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December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison - Page 21  

post #301 of 1331
I'd offer my audio-gd NFB 10ES32 if I resided in the US. Can't believe there are any audio -gd volunteers at your side of the ocean....

smily_headphones1.gifsmily_headphones1.gif
post #302 of 1331
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
 
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.


Given infinite time and money, I'd agree with you... but I have limited supplies of both.  So if I want to limit the field a bit, then having four 9018 DACs leaves little time or money for designs using other chips.  Something has to give...

post #303 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 


Given infinite time and money, I'd agree with you... but I have limited supplies of both.  So if I want to limit the field a bit, then having four 9018 DACs leaves little time or money for designs using other chips.  Something has to give...

 

Are they all implemented the same?

Just because 4 are 9018 DACs doesn't mean you'll get the same or similar results from them.

Different designers may build completely different architecture around them.

 

BTW, don't ask me, I haven't researched too many DACs!:wink_face: 

post #304 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
 

 

Are they all implemented the same?

Just because 4 are 9018 DACs doesn't mean you'll get the same or similar results from them.

Different designers may build completely different architecture around them.

 

BTW, don't ask me, I haven't researched too many DACs!:wink_face: 

Actually, alot of 9018-based units do have alot in common. Just like any other device, there is a tolerance for the BOM. However, it's the surrounding stages around the DAC like I/V, USB, Clock(s) and power regulation that make it different.

post #305 of 1331
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
 

 

Are they all implemented the same?

Just because 4 are 9018 DACs doesn't mean you'll get the same or similar results from them.

Different designers may build completely different architecture around them.

 

BTW, don't ask me, I haven't researched too many DACs!:wink_face: 


Of course they are different implementations, and I'd love to test all of them... but if I include all four of them, some other DAC (or two) has to fall out of the competition, or I might not have time to give each one a fair hearing. 

 

So keep those arguments coming folks...

post #306 of 1331
Thread Starter 

One more thing to discuss:

 

Is the consensus here that USB 3.0 is not a good idea?  If that is the case, should I just get a simple USB 2.0 PCI card or two to run these DACs, or should I first try running them on a powered USB hub to see if they work?

 

Does anybody have any recommendations for a decent card, or should I go with Newegg or Amazon ratings?

 

Fire away!

post #307 of 1331

I did not know about USB3.0 issues and audio.  Is it a MAC or PC or both issue?  I have no problems with the Ciunas DAC and USB3.0 ports.  I run the Ciunas USB data stream directly to the Macbook and then the power cable goes into a USB hub whose sole purpose is power.  I could have both cables going into the Macbook but I like to leave one port open for peripherals.  Ciunas may be immune to USB3.0 issues because it runs off a trickle from its internal battery.   

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

One more thing to discuss:

 

Is the consensus here that USB 3.0 is not a good idea?  If that is the case, should I just get a simple USB 2.0 PCI card or two to run these DACs, or should I first try running them on a powered USB hub to see if they work?

 

Does anybody have any recommendations for a decent card, or should I go with Newegg or Amazon ratings?

 

Fire away!

post #308 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

Actually, alot of 9018-based units do have alot in common. Just like any other device, there is a tolerance for the BOM. However, it's the surrounding stages around the DAC like I/V, USB, Clock(s) and power regulation that make it different.

Can't fully agree on that. From my experience nothing sounded more different than Burson Soloist and AURALiC Vega. Both are based on Sabre 9018.

In fact Chord DAC64 (FPGA design) sounded a lot closer to Vega than Vega to Burson.

Yulong DA8 (another 9018) also sounds quite different than the other two.

 

Check John Darko's comments on that "house sound" view.

 

Quote:
 Originally Posted by John Darko
 
I think it bears repeating here: Sabre-chipped DACs rarely sound the same because they invariably use different power supplies, output stages, clocking methods etc etc etc. As my exposure to DACs grows I am increasingly confident that there is no ESS Sabre ‘house sound’. Nor AKM sound. Nor Burr-Brown sound. Nor Wolfson sound. /rant.

Edited by Andrew_WOT - 12/23/13 at 11:57am
post #309 of 1331

I'de vote for the BMC PureDAC, but that is a little selfish as I think this is on my short list to purchase next year, and would love to see how it fares in this review.

 

Mark

post #310 of 1331

It would be fun to throw in a low-price unit like the ODAC just to see if it gives the more expensive gear a run for its money. Would also like to see something from audio-gd. http://www.audio-gd.com/Products-EN.htm (though I'm not sure why, since from my point of view he seems like he couldn't care less about USB OTG, even though his Audio-gd Sparrow Version A accidentally supports it). Sad to say he is not alone and many of these DAC support USB OTG only half way (UARP) or accidentally if they happened to use the right USB chip.


Edited by Toe Tag - 12/2/13 at 5:53pm
post #311 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

One more thing to discuss:

 

Is the consensus here that USB 3.0 is not a good idea?  If that is the case, should I just get a simple USB 2.0 PCI card or two to run these DACs, or should I first try running them on a powered USB hub to see if they work?

 

Does anybody have any recommendations for a decent card, or should I go with Newegg or Amazon ratings?

 

Fire away!

 

I run my DAC off USB3 without issues. I'm not sure where this is coming from...maybe if you don't have a modern CPU that supports it natively? As in your USB3 drivers are from Renesas or something. /shrug

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
 

Can't fully agree on that. From my experience nothing sounded more different than Burson Soloist and AURALiC Vega. Both are based on Sabre 9018.

In fact Chord DAC64 (FPGA design) sounded a lot closer to Vega than Vega to Burson.

Yulong DA8 (another 9018) also sounds quite different than the other two.

 

Check John Darko's comments on that "house sound" view.

 

Yeah, I was talking about the parts list, but I do agree on different sounds from the same chip. Implementation...yada yada :tongue:

post #312 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

That's my understanding of it :tongue:

 

 

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:

 

There is a long list of stock Android-powered devices reportedly interworking with standard USB DAC here http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/3510 hopefully we can find cheap used ones there sufficient for the test.

 

Note that a tablet or an “Android iPod” would also be as suitable as a cell phone. Believe it or not, we should prefer one of the devices marked “using USB Audio Recorder Pro” (UARP). Because, that $5.71 software, will make more of the DACs reachable.

 

Though it would be nice to test if they were reachable WITHOUT UARP. And I'm pretty sure technically this means you need 2 different phones. That can borrow the micro-SIM from your Atrix.

 

Do you have any of the DACs in? First step is to try the Atrix straight. This oughta work, but if not you could install UARP on the Atrix to see if it helps. You'd probably want to try 4 or 5 DAC though, to know whether to blame the phone or not, in case its not outputting. Or, we can check the final list of competitors, to see if any of them, other people got working in that long list above.

 

On your list of 14 candidates above, only ones we know about so far are, that the Anedio D2 does not talk USB OTG Audio, and that the  Resonessence Labs Concero works if you use USB Audio Recorder PRO:

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/resonessence2/1.html

http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/2715#post_9653008


Edited by Toe Tag - 12/2/13 at 5:47pm
post #313 of 1331

@Toe Tag Im curious, why are you so interested in having a mobile phone be compatible with a desktop DAC? Doesn't that defeat the purpose?

post #314 of 1331
Adding to Chris J and Andrew_WOT's comments, the two 9018 dacs I have - Eastern Electric MiniMax and BMC PureDAC - could not sound more different. Apart from some possible similarity in the upper mids, I would never have identified them as using the same chip.
post #315 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by AiDee View Post

Adding to Chris J and Andrew_WOT's comments, the two 9018 dacs I have - Eastern Electric MiniMax and BMC PureDAC - could not sound more different. Apart from some possible similarity in the upper mids, I would never have identified them as using the same chip.

So, which one is not doing its job? :tongue:

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