Originally Posted by purrin
FWIW, and someone else already mentioned this, I only had the OR5 toward the latter comparison sessions. There wasn't any intentional bias in the case of the BM DAC1. I simply didn't have it available. Now if you actually want to contribute rather than complain by sending me your BM DAC1, I would be willing to re-evaluate it with the OR5 and maybe some other cheaper converters I can borrow locally.
But honestly, I think you are just upset because we rated the BM DAC1 near the bottom of the pile, even with coax (although I acknowledge that the iPod->coax adapter probably isn't ideal.)
I'm well aware there wasn't any intentional bias towards the DAC1, but there was no doubt a bias (intentional or not - makes no difference to me as I'm looking for objectivity) toward most midrange priced DACs (your top 3 seemed to have been thoroughly tested with a variety of inputs, whereas most midranged DACs were only tested using USB inputs, am I wrong to call this a bias?). I still don't see how I am complaining about anything. All I did was wonder why you hadn't tried the midrange DACs at their best (not just including the DAC1) as I am looking to buy a USB/SPDIF converter currently, and the bump up in quality for midrange DACs using a USB/SPDIF converter is particularly relevant to my next purchase. Making sure that I won't be spending my money for nothing is the only reason I am even interested in this discussion - your personal opinion about which DAC sounds best really does not interest me in the least - for all I know you favorite music genre is JPOP and we have completely different tastes in both music and sound signatures. I don't see why you still see this as some kind of personal attack, or why you think I am upset about anything. You have your preference in sound signature and I have mine, I spent 10+ years to find the DAC1 was most synergistic with the rest of my system, it really doesn't matter to me what you rank it, especially compared to DACs that cost 3 to 4 times its price. In fact, I'm happy it even made the list at all, if anything. You seem to believe that I am looking for reassurance about a purchase I have made something like 8 years ago - believe me when I say that if a piece of equipment has stayed in my system for that long, it is for good reason, and the only reassurance I need is answered everytime I put music on
I'm going to try to make this as clear as I can: The only thing of interest to me is to figure out whether dishing out 200-500 bucks on a USB/SPDIF converter will bring about a noticeable gain in quality to my DAC1. If not, then I will demo DACs myself, using my own gear and my own music, to form my own opinion instead of throwing 3000 bucks on a piece of gear just because some guy on Head-Fi ranked it first according to his own preferences.
Yes, iPod -> coax is not really what I would call "best conditions", not by a long shot. As for sending you my DAC1 so you can test it out with mid price converters, I would rather save the shipping costs, the customs tax, and the hassle of going without a DAC for weeks if not months and simply buy a converter and test it out myself, with my own music, on my own system. Still, it would've been interesting to have your opinion on the subject before spending that much on a simple converter, that's all.
Responding to your edit with an edit of my own: of course your review is biased and stating so was not needed for me to realize it - but I am not talking about a bias toward sound signature preference here - I am talking about a bias because it seems to me that you were quick to dismiss most DACs without giving them a fair chance: in this particular case, using a USB/SPDIF converter with the DACs that cost 1/3rd the price of your personal favorites. It's a very different kind of bias. In the end, when reading a review comparing gear, people want to know two things:
1) which is better suited to their needs
2) which is the better value for their money
Clearly for #2, comparing 3000usd DACs saying they are vastly superior to 200-1500usd DACs is not going to be very helpful. What would be more interesting is knowing whether those 200-1500usd DACs + a 200-500usd converter are giving those 3000usd+ DACs a run for their money, which is exactly what I came into this thread hoping to find out.
Edited by elmoe - 2/12/14 at 12:56pm