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December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison - Page 20  

post #286 of 1331
Thread Starter 

And now for today's news:

 

  1. The Yulong DA8 has been ordered.  Grant Fidelity was knocking $100 off, so I took advantage of that while I could.  Since it has a sponsor, it was going to be in no matter what.
  2. Speaking of ESS 9018 DACs, Vapor Audio got back to me and they have a 30-day free trial period, so the BMC PureDAC is back in contention.  The problem is that I still have too many 9018 DACs on the potentials list:
    1. BMC PureDAC
    2. Benchmark DAC-2
    3. Anedio D2

 

I think four 9018 DACs is too many.  I intend to spend the next day or so figuring out which 2, or possibly 3 (including the Yulong), will be in the mix.  Again, any helpful hints from the audience would be appreciated.

 

The rest of the field looks like this:

 

1. Emotiva Stealth DC-1.  $
2. Resonessence Concero.  
3. Yulong DA8.
4. Metrum Octave Mk II.  $
5. Lynx Hilo. 
6. Schiit Gungnir.  
7. Chordette QuteHD.  $
8.  NAD M51.  $
9. Ciunas DAC 
10. Benchmark DAC-2.  $
11. Dangerous Source.  $
12. BMC PureDac.  $
13. Arcam irDAC $
14. Anedio D2.  

 

The first nine (bolded) are going to be in the field, unless something bad happens (like the person loaning them backs out, or I can't get one of the purchased ones here for some other reason).  The ones with dollars after the name are those I have to pay for up front, though I will eventually get refunded all but shipping for the ones I send back.  

 

While I originally thought I'd limit the number of incoming units to 10, I'm now willing to increase that number somewhat... but 14 is too many, given the limited time available.  If I can't find good reasons to shrink the current list, I might bring in 11 or so now, and have them fight it out.  Then, once I've made a decision and sent away the rest of the units, I spend a month or 2 recovering.  After my release from the hospital/institution, I bring in the other 3 or 4 or whatever, for a follow up comparison test against the winner of the previous testing.  If one of the latecomers wins I guess I sell the previous winner and buy the new winner... or end up keeping both (That's pretty much why I own both a TBI Millenia and Odyssey Cyclops... I decided I was keeping the Millenia while the Cyclops build was delayed, then when the latter finally showed up and blew me away, I ended up keeping both).

 

I don't like the idea of a 2-stage test, but there are just too many good DACs in this class, and I'm afraid I won't be able to give them decent evaluations if I force all of them into this limited period.   Of course you can try to argue me out of this, or argue particular units out of the field.  I'm listening... (more precisely reading, but the intent is the same).

 

I'm going to wait a day or 3 and see if any of the cyber week deals push me toward including any particular unit now based on a holiday discount that I just can't pass up... if no great deals materialize, I'll decide by the end of this week which, if any, units get dropped or deferred.  Then I order everything I need to buy, and have the loaned units sent to me next week.  The new units need a week to burn in, the loaners are presumably already broken in, so don't need   The idea is to have everything ready to run by ~ 12/17.

 

First, however, I'm gonna watch the sales and read as much as I can on the various 9018 contenders to see if I can find a logic to push one or two out of at least the early field, along with a couple of the other units. 

 

Stay tuned, this is gonna get interesting pretty quickly, I think.

post #287 of 1331

I can back you up for some listening if you want :D.

 

I have an SA-2 coming my way, so I might be able to lend you my TeddyPardo LPSU for the Chord.

The Audio-gd would be too much for shipping and honestly I want to hear it first :p.

post #288 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

My phone is a Motorola Atrix HD.  It doesn't appear to be on the list. 

 

At this point the issue isn't the money -- we're talking <$10.  I'm willing to do the phone testing if I have the time.  Given the large and growing number of DACs in the field, I'm likely to be willing to put at most only a few minutes into testing for phone compatibility, i.e., enough to check to see whether a song or two will play on each DAC without hiccups.  Is that enough to satisfy the crew, or would I have to do more extensive testing?

This would be more than enough. The main issue I think is that some just wont connect. If you can prove that they connect and play a song, that's what really matters :) PM me your address if you want and I'll have a cable sent over. 

post #289 of 1331
Thread Starter 

Okay... but not tonight... I'm supposed to go to bed now, so that I can get up tomorrow and work (and watch the sales, of course).

post #290 of 1331

Looks like a very nice list and features a lot of DACs I'm interested in. Very excited to see your findings and how they all compare. Ideally I would pick another ESS9018 DAC known to have a different presentation, I think the Yulong DA8 would mostly cover the smooth and relaxed presentation side, perhaps the Anedio D2 would be good. For international users I think it would be helpful to include the Arcam irDAC. Its a DAC from a manufacturer that has a wide global footprint, much like the Audiolab M-DAC so it would be a nice benchmark to include.

post #291 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd007 View Post
 

Some DACs to potentially add to the list:

 

  • Mytek Stereo192 DSD
  • NAD M51
  • W4S DAC-2SE (DSD)
  • Bryston BDA-1
  • Bryston BDA-2
  • PS Audio PWD MK2 (used)
  • Chordette QuteHD DSD
  • Oppo BDP-105 (Blu-ray player/DAC)
  • Yulong D18
  • Ayre Acoustics QB-9 (DSD)
  • NuForce DAC-80/100

 

Looking forward to which ones you can get and compare.

How would you "add to the list" those which are already there ?  Just a little homework, please - push back one page on the browser - it isn't that much effort ... if you care about the results you can put in at least 5 minutes of your own time ... surely !!

post #292 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaHamster View Post

How would you "add to the list" those which are already there ?  Just a little homework, please - push back one page on the browser - it isn't that much effort ... if you care about the results you can put in at least 5 minutes of your own time ... surely !!

The original post was edited by the OP to reflect the newest list of DACs. When I posted my list none of them were on the original list... I'm sorry that I didn't take the time and edit my post -____-
Edited by Jd007 - 12/1/13 at 11:16pm
post #293 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

I can back you up for some listening if you want biggrin.gif .

I have an SA-2 coming my way, so I might be able to lend you my TeddyPardo LPSU for the Chord.
The Audio-gd would be too much for shipping and honestly I want to hear it first tongue.gif .

Teddy DC power supply can also power Hilo
post #294 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

My phone is a Motorola Atrix HD.  It doesn't appear to be on the list. 

 

At this point the issue isn't the money -- we're talking <$10.  I'm willing to do the phone testing if I have the time.  Given the large and growing number of DACs in the field, I'm likely to be willing to put at most only a few minutes into testing for phone compatibility, i.e., enough to check to see whether a song or two will play on each DAC without hiccups.  Is that enough to satisfy the crew, or would I have to do more extensive testing?

Some decent chance the Motorola Atrix HD will work with USB OTG Audio. At least in this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDN7goN-ASI 

 

As far as testing I can live with it. I think the real issue is, if zero of the DACs play, then we'd need to update your phone in a hurry.

post #295 of 1331
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe Tag View Post
 

Some decent chance the Motorola Atrix HD will work with USB OTG Audio. At least in this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDN7goN-ASI 

 

As far as testing I can live with it. I think the real issue is, if zero of the DACs play, then we'd need to update your phone in a hurry.


As in you guys would all pitch in to buy me a new unlocked phone?  :evil:

post #296 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 


As in you guys would all pitch in to buy me a new unlocked phone?  :evil:

That's my understanding of it :tongue:

post #297 of 1331
Thread Starter 

Folks:

 

So far the only deal I've seen today is the Yulong for $1144 after I just paid $1199 last night.   Of course.  Grumble. Neither Crutchfield nor Music Direct are putting any of the potential contenders on sale so far, and the boutique sellers appear to be offering only a very few select items at a discount -- not including these DACs -- which kind of sucks. 

 

Most of you have been pretty quiet on the 9018 issue...  C'mon, speak up, time's running out to influence my final choices... 

post #298 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

Folks:

 

So far the only deal I've seen today is the Yulong for $1144 after I just paid $1199 last night.   Of course.  Grumble. Neither Crutchfield nor Music Direct are putting any of the potential contenders on sale so far, and the boutique sellers appear to be offering only a very few select items at a discount -- not including these DACs -- which kind of sucks. 

 

Most of you have been pretty quiet on the 9018 issue...  C'mon, speak up, time's running out to influence my final choices... 

I'd say atleast push in the Anedio D2. That's the only one that is screaming out at me to include in the list...

post #299 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

Folks:

 

So far the only deal I've seen today is the Yulong for $1144 after I just paid $1199 last night.   Of course.  Grumble. Neither Crutchfield nor Music Direct are putting any of the potential contenders on sale so far, and the boutique sellers appear to be offering only a very few select items at a discount -- not including these DACs -- which kind of sucks. 

 

Most of you have been pretty quiet on the 9018 issue...  C'mon, speak up, time's running out to influence my final choices... 

 

Get the NFB-7, it'll most likely be the winner anyway :D

post #300 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

Folks:



 



So far the only deal I've seen today is the Yulong for $1144 after I just paid $1199 last night.   Of course.  Grumble. Neither Crutchfield nor Music Direct are putting any of the potential contenders on sale so far, and the boutique sellers appear to be offering only a very few select items at a discount -- not including these DACs -- which kind of sucks. 



 



Most of you have been pretty quiet on the 9018 issue...  C'mon, speak up, time's running out to influence my final choices... 


 



Just my 2 cents worth:

I'm not too sure why having too many 9018s is an issue.
Really you want to compare DACs with different implementations:
upsampling
oversampling
NOS
vacuum tube output stage
SS output stage...................with Op Amp vs. discrete
different power supply implementations like Switchmode Power Supply vs. Linear Power Supply vs. battery
etc.
etc.
etc.
I'm sure others can think of other variables???

Like I said, just my opinion.
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