So I have been looking at getting a Burson HA-160 as an amp, but it seems easier to find the HA-160D amp/DAC combo. This has lead me to wonder about DAC quality. I have a pretty good idea about amps, but I am not very clear on differences between various DACs. I know that the Gamma2 I built has tons of options that I mostly don't use. I may have more questions, but I will just start with one: Is the DAC in the Burson HA-160D better or worse than my Gamma2 DAC if I am only using USB? If you haven't actually heard either DAC, I would be glad to hear whether one is better regarded in the community than the other.
Is Gamma2 better or worse than Burson HA160D internal DAC?
Gear mentioned in this thread:
As it turns out I picked up an HA-160D from a forum member. It was not that much more expensive than the only HA-160 I could find. I will be comparing the DACs on my own and could report back if anyone is interested. If I find the 160D's DAC significantly lacking compared to the Gamma2, I will probably sell it and just get the HA-160. I was trying to find info on the HA-160D, but there doesn't seem to be a large thread dedicated to it like there is for most gear. I read in another thread that it got deleted. I wonder what happened there.
Just to wrap this thread up neatly:
I currently have a Gamma2 and a Burson HA-160D. I took some time to get used to the sound of the amp and tried both DACs through USB. Each one on a different USB port with the Gamma2 hooked up to the HA-160D through RCA inputs. I could easily switch sources with a click of the mouse + the push of a button on the 160D. On my modified D2000 I would be hard pressed to tell ANY difference between these DACs. Perhaps there are recordings and headphone combinations that would more easily allow you to pick apart minor differences, but everytime I thought I heard one DAC do something different, it turned out to be something already in the recording. It was kind of difficult to volume match due to the stepped attenuator, but I could not make out any differences between these two DACs at all. This is just what I heard, other people may hear differently, so take this with a grain of salt.