Best DAC in between the DAC1 and the DAC-AH?
Mar 14, 2006 at 7:31 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

skyline889

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Posts
4,271
Likes
15
What is the best dac around the $300-500 mark? The DAC1 is way too expensive for me right now and I don't want to buy something cheap like the DAC-AH and constantly feel like I bought second best, any suggestions?
 
Mar 14, 2006 at 9:22 AM Post #3 of 13

Comfy

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Posts
1,328
Likes
12
Let me be the first one to recommend the Zhaolu. No, I won't touch the upgraded/stock question without my ten feet pole.
rolleyes.gif
 
Mar 14, 2006 at 3:54 PM Post #4 of 13

chadh

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
104
Likes
10
Well, you could try the Audio Mirror DAC. That way you could get something that's almost exactly the same as the DAC AH, but pay a lot more. Then you wouldn't have to worry about having bought something cheap.
wink.gif


But seriously, there are loads of DACS in that price range (and a little higher).

The Lite DAC 60 gets lots of press as a giant killer. I think you can get them for around $460. You could probably pick up a used ACK! dACK! v.2 for around $500 (maybe a little more). A used ACK v.1 would probably go for around $300-$350. The new CI Audio VDA-2 is around $650, I think. It's meant to be really nice, but a little beyond your price range. But the now discontinued VDA-1 is probably cheap on the second hand market.

There are a heap of NOS DACS that popped up: the ACK, the DAC AH, the audio mirror, a couple of different ones from Scott Nixon, plus a couple of DIY options like the Monica II. They will all have a similar sound: preferences between them will vary.

Also, you might be able to find a used ART DI/O with modifications. The Mensa mods by the Bolder Cable Company were well regarded, and you might find a Mensa DI/O on audiogon for $350-ish.

If I were buying new in your price range, I'd probably try the Lite DAC 60. Unless I could stretch the budget a little and try the Channel Islands VDA-2.

Chad
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 9:19 AM Post #5 of 13

skyline889

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Posts
4,271
Likes
15
Does anyone know if the Theta DS Pro Basic is any good? It's a $2000 DAC that I found used for $475, is this a good deal? I looked at the ones you guys suggested but I kind of wanted to go full-size, thanks.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 10:16 AM Post #7 of 13

slwiser

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 23, 2001
Posts
6,317
Likes
24
What is the price on the Scott Dixon DAC? That has been one of the good low cost DACs.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 10:22 AM Post #8 of 13

skyline889

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Posts
4,271
Likes
15
Yeah, I was just looking at the one from Storm, but I have a hard time spending a hundred bucks just one shipping, does it have multiple inputs or just one? I was also looking at the Nixon earlier today and it's about $475 but judgint form the pictures I think I wanted something a little bigger.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 10:24 AM Post #9 of 13

some1x

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 20, 2003
Posts
2,186
Likes
59
Nixon TubeDAC $475. It was one of the DACs I considered trying, until I saw the D02. They are both NOS DACs, but D02 offers super clean battery power, a much nicer case (TubeDACs case just feels too cheap), and a reclocking circuit.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 10:31 AM Post #10 of 13

some1x

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 20, 2003
Posts
2,186
Likes
59
Quote:

Originally Posted by skyline889
Yeah, I was just looking at the one from Storm, but I have a hard time spending a hundred bucks just one shipping, does it have multiple inputs or just one? I was also looking at the Nixon earlier today and it's about $475 but judgint form the pictures I think I wanted something a little bigger.


As an option (either it is free or cost like $10), the Storm D02 can be built with two inputs: toslink and coaxial. I am going to buy one as soon as the black one is available (end of month).

About the shipping cost. The DAC weighs around 24 pounds
eek.gif
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 10:43 AM Post #11 of 13

Patu

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Posts
3,302
Likes
15
Quote:

Originally Posted by some1x
As an option (either it is free or cost like $10), the Storm D02 can be built with two inputs: toslink and coaxial. I am going to buy one as soon as the black one is available (end of month).


Same here. Except that I'm going for the silver one with toslink. I haven't yet decided will I go for the baby version or the bigger one. I'm not sure if LCD screen, bigger case and the battery are worth of 120EUR.

Then I'll make some comparsions with Zhaolu and keep the better one.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 10:47 AM Post #12 of 13

some1x

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 20, 2003
Posts
2,186
Likes
59
If there is any chance that you resell it, I would recommend that you get dual inputs. It is be much more difficult to sell a DAC that only accepts toslink.

I prefer the simple aethetics and smaller size of Baby D02. But sound is first!
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 10:54 AM Post #13 of 13

Patu

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Posts
3,302
Likes
15
Quote:

Originally Posted by some1x
If there is any chance that you resell it, I would recommend that you get dual inputs. It is be much more difficult to sell a DAC that only accepts toslink.

I prefer the simple aethetics and smaller size of Baby D02. But sound is first!



My mistake. I remembered that it's available with only one of those inputs but I remembered wrong. Ken told me that there will be both, coaxial and toslink.

Considering outlook, LCD gives some points for the big brother but its size might be too much for me.

I have always been pretty sceptical when it comes to power cords and powering in general so we'll see.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top