread. Which is why I suppose Nuforce came out with the uDAC2. Now how much better the uDAC2 is versus the original I have no idea. One of the problems that I encountered from time to time when I owned one was it clipped. I always thought it was because it was because it was USB powered and I had to many programs open and running, until I read this thread recently, Nuforce uDAC2 Drama (detailed measurements). The OP, nwavguy, had a link to a review that seems to be gone now, but it was pretty critical of the uDAC2 and why it clipped. Jason from Nuforce even chimes in early in the thread. I stopped reading after the first couple of pages but it definitely legitimizes the question Alex asked.


post #48 of 56

I tried both the original udac and the udac2, never had any clipping problems, never had channel imbalance or any other problems. I've tried other dacs, also a dac, where I had trouble with clipping. I also know how dac's of much better quality, and of course more expensive dacs, should sound, there's nothing wrong with my ears...The line out is great, btw...i love to have rca output in such a small device. I enjoy my udac (not the udac2) in my office almost everyday. Everyone has the right to share good and bad experiences with products, so I just share mine :-)

post #49 of 56

KneelJung, I think you've really hit it on the head why the uDAC was/is so popular and is still a good value.  It's about the features, form factor, and price.


For me, USB power (and the durability and tiny size) was absolutely essential as I needed to use mine on the go, and carrying around a power cord (not to mention plug or voltage adapters as I travel between the USA/Europe somewhat regularly) was an absolute no-no.  I also needed a line-out for speaker amplifiers and as a way to upgrade to a more powerful headphone amp (of my choice) when the time came.  Oh, and of course, the half-decent amplified headphone jack was absolutely, unequivocally necessary for me at the time.  I didn't care about channel imbalance as I wasn't using IEMs.  The USB to S/PDIF is another handy feature; I haven't used it yet and may never, but it provides yet another upgrade path, and increases the flexibility of the uDAC even more.


Show me another product (I did not have the time for a DIY project when I got the uDAC) that does all of that better at the same price or at least as well at a lower price, and I'll change my mind that the uDAC was/is indeed a good value.


Oh, and to solve the clipping problem on the line-out output, don't set the volume all the way up.  I usually leave it at 12 o'clock.  Obviously a perfect product wouldn't need this, and it may make the uDAC unsuitable for direct use with low-gain, no volume control power amps, but for me it hasn't been an issue.

Edited by BlackbeardBen - 4/3/11 at 10:08am
post #50 of 56
The E7 does all that and more at a lower price. Before you say the E7 doesn't have line-out, I should point that the uDac doesn't have a proper line out either. The only thing the uDac has over the E7 is the Coax out and RCA over mini plug.

Anyway I sold my uDac because I got the E7 and it was a much better product, at a lower price.

uDac had its charms but I still cringe at all the hype that went into that thing.
Edited by Mochan - 4/3/11 at 8:13pm
post #51 of 56
To those with the E7 AND E9, you can use the E7 as a line out DAC to other amps, while its docked to the E9. Use the E9's RCA Line out, and all you get from there is the E7's dac function.

I love my E7, but it imparts a slight bit of warmth on top of the source. This can make or break whatever is plugged into it depending on how much warmth you'd like.

For example, the Lyr is already slightly warm, so the E7 adds even more. The Lyr to my ears would work better with a brighter source, perhaps making the UDAC better suited to it.

The E9 is more neutral toned to perhaps slightly bright, so the e7 works better for it.

I'd like to try the UDAC2 with my Lyr, as I'm sure I'll appreciate it more than when using the E7.
post #52 of 56

Seems the Shiit sound is more on the smooth, warm side. I've not heard the Lyr but I heard the Asgard and man was it a smooth, warm amp. It needed more edge to it at times, I felt. Almost all my cans are smooth and warm so pairing them with the Asgard ended up with slippery street. It was nice but might be a little over for most people. The E7 is excellent working as a DAC for the Dared MP5, though. Works just great. Haven't tried the E7 with my Marantz yet.


I would agree that the uDAC is better used to pair with the Asgard (I tried). Probably holds true for the Lyr as well. 

post #53 of 56
I would have already bought the UDAC2, but I'm waiting on the Schiit DAC coming out in a few months. Hopefully it pairs up well with the Lyr and not smooth it over anymore than it is. I definitely prefer the edge of the E9, but like the refinement of the Lyr. The Lyr with an edge would make an AWESOME combination.
post #54 of 56

Now you have me interested in DAC/Amp combos and especially the Schiit products.  

I've been investigating a few options for my next upgrade.. definitely want to go with a tube or hybrid tube amp and matching it up with a brighter DAC may be the way to go. Following that logic, I'm going to keep my uDac2.  Right now, I'm using the E7/E9 combo with my HD600's or E7 alone with my HD25's.

As an aside, I shortened my HD600 cable, reterminated with a ViaBlue plug and was using the uDac2 during my testing.  Not a bad match with the HD25's. Still prefer the E7. I'm sure that if I sold the uDac2, I'd regret it.

post #55 of 56

I've been doing some comparisons between the uDac2 and the FiiO E7. The end result for me is that the E7 is a much better unit.  I replaced my HD600's with a pair of HD650's and the difference (between the uDac2 & FiiO E7) is quite apparent, especially in the soundstage and detail department.  In fact, I think I fried my uDac2 so saying goodbye to it. Oh well..

Edited by MickeyVee - 6/17/11 at 11:54am
post #56 of 56

I'm surprised the E7 hadn't been mentioned more earlier on in the thread...from what I understand, it pretty much beats out the uDAC in every aspect, especially if you want to use it simply as a source rather than an amp (you can get a LOD plug for it to get line-out function without the E9).  It may not have a digital output, but a USB-spdif transport isn't terribly hard to find...in fact, Fiio has one of them out now.


Seems to me that people just don't like to trust mass produced Chinese products.

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