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Need help/advise with DAC upgrade path - suggestions wanted

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Okay, so here's the skinny. I have had my Schiit Stack for well over a year now (maybe 2) I have been content with the sound, but itchin' for an upgrade for a while. I told myself I wouldn't, so I stopped looking and pretty much stayed off the forums! Yikes... I know. So here I am, content with my modded HD580 and Schiit stack and along comes too good of a deal on a used PS Audio GCHA. (My endgame is an SPL Phonitor... I thought that Schiit would take care of me until then... Damn you upgrade-itis)

The GCHA arrives quickly and set it up. I instantly note there is more presence and detail than with my Asgard(gen1) as to be expected for the appreciable MSRP differences. No buyers remorse, happy as a clam.

So, why don't I just sell off the A1 and be happy? Well, I might as well use this opportunity to sell the stack and pick up a great DAC that I normally wouldn't have been able to justify. I just don't have enough experience with DACs to know the best decision.

I've gathered some first round choices, and want advise and suggestions:

1) Keep the Bifrost and upgrade to the UberFrost
2) Replace Bifrost with PS Audio Nuwave DAC (big upgrade price for me)
3) Replace Bifrost with an Audio GD DAC (local friend's suggestion)
4) Replace with (insert audience participation)
5) Sell everything and buy more Whisk(e)y! (Har-har, not happening, but always tempted!)

Someone else suggested replacing the Bifrost with a Matrix Mini-i (since it has balanced out that pairs with the GCHA, but I figure, if I sell off equipment, I should upgrade into the next appreciable level and not float around in a similar tier.

Please note, I am not biased toward or against any brands, but I am a sucker for aesthetics. So if all things are equal, I tend to lean towards the purdy... I know, I am vain. Thanks in advance for any thoughts, comments, help, or suggestions you can provide! beerchug.gif
post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscotchguy View Post

I've gathered some first round choices, and want advise and suggestions:

3) Replace Bifrost with an Audio GD DAC (local friend's suggestion)

5) Sell everything and buy more Whisk(e)y! (Har-har, not happening, but always tempted!)
 

Go with an Audio GD Dac or enough whiskey to make you think your listening to one ;3

 

but seriosuly, I just got my NGB10ES2 [dac amp balanced combo] and the ESS 9018 Dac inside of it is really top notch! I never noticed how warm my oDac was will I swtiched to the ESS 9018, 

 

still ur going with SE I assume, but the AGD amps should still prove to be on par with an UberFrost for a little bit less... not to mention KingWa is a pleasure to do buisness with! I'm happy to steer more customers in his direction! 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

Go with an Audio GD Dac or enough whiskey to make you think your listening to one ;3

but seriosuly, I just got my NGB10ES2 [dac amp balanced combo] and the ESS 9018 Dac inside of it is really top notch! I never noticed how warm my oDac was will I swtiched to the ESS 9018, 

still ur going with SE I assume, but the AGD amps should still prove to be on par with an UberFrost for a little bit less... not to mention KingWa is a pleasure to do buisness with! I'm happy to steer more customers in his direction! 

I've been leaning towards the Audio GD direction. One of my friends has an NFB from a couple years ago. We are going to try out each others gear and see if there is some synergy. I am liking the idea of the NFB-10ES3 (http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB10ES/NFB10ES2EN.htm). It's on sale, and looks like a great piece of kit. Everyone I've talked to that has owned an AudioGD product has been happy. I also like the idea of the NFB- 10ES3 since it can be used on its own or with many outputs. It seems incredibly flexible.

Now I just need to bring myself to sell my Schiit!
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
So I have lowered it down to either AudioGD's NFB-10ES3 or the NFB-28. I cannot decide which one would be the safer path for future upgrades.
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