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Mid - High End DAC/AMP Combos (Please Rate) - Page 2

post #16 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by seraphkz View Post

Just purchased the Alo Pan Am. We'll see how it goes. If the DAC is half decent, I might just use the Pan Am as a portable unit. If the DAC isn't so good, then I might purchase the dragonfly. What do you guys think?

I think that's a great idea. I have listened to the dragonfly and it is pretty nice. I am just looking for a single box sturdy portable unit.

post #17 of 61
Thread Starter 

Ok, I will be connecting Samsung Galaxy Note II > DAC/AMP (To Be Determined) > Unique Melody Miracle's.

 

I wish JDS Labs would make a single ODAC+C421. Too bad they do not.

 

I have narrowed it down to the following...

 

 

Leckerton UHA-6S.MKII:

 

Getting mixed reviews on the DAC portion of this device.

 

 

Venturecraft GO-DAP X:

 

I have not seen enough information on this, but the initial reviews are outstanding.

 

 

RSA Emmeline "The Predator":

 

Weird reviews about how you need 1000+ hours of burn in. However, the reviews are universally good. The battery life is the best of the pack.

 

 

Pico Portable DAC/AMP:

 

Quality DAC/AMP, just concerned at the age of the technology in it. Good reviews though.


Edited by theque - 11/19/12 at 4:27pm
post #18 of 61

My favorite is the Apex Glacier and ADL Cruise(the stride looks to be the same). Own a glacier. Have an o2 and odac separately too. Very good too.

 

Used to own the leckerton uha-6s mkII. Heard a ray samuels intruder and pico too. 

 

The Glacier is very sweet, clear and balanced. Dac section seems as good as an odac. 

 

Cruise is very smooth, really nice. 

 

o2 combo is very neutral. opa1602 opamps on the drive and a opa1612 makes it really clear. stock opamps are really good however. 

 

leckerton with the opa627 is real tubey. 

 

Its all preference really. 

post #19 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by asak View Post

My favorite is the Apex Glacier and ADL Cruise(the stride looks to be the same). Own a glacier. Have an o2 and odac separately too. Very good too.

 

Used to own the leckerton uha-6s mkII. Heard a ray samuels intruder and pico too. 

 

The Glacier is very sweet, clear and balanced. Dac section seems as good as an odac. 

 

Cruise is very smooth, really nice. 

 

o2 combo is very neutral. opa1602 opamps on the drive and a opa1612 makes it really clear. stock opamps are really good however. 

 

leckerton with the opa627 is real tubey. 

 

Its all preference really. 

 

Though very informative, absolutely no help at all hahaha. I have analysis paralysis it seems. I cannot make a decision as to the DAC/AMP combo to pair with my gear. I want to use my phone as my source (Spotify and MOG / 320k) as I cannot personally tell the difference between FLAC and 320k; I know some here insist otherwise. 

 

I don't know why this is so hard for me to decide...

post #20 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theque View Post

Ok, I will be connecting Samsung Galaxy Note II > DAC/AMP (To Be Determined) > Unique Melody Miracle's.

 

I wish JDS Labs would make a single ODAC+C421. Too bad they do not.

 

I have narrowed it down to the following...

 

 

Leckerton UHA-6S.MKII:

 

Getting mixed reviews on the DAC portion of this device.

 

 

Venturecraft GO-DAP X:

 

I have not seen enough information on this, but the initial reviews are outstanding.

 

 

RSA Emmeline "The Predator":

 

Weird reviews about how you need 1000+ hours of burn in. However, the reviews are universally good. The battery life is the best of the pack.

 

 

Pico Portable DAC/AMP:

 

Quality DAC/AMP, just concerned at the age of the technology in it. Good reviews though.

 

Ok The list has been Narrowed a bit more, these are removed. I decided not to add the Glacier due to build quality. If I am spending $500 I do not want the lettering to wipe off...

 

 

RSA Emmeline "The Predator":

 

Requires the DAC to be powered from the USB of the phone. According to Ray at RSA, this will drain the phone battery quite quickly. The DAC was intended to be used with a PC.

 

 

Pico Portable DAC/AMP:

 

This requires a powered USB Hub to operate. Simular to the Predator, except the phone does not even have enough power to run it.

 

 

My current list is:

 

 

Leckerton UHA-6S.MKII:

 

Getting mixed reviews on the DAC portion of this device. However, I have received a few PM's stating that the DAC is better than the Android phones and the AMP is of the best on the market.

 

 

Venturecraft GO-DAP X:

 

Initial reviews seem to be quite nice. High quality DAC/AMP for sure. Just not many reviews yet. Brand new with latest technology in it.

post #21 of 61

OP: thing about these decisions is that we wait for the voice from the sky, and it doesn't speak . . .

 

Make yourself a table with columns for each characteristic you value (battery life, resale value, whatever). Fill it with what info you can find.

 

If a decision doesn't come out of that, spend as much as you can afford. You can always move it on.

 

Cheers

 

Bruce

post #22 of 61

What is all of this "new technology" you are focusing on?  Plenty of DACs with "old" tech slay the purported "latest and greatest."  And the Glacier sounds absolutely great, you should speak to TTVJ about any silkscreening issues.  I suggest taking a step (maybe 2) back, figuring out what kind of SOUND you desire and make your best choice based on that.  You can always sell it if/when you want to move on.  What headphones will you be using?  What kind of music do you listen to?

post #23 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce108 View Post

OP: thing about these decisions is that we wait for the voice from the sky, and it doesn't speak . . .

 

Make yourself a table with columns for each characteristic you value (battery life, resale value, whatever). Fill it with what info you can find.

 

If a decision doesn't come out of that, spend as much as you can afford. You can always move it on.

 

Cheers

 

Bruce

 

Agreed. I am down to the Leckerton or the GO-DAP X. I am starting to lean towards the GO-DAP X Red at this time.

post #24 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

What is all of this "new technology" you are focusing on?  Plenty of DACs with "old" tech slay the purported "latest and greatest."  And the Glacier sounds absolutely great, you should speak to TTVJ about any silkscreening issues.  I suggest taking a step (maybe 2) back, figuring out what kind of SOUND you desire and make your best choice based on that.  You can always sell it if/when you want to move on.  What headphones will you be using?  What kind of music do you listen to?

 

Let me start from the top. What "new technology"? I am not "focusing" on it, rather mentioning it. The ability to take the GO-DAP X and connect it to a PC, Mac, iPhone 4, 4S, or 5, iPod classic, and Jelly Bean Android device all while using the DAC and AMP creating a unified sound no matter what you connect it to. Very few devices can do that (if any) with the slim profile the GO-DAP X offers. Again, I am not "focusing" on it, just mentioning it as it IS a factor.

 

As far as the silk screening issues... I am not going to contact TTVJ about that issue. If they fix it in the future and I read reviews about it then I may consider them. I am the consumer, I will not be the one to fix their issues. I am also a product manager, and poor build quality means they lack attention to detail. I will wait on this device. I am sorry if that offends you.

 

The sound I would like is transparent and neutral. I choose the UM Miracles because they had reviews of being the most neutral. I do not want my "Sound" mucked with by my audio equipment. It should sound as the artist and mixer intended it. I listen to a vast majority of music. Classical while working and sleeping, Metal and Rap while traveling with the exception of the actual airplane where I listen to everything I can (Pop, country, rap, metal, classical, rock) as I am in the air 500+ hours a year. 

 

What I do not like is the sound coming directly from my Note 2 via the 3.5mm port. There is a distinct hiss that is constantly in the background and I find the audio quality to be quite digital and metallic. Not sure how to describe it.


Edited by theque - 11/19/12 at 7:21pm
post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by theque View Post

 

Agreed. I am down to the Leckerton or the GO-DAP X. I am starting to lean towards the GO-DAP X Red at this time.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theque View Post

 

Let me start from the top. What "new technology"? I am not "focusing" on it, rather mentioning it. The ability to take the GO-DAP X and connect it to a PC, Mac, iPhone 4, 4S, or 5, iPod classic, and Jelly Bean Android device all while using the DAC and AMP creating a unified sound no matter what you connect it to. Very few devices can do that (if any) with the slim profile the GO-DAP X offers. Again, I am not "focusing" on it, just mentioning it as it IS a factor.

 

As far as the silk screening issues... I am not going to contact TTVJ about that issue. If they fix it in the future and I read reviews about it then I may consider them. I am the consumer, I will not be the one to fix their issues. I am also a product manager, and poor build quality means they lack attention to detail. I will wait on this device. I am sorry if that offends you.

 

The sound I would like is transparent and neutral. I choose the UM Miracles because they had reviews of being the most neutral. I do not want my "Sound" mucked with by my audio equipment. It should sound as the artist and mixer intended it. I listen to a vast majority of music. Classical while working and sleeping, Metal and Rap while traveling with the exception of the actual airplane where I listen to everything I can (Pop, country, rap, metal, classical, rock) as I am in the air 500+ hours a year. 

 

What I do not like is the sound coming directly from my Note 2 via the 3.5mm port. There is a distinct hiss that is constantly in the background and I find the audio quality to be quite digital and metallic. Not sure how to describe it.

 

It sounds like you've made your decision.  Hope it works out for you.

post #26 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

 

 

It sounds like you've made your decision.  Hope it works out for you.

 

Yes, as of right now I am ordering a Leckerton UHA-6S.MKII w/ AD8610ARZ. I may order the OPA209AID and OPA627AP as individual opamps that I can test at my leisure.

 

Why?

 

First, the DAC is a Cirrus Logic CS4398 which is their flagship DAC. From reading the sound science forums, the difference between flagship DAC's from the major manufactures (Cirrus Logic, Wolfson, Burr-Brown, etc...) are minor at best. In the photography world the people who focus on these differences are called pixel peepers; not real world viewing.

 

Second, Nick Leckerton is an application engineer for Cirrus Logic helping other companies integrate Cirrus Logic DAC's into their products. Again from the sound science forum, it is abundantly clear that the implementation of a DAC is far more important than the DAC itself when it comes to sound quality. I may be going off on a limb here, but I think Nick knows more about how to properly implement a DAC, especially a Cirrus Logic DAC, than most other people in this field.

 

Third, again from the sound science forum, the amplifier section of the chain has a larger impact when comparing the top opamps to each other. The UHA-6S.MKII opamps can be user rolled at minimal expense.

 

Forth, the UHA-6S.MKII is highly regarded as one of the best amps on the market at any price in the realm of portable dac/amps. I am not saying it is the best, but is it universally considered the best cost to performance of any portable amp on the market.

 

Finally, I do not need the iAP as I do not own a single Apple product and do not intend to own one in the near future. This particular feature would only assist in resale value, and I am not purchasing this item for its re-saleability.

 

Thanks for all of the assistance given to me by the members of this forum. I will continue to surf the forums and participate in future discussions. I will also post pics and impressions of my rig as soon as all of the pieces arrive (Samsung Galaxy Note 2 > HackShop Cable > Leckerton UHA-6S.MKII > DHC Symboite Cable > Unique Melody Miracle).

 

For the record, from everything I have read, and it has been a library it seems, all 10 of the listed DAC/AMP's are of the utmost quality and deserve an honest evaluation by any consumer; my choices are mine alone. 


Edited by theque - 11/21/12 at 2:06pm
post #27 of 61

I'd agree the Fostex is the best of the bunch, though size wise its not much bigger than an iPod? (I'm thinking of selling mine if you are in the market, only as I need a home dac more)

post #28 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by theque View Post

 

Yes, as of right now I am ordering a Leckerton UHA-6S.MKII w/ AD8610ARZ. I may order the OPA209AID and OPA627AP as individual opamps that I can test at my leisure.

 

Why?

 

First, the DAC is a Cirrus Logic CS4398 which is their flagship DAC. From reading the sound science forums, the difference between flagship DAC's from the major manufactures (Cirrus Logic, Wolfson, Burr-Brown, etc...) are minor at best. In the photography world the people who focus on these differences are called pixel peepers; not real world viewing.

 

Second, Nick Leckerton is an application engineer for Cirrus Logic helping other companies integrate Cirrus Logic DAC's into their products. Again from the sound science forum, it is abundantly clear that the implementation of a DAC is far more important than the DAC itself when it comes to sound quality. I may be going off on a limb here, but I think Nick knows more about how to properly implement a DAC, especially a Cirrus Logic DAC, than most other people in this field.

 

Third, again from the sound science forum, the amplifier section of the chain has a larger impact when comparing the top opamps to each other. The UHA-6S.MKII opamps can be user rolled at minimal expense.

 

Forth, the UHA-6S.MKII is highly regarded as one of the best amps on the market at any price in the realm of portable dac/amps. I am not saying it is the best, but is it universally considered the best cost to performance of any portable amp on the market.

 

Finally, I do not need the iAP as I do not own a single Apple product and do not intend to own one in the near future. This particular feature would only assist in resale value, and I am not purchasing this item for its re-saleability.

 

Thanks for all of the assistance given to me by the members of this forum. I will continue to surf the forums and participate in future discussions. I will also post pics and impressions of my rig as soon as all of the pieces arrive (Samsung Galaxy Note 2 > HackShop Cable > Leckerton UHA-6S.MKII > DHC Symboite Cable > Unique Melody Miracle).

 

For the record, from everything I have read, and it has been a library it seems, all 10 of the listed DAC/AMP's are of the utmost quality and deserve an honest evaluation by any consumer; my choices are mine alone. 

 

these are exactly the very same reasons i considered the leckerton; until i read many owners saying how 'ordinary' sounding the dac portion was, and it in fact was holding back the excellent amp.

post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelbug View Post

these are exactly the very same reasons i considered the leckerton; until i read many owners saying how 'ordinary' sounding the dac portion was, and it in fact was holding back the excellent amp.

Nonsense. It's a perfectly capable unit with excellent transparency and neutrality.
post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post


Nonsense. It's a perfectly capable unit with excellent transparency and neutrality.

 

well, thats what ive read in the leckerton thread buddy. i will agree with your description, since its what everyone says about the amp portion.

everyone loves the amp portion, but everyone also seems to think the dac is 'just decent enough' or even not that good. ive never seen a post praising the dac portion, and the tread has actually turned into a what dac to best pair with the leck thread.

but fwiw, people say its a rediculous deal as the amp performs as good as products twice the price and they see the dac as a freebie. i for one am looking for a good dac, so i decided to hold off atm.

all my impressions are from posts in the uha-6s mkII thread however, i have not heard it myself, and i dont think anyone in my country has it yet.

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