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The HeadRoom Ultra Desktop Balanced DAC [THE UDAC] is BACK! - Page 2

post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichael View Post

Sorry, kind of a newb question: Is this DAC specially designed to work with a balanced amp, and will it only work with a balanced amp?



Hello bmichael,

 

Thanks for the note!

 

The HeadRoom UDAC will work with any headphone rig as it offers both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA connectivity.

 

Cheers,

 

jorge

HeadRoom Operations Manager

post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubu1 View Post

Fantastic news!!!!!  I absolutely love my original  ESS9008 UDAC and I was extremely disheartened when you pulled it off the market. What do you see as the major sonic improvements with this version of the UDAC?  Any chance I can upgrade my unit? biggrin.gif



Hey Bubu1,

 

No real sonic differences are audible imho between the 9008 and 9018 HeadRoom UDACs... The new Sabre chip simply allowed more powerful programming options for our audio team.

 

smily_headphones1.gif

 

Cheers,

 

jorge

HeadRoom Operations Manager

 

post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wulvy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

Curious, at any point did you think about or try alternatives like the WM8741, AD1955, or something from AKM? I'm wondering because a few manufacturers have tried the ESS and ultimately passed on it for Wolfson or one of the others.


Audio-GD did discontinue the ES9018 for a few reasons (mainly logistical) but have brought it back due to the number of people asking for it. I don't know of any other manufacturers discontinuing it. I have the ES9018 based Audio-GD NFB10 and it is a really revealing neutral chip. Goes well with the LCD-2. Its nice to see more ES9018 based products coming out.


The one I was thinking of is the PS Perfect Wave, they said they tried the Sabre in it and thought the WM8741 sounded better - more musical. I'm curious about the AD1955 because it's used in the Berkeley, and Esoteric uses stacked AKM chips in their flagships.



Hi Guys,

 

Well, we did indeed try LOTS of different options including many of the ones mentioned here. In the end, we concluded the ES9018 offered the most powerful programming options for our particular topology design within the HeadRoom UDAC. Of course, the 9018 also measures near-perfect (just like the 9008) and offers a very engaging, richly defined and extremely musical sound imho!

 

tongue.gif

 

Cheers,

 

jorge

HeadRoom Operations Manager

 

 

post #19 of 29

Glad to see the UDAC back! I was wondering where it went when it was pulled from the website.

post #20 of 29

The UDAC is extremely flexible and has Spdif/Coax, Toslink, and USB inputs and 2 X 3 pin XLR and RCA outputs.  It can work with a balanced amp but it is a very nice stand alone DAC.  

 

As a customer, I just want to say a word about the original UDAC situation, I really appreciate the long standing Headroom's business practice, cooperate philosophy, and customer relations. They are the best on my book. I am very glad to see Travis (present CEO) is continuing that tradition.  I am very impressed with the way they were upfront about the USB problem with their original UDAC.  They didn't skirt around the issues.  They stepped up to the plate and own the problem instead of sticking it to the customers.  They are not afraid to take care of their customers. Their concern and priority in sales which came through very clearly to me is whether their customer is satisfied with their products and/or purchase.  In fact, they spontaneously stopped the production of the original UDAC without a lot of drama here on the forum to make them do it.  Their customer service is responsive and you can always talked to a friendly, patient and live person.  As a customer in this highly expensive hobby of ours, I felt with headroom I can always make my money stretch as long as it possibly can.  For instance, I can still remember when I first purchased the Cosmic amp some ten years ago, I was able to upgrade the amp several times with difference reference modules and thereby extended the value of my original purchase to last so much longer or until the product cycle ran out (for several years). This is true with many of their other products.  In this day and time, many companies will release a product and within a very short time and with slight modification release a newer version of the same product and as customers we are outdated almost instantly and are forced to buy again.  With this UDAC, Headroom again is willing to replace the board for their existing UDAC customers when their product is up and thereby able to keep us up to date with their products spells incredible amount of care for their customers.  With Headroom, it is not their bottom line or their pocket that came first, even though it is a must in a business, but it is their customers. That is why they have such a loyal followings.  And these kinds of behavior deserve to be mention more often on these forums as well as our support.  Good job, Headroom, just wanted to show my appreciation for what you do and the way you handle yourself with such class.

post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi There Jalo,

 

Thank you so, so much for your wonderful comments.

It truly warms our collective HeadRoom heart to know folks like you are out there and behind us. 

 

After the wailing & gnashing of teeth we experienced bringing back the UDAC, it was worth

every moment when we read notes like yours. redface.gif

 

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

 

jorge and the entire HeadRoom Team

post #22 of 29

Jorge, you are very welcome.  But you and your customers know every word I said is true.  You earn it.

post #23 of 29

Have been using the DPS+BUDA+UDAC since right after its release and its just great with what ever I got of cans! After I got my 800 HD and balanced them I can hardly use anything else without massive loss of quality even with some what poor source material they just make it better. With 800 HD's balanced or not however some really poor source material and after a while heck most non-high bitrate, analog or lossless will sound rather filled with tiny horrid digital in-perfections that screams into the clarity of your ears - some digital radio or podcasts etc. I'm actually thinking of getting a pair of coloring cans or a tube amp for to cover this up as they are clearly not present on lesser systems like a good pair of midrange (Head-Fi relative) IEM's on my mobile.

Recommend if you want whats really there and fixing the USB stuff while better chip is just neat!

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamerphile View Post
And fixing the USB stuff while better chip is just neat!

 

Good that I'm done with my degree this summer and getting monies - just realized that shipping insured to and from the US will be a little expensive - but at least its also a free upgrade to even better DACcool.gif

 

I should note that IMO and experience with this system: the DAC's is in the greatest series I have ever seen the technical proofs on - which is a fantastic new concept that really shows their digital hardware, ASIC manufacturing and signal processing expertise. And thats from an engineer student in IT who is doing his theses on/by "implementing next-gen. digital processors on-chip memory network interface on FPGA's for optimizing large next-gen. multi-core systems" with his [also can loving] professor *. Yeah its really complicated stuff but music keeps me in the zone cool.gif

 

So take my professional word on it technically but subjectively I'm a owner and lover so where you actually like the performance or not is a relative matter evil_smiley.gif

 

 

*My background in audio (besides hobby stuff) is from work at Sennheiser [Communications], Oticon and from one other best audio institutes in the world at the Danish Technical University** so I know the basics of whats whats up on down on DAC's besides my obviously very strong digital hardware and software backgroundpopcorn.gif

** AAU's institute in the other end of Denmark and at least one German are generally seen as having better even thought I think DTU actually have most global audio industry HQ's, audio specialist companys, R'n'D sites etc. near by

post #25 of 29

Awesome!  Might have to convince my friend to upgrade his current HeadRoom unit.  Anyone out there done a comparison between the HeadRoom and Grace 902 unit?

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSaiyan View Post

Awesome!  Might have to convince my friend to upgrade his current HeadRoom unit.  Anyone out there done a comparison between the HeadRoom and Grace 902 unit?



Well heard both and I like this better but as a owner you'd clearly see that as a bit colored - Grace is like a more forgiving and warm on source material.

post #27 of 29

Great product...but just not for me....

post #28 of 29

Old thread, but xEcuToR, why not?  What's better for you?

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post

Old thread, but xEcuToR, why not?  What's better for you?


Well sometimes the clinical factor especially with much of the poor quality material I seem to consume everyday I feel like I need a pre- or post-amp of smoothing tubes.... Watching old Blackadder episodes and crying while Virtual Choir 2.0 seems to make me almost crying in the other direction. How cruel is fate!? rolleyes.gif
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Sponsor Announcements and Deals › The HeadRoom Ultra Desktop Balanced DAC [THE UDAC] is BACK!