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Teac Reference Line UD-501 USB DAC "DSD" - Page 10

post #136 of 511

someone could really help me out. if they can speculate if the dac section of this sounds better than the benchmark dac1. I would not be using dsd and only coaxial.


post #137 of 511

 I can't really help with what music_man is asking. But I can say that you can't go wrong with the Teac ud-501 is you're looking for a quality dac for up to and around 1000euros. I just love it's sound. And usb gives the potential for negligible jitter. SPDIF is more prone to that as some testing also proves. But if you want to use that only, some dacs like the Benchmark dac1 or Hegel dacs offer some scheme to minimize jitter with SPDIF. And this way to make it also less sensitive on coax cables.


 Just a heads up for whoever is interested, regarding playing with the Teac through usb. I had to run in again this unit because first I had a demo on silver for a week and now I ordered one in black. After 4 days of constant burning in with ISOTEK cd rip it sounds much better already. Usb cable needed also time. First it was more closed in and at times direct sounding. Now it has blossomed and sounds fully extended and more refined. After playing with dac and Jriver 19 settings I decided I like most to play PCM as PCM but upsampled from the program only to 32bit and 352.8khz or 384khz, depending on the original sample frequency and DF on the Dac set to off. This way it cleans up even cd sound so nicely and it gives a similar extension, airiness and space as DSD. DSD I output as is. Works perfect with the Teac Asio driver. And with Bitstreaming DSD activated. And that sounds even more palpable and realistic! 

 My impression is that these high resolutions do make a difference to clean up many recordings. I tried Native, or No change in output on everything but I tend to prefer upsampling through Jriver. If something is output native then the playback indicator of Jriver lights up in blue color and in Audio Path it says "Direct".

post #138 of 511

the teac is more technology but I would not be using it. it also is completely dual mono with newer dac chips. on the other hand as you say the dac1 and dac2 have "ultralock" on the spdif/coax. so perhaps better if not using usb. I am guessing if using usb the teac will outperform the benchmark. with spdif you cannot even use 384khz from a computer. I don't think any sound card goes higher than 96 on spdif. I am mostly using a cd transport and not a computer. so I guess I would be paying for more performance than I am going to use. plus most dacs, the teac included will only upsample to 24/196 from a coax/spdif input.

post #139 of 511

Going from 192khz to 384khz the difference is minimal. Especially with cd's. But sound does seem to get a bit more "conditioned". What is important with this dac is that when you output 352.8 and 384 then it bypasses completely upconverter and pcm filter on the dac. 


I think it's more important how good a dac sounds with 24/192 or even 24/96. And regarding Spdif I think it depends also on the source and the quality of the cable even more so. With my pc I could output with another dac I tried easily 24/96 with optical but 192 gave me noise. With coax 192 seemed to work fine. But at the end if you upconvert on the dac it doesn't matter so much especialy if you play cd.You can just give pcm signal as it is. But with spdif it also makes a difference if you can output a hirez 24/96 recording. It just sounds different assuming it's a good recording. I have Dire straits brothers in arms on cd rip made 24/48 with dbpoweramp and a genuine 24/96 download same album. The latter just sounds better. More lifelike. A Norah Jones ripped cd on the other hand and it's 24/192 download recording, I can't hear any difference! So it depends how it's made I guess.


Try the dac you want to use if you can and see if you like it. You should also consider Hegel HD11 in this price range. Might be more musical than Benchmark. Depending your system. At the end synergy works magic. You can always try different cables.

post #140 of 511

the dac1 is very resolving but not incredibly musical. they pretty much targeted the audiophile audience with the dac2 for this reason. i was just wondering if i am correct that the teac cannot do 32 bit conversion from 16 on the coax?

post #141 of 511

No. You can see it here as well.




But if you're limited on coax it doesn't mean you can't get great sound with 24 bit. Some good recordings that are made 24bit and 88.2 or 96khz I output as they are and they sound great. I don't feel like changing them. In such cases I feel output in native sounds more right. But it depends on the recording. I'm still testing with such changes.

Edited by pigunios - 1/24/14 at 2:17pm
post #142 of 511

from what I can gather the benchmark should be better at pcm on coax/optical. well I guess it boils down to which sound one prefers. the benchmark certainly has much less jitter but neither is able to be heard by humans anyways. the real star of the teac is dsd which I would not be using. for $849 the thing is killer at dsd I read. however other people hate this thing. that is par for the course however.

I think for pcm I need to look at something more expensive. I do have a way better dac but it is in another system.

post #143 of 511

 I was wrong. Norah Jones in hirez does sound better. More natural and nuanced. It's just not as pronounced. And I have to say, every recording I tried at pcm 382.8 or 384khz does sound a little bit better. More air and refinement. Even bass sounds a bit more acoustic and defined.

 DSD is great and I like having the option. But if you wont use it then it's not a deciding factor for you. If you want to be able to play all the formats and get even more resolution then you have to pay twice as much than the Teac. Then think Mytek, W4S Dac2 DSD, Benchmark dac2 etc.But the Teac is killer dac for it's price. At the end you must ask how much are you willing to pay. And how resolving the rest of your system is.

Edited by pigunios - 1/25/14 at 7:40am
post #144 of 511

okay I decided I am wiling to pay more. there is a used McIntosh d100 already at the shop for $1,900. I am going to bring it home and see how it sounds. I am guessing it is better than the dac1. I like to stick with the solid brands. teac is one but like you said you just can't get everything for $849. I did not really like the benchmark dac2. I hope I like the McIntosh. they are known for good stuff and it got great reviews. I got a used diamond dac iv which is very expensive so I have a reference. the d100 belongs to the store owner and he said it has about 300 hours on it. so I can report as soon as I get it. btw, I didn't know the teac could upsample 44.1 to 384khz? I just can't do dsd. I have tens of thousands of cd's already and most of them are not even available on dsd plus the cost. the dac1 is very resolving but it is not incredibly musical. it was made for pro audio. the dac2 tried to get around that but I have heard better. I can also check out the nad m51 while I am there. I would just get a great cd player but I need my computer hooked up via toslink too and my tv.


pigunios, thank you for being honest.

post #145 of 511

No problem music_man. For me the Teac ud-501 is all I need! It plays everything, I can use my headphones on it, looks awesome and sounds great. :)


If you are going to use a computer for transport then you should consider the usb route. It has greater potential than coax, for higher resolution and less jitter. But you need a good usb cable. If possible made with separate power wire.Or you can get additionally a usb/spdif converter and spend even more money.I also have no opinion of what improvement this can make.


If I may ask, in what system are you going to use the dac?

post #146 of 511
Originally Posted by Eagle13 View Post

I purchased the TEAC UD-501 recently based on favorable reviews on this site and others on the internet and am very, very, pleased. I wanted a headphone rig for my PC to replace a Cambridge Audio DM+, which I've been very happy with, but I now have a fair amount of DSD files and wanted something that would handle native DSD (I have a dedicated 2-channel setup for playing SACDs and DSD files in the living room, but often listen to music on my PC, and felt that converting my DSD to PCM was not cutting it anymore). The TEAC UD-501 is a wonderful sounding DAC that IMO, competes with DACs twice its price. It's PCM performance with upsampling ON and the Slow Filter engaged has a neutral to warm vinyl-like quality; and it's DSD performance is fantastic - it sounds comparable to several dedicated SACD decks I've owned and heard.


I've been using JRiver MC for years and upgraded to v19 a few days ago and was pleasantly surprised that it now will output natively in DSD:



I've spent a few hours this weekend "A/B'ing" between DSD "upsampling" and native PCM. Having JRiver MC 19 output everything to DSD really is the way to go with this DAC! PRaT and resolution have been fantastic on good old PCM (both Redbook and Hi-Res).  This DAC is simply marvelous on DSD. 


Caveat Emptor: Real-time DSD output requires a fairly powerful CPU! 


And, as always, YMMV!


+1  I second that. After playing with the various resolutions of pcm and DSD, the Teac really reaches it's highest resolution potential with 2xDSD output from Jriver19. PCM hirez is great but DSD is so much more like live music! The "dots" seem to disappear. Even with normal cd recordings. And my quad core cpu is only 12-15% active.

post #147 of 511

well it has higher jitter but still inaudible. I was wondering how you guys compare this to more expensive dacs. like the dac2,d100,bda-2? solely pcm on coax. I am impressed because the circuit topology looks amazing for $849 but can it hang with the big boys?


edit: I got my answer. the main attraction here is dsd for $849 and pretty good. it is not going to be as good at pcm as some $2k+ dacs. I think that was actually already gone over here. sorry to have brought this up. I was hoping.....

Edited by music_man - 1/29/14 at 6:54am
post #148 of 511

The TEAC earns some interesting comments. There are some positive reviews to be found for sure. But I do know that Purrin doesn't like it, preferring the Schiit Gungnir at the same price point.

post #149 of 511

 If you let the Teac play at it's best (that is 2xDSD), then yes it can compete with dacs twice it's price! If you treat it like crap like this guy Purrin did what kind of result do you think you're gonna get? Also testing a greater number of dacs or any other components you must take time and care to match them well. Plug and play kind of attitude cannot be trusted. In such a scenario you must also have the flexibility of more components and cables. And you must know what you're doing.

 Tests of speakers is a good example. With my previous speakers there was only one negative review online out of dozens of praising ones. I found it surprising at first. When I saw the amp used in that bad review I knew already why. LOL. Thank god I heard the speakers my self at home and with similar quality gear.



At the end all the theories don't matter. If you can, test out the dacs you're interested in and see what you find best for your ears and your pocket.

post #150 of 511

well I think I said the circuit topology looks amazing. often that translates to sound. well thought out indeed. the problem I have is thousands of songs I listen to are not out on dsd. as far as pcm someone mentioned you might have to get into more expensive dacs to make a big difference. well, I do want to listen to the teac so I am going to borrow it. now my flame suit is really on but I will mention I saw somewhere a person traded a bm dac2 for it and was happier. I am guessing they were using dsd though. plus everyone enjoys different things. it is not like we are talking about a $20 boombox that we know sucks.

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