Gary, If you haven't done so already I would recommend you install JRiver and get familiar with it. If you have problems with the DACs being perfectly synchronized, you can adjust delay at the millisecond level. If you need help beyond what forums and PMs can provide, we could setup a remote session and I can show you the ropes :)
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Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones)
Last edited: 1/11/17
- Head-Fi Buying Guide (Desktop Amps & DACs)Last edited: 12/6/16
Great lil on-ear headphone but a lil bit uncomfortable on ear. Not for someone who loves heavy bass but good for seeking clarity ;) My opinion, my first AKG product. Tried the AKG Y50 but to me,...
In Ears Prophile 8 IEM review January 2017 Intro I had heard of In Ears but did not know too much about them until I see them on the In-Ear stand at the Indulgence show in London...
MrZ's Toneking Musicmaker TingThe review that swayed me to get on-boardhttp://www.head-fi.org/products/musicmaker-ting/reviews/15584The slightly down-line 1/2 price...
Shozy has kindly provided me a review unit in exchange for the honest opinion. They are in active use for about 6 months. I should first note that my experience with IEM is a bit limited by now, so...
INTRODUCTION: I would like to thank @Jack Vang of Empire Ears, for the discount on my purchase of the Zeus-XIV-ADEL Custom IEM and for giving me the opportunity to review the IEM. I would also...
- Head-Fi Buying Guide (Desktop Amps & DACs)
December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison - Page 17
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Go brunk! I love this team effort! Gary's remarkable humility, in crowd-sourcing recommended DACs, coupled with folks like brunk stepping up, makes this effort so "legit," for lack of a better adjective!
It's already started... the DA-8 is down to $1144 on Amazon.... still trying to decide if it is worth saving $55 and risking poorer service by dealing with Shenzen vs. Grant.
And the Fiio X3 is down to $180 on Amazon... and.... I... must... STOP.
Take one for the team. You're providing a valuable community service and will be rewarded with accolades from your peers. Money can't buy that... oh wait, yes it can!
Jumping in late... but has anyone mentioned the Wyred4Sound Dac2?
edit: it seems they have a 5% restocking fee
Haven't bought anything except switches, cables, splitters, a Fiio X3 ($139 delivered... couldn't pass it up) and HD650s ($377.69 delivered, after 15% discount on Amazon... not a great price vs. previous years' holiday prices, but good enough). Unfortunately the only thing that has arrived are the switches and splitters, along with one Monoprice cable that I ordered after all of the others... and it got here first. So I can't even set things up and test the setup yet.
At this point I'm pretty sure the NAD M51 is in the field, as it is easy to get with good return policies from very reputable sites (Crutchfield, Music Direct, etc). I'm hoping for some sort of coupon or special from one of those places, but if nothing shows up by Monday or Tuesday, I'll just order it for the list price of $2K.
I talked to Moon Audio, and they won't budge on their restocking fee, so the PureDAC will only be in the field if Vapor Audio will ship it with a free returns period of at least 2 weeks. I have a call in to them as well, and haven't heard back. If I don't hear from them in the next couple of days (by Tuesday or so), that would pretty much rule out the PureDAC. Sorry, I would rather pay for shipping to include an additional DAC in the contest than pay a restocking fee. It's a matter of principle to me.
With the PureDAC hanging by a thread, the final 9018 choice will likely come down to the Anedio D2 or the Benchmark DAC 2 HGC. The Anedio is significantly cheaper, but the Benchmark has inputs and outputs out the wazoo... Are all of those bells and whistles worth it to me? I don't know yet. Do I want to go with the well-regarded D2 or the well-regarded DAC2???... I don't know that yet either. I do know that I have a headache though... so anything you folks can do to help me make that decision would be appreciated (as is the offer by Failed Engineer to supply the D2 for the test... at this point it isn't the availability of these 2 DACs that is at issue, it is how many 9018 DACs I want in the field... if the D2 ends up in, I'll contact you).
The final choice is the Dangerous Music Source or the Arcam irDAC, or both. The marginal cost of adding the irDAC into an order of the NAD from Crutchfield is going to be minimal, assuming I don't end up keeping both. So all things being equal on the NAD price, I would buy it from Crutchfield and throw the irDAC into the deal, and the field. However, if I don't buy anything else from Crutchfield, I'll have to decide whether the DM Source is a better choice for the field than the Arcam unit.
Note that I currently think there are 9 incoming DACs in the field. If I add one of the 9018 DACs, plus both the DM Source and the Arcam irDAC, I would have 12 incoming DACs plus my old Emotiva XDA-1 to compare -- 13 total. That's a lot of DACs to compare and write up, even if I do nothing else for 3 weeks.
If they all end up sounding alike to me, as some have suggested, that makes it easy. I just write a single post stating "They all sound alike." and keep my old XDA-1. But I don't think that's going to happen...
In the near term, however, I will be downloading JRiver in the next few hours, and checking prices on the units that will be in the field. Shenzen had a special on the Yulong on Amazon, but it expired. If it shows up again I might buy it from them, because Grant Fidelity has not returned my phone call and e-mail from yesterday (yeah, it was Thanksgiving -- in the US, not Canada), whereas Shenzen did reply promptly to a question I asked them a couple of weeks ago. Grant's being in North America is not an advantage if they aren't responsive to contact requests.
I'm not expecting any new deals on the other 4 that I know I will be buying (Emo Stealth is already on sale, and the Chordette and Metrum have such a limited supplier chains that I don't expect discounts). However, I will wait until cyber Monday to see if somebody offers a deal.
Edited by Gary in MD - 11/30/13 at 1:35pm
That would however be a hilarious way to write the review. After all these weeks of build-up and suspense, thousands of dollars spent, a cheap hotel in Thailand...
- December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison
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