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Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff) - Page 267  

post #3991 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinValentine View Post
 

 

There are lots of great DACs that use both. A number of very good vintage DACs from Spectral, Sonic Frontiers/Assemblage, Classe, Krell, and Parasound use PMD100. On the other hand, fantastic vintage DACs from Linn, Monarchy, and the Sonic Frontiers TransDAC all use DF1700P.

 

I'm not sure I could say that one is any better than the other. I think this is one of the reasons that people pick by input/output when buying Adcoms instead of the specific chips, etc. Probably not the most helpful answer I can give, but certainly the most honest. 

 

No, actually, that was very helpful, thanks!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by murrays View Post


The PMD100 (in the GDA-700) decodes HDCD.

 

Oh right, I do recall reading that.  It went in one ear and out the other, though, since it's not a feature I'd use.  Thanks!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kapanak View Post
 


Matrix X-Sabre? :)

 

Or maybe a used HA-1?

post #3992 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillhart View Post
 

 

Or maybe a used HA-1?

 

Oh yes, if cosmetics was the only concern, the HA-1 certainly is attractive for the price.

 

In terms of sound, it is utterly horrific XD

post #3993 of 6360
I am actually on the camp that you CAN hear differences in all changes of equipment and to me the dac differences were more noticable on better equipment.

Also the Matrix X-Sabre Sounds very similar as HA-1 dac section.
Edit: both bright signatures.

While I have herd differences in cable the reasoning was not clear-cut because its not just the metals/materials but also overall design.
The Largest benificial difference I herd in a cable so far is the Draug2 cable.

My position still stands that there are completeley rediculous prices in Audio cable.

And yes I must agree if anyone wants to pay those foolish prices it is completly their own business..
tongue.gif
Edited by Maxx134 - 4/13/15 at 11:54am
post #3994 of 6360

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timestretch View Post
 

What's the popular recommendation for a very visually attractive, competent DAC <$1000 that has optical & USB inputs, and RCA & XLR outputs?

 

I do love my Benchmark DAC1 and have never had a complaint with it, but I think variety could be nice, too.

 

Dunno about the very visually attractive priority, but the upcoming Audio-gd DAC-19 10th anniv. release may be considered a competent <$1000 ($750 till 8/1) new DAC product, with its PCM1704 R2R DAC, DSP digital filter, and non-feedback (current driven) analog output stage.  ACSS (current) output connectors are available, if not XLR.

 

Eye candy fanboys may want to chime in here.


Edited by jacal01 - 4/14/15 at 9:40am
post #3995 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post

I am actually on the camp that you CAN hear differences in all changes of equipment and to me the dac differences were more noticable on better equipment.
 

 

I'm not sure if I can tell a difference between DACs. I've tried a few of very different price ranges mostly at head-fi meets. What I'd like to do is find a DAC that sounds very distinctly superior or different to the DAC1, and occasionally switch between them to get those different feels.   

  

And if it looks very cool, then that's ideal as well. The DAC1 is an ancient, rugged, utilitarian studio device and I would like something more beautiful on my desk. Again, since I'm not positive I know the audible differences between DACs, appearance & features could be a lot of the distinction for me. 


Edited by Timestretch - 4/13/15 at 12:12pm
post #3996 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post

I am actually on the camp that you CAN hear differences in all changes of equipment and to me the dac differences were more noticable on better equipment.

Also the Matrix X-Sabre Sounds very similar as HA-1 dac section.
Edit: both bright signatures.

While I have herd differences in cable the reasoning was not clear-cut because its not just the metals/materials but also overall design.
The Largest benificial difference I herd in a cable so far is the Draug2 cable.

My position still stands that there are completely rediculous prices in Audio cable.

And yes I must agree if anyone wants to pay those foolish prices it is completly their own business..
tongue.gif

First off,I want to aplogise, for my rude tone in my reply,earlier,{guess it struck me,the wrong way} ,,and I doubt,if ever I will spend $1K on a cable ,again

The first place I jump to ,when a cable is needed is monoprice,or,the buy/sell forum.

Have a good day,

 

Mike

post #3997 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timestretch View Post
 

 

I'm not sure if I can tell a difference between DACs. I've tried a few of very different price ranges mostly at head-fi meets. What I'd like to do is find a DAC that sounds very distinctly superior or different to the DAC1, and occasionally switch between them to get those different feels.   

  

And if it looks very cool, then that's ideal as well. The DAC1 is an ancient, rugged, utilitarian studio device and I would like something more beautiful on my desk. Again, since I'm not positive I know the audible differences between DACs, appearance & features could be a lot of the distinction for me. 

 

Definitely take a look at the Oppo HA-1 then.  Despite what haters in this threat say about Sabre DAC's, it's not THAT bad.  lol

post #3998 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timestretch View Post
 

 

I'm not sure if I can tell a difference between DACs. I've tried a few of very different price ranges mostly at head-fi meets. What I'd like to do is find a DAC that sounds very distinctly superior or different to the DAC1, and occasionally switch between them to get those different feels.   

  

And if it looks very cool, then that's ideal as well. The DAC1 is an ancient, rugged, utilitarian studio device and I would like something more beautiful on my desk. Again, since I'm not positive I know the audible differences between DACs, appearance & features could be a lot of the distinction for me. 

Head-fi meets aren't the greatest places to listen to dac differences. Were you using your own music, amp, and headphones? If not, then the comparison isn't truly valid.

 

Like Maxx said, the better your upstream gear (amp and headphone), the bigger the differences will be between dacs. I can't say how good or bad your Crown amp is but the he-6 is more than resolving enough to tell the differences between gear. You just have to get a different for yourself and do comparisons in your own time and quiet environment. 

post #3999 of 6360
the Nad M51 can be had for about $1000 used.
post #4000 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timestretch View Post
 

What's the popular recommendation for a very visually attractive, competent DAC <$1000 that has optical & USB inputs, and RCA & XLR outputs?  

  

I do love my Benchmark DAC1 and have never had a complaint with it, but I think variety could be nice, too. 


Just get a good usb to coax converter, and feed data to your benchmark through coax. You'll thank me later.

 

The usb input on the benchmark is but an afterthought.

post #4001 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchbat View Post
 


Just get a good usb to coax converter, and feed data to your benchmark through coax. You'll thank me later.

 

The usb input on the benchmark is but an afterthought.

 

 

Ah, I actually use toslink. Without galvanic isolation between my large PC and any DAC I've ever personally tried, I get interference (coax/usb both seem to fall prey to this). I am not sure why this is the case, but it plagued my friends before they moved to toslink with their DACs, too. The interference comes as strange clicking noises, weird staticy buzzes whenever you move the mouse of your PC, overall louder noisefloor, etc. I've yet to see a USB DAC where this doesn't happen (try turning your volume all the way up with no music playing and see if you can recreate)    

  

So far I have to say I like the look of the NAD M51, and actually the Schiit Gungnir, too. It would be neat to get a DAC that lacks any headphone output or volume control. Just a simple, sleek design. 

post #4002 of 6360

Never tried the toslink, so I have no idea how good it is on the benchmark. Any decent converter should give you galvanic isolation though. I personally use a diy card, with a linear psu, and never had trouble with static or interference.

post #4003 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timestretch View Post
 

 

 

Ah, I actually use toslink. Without galvanic isolation between my large PC and any DAC I've ever personally tried, I get interference (coax/usb both seem to fall prey to this). I am not sure why this is the case, but it plagued my friends before they moved to toslink with their DACs, too. The interference comes as strange clicking noises, weird staticy buzzes whenever you move the mouse of your PC, overall louder noisefloor, etc. I've yet to see a USB DAC where this doesn't happen (try turning your volume all the way up with no music playing and see if you can recreate)    

  

So far I have to say I like the look of the NAD M51, and actually the Schiit Gungnir, too. It would be neat to get a DAC that lacks any headphone output or volume control. Just a simple, sleek design. 


I ran into the same problem as you. I was using an adaptive USB-coax converter called the Peachtree T1. I found the same problems.

 

Switched back to pure PCM S/PDIF pass-through of my soundcard and use a toslink cable. Problem solved.

 

I am waiting on my Gustard U12 before I give up on USB converters.

 

I see nothing wrong with toslink as long as your DAC didn't include it as an afterthought. I know it sounds good on my Theta and I will give the coax another chance when I get my Gustard converter. The Gustard has its own transformer and is wall powered versus USB powered so it should have less noise and better signal isolation.

post #4004 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by DecentLevi View Post

Boy am I glad to find this thread - I'm hoping somebody here can point me in the right direction for a good DAC recommendation for around $150 (or a pricier one that's used).

My sound preferences:
         lush, organic, neutral sound signature with highs that are textured / detailed, but not overly harsh.

What I'm seeking in an improvement over the Modi DAC:
         better detail retrieval / instrument separation, soundstage imaging / instrument placement, and more 'front row'.
IIRC the Modi is only recommended in combination with Wyrd (and people use Wyrd with much more expensive DACs as well).

Given your budget the only other option from those not panned is the ODAC or something better used. You might be able to find one of the vintage r2r models being talked about in your general price range but keep in mind: 1) they're quite old and internal components age and can go bad, 2) they're limited to more or less redbook, 3) there's no USB so people use an external converter like the Gustard U12 which is more than your budget.

If you can go higher that opens up more options, $500 is probably more realistic to do much better than Modi.
post #4005 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillhart View Post
 

 

I know there's a lot of Schiit love in here, but I've said it before and I'll say it again:  I wasn't very impressed with the Modi.  I couldn't hear a difference from the Sound Blaster card I'd been using as a DAC at the time (paired with a Matrix M-stage amp and AKG Q701).

 

When I upgraded to the Audio-GD NFB-15, I heard an obvious improvement in separation, clarity and black background.  That was testing against the Sound Blaster using only the DAC of the NFB-15 with the Matrix (so apples to apples DAC test).  Then I tested the NFB-15 amp vs the Matrix M-stage, I couldn't hear any difference with my headphones.  Given that, I sold the Matrix and had a very cheap upgrade for a notable improvement.

 

Now that I've got a few more DAC's under my belt, I know that the NFB-15 is very warm and mid-forward.  It doesn't have quite the clarity of the Sabre chips, but it doesn't have that digital treble and one-note-bass either.  The Wolfson is an interesting chip and it's really nice if you want a warm setup.  Since I was pairing it with a very bright headphone at the time, it worked quite well.

 

Still, I think it's a great bang for the buck, especially if you can find one used at around $200-225.  Even new, though, the pricing is comparable to the Magni 2/Modi 2 and I think the DAC at least is a notable step up.  (I've never heard the Magni so I can't comment on how the amps compare.)  In fact, it's my number one recommendation for anyone getting their foot in the door with audiophile DACs.  Sorry, Schiit!

 

Re the Adcom, it'll be arriving today.  I'll give some first impressions later.

 

(Also, LOL!  Yes, I'm a bit older than that little guy...tho we dress alike.)

Hello again, thanks. So it looks like you're upgrading your DAC because the NFB-15 is too warm and mid-forward? Also I've scoured the web and I can't find this one for sell new/used ANYWHERE. But I guess that's OK. Yes please post your impressions on your Adcom once you try it out. Thanks much!

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff)