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DAC for Schiit Asgard (sub $300)

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

I know there are a million threads covering this sort of thing, but I've read so many now that my head's starting to swim a little.

 

I currently have the DT880 250ohm and am listening straight through the realtek soundcard off my laptop.  The Asgard is decided on already, so I'm simply looking for a sub-$300 DAC to pair with it.  It has to have USB inputs, which puts the Bifrost out of my price range, unfortunately, since it would have been the obvious choice.

 

I'd really prefer to have something with an AC adapter, but won't fully rule out a usb-powered option.  I guess I'd just need to buy a powered usb hub. 

 

The Dacport LX and HRT HSII or II+ seem like obvious usb powered options.  What other things should I consider? 

 

I'm mostly curious to hear from Asgard owners so I can get some first-hand opinions on what options might have good synergy with this setup.

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 28

Have you checked in the Buy and sell forums as you might get a great deal within your price range.

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

Have you checked in the Buy and sell forums as you might get a great deal within your price range.


Yep, I've been keeping an eye on it, but it's probably going to be another month or two before I actually buy.

 

I'm really just trying to feel things out right now.

 

post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyline315 View Post


Yep, I've been keeping an eye on it, but it's probably going to be another month or two before I actually buy.

 

I'm really just trying to feel things out right now.

 


Well that is a good thing as it gives you time to research and make an informed decision.

If you were interested in the BiFrost, you could buy it and use an external USB to S/Pdif converter.  I am pretty sure the USB function can be added later with a add-in module.

Good luck on your gear hunt

 

post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post


Well that is a good thing as it gives you time to research and make an informed decision.

If you were interested in the BiFrost, you could buy it and use an external USB to S/Pdif converter.  I am pretty sure the USB function can be added later with a add-in module.

Good luck on your gear hunt

 


I don't know much about converters.  They're fairly pricey, aren't they?

 

post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyline315 View Post


I don't know much about converters.  They're fairly pricey, aren't they?

 


They can be, sure depending on the quality.  You can get cheaper ones though, if you are just interested in conversion.  Might be better to just go with a USB based DAC, I am assuming you want it for a laptop?

 

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post


They can be, sure depending on the quality.  You can get cheaper ones though, if you are just interested in conversion.  Might be better to just go with a USB based DAC, I am assuming you want it for a laptop?

 



Yes, laptop.

 

I had considered options like the Audinst HUD-MX1, Yulong U100, Matrix Cube.  But, since I decided on the Asgard, it seems like it would make sense to put the rest of my funds into a pure DAC as opposed to a DAC/Amp combo.

post #8 of 28

I've been quite please with the Maverick D1 http://www.mav-audio.com/ . I also have the Musical Fidelity VdacII and the ef2a. Of the three, believe it or not, the maverick is probably the best, especially in direct mode with Tube Pre-Out.

 

post #9 of 28

I'd say save up and get the Bifrost. It looks great with the Asgard and sounds even better. It is also upgradable which is a nice bonus.

post #10 of 28

If you really don't want to shell out the extra $50 for the Bifrost, the devilsound DAC v2.1 would be a great option now that the price has been lowered by $100 to $295.

post #11 of 28

the dacportLX is clean lean n quiet...within the budget. 

i had the nuforceHd for a long while n used it with the asgard for a month, very clean too. This will need wallpower...

(u might say this is not a pure dac...not an issue with me  :P)

 

post #12 of 28

I'll put up a comparison between DACs pretty soon (as limited as it may be for a relatively new Head-Fier) but for now I would say that Maverick's D2 (http://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/tubemagic_d2) might be a good option at the limit of your price range (the D1 has amplification which you don't need, and apparently has had a couple of issues which I personally have not run into with the D2)

 

It has a full set of inputs, but USB is "limited" to 24bit/96Khz which may be not enough depending on how audiophile you are (personally I find more than enough, not the least because most of the time I use optical which has a similar limit) The "normal" solid-state output is certainly great for the money, and you get the option of a tube out if you want to try something a little different.

post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

If you really don't want to shell out the extra $50 for the Bifrost, the devilsound DAC v2.1 would be a great option now that the price has been lowered by $100 to $295.



Yeah, that option really intrigued me due to the simplicity of it.  All of the reviews I've read are for the HD, so I wasn't really sure how the non-HD version stacked up.

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post

I'll put up a comparison between DACs pretty soon (as limited as it may be for a relatively new Head-Fier) but for now I would say that Maverick's D2 (http://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/tubemagic_d2) might be a good option at the limit of your price range (the D1 has amplification which you don't need, and apparently has had a couple of issues which I personally have not run into with the D2)

 

It has a full set of inputs, but USB is "limited" to 24bit/96Khz which may be not enough depending on how audiophile you are (personally I find more than enough, not the least because most of the time I use optical which has a similar limit) The "normal" solid-state output is certainly great for the money, and you get the option of a tube out if you want to try something a little different.


Hi TGOM,

 

Do you think that its a better option if you are using the Lyr?

I've read{don't really know yet},that the lyr/bifrost are supposed to be the perfect match..

 

Would the D2 be your #2 option??

 

 

post #15 of 28

I'd pick the Bifrost if budget was not an issue, but since his price range is $250 and he wants USB, that would be way over unlike the D2. They both sound great to me when hooked up to a pretty nice setup, and other Head-Fier would probably consider it superior-sounding.

 

Objectively it's a perfect match design-wise to the Lyr, is technical better (32-bit DAC, bit-perfect processing etc) and upgradeable (a long-term investment?), and not that much more without USB (which I don't need) so that's what I got with my Valhalla.

 

On the other hand, I also don't really ever listen over 24/96, like the tube sound (not that it's exactly night-and-day compared to the SS out), and the D2 is just big enough to stack the Schiits on top, so if my budget was $250, the D2 would be my alternative. So are probably some of the other desktop DAC suggestions here, but I can't comment on those since I haven't heard them.

 

ADD.: I had a look at the devilsound DACs, nice compact design for a somewhat portable solution, but $300 for that?! And even more for the "HD" version?  And they lost me when they went on about cryogenic treatment rolleyes.gif When for the same price, you can have a properly powered desktop DAC with a decent analog output stage, and a complete set of switchable inputs... unless you really need a portable solution and are 100% sure you will never connect a dock, portable player, bluray player, game console etc. -ever- anytime in the future.

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