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Do the DACport and the DACport LX really sound different?

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 

I own and enjoy the DACport but recently bought phones with a dedicated amp (Stax), so am thinking about getting an LX, seing as it's purported to sound better. But when I spoke to David at Centrance, he mentioned that the LX is basically a Dacport with the potentiometer gone and the volume pegged at 1 o'clock, and that they share the exact same DAC and amp stage. (He also mentioned that both have essentially the same DAC as the DACmini CX, which differs only in having more options and a more robust headphone amp.)

 

Has anyone heard both DACports and can shed light on whether they in fact do sound different... or the same?

post #2 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

I own and enjoy the DACport but recently bought phones with a dedicated amp (Stax), so am thinking about getting an LX, seing as it's purported to sound better. But when I spoke to David at Centrance, he mentioned that the LX is basically a Dacport with the potentiometer gone and the volume pegged at 1 o'clock, and that they share the exact same DAC and amp stage. (He also mentioned that both have essentially the same DAC as the DACmini CX, which differs only in having more options and a more robust headphone amp.)

 

Has anyone heard both DACports and can shed light on whether they in fact do sound different... or the same?

 

Yes.  The LX is noticeably cleaner and clearer.  I had both and AB'd both side by side, no contest.  Whether the difference is just the pot the difference was audible and appreciated.  If that's the case it certainly tells me how much difference a pot can make. 


Edited by Anaxilus - 6/22/12 at 9:14pm
post #3 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

 

Yes.  The LX is noticeably cleaner and clearer.  I had both and AB'd both side by side, no contest.  Whether the difference is just the pot the difference was audible and appreciated.  If that's the case it certainly tells me how much difference a pot can make. 

 

Thanks Anaxilus—and how would rate them in absolute terms vs other DACs?

post #4 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

Thanks Anaxilus—and how would rate them in absolute terms vs other DACs?

 

The LX is still one of the best portable DAC's I've heard.  It's not cheap and not self powered but it's quite good.  It's definitely better than the DAC in my UHA6S but it's not my PWD for sure.  It doesn't match up to some better desktops for sure but it does better than some overpriced underperforming ones though.  I think it could be comparable to a BifRost but they have different signatures.  You could consider an ODAC from JDSLabs too.  I no longer have the LX to AB to say which is better.  I ended up selling the LX to simplify by using my UHA6S and my Nokia N8 as a transport via USB.  The UHA6S is one of the best portable amps I've heard but I've been missing the LX so picked up a ODAC to try and close up the difference on the cheap.

post #5 of 50
Thread Starter 

I've been considering the ODAC and a O2 as well. Has anyone compared them? Would love to hear impressions.

post #6 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

 

Yes.  The LX is noticeably cleaner and clearer.  I had both and AB'd both side by side, no contest.  Whether the difference is just the pot the difference was audible and appreciated.  If that's the case it certainly tells me how much difference a pot can make. 


I was under the impression it was the DACports Amp section that is the weak link and what ultimately made the difference between the 2. Then again some may not consider extra transparency/clarity to be a plus :P

post #7 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

I've been considering the ODAC and a O2 as well. Has anyone compared them? Would love to hear impressions.

 

I've posted a comparison of the JDS Labs ODAC, the CEntrance DACport LX, and the iBasso DB2, here.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike


Edited by zilch0md - 9/9/12 at 11:46am
post #8 of 50

Well I have had to return my second dragonfly and Amazon had a dacport lx for 249 so I decided to pick it up.  I have been reading about the lx and I was wondering if I should send it in for the 1 ohm conversion, will leaving it at 10 ohms affect the sound quality when feeding an external amp?  I will be using it to feed the portaphile 627.

post #9 of 50

I replied to your PM, then found this post.  It seems you do have DACport LX, not the DACport, so please let us know what you find out by writing CEntrance. I believe the 1-Ohm output impedance mod is not available for the LX, but I would like to know for sure.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

post #10 of 50
I dropped centrance an email, once I hear back from them I will post the response here. It seems the lx is definitely 10 ohms from the forums on centrance, I know that a lot of headfiers use the lx and I am surprised that centrance went with 10 ohms on the lx since it is a dac and should be feeding an external amp. Maybe I am missing something.....
post #11 of 50
Does the lx come with a 1/4 to 1/8 inch adapter?
post #12 of 50

Ok the LX does come with the 1/4 to 1/8 inch adapter and the 1 ohm mod is available on the LX according to Kenny (Centrance).  My LX arrived today and is paired with the portaphile 627, the sound is absolutely breathtaking so far.  Actually shortly after it arrived I saw it dragging my iPhone 4S outside and giving it a thorough beat down ;).  From the photos I thought that the LX was going to be bigger but that is not the case.  It is certainly odd shaped however and I am wondering if anyone has put it in a case that would be easily stackable with a portable amp?  It is certainly something that I wouldn't mind trying along with changing to a 1/8 plug.

post #13 of 50

I didn't realize that you had not yet received the LX.  Congratulations on discovering what it can do.  It was my first "real" DAC, and I still love it.  

 

I guess you know not to plug headphones directly into it, but I'm not sure what you meant by "I wouldn't mind trying along with changing to a 1/8 plug."

 

Mike

post #14 of 50
I just meant trying to put the lx into a case that was more stackable and changing the 1/4 inch plug to an 1/8 inch plug to do away with the converter. And no it will always be plugged into an amplifier. What other dacs do you have?
post #15 of 50

Oh, I get what you're saying, now.  Sorry.  smile.gif

 

At the moment, I only have the DACport LX and the DACmini CX (with 1-Ohm mod).  

 

I'm really surprised that the 1-Ohm mod is available for the DACport LX - that doesn't seem to be the case just looking at their website, but I guess it proves that the LX has the same analog circuits as the non-LX version of the DACport - without the volume control.  

 

So what do you think about going for a "cooler" (less warm), more neutral signature - by getting the 1-Ohm mod.  Do you wish your Heir Audio IEMs sounded less warm, more neutral, and a little brighter?  If not, I'd say don't send the LX in for the upgrade.

 

In the past, I've had three other DACS - all relatively inexpensive - nothing special:  The $49 Stoner Acoustics UDS100, the $149 JDS Labs Standalone Objective DAC (a.k.a ODAC), and the iBasso DB2 Boomslang2 portable balanced DAC - the worst of the three, in my opinion - the DB2 was just way too dark - especially for my LCD-2 - but mostly it's just a matter of personal taste, as some people like the DB2.  I returned it for a full refund under iBasso's 30-day trial guarantee.  

 

I also returned the ODAC to JDS Labs, paying a 15% restocking fee - I found it to be "screechy" in the treble with my laptop's power supply - but not with other machine's power supplies.  Thing is, the DACport LX has never had a problem with quality of USB power on any laptop or PC with which I've used it, so their suggestion that I purchase and use a powered USB hub with the ODAC was out of the question.  It wouldn't be portable if I have to use my laptop near an AC outlet just to satisfy the ODAC's finicky power requirements.  

 

The Stoner Acoustics UDS100 is a much better ESS 9018 DAC than the Obejective DAC, in my opinion - and less than half the price.  But I it bundled with the sale of a Meier Stepdance, to a friend of mine, who had neither DAC nor amp.

 

I really feel content with the DACport LX - which basically sounds 99% as good as the DACmini's DAC.  I'm not even sure the DACmini's DAC is better, but a few people seem to think so. I can't really hear a difference.  I'm good with either one of them.

 

Enjoy it!

 

Mike


Edited by zilch0md - 1/29/13 at 8:58pm
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