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New Audiolab DAC - Page 39

post #571 of 878

I would love to have two M-DACs and properly compare filters but I suspect the result might be disappointing wink.gif

In the end you have to realise expectation bias is an integral part of this hobby and being human. biggrin.gif

post #572 of 878

I occasionally have seen a user comment about the M-DAC that says something like "It has the Audiolab trademark of sounding slightly harsh but beautifully detailed.".  Is this a DAC that leans towards detailed and revealing vs. musical and smooth then?  Or is the "harsh" term describing brightness vs. warmth?

post #573 of 878

my local audio store finds the mdac 'fantasy sounding' as in it is trying to present the detail in a forward way im guessing. 

Personally I still like it alot. Paired with my slightly warm SPL amp it works v well, even with HD800. Though I am personally

quite the detail freak. Just did HD650 mod (take foam out of back of magnet) and it's even better now. 


you want detail and transparency with a dac imo ..then you can colour the sound (or not) with the amp and phones combo


i tried my setup with a 2k sterling arcam dac and it did have a more natural and less grainy presentation with my amp. 

bloody huge though! 


My dream dac is chord HD. 

post #574 of 878

how reliable is m-dac? I'm worried about the 1 year warranty and lack of support in the US. I will be driving my Westone 4 IEMs with it and probably add a set of quality powered speakers to the mix in the future.  


Do you guys recommend m-dac over:

dacmagic plus

centrance mini cx

benchmark 1 usb

post #575 of 878

1 year? i registered it with audiolab and got 3 years! but i am in UK. you may get 2 in USA if registered? 


I got mdac over dacmagic...mdac has much better punch on percussion and overall resolution, esp on vocals

and piano (which can be hard on dacs imo). I find I want to upgrade though eventually as I listen to classical

more and more and the mdac isnt excellent for this slower stuff...as it sounds a bit brittle at times, plus more

hissy than say 2k arcam dac. (which is a good buy except the damn size lol) 

Edited by daniel_hokkaido - 2/4/13 at 12:35am
post #576 of 878

Warranty not so sure, since the most obvious source to get it at the time in North America was Planet of Sound Distribution, which is canadian. Their service is great though, as I found out when my first M-DAC was DOA :/


And that would my comment on reliability: the dreaded "No Comms" error tends to show up early on if not immediately, well within a year. If you make it past that, so far I've found mine to be reliable, through almost daily use (knocks on wood anyway...)

post #577 of 878

thanks for the feedback guys. How do you guys like the headphone out and what kind of headphones(sound sig.) go well with it? 

post #578 of 878

I use my mdac with a dedicated amp (SPL) ..personally i found the hp out lacking. it doesn't have the punch 

to give you a proper emotional response to the music imo

post #579 of 878

Any one compared the M-DAC to the Violectric V800?  I can't find anything on this...

post #580 of 878

Headphone-wise I have tried most of mine (see list) and think they sound fine. If I'm at my computer "station" with the M-DAC, and no dedicated amp nearby, I have no problem using the built-in output, I don't feel like it would deprive me in any meaningful way of enjoying my music.


Yes, in absolute terms, an (expensive) dedicated amp may yield better results (esp. via balanced) depending on the headphone, and how finely tuned that amp is to your preferred sound signature, but poo-pooing the M-DAC amp section just because it is integrated would be doing it a disservice.


Some more specifics: the Audezes would be pushing it (but no notable distortion at max. volume, to its credit), the Fostex TH900 is my personal favourite (on the M-DAC, not overall), the W3000ANV is OK but prefer other options, it keeps the Edition 8's treble under control well enough compared to some other options I tried, the Senn Momentum still has too much (even a bit more?) bass, but even Tzar 350 IEMs work very nicely, with almost enough bass (on portable solutions, I tend to EQ in a bit of a bass boost, its only weakness IMHO)


As I mentioned elsewhere before, if I had to move and only keep the essentials at hand for a while, I would be perfectly content with just the M-DAC and my favourite pair of cans.

post #581 of 878

thanks for the feedback TheGrumpyOldMan. I will be using M-Dac with Westone 4 IEMs. Do you think bass response will be weak? I think M-dac is going to complement it quite good on top since W4 is slightly treble shy. W4 basically is a balanced IEM with slight mid bass boost. It is not dark and it is not exactly warm. 

post #582 of 878

Not familiar with the W4, I find the M-DAC pretty neutral compared to my other amps, maybe a -slight- bass emphasis, mostly from providing ample clean power (their "CROSS JFET Class A amplification") I think adjusting the filters will give you a bit of control over the sound signature, esp. in the treble domain.

post #583 of 878

Thanks! Do you have any experience with Dacmagic Plus and Benchmark Dac 1 USB? I'm also considering those.

post #584 of 878
Mdac and th900 is great.
But using a Bha1 in combination with the mdac, it is the perfect dream team.
post #585 of 878
Originally Posted by Hubert481 View Post

Mdac and th900 is great.
But using a Bha1 in combination with the mdac, it is the perfect dream team.

Thanks for the comment.
Great to hear your enjoying it!

Are you running balanced cables between the DAC and amp?

I was very curious as to how that combination works as I was thinking about getting the same combination myself.
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