December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison
Nov 10, 2013 at 11:47 PM Post #16 of 1,331

brunk

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Gary,
 
That switch you linked will work just fine, i use the exact same one and always recommend it. I just forgot to mention it lol.
 
EDIT: Actually I use the 5 input one, it's just $1 more should i ever go crazy with Turntables, disc players, DACs etc. 
tongue_smile.gif
 
 
Nov 11, 2013 at 12:09 AM Post #17 of 1,331

Gary in MD

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Okay, it didn't take long for me to find what I needed on the Chordette QuteHD.  If I can get it with any reasonable return policy it's in.  It apparently comes with a crappy switching power supply though, so I might have to find a better linear supply... or maybe even a battery!  Sounds like a job for Zilch!
 
So which of the 9018 units should drop out?
 
Nov 11, 2013 at 12:13 AM Post #18 of 1,331

Gary in MD

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  Gary,
 
That switch you linked will work just fine, i use the exact same one and always recommend it. I just forgot to mention it lol.
 
EDIT: Actually I use the 5 input one, it's just $1 more should i ever go crazy with Turntables, disc players, DACs etc. 
tongue_smile.gif
 


Yeah, I tried to think of how many of these things I would need to hook up before I lost track of what I was listening to.  4 seemed to be the max I would ever need, but 5 is a nice number too... I'll think about it!  But good thing they don't make one with 8 inputs... hey wait, they do! (head explodes)
 
Nov 11, 2013 at 12:25 AM Post #20 of 1,331

Jd007

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  Okay, it didn't take long for me to find what I needed on the Chordette QuteHD.  If I can get it with any reasonable return policy it's in.  It apparently comes with a crappy switching power supply though, so I might have to find a better linear supply... or maybe even a battery!  Sounds like a job for Zilch!
 
So which of the 9018 units should drop out?

The Anedio D2, Matrix X-Sabre, and Yulong DA8 have been compared quite extensively (IMO) by project86 in his reviews of these units (see http://www.head-fi.org/t/673033/review-yulong-audio-sabre-da8-reference-dac for a 3-way shootout), so maybe drop some of these to make room for others? Of course it's good for others to confirm the comparisons as well, so up to you.
 
Nov 11, 2013 at 12:35 AM Post #21 of 1,331

Gary in MD

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Good input.  The Anedio has a good audition program, and I already have a customer for the DA8 if I don't keep it, so I propose that the first off the list would be the Matrix X-Sabre, since it has more return risk for me. 
 
Any arguments against that logic?
 
Nov 11, 2013 at 12:38 AM Post #22 of 1,331

brunk

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Gary,
 
In regards to "which ESS DAC to scratch off the list?" I am going to say this objectively as I can, and take into account your top priority of being trial/return friendly.
 
 I say the BMC PureDAC (followed by Concero) should be scratched off. The reasoning behind this is that if you don't have a balanced amp, or desire the built-in amp and preamp, it's money spent on features you don't need. The second choice of the Concero because spec-wise it's a lesser ESS model, and appears to be only USB-powered which is an unreliable method of power delivery.
 
Nov 11, 2013 at 1:10 AM Post #23 of 1,331

Gary in MD

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Good points.  Any rebuttals from the crowd (such as it is)? 
 
Here are my personal first responses.  Is there any indication that BMC has done a better job of implementing the 9018 than others have?  Or that the HP amp is any good?  I wouldn't mind having the PureDAC's built-in amp/pre-amp.  I currently only have my pre-historic Adcom pre-amp and it's HP out, and I would need something to drive hard-wired TRS connected cans if I ever get any... plus I could possibly use it to attenuate the input to the Cyclops and thus get more into the amp's power range.  Of course I could also get one of those fancy attenuators you guys have been building...
 
The Concero has the advantage of being cheap, which gives me an opportunity to analyze the price/performance tradeoff, and keep the total up-front cost of the testing down a bit -- remember, I have to pay for all of these units up front, and then make sure I get timely refunds to avoid having a bit of a cash crunch.  Of course, the Emotiva is even cheaper, so I can use that as my bargain unit... and if I end up having to drop a unit (e.g., testing 9 instead of 10, or 8 instead of 9) to keep the costs reasonable, I'll do that as long as we have a good mix.  On second thought, who am I kidding... I'm not dropping the size of the group based on up-front cost... in for an inch, in for a mile. I'll only drop the number of contenders if we can't come up with 10 that have decent return risk.
 
Nov 11, 2013 at 1:17 AM Post #24 of 1,331

brunk

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  Good points.  Any rebuttals from the crowd (such as it is)? 
 
Here are my personal first responses.  Is there any indication that BMC has done a better job of implementing the 9018 than others have?  Or that the HP amp is any good?  I wouldn't mind having the PureDAC's built-in amp/pre-amp.  I currently only have my pre-historic Adcom pre-amp and it's HP out, and I would need something to drive hard-wired TRS connected cans if I ever get any... plus I could possibly use it to attenuate the input to the Cyclops and thus get more into the amp's power range.  Of course I could also get one of those fancy attenuators you guys have been building...
 
The Concero has the advantage of being cheap, which gives me an opportunity to analyze the price/performance tradeoff, and keep the total up-front cost of the testing down a bit -- remember, I have to pay for all of these units up front, and then make sure I get timely refunds to avoid having a bit of a cash crunch.  Of course, the Emotiva is even cheaper, so I can use that as my bargain unit... and if I end up having to drop a unit (e.g., testing 9 instead of 10, or 8 instead of 9) to keep the costs reasonable, I'll do that as long as we have a good mix.  On second thought, who am I kidding... I'm not dropping the size of the group based on up-front cost... in for an inch, in for a mile. I'll only drop the number of contenders if we can't come up with 10 that have decent return risk.

Based on your thoughts, I see all the more reason to drop the BMC because it overlaps too much with the DA8. Keep the Concero on your list for now...
 
Nov 11, 2013 at 1:45 AM Post #25 of 1,331

brunk

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  Based on your thoughts, I see all the more reason to drop the BMC because it overlaps too much with the DA8. Keep the Concero on your list for now...

In addition, this means that you need to fill the gap with an all-in-one unit that is not ESS DAC based. I don't know off the top of my head what may fit your criteria though.
 
Nov 11, 2013 at 9:46 AM Post #27 of 1,331

thegunner100

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So which headphones and amps will you be using for this comparison? Someone should lend you a pair of hd800s :D
 
Nov 11, 2013 at 9:49 AM Post #28 of 1,331
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Here's a list of DAC sites that might be useful at some point, to get specifications:
 
 
Wolfson:  http://www.wolfsonmicro.com/products/dacs/
 
ESS:  http://www.esstech.com/?p=products_DAC
 
Texas Instruments:  http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/audio-ic/audio-dac-product.page
 
AKM:  http://www.akm.com/akm/en/product/detail/0021/
 
Analog Devices: http://www.analog.com/en/digital-to-analog-converters/audio-da-converters/products/index.html
 
Cirrus Logic:  http://www.cirrus.com/en/products/d-a_converters.html
 
Others?
 
 
Check this out:  The Complete D/A DAC Converter List (last updated May 29, 2012)
 
Mike
 
Nov 11, 2013 at 9:51 AM Post #29 of 1,331

Happy Camper

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If this is a community quest and Gary the master of ceremonies, then as a community, we should be offering up our gear so that the man isn't putting out so much of his money for our entertainment since he's putting in the time.

Gary, I will offer the Hilo for services. Though I will miss having my music over the holidays. Guess I'll rig up my old DAC since it is a good cause for the community. When and PM me your address. I'll pay there, you pay back?
 
Nov 11, 2013 at 9:57 AM Post #30 of 1,331
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Gary,
 
I had already been considering this, so here goes... Count on me to send you my well-burned-in Resonessence Concero (ESS9023) - if you're interested after assembling your list of candidates.
 
I'll include the Apple remote and summary instructions on how to select the built-in filters.  Just send me a PM (if and) when you're ready.
 
Mike
 

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