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DAC to pair with TubeMagic A1 & DT880s

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hey all, new to the forums and high-end headphones.  I recently upgraded to my current audio setup in August and September.  Did a lot of reading on here before I decided on the A1 for my amp.  The Beyers were pretty much decided on from the start, just read so many good things about them.  I've moved up from a pair of Sennheiser HD212 Pros connected to the onboard VIA VT1828S sound card. 

 

So with that said, I'm looking for a DAC to pair with my TubeMagic A1 & DT880s, as I'm moving to a laptop as my main rig.  I've thought about just getting a TubeMagic D1 or D2, but honestly I don't know which one would be better.  My first thought would be the D2, since it's not a combination DAC/AMP.  I've done a little googling and haven't really found enough to make an informed decision.  I've seen the following DACs recommended a few times, though not necessarily with the TubeMagic A1:

 

  • HiFiMan - EF2A
  • JDS Labs Standalone ODAC
  • Audio-GD NFB-11.32 - Bit more than I want to spend.
  • iBasso D7
  • HRT Music Streamer II
  • Audioengine D1 Premium
  • SMSL SD-793II
  • Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-11 - Bit more than I want to spend.

 

Do I go with a TubeMagic D1 or D2?  One from the above list?  Or something else entirely?  My budget is $200 - $250. 

 

Current Audio Setup:

Asus Xonar DX

TubeMagic A1

Beyerdynamic DT880 600 ohm

 

So, I thought I'd join and post a thread. 

post #2 of 29
Thread Starter 

After some more reading and thinking, I'm really leaning towards the TubeMagic D2 with the upgraded opamps and tubes.

 

Now, how does this play into the mix:  At the moment, I am interested in upgrading my amp to a Schiit Valhalla or a La Figaro 339 at some point.  With that said, I may also consider the Bifrost as a possibility, especially if it pairs well with my current amp and the two I am looking at. 

post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizicke5273 View Post

I'm really leaning towards the TubeMagic D2 with the upgraded opamps and tubes.

 

The TubeMagic DAC options might be better in terms of synergy with the TubeMagic headphone amplifier.

 

Destroysall.

post #4 of 29

I was once having the same trouble, whether I should buy the TubeMagic D2 + A1 combo. However, after thinking and taking advices, I finally go for the CEntrence DACmini in the second hand market. beyersmile.png

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

Even second hand, the CEntrence DACmini is likely to be more than I am willing to spend at the moment.  $350 is about the tops.  The D2,TudeDAC-11, and Bifrost are all about within that budget. 

post #6 of 29

Remember the dacs globally sound the same, the most important is noise and distortion, the rest is ******** to make you buy expensive stuff.

Basically, the inputs needs to be well taken ware of, no need to spend 300 $ on a dac.

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizicke5273 View Post

Even second hand, the CEntrence DACmini is likely to be more than I am willing to spend at the moment.  $350 is about the tops.  The D2,TudeDAC-11, and Bifrost are all about within that budget. 


If you have 350 budget, I think you should go for second hand HRT Music Streamer II+.

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puranti View Post

Remember the dacs globally sound the same, the most important is noise and distortion, the rest is ******** to make you buy expensive stuff.

Basically, the inputs needs to be well taken ware of, no need to spend 300 $ on a dac.


If there's no need to spend on a 300 DAC, then why even spend on a 100 DAC

post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by leoleo0104 View Post


If there's no need to spend on a 300 DAC, then why even spend on a 100 DAC

 

Because the 300 $ dac has the same capacities than a 100 $ DAC but if you want to waste 200 $ that's your problem, I'm just trying to clear up the mess about audiophilia myths.

I suggest you to check this thread, it's revelant to our discussion : http://www.head-fi.org/t/630155/dac-deadly-audio-confusion


Edited by Puranti - 11/8/12 at 11:17pm
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puranti View Post

 

Because the 300 $ dac has the same capacities than a 100 $ DAC but if you want to waste 200 $ that's your problem, I'm just trying to clear up the mess about audiophilia myths.

I suggest you to check this thread, it's revelant to our discussion : http://www.head-fi.org/t/630155/dac-deadly-audio-confusion


So, if you are saying that all DAC sound the same, why don't you need an external DAC like V-DAC? Why don't you use the built-in DAC in your computer?

post #11 of 29

At that time i did not read this thread, I bought everything last year and was very ignorant about audiophilia bias. rolleyes.gif

Secondly my laptop doesn't have any analog outputs which make sense,

Thirdly, the V-DAC is versatile, I can use it for every config I want.

And finally, I bought it for 100$ from another guy who used it for 1 month so that was quite a deal.smily_headphones1.gif

 

But I am not saying that all dacs sound the same ; especially, has it was mentioned on the other thread, with tube dac.

If you really want (or need) an external dac take one with the input/outputs you want.

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puranti View Post

At that time i did not read this thread, I bought everything last year and was very ignorant about audiophilia bias. rolleyes.gif

Secondly my laptop doesn't have any analog outputs which make sense,

Thirdly, the V-DAC is versatile, I can use it for every config I want.

And finally, I bought it for 100$ from another guy who used it for 1 month so that was quite a deal.smily_headphones1.gif

 

But I am not saying that all dacs sound the same ; especially, has it was mentioned on the other thread, with tube dac.

If you really want (or need) an external dac take one with the input/outputs you want.

So, as you're saying that your V-DAC was a good deal. Are you trying to admit that a 300 DAC which can be bought at 100 is better than a DAC is listed 100 orginal?

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by leoleo0104 View Post

So, as you're saying that your V-DAC was a good deal. Are you trying to admit that a 300 DAC which can be bought at 100 is better than a DAC is listed 100 orginal?

 

I am saying it is a good deal yes as you're making a 200$ discount, you can resell it with a good price.

Look if you're trying to make me say that a 300$ dac will sound better than a 100$ one you're wasting your time...rolleyes.gif

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puranti View Post

 

I am saying it is a good deal yes as you're making a 200$ discount, you can resell it with a good price.

Look if you're trying to make me say that a 300$ dac will sound better than a 100$ one you're wasting your time...rolleyes.gif

So why didn't you buy a 100 DAC instead of a 300 V-DAC (Count at original listed price) if you said every solid state DAC sounds the same? You won't care about discount if they sound the same.

post #15 of 29

I mean you can just sell your V-DAC for a good price and go for something cheap like FIIO E10, isn't it?

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