Hi all, I'm doing this review because of a few reasons:
* Someone out there somewhere will care at some point
* I thought it might be interesting
* I have both in my possession (ODAC is currently up for trade/sale) so I could
Before we get into the review, here are the details:
THE DETAILS All listening was done through an Asgard 2 to HD650. Both ODAC and Gamma2 (hereon referred to as Y2 for brevity) were outputting through an 1/8" to RCA cable--I have literally gone instantaneously back and forth between RCA and 1/8 and can say that there is no discernible difference that any sane person should be concerned with. Input was using the ODAC stock USB cable.
My technique was to listen to the song, stop at a certain point, switch the cables to the other DAC, and start the song or that portion of the song over again.
THE MUSIC I mostly used things that I knew really well, all are FLAC or 320. Here are a list of tracks that went into this:
The Knife - Silent Shout
Nirvana - Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
Frazey Ford - Firecracker
OM - At Giza, Thebes
Gorguts - Colored Sands
Neutral Milk Hotel - The King of Carrot Flowers pts 1 and 2, Two Headed Boy pt 2
The result of every single song is the same: the Y2 wins at everything, not even considering the fact that it has 5x the connectivity options, including digital outputs. The ODAC is not only higher gain, but sounds more compressed and aggressive, even once the volume has been readjusted. The Y2 was always more refined, subtle, and detailed... better separation between instruments, better soundstage, better microdetail, etc. The analogy I like to use is painting: the Y2 is using a finer brush than the ODAC and so is able to recreate the image more accurately.
We are of course talking about differences between DACs which are not huge, but I think it's distinct:
Would I be able to tell them apart in a blind ABX test? Yes, I am confident of that.
Would I be able to tell them apart given some amount of time between listening sessions? Probably not.
Is the ODAC a bad DAC that you should avoid? Hell no, it's awesome. If it's in your price range, get one. Seriously, it's great.
I'm happy to answer any further questions, concerns or outright verbal abuse. Ask now while the ODAC is still in my possession.