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Better DAC than the Anedio D2 DAC? (sub $2000, good with Macs, integrated headphone amp, balanced... - Page 2

post #16 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehlarson View Post

 

Some thoughts...

 

First decide what headphone(s) you want to use. They have the biggest impact on the sound quality. Then pick an amp or amp/dac based on the impedance and power requirements of the headphones.

 

As far as DACs go the D2 has a really good volume control, better than the Benchmark I think. And the measurements are superb. However the Benchmark has some features that are nice. It's up to you whether they matter to you.

 

More important is whether the amp sections of these DACs will work with your headphones. 

 

Warm lush organic = tubes maybe an NOS DAC. Be sure that's what you really want, I don't think you will get that from either the Benchmark or the D2. The D2 is very transparent, and Benchmark is a pro company so it is being sold to people who need the truth.

 

Personally I think it's a mistake to try to get a specific sound from a DAC. Electronics and cables should not alter the sound.

You will likely find that after a while you won't be satisfied by electronics that behave this way.

 

Pick your headphones on the basis of the type of sound you like. Then you can swap them depending on your mood. 

 

Probably it's not economically effective to use a $2000 DAC with $200 headphones. In most cases the cost should be more or less equal to get optimum results.

 

good call re: "Personally I think it's a mistake to try to get a specific sound from a DAC."  that's what the eq is for, right?

 

i actually tend to listen to 90% of my music through Dynaudio DBM50 monitors rather than headphones so I guess that's a key to the DAC i'm looking for.  more monitor driver....

 

 

main contender right now is BMC PureDAC:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/644940/b-m-c-announces-puredac

 

Grace M903 and Benchmark Media DAC2 HGC are the other front runners as well as....

 

Quote:

 
$1850?  can i ask where?  feel free to message me, HC!
post #17 of 43
PM sent. Info is in the Hilo thread, close to the end.

I first put my RS-1s on the headphone amp and found it excellent. I just can't take the on ear discomfort for long periods. Those MS-2s will be just as impressive. This headphone amp has a strong but controlled bass. Metal music match.
Edited by Happy Camper - 2/2/13 at 6:41am
post #18 of 43

How good is the Lynx Hilo's usb implementation? Is it Asynch? Is it a good choice if one is only using it for a computer based dac.amp?

post #19 of 43
I've not ID'ed the implementation method but I've not heard one drop out, snap, crackle or pop during my last two weeks of listening from my laptop while surfing, several open windows, etc. I'm only using it as a computer DAC. I've not tried my USB/Spdif adapter with it as I'm satisfied but will try a couple at an upcoming meet. A HiFace, V-Link and anything else that may get here by then.
post #20 of 43

Ok let us know if you find better/poorer results with whatever converters you try. Thanks

post #21 of 43

I have this source and have been mesmorized for the past year: 

 

Eastern Electric Minimax Tube Dac, Modded by Josh Graham of Downsize Audio Cables: I/V opamp 5532s replaced with two dual-mounted LME49990, 12au7 tube output replaced with NOS Amperex SQ e80cc, output caps replaced with Auricaps, volume control bypassed, digital coax imput replaced with WBT Nextgen Ag silver digital coax connector, input and output paths rewired with Downsize Audio Cables 97/3 silver and gold wire.

using with MHDT 192/24 USBridge and Amarra 2.4 on a mac.  pure heaven.

 

just my 2 cents.

post #22 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVU View Post

I have this source and have been mesmorized for the past year: 

 

Eastern Electric Minimax Tube Dac, Modded by Josh Graham of Downsize Audio Cables: I/V opamp 5532s replaced with two dual-mounted LME49990, 12au7 tube output replaced with NOS Amperex SQ e80cc, output caps replaced with Auricaps, volume control bypassed, digital coax imput replaced with WBT Nextgen Ag silver digital coax connector, input and output paths rewired with Downsize Audio Cables 97/3 silver and gold wire.

using with MHDT 192/24 USBridge and Amarra 2.4 on a mac.  pure heaven.

 

just my 2 cents.

nice, glad you're enjoying.  for my purposes, i'm thinking more plug and play (ie minimal mods)...

post #23 of 43

I own the m903 and auditioned the Lynx Hilo over a few days. In my rig (HD800/Stratus), the Grace was clearly more musical and organic sounding with both units providing similar levels of detail and resolution. In fact, after the audition I have a new appreciation for the m903. Also, in terms of ergonomics (remote, switching between headphones/monitors, etc...) the m903 is hard to beat.

post #24 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by third_eye View Post

I own the m903 and auditioned the Lynx Hilo over a few days. In my rig (HD800/Stratus), the Grace was clearly more musical and organic sounding with both units providing similar levels of detail and resolution. In fact, after the audition I have a new appreciation for the m903. Also, in terms of ergonomics (remote, switching between headphones/monitors, etc...) the m903 is hard to beat.

the majority of my listening is going to be through Dynaudio monitors.  did you compare your Neumann KH 120s on the m903 vs the Hilo?

 

i'm really interested to hear how the BMC PureDAC stacks up ....

post #25 of 43
  
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVU View Post

using with MHDT 192/24 USBridge and Amarra 2.4 on a mac.  pure heaven.

 

 

Nice system and you are happy, it is the most important.
 
But from what I know it is not enough have a good USB transport because even quality external USB transports have limits. Why it has limits because as regards DACs there is a lot of things to need edit and add for new transport. And it is not go in external products but here i talking about probably uncompromise solution so who care :D but it is fact.

Edited by knopi - 2/14/13 at 2:19am
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by aphinity View Post

the majority of my listening is going to be through Dynaudio monitors.  did you compare your Neumann KH 120s on the m903 vs the Hilo?

 

i'm really interested to hear how the BMC PureDAC stacks up ....


Unfortunately, I did not. Only compared the  DACs via Stratus and each units headphone out. Another unit worth considering is the Mytek 192.

post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by knopi View Post

  

 

Nice system and you are happy, it is the most important.
 
But from what I know it is not enough have a good USB transport because even quality external USB transports have limits. Why it has limits because as regards DACs there is a lot of things to need edit and add for new transport. And it is not go in external products but here i talking about probably uncompromise solution so who care :D but it is fact.

 

Oh, please understand - I would never dare to argue that this is the BEST setup - not at all.  First of all, how would I know - I would have to test hundreds of different setups and evaluation at the upper registers is incredible subtle in any case.  I'm only claiming that I like it!  You can see in my SIG what DACs I've compared it to (not many) and the mods I've made and had done are fairly cheap and minimal.  I'm not at all saying this is the system you or anyone should get - simply that it's so good that, after a couple of years of searching, it's been good enough for me that I've decided to stop buying new things and concentrate on buying new music!

 

Good luck with your search!

post #28 of 43
Thread Starter 

any new contenders in the mix, all?  i must say I'm looking forward to hearing how the BMC PureDAC shakes out....

post #29 of 43

I know it is a bit over your budget but I cannot recommend more testing  Eximus Dp-1. It is great 3in1 with sound signature you are looking for.
 

post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by jronan2 View Post

How good is the Lynx Hilo's usb implementation? Is it Asynch? Is it a good choice if one is only using it for a computer based dac.amp?
It is XMOS USB Asynch. to 24/192.
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