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Best DAC from $1500 to $2500 (or so) Can anything beat the Eastern Electric Minimax? - Page 11

post #151 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

Which two box DACs do you suggest at $1500 then?  I can't think of a DAC I've heard at that MSRP with external power supplies, let alone one with something like the Zodiac's feature set.

 

The Anedio D2 is a big one at $1500. I'm not sure how the W4S compares S/Pdif to S/Pdif, but the USB input on the DAC-2 is definitely compromised compared to the newer XMOS implementations.

post #152 of 256

DAC-2 definitely needs driver work.  Its a lot better than the DAC-1 drivers but it would be nice if system MUTE worked ;)

post #153 of 256

To add to the thread derail...  options in the $1500-$2500 used market for XMOS, non ESS DACs?  Currently eyeing the Ayre QB-9 and PS PWD2.  Leaning to the Ayre for size/simplicity, PS for feature set.

post #154 of 256

Not sure whether it's been mentioned, but the NAD M51 is worth a listen in this price range.

post #155 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

To add to the thread derail...  options in the $1500-$2500 used market for XMOS, non ESS DACs?  Currently eyeing the Ayre QB-9 and PS PWD2.  Leaning to the Ayre for size/simplicity, PS for feature set.


The QB-9 is really overpriced for the performance you get. It was good when it launched because there was almost no competition, but it's just been outclassed. It also uses the PCM1792 which just isn't that good, even in products that cost far more. Both Channel Islands Audio and Schitt are promising "statement" DACs in the $1500-2000 range, but those won't be out for awhile. You might want to check out the Auralic DAC, although its USB implementation seems to not support Linux as well as XMOS does.

 

There's a used Arcam D33, but it's another PCM1792 DAC and one review I read really slammed it.

post #156 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

It also uses the PCM1792 which just isn't that good, even in products that cost far more.  You might want to check out the Auralic DAC, although its USB implementation seems to not support Linux as well as XMOS does.

 

QB-9 uses the DSD1796 but I hear you.  It might be good usb, XMOS, and good analog, discrete, but its power supply is pretty limited though better than the wall wart options.


Edited by Solude - 9/15/12 at 4:00pm
post #157 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

Not sure whether it's been mentioned, but the NAD M51 is worth a listen in this price range.

 

Forgot to mention also looking to avoid SRC or upsampling all together.  The NAD upsamples into next week.  The Metrum Octave keeps crossing my path but I just don't see a $850 retail DAC smoking the entry level 'Stereophile Class A' cast of DACs.

post #158 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

 

Forgot to mention also looking to avoid SRC or upsampling all together.  The NAD upsamples into next week.  The Metrum Octave keeps crossing my path but I just don't see a $850 retail DAC smoking the entry level 'Stereophile Class A' cast of DACs.

there is a new metrum dac coming, the "hex" looks interesting! flagship.

no reviews yet,tho

post #159 of 256

I have a Nad M51 coming and have a W4S dac2 all ready. I don't think it is a good reason disqualify the M51 just because it up samples especially when there is a good chance it sounds better than many listed here.

post #160 of 256

Well you need to take the Stereophile Class A ratings with a whole shovel of salt!  

Would you bite the hand that feeds you, so much Class A rated stuff, can't all be true.

In fact you should take all reviews as a guide only, as I have found myself.

 

The Metrum is a bit unconventional and does not use standard Audio based chips.  I dont think it majors on extreme detail like many modern DAC's, more on timbre, tone and texture.   http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/metrum/1.html

 

The Altmann Attraction DAC is even more odd when you compare to the mainstream.  It has many who sing its virtues so might be worth a listen  http://www.mother-of-tone.com/attraction.htm

 

I have a Metrum Octave on order as I'm curious 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Solude View Post

 

Forgot to mention also looking to avoid SRC or upsampling all together.  The NAD upsamples into next week.  The Metrum Octave keeps crossing my path but I just don't see a $850 retail DAC smoking the entry level 'Stereophile Class A' cast of DACs.


Edited by complin - 9/16/12 at 3:01am
post #161 of 256

Sorry the quotes around Stereophile Class A were there to denote a level of product not the actual list.  Ie if you look at Stereophile's headphone list, its pretty sad.

 

Anyway still thinking about the Ayre or PS but pulled the trigger on a local Octave.  See what this NOS business is about :D  Likely go PS in the end since the Ayre is often called 'slightly light weight or light bottom end'.

post #162 of 256

I'll be interested to know your thoughts on the Metrum

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

Sorry the quotes around Stereophile Class A were there to denote a level of product not the actual list.  Ie if you look at Stereophile's headphone list, its pretty sad.

 

Anyway still thinking about the Ayre or PS but pulled the trigger on a local Octave.  See what this NOS business is about :D  Likely go PS in the end since the Ayre is often called 'slightly light weight or light bottom end'.

post #163 of 256

Me too.  Probably take longer than usual because of the options available to feed it.  I'll start with the optical out of my PC, play around with sampling, might have to go to a USB>SPDIF, maybe not.  Of course if I plug it in and my reaction is ugh... well it'll be up again the same day.

post #164 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

 

Forgot to mention also looking to avoid SRC or upsampling all together.  The NAD upsamples into next week.

 

Oddly enough, one of the things I think I have come to like about it.

post #165 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

 

Oddly enough, one of the things I think I have come to like about it.

Why?

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