New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What DAC do I need?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi All,
I am new to the forum and hope this is the right section for this discussion.

Ire recently purchased a pair of b&w cm1 speakers that i intend to power with an audiolab 8000a amplifier that has just been sent to service and upgrade (this alone cost me £260). I am planning now to buy a DAC, as i am planning to run music from my desktop via usb.

I would really appreciate your advise on what DAC i require to get the best possible outcome for my ears. I was planning for the audiolab m-dac, but then I encountered the iFi audio iDac that looks nice and reliable.. But is this at the same level of the m-dac? Is the m-dac excessive given my set up? Please any advise is welcome i am open to ideas to improve my set up given i am not an expert!

Thanks
post #2 of 16

in here (sound science section) you will mostly find people telling you that most dac should and will sound the same.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

hmm. so the cheaper the better?

post #4 of 16

Lol, no, DACs do not sound the same IMO. What is your price range? 

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lin0003 View Post
 

Lol, no, DACs do not sound the same IMO.

 

Correct. But only until DACs reach a point where they all are completely transparent to the human ear. Then they should all sound the same.

No idea when that point is reached, though.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lin0003 View Post
 

Lol, no, DACs do not sound the same IMO. What is your price range? 

500-900$

post #7 of 16
Perhaps you should try looking at the geek out 1000 here http://www.head-fi.org/t/711267/light-harmonic-geek-out-em-1000-impressions-thread. My personal take on this amp is that it is simply one of the best sounding solid state amps I have ever purchased, albeit beaten by some audiophile grade dacs that are way more expensive. At $299, this little thing is a real beast. It has been described to sound like high quality desktop amps, despite this being just a small device plugged into the usb port. What is the most amazing thing about this is its ability to decode 32-bit / 384hz which pretty much ensures that you get maximum quality out of your flats. Most dacs in the 400-500 price range only have 24/192 decoding, and so far all I'm seeing is really good reviews on this dac. A great device, really.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJohnson View Post

Perhaps you should try looking at the geek out 1000 here http://www.head-fi.org/t/711267/light-harmonic-geek-out-em-1000-impressions-thread. My personal take on this amp is that it is simply one of the best sounding solid state amps I have ever purchased, albeit beaten by some audiophile grade dacs that are way more expensive. At $299, this little thing is a real beast. It has been described to sound like high quality desktop amps, despite this being just a small device plugged into the usb port. What is the most amazing thing about this is its ability to decode 32-bit / 384hz which pretty much ensures that you get maximum quality out of your flats. Most dacs in the 400-500 price range only have 24/192 decoding, and so far all I'm seeing is really good reviews on this dac. A great device, really.

what about the new iFi Micro iDSD? this can play DSD files directly from Iphone

 

Has anybody tried this?

post #9 of 16
ODAC and call it a day would likely be the consensus here?
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

ODAC and call it a day would likely be the consensus here?

you mean this JDS Labs O2 + ODAC?

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

ODAC and call it a day would likely be the consensus here?

JDS Labs O2 + ODAC

 

you mean this?

post #12 of 16
Yeah, that's what I meant.
post #13 of 16

The general subforum for DAC recommendations, advice, subjective impressions, etc. would be Dedicated Source Components.

 

Under the majority of home listening scenarios (not doing weird things like really turning the volume down somewhere and amplifying it a lot later, multiple loops in and out of gear, etc.) probably gear much worse than top-end stuff, more middle-range high performers like some sound cards / pro interfaces / audiophile stuff carefully designed, should sound all the same if level matched anyway. In general you can get away with less on the electronics than most people suggest. See many results like this, for example:

http://matrixhifi.com/ENG_marco.htm

 

Even if you have better ability to discern things than all these audiophiles, audio engineers, and whoever else getting thrown into these things, the difference in effect between most DACs (excepting some audiophile creations that definitely intend to bend the rules or do something different) should probably be dwarfed by inconsistencies in response of the speaker, room interactions and acoustics that make a difference every time you listen because you can't literally keep your head in the exact same position, and so on.

 

Go for something with the right features for you, but in terms of audio quality itself, there is not that much evidence of needing extraordinary performance and specialist gear. I guess if it brings peace of mind... then again, try not to think of all the other stuff in the chain, including all the stuff out of your control, that is affecting the sound.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

correct me if wrong. but this seems to be a much better piece of equipment 

http://ifi-audio.com/portfolio-view/micro-idsd/

 

don't you agree?

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

don't you think the iFi Micro iDSD is a better piece of equipment? check out the specs, it decodes natively up to DXD and has 2 DAC chips by Burr Brown.. advise welcome as I am no expert.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home