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Buy reasonably or buy end game.

Poll Results: Are you willing to spend more now or spend more later?

 
  • 44% (17)
    Spend reasonable amount
  • 5% (2)
    Spend as little as possible
  • 18% (7)
    Spend a lot now so you have room to upgrade
  • 31% (12)
    Spend the most and never upgrade
38 Total Votes  
post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

It appears that the upgrade itch is upon me.

 

At one point in time, I had the LCD-2's, Meier Concerto, and a PS Audio DL3 modded lvl 3 and all was pretty good. However, I had moved onto speakers and downgraded to basically my first headphones - DT-990's and a speaker system. 

 

Currently, I'm using a cheap yet decent HRT Streamer II. I had got a good deal on a Calyx Dac but decided that I would rather use that money for my wedding. Now that the wedding is done and I have a better idea of how much disposable income I can use, it's time to upgrade.

 

USE: The DAC will mainly be used for my speakers but my headphones are powered by my NAD C355 integrated amp right now so a headphone out would be nice but not necessary.

 

THE DILEMMA: Should I spend a reasonable amount now or go 3-4x more.

 

Contestants:

 

Reasonable 

  • resonessence concero
  • resonessence concero HD

 

Not so reasonable

  • Fostex HP-a8c - $1499 (i'm considering it because the price isn't crazy and it just oozes quality)
  • NAD M51 - $2000
  • McIntosh D100 - $2500
  • Naim DAC-V1 - $2400
  • Eximus DP-1 - Used - $2200 (this is a tough one because I HAVE to find it used or I don't think it's worth it.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated

post #2 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by driftingbunnies View Post

It appears that the upgrade itch is upon me.

 

At one point in time, I had the LCD-2's, Meier Concerto, and a PS Audio DL3 modded lvl 3 and all was pretty good. However, I had moved onto speakers and downgraded to basically my first headphones - DT-990's and a speaker system. 

 

Currently, I'm using a cheap yet decent HRT Streamer II. I had got a good deal on a Calyx Dac but decided that I would rather use that money for my wedding. Now that the wedding is done and I have a better idea of how much disposable income I can use, it's time to upgrade.

 

USE: The DAC will mainly be used for my speakers but my headphones are powered by my NAD C355 integrated amp right now so a headphone out would be nice but not necessary.

 

THE DILEMMA: Should I spend a reasonable amount now or go 3-4x more.

 

Contestants:

 

Reasonable 

  • resonessence concero
  • resonessence concero HD

 

Not so reasonable

  • Fostex HP-a8c - $1499 (i'm considering it because the price isn't crazy and it just oozes quality)
  • NAD M51 - $2000
  • McIntosh D100 - $2500
  • Naim DAC-V1 - $2400
  • Eximus DP-1 - Used - $2200 (this is a tough one because I HAVE to find it used or I don't think it's worth it.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated

I have the NAD M51 and it's sounds phenemenal but if you intend to use USB input, a good USB to SPDIF would be necessary to squeeze out the best of it because the USB on the NAD is just OK in my opinion.

post #3 of 33

Just throwing it out here since most don't seem to think about it, something to stress whenever you look at Fostex, Sony, Audio Technica gear and a few others. Always check the Japan prices. The Fostex can be had for like 850 bucks or so from Amazon Japan. Looking at maybe around 900 ish with shipping and such. It's apparently a rediculously powerful DAC with a very respectable AMP.

post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 

I was just thinking if i were to buy it from a U.S. distributor, i wouldn't have to worry about the voltage change. How would your recommend buying stuff at japan prices?

post #5 of 33

Fun fact, American power varies throughout the Country on many odd end factors. From 95-125 voltage, as far as I've read there have never been issues running the 100v Japanese gear over here, if there were any major concern there are conditioners made for such though. It only begins to become an issue when you start to go to the European standard power outlets because they are drastically different.

 

But, it never hurts to get better input. I'm just telling you how I've always experienced it, there is always worry of over-working capacitors and such. I'm curious as a lot of PSUs have the ability to have their voltage input swapped. Just saying though, it's disgusting how overpriced all Fostex gear is in US. I know the TH900 a few weeks ago could be had for about 1250-1300 in Japan compared to the 2000 dollars here.


Edited by Zakin - 8/1/13 at 7:18am
post #6 of 33

Everyone is different. I think we should all strive for endgame setups, but that varies from person to person. 

 

Personally my end game would be something like

-Schiit M&M stack

-LDMKIII/Bottlehead Crack

-HE-500 + AD900x 

 

I would be pretty content with that. 

post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
Has anyone tried the global market from rakuten? It looks like the price is around 830 for the fostex not including shipping. I was thinking maybe i'd jump on that with a 30 dollar transformer from Amazon just in case.
post #8 of 33

I'm not sure how Rakuten is still legally around? They've had a lot of issues when it comes to scams. Amazon.jp is still selling the HP-a8c for 825 bucks at the moment. If you want a guide on how to buy from them in English it's pretty straight forward.

post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 

Yeah. I would like to buy from amazon.jp but not sure how to go around doing that through amazon. I would probably have to use a delivery service right? At the moment, pricejapan is quoting me 1080 so if amazon can get it to me cheaper, i would definitely go with amazon.

post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 

Does anyone have any opinions on the other DACs?

post #11 of 33

The normal Concero is actually on my short list to try out, as in very very short list. My list mostly comprises of Matrix X-Sabre, Concero, and possible Violectric V800. Not quite as low budget wise as you were looking, but it seems to be the happy point for myself.

post #12 of 33
It depends what you can afford to buy, and if you still plan on upgrading to an "end game" setup eventually.

Rather than start out with a lower end DAC and work my way up like some people on here seem to do, I decided to purchase a Benchmark DAC2 HGC, because it meets all my requirements, and is going to be equally useful in a speaker setup or a headphone setup. With the two analog inputs and remote controlled volume, it's "future proofed" for any potential changes I can foresee making to my setup.

If you know what you want, and can afford it, it's cheaper to buy the high-end product right away.
I couldn't be happier with how the DAC2 sounds, and have no desire to seek out anything "better" than it now.
post #13 of 33
I've also got a Benchmark DAC2 for my HD800/SR-009 and I'm perfectly happy with it smily_headphones1.gif
post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 

I know the Benchmark DACs are pretty popular but it seems to me either you love them or you don't. Are there any issues with them?

post #15 of 33
They don't look "exclusive", just functional. They have LED lights indicating status, some think they are too bright. Volume control applies for all outputs (no independent control apart from gain jumpers).
Oh and the "HT" feature is basically just a volume preset wink.gif

See the thread http://www.head-fi.org/t/631329/a-nice-new-dac2-from-benchmark-showing-at-rmaf for the full back-and-forth discussion smily_headphones1.gif
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