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DAC for SR-009/BHSE

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

What is general consensus on the best matching DAC for this popular combo? Have the phones and amp on order, need to decide on DAC, budget up to $5000.

My options so far are Lampizator level 4, Metrum Octave/Hex and Schiit Gungnir. 


Edited by bbbonthemoon - 4/28/13 at 12:20pm
post #2 of 46

The most popular DAC for the combo is the one that has the features you need (inputs, volume, xlr, etc.), is reliable, and has an adequate (aka non-faulty) output stage, preferably with good quality oversampling. 

 

There are hundreds of DACs that fit this description, go pick one :D 

post #3 of 46

Get a DAC1 and save yourself several thousand dollars. Not every component has to match in price, I'd say.

post #4 of 46

Nice post OP. Since I'm probably the only one here who has heard the Lampizator Dac level 4 (slightly modded model though) but I have not heard the BHSE+009 combo I can only speak of my experience with the Lampi alone. It's damn good and I've compared it to other well regarded dac's within the range and more expensive and I preferred the Lampi's by a long shot. I'm sure a stock level 4 will be very very good as well. I do hope to get a level 6 one day or the level 5 with modded balanced input when the time comes right, but yeah it doesn't come cheap.

post #5 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by loligagger View Post

Get a DAC1 and save yourself several thousand dollars. Not every component has to match in price, I'd say.

 

I'd say the DAC 1 will be a poor match. It was good with more mellow Stax amps, but is less pleasant with more revealing equipment. I don't think someone would be saving money, but actually wasting it if the DAC that they ended up with was a poor match.

post #6 of 46

i'd argue that it would be a waste of money to take the most revealing can/amp system, and then buy a flawed DAC in order to "mellow" it - seems to defeat both the purpose of the highly detailed system, as well as the entire point of striving for higher fidelity

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

I'd say the DAC 1 will be a poor match. It was good with more mellow Stax amps, but is less pleasant with more revealing equipment. I don't think someone would be saving money, but actually wasting it if the DAC that they ended up with was a poor match.

post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

I'd say the DAC 1 will be a poor match. It was good with more mellow Stax amps, but is less pleasant with more revealing equipment. I don't think someone would be saving money, but actually wasting it if the DAC that they ended up with was a poor match.

 

This is where actually listening to the dac yourself and going with your preference comes in. Still, I think much cheaper options should be considered.

post #8 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by loligagger View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

I'd say the DAC 1 will be a poor match. It was good with more mellow Stax amps, but is less pleasant with more revealing equipment. I don't think someone would be saving money, but actually wasting it if the DAC that they ended up with was a poor match.

 

This is where actually listening to the dac yourself and going with your preference comes in. Still, I think much cheaper options should be considered.

 

I think the OP is thinking correctly in that for a top-of-the-line system they should get the best DAC they can afford. 

 

Unfortunately I don't think many people here have heard either the Lampizator nor the Hex. I've only owned the Octave and I liked the result with the 009s, but I don't have a BHSE. I suspect the Hex or the Lampizator DACs might be a good match but I'd want to try this first. Is it possible to get to a Head-Fi meet at all? Other than that, I do know the Lampizator has a return policy, but shipping would be expensive as they are heavy.

post #9 of 46

Yep going back and forth across the world to Poland is expensive. If you're going to listen to a Lampi, start from the 4. 

post #10 of 46

Very interested in this thread as I have both a SR-009 and BHSE on order so have a few months to decide.

 

2 others I've been looking at that haven't been mentioned in this thread are the less expensive route with the JKenny Audio Ciúnas DAC as I haven't read a bad thing about a JKenny DAC yet and the new DAC coming from the Resolution Invicta line - Invicta Mirus.  Any thoughts on either?

 

I'm in the same ballpark as the OP with a budget of ~4-5k but would obviously prefer to spend way less.

post #11 of 46

From the shootout we did at a previous meet here, I also wouldn't pair the DAC1 with the 009. That was with 727 stock amp, it might be a different story with the BHSE, but I expect it would just make it more obvious.

 

The owner of the DAC1 (and 009/727) has actually parted with it some time after the meet. The jury is still open on what works best, but my gut feeling is that something along the lines of the Octave / HEX and other NOS / ladder dacs would be rather preferable. At least, this is where I am looking into personally.

post #12 of 46
Thread Starter 

From my understanding, a DAC for the combo, in order to utilize its strengths, should be the best resolving and most neutral sounding.

I read some ecstatic reviews about Lampizator, but it seems to me more like uber scaled out mhdt havana, I mean definitely not neutral.

 

BTW, does it have to be balanced?


Edited by bbbonthemoon - 4/29/13 at 5:06am
post #13 of 46

The BHSE as far as I know has a phase splitter in it so the DAC doesn't have to be balanced.

 

About the Havana, I've read comments about it not being quite so detailed. The Octave definitely wasn't like that. I'd say it was only slightly more mellow than other DACs I own and not lacking in detail at all. Mind you, I was using it with an Audiophilleo 1 USB to S/PDIF converter (and the Pure Power battery), so with all the bits I was using the cost was closer to $2k, if not more. I'd say my Audio-gd Master 7 bests that, though it's more noticeable on speakers. Unfortunately I haven't been able to spend good time with anything more expensive than that, except at a dealer with an Esoteric K01 and a Luxman D-05. The Esoteric was on another level and the Luxman I didn't like.

 

You can cheat with a NOS DAC and use a player with high quality up-sampling built-in on your computer. Then you can get the best of both worlds in effect.

post #14 of 46

The BHSE doesn't have a built in phase splitter per se, it's just a high gain dual differential amp which will split the phase with the - input grounded. 

post #15 of 46

I have to say that I'm content with my "lowly" Neko Audio D100. Analog sound without sacrifice the good traits of 009. Tried big buck DAC like Femto or Bladelius Embla but it simply didnt synergize albeit its a spectacular DAC. Won't think of upgrading to any DAC for the meantime unless I can audition it first. Neko have return policy so there's no harm trying it out first.

 

At first I'm also thinking along the same line of most people here. Top of the line system deserve top of the line DAC, at least at the price bracket of 5k-ish. I'm still curious in looking for a higher caliber DAC at price range 5-7k but like I mentioned earlier, wont be buying blind.

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