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Teac Reference Line UD-501 USB DAC "DSD" - Page 11

post #151 of 294

Most of my music is wav or flac 16/44 up to 24/192. Mostly ripped cd's. I just play them 2xDSD. It just sounds better. More clear and analog, in the good sense. It's obvious that if you get a good 2-3 times more expensive dac that it'll equal or better that SQ on pcm. But in my case using coax gives more interference using the pc as transport. Plus I bottleneck the Teac this way in terms of resolution. I guess the transport quality makes a difference. Funny thing is, when I tested Hegel HD11 which I find also wonderful for it's price, and which is optimized to sound best through it's coax-1, I still preferred with a wide margin the usb with 24/96 as maximum resolution! Using a good usb cable makes the transport a non issue for me. 

Using such a scenario makes it more tricky than using a high quality stand alone cd player. I had that and replaced it with the Teac dac getting more flexibility, future proof and even better sound for far lower cost. That's what I find great about good dacs, even 1000$ ones. If you're after highest resolution possible then you have to pay the price. As long as it's musical. And not just about the details. 

 

Yes personal preference is of great importance. Like I say to a friend of mine always, don't mind so much of all the reviews. They can be a guideline, to get an idea. But if you don't enjoy yourself from what you hear from the gear, don't bother. It's about having fun and enjoyment. 

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post #152 of 294

omg! read on..... I just got this.  i got it used and the guy said it had like 300 hours. i am glad i am keeping this because it was by far the cheapest of the lot .I am doing a dac shooutout. I have 13 dacs here. including the msb diamond daciv($60,000). I thought this was going to be weak on coax pcm. boy was I wrong. this is the best dac I have ever heard in my bedroom system. it fell short on the big Wilson system but the bedroom system is no slouch. sonus faber evo's. this thing is off the chain! it made a night and day difference over pretty much everything in this room. I am not being a troll, this is my story ymmv. btw, I have it on upsampling and slow. I found it is even a tad better with the display off. now I am going to put some isolation under it and relax finally.

 

I did have a question though, I obviously am going to use the 30 days I got on all this stuff. I have six figures out right now and tonight I cannot buy a good usb cable. I want to try usb! so, what is a pretty good usb cable that does what I need it to do for less than $100. even less=better. I need to get it at like bb or tiger or something too.

 

thank you guys

post #153 of 294

My father has an MSB DAC IV and I was able to compare the UD-501 to it. I feel that although there is significant diminishing returns on something as costly as the DAC IV, there still is a difference that you have to decide overall if the financial cost is worth the perceived value.

 

I love listening to his system, we have the same speakers but very, very different front ends.

 

With both DACs I used a Monoprice 3f usb cable and a Nordost Blue heaven. I think if you can find a USB cable from anywhere you're going to be just fine. As much as people love to freak out about digital interconnects, I don't think you should worry for demonstration purposes.

post #154 of 294

I do agree. the msb is better. certainly in my better system. the thing is as you say diminishing returns. if the msb were 4-5 grand it would obviously be better than the teac. for 60+ grand I don't think it is really worth it. I compared the teac to the bm dac1 and 2 and the bryston bda-2,the nad m51. yes I went nuts about this. I like the teac at least as much as al of those. dare I say I paid $500 it was worth every penny.  plus the build quality of the chassis I am going to say is actually nicer than even the msb. your dad must really love audio as do I. I was going to put the msb downstairs in my reference system but I just don't feel it is worth it. esoteric is good enough which by the way is teac.  you can come pretty close for less than 10 grand imo. if you are not into diminishing returns and you happen to like the sound the teac is good enough. at least for me. the bryston was pretty good. the nad and bm's i did not really care for. i already voiced my opinion on that though. all said and done this stuff is personal preference so please don' shoot. excluding the msb, out of 13 dacs here I choose the teac. most of them were 2-5 grand. I did not choose it just because of price either. I choose it because I liked the sound best. heck, I had all of these for a week and was not quite sure until I got the teac today.i have not even tried the usb yet! the thing was honestly a star on coax to me. I was actually surprised myself that I can really hear a difference between all of these.

 

I was just wondering, cost aside did you feel the msb absolutely slaughtered the teac or was it more subtle? I know this is a stupid comparison but I figure it is of note. the esoteric, it's big brother is obviously better but if I did not have it I probably would not miss it. certainly not in my little bedroom system. which btw would be thought of as reference by most people. it displaced a bm dac1 there and that I feel the difference is night and day.

 

also, I did not really want to start another thread. jriver hates my computer for some reason. is foobar okay for this or whatever? obviously I need software that can do dsd.

post #155 of 294

Personally I use MPD with all of these DACs and the TEAC and MSB had wonderful support in linux. I think the MSB is something you just have to hear. I'm glad you're able to spend time with one and make comparisons. If you are looking optimize for cost in your system then the UD-501 seemed to be incredibly competitive. I'm currently trying to decide if I want to stick with the UD-501 or jump the Matrix X-Sabre.

 

The MSB DAC IV has such an incredible sound. I don't feel its worth trying to associate qualitative terms, its just something you have to experience yourself. You should seriously consider some of the other offerings that MSB has. Most recently they released their Analog DAC that is more price competitive than the MSB IV at lower levels.

post #156 of 294

OMG the prices on these MSB  dacs. Are they made out of gold and diamonds? lol

 

At around 100$ a good usb cable option is Vertere D-fi. For twice the price you get their Double D version which is said to be even better.

I'm planning on trying it soon.

 

http://www.vertereacoustics.com/testimonials

 

I haven't tried many usb cables, but to me they sound as different to each other as different analog interlinks do. 

 

As far as media players go I find Jriver awesome. But Teac has it's own more basic but effective HR Audio player if you want to try DSD. It works without a fuzz. You can see where to find it along with their usb 2.0 driver on the manual of the UD-501. There it has links. 

I thought Foobar works well to but I don't have much experience with it. I find it more tricky to use.

post #157 of 294

have you guys tried this dac?

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/673033/review-yulong-audio-sabre-da8-reference-dac

 

I was curious how this would compare to the Teac UD-501. It has similar features and great build quality too.

post #158 of 294

that dac looks nice. are you in the uk? because that cable does not seem to be in the states. looks nice though. I found plenty other options but 3 meter is going to run me like $300. that's okay I am going to start bringing stuff back tomorrow. there are 3 meter cables for $3,000 but I just don't want to spend that on  a usb cable.

 

I had two questions please. what is the menu setting for reverse polarity on the xlr's? I know this is off topic but if there is any quick help i'd be thankful. jriver starts skipping like crazy if I go over 96khz. sometimes a msg poops up that it cannot do it. my system does support it. I am using wasapi. thanks.

post #159 of 294

 I'm not in the UK, but in the Netherlands. So not far from there. There is dealership here as well for these Vertere cables. But I haven't tried yet. Why do you have to use so long usb? You connect with laptop? I'm lucky I guess that I have the pc next to my system and have it connected with my lcd screen and use wireless mouse. Try to use the Teac Asio usb 2.0 driver. Maybe it works better. It's direct connection like with wasapi. And you need it for sure for usb to work. In which case hirez shouldn't be an issue at all with Jriver.

 Regarding the xlr setting I don't know cause I use rca cable. I should change it at a certain moment cause both my amp and the Teac sound even better this way. Have you checked the manual for this?

 

I thought in the US you have more options for good cables, usb included. In any case I don't think it's worth to get usb cables more expensive than 300-500$. Even in the 100-200$ range you should be fine.

post #160 of 294

got everything working thanks. I just nailed it with the cable for $30! I got a Belkin gold which was tas reference and they speak highly of. than I saw the ifi power and thought to myself hmmm.... I got a Belkin powered hub. this will not allow the computers dirty power supply to enter the cable. not quite as nice as ifi but along the same lines. audiophile stuff is often times overpriced. i mentioned this to someone that sells hifi cables and i pinned him down, he agreed mostly. i am running 2x dsd. this is the best sound i ever heard out of this system. yeah, there is better stuff but this setup just jived so good. i was lucky. i have to say this dac is some bargain. i read posts at aa and ah where people ditched a bryston and dac2 for this. so i am not a complete idiot for saying that i guess. my system is not the best i ever heard but i am happy. the difference over the bm dac1 is night and day. probably because of dsd. now i am worried this dac will soon be obsolete anyways., there are already dacs doinf 12+mhz i think. i feel now those that say dsd is no good are wrong. the issue is that there is very little dsd material. running pcm at dsd does make a difference though.

post #161 of 294

I felt the same. this dac is a big bargain. Great sound for a reasonable price. Good enough for me. And who knows, maybe Teac will release another great bargain dac with even higher resolution! But really, if you tweak a bit with cables this thing just sounds so beautiful. A good power cord on my pc made also a difference on making it a good musical transport. I even fit a few sorbothane pads under the motherboard and in couple of spots in the case and made it nice quiet. 

post #162 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigunios View Post
 

I felt the same. this dac is a big bargain. Great sound for a reasonable price. Good enough for me. And who knows, maybe Teac will release another great bargain dac with even higher resolution! But really, if you tweak a bit with cables this thing just sounds so beautiful. A good power cord on my pc made also a difference on making it a good musical transport. I even fit a few sorbothane pads under the motherboard and in couple of spots in the case and made it nice quiet. 


New to this Teac forum, but I do agree this is a great DAC. I initially bought this as a temporary measure until the DAC I wanted was available. However, I may just keep it, as it is really growing on me. I do believe it needs a lot of burn in time, but just gets better. Prior to this I had the Naim V1 DAC, with which the Teac has a similar sound signature, i.e. a really good bass delivery. Before the Naim I had an Eximus DP1, which had a superb 3D type sound, but very thin bass.

 

I honestly believe this is a real revelation for the price.

post #163 of 294

first of all I cannot really compare dsd to pcm as there are too many things to switch each time. it is not like I can a/b it. I don't think it is placebo but you know how that goes. some people think it sounds better some do not. anyways I am converting pcm files to dsd. furthermore one must understand that much of dsd recording is done in pcm. I do think the final result sounds better even with the required rolloff shelfing. then you have to understand the dac is the same exact thing for pcm and dsd. the actual dac chip is doing mostly the same thing. all the analog section is obviously  the same. I really can't be the one to judge. I don't know myself.

 

then about the pc power cable. yes it can make a deference but the difference is futile. since a pc is inherently not an audio device being a extremely noisy(audio) environment. a $500+ power cable will make a difference but honestly not enough. laptops on the other hand are better at this. they are still plenty noisy(audio) but the psu is outboard or battery which is way better for audio. I just concluded that my pc was better at audio than a ml 390s in another thread. that I am not sure of. the big problem here remains that I must switch the dac input and change settings in jriver. there is no way I can definitively be sure. I think I know what I am hearing but I wouldn't bet my home on it. now something like the ps audio pwd is a computer of sorts without all the noise and actually perhaps better than any cd player or computer.

 

btw, be careful with that sorbothane .under the mobo. some people use a ton of insulation as well. this will raise temps in the case. it may not overheat it at once but it will decrease the life of the pc form electromigration. if done sparingly it may be fine. I am just wondering if I should use a power cord I have because I think it can be better used on another component than the pc. you can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig. the redeeming thing is that a computers dvd/bluray drive is exceptional at audio. too bad the computer is just a emi/rf generator. ok, so what kind of difference did the power cable on the pc make lol. I have a $3,000 cable right here but I do not know if I want it to go on the pc. I could try it but I need some feedback first as my wires are buried. that is why I need a 16 foot usb cable. the computer is right next to the dac but I need to run it down into the basement because there is a door right here.

 

sorry for long rant. just rambling. I really wish there was a way to tell if dsd was better than pcm. any ideas how to a/b? to me it is so much better I am wiling to do a dbt on it but I could be very wrong.

 

edit: I am leaning toward 32/384 from the computer is best,the cdp at redbook is a close second and dsd is perhaps third. actually they are all good but different. I can't really decide yet. one thing is for sure, dsd will make a lossy pcm file a lot better. I do not plan on ripping anything so I guess I am using my power cord elsewhere. in fact I may do away with the usb cable reluctantly. since I have to bury it.

 

anyways, this dac is stellar for pcm or dsd. the sound is obvious because you can see it is built right.


Edited by music_man - 1/31/14 at 6:43pm
post #164 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by PETERCALV View Post
 


New to this Teac forum, but I do agree this is a great DAC. I initially bought this as a temporary measure until the DAC I wanted was available. However, I may just keep it, as it is really growing on me. I do believe it needs a lot of burn in time, but just gets better. Prior to this I had the Naim V1 DAC, with which the Teac has a similar sound signature, i.e. a really good bass delivery. Before the Naim I had an Eximus DP1, which had a superb 3D type sound, but very thin bass.

 

I honestly believe this is a real revelation for the price.


Wow! Comparing to the V1?

 

You know the Ud-501 can be found new for $750. They are also releasing the UD-301 for close to or under $500. It's suppose to offer the sound of the 501 but without the screen and lower quality chassis.

post #165 of 294

The more I listen to my UD 501, the more I wonder why the heck should I sell it and get another DAC for.  :beerchug:

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