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Balanced DACs $600 - $1600, the segment explodes

Poll Results: Which one would you choose?

 
  • 25% (21)
    Yulong D-18/D-8
  • 29% (24)
    Shiit Gungnir
  • 4% (4)
    Woo WDS-1
  • 19% (16)
    Wyred4Sound DAC-1/2
  • 16% (13)
    Audiolab M-DAC
  • 3% (3)
    Cambridge DacMagic +
81 Total Votes  
post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

Along with seemingly everything else, there's an abundance of new mid-fi DACs coming out of the woodwork lately trying to challenge the next tier up.

 

Some of the models that have been catching our eyes lately:

 

  • Yulong D-18, D-8 (1)
  • Shiit Gungnir (5)
  • Woo WDS-1 (1)
  • Wyred4Sound DAC-1, 2 (2)
  • Audiolab M-DAC (2)
  • Cambridge DacMagic Plus
  • Audio-GD NFB 7.1, NFB 1.32, Reference 5.2 (3)

  • Anedio D1 (1)

  • Wadia 121 (1)

  • Lavry DA11

  • Mhdt Stockholm

  • Violectric V800

 

I will "keep score" manually from now on, because I neglected to include "other" in the original poll.

 

I decided to take a chance on the Schiit (not here yet), but it could have easily been one of the Yulongs or the Woo. They all seem pretty good really.

 

It seems that the market is evolving; the next level up is getting into more sophisticated decoding, while this level is improving in sound quality.

 

Anybody else in the market, any thoughts?


Edited by grokit - 9/27/12 at 12:15pm
post #2 of 42

i'm somewhat in the market depending on some things. I'm not sure if I'm going to go balanced yet or not but I was noticing that there wasn't as many balanced dacs in this price range.

 

I was looking at the Schiit Gungnir and the Yulong D18. I totally forgot about the W4S DAC-1/2 but the DAC-1 may be on my list now. I have a very good source in the Anedio D1 but might add a second one and have a balanced amp to go with it.

post #3 of 42

If you have the space don't forget the Audio-gd NFB-7. Its in budget, just, and is superb. You seem to like the Sabre32 chip, as do I, and the NFB-7 is a superb performer.

post #4 of 42
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I knew I needed to include an Audio-GD unit; their NFB-7.1 is out now, looks very nice. Wow, does it really weigh 15kg? Even if that's the shipping weight, that's over 30 pounds with 3+ lbs of packaging!

 

edit: I added it to the list in the OP, but it seems to be too late to add it to the poll.

 

If anybody wants to vote for it or any other unit that needs to be added, just put it in your post and I will tally the totals in the OP.


Edited by grokit - 9/21/12 at 2:07pm
post #5 of 42
I too am very much in the market for a dac in this range. Have been a follower of the audio-gd Reference 5 thread also, a pcm1704uk based dac instead of the audio-gd sabre based offerings. Which would i choose? Not sure yet. Vote deferred until i hear/read impressions of the gungnir.
post #6 of 42

Gungnir has been pre-ordered and is on the way. But I'm also eying the Woo DAC.

post #7 of 42
Also enjoying the ESS9018 Audio-gd NFB 1.32 w/TXCO Clocks - Balanced DAC here smily_headphones1.gif bout. Just a little bit over 700 shipped
post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 

Both of those Audio-GD DACs look excellent, so many models!

 

There's a Reference 5.2 now:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/613851/audio-gd-reference-5-2-new-balanced-4x-pcm1704uk-dac

post #9 of 42

The Wadia 121 is very nice in that price range.  I've had mine for about 3 months and enjoy it very much.  For the money it's as good as anything I've heard.

post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by elrod-tom View Post

The Wadia 121 is very nice in that price range.  I've had mine for about 3 months and enjoy it very much.  For the money it's as good as anything I've heard.

Yea. What's with the noise issues though? Have they resolved it?

post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

Thanks, I knew I needed to include an Audio-GD unit; their NFB-7.1 is out now, looks very nice. Wow, does it really weigh 15kg? Even if that's the shipping weight, that's over 30 pounds with 3+ lbs of packaging!

 

edit: I added it to the list in the OP, but it seems to be too late to add it to the poll.

 

If anybody wants to vote for it or any other unit that needs to be added, just put it in your post and I will tally the totals in the OP.

 

That's a crazy amount of weight and easily heavier than my dac and amp combined.

 

I'm hoping the Gungnir turns out to be great but will have to wait a few weeks until there are some impressions of them. 

post #12 of 42
Thread Starter 

Gungnir: Initial impressions are good, fingers crossed!

 

Wadia 121 and Anedio D1 added to the secondary (non-voting but I will keep score) list.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

Gungnir has been pre-ordered and is on the way. But I'm also eying the Woo DAC.

 

You and me both! Along with the limited Yulong...


Edited by grokit - 9/22/12 at 1:42pm
post #13 of 42

Had to place a vote for the Woo since I already voted with my dollars....and it was looking lonely up there with no votes... bigsmile_face.gif

post #14 of 42

It would come down to the gungnir or the woo DAC for me.

I ended up choosing the gungnir for the poll, but that is just because I believe it to be the better choice when prioritizing bang for your buck.

post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

 

That's a crazy amount of weight and easily heavier than my dac and amp combined.

 

I'm hoping the Gungnir turns out to be great but will have to wait a few weeks until there are some impressions of them. 

3 R-Core power supplies plus a huge amount of filtering weights a lot.

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