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New Sony high-end DSD gear, including a USB DAC - Page 2

post #16 of 389

Hi Rob. 

 

Been giving this some serious listening time over the weekend and I'm hugely impressed with the overall SQ. It drives my HD600s beautifully and adds a bit of much needed warmth and low end to the Q701s which I'd previously only used with FIIO D10/E17/X3 DACs.

 

With native DSD recordings from Blue Coast Records and Channel Classics I was blown away, but admittedly that may be the quality of the DSD recordings than the DAC itself although it certainly sounded better that the same DSD down-sampling to 24/96 done by JR Mediacenter previously. 

 

I hooked my X3 upto the Coax input and had no problems with  24/192, 24/96 and SACD rips. And could hear no difference compared to the same tracks over USB.

 

I hooked a pair of Dali Zensor 3 speakers up to the dac and although I had to turn the volume up to 80% for some jazz recordings the 23w amp had no problems driving theses where normally a 30w min. would be recommended. 

 

Admittedly I have not had any previous DSD DAC experience but based on the 10 hours hours or so I've spent with the UDA-1 I'm very pleased.

 

I've not seen any detailed reviews from any other sources I will be interested to see if my initial opinions are shared by the wider community. 

 

I plan to do an A/B test with my Audioquest Dragonfly in the next few days using only 24/96 recordings - this may well be more off a challenge.

 

hope this helps.

 

Paul 

post #17 of 389

Interesting, thank you... I think that's the first report on sound quality I've read. 

post #18 of 389

Thank you very much, Paul, for your feedback. To be honest, I've never owned a DAC, and i'm very ignorant about set up !

Do you have to use speakers, if it's connected to your laptop ? If you don't have to I assume the laptops speakers are used ?? ( Sorry for my ignorance !! )

I was looking at this, as a cheaper option than buying the HAP-S1 & and matching speakers.

post #19 of 389

 Hi Rob.

 

I all depends on where you store your music. The main difference between the HAP-S1 and the UDA-1 is the fact the the S1 can store your files locally without the need for a connected PC/laptop. Once you connect the UDA-1 DAC to your PC/Laptop all the PC sound processing is routed via the DAC and nothing comes out of the laptop speakers. You can either connect speakers to the UDA-1 or listen only through headphones.

 

As the UDA-1  DAC has no 'player ' to create a source, the  UDA-1 DAC needs a digital stream as input and this can either come from a laptop via USB or a player like the FIIO X3 that has a coax output. Alternatively Apple or Android devices can be connected to the front panel and can provide the digital stream. When compatible devices are connected, the on-board DAC in the apple or android device is not used and the DAC performs the conversion.

 

whether you need the HAP-S1 or the UDA-1 really depends you where your music is and how you intend to play it.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Paul

post #20 of 389

Thank you Paul, that has been very helpful, in deciding which to buy. Although I use headphones a lot, i'd like to have the option to listen via speakers too....so i'm leaning towards the HAP-S1. ( When finances allow ! ? )

Hope you get a lot of enjoyment from your DAC...i'm sure you will !

post #21 of 389

Just wondered if anyone else has bought this ?

post #22 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob49 View Post
 

Just wondered if anyone else has bought this ?

+1. Anyone?

 

I am soon trying out other speaker amps with LCD-3. Would try the Sony as well if I could find a place to audition them. Sony Canada has been horrible with promoting this. Nonetheless, I'll keep on trying to find a place to audition it.

post #23 of 389
post #24 of 389

Forgive me for my ignorance.  I am quite interested in this piece of kit, however, I have a pair of powered speakers that I already love, thereby negating the necessity for the amp in the device.

They utilize an RCA connection.

 

Is this still a practical purchase, or is it useful only with passive speakers? 

post #25 of 389


Yes, I'd read that the other day.

 

I've read what reviews I can find on Amazon.com & Amazon.jp. for the DAC & HAP-S1. Quite a few 5 star reviews. Ideally I'd love the flagship player & amp, but £4.000 is way out of my budget ! I'm very likely going to buy the UDA-1 DAC. ( The frustrating thing is that the speakers aren't available on Sony's U.K. website.....but I would hope they should be available, at some point ! ?? )

post #26 of 389

Just so you know... I would be slightly wary of the HAP-S1, it lacks a digital out, and so has very limited options if you want to get a better DAC etc. in future. I was thinking of getting this until I noticed this lack... Went for a Cyrus Streamline2 instead. 

post #27 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spakka View Post
 

Just so you know... I would be slightly wary of the HAP-S1, it lacks a digital out, and so has very limited options if you want to get a better DAC etc. in future. I was thinking of getting this until I noticed this lack... Went for a Cyrus Streamline2 instead. 


Sorry, just to clarify, you mean the UDA-1 ( DAC ) ?

post #28 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob49 View Post
 


Sorry, just to clarify, you mean the UDA-1 ( DAC ) ?

 

 

No... I can't think why a digital out on a DAC would matter much... You would just replace the DAC.

 

I mean the network player... the HAP-S1 - it has no digital output so if you get one you are stuck using its internal DAC unless you replace the whole unit. 

 

(It has 2 digital inputs, but no output)

post #29 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spakka View Post
 

 

 

No... I can't think why a digital out on a DAC would matter much... You would just replace the DAC.

 

I mean the network player... the HAP-S1 - it has no digital output so if you get one you are stuck using its internal DAC unless you replace the whole unit. 

 

(It has 2 digital inputs, but no output)


Sorry for my ignorance. I've never bought any kind of DAC before. Regards the HAP-S1, I would hope that the internal DAC would be of a high quality & sufficient, but can see your point, if it's not ! ( and not being then able to add to it. )

Will a DAC really improve my music to a level that's worth the investment ? I play music ripped to FLAC, ( Serviio server ) through my Oppo player, which I'm really impressed with. ( except for the slight annoyance of the gapless issue. ) I don't want to spend £500, or any other amount, if there's no real obvious difference, to my present set up ? I guess & hope there would be though ! ?

post #30 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob49 View Post
 


Sorry for my ignorance. I've never bought any kind of DAC before. Regards the HAP-S1, I would hope that the internal DAC would be of a high quality & sufficient, but can see your point, if it's not ! ( and not being then able to add to it. )

Will a DAC really improve my music to a level that's worth the investment ? I play music ripped to FLAC, ( Serviio server ) through my Oppo player, which I'm really impressed with. ( except for the slight annoyance of the gapless issue. ) I don't want to spend £500, or any other amount, if there's no real obvious difference, to my present set up ? I guess & hope there would be though ! ?

 

Well it depends on your overall setup, DACs do sound different, but how different and in what way very much depends on the individual DACs. 

I have no idea if the internal dac on the sony is good or not, but whichever it is there is no way of upgrading, e.g. if you only wanted to use the sony in future as a pure digital source. If this will make any difference to you or not depends on if you'll upgrade to a higher end setup in future, whether you care that much or not, and if you think it's worth any extra expense. It's almost certainly not worth spending £500 on a dac unless the rest of your stuff can do it justice. 

 

A DAC is just the digital to analogue converter, not a magic sound enhancer :)

 

The sony looks very nice indeed, but there are a lot of options out there for a similar price, which do offer a digital output, which makes them inherently more flexible. However the sony offers a far more polished looking option than most, and unlike many has built-in storage... The alternative I got (cyrus streamline2) is ugly as sin, has the most terrible screen, but is highly upgrade-able, and has more in/outputs than you could shake a stick at! But it definitely wouldn't be for everyone! 

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