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December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison - Page 15  

post #211 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

I'll be running it between 4 different DACs' HP amp outs and the LCD-3s, using 1/4" TRS in the headphone out section on the DACs to the 3.5mm line in on the switch, and then plugging the LCDs' TRS plug into the front TRS jack.  All of the DACs will already be hooked up to the computer via 7-port powered USB hub or optical out, being fed by J-River Media, which can supposedly feed multiple USB outs at once.  Then to compare all I have to do is turn the nob on the switch... right?

For the analog end that feeds your LCD-3, yes - just turn the knob.

I can't guarantee what will happen with the digital "switching" you've described, but it sounds feasible.
post #212 of 1331

OK, I can't help but speculate which of these fine DACs is going to be the keeper for Gary lol. I think it'll be a shoot-out between the DA8/Octave/M51, assuming the M51 makes the cut. Any takers? :popcorn:

post #213 of 1331
Metrum Octave MkII will probably ring Gary's bell! :-)
post #214 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

OK, I can't help but speculate which of these fine DACs is going to be the keeper for Gary lol. I think it'll be a shoot-out between the DA8/Octave/M51, assuming the M51 makes the cut. Any takers? :popcorn:

 

You shouldn't discount the QuteHD ;). The Ciunas is a heavy hitter too considering the price.

 

Edit: but let's try not to spoil or bias Gary with OUR expectations!

post #215 of 1331
Gary,

You might want to try one of these, so that your PC never sees more than one DAC at a time:

http://www.amazon.com/EEEKit-Printer-Accessor-Bundles-Scanner/dp/B009ZQLSM4

Turn the knob on the HS2 and press a button on this USB switch!

(But the USB-powered DACs would be getting powered up and down...)
Edited by zilch0md - 11/26/13 at 9:48pm
post #216 of 1331

I'm biased towards the Ciunas too :p but definitely want to see how it stacks up against the heavy hitters.  Even an honorable mention among these other more expensive DACs is not half bad.  Hats off to Gary.  This is no easy task. 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

 

You shouldn't discount the QuteHD ;). The Ciunas is a heavy hitter too considering the price.

 

Edit: but let's try not to spoil or bias Gary with OUR expectations!

post #217 of 1331

Did I see the Bryston BDA-2 mentioned earlier? I'd throw in a vote for that.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

Hey, I'll try it... I 'm using a core i7 desktop that has never really been challenged, so it will be interesting to see if it is up to the task.  If not, maybe Santa will bring me a new computer...or at least a new sound card.

 

I think it's a matter of how much the individual usb bus can handle. I have tried running multiple dacs before and sometimes my computer just can't do it. One will start, but when I try to start the other it will give errors. If you're running off a desktop, I think installing a secondary pci usb card will work better than a usb hub.

post #218 of 1331
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

 

You shouldn't discount the QuteHD ;). The Ciunas is a heavy hitter too considering the price.

 

Edit: but let's try not to spoil or bias Gary with OUR expectations!


Clem, I don't know if you've read many of my other posts, but I'm pretty damned independent, and regularly urge people to ignore what everybody else says (including me) and test stuff themselves before buying... And that's what I'm doing here. 

 

I like and respect you folks, and I'm asking you for ideas on filling the field since I've never heard any DACs in this class -- plus I'm too busy (or lazy) to do an exhaustive search myself.  However, I have absolutely no bias going in, and once I get the DACs here, I really don't care what has been written or said about them anywhere. Of course they all have had positive things said about them or they wouldn't be in the field.  But with a dozen DACs in the contest, I expect to have a hard enough time remembering which black or silver box is which, and I won't have enough internal RAM available in my head to recall the specifics of what anybody said about them here.  I will just be totally focused on just listening, comparing and writing down my impressions.

 

I will say that I am very happy and thankful to you folks for all of the suggestions, not to mention your generosity in providing equipment.  No matter which DACs take the final few spots this is turning out to be a very broad and varied field of candidates, with lots of different approaches to turning zeros and ones into music.  I think the variety will make it very fun and I hope I can provide everybody with some interesting insights into the performance of all of these boxes.  But as always folks: my ears, my brain, please use your own when making purchase decisions.

post #219 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

Folks:

 

The Gungnir is being loaned to me, so it's staying in, unless you folks have convinced the loaner that he doesn't want to send it.  He's monitoring this thread, and he can weigh in if he wants, but I would like to give Schiit another chance, since I was not overly positive in my view of the MJ.  So if the loaner is still willing to send it, I'm willing to include it and pay return shipping.

 

Assuming the Yulong is also a given (and it is), I would like to have one other 9018 DAC in.  I have no preference for Benchmark vs. Anedio vs. BMC, having heard none of them before.  The BMC might be problematical from a return cost standpoint.  I haven't called Moon or Vapor to discuss that yet, but if they want to charge a restocking fee, I won't buy the DAC no matter how cool it looks.  I might have time to call them tomorrow, but it will probably have to be Friday or Monday.

 

Is the Arcam likely to be better than the Emotiva Stealth DC-1 or the Dangerous Source?  The latter two also have unique designs (i.e., aren't ESS 9018s), and are low cost, so I think those 3 are sort of competing with each other to get into the field. 

 

Gungnir is still on the table, as far as I'm concerned.  I've seen more votes in favor of it than against.  We are looking at a pretty wide field, for sure. lots of variety beyond the 9018s, which is good.

One more point in favor is you've got more flexibility with the return schedule with Gungnir than some of the other DAC's on a tight return schedule.  Ultimately, its your decision, Gary.   If you want to give it a slot and the time then great!  If not, I'll be disappointed, but "The good of the many..." and all that.

post #220 of 1331
Thread Starter 

Armaegis:
 

The Bryston BDA-2 was in my original set of possibles, but other DACs seemed to be more in favor, and the Bryston is pretty damned pricey.  Plus I'd have to drive 50 miles to the nearest dealer to purchase one, with unknown return capabilities.  That said, if folks want the Bryston in the test, I'll look into it.

post #221 of 1331

$20 says Gary's head will explode when it comes to the final three :tongue:

post #222 of 1331
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by potterma View Post
 

 

Gungnir is still on the table, as far as I'm concerned.  I've seen more votes in favor of it than against.  We are looking at a pretty wide field, for sure. lots of variety beyond the 9018s, which is good.

One more point in favor is you've got more flexibility with the return schedule with Gungnir than some of the other DAC's on a tight return schedule.  Ultimately, its your decision, Gary.   If you want to give it a slot and the time then great!  If not, I'll be disappointed, but "The good of the many..." and all that.

 

I see no reason to knock the Gugnir out of the competition.  It's in. 

 

Folks should focus on the stuff I actually have to pay for to find something to knock out of the field!  :biggrin:

post #223 of 1331
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

$20 says Gary's head will explode when it comes to the final three :tongue:


Remember, I'm using speaker amps, my head has already exploded.

post #224 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 


Remember, I'm using speaker amps, my head has already exploded.

I guess that makes a handful of us :wink_face:

post #225 of 1331
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

 

I think it's a matter of how much the individual usb bus can handle. I have tried running multiple dacs before and sometimes my computer just can't do it. One will start, but when I try to start the other it will give errors. If you're running off a desktop, I think installing a secondary pci usb card will work better than a usb hub.


You mean a card like this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Anker%C2%AE-Express-Connector-Desktops-Chipset/dp/B005ARQV6U/ref=sr_1_5?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1385535134&sr=1-5&keywords=pci+usb+card

 

How much better is that going to be than an external hub?

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