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Super cheap DACs - are they any good? - Page 2

post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 

Then are the other PCM2704 DACs just the ELE EL-D02 with no headphone amp? Does a amp make any difference if your headphones are about 32 ohms? Some of the ELE DACs are listed with "ELNA capacitors", what does this mean?

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Question2 View Post
 

Then are the other PCM2704 DACs just the ELE EL-D02 with no headphone amp? Does a amp make any difference if your headphones are about 32 ohms? Some of the ELE DACs are listed with "ELNA capacitors", what does this mean?

 

The ELE EL-D01 does not have an added head amp.

post #18 of 26
Just get the hifimediy sabre I can confirm that it has an amp plenty strong enough for 32ohm and even some higher impedance headphones.

http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=83

But be careful with unproven Chinese dacs I just had a really bad experience with a $90 Chinese no name dac. It even had issues like line noise.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post

Just get the hifimediy sabre I can confirm that it has an amp plenty strong enough for 32ohm and even some higher impedance headphones.

http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=83

But be careful with unproven Chinese dacs I just had a really bad experience with a $90 Chinese no name dac. It even had issues like line noise.

 

I've bought several of those $60-$100 no-name (SMSL, Chinese) DACs, they do not work for every long.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 3/28/14 at 9:22am
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

I've bought several of those $60-$100 no-name (Chinese) DACs, they do not work for every long.

 

Yeah they're fun to buy and play with but at the end of the day they're kind of a waste of money.

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

I've bought several of those $60-$100 no-name (Chinese) DACs, they do not work for every long.

I've been suspecting the reliability since the OP started this thread.

What kinds of problems have you seen?... USB/connectivity reliability issues or something different?  I have bought several cheap no-name MP3 players that had this problem.

post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 

The reason why i was looking at cheap DACs is becasue i wanted to try it out to see if there would be any improvement at all. I dont want to put down $50 for a hifimediy sabre only to find out that it doesnt do much.

 

The DACs i was looking at on ebay are just above $10.

 

Theres a $30 tiny sabre though : http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&filter_name=sabre&product_id=107

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Question2 View Post
 

The reason why i was looking at cheap DACs is becasue i wanted to try it out to see if there would be any improvement at all. I dont want to put down $50 for a hifimediy sabre only to find out that it doesnt do much.

 

The DACs i was looking at on ebay are just above $10.

 

Theres a $30 tiny sabre though : http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&filter_name=sabre&product_id=107


In my experience, the HifimeDIY sabre won't be an improvement over a decent laptop or phone DAC, it'll be about the same, and my $86 chinese DAC (not really cheap) was actually worse than my laptop/phone dac, in the sense that it had line noise and a worse amplifier.

 

Unfortunately, it seems like you need to spend real bucks if you want to do better than what you have (although I don't know what you have exactly).

post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 

Oh i see. Previous posts gave me the impression that laptop sound chips would probably be worse than a decent DAC...its too bad theres no way to try before you buy.

post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Question2 View Post
 

Oh i see. Previous posts gave me the impression that laptop sound chips would probably be worse than a decent DAC...its too bad theres no way to try before you buy.

It wasn't for my laptop's (a realtek 269 chip + a 2.3w amp) but you can look up your laptop's dac chip and amp power via google etc. I guess it depends on what you have. but the hifimeDIY sabre will get you as good as anything you can find for $40, I suspect.

post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post
 

I've been suspecting the reliability since the OP started this thread.

What kinds of problems have you seen?... USB/connectivity reliability issues or something different?  I have bought several cheap no-name MP3 players that had this problem.

I have one of SMSL's $100 DACs, worked when i first used it, which would have been an hour at most, put in a box for several months, when back hook it up, would not turn on.

My $65 SMSL DAC arrived and I tried to get coaxial input to work, no luck.

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