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Descent desktop DAC

  1. HiFiRebel
    Hello all,

    since my last thread in here my situation changed somewhat. I am no longer after headphones, I already ordered Argon Mk3. I still got another 2 months of wait or so. In the meantime I have decided to get myself ready for the Argon goodiness. So I ordered a better amp. I went for Emotiva BasX A-100. It's already here and I like it. I plan to install the jumpers when I get the headphones to squeeze all that possible out of the headphones. With the jumpers in it will send 50 Watts per channel directly to headphones.

    Anyway, I am thinking about weak points in my chain and my eyes often land on my DAC. It is a descent little thing, but I wonder if I should upgrade it too. It's the FX-Audio DAC X6.

    I am after sound quality. I also would like to have another volume control before the amp, just to limit its output a bit. My current DAC cannot control signal going out, volume knob only works when headphones are directly connected to the DAC.

    Another thing is, I don't want to spend too much. I was only meant to buy a better pair of headphones and DAC, so recently I ordered the FX-Audio DAC X6 plus Philips Fidelio X2. Soon after that I have ordered Argons Mk3 and a week later I bought Emotiva A-100 amp. Now I am considering a different DAC. Will this ever stop? :D

    Anyway, please let me know if you know of a DAC that would fit the bill. I don't mind refurbished or second hand at all, as long as the DAC will be a good link in my audio chain and be a good upgrade to the current one.

    Thank you :)
  2. HiFiRebel
    Is AudioEngine D1 DAC a descent upgrade to my DAC? I can see someone is selling one in UK
  3. kukkurovaca
    IIRC the Cambridge DACMagic line, while older in terms of tech, is pretty well-liked, and relatively easy to find for cheap on the used market.

    Or maybe a Topping D3, that's not too expensive. Or grab a Schiit Modi and a separate volume control.

    But I imagine you'll be fine with your existing DAC, and you may not find a significant improvement when upgrading the dac on the cheap. But this is all speculative on my part, I haven't used any of the DACs in question.
  4. ohsigmachi
    The Grace Design SDAC is, in my opinion, the best stand alone DAC (dollar for dolla)r currently being offered. Catch it on Massdrop for $79 and it is an absolute steal. It is truly just a crystal clear, no shading, no warmth, just pure straight to your amp clarity of sound and truth.

    It's USB powered, but i have never experienced a single instance of USB jitter from mine. It even help "lift the veil" from certain Sennheiser cans.
    HiFiRebel likes this.
  5. HiFiRebel
    Thanks, I'll have a look at tge ones you mentioned. I know I should wait really, but I am so impatient.
  6. HiFiRebel
    Thank you, I'll have a look. I love finding those gems that should be really much expensive than they are :)

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