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Are there any Portable DACs capable of DSD512 playback?

  1. Tex Irie
    Can anyone recommend a portable DAC capable of DSD512 playback besides I-Fi Audio's offerings?
  2. jacknson123
    Sabaj Da2?
  3. Tex Irie
    Good looking out.. Have you ever used this DAC? If so what does it sound like?
  4. jacknson123
    I only use it with iem to get rid of hissing. Doesn't sound that much different than my laptop.
  5. Tex Irie
    All I use now are iem's. So this should do just fine.
  6. HBen
    I'll turn the plate around and ask: what exactly is the point of playing DSD512 on a mobile DAC?

    I find it pretty much impossible to hear any difference between a redbook CD and even a DSD64 file on my 8000$ stationary headphone setup ... but maybe that's just me.
  7. Tex Irie
    Greetings and Salutations HBen,

    Allow me to retort. Why Not? For the same reasons some people can hear the extrapolation of micro detail and other minutiae by changing cable properties, modifying perfectly good headphones, upsampling, daisy chaining DACs/Amps, or stacking. Whatever the perceived effect or desired outcome, isn't the goal of the technical aspects of this hobby to ultimately enjoy the music we listen to?

    I would DSD1024 if it were possible from a mobile device, for the mere fact that some incredible engineers made these things possible. I personally marvel at the creative and intellectual processes behind the things I enjoy in life.

    I hope my answer satisfactorily quenches your curiosity. Take care and be well HBen.
    harry501501 likes this.
  8. HBen
    I agree that the goal of the technical aspects of this hobby is to ultimately enjoy the music we listen to.

    For the rest let me try to make my point more precise:
    The way I see it, the sound that comes out of the headphones or speakers at the end is basically influenced by all steps before it.

    What matters is the whole chain from the recording, mixing, mastering, the music file, the DAC, Amp, eventually the cables in between and finally the headphone or speakers. Plus of course the mood of the listener and so on and so on ...

    And while some factory may have a bigger impact than others, it is in the end the synergy of all factors that creates the sound and the bottlenecks that hinder it from becoming "better".

    So in this kind of system (and a portable system is always a compromise), what is the point of taking something that has very little to no effect, respectively is already on an extremely high level and make it even better, when there are so many other factors that basically hinder the synergy from becoming better?

    Or to say it with a car analogy: why would someone put shell v-power fuel into an old army truck from second world war?

    So in conclusion for both examples:
    Yes of course you can do it if you're happy about it and feel better, if you think its cool, a technical miracle or just because you can - but that doesn't actually mean that it makes much sense in a technical way or that it improves sound quality - apart from placebo effect of course (which is actually pretty real in this hobby) :)
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  9. harry501501
    I have the next version up from the Sabaj Da2... the da3 (shocker lol). i use it on my laptop though. DSD playback is flawless with the proper driver. Admittedly I'm not sure there's big difference in playback. All I notice is the DSD music play at louder volumes than say FLAC. I'd say 'firmer' but not sure if that's my mind looking for a difference?! I agree that you should make the most of the technology out there. So why not indeed! It's another feature.

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