Audinst HUD-MX1 vs. Little Dot DAC II (or MusicStreamer II)
Oct 12, 2010 at 2:42 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 37

stratowhammy

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I am looking for a new DAC, and I wanted to know if anyone had any experience or comparative experiences with these two (or three) different DACs.
 
I wanted to know specifically the comparison between the Audinst and the Little Dot DAC II (as they appear to have similar capabilities, but different price points).  I wanted to know how they shape up against one another.
 
The other consideration is the MusicStreamer II (around the same price as the MX1) but the MSII does not have an amplifier.
 
This website compares the two, but I wanted to hear from some head-fiers.
http://www.headfonia.com/the-hrt-music-streamer-ii-asynchronous-2496-for-149-95/
 
I have a modded Little Dot 1+ with upgraded OPA2228 and Mullard M8161 tubes and some low impedance headphones, so I dont necessarily need the amplifier part, but I know that my amp isn't necessarily the highest grade amp, so I'm curious about the amplifier part of these two DACs (maybe I shouldn't worry or be too curious...)
 
The MusicStreamer has seemed to get some mixed reviews on head-fi.  Please let me know what you all think might be the best purchase for getting music from my computer to my headphones or for getting music from my computer to my LD I+ tube amp.
 
Oct 13, 2010 at 7:12 AM Post #3 of 37

TheMiddleSky

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can't help for answer, but I just curious if Maverick D1 also include in this session 
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Oct 13, 2010 at 11:10 AM Post #4 of 37

rawrster

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http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/484235/review-audinst-hud-mx1-usb-dac-amp
 
That's a link to a nice review and does include a little comparison against the music streamer
 
Oct 13, 2010 at 12:20 PM Post #5 of 37

dw1narso

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Quote:
can't help for answer, but I just curious if Maverick D1 also include in this session 
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..never hear the Little Dot nor the HRT MSII, but with the Audinst HUD-MX1 as one of the competitive reference, I would not bother include Maverick D1 on the list.
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Oct 14, 2010 at 10:34 AM Post #6 of 37

project86

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The Maverick D1 is probably a great entry level do-it-all device. But you are paying for it as a DAC, headphone amp, and tube pre-amp, and it might be a better deal to focus on just the DAC since you already have a good amp.
 
For me, the Audinst was a clear improvement over the HRT Music Streamer+. I haven't heard the new Music Streamer II, so I don't know how much it has been improved. I doubt the Audinst would disappoint you for the price though. It's built in amp is surprisingly good, and then you would have the choice between solid state and tube sound depending on your mood/preference/music.
 
Oct 15, 2010 at 12:01 AM Post #8 of 37

dw1narso

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thanks to you Project86... I'm convinced to get Audinst after reading your review and experience.. and it does not disappoint me...
 
Oct 15, 2010 at 11:33 PM Post #9 of 37

kite7

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I had the HRT  MS II and I wasn't impressed, it was nothing special. If I had a choice I would take the uDAC-2 over the HRT but I'll take the Audinst over them both.
 
Oct 15, 2010 at 11:40 PM Post #10 of 37

rawrster

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How's the uDAC2 vs the Audinst? I'm thinking of picking up a smaller transportable dac/amp and the udac2 is an option. I expect the Audinst to be better but by how much is the question.
 
Oct 16, 2010 at 12:08 AM Post #11 of 37

kite7

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If you're using it with IEMs then uDAC-2 is good enough, the difference is hard to pick out between Audinst and uDAC-2 with my Westone 2. Through the headphone output of the Audinst using my Grado RS1, it sounds noticeably better than the uDAC-2 especially when I throw in the AD797 opamp when it comes to low bass presence, soundstage and generally better separation and "air" between instruments and vocals. The vocals through the uDAC-2 were too upfront on my RS1.There's no hiss on my Audinst and uDAC-2, even though some have reported hiss with their uDAC-2 when using IEMs.
 
Oct 19, 2010 at 4:54 AM Post #12 of 37

Sinofdreams999

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If you have hd650 then I wouldn't recommend audinst mx-1. It's a good dac but it does sound little laid back and that's not what you want with hd650. On the other hand, HRT streamer II has slight forwarding sound and wider sound stage which matches perfectly with dark sounding hd650. But I have to admit, when it comes down to functionality HRT doesn't have much to offer. It's just simple piece of dac and nothing more. Even the packaging is very simple. One tiny dac in small white box with no cables whatsoever.
 
Oct 19, 2010 at 11:58 PM Post #13 of 37

stratowhammy

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So, if I have an amp already, then would you recommend the music streamer II since it has a wider sound stage... I dont have hd650s (not that I wouldn't love to at some point) but when I do, my Little Dot I+ amp probably won't power a pair of hd650s properly anyway (it supposedly high voltage and best for powering lower impedance cans --- I dont fully understand the science, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I've been told the LD I+ is best for lower impedance headphones.)
 
SO, if all I really need is the DAC is the music streamer II the way to go... what I've been trying to figure out is whether or not I should get the audinst because it is so versatile, or if the HRT MS II+ is better for my purposes.
 
thanks
 
Oct 20, 2010 at 12:36 AM Post #14 of 37

leeperry

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The nice thing about the MusicStreamer II is that its USB input is galvanically isolated from one of its makers said here on head-fi...the other two don't. But god knows what USB chip/DAC/opamps it uses...and between those 3, only the LD has a proper PSU...and rollable opamps on its line-out.
 
Oct 20, 2010 at 2:34 PM Post #15 of 37

stratowhammy

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so, obviously the Little Dot DAC II is in another price class from the Music Streamer II and the MX1, but do you think that the few things that you cited here would drastically improve the sound quality (i know that it has a lot to do with the chip's design too... I've read reviews on here that glow about the Little Dot DAC)
 
Honestly, I thought there would be more love for the LD than there has been so far, but maybe thats because the MSII+ and the MX-1 are in the same price range.
 

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