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DAC for Bottlehead Crack and Beyerdynamic T1's - help me narrow my options

Poll Results: Which DAC for Bottlehead Crack and Beyer T1's?

 
  • 0% (0)
    EE Minimax Dac+
  • 0% (0)
    Halide DAC HD
  • 50% (4)
    Schitt Bifrost
  • 12% (1)
    JKDAC32
  • 37% (3)
    Something Else
8 Total Votes  
post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have a Bottlehead Crack that I am about to update with the speedball option.  I currently run the tubes it came with fed from a MacBook Pro through an HRT Music Streamer II.  It sounds great, but I have noticed it sounds better when it is fed through my Logitech Squeezebox Touch which has me wondering about a new DAC for my MacBook.

 

I am considering the following:

Schiit Bifrost

EE Minimax DAC +

Halide DAC HD

JKDAC32

 

I am willing to spend around $1200 on a DAC but would prefer to spend less if I could.  I am hesitant to spend much as the technology seems to change so fast.

 

USB is a must and it would also be nice to have S/PDIF, but it is not necessary. 

 

What are your thoughts?

post #2 of 10
One option is to get a $30 USB to Ethernet adapter and connect SBT to MBP.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draygonn View Post

One option is to get a $30 USB to Ethernet adapter and connect SBT to MBP.

Sorry, I should have clarified. I use the SBT for my home stereo and the Crack and T1`s for a desktop setup at work so I am looking for a solution independent of the SBT.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Surely someone has an opinion.

 

I know I see most of these DAC's mentioned quite often.

 

At this point, I am probably no longer considering the Halide.

post #5 of 10
Concero. You'll love it.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post

Concero. You'll love it.

I'm intrigued. Looks small which would be a nice plus. How does it compare to the bifrost which seems to be in the same price range?
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbeard View Post

I'm intrigued. Looks small which would be a nice plus. How does it compare to the bifrost which seems to be in the same price range?

I have actually never heard a bifrost. I have heard a Gungnir, and while I'm a little hesitant to rely too heavily on my memory, I think the Concero would win that shootout and it wouldn't be close.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post

I have actually never heard a bifrost. I have heard a Gungnir, and while I'm a little hesitant to rely too heavily on my memory, I think the Concero would win that shootout and it wouldn't be close.

Any thoughts on how the EE minimax DAC plus might stack up against the concero?
post #9 of 10

The ODAC is nice, I've got one feeding my Crack to HD600 and I'm very happy.

 

Edit: Doesn't have S/PDIF though, but you said it wasn't a deal breaker. A big pro though is that it's much below your maximum price and well documented on NwAvGuy's (albeit biased) blog.


Edited by Phait - 11/20/12 at 11:39am
post #10 of 10

Either a PS Audio Digital Link III with or without a separate ("better") USB/SPDIF adapter - look for those in the For Sale section here.  New they are 699 (down from 1K), and less used.

 

For new I would consider either the Wyred4Sound DAC1 http://www.wyred4sound.com/webapps/p/74030/117839/396494  I have the DAC2, but its a bit above your price range for some part upgrades, and a few more inputs.

 

or the Havana or Stockholm DACs, which are currently on the used market, a second version of the Stockholm is due sometime.  The Havana has been modded and commented on extensively.

 

 

A lot of choice out there for DACs, and prices have been driven down a lot on the low to mid range stuff.  The upper ranges of DACs >$2000 tend to have very small differences(improvements?) for a lot of additional monies.  My main DAC was an expensive kit, but has a NOS DAC digital board, and tube/transformer output circuit.

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