Dedicated DAC for Sennheiser HDVA 600 that make the combo perform better than the Sennheiser HDVD 800
Sep 6, 2015 at 4:49 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

HiAudio

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It's said the DAC on the HDVD 800 isn't that great though the whole unit as DAC/AMP works fantastic. The HDVA 600 has the same amp but is about $600 cheaper. So is there any dedicated DAC at around $600 that can be teamed with the HDVA 600 that outperform the HDVD 800?
 
Sep 6, 2015 at 7:55 AM Post #2 of 13

Youth

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I would look for a R2R DAC but the cheapest I know of is the Audio GD DAC 19. It would suprise me if there aren't any cheaper. 
 
Unless you're running balanced then DAC 19 won't work.
 
Sep 12, 2015 at 10:58 PM Post #3 of 13

HiAudio

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  I would look for a R2R DAC but the cheapest I know of is the Audio GD DAC 19. It would suprise me if there aren't any cheaper. 
 
Unless you're running balanced then DAC 19 won't work.


Thanks. They don't even list price unless asking quote from them.
 
Sep 21, 2015 at 3:12 AM Post #5 of 13

HiAudio

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Yes, I see that. It's only showing up when you are viewing on the Summarize page. Thanks.
 
Sep 21, 2015 at 3:24 AM Post #6 of 13

obobskivich

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No idea about "outperform the HDVA" question (I've not heard either amp), but there are plenty of DACs for $600 or less that are no slouches. Some are even balanced. Give these two threads a look:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/781009/dac-with-rca-output-sub-300/
http://www.head-fi.org/t/778065/cheapest-balanced-dac/

There are plenty of inexpensive R2R solutions - if you want something from a "known" brand, Pro-Ject has one for around $300. If you want something even cheaper, give this a look:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/512389/mini-dac-tda1543-x-4-nos (I've never tried this one; if you want to go entirely crazy with 154Xs there are some really esoteric designs available from TeraDak too)

Some other stuff that you might give a look at:

- Pioneer and Marantz have network streamers and disc players that can be used as DACs as well.
- Cambridge has a range of DACs under the "DACmagic" line
- There's tons of decent used stuff on ebay, but availability is ofc subject to change

Just food for thought more than anything else - I haven't owned or heard everything mentioned above, and haven't heard the Sennheiser amps. I think the idea of saving $600 and getting something external for a few hundred bucks makes sense though, as well as opening up a wide range of possibilities (e.g. you may end up deciding to spend $600 on a DAC that is more preferable to you than what Sennheiser is offering).
 
Sep 21, 2015 at 1:11 PM Post #7 of 13

HiAudio

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Thank you. Will read those and see how they worked for others. I have no means to experience them and have to rely on others's experience. Need to find one that has synergy with the Sennheise phone and Amp.
 
Sep 22, 2015 at 9:22 PM Post #8 of 13

HiAudio

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For the DAC 19, their website says like this about the output and I am not that clear what that means. Isn't that there two two types of outputs? unbalanced and balanced? I don't like this pull and push setting button. btw, where can we tell it's R2R on the product description (sorry, I don't know the R2R thing)?
 
Setting button: 
Select the phase of output signal  , pull off for the normal output, push into for invert output .
 
Sep 23, 2015 at 1:17 AM Post #9 of 13

jodgey4

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This setting inverts the phase of the signal. Imagine a sine wave, then imagine it flipped upside down (or shifted 180 degrees in phase). That's all it does. Some amps invert the phase, so this way you can get it absolute like on the recording.
 
The chip is R2R, for sure. The output is single-ended.
 
Sep 24, 2015 at 1:54 AM Post #10 of 13

HiAudio

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  This setting inverts the phase of the signal. Imagine a sine wave, then imagine it flipped upside down (or shifted 180 degrees in phase). That's all it does. Some amps invert the phase, so this way you can get it absolute like on the recording.
 
The chip is R2R, for sure. The output is single-ended.

 
Thanks. Isn't the output by the side of RCA connector balanced output? I want to have balanced output connection from the DAC to my Sennheiser HDVA 600.
 

 
Sep 25, 2015 at 6:00 PM Post #11 of 13

Thenewguy007

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No idea about "outperform the HDVA" question (I've not heard either amp), but there are plenty of DACs for $600 or less that are no slouches. Some are even balanced. Give these two threads a look:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/781009/dac-with-rca-output-sub-300/
http://www.head-fi.org/t/778065/cheapest-balanced-dac/

There are plenty of inexpensive R2R solutions - if you want something from a "known" brand, Pro-Ject has one for around $300. If you want something even cheaper, give this a look:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/512389/mini-dac-tda1543-x-4-nos (I've never tried this one; if you want to go entirely crazy with 154Xs there are some really esoteric designs available from TeraDak too)

Some other stuff that you might give a look at:

- Pioneer and Marantz have network streamers and disc players that can be used as DACs as well.
- Cambridge has a range of DACs under the "DACmagic" line
- There's tons of decent used stuff on ebay, but availability is ofc subject to change

Just food for thought more than anything else - I haven't owned or heard everything mentioned above, and haven't heard the Sennheiser amps. I think the idea of saving $600 and getting something external for a few hundred bucks makes sense though, as well as opening up a wide range of possibilities (e.g. you may end up deciding to spend $600 on a DAC that is more preferable to you than what Sennheiser is offering).

Thanks for the list.
 
Sep 25, 2015 at 8:26 PM Post #12 of 13

jodgey4

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Thanks. Isn't the output by the side of RCA connector balanced output? I want to have balanced output connection from the DAC to my Sennheiser HDVA 600.




Nope, see my response in your other thread. It's in the current domain, single ended.
 
Nov 29, 2015 at 9:05 AM Post #13 of 13

Rayzilla

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Thanks. Isn't the output by the side of RCA connector balanced output? I want to have balanced output connection from the DAC to my Sennheiser HDVA 600.
 

I see in your sig that you have the HDVA 600 paired with the AGD DAC-19. How would you describe the pairing? Do you think the Single Ended on the DAC-19 to be a limitation?
 

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