Dac Opinions and Options Please...
May 21, 2021 at 9:28 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 34

sideways

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I'm in the market for a dac... it's been along time!!

First and foremost I don't care about the last word in detail... I can't hear above 10k anyway!!

I want something musical and pleasing.... non-fatiguing... darker sounding... euphoric... depth... tonality is extremely important and so is the midrange presentation.

Budget is under $1k CAD.

All I'm going to do is stream from a CCA... mostly Spotify and internet radio.

Help a guy out... I'm getting lost in all the Topping\SMSL BS...

Thanks!!
 
May 21, 2021 at 12:59 PM Post #2 of 34

hodgjy

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I'm in the market for a dac... it's been along time!!

First and foremost I don't care about the last word in detail... I can't hear above 10k anyway!!

I want something musical and pleasing.... non-fatiguing... darker sounding... euphoric... depth... tonality is extremely important and so is the midrange presentation.

Budget is under $1k CAD.

All I'm going to do is stream from a CCA... mostly Spotify and internet radio.

Help a guy out... I'm getting lost in all the Topping\SMSL BS...

Thanks!!
I recommend the Musical Fidelity V90-DAC. It's an older model that is still in production, and it just came back in stock at a lot of retailers. I really like it because it uses the Burr-Brown PCM1795 advanced segment DAC. This uses multibit for the most significant bits and delta-sigma for the least significant bits. What does this all mean? It's smooth, warmish, but doesn't lack details. It has very good layering. It doesn't have the digititis you often experience in other DACs.
 
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May 21, 2021 at 3:16 PM Post #4 of 34

sideways

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hodgjy - thanks for the recommendations!! I had the old v-dac back in the day and it was really enjoyable... like the old nos 1541 dacs I had... seems like those have gone the way in favour of a lot of OS dacs...

PopZeus - thanks as well!! I was actually reading the Denafrips thread also the Metrum thread... I think if I had the choice between the two I would lean towards the Metrum...

I've also come across an old Bryston BDA-1 which seems interesting considering I'm running a B60.

As for Schiit... I have a Loki+ which I use occasionally and have looked at the Modi Multibit...

One thing that scares me is if the sound signature is V shaped... that's the last thing I want!!
 
May 21, 2021 at 4:14 PM Post #5 of 34

hodgjy

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hodgjy - thanks for the recommendations!! I had the old v-dac back in the day and it was really enjoyable... like the old nos 1541 dacs I had... seems like those have gone the way in favour of a lot of OS dacs...

PopZeus - thanks as well!! I was actually reading the Denafrips thread also the Metrum thread... I think if I had the choice between the two I would lean towards the Metrum...

I've also come across an old Bryston BDA-1 which seems interesting considering I'm running a B60.

As for Schiit... I have a Loki+ which I use occasionally and have looked at the Modi Multibit...

One thing that scares me is if the sound signature is V shaped... that's the last thing I want!!
I still have the V-DAC II, which is what led me to the V90. They use similar chips and are both advanced segment, but the V90 is newer and has the meaningless 32 bit upgrade. If you liked the V-DAC, you’ll enjoy the V90 as it’s similar but a little better. It’s a little more dynamic and has slightly sweeter treble.

I currently also have 3 Schiit DACs, including the multibit Gungnir, and I’ve decided I don’t like the Schiit sound as much as I thought I did and I’m now happier with the V90.
 
May 21, 2021 at 10:10 PM Post #6 of 34

m-i-c-k-e-y

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Try some R2R DACs . Denafrips Ares 2 is in your budget. Or some Audio-Gd models R2R R11 or the dedicated R-1.

Or a DAC with a Tube Output section. Musical Paradise MP-D2 MK3 might be a little over budget. But it is a Canadian brand and you have endless possibilities to tune due to its modular design.

 
May 21, 2021 at 11:05 PM Post #7 of 34

InvisibleInk

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I'm in the market for a dac... it's been along time!!

First and foremost I don't care about the last word in detail... I can't hear above 10k anyway!!

I want something musical and pleasing.... non-fatiguing... darker sounding... euphoric... depth... tonality is extremely important and so is the midrange presentation.

Budget is under $1k CAD.

All I'm going to do is stream from a CCA... mostly Spotify and internet radio.

Help a guy out... I'm getting lost in all the Topping\SMSL BS...

Thanks!!
Are you going to stream wireless to the DAC from your phone, DAP, or computer?
 
May 22, 2021 at 7:03 AM Post #8 of 34

sideways

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Everything is stream via Chromecast audio... other than a tuner for local FM that is all I'm doing at the moment.

And as much as I love tubes... that is something I do not want to go back to at the moment... downsizing for retirement :)

hodgjy - are the any other MF dacs that you have heard that might suit??
 
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May 22, 2021 at 9:31 AM Post #9 of 34

hodgjy

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Everything is stream via Chromecast audio... other than a tuner for local FM that is all I'm doing at the moment.

And as much as I love tubes... that is something I do not want to go back to at the moment... downsizing for retirement :)

hodgjy - are the any other MF dacs that you have heard that might suit??
I’ve only heard the V-DAC II and V90-DAC and they were quite similar. MF seems like the Burr-Brown PCM179x series of chips for their house sound, so it’s reasonable to conclude they are all more similar than different.
 
May 25, 2021 at 5:26 AM Post #12 of 34

mammal

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May 30, 2021 at 8:19 AM Post #13 of 34

sideways

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Update... received a Bryston BDA-1... not even close to what I am looking for which is unfortunate as it is an excellently built unit!! Up for sale btw if anyone is interested :)

I guess I might have to look into something from Metrum or Mhdt...
 
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