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Neutral and detailed DAC <$1500 to go with my K702's? - Page 3

post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccabe View Post

I personally didn't think very much of the benchmark dac-1 when I heard it and I thought you could do much better for the same price for instance pretty much anything from audio-gd in a similar price range or if you are willing to DIY The Buffalo II is excellent



Not if you are aiming for a neutral DAC, the Benchmark is measurably more neutral than it is humanly possible to discriminate up to 20K, it adds vanishingly lows amounts of noise/distortion and is as flat as a pancake, and has a low impedance headphone output, consequently it does not actuallly have a sound and is thus neutral.

post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccabe View Post

 

Graphicism, what $1000+ headphones have you heard that perform as well or worse than $200 headphones as you seem to be fairly quick to criticize my points.

Also please note I was talking about the best headphones you could get for $1000 compared to the best for $200.


A couple of things.  First, I encourage you to do more listening to different gear at different price points.  I think the discussions here are better served when people try to stick to what they've heard when trying to give meaningful impressions or opinions.  Second, I think you have inadvertently stumbled onto a fun game, so here's my entry:

 

Grado SR-225 is a fun, rock-out headphone that costs $200.  The Grado GS-1000 is full of suck and costs $995.  I'd take the 225 every day of the week and spend the savings on booze and women.

 

post #33 of 60

I have actually heard the gs-1000 and completely agree with you, but they generally do not cost $1000 and I was talking about the best you can get for $1000 rather than comparing an overpriced $1000 headphone to a very good value $200 headphone.

Although I do dislike the gs-1000 especially for the price I do think they are better than both the sr-225's and the sr-325is when listening to pretty much anything other than rock or metal.

post #34 of 60

The Benchmark dac-1 is very neutral but I think it is overpriced and I thought the dac-1 sounded slightly unnatural, harsh and had fairly poor prat, but of course this being very picky.

I think the best source you can get for $1500 would be a decent record player such a vpi scout or possibly garrard 401, technics sp10 or technics sl1210 kab modded.

(obviously this option would be a fairly large investment, but I think it is completely worth it)

But if you would rather go with a dac the audio-gd reference 7 is the best dac I have heard, and if you found one used you could quite easily get it under $1500.

post #35 of 60

As a former K701 owner I will say that in it's arena it is among the very best of dynamics regardless of price.  I don't buy into the marketing/pricing hype either, which is why my headphone of choice is a HD580 and will probably be for a long time to come.

 

Source is huge. Great sound must begin at the "source".  The K701 is more than revealing enough to allow a person to appreciate at high-end source component.  Whether it's sound signature is "better" or "worse" than costlier phones is another debate altogether and is of course a matter of personal taste.

 

post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccabe View Post

I have actually heard the gs-1000 and completely agree with you, but they generally do not cost $1000 and I was talking about the best you can get for $1000 rather than comparing an overpriced $1000 headphone to a very good value $200 headphone.

Although I do dislike the gs-1000 especially for the price I do think they are better than both the sr-225's and the sr-325is when listening to pretty much anything other than rock or metal.



No, the GS-1k sucks with everything.

post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccabe View Post

The Benchmark dac-1 is very neutral but I think it is overpriced and I thought the dac-1 sounded slightly unnatural, harsh and had fairly poor prat, but of course this being very picky.

I think the best source you can get for $1500 would be a decent record player such a vpi scout or possibly garrard 401, technics sp10 or technics sl1210 kab modded.

(obviously this option would be a fairly large investment, but I think it is completely worth it)

But if you would rather go with a dac the audio-gd reference 7 is the best dac I have heard, and if you found one used you could quite easily get it under $1500.



Well that all depends on your sense of value. The Benchmark does nothing wrong, this has been proven categorically with scientific measurements. So your recommendation is based on a preconceived predication towards a colored sound. Why would you spend MORE on something that, if it truly does sound different than the Benchmark (probably subtle differences as best if it truly is a quality DAC), is probably coloring the sound. ALL a DAC should do is convert a digital signal to analog: it should not impart any sound characteristic to the source. If it does, it is in a technical sense, a BAD component. A lot of people on here make it seem like there's a night and day difference between every DAC on here, when in reality, there just isn't. As I said previously, put side to side in a blind test, you probably wouldn't be able to faithfully tell many of them apart. This is, in a sense, a good sign. It simply means that many DACs are probably doing it right.

 

post #38 of 60

iceman23 I don't think dac's have to impart nothing to the sound because if everyone wanted the least distortion and flattest response curve we would not use tube amps.

The dac-1 may be neutral and have very little distortion, but I found that the audio-gd  reference 7 beat in pretty much everything.

Also I do agree that dac's make a small difference, which is why I suggested the OP upgraded his headphones.

post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccabe View Post

iceman23 I don't think dac's have to impart nothing to the sound because if everyone wanted the least distortion and flattest response curve we would not use tube amps.

The dac-1 may be neutral and have very little distortion, but I found that the audio-gd  reference 7 beat in pretty much everything.

Also I do agree that dac's make a small difference, which is why I suggested the OP upgraded his headphones.



I didn't say they HAVE to impart nothing on the sound, but technically they should not. In any case, looking for an amp with a particularly colored sound is a much better route than looking for a DAC with a "colored" sound.  But, if you read the title of the thread, I believe a neutral, technically superior DAC is exactly what the OP is looking for.

 

post #40 of 60

yes and I think the audio-gd reference 7 is neutral and also technically superior to the dac-1

post #41 of 60

I think the Ref 7 is overrated.

post #42 of 60

˄ Agreed.

 
I think everything after the SpongeBob SquarePants cassette player only makes a small difference and is a waste.
 
 
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post #43 of 60



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccabe View Post

yes and I think the audio-gd reference 7 is neutral and also technically superior to the dac-1


Not according to a rational view of the universe, any DAC whose roll-off starts at 5K and hits -3.8db before 20K and whose FR is never flat at any range is by definition colored whether you like it or not, nor by any rational comparison of SNR and distortion could the Audio-GD range be described as anything other than inferior to well basically any modern (competent) mass produced non-loony CDP or DAC, my Rotel 5 disc CDP from aeons ago and my $220 Marantz CD changer and my 1998 Entech 203.2 all surpass the Audio-GD measurements.


Edited by nick_charles - 3/19/11 at 9:37am
post #44 of 60

Yes, graphs are how we should judge musical equipment rather than actually listening to it.

Also why would it receive entirely positive reviews (from what I have seen) if it performs so poorly.

post #45 of 60



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccabe View Post

Yes, graphs are how we should judge musical equipment rather than actually listening to it.

Also why would it receive entirely positive reviews (from what I have seen) if it performs so poorly.


 

We are straying from the X is neutral point a bit are we not ?

 

 

 

I like something therefore it is [insert adjective here ] is fantastical thinking, actually technically this is called the halo effect, you like something so you imbue it with a set of other properties

 

 

this DAC is flat across the audible spectrum is a testable hypothesis....

 

 

As has been shown repeatedly human discriminative abilities are less godlike than we might like to think, something can be technically quite poor and we may not be able to detect this, see stereophile reviewer fails to detect 25% distortion, (but that still does not mean it is rational to pay for it) detecting the difference between16 bits and 15 bits is actually pretty hard. A rather interesting experiment suggested that taking 24 bits and degrading it to 16 is seldom detectable. Lots of people like vinyl which in terms of noise and distortion performs pretty poorly. Then there is groupthink, once sufficient people suggest something it is relatively easy for it to become accepted dogma. Lots of people like it so it must be good is a bit irrational frankly.


Edited by nick_charles - 3/19/11 at 1:45pm
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