Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › How much difference good DAC makes?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How much difference good DAC makes? - Page 3

post #31 of 67

what's more important when it comes to low impendance cans ? like the Ultrasone pro 900?

I thought about buying the Corda StageDac with a portable amp like the ibasso pb2.. but now after reading your posts guys I might be doing a mistake here?

 


Edited by dadab12 - 3/24/11 at 5:48am
post #32 of 67

Listen to it from your mp3 player then listen to it plugged in to a receiver. If you don't hear any difference, don't bother with a amp. If you do hear a difference, decide how much you're going to spend based on how much "better" it sounds and what your budget is. Incidentally, the PB2 is a balanced amp. Unless you're going to recabling your ultrasones, don't go balanced yet.

post #33 of 67

Thanks. but a dac is necessary right? i'm gonna use the dac for my pc and xbox 360..

I plan on going balances in the near future. not sure if i'm gonna recable the ultrasones but maybe other pair of cans. I'm mixing so balanced is essential..

But you do recommend a good dac?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

Listen to it from your mp3 player then listen to it plugged in to a receiver. If you don't hear any difference, don't bother with a amp. If you do hear a difference, decide how much you're going to spend based on how much "better" it sounds and what your budget is. Incidentally, the PB2 is a balanced amp. Unless you're going to recabling your ultrasones, don't go balanced yet.



 

post #34 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by dadab12 View Post

Thanks. but a dac is necessary right? i'm gonna use the dac for my pc and xbox 360..

I plan on going balances in the near future. not sure if i'm gonna recable the ultrasones but maybe other pair of cans. I'm mixing so balanced is essential..

But you do recommend a good dac?

 


If you're mixing, then get yourself a pro-audio interface which will be more useful to you than an audiophile dac. Get one that has simple plug-and-play functionality in addition to it's specific drivers, so it can be used for both gaming and mixing.

 

Balanced is used in pro audio for running long lengths of cable, but even then is not essential. I'm not sure why you would think it is essential for headphone use.

post #35 of 67


Thanks, but y main joy is to hear music, all the other things are less important. I just wanna get this straight though, A dac is more important than an amp for me at the moment right? I just really don't know if I should buy a good dac and later on get a good amp aswell or just go for an amp/dac combo like the anedio d1, corda symphony 2 that are just over my budget or just say hell with it and pick a mediocore mid-range amp/dac like audio-gs fun of some sort.

Thanks again for your patience. I'm just not so familiar with these stuff and would like to get a good clarification.. sorry that youre the victim pal :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post




If you're mixing, then get yourself a pro-audio interface which will be more useful to you than an audiophile dac. Get one that has simple plug-and-play functionality in addition to it's specific drivers, so it can be used for both gaming and mixing.

 

Balanced is used in pro audio for running long lengths of cable, but even then is not essential. I'm not sure why you would think it is essential for headphone use.



 

post #36 of 67

The first thing you need to do is scale back a bit and don't get caught up in all the reviews and hype that this place is dangerous for. Enjoy your music. A lot of people get pulled into the trap of worrying more about the equipment rather than listening to music.

 

That all said, you need to set some guidelines for yourself:

1) Pick a budget and stick to it.

2) No seriously, stick to that budget. It's a losing game if you keep pushing it for "just a little bit more"

3) What functionality to you need? portable? isolating? are you mixing/DJing? are you outputting to PA gear or just home listening?

 

I've read up on one of your other threads, and to be perfectly honest I think you're trying to jump into the deep end too fast. Heck, for $170 you can get a Leckerton UHA-4 which is a tiny little dac/amp combo which would probably be more than enough to satisfy you. Move up a step to something like the iBasso D6 which is another dac/amp unit with a lot more power, but bulkier. Skip balanced for now, seriously. This stuff is hardly what I would call "mediocre", and to most people they would be very hard pressed to actually hear the difference.

post #37 of 67


Wow thanks, Great writeup honestly.

1000$ is my budget for headphones+amp/dac. already spent 500$ for headphones so I was heading way over the budget :o

Yeah maybe it's the place you know, you just wanna strive to get the best equipment you know just for not replacing it later in the near future IF you get disappointed. 

Hmm, I do need a portable system but I was told that they don't match the stationary ones. So I decided to build a stationary system but you make me doubt it.

my plan was basicely to get a stationary dac with a portable amp to use when i'm away... I'm mixing but i'm just outputting to home listening now as I don't have too much experience but I like it ALOT. what i'm trying to say is, I'm pretty new in all this,  but I don't want to upgrade so soon when I get into it further more..

yeah but it's one of my characteristics, I just too fast into new things that thrill me. Guilty. now i'm confused jeez

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

The first thing you need to do is scale back a bit and don't get caught up in all the reviews and hype that this place is dangerous for. Enjoy your music. A lot of people get pulled into the trap of worrying more about the equipment rather than listening to music.

 

That all said, you need to set some guidelines for yourself:

1) Pick a budget and stick to it.

2) No seriously, stick to that budget. It's a losing game if you keep pushing it for "just a little bit more"

3) What functionality to you need? portable? isolating? are you mixing/DJing? are you outputting to PA gear or just home listening?

 

I've read up on one of your other threads, and to be perfectly honest I think you're trying to jump into the deep end too fast. Heck, for $170 you can get a Leckerton UHA-4 which is a tiny little dac/amp combo which would probably be more than enough to satisfy you. Move up a step to something like the iBasso D6 which is another dac/amp unit with a lot more power, but bulkier. Skip balanced for now, seriously. This stuff is hardly what I would call "mediocre", and to most people they would be very hard pressed to actually hear the difference.



 

post #38 of 67

What's your portable source? Don't buy a portable amp until your headphones arrive and you get a chance to listen to them. As I said earlier, try powering the headphones from a receiver and see if you hear any appreciable difference.

 

If you're into mixing, spend the money on a good interface. Stanton, Pioneer, Behringer, Focusrite... there are tons of options here, all with different functionality. You might wind up getting a couple different boards depending what kind of music and mixing you do. Be careful too, because these go up in price very quickly as well. If you're just into home producing, then you won't need much more than RCA outputs. A lot of the mid-priced stations don't even have balanced outputs anyways. Most stations also have pretty good headphone outputs, and also let you monitor the mix level separately from the output level which is crucial if you ever get further info mixing and DJing. While not necessary, look for something that has it's own external power source rather than usb powered. A standalong pro audio headphone amp is another option.

post #39 of 67

the mixing station can act like a dac basicely? so that's a good thinking for the long run right? much more beneficial to me?

Thanks bro, you are helping me big time.

post #40 of 67

Yes, the mixing interface should be able to act as a dac. Remember, a dac is really just a snobby name for a sound card. I highly recommend heading down to your local music center and talking with the guys there to determine what you need.

post #41 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

The first thing you need to do is scale back a bit and don't get caught up in all the reviews and hype that this place is dangerous for. Enjoy your music. A lot of people get pulled into the trap of worrying more about the equipment rather than listening to music.

 

That all said, you need to set some guidelines for yourself:

1) Pick a budget and stick to it.

2) No seriously, stick to that budget. It's a losing game if you keep pushing it for "just a little bit more"

3) What functionality to you need? portable? isolating? are you mixing/DJing? are you outputting to PA gear or just home listening?

 

I've read up on one of your other threads, and to be perfectly honest I think you're trying to jump into the deep end too fast. Heck, for $170 you can get a Leckerton UHA-4 which is a tiny little dac/amp combo which would probably be more than enough to satisfy you. Move up a step to something like the iBasso D6 which is another dac/amp unit with a lot more power, but bulkier. Skip balanced for now, seriously. This stuff is hardly what I would call "mediocre", and to most people they would be very hard pressed to actually hear the difference.

 

 


Very good point well-taken.  I've realized that I was looking for some sound that doesn't exist in a way.  Every amps and headphones color the sound in some way and from that, I've started to get some ideas of music X should sound more bass heavy where it wasn't like that in the original recording.

 

Probably, I'm going to have to buy a few more headphones to cover different music (or, recording as not all rock music sounds the same for example) for my needs or expectations.

 

Regarding DAC, I really want not to use headphone out of iPad, but with line out having bad case of hissing, I have no choice but to go for USB connection. Still, I'm uncertain one of those "budget" DACs at around $300 will beat iPad's stock DAC noticeably...


 


Edited by codeninja - 3/24/11 at 1:39pm
post #42 of 67

Okay, I looked at the Dj audio interface products and it's amazing.

It fits me best. I'm searching for a decently priced Audio interface.

It offers much more variance and music customization, I looked at wrong end eh..

Ty.

but it's a much more costly business. in the long run.

anyways, now it's more difficult, do you recommend anything specific?

 

Thank you very much!! much appreciated bro :)

post #43 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by codeninja View Post



 


Very good point well-taken.  I've realized that I was looking for some sound that doesn't exist in a way.  Every amps and headphones color the sound in some way and from that, I've started to get some ideas of music X should sound more bass heavy where it wasn't like that in the original recording.

 

Probably, I'm going to have to buy a few more headphones to cover different music (or, recording as not all rock music sounds the same for example) for my needs or expectations.

 

Regarding DAC, I really want not to use headphone out of iPad, but with line out having bad case of hissing, I have no choice but to go for USB connection. Still, I'm uncertain one of those "budget" DACs at around $300 will beat iPad's stock DAC noticeably...


 


Check this thread for ipad compatible devices and discussion...

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/507559/list-of-dacs-that-work-with-ipad


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadab12 View Post

Okay, I looked at the Dj audio interface products and it's amazing.

It fits me best. I'm searching for a decently priced Audio interface.

It offers much more variance and music customization, I looked at wrong end eh..

Ty.

but it's a much more costly business. in the long run.

anyways, now it's more difficult, do you recommend anything specific?

 

Thank you very much!! much appreciated bro :)


That's starting to get outside my depth. As I said before, head down to your local music store and talk with the pros there.

 

post #44 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by codeninja View Post

Would I be able to tell the difference between iPad's DAC to FiiO E7's DAC?  How about from E7 to Pico USB DAC to V-DAC to DACMagic?

 

Everyone hears (or claims to hear) different things; so here's my 2 cents:  I had a DACMagic and for the life of me I couldn't heard the difference between it and the line out on my iPad or Macbook Pro.  The sound coming from Apple today is pretty darn good.  People sometimes forget- it's 2011, not 1987.  It's really not hard these days to make a neutral DAC.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

I'm in the camp that doesn't think digital sources make that much difference. The quality of the recording is much more important. Headphones are second most important.

+1

By quality of the recording both bitrate and music choice dictate this.  You may even find your musical taste shifting towards things like jazz or classical once you hear how nice they sound when played back on a decent system.  Keep the mp3/AAC bitrate high (224/320/Lossless).
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by juman231 View Post

To add my two cents, I don't think getting a new dac to improve the bass is a good idea... I think a better and simpler solution would be buying a headphone known for stronger bass.

+1

The biggest difference you will hear will be in your headphones (or speakers).  Actually, the biggest difference will be between recordings.  When I listen to The Eagles I wear my AKGs.  If it's Rihanna I'm listening to it's the TripleFis all the way!  Unless you are stuck on one artist or genre there's no way you can only have one flavor of headphone sound.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by khaos974 View Post

I would say say entry level "pro" DACs provide an excellent value, brands such as Behringer, E-MU, Edirol have excellent gear at very low costs.

 

At much higher costs, Lavry and Benchmark have engineered DACs with 0 distortion, an imperceptible noise floor even extreme conditions, matched channels at 0.05 dB... But you are paying more for peace of mind than additional audible quality.

That has to be one of the best quotes I've read here.  To beat a dead horse: Listen with your ears.  And MAKE SURE whatever you buy has a reasonable return policy.  I like Amazon myself; and you can get most of the DACs mentioned here on there- usually with 30 days to try.  Speaking of Behringer and Benchmark, check out this test: http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://matrixhifi.com/pc_dac1_behringer.htm&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhttp://www.matrixhifi.com/marco_directazul.htm%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG&rurl=translate.google.com&twu=1&usg=ALkJrhhDUbl4nct6gaVSRp1EZVvSIsBMug.  It is translated from Spanish via Google.  Of course half of this forum will say, "Yeah, but... yeah, but," in regards to the outcome or methods of that test.  But at the very least what it tells you is how little a difference there is between DACs.  And I'm being nice in saying that.  smile.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by codeninja View Post

Probably, I'm going to have to buy a few more headphones to cover different music (or, recording as not all rock music sounds the same for example) for my needs or expectations.

 

That's exactly where your money should go, after you get a decent (cheap) outboard DAC.

 

Quote:

Regarding DAC, I really want not to use headphone out of iPad, but with line out having bad case of hissing, I have no choice but to go for USB connection.

 

I noticed that hissing on my iPad too (the headphone out is actually quite good!).  I can't recommend enough the AirPort Express.  With AirPlay, you can stream your music to the AE and use the mini-Toslink digital out on it to send bit perfect digital to the DAC of your choice.  Even the guys at Stereophile like it.  The only downside is that it's limited to 44.1khz sample rate, so no 24-bit hirez here (no big deal for me).  You can get these refurbished at the Apple Store or on ebay.  I got two of them recently- they're like new and work fantastic.  You can even have multiple AEs running and pick which one to send music to.  On a Mac you can send to multiple AEs at once!

 

post #45 of 67

˄ When I read crap like that I feel like I'm in a secret club, that and thank God for giving me ears that work.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › How much difference good DAC makes?