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Best DAC ever put in portable DAP

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
What is the best ever dac to go into a portable dap? Maybe the wolfson in the ipod 5.5? I don't know to be sure but I bet one of you knows
post #2 of 15

ESS9018 for dedicated chips; Wolfsons in Cowons, then the iPod 5g and Clip+ depending on what you need (Cowon is great on its own overall and I used my S9 with the EQ switched off/set to FLAT; iPod for lineout;, Clip+ for a compact, no-frills player with IEMs).

post #3 of 15

It's not just the DAC about the application of it. The HM-901 uses two Sabre DAC's instead of the 1 you'd find of the same type in the DX100.

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenman345 View Post

It's not just the DAC about the application of it. The HM-901 uses two Sabre DAC's instead of the 1 you'd find of the same type in the DX100.

One for each channel to eliminate crosstalk?

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpawluk91 View Post

What is the best ever dac to go into a portable dap? Maybe the wolfson in the ipod 5.5? I don't know to be sure but I bet one of you knows

 

To be honest, what I mostly know is that this is not the right question. Very few DAC implementations live up to the specs of the chip driving them.

 

Edited to add: It's easy to make vague bs claims, so I included a link to measurements showing that in a Fiio the achieved performance was about 20 decibels less than the potential of the DAC chip, along with discussion from an audio engineer of why this can happen, and confirmation that better designed devices can do much better. But the link goes to the site of someone who was banned from headfi, and I am informed that is verboten.
 

Remember that decibels are a log scale, so that's a huge difference.

 

So it isn't really worth considering the DAC chip in isolation. Instead I'd look at measured results for sound quality. Players that have scored well included various iPods, Cowons and Sansas. 


Edited by scuttle - 2/4/13 at 1:21pm
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari33 View Post

One for each channel to eliminate crosstalk?

 

More likely for marketing purposes: you can't get crosstalk until you reach the analog stage of the player.

 

About Hitman in general, everything you need to know is in these graphs of the performance of the 801:

 

http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Comparisons/32%20Ohm%20Multi-Armature%20-%20Cowon%20J3%2C%20Sansa%20Clip%2B%2C%20Sony%20A845%2C%20Hifiman%20HM-801.htm

post #7 of 15

Pretty sure its a bad idea to quote/link to that website. Just warning you before someone sees it. The fact is you can't just say, "This is the top of the line DAC, I must have it" It's never that simple. That's why their are things like the iMod which will get you more out of the DAC inside a 5th gen iPod by bypassing and using an external amp. It's the components put together as a whole that will give you your final result. Can't just look at any single component

Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

To be honest, what I mostly know is that this is not the right question. Very few DAC implementations live up to the specs of the chip driving them, e.g:

 

Remember that decibels are a log scale, so that's a huge difference.

 

So it isn't really worth considering the DAC chip in isolation. Instead I'd look at measured results for sound quality. Players that have scored well included various iPods, Cowons and Sansas. 

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenman345 View Post

Pretty sure its a bad idea to quote/link to that website. Just warning you before someone sees it. The fact is you can't just say, "This is the top of the line DAC, I must have it" It's never that simple. 

 

Thanks, but there's a big difference between making a claim and giving actual measurements, which is what that quote does.  If there's a problem with quoting from that site I'll leave it to the mods to explain it to me.


Edited by scuttle - 2/4/13 at 9:07am
post #9 of 15
It's not allowed to link to NwAvGuy's blog.
Edited by skamp - 2/4/13 at 10:42am
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

More likely for marketing purposes: you can't get crosstalk until you reach the analog stage of the player.

 

About Hitman in general, everything you need to know is in these graphs of the performance of the 801:

 

http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Comparisons/32%20Ohm%20Multi-Armature%20-%20Cowon%20J3%2C%20Sansa%20Clip%2B%2C%20Sony%20A845%2C%20Hifiman%20HM-801.htm

That's not NwWavGuy's blog at that link, by the way.....to those who were wondering. I'm just about positive that site belongs to http://www.head-fi.org/u/28295/dfkt

post #11 of 15
Er, I could have sworn I saw a link to NwAvGuy's blog somewhere confused_face(1).gif
Never mind then.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post

Er, I could have sworn I saw a link to NwAvGuy's blog somewhere confused_face(1).gif
Never mind then.

 

There was. But he's not the only guy on the Internet who does objective testing - the graphs showing the 801's pretty miserable performance come from someone else.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenman345 View Post

Pretty sure its a bad idea to quote/link to that website. Just warning you before someone sees it. The fact is you can't just say, "This is the top of the line DAC, I must have it" It's never that simple. That's why their are things like the iMod which will get you more out of the DAC inside a 5th gen iPod by bypassing and using an external amp. It's the components put together as a whole that will give you your final result. Can't just look at any single component
What's Imod? I'm already using an amp via LOD. Are u saying I can get more out of my ipod 5.5?
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpawluk91 View Post


What's Imod? I'm already using an amp via LOD. Are u saying I can get more out of my ipod 5.5?

This is iMod. http://redwineaudio.com/imod

 But i do not know how much of a difference it makes.  As it is the line-out of the 5.5 sounds wonderful to me so I am happy with it.

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achmedisdead View Post

This is iMod. http://redwineaudio.com/imod

 But i do not know how much of a difference it makes.  As it is the line-out of the 5.5 sounds wonderful to me so I am happy with it.

 

Probably not so that you'd notice without the aid of the placebo effect. iPods have very acceptable performance characteristics:

 

http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/ipod-touch-4g.htm#perf

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