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~$500 for new DAC, need advice

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

First time poster, long time lurker. 

I'm looking for a new DAC in the $400 - $500 range.

My amp is a wa6se and the headphones are k701 and rs2.

 

I've narrowed it down to 5 choices that I think would group well:

 

Arcam rDAC

Cambridge DacMagic

Peachtree Dac-It

Schiit Bifrost with usb

Yulong D100

Other suggestions welcome.

 

Balanced outputs, audio tweaks or filters via the DAC aren't important, I would just like it to be as detailed and neutral as possible. I listen to a wide variety of music from Massive Attack, Leona Lewis and Parkway Drive. I plan on connecting it through usb. Current, temporary DAC is a Fiio e7, I know.

 

I'm currently leaning toward the Yulong as it seems to offer the best bang for the buck. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Anybody who has listened to any of these combinations, or can offer advice, I would love to hear from you.

 

Thanks

 

 

post #2 of 12

I'd suggest the new DacMagic Plus. It has asynchronous USB which the Yulong does not. You may also want to consider the Musical Fidelity V-Dac II.


Edited by DaveBSC - 12/20/11 at 2:11am
post #3 of 12

i recently acquired a PS Audio Digital Link III for just under 500$.

i have to say that its quite impressive.

youll have to buy used but i have seen them floating around on teh classifieds here for around the 500$ mark.

post #4 of 12
Wait and get a 700-1000$ DAC. Or buy used. 500$ is the wrong amount to spend for a DAC unless you buy used. For your system you can get a used MHDT Havana or a Metrum Octave.

Don't bother with async usb or with high resolution for music, not for that amount of money, it's better to just get a good dac than a mediocre one with a lot of features.
post #5 of 12

there were two Benchmark DAC1 sold on ebay recently for 600 USD. I would recommend you look for something like that.

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by eugenius View Post

Don't bother with async usb or with high resolution for music, not for that amount of money, it's better to just get a good dac than a mediocre one with a lot of features.


That's a strange comment to make. I've got news for you, the $2K Bryston DAC sounds like crap via it's 16/48 adaptive USB input. If you're using a CD player as a source, any DAC is fine. With a computer and USB, implementation matters. John Kenny's little 500 Euro JKDAC can probably beat up $2500 DACs if they use garbage 16/48 USB.

 

post #7 of 12

Dacport LX or HTR Music Streamer II+

both under $350, and used can be had for less than $300

both have fantastic async usb impementation

 

post #8 of 12

+1 DACport LX.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post



That's a strange comment to make. I've got news for you, the $2K Bryston DAC sounds like crap via it's 16/48 adaptive USB input. If you're using a CD player as a source, any DAC is fine. With a computer and USB, implementation matters. John Kenny's little 500 Euro JKDAC can probably beat up $2500 DACs if they use garbage 16/48 USB.

Usb to spdif is cheap. Internal soundcards with good spdif out are cheap. Good dacs are not cheap. Older non-usb non-high res dacs are good value on the used market because people buy into buzzwords.

If all you're doing is listening to 16/48 music 99% of the time (and that's what you're doing, let's get real) - the rational thing is to get a good redbook dac and use it via spdif. If you have money to blow, be my guest. smily_headphones1.gif
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by eugenius View Post


Usb to spdif is cheap. Internal soundcards with good spdif out are cheap. Good dacs are not cheap. Older non-usb non-high res dacs are good value on the used market because people buy into buzzwords.
If all you're doing is listening to 16/48 music 99% of the time (and that's what you're doing, let's get real) - the rational thing is to get a good redbook dac and use it via spdif. If you have money to blow, be my guest. smily_headphones1.gif



Agreed, for awhile I was using an EAD DSP-7000 which I picked up for $450, and that will work perfectly well with a soundcard and S/Pdif. The OP said he planned to use USB though, and if you want to spend $500 on a USB DAC, your best bet is one that's asynch. Alternatively, you could use something like a MF V-link II with any DAC you want.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies. 

 

I was planning on using USB as I don't have a spdif output from my PC.  I would not be opposed to buying a soundcard with a spdif output. Looking around Newegg, there seems to be plenty of cards with spdif.

 

So what would be a good used DAC to look for if I do go the spdif route? Or in contrast to the post title would it be better to spend some more and go with something like the PS Audio Digital Link III or Benchmark DAC1? I would just have to save a little while longer.  Around Head-fi and the web there seems to be more support for spdif than usb so it does seem to be the better way to go.

 

 

Thanks

 

post #12 of 12


  If you mainly use USB for main source, you need a good USB asyn. DAC or USB professional sound card though signal by USB2 ASIO / special driver . 

Even listen 44.1khz/16bit CD material, the sound will get much better that just most DAC that though PCM270x.

For Aysn. USB transfer, good driver mean the signal will very soon pass though USB2.0 to DAC internal memory and DSP with time and correct stamp, reclocked and rescheduled at DAC internal DSP before pass to other chip, if any loss, the DAC will require computer send it again, if any too fast, the DAC will require computer hold it and send it later.

 

 

  I just purchasing a DACMAGIC PLUS (must PLUS) which have USB interface come from ABC-PCB (Anagramtech)

http://www.abc-pcb.com/?page_id=187. The result is very good, at Windows by foobar and ASIO driver, 95% sound quality compare as our Firewire interface S/PDIF output at MAC.

 

  USB to SPDIF will not get better but need more money, buy a semi-professional sound card with a good SPDIF output but the cost need at least more that $300 just SPDIF output,and most cheap SPDIF should worst. It is not relative to SPDIF, the weakest point in USB and most important is the USB driver that the solid line. 

  

   

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by asoiaf7 View Post

Thanks for all the replies. 

 

I was planning on using USB as I don't have a spdif output from my PC.  I would not be opposed to buying a soundcard with a spdif output. Looking around Newegg, there seems to be plenty of cards with spdif.

 

So what would be a good used DAC to look for if I do go the spdif route? Or in contrast to the post title would it be better to spend some more and go with something like the PS Audio Digital Link III or Benchmark DAC1? I would just have to save a little while longer.  Around Head-fi and the web there seems to be more support for spdif than usb so it does seem to be the better way to go.

 

 

Thanks

 



 


Edited by sclee - 12/24/11 at 6:59pm
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