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Naim DAC-V1 vs...

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 

Has anyone had a chance to compare the DAC-V1 with other current FOTM DACs?

 

The Naim is a nice piece of gear that incorporates DAC, preamp and class "A" HP amp in a nice remote controlled package. Paired with a good amp and speakers it should make for a nice sounding system.

 

The main problem, of course, is its price. The alternative would be an integrated amp that includes a good HP section and a good affordable DAC. I'm thinking of something in the Yulong DA8 price range.  The Yulong uses an ES9018 chip with 133dB dynamic range as opposed to the Naim's PCM1791A chip with 113dB.

 

In short - I like the Naim package but how does its sound compare to other popular DACs?

post #2 of 67
Thread Starter 

So nobody has compared the DAC-V1. I guess Naim isn't very popular around here.

 

Too bad I can't rely on the Naim forum or British hifi press for an unbiased opinion.

post #3 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn&cough View Post

So nobody has compared the DAC-V1. I guess Naim isn't very popular around here.

 

Too bad I can't rely on the Naim forum or British hifi press for an unbiased opinion.

When was the last time you EVER read a real, honest professional comparison of hifi equipment where the authors concludes something like, "The NAIM V1 DAC is an excellent DAC but the XXX DAC DSD offers about the same performance, more features, and saves you $1000." These kinds of comparisons just don't seem to exist in this industry. The conclusion typically seems to be along the lines of... "This is great but if you can spend $2K more, then this $6,000 DAC is the best on the market and it sounds even better if you buy the $2,000 USB cable; the cable transforms the already amazing DAC by improving SQ with bass that is far more refined and controlled, mid range is more airy and transparent and the upper register is more finely pitched with a more balanced and focused presentation with wider dynamic range..."

 

You get my point.

post #4 of 67

I do feel sorry for DAC buyers. Unlike most other items that actually produces sound, DAC buyers are encouraged to spend even more than they intended. The promise is one of even better sound. But what does better sound mean? And who can be held liable for the losses incurred if it turns out that the buyer was lured into a false sense of comfort by spending more?

post #5 of 67

I have heard previous Naim players and DAC and can say that I was not impressed. Decent but nothing special. You can do better for less.

post #6 of 67

I have the Headline 2 and have demoed the V1 several times with same headphones [325is, HD800's and LCD2's]. The V1 does not do it for me. I prefer the musical engagement from the Headline [with NAPSC as a minimum p/s]. Of course, it is very much down to the source being used too. I use LP12 and Naim NDX into my Headline 2 and I love what i does. When ever I have tried the V1 it has been async USB WAV files from a computer or analogue in directly from NDX, playing same WAV files.

 

The Headline is, however, designed as part of a Naim system and as such needs [ideally] to be sent signal via a Naim preamp. This way, it sounds much better than it does just hanging off the end of a source component. I use mine connected in this manner and power the Headline 2 with a HicapDR.

 

I have not heard the V1 with a power-amp in a speaker based system.

 

Cheers, Julian

post #7 of 67

Hey man, 

 

This was my email to Micheal from Headphonia who was kind enough to reply me on the best pairings for my HD700. I ended up picked up a Naim DAC V1 after extensive testing against some of the other "top" amps including the Bifrost (Fully Upgraded) & other awesome company.

I'm surprised - I had such low expectations as I didn't expect a speaker company to make such a high quality product. You know us head-fi-ers have such an air. 

I've only just picked it up less than 8 hours ago and will have more impressions - but it was by far the most musical of all the amps I tried today. 

"Hey Mic, 

 
Thanks for replying. I do appreciate the work you've put in, and I'd love to pop by 
Senayan and become a customer someday just to say thank you. 
 
I did a massive run around today at Adelfi in Singapore if you're familiar with the place.
I settled with something which is truly - truly underrated - and kinda scoffed at by Head
Fi fans, which I'm compelled to bring up. 
 
I tried all the Schiit gear, the Bifrost was good - but their amps seemed lack luster, and
muddy, lacking in detail. Moving on to Jaben, I tried the Foster HP 8A - Amp, which was wasn't bad
you actually reviewed this. 

With the HD700s, it was a little too forward, and the high treble peak was almost painful 
to me on challenging tracks. Slapped on the Fostex 900 and that was magic. 

I wasn't about to buy new headphones, so moving on - I added the Graham Slee Solo, which
sounded good - to the Fostex - but this was a $3k + SGD kit, it was tight, precise - but 
not all exciting and involving. 

We tried a top end Yamamoto amp which sounded muddy and boring (my friend wanted
me to hear tube amps) as I almost jumped the gun on a Woo WA 6E. 

I was about to give up when I walked in Niam. I never thought of them as a serious headphone
brand. But wow. 

Musical. Solid Bass. Precise. 

This could be the most underrated headfi amp out there. Bought it on the spot. Would totally
love to see you review it. 

PS: Tried it in the office with AKG 550s - it scaled beautifully." 
post #8 of 67

I heard the Naim DAC-V1 demoed today. First impressions were: Punchy, precise, engaging. Typical Naim sound came through -- dramatic presentation without sacrificing finesse. Heard via the Nait 5i (italic) and the NAP 100. Preferred the sound via the Nait. The DAC-V1 into NAP 100 via digital lacked slightly in spaciousness and assertiveness (oomph). Purchased.  

 

Didn't demo the headphone section so would love to hear first-hand reviews too.  

post #9 of 67

I wonder if it would be better to get the new NAIM XS2 integrated and NAIM DAC V1 for $5300 vs. the new and critically-acclaimed NAIM SN2 with an off-brand DAC for around $5900.

post #10 of 67

Def post if you hear comparisons of those scenarios :) Check this out: http://forums.naimaudio.com/topic/nait-xs-2-better-than-supernait-2

post #11 of 67

you can find a Perfectwave DAC mkii used for the same price. I compared the two when shopping for DAC's and they DAC-v1 was just outclassed entirely. The PWD has stood the test of time. Its still a crowd favourite after all years of being compared to other dacs.

 

Another "FOTM" dac would be the Auralic vega, except I have a feeling that too will survive the test of time.

post #12 of 67

I compared the two when shopping for DAC's and they DAC-v1 was just outclassed entirely. The PWD has stood the test of time. Its still a crowd favourite after all years of being compared to other dacs

MgMzZv

post #13 of 67

I will hunt a demo of the PWD down. Thanks for that :)

 

Found this: http://forums.naimaudio.com/topic/ndx-vs-perfectwave-dac

post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikivan View Post
 

I will hunt a demo of the PWD down. Thanks for that :)

 

Found this: http://forums.naimaudio.com/topic/ndx-vs-perfectwave-dac

 

Which country are you in?

 

I ask as, at UK prices, the PWD mk2 is three times the price of the DAC-V1... £3995 vs. £1250. If you can still find one, as I've also seen it listed as discontinued.

 

The Auralic Vega mentioned above is also pushing £3k here.

post #15 of 67

In the US: ~$4k for PWD mk2 in the US, vs. $2.4k for the Naim DAC V1

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