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post #46 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Many setups are superior including my X-Sabre -> BHA-1 (sold, now upgrading to GS-X) which runs about the same money as the Hugo but blows it away in performance.

Using the built-in amp and with the Cold HD-800 probably. But I'm sure the Hugo is a better DAC than the X-Sabre overall (by extrapolating the many comparisons between DA8 / X-Sabre and my own experience with QuteHD and DA8).

 

But better overall is not necessarily better for one's specific case. System matching is more important in the High-end market, IMO.

post #47 of 286
Well the discussion was about using it in its entirety. Using as just a DAC opens up higher levels of competition if you start looking at $2500 DACs.
post #48 of 286

It's best if you can audition HD800, T1, LCD3, LCDX. HE-6, SR-009 before spend that kind of money.

 

I have auditioned T1/HD800/LCD3 with MJOLNIR, HD800 with liquid glass, and SR-009 with BHSE in a meet.


If you liked your Stax rig, the SR-009 is probably your pick. The  SR-009/BHSE combo is the most transparent and detailed rig I have even heard. HD800 is a good potential candidate if you can get the synergy right. The last I would recommend is the LCD3(not sure about the LCDX since I haven't audition it). The LCD3's soundstage and instrument layering is too lacking when compared with eletrostats. Bass character is another different story.

 

I understand the SR-009 and BHSE rig is currently very out of reach. But you might want to get a good source, SR-009, and a lower end stax amp first. Upgrade to BHSE when you have the funds.

Another way you might want to go is get the HE-6 and Cavalli Liquid Gold ($3950, it's on sale on cavalli audio's website). This way you will still have money to get an awesome DAC.
 

I'm using Wyred4sound DAC-2 as my DAC and I personally don't think buying any $3000+ DAC is a good investment. The digital technology in audio is improving so fast. A $3000 DAC might be outperformed by a $2000 DAC next year.

post #49 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Well the discussion was about using it in its entirety. Using as just a DAC opens up higher levels of competition if you start looking at $2500 DACs.

 

True. But that's not to say it will be outperformed in this category either.

 

It is said to compete with desktop DACs in the same price range, or higher (but that's the case for all DACs: they all compete with DACs costing N times as much. I don't know if those who say that use the same poorly designed mega-buck DAC for reference or if the value of a DAC simply is beyond any logic).

 

I see the amp portion and portable aspect as a bonus.

 

There's no objectivity to be found at this point anyway. It is quite possible the X-Sabre is indeed the best DAC in the category, for you ears, your headphones, your music, the position of the moon, your whiskey brand...

 

Edit: which brings up the question of the utility of this thread: I can foresee this thread will become another endless debate between people who will vouch for their own system and those of the competing brands (who - more often than not - never heard the other system or even significant parts of it) and no clear answer (because there's none to be found).


Edited by Clemmaster - 3/11/14 at 3:43pm
post #50 of 286
Kind of fun watching the youngins recommend HD600/650 to a guy who lived with a 007 and a Singlepower ES. You're a fool btw for selling that amp, but you already know that. I've also been out of it for a decade, but am getting sucked back in as I'm back in Japan and listened to a HD800, which is a fast dynamic headphone. Didn't listen to it long enough to have an opinion how it compares to true electrostats, but sounded nice for that 30 min trial.

Anyway, am curious as to what you discover as I'm also curious about all this new stuff. But not convinced that they really beat out what you had, other than than that Musical Fidelity DAC. 009 does seem interesting but who else is making high end electrostat amps other than Justin? I love that guy but gotta believe that's a long long wait. Didn't Ray make one?

Best,

-Jason
Edited by jjcha - 3/11/14 at 3:50pm
post #51 of 286

OP, seeing you're in Texas, they do have some meets, both formal and informal there on a regular basis.  Austin, Houston, Dallas... might be worth it to find out what the hobby is like at this point.

 

For $7500, here are the tracks I'd look at:

 

Stat - Nad M51 (or any decent DAC) (~$1600) -> Used Electra ($3000-$3400) -> 007 MK1 ($1500-1700) (Alt - Stax amp -> 009)

Planar - PWD2 ($2000) (or any decent DAC) -> Cavalli Liquid Glass ($2950 until summer) -> LCD-3 ($2000) (Alt 2A3MKIV - > LCD-3)

Dynamic - Nad M51 (or any decent DAC) (~$1600) -> 2A3MKIV ($3800) -> HP1000 (?) or HD800 ($1350)

In Ears - Insert-your-dap-here ($30-2499) -> JH13FP ($1100)

post #52 of 286

Something a bit out of left field, but in terms of "bang for the buck" I suspect (hope) that the upcoming LH Labs Geek Pulse + Geek LPS will be very, very hard to beat.  Of course nobody knows how it will perform and you will have to wait until this summer, but the designer, Larry Ho has proven himself to be a tremendously talented DAC designer and usb cable designer.  

 

Larry's Light Harmonic DaVinci DAC Dual is considered by many to be among the very best DAC's in the world.  The Geek Pulse was a crowd-funding deal on Indiegogo (it ended up being the 6th largest Indiegogo campaign in terms of dollars received in the history of Indiegogo).  Larry has mentioned that if he sold the Pulse through normal retail channels, it would cost well north of $3,000.

post #53 of 286
I would start with the Chord Hugo. It is a portable DAC/AMP that can be used as a desktop DAC in a high end desktop rig. Hugo is by reviewers said to have a DAC in the same leage as DAC's with prices around your total budget. So.. I would get a Hugo and play around with it with my existing phones and take it with me to shops, friends, head fi meetings etc. and demo other kind of headphones with it, to find out what kind of phones to get next. Maybe even try CIEMs like Nobles Kaiser 10? It all depends on how YOU would like to enjoy your music.. and when you find the phones you like the most you could later on demo amplifiers at home.

As I said.. I would choose the Hugo, and I have ordered one.. it is very versatile and can be enjoyed in bed, on the sofa, in your best chair, at the bus, train, at work, on the toilet.. yes.. I'll stop now.. wink.gif
And you can hook it up to almost anything (source and phones) and enjoy it without disturbing anyone.. (with closed phones that is).
post #54 of 286
I didn't notice you were from Texas, nice eye, Tari. There is a Dallas meet coming up on May 4th. The Austin meet for this year already happened unfortunately and will not happen again until summer 2015. I will have the rig I proposed at the Dallas meet if you are interested and are able to attend.
post #55 of 286

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Edited by jibzilla - 6/2/14 at 11:37pm
post #56 of 286

Wait for the new Jade? :D

post #57 of 286

I am enjoying my 2A3mk4 with the HD800 a whole lot.  The mk4 will easily be able to drive any headphones on the market, so if you decide to go for LCD-3 or HE-6 there shouldn't be any issues. The detail and soundstage of the mk4 with HD800 are much better than the 009 and SRM-717 combo that I heard (both setups would cost about the same). 

 

There are some great deals to be had on used Eddie Current Balancing Acts right now due to an OPT in the new models.  The older models are still incredible though and it could free up some money to go into another part of your system (or another pair of headphones).  It won't be able to do the HE-6s justice though.

 

I agree with Radiohead, I think the DAC sweetspot is in the $1500-$2000 range (NAD m51, used PWD2, used Berkley Alpha).  The Anedio D2 is pretty good if you want a cheaper used option (~$900).  With your budget I would prioritize amp and headphones over DACs anyway.  You can still get a very good DAC in the aforementioned range, but the DAC technology is changing too much for me to spend $3K+.  I say get a stop gap DAC and upgrade it to something else later (if you even feel it is necessary)

post #58 of 286
Krell KSA-5 (either the original or the clone), LCD-X, and your favorite DAC.....
post #59 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post


Edit: which brings up the question of the utility of this thread: I can foresee this thread will become another endless debate between people who will vouch for their own system and those of the competing brands (who - more often than not - never heard the other system or even significant parts of it) and no clear answer (because there's none to be found).

Don't they always turn out that way:)
post #60 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

Edit: which brings up the question of the utility of this thread: I can foresee this thread will become another endless debate between people who will vouch for their own system and those of the competing brands (who - more often than not - never heard the other system or even significant parts of it) and no clear answer (because there's none to be found).
The utility of this thread is to bring up combinations for the OP to look into. Most people own a system under $7500 and enjoy it, so they will post what they've found they like. There's no harm in that as long it's a peaceful discussion.
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