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December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison - Page 70  

post #1036 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by schneller View Post

I hope Gary still posts his findings after all this banter. Those discrediting him after spending so much time and money probably comes as a disheartening slap in the face.

I suggest the naysayers step up to the plate and do their own comparison in a similar manner.

Yeah, some people here and on Purrin's DAC comparison thread are being a bit harsh (I'm being nice) regarding Gary's findings.

 

If people disagree with any Head-fi member reviews, that's fine, but let's not be d**ks about it.

post #1037 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemir View Post
 

To pick on NAD for a moment, I can't imagine their engineers going to management and saying hey we have this great idea. We are going to build a new DAC and we're going to use PWM and its going to be awesome because we're recognized for some pretty awesome equipment. Oh and by the way it will sound just like a $500 Emotiva.  Hard to picture. And yet based on Gary's testing its what we got.

 

How about this:

 

Some product manager at NAD analyzes their product lineup, their buyer demographic and figures out what their buyers average disposable income is. "Hey" he says "we manage to sell them on a 7500$ integrated amp and a 2700$ NAS+CD-Ripper. I hear external DAC's are all the rage now and given the level of pricing of the whole series I bet we could get away with 2000$ for a new DAC.". So he tells the engineers to build an external DAC to be sold for 2000$. They ask him "But Mr.Manager, there are studio quality DACs that achieve a level of performance thats already above human hearing. And those are sold for 1000$! How could we ask for 2000$?". "Well", he answers "how about you achieve the same quality but using an entirely different and ideally very exotic technology that can be summed up with marketable technobabble-buzzwords? And remember, our core demographic wont do extended comparisons anyway.". So they build their 2000$ preamp, which gets rave reviews from print magazines (since thats all those do anyway) and gets hyped to high heaven by gullible consumers on the internet since they rarely get to do volume-matched blind-test comparisons - and it does, after all, sound really good. Just as good as that 1000$ studio-DAC.

 

 

Now listen, I'm not saying this is what happened in the case of the M51. I have no idea what goes on at NAD and I've never listened to the DAC. But neither have most of you and what I describes is - as you have to admit - a very very plausible way such a product could come to be. If not at NAD so at many other boutique hifi manufacturers. In fact, it seems to me that it would be an awefully strange coincidence that a DAC whose design process was concerned only with sound quality would end up with such a convenient price point at 1990$. It's very obvious that commercial product are built targeting a certain price point, and that price point is chosen to maximize manufacturer profits. Believing anything else is naive beyond measure.

 

BTW Gary: I loved following your process and greatly sympathize with your findings. I think it's very important that 'humble' findings as yours are contrasted and made visible on a site where everyone fancies himself a 'golden ear' who can hear 'night and day' differences between different pieces of equipment - even though they would never pass blind- or simple volume-matched-comparisons.

post #1038 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by schneller View Post

I hope Gary still posts his findings after all this banter. Those discrediting him after spending so much time and money probably comes as a disheartening slap in the face.

I suggest the naysayers step up to the plate and do their own comparison in a similar manner.

 

Agreed, please give the guy some rest.

Don't get us wrong Gary: we love your work and all the effort you put to realize this test :beerchug:.

post #1039 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

 

Agreed, please give the guy some rest.

Don't get us wrong Gary: we love your work and all the effort you put to realize this test :beerchug:.

+1.  

I've read all Gary's reviews and personally appreciate him taking the time to do so and provide us with some relative comparisons which are very useful to me.

post #1040 of 1331

I'm sure most of us can agree here that Gary has put in a ton of exhaustive work here, and is fully appreciated and recognized by most, myself included. :bigsmile_face: OTOH-I didn't realize it was strictly an appreciation thread. :/ Constructive criticism and all that...;)

 

Also, anyone who thinks the LCD-3 is as revealing and transparent as the Sonic Chameleon HD800 is full of bologna. Good enough to tell differences in dacs? Yes-but it doesn't seem to be helping in this instance too much-perhaps his amps aren't either.

 

-Daniel

post #1041 of 1331

Well if differences between DACs only show themselves using one very specific set of headphones... tell me again why the 99% of 'audiophiles' that own different equipment should care?

post #1042 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

 

Also, anyone who thinks the LCD-3 is as revealing and transparent as the Sonic Chameleon HD800 is full of bologna. Good enough to tell differences in dacs? Yes-but it doesn't seem to be helping in this instance too much-perhaps his amps aren't either.

 

-Daniel

If you knew what you were talking about you'd know about Gary's previous headphone shootout.

It's clear you think the HD800 is the instrument for the job, while Gary's ears again say otherwise.

 

I'll just call it like it is, Gary's deaf. :wink:

post #1043 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

I'm sure most of us can agree here that Gary has put in a ton of exhaustive work here, and is fully appreciated and recognized by most, myself included. :bigsmile_face: OTOH-I didn't realize it was strictly an appreciation thread. :/ Constructive criticism and all that...;)

 

Also, anyone who thinks the LCD-3 is as revealing and transparent as the Sonic Chameleon HD800 is full of bologna. Good enough to tell differences in dacs? Yes-but it doesn't seem to be helping in this instance too much-perhaps his amps aren't either.

 

-Daniel

I think it's safe to say that constructive criticism is always appreciated on forums, Head-fi included.  Gary is to be applauded for putting his opinions out here for everyone to see/review/criticize (constructively!). 

 

At the risk of being accused of trying to turn this into an appreciation thread :wink_face: Gary deserves several beers for all of his efforts.

 

Here's to Gary!

:beerchug: 

 

-Chris

post #1044 of 1331

Interestingly, I stumbled on this post over at the emolounge today.  Looks like Gary isn't alone in deciding to keep his dc-1 over a pwd:

 

Quote:
 I've owned the DC-1 for about a month now and I am very pleased. First of all it allowed me to get rid of 2 more remotes do to it's  functionality. I was originally using a PS Audio PWD MK1 DAC in conjunction with a Placette passive Audio control system. After considerable back and forth comparison between the PWD and the DC-1 it became clear that I could not discern the difference between the 2. Since the volume control in the DC-1 is the quality and accuracy of many high end stepped analog controls, I also saw no more need for the Placette passive controller. I have since sold the PWD and the Placette on Ebay and am very glad about the decision.
All my music is on a MAC mini (Redbook and HD) and is outputting to the DC-1 via the headphone jack (optical toslink). Normal CD and 24/96 sounds fantastic. I do a lot of listening with headphones Senn. HD650's from the CD-1 thru an Objective2 (NWAVGUY) Headphone amp. or switched thru a Bryston 3bst driving a pair of Jamo C603's.
The compact functionality and the sound quality of the DC-1 make it a very unique item. I also utilize the analog input for cable tv sound.
Sony Bluray player and Oppo dvd player are HDMI and digital sound is thru the DC-1.
I have 2 less remotes I have less cables behind the tv now that everything is digital. Life got simpler!

http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/thread/26584/dc-1?page=50

 

Admittedly, the fact that this guy ^ likes his hd650's with an O2, despite owning a lot of higher end gear, causes me to raise an eyebrow.  I built and own an O2 and don't love the pairing with hd650's at all.  In fact, although I find it to be decent with dt880's and modded fostex, I think I'm beginning to side with the "heavy global negative feedback is evil" crowd, due to that hint of treble glare.

 

That said, I'm really tempted to snag a dc1 before the sale expires tomorrow.  Still planning to resist the temptation though since I think the bottlehead/Swenson fpga dac is going to be where its at a few months down the road when they finally release.

post #1045 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koloth View Post
 

Well if differences between DACs only show themselves using one very specific set of headphones... tell me again why the 99% of 'audiophiles' that own different equipment should care?

Show me where I said only one specific pair of headphones was suited for the job??? I even said the LCD-3 is more than capable-but it Gary's case, it doesn't seem to be showing it's discerning properties too well, whether that is his amp or hearing to blame.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post
 

If you knew what you were talking about you'd know about Gary's previous headphone shootout.

It's clear you think the HD800 is the instrument for the job, while Gary's ears again say otherwise.

 

I'll just call it like it is, Gary's deaf. :wink:

 

I know nothing of his previous shootout-so I guess I know nothing about this thread...?? And yes, Gary just may be deaf. That would be hilarious actually, if he came out and said that.

 

-Daniel

post #1046 of 1331

Well, I applaud Gary's hard work and efforts here! This is his findings and journey and I definitely cannot fault it! I would summarise and read his findings as such that there are many excellent DACs available in the mid to lower price brackets which is very encouraging. I reckon a couple of years back there were a lot more variances in stand alone DACs with a good number of lemons stretched in between. I think the intense competition in this segment has driven up DAC quality quite a lot. I'm sure that with more listening time one would detect more differences between all these DACs, but that these are often very subtle and small and depending on the listeners ears and/or preferences could be of little to significant importance. Knowing the limitations of my own ears and hearing loss I would definitely be in the former.

 

As to my own DAC journey, I intended to buy the Concero as a stop gap DAC and then upgrade to the Yulong DA8 at some stage. According to the findings here, this looks like an excellent route to follow, though I might hang on to the Concero for a good deal longer as this thread has definitely tempered my expectations of what gains are to be expected when moving up the DAC pricing ladder.


Edited by daerron - 1/4/14 at 1:32pm
post #1047 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post

 

 

I know nothing of his previous shootout-so I guess I know nothing about this thread...?? And yes, Gary just may be deaf. That would be hilarious actually, if he came out and said that.

 

-Daniel

Go read up on it here

post #1048 of 1331

Where does he do the review on the Emotiva DC-1 - I have been searching this thread forever, and can't find it!

post #1049 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by subsonic1050 View Post
 

Where does he do the review on the Emotiva DC-1 - I have been searching this thread forever, and can't find it!

 

See post 582 on this page: http://www.head-fi.org/t/689783/december-2013-mid-level-dac-comparison/570

post #1050 of 1331

Thank you very much skeptic - now I see why I didn't find it. I was searching for "DC-1", and he simply referred to it as the stealth. I bought an XDA-2, which promptly broke in one day - but I feel as if it must be an aberration, because the reviews have generally been positive. I have been considering using the opportunity to upgrade.

 

Does anyone know how the XDA-2 compares to the DC-1 in terms of audio quality?

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