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How to find a low priced Chinese version of any super expensive DAC? - Page 4

post #46 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

How many people died or got hurt from a DAC "explosion"? Probably not very many.

 

So is it worth the risk to buy an eBay DAC for a hundred bucks that has 500+USD worth of parts and a seemingly good assembly/design rivaling DACs that sell for upwards of 4000usd? I would say that unless you actually do have 4000usd to spend on a good DAC without it having much impact on your daily life, then no, it's not worth it to buy a cheap Chinese ebay one, but I for one am more interested in some bang for my buck (and if these are legitimate, they're the most bang for my buck I've ever seen in this hobby).

 

Personally I just bought a USB/SPDIF converter based on the XMOS chip for the price of that entire chinese DAC, so if these DACs perform well, they are interesting. Take a look at these:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Assembled-board-ES9018-32bit-192khz-Hi-End-DAC-Optical-Coax-and-Balanced-output-/130896285657?pt=US_Amplifier_Parts_Components&hash=item1e7a06cfd9

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ES9018-32bit-192khz-Hi-End-DAC-Optical-Coax-and-Balanced-output-diy-kit-/130896291990?pt=US_Amplifier_Parts_Components&hash=item1e7a06e896

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Upgrade-Assembled-board-ESS-ES9018-32bit-192khz-DAC-Optical-Coaxial-Weiliang-/130945714645?pt=US_Amplifier_Parts_Components&hash=item1e7cf909d5

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Upgraded-parts-Dual-WM8741-WM8805-24-192KHZ-DAC-decoder-Optical-Coaxial-DAC7-/140986306406?pt=US_Amplifier_Parts_Components&hash=item20d3704f66

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Upgraded-Finished-DAC-Decoder-ES9018-32bit-192khz-DAC-Optical-Coaxial-USB-/141088296880?pt=US_Amplifier_Parts_Components&hash=item20d9848fb0

 

They all seem to be quite good for the price.

 

I wouldn't buy any of these. They're all based on the weiliang pcb for the ES9018. Not only the pcb design is poor but they're famous to be loaded with fake parts, passive as well as opamps.

 

 

If going Chinese, the Matrix products seem decently engineered. The new mini-i pro especially.

post #47 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

Gotta admit that the Benchmark doesn't look like much compared to those DACs though.

 

From a diyer's point of view, the Benchmark looks a lot better. By that, I mean that small details of pcb design show that the engineer at Benchmark knew what they were doing. Ground via stitching along critical paths for example. Or attention to filtering/shielding of the mains. Decoupling of the digital ICs look also optimal.

 

By contrast, the GD-Audio looks designed to appeal to audiophiles. Big red wima film caps decoupling the es9018.... :rolleyes: Those caps are visually appealing but are maybe the worst choice for the job.

post #48 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940 View Post
 

 

From a diyer's point of view, the Benchmark looks a lot better. By that, I mean that small details of pcb design show that the engineer at Benchmark knew what they were doing. Ground via stitching along critical paths for example. Or attention to filtering/shielding of the mains. Decoupling of the digital ICs look also optimal.

 

By contrast, the GD-Audio looks designed to appeal to audiophiles. Big red wima film caps decoupling the es9018.... :rolleyes: Those caps are visually appealing but are maybe the worst choice for the job.

 

See this is why it's always interesting to get the point of view of someone who actually knows what they're talking about.

 

Maybe I should just save up for a Benchmark DAC-2. :D

post #49 of 161
All variations on a theme. All you will hear is the quality of the opamps.

/me will now sit in his corner being completely silent biggrin.gif

oops, I was still reading on page 3. We're on page 4 now. I was referring to the Breeze Audio dac (this is just a name of a container firm, just a name on the case).
Edited by ]eep - 3/13/14 at 8:25am
post #50 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by ]eep View Post

All variations on a theme. All you will hear is the quality of the opamps.

/me will now sit in his corner being completely silent biggrin.gif

 

What do you recommend that's easily bought without having to mod it then? Because while I can recable a headphone, modding a DAC is way too advanced for me.

post #51 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by ]eep View Post

You can use opamps, but if you want something better than ... you better avoid opamps. Elmoe gave a few link to boards even without opamps, but that is still the same questions as "how do you like your oats in the morning". I don't like oats!!!

I have experience with several opamps, (even discreet ones from VALAB), and I have a collection of several different ones in my stash, but you will still end up with a delta-sigma dac with opamps. And in my experience that is not the way to audio heaven (meaning: squeezing out the last drops). The problem being: they make a lot of nasty ultrasonic noise that requires lots of filtering, and filtering affects the time-domain of high frequencies. And amplification; that amplification of tiny signals is what makes or breaks a dac. And in any case you loose information.

I think the Yulong has the potential to be very good. But the one I linked is much less than half the price ($500 vs $1300 for the Yulong). I would be interested in that one and hear if I'm right or wrong. If there would be one affordable option that could it would be that one.

And I like the Matrix X-sabre. It's just soooo well made. (why is there no drool smilie?)

The Matrix X-Sabre uses opamps and it is very well reviewed. Lots of owners on this forum love it. The Yulong dac I own also has opamps and it is well reviewed. It is the implementation and selection of parts that counts. Audio-gd plays to the audiophile mentality so they advertise that they don't use opamps in the signal path in some of their products. 

post #52 of 161

I think I might just end up buying a mid-tier (~500usd) audio-gd DAC that I will just resell if I find my Benchmark DAC1 more suitable. It's nice to try new things :D

post #53 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

I think I might just end up buying a mid-tier (~500usd) audio-gd DAC that I will just resell if I find my Benchmark DAC1 more suitable. It's nice to try new things :D

great !

post #54 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940 View Post

...
By contrast, the GD-Audio looks designed to appeal to audiophiles. Big red wima film caps decoupling the es9018.... rolleyes.gif Those caps are visually appealing but are maybe the worst choice for the job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post

See this is why it's always interesting to get the point of view of someone who actually knows what they're talking about.

Maybe I should just save up for a Benchmark DAC-2. biggrin.gif
I am not particularly fond of Wima caps, but this is not fair IMO. Wima makes a whole range of caps from MKS to MKP10, the latter are not bad at all. I don't know if the same goes for this application but I don't see why not.

I didn't remember the X-sabre has opamps.
This is how my mind works: wow, cnc-ed from a full block of aluminium.... Ess sabre 9018. Analog stage hum hm something. Price... ow! forget previous. rolleyes.gif

Ok, but seriously now. I know I can do it. This DAC-X10 DAC ES9018 is the one I was considering. It has a discrete output and everything else yummie.
post #55 of 161
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ]eep View Post
Ok, but seriously now. I know I can do it. This DAC-X10 DAC ES9018 is the one I was considering. It has a discrete output and everything else yummie.


That doesn't seem like a deal? Unless name brand versions of that style of DAC cost thousands?

 

Edit: how is that better than the $250 to $300 DAC linked earlier?


Edited by ag8908 - 3/13/14 at 8:50am
post #56 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by ]eep View Post

I am not particularly fond of Wima caps, but this is not fair IMO. Wima makes a whole range of caps from MKS to MKP10, the latter are not bad at all. I don't know if the same goes for this application but I don't see why not.

 

Don't get me wrong. Wima caps are very good for the money. It is a very reliable brand. The MKP from that brand are probably all you need for coupling caps for example. Even the "lowly" mks are surprisingly decent in the signal path and great for general purpose power filtering.

 

The problem is that those film caps (whatever the maker, it applies to vishay or panasonic as well) are not suited for high speed digital decoupling. They're physically too big and have too high an inductance, due to their construction. Worse, they tend to resonate at HF. Good quality ceramics and os-con solid polymer caps are much better alternatives for the job. 

post #57 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by ]eep View Post



I am not particularly fond of Wima caps, but this is not fair IMO. Wima makes a whole range of caps from MKS to MKP10, the latter are not bad at all. I don't know if the same goes for this application but I don't see why not.

I didn't remember the X-sabre has opamps.
This is how my mind works: wow, cnc-ed from a full block of aluminium.... Ess sabre 9018. Analog stage hum hm something. Price... ow! forget previous. rolleyes.gif

Ok, but seriously now. I know I can do it. This DAC-X10 DAC ES9018 is the one I was considering. It has a discrete output and everything else yummie.

 

It's interesting but I'm not sure it's a better deal than going with an audio-gd DAC for around the same price. How would you say it compares to:

 

http://audio-gd.com/Pro/dac/NFB1/NFB1PEN.htm

 

This one for example? I was considering getting this particular model, with the 2 clock upgrades + BNC input instead of RCA, which would come to around 600usd shipped to me.

post #58 of 161
Well I think yours is the better choice. I hadn't seen that AudioGd before. The 'Gustard' is a knockof of another very expensive dac and I thought the price was lower. But if the AudioGD is just $500 with more options the choice isn't that hard (for me anyways).
I buy stuff from Valab very often and they always have stuff that is just a bit better or special. I hadn't been searching for a while...
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940 View Post

Don't get me wrong. Wima caps are very good for the money. It is a very reliable brand. The MKP from that brand are probably all you need for coupling caps for example. Even the "lowly" mks are surprisingly decent in the signal path and great for general purpose power filtering.

The problem is that those film caps (whatever the maker, it applies to vishay or panasonic as well) are not suited for high speed digital decoupling. They're physically too big and have too high an inductance, due to their construction. Worse, they tend to resonate at HF. Good quality ceramics and os-con solid polymer caps are much better alternatives for the job. 
Tnx. Thats clear. For HF film caps are not suitable.
Edited by ]eep - 3/13/14 at 11:07am
post #59 of 161

Ok thanks for your input. Pretty sure I'm going to buy the audio-gd NFB-1P then. If I really find my Benchmark DAC1 better, then I'll just sell both of them and get a BM DAC2.

post #60 of 161
I found the NFB-1p is still rather new and not many ppl own it yet. So no wonder I wasn't aware of it. I can't even find a front picture with the display on.
Hopefully I'll have the money for it sometime this year. I am really curious for a comparison to my NOS dac.
Edited by ]eep - 3/13/14 at 1:28pm
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