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Teac Reference Line UD-501 USB DAC "DSD" - Page 14

post #196 of 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post


well i just got around to trying the headphone amp. it is pretty good(used hd800,k702). however i feel first and foremost it is a dac. headphone amps over $500 seem like they are mostly going to be better. over a grand and a lot better. benchmarks hpa-2 is better as well. a lot of people do not like that though. overall i think they could sell this box for $1,500 and get away with it fine.


I see what you mean by it being mainly a DAC, but I can't help but remember how good the headphone output was out of the Teac UD-H01 with the T1's, that's why I wonder if UD-501 is even better. Is there anything wrong with the headphone out? Like, its the any noise, hissing at higher volumes, distortion, channel imbalance, lack of bass or extension, or does it in general sound like a good, lets say mid-fi amp for 300,400 dollars? Does it get loud enough with the HD800? Any reference headphone amp you can compare the output to more specifically?

Sorry for asking so much, but currently for me it's a choice between getting the UD-501 to power the T1's, and then later I get a new separate amp. I dont expect the UD-501 to be the end game headphone amp, I just expect it to be good enough to not ruin the sound of the T1's and not compromise the sound of the DAC section of the UD-501 too much.

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post #197 of 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by schneller View Post
 

I just continue to be dumfounded as to why Purrin hates this DAC so much lol!

 

I keep coming back to three DAC options around the $800 USD mark:

 

Schiit Gungnir Gen2 USB ($850)

TEAC UD-501 ($750)

Meridian Director ($700)

 

I am looking for a stand-alone DAC, not a HP DAC.

 

Not heard the Schiit, but I have owned and heard the UD-501 and the Director. I've kept the UD-501 :) (I've also got a couple of AudioQuest Dragonflies - 1.1 and 1.2)

 

In the UK the Director is considerably cheaper than the UD-501 - even if you buy from thomann.de, the TEAC is still a good £150 more than the Meridian. But the TEAC is, IMO, totally worth it.

 

Amps I've used are Audio-gd SA31SE and Lake People G109S. 'Phones I've used are Senn HD600, HiFiMAN HE-500, Westone UM3X and V-Moda M-80. DACs are fed from a PC and a laptop by USB.

 

<subjective opinion ahoy - have a large pinch of salt available...>

I found, with all amps and 'phones that the Director was just not a fun listen for me - a bit too harsh and not 'musical' enough. Listening to the Director I realised quite quickly that I wasn't tapping my foot to the music, with the UD-501, my foot's like a jackhammer :) With the Director I felt that it was taking a lot of effort to just listen to the music, with the UD-501 it's almost like it isn't there or it's adding something that really appeals.

</subjective opinion ahoy - have a large pinch of salt available...>

 

Full disclosure - I absolutely loathe the sound of the HE-500s. I find the high frequencies unnatural and bright/shrill/harsh to the point of painful, no matter what combination of amp/dac (I do think that the Director made the treble even less enjoyable). I do quite like the bass of the '500s though. Please bear this in mind...


Edited by Stonephace - 2/6/14 at 11:33am
post #198 of 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonephace View Post

Not heard the Schiit, but I have owned and heard the UD-501 and the Director. I've kept the UD-501 smily_headphones1.gif (I've also got a couple of AudioQuest Dragonflies - 1.1 and 1.2)

In the UK the Director is considerably cheaper than the UD-501 - even if you buy from thomann.de, the TEAC is still a good £150 more than the Meridian. But the TEAC is, IMO, totally worth it.

Amps I've used are Audio-gd SA31SE and Lake People G109S. 'Phones I've used are Senn HD600, HiFiMAN HE-500, Westone UM3X and V-Moda M-80. DACs are fed from a PC and a laptop by USB.


I found, with all amps and 'phones that the Director was just not a fun listen for me - a bit too harsh and not 'musical' enough. Listening to the Director I realised quite quickly that I wasn't tapping my foot to the music, with the UD-501, my foot's like a jackhammer smily_headphones1.gif With the Director I felt that it was taking a lot of effort to just listen to the music, with the UD-501 it's almost like it isn't there or it's adding something that really appeals.


Full disclosure - I absolutely loathe the sound of the HE-500s. I find the high frequencies unnatural and bright/shrill/harsh to the point of painful, no matter what combination of amp/dac (I do think that the Director made the treble even less enjoyable). I do quite like the bass of the '500s though. Please bear this in mind...


Any words on the G109S vs. the built in headamp on the UD-501?
post #199 of 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post
 
Any words on the G109S vs. the built in headamp on the UD-501?

 

I've barely used the headamp on the '501s - a pair of Apple Earpods are the only things I've listened to through it...

 

I think I'm a bit scared to use it in case I can't hear a difference compared to the 'proper' headamps I've got :)

 

OK. I've bitten the bullet and done some massively subjective quick testing...

 

Here we go.

 

Using JRiver MC 19 in 2xDSD native output with 'Week Of Pines' by Georgia Ruth. This is a lovely tune with some really well recorded bass and some treble-y female vocals that in the right hands are sweet as anything and in the wrong hands are actually painful.

 

Note: as stated at the beginning, these are massively subjective opinions. I have no way of volume matching or making any kind of measurement other than how much I enjoy what I'm hearing...

 

Apple Earpods (yeah, I went there). G109S > UD-501. Vocals are not that bad with either, but the 109 adds something enjoyable to the bass.

 

V-Moda M-80. UD-501 > G109S (just). There's just a bit too much bass with the G109S and it's a bit one note. Foot-tapping is more enthusiastic with the 501.

 

Sennheiser HD600. UD-501 >>> G109S. For me there's some real synergy here. The vocals through the '501 are spectacular. The bass feels more controlled with the 501, though there's more of it with the G109S. 

 

Damn. That's annoying. I wanted the G109S to walk all over the 501 amp, but it really doesn't.

 

If I had to pick one combination to take to my desert island it would be the HD600s and the '501 headamp.

 

FWIW, all those combinations are way, way, way more enjoyable for me than HE-500s + UD-501 or HE-500s + G109S. Yes, even the Earpods.

 

Anyone want to buy a some HE-500s?


Edited by Stonephace - 2/6/14 at 1:10pm
post #200 of 298

Well I don't know if I could stop myself from buying the stack when it comes time, but that's not surprising that the amp being a lower power than most is still more than adequate and even good than "better" amps.

post #201 of 298

the headphone amp is not bad at all. I just meant if you shop right you could get a better one for $1,000. I think that says what anyone needs to know. there is no noise hiss or anything. it sounds fine. I like the benchmarks hpa-2 a little better but a lot of people hate that. you would have to spend at least $500 to get a comparable headphone amp probably. for instance, it is better than the creek or headbox se. like i said, people would buy this for $2,500. I got it to nearly nill jitter too. see diy. oh, I do have much more expensive dacs and they are better. I mean like 60x the price. then you need a headamp that is 10x the price too. I probably will not upgrade this dac in my bedroom until they come out with 11.2mhz dsd if it makes a difference. I did have 13 dacs here last week and I picked this. not because of cost. because of "value". so purrin hates it. people hate on all kinds of things. I do not see everyone universally hating this. in fact it has been praised almost everywhere.


Edited by music_man - 2/6/14 at 2:10pm
post #202 of 298

What were the 13 DACs you tried?

post #203 of 298

nad,bryston,McIntosh,mytek,benchmark,msb,ayre,esoteric,amr,emmlabs....and others. understand most of these dacs are many times the price of the ud-501. I felt the ud-501 was the best "value". not the absolute best. put it this way. if one scoop of Ice cream is $2.00 and two scoops is $5.00 you do the math. personally for this particular system it was not worth having a $5,000+ dac. even though the total cost of this system(including pc) is maybe a msrp of $70,000. truth be told there is too much noise in this room to really be worth it. on the other hand I feel the sonus fabers make much more of a difference than the dac. so those are worth it to me. the msb is in my reference dedicated lede listening room. in that system the msb will slaughter the teac. however, the rest of the equipment has something to do with it. even given the noise in here it did not warrant itself with a mere 70 grand or so of electronics imo. the other one I ultimately considered in this room was the McIntosh at $2,500. that is also worth the money I feel. pretty nice. the teac is still a better value. I do prefer the sound of dsd and many of these dacs obviously do not take it seriously and thus omit it. I can't wait for a 11.2mhz dac.  the other ones that were 2 grand were not tremendously better to me. in the dedicated room the 2 grand ones fell short on the other side of the coin. since the rest of the equipment outpaced a 2 grand dac. get in where you fit in. I mentioned the noise in here, realistically I think the teac is good up to about a 10 grand system. as are the offerings for 2 grand or so. everyone has to decide for themselves. I voted with my wallet and ears.

post #204 of 298

^ I feel the same way when it comes to the TEAC but be careful, you start sounding like an infomercial for TEAC.  :D

I still love mine and not thinking about upgrading until I hear something clearly better for about the same $.

post #205 of 298

yeah i just realized i am getting to sound like a real tool. the only point i wanted to drive home was what you get for the money. i'll stop doing this unless someone has a question or something. i swear i have nothing to do with them either i tend to do this whenever something is too cheap to be true. as i said the kicker will be if it explodes in six months. there is usually a downside when the price is too good. i hope not.

post #206 of 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
 

yeah i just realized i am getting to sound like a real tool. the only point i wanted to drive home was what you get for the money. i'll stop doing this unless someone has a question or something. i swear i have nothing to do with them either i tend to do this whenever something is too cheap to be true. as i said the kicker will be if it explodes in six months. there is usually a downside when the price is too good. i hope not.

+1 I have no problem with what you've said.  I do believe this DAC is great for the $.  I am trying out the DA8 next.  We'll see.

post #207 of 298

Wish  you had compared the TEAC against the Teddy Pardo DAC with Async USB and/or the NAIM V1.

post #208 of 298

schneller, I feel my gear needs to be balanced. I have no idea what naim is thinking. they offer the great psu upgrade making it pretty expensive but no balanced. I dare to say I feel naim is like McIntosh they have a very loyal following. certainly high-end but I find some of both companies ideas strange. I think it really is only great if you have all the same brand of components in that case. which most of their followers usually do. the pardo is not balanced either. I do realize many people don't have balanced systems but I feel these dacs should have it in 2014. on the other hand aes/ebu has many times been bested by spdif and usb. I do not miss that. in fact the bm dac2 does not have it where the dac1 did. I think bm know their stuff at least.

 

cleaning up the usb made a nice difference on the teac. I could hear it but it is very good as is.

post #209 of 298

^^ The Teddy Pardo can be ordered with Async USB and Balanced XLR outputs. Just an FYI. With these options it comes to $1617.

post #210 of 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonephace View Post

I've barely used the headamp on the '501s - a pair of Apple Earpods are the only things I've listened to through it...

I think I'm a bit scared to use it in case I can't hear a difference compared to the 'proper' headamps I've got smily_headphones1.gif

OK. I've bitten the bullet and done some massively subjective quick testing...

Here we go.

Using JRiver MC 19 in 2xDSD native output with 'Week Of Pines' by Georgia Ruth. This is a lovely tune with some really well recorded bass and some treble-y female vocals that in the right hands are sweet as anything and in the wrong hands are actually painful.

Note: as stated at the beginning, these are massively subjective opinions. I have no way of volume matching or making any kind of measurement other than how much I enjoy what I'm hearing...

Apple Earpods (yeah, I went there). G109S > UD-501. Vocals are not that bad with either, but the 109 adds something enjoyable to the bass.

V-Moda M-80. UD-501 > G109S (just). There's just a bit too much bass with the G109S and it's a bit one note. Foot-tapping is more enthusiastic with the 501.

Sennheiser HD600. UD-501 >>> G109S. For me there's some real synergy here. The vocals through the '501 are spectacular. The bass feels more controlled with the 501, though there's more of it with the G109S. 

Damn. That's annoying. I wanted the G109S to walk all over the 501 amp, but it really doesn't.

If I had to pick one combination to take to my desert island it would be the HD600s and the '501 headamp.

FWIW, all those combinations are way, way, way more enjoyable for me than HE-500s + UD-501 or HE-500s + G109S. Yes, even the Earpods.

Anyone want to buy a some HE-500s?



Thanks, this helps a lot and it turns out to be as I hoped and expected it to be. This thing probably works better with high impedance headphones, as does the smaller brother UD-H01, thats why the 100 mW headphone output spec is so deceiving. As I said already, the very reason why I'm wondering about the UD-501's headphone output is the fact that when I tried the UD-H01 I was really impressed by its headphone output. It ran the Beyerdynamic T1's nicely and there was no need to ever get over the 70% on the volume knob, even though in the specs it says it only has 50 mW into 32 ohms. Subjectively it gave out the same amount of power as my Musical Fidelity M1HPAp which has over 1,2 watts into 32 ohms. That means these DAC's prefer high impedance cans. UD-H01 also walked all over the Nuforce HDP and Cambridge Audio Dacmagic+ in terms of SQ, it just sounded more natural and musical than the other two, which were thin, lifeless and harsh in comparison. It sounded like a unit that costs twice as much as either of them, despite actually costing half as much.

I just wonder whether it's worth going from Musical Fidelity M1HPA + M1DAC to the UD-501. I really want (or need, more precisely) an all-in-one device and I'm definitely not paying any money for a DAC that doesn't have DSD support, even if it doesn't bring advantages now, I want to future-proof myself in terms of DAC's.
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