$2000 DAC/AMP battle
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NickedWicked

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So I've been doing some research and I discovered the following AMP/DAC systems that are absolutely astonishing for the price:

  • Mytek Brooklyn+
  • RME ADI-2 Pro
  • Benchmark DAC3 HGC
  • Chord Hugo 2
Do you guys have any experience with some of these? Would love some comparisons as I was very amazed with reviews of the DAC3 but the other 3 seem just as amazing!

It will be an upgrade from my concurrent Schiit stack which consists out of a Bifrost Multibit and a Lyr 2.

Edit:

To elaborate a bit more a reviewer said that the DAC3 compared to the Mytek Brooklyn(non+) and said they are basically identical sound-wise except for the high-end which is a bit more airy on the Brooklyn and more cohesive on the DAC3.

Another review said that the DAC3 was a bit more transparent than the ADI-2 Pro, but the ADI-2 Pro was a bit more musical with the dynamics.

As for the Hugo 2 I have no idea, should be close, but since the DAC in the DAC3 is technically slightly better than in the almighty DAVE I'm kinda worried.

Edit 2:

If it matters I may use the DAC/AMP to power my active PreSonus monitors from time to time aside from the RME Babyface Pro I normally use for the studio.
 
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cossix

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I haven't heard any of those yet but I keep hearing that the Chord products measure better than every single other product in their price range. I can't translate that into how it sounds, but the Hugo seems to be a very solid product that, on paper, wipes the floor with its competitors
 
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nordkapp

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I owned the Benchmark DAC2DX. it performed flawlessly and sounded excellent. Kicking myself for selling it. When they come out with a DAC4 I'm quite sure I'm going back to them.
 
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NickedWicked

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I have not heard any of them. However, I am a big Chord fan (owned the 2Qute and Mojo) and know that Chord DACs measure better than pretty much anything else regardless of price in just about every aspect of sound/performance. (Timing accuracy thousands of times more precise than other DACs, noise shaping trillions of times more advanced than conventional ones for better small signal resolution, zero noise floor modulation, zero jitter, very low distortion, high dynamic range, etc.) So if you are after objective high fidelity, I say go for Chord.

since the DAC in the DAC3 is technically slightly better than in the almighty DAVE I'm kinda worried.
Could you link to evidence of this?
 
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NickedWicked

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I have not heard any of them. However, I am a big Chord fan (owned the 2Qute and Mojo) and know that Chord DACs measure better than pretty much anything else regardless of price in just about every aspect of sound/performance. (Timing accuracy thousands of times more precise than other DACs, noise shaping trillions of times more advanced than conventional ones for better small signal resolution, zero noise floor modulation, zero jitter, very low distortion, high dynamic range, etc.) So if you are after objective high fidelity, I say go for Chord.



Could you link to evidence of this?
http://headphone.guru/benchmark-dac3-hgc-new-standard-transparency-resolution/

This review talks a tiny bit about the amp of the DAC3 vs DAVE which the reviewer found a bit lacking

This post by Christer also delivers some nice points: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/cho...official-thread.831345/page-577#post-13808902

Also a SNR of 128db from the DAC3 vs the DAVE which is 126db
 
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http://headphone.guru/benchmark-dac3-hgc-new-standard-transparency-resolution/

This review talks a tiny bit about the amp of the DAC3 vs DAVE which the reviewer found a bit lacking

This post by Christer also delivers some nice points: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/cho...official-thread.831345/page-577#post-13808902

Also a SNR of 128db from the DAC3 vs the DAVE which is 126db
Okay, but Chord is far superior in at least the first four categories I listed.

The thing about the amplification in Chord DAC/amps is that they are in the DAC's analog output stage and are akin to listening to the direct output of the DAC. Some people prefer the coloration of an external amp rather than strict accuracy. Just bear in mind that when someone says they think something is better, sometimes that just means it's actually worse and they prefer it that way. Some drive even the Abyss AB-1266 (one of the lowest sensitivity headphones) directly from the DAVE and prefer its more transparent sound over much more powerful headphone and speaker amps.

As for third party measurements, I wouldn't trust them when it comes to Chord. Measurements are more complex than you may think and can be misleading. Check out the designer Rob Watts' posts, which contain more accurate measurements, technical explanations, and the like.
 
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LKS MH DA004 has Dynamic range of more than 135Db
 
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Okay, but Chord is far superior in at least the first four categories I listed.

The thing about the amplification in Chord DAC/amps is that they are in the DAC's analog output stage and are akin to listening to the direct output of the DAC. Some people prefer the coloration of an external amp rather than strict accuracy. Just bear in mind that when someone says they think something is better, sometimes that just means it's actually worse and they prefer it that way. Some drive even the Abyss AB-1266 (one of the lowest sensitivity headphones) directly from the DAVE and prefer its more transparent sound over much more powerful headphone and speaker amps.

As for third party measurements, I wouldn't trust them when it comes to Chord. Measurements are more complex than you may think and can be misleading. Check out the designer Rob Watts' posts, which contain more accurate measurements, technical explanations, and the like.
Okay, but Chord is far superior in at least the first four categories I listed.

The thing about the amplification in Chord DAC/amps is that they are in the DAC's analog output stage and are akin to listening to the direct output of the DAC. Some people prefer the coloration of an external amp rather than strict accuracy. Just bear in mind that when someone says they think something is better, sometimes that just means it's actually worse and they prefer it that way. Some drive even the Abyss AB-1266 (one of the lowest sensitivity headphones) directly from the DAVE and prefer its more transparent sound over much more powerful headphone and speaker amps.

As for third party measurements, I wouldn't trust them when it comes to Chord. Measurements are more complex than you may think and can be misleading. Check out the designer Rob Watts' posts, which contain more accurate measurements, technical explanations, and the like.
Have you actually spent serious listening time with the other 3 units listed? If you haven't, then you can't possibly make those claims with any credibility. Measurements aren't everything. Actually quite far from everything.
 
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Yeah, that is why as long as it sound good, you gotta follow Dr.Fang instincts
 
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I actually preferred my previous matrix-xsabre + liquid carbon than hugo 2 after listen to them for 4 days. I've listen to brooklyn + for around 30-40 minutes in multiple sessions at canjam and I would say they sounds amazing with better clarity, improved microdetail and smoother than my xsabre. But the amp section could be better I think. Although I prefer spring dac level 3 and yggy to brooklyn+.
 
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Have you actually spent serious listening time with the other 3 units listed? If you haven't, then you can't possibly make those claims with any credibility. Measurements aren't everything. Actually quite far from everything.
I already clearly stated that I have not heard the particular DACs he listed. But I am talking about measured, objective performance, which isn't a matter of opinion. If some people enjoy something more that measures worse, that's fine; as for me, my goal is high fidelity, which can be measured.
 
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