Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Best under $2K DACs
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best under $2K DACs - Page 4

post #46 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackmore View Post

Yes, agree, not cheap, that’s why I wrote USED, as if I was looking for DAC with budget of USD2k, I would definitely looked at used market instead of fully new with premium price, but that’s me.
As far as I know, USB is standard on board.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post

$3500 with USB, I believe.


No, it's not, 200 greens.

This is the cheapest place I've found online.

http://hifiheaven.net/store/Metrum-Acoustics-Hex-DAC?filter_name=hex

3K with *optional* USB board.

No DSD support, no preamp or hp amp, NOS design with unknown (erased marking) chip. :confused: Plus from what I've read the measurements are not that great, if you care about stuff like that.

Is USB all right, I've seen mixed reports?

post #47 of 67
Well, forget the HEX then.
post #48 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post
 

How transparent does a DAC have to be to be more transparent than transparent?

 

RME gear is what the recording and broadcasting professional use. It might be able to spend more money on domestic equipment that measures better than RME in theory. However,  since humans cannot actually hear any difference that's moot anyway. Secondly, since the music you buy and the broadcasts you listen too have been made on pro grade kit it wouldn't really matter what the theoretical advantage would be since you cannot add what isn't there in the first place.

 

UCX is top of the range. A generation later than the, already impeccable, Fireface400  range. Fastest and lowest latency of any comparable unit on the market at the time of release. Despite being USB. That in itself is a credit to the software and hardware design. Got a remote control too.

 

I understand there are people here who still think different brands of cable sound different. Who think their ears can hear the difference between 0.005% and 0.0004% distortion. That's fine.

 

I'm simply pointing people who might be a little more open minded and realistic in the direction of first class gear they may not of previously considered. I'm not selling it.

 

The day you prove you can tell the difference between any RME product and the stuff you are peddling by ear alone is the day I eat my pants.

Its by far not that simple as you want to make people believe. Studio gear is very overhyped when it comes to terms like "high quality converters" which is simply not true in most of these items. Its also the reason they dont public their internal specs. Studio gear is good for their in and outs and latency. Thats what it is made for but the sound quality is mostly only decent and not good or high. Its a different goal as someone else mentioned. You dont need pleasing good sound for producing. You need the naked truth and that does gear like RME provide very good i must say.

 

But we are here for the good sound stuff and even the highest specced studio gear like Mytek and even Lynx cant compete with mid range priced pure hi fi dacs. So you have to pay for studio gear alot more money than for hi fi if you are only after the better sound quality.

 

The human hearing process is not what you believe it is. Its true we cant hear technically more than what RME for example can provide but we still hear a big difference listening to a hi fi dac when comparing it. Even when i compare my 50$ sabre DAC to a 600$ Focusrite 18i20 the cheap hi fi DAC is the winner by far when it comes to sound quality only even knowing we should not be able to hear a difference between transparent and transparent.

 

This and some other things tell me there is no end in sight for better and best quality in sound and also not in understanding what we are able to hear. All we know is only a very little part of this science. And as long as we dont know the rest i only trust my hearing not that people say "you cant hear the difference".

 

I found cables and specially USB cables can infact also do a very big difference money and spec wise. I wont buy an Audioquest Diamond cable even it would enhance my listening experience. Im happy with my 15$ Lacie flat cable which works good enough for me compared to a standard usb cable.

 

All matters even cables...


Edited by Lyra5 - 11/1/13 at 12:18pm
post #49 of 67

To the above poster, you my friend have no idea (In my honest opinion).  You want to hear whats NICE or what is REAL?  By the sound of your post you would rather listen to any random artist with auto tune than a real artist stamping their voice on a recording.  Nice and honesty are two different things, and a DAC should be honest not nice.  You can EQ to make things suit your needs, but a DAC should translate data to analogue sound not add to it or alter it from my point of view.  Every part of the analogue chain can add to the sound in a positive or negative way, but prior to and including the the conversion is should be 100% neutral from an idealist point of view or your $10k amp, $2k headphones or $15k speakers are just a waste of money.  You translate digital to analogue as neutral as you can then use other gear to highlight your preferred presentation.  

 

With regards to the comments on RME devices, DonaldRumsfeld is entirely correct in his position, neutral in AD and DA and custom created drivers.  Highly respected in the industry and makes your "audiophile" gear look like artificial flavorings in orange juice, pointless.

 

While this post could be considered confrontational, people really need to do some reading on the web and think for themselves.  If you doubt the web do some testing, either at home or in a demo situation.  Don't listen to the staff listen to the sound, while a MDAC or Xonar STX may sound good can it replicate a live instrument accurately, then question do you like reality or fiction :D I like to take this back to the situation of listening to an artist live, at a gig compared to live in a studio.  A studio will sound better as it has better acoustic treatment, but a live performance in front of a crowd has character and emotion related to that unique performance, you cant measure which is best as they are unique and personal preference is part of that. People should not worry about what others think, of their taste, their equipment or their opinions but should aim to satisfy themselves in a completely selfish manner.  I am not asking anyone to come and listen on my setup, and if i did and they dont like it then fine, I spent my hard earned cash to achieve what I enjoy.  

 

Forums are great for advice, opinion and information but sites like this should NEVER encourage anyone to internet shop or buy blind based entirely on recommendation.  Support your local retailers, in fact pay a premium to keep them alive, as listening in person is the ONLY way to satisfy what you want and need.  Amazon may be $20-50 cheaper but do they let you listen without buying, do they offer you tech support locally with specialist knowledge?  Build a relationship with you local supplier, they need you as much as you need them.  Just through being honest I may have spent $50-100 more in the last 3 years by shopping locally but the advice and help I have got back has been worth EVERY penny.  I even got a loan set of monitors from my supplier when one of my amps blew, they then sold them to me as seconds at 75% retail on what was a brand new set of speakers.  

 

Yes amazon is great, but do they care?

 

The number of audio equipment specialists are falling all the time, whether home audio or pro recording.  A bargain in the short term is not always good for the consumer long term.  Small companies like schit audio or hi-fi man need our support as they challenge the big suppliers like Sennheiser Beyerdynamic Naim or Denon.  

 

Back to the previous poster, RME are not "overhyped" as you put it, they are industry standard. This is wikipedia's definition of an audiophile, this is exactly what RME tries to achieve "A key goal of audiophiles is to capture the experience of a live musical performance in a room with good acoustics, and reproduce it at home. It is widely agreed that this is very difficult and that even the best-regarded recording and playback systems rarely, if ever, achieve it.[2]"  

post #50 of 67
What's any of this useless jargon got to do with best under $2k Dacs? 

Edited by paradoxper - 11/1/13 at 4:32pm
post #51 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post
 
What's any of this useless jargon got to do with best under $2k Dacs?

I was going to say the same :rolleyes: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:deadhorse:

post #52 of 67

+3

post #53 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

LOL +1, half way through I was thinking--what the heck is he talking about
post #54 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tablix View Post

To the above poster, you my friend have no idea (In my honest opinion).  You want to hear whats NICE or what is REAL?  By the sound of your post you would rather listen to any random artist with auto tune than a real artist stamping their voice on a recording.  Nice and honesty are two different things, and a DAC should be honest not nice.  You can EQ to make things suit your needs, but a DAC should translate data to analogue sound not add to it or alter it from my point of view.  Every part of the analogue chain can add to the sound in a positive or negative way, but prior to and including the the conversion is should be 100% neutral from an idealist point of view or your $10k amp, $2k headphones or $15k speakers are just a waste of money.  You translate digital to analogue as neutral as you can then use other gear to highlight your preferred presentation.  

With regards to the comments on RME devices, DonaldRumsfeld is entirely correct in his position, neutral in AD and DA and custom created drivers.  Highly respected in the industry and makes your "audiophile" gear look like artificial flavorings in orange juice, pointless.

While this post could be considered confrontational, people really need to do some reading on the web and think for themselves.  If you doubt the web do some testing, either at home or in a demo situation.  Don't listen to the staff listen to the sound, while a MDAC or Xonar STX may sound good can it replicate a live instrument accurately, then question do you like reality or fiction biggrin.gif I like to take this back to the situation of listening to an artist live, at a gig compared to live in a studio.  A studio will sound better as it has better acoustic treatment, but a live performance in front of a crowd has character and emotion related to that unique performance, you cant measure which is best as they are unique and personal preference is part of that. People should not worry about what others think, of their taste, their equipment or their opinions but should aim to satisfy themselves in a completely selfish manner.  I am not asking anyone to come and listen on my setup, and if i did and they dont like it then fine, I spent my hard earned cash to achieve what I enjoy.  

Forums are great for advice, opinion and information but sites like this should NEVER encourage anyone to internet shop or buy blind based entirely on recommendation.  Support your local retailers, in fact pay a premium to keep them alive, as listening in person is the ONLY way to satisfy what you want and need.  Amazon may be $20-50 cheaper but do they let you listen without buying, do they offer you tech support locally with specialist knowledge?  Build a relationship with you local supplier, they need you as much as you need them.  Just through being honest I may have spent $50-100 more in the last 3 years by shopping locally but the advice and help I have got back has been worth EVERY penny.  I even got a loan set of monitors from my supplier when one of my amps blew, they then sold them to me as seconds at 75% retail on what was a brand new set of speakers.  

Yes amazon is great, but do they care?

The number of audio equipment specialists are falling all the time, whether home audio or pro recording.  A bargain in the short term is not always good for the consumer long term.  Small companies like schit audio or hi-fi man need our support as they challenge the big suppliers like Sennheiser Beyerdynamic Naim or Denon.  

Back to the previous poster, RME are not "overhyped" as you put it, they are industry standard. This is wikipedia's definition of an audiophile, this is exactly what RME tries to achieve "A key goal of audiophiles is to capture the experience of a live musical performance in a room with good acoustics, and reproduce it at home. It is widely agreed that this is very difficult and that even the best-regarded recording and playback systems rarely, if ever, achieve it.[2]
"  
If I do not like whatever I've purchased through amazon, I can return it with no questions asked.

Nobody gives a damn thing about anything other than what's in your wallet.
post #55 of 67
Thread Starter 

We have heard your opinion on RME already, thanks for bringing a fresh perspective on what audiophile DAC should be.

Now, can we please keep that discussion out of this thread and stay on the topic if possible.

So far it was pretty good, and I hope helpful for everyone as this price range is getting really crowded so knowing pros and cons of each as well as different people perspectives on them should be quite useful.

 

 

post #56 of 67

+4

post #57 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
 

Has been a while since I was shopping for DACs. LOL, just got Vega, need something more budgetary for secondary system

 

What is the current best buy in this range:

- Linx Hilo (has AD feature that I'll probably never use, looks very good otherwise)

- Yulong DA8 (seems like the best price/performance ratio?)

- Exasound E20 (a bit over the range new but used is within the budget, wall wart PSU, some proprietary audio drivers that only work through players supporting ASIO)

 

I would prefer something with smaller footprint. DSD is a plus but not an absolute must. And I'll probably pass on Mytek or anything similarly digibright, DAC2 or such.

 

I would like to add to the list:

 

1.) Anedio D2

2.) Matrix X-Sabre

3.) M-Dac

4.) Apogee Symphony (used only)

5.) Apogee Quartet

6.) Black Lion Audio Red/White Sparrow

 

All of these feature the best DAC chip of the world (not too sure about Apogee can be only ESS9016 or something) the ESS9018 and have very good analogue stages. The order mirrors my personal preference in conversion quality and subjective sound likings.

 

The M-Dac in my opinion sounds more nice/forgiving/smooth than the X-Sabre but it has not as much details (only very few less) and is a tad artificial. This makes this DAC not useful for recording stuff since some people here think that is what the OP also wants. The Apogees are nearly as good as the M-Dac but more neutral nearly as neutral as the X-Sabre.

 

Best could be the Anedio D2 since 95% of the people who compare it to the X-Sabre favor the Anedio which i yet have to test if ever available in the EU.

The question is simply what the OP needs. He stated already he dont want something "digibright" which most of the studio gear is in my opinion. Only the Apogees might have a little less fatigueing sound cause of the maybe more simple sabre chips and cause of that easier implementations.

 

There are alot of chinese brands who also do very nice DACs in my opinion even dual ESS9018 for a very reasonable price but i guess he wants the more common and known brands only so i didnt add them here.

post #58 of 67

I guess best DAC under $2,000 depends on where you live and also whether you're willing to go secondhand too.

 

Here in Japan, and going secondhand, $2000 will get you pretty close to the Luxman DA-06. Haven't seen much on this site about it, but the reviews thus far are outstanding.......

 

Sorry to recommend something that's probably over your budget where you live, but it's one to check out and keep in mind, perhaps......It's still pretty new, so it will be interesting to see whether or how close it makes it to this price range.

post #59 of 67

Glad to see Black Lion Audio get a mention. I know a few pro user's that hold BLA in the highest regard.

post #60 of 67
Andrew, I'd recommend doing a search on reviews of the Sonore/exD DAC. It sells for 1295 and it's well received based on the few reviews I've found.

Esau
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Best under $2K DACs