Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › DAC recommendation PLEASE -- I'll be very specific
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

DAC recommendation PLEASE -- I'll be very specific

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I have been looking at a bunch of different source components in a bunch of different threads.  So far I have considered buying the Audio-gd nfb 12.1 (dac/amp) or the nfb 3.1 dac.  

 

However, I have heard that audio-gd is not the most "accurate" when it comes to source components.  Something about a non feedback design and "pleasant" distortion.  While I'm sure "distortion" can make music sound great i'd rather listen to what was recorded.

 

Essentially I want a dac that is neutral, revealing, detailed.  Even if this reveals a bunch of flaws in the music.  I need an analytical, no nonsense dac that may or may not be attached to a headphone amp.  And I'll be using usb input (no other options for my computer) so it needs to have a good usb connection.  

 

And it can't cost more than $300.  Any recommendations would be appreciated.  

post #2 of 19
Here are some nice USB options you can look into:

Centrance Dacport LX $300
http://www.headfonia.com/cheaper-better-the-centrance-dacport-lx/

HRT Music Streamer II+ $350
HRT Music Streamer II $150
post #3 of 19

Ditto on the HRT stuff.

I've got both, very good sound for their respective pricepoints.

The II+ has a wider soundstage and better specs, but for under $200, the cheaper one aint no slouch.

Bought mine used on ebay, $280 for the MSII+, $100 for the MSII.

post #4 of 19

The II+ is more detailed and airier-sounding than the LX but it's also drier and slightly thinner. I wouldn't call the LX truly neutral though, it seems to have a slight warmth to the sound and thus sounds more forgiving than the II+ but my chief complain about the LX is it doesn't have RCA jacks. 

 

They are in the same performance level more or less. I guess if you use the rather bright D2000, the warmer LX would be a better match. 

 

I can't comment on the NFB 3.1 since I haven't heard them but a friend does own it and he did say that it's superior to both the CEntrance and HRT units but it's warmer-sounding than both. 

 

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

I am really interested in a dac with an dedicated power supply and not power through usb.  I appreciate all of the recommendations.  

 

The only things about the Music streamer, in fact everything from HRT, is that I don't really like the design.  It reminds me of electric guitar audio equipment.  Which isn't bad, it just isn't a look I like.

 

 

I think the Peachtree Dac-it looks awesome, as does the 3.1, nfb 12, etc.  Anyway I've decided I really like source components.  I have no desire to upgrade my headphones so source upgrades are all i'm eligible for

 

EDIT:  I just saw the CEntrax, also looks really cool


Edited by scannon18 - 2/28/12 at 9:02am
post #6 of 19

 

My favorite DAC is what I called the Asahi Texas, or the AK4396 finished DIY DAC, it's quite popular on diyaudio and it sounds excellent.

 

I use a Musiland Monitor 01 USD for the USB -> COAX connection in either Kernel Streaming or ASIO.

 

It has an external power supply and I've upgraded the OPAMP to OPA627 or AD8620 and often just listen directly from RCA into my IEM/HP for a pure signal and adjust the volume on my PC.

 

Musiland Monitor 01

 

Asahi Texas DAC AK4396 finished DIY

 

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

My favorite DAC is what I called the Asahi Texas, or the AK4396 finished DIY DAC, it's quite popular on diyaudio and it sounds excellent.

 

I use a Musiland Monitor 01 USD for the USB -> COAX connection in either Kernel Streaming or ASIO.

 

It has an external power supply and I've upgraded the OPAMP to OPA627 or AD8620 and often just listen directly from RCA into my IEM/HP for a pure signal and adjust the volume on my PC.

 

Musiland Monitor 01

 

Asahi Texas DAC AK4396 finished DIY

 



Wow the ashahi looks excellent.  The only problem is  I only have a usb output with my computer, no coaxial or spdif

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by scannon18 View Post

Wow the ashahi looks excellent.  The only problem is  I only have a usb output with my computer, no coaxial or spdif


Same here that's why I use the Musiland Monitor 01 USD with it.
 

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post



Same here that's why I use the Musiland Monitor 01 USD with it.

 

Oh right, sorry for missing that in your other post . So how does it sound? Can you give a brief opinion/review?
post #10 of 19

 

Liquid, sharp, enveloping.

 

With the standard NE5532 a slightly congealed tone very good with violins, with OPA627 transparent (like the DAC isn't there), analog, a sense of shadows, with the AD8620 very high sound-quality, however a bit anorexic and glass-like.

 

This isn't 100% accurate since it's difficult to describe sources and I need to think about it, either way it's a pretty high resolution and satisfying device, none of the portable devices I've had quite compare, like the Teclast T51 or HM-601, for example.

 

post #11 of 19

I'd go for the HRT models, the Dacport LX or perhaps even consider the Nuforce HD if you can stretch your budget slightly

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by K3cT View Post

The II+ is more detailed and airier-sounding than the LX but it's also drier and slightly thinner. I wouldn't call the LX truly neutral though, it seems to have a slight warmth to the sound and thus sounds more forgiving than the II+ but my chief complain about the LX is it doesn't have RCA jacks. 

 

They are in the same performance level more or less. I guess if you use the rather bright D2000, the warmer LX would be a better match. 

 

I can't comment on the NFB 3.1 since I haven't heard them but a friend does own it and he did say that it's superior to both the CEntrance and HRT units but it's warmer-sounding than both. 

 

may i know if you've heard either the Dacmini or Schiit Bifrost?? I would like to know would they fare against the Dacport LX..
 

 

post #13 of 19

HRT Music Streamer would be a good choice IMO

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by redwarrior191 View Post

may i know if you've heard either the Dacmini or Schiit Bifrost?? I would like to know would they fare against the Dacport LX..
 

 



I haven't heard the Bifrost but the DACMini to me is in a different league than the 2 units there. However, the DACMini actually sounds a bit leaner and lost the warmth that the LX has although much better technically. 

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by redwarrior191 View Post

may i know if you've heard either the Dacmini or Schiit Bifrost?? I would like to know would they fare against the Dacport LX..
 

 



The Dacmini of course is a step above the DACport, its cleaner and more resolving(power supply difference). The LX however excels at being tiny, while the DACmini is more feature filled(especially the PX version which I did not try). The Schiit Bifrost, I have not heard so no comments.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › DAC recommendation PLEASE -- I'll be very specific