Discrete DAC Under $300/Recomendation?
Jan 12, 2013 at 8:39 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 27

DutchGFX

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Hi all, I am looking for a DAC to pair with my LittleDot which will be her in the coming weeks. I have been really looking st the Maverick Audio D2, but I have read OPAMPS are not worth it. So, I looked at the Bitfrost, and it's $450!!! Holy ****! So that is not very realistic, unless there really is no other alternative, I guess I can get it without USB and use a USB>Spdif cable. But I am really wanting to spend closer to 250. If you guys could please help me choose a good DAC, it'd be great! thanks!
 
Jan 12, 2013 at 8:52 PM Post #2 of 27

ProtegeManiac

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..I guess I can get it without USB and use a USB>Spdif cable.

 
What cable is this? You can't just get a cable with USB on one end and an RCA jack on the other and convert the digital signal from USB to SPDIF. That kind of conversion requires an active circuit, more often than not powered by the USB host device (which is why it's more common for computers and not tablets); if there was such a "cable" there's bound to be such a circuit built into it (like the "CableDAC") and definitely powered by the host device, which means the USB port you plug it into needs to be powered.
 
Quote:
Hi all, I am looking for a DAC to pair with my LittleDot which will be her in the coming weeks. I have been really looking st the Maverick Audio D2, but I have read OPAMPS are not worth it.

 
It depends on the circuit really - with amplifiers I've liked Corda amps ever since I got to try a 2Move and Stepdance at a meet, and now I'm using the Cantate. I don't think it will be any more true with sources like DACs and CDPs.
 
Jan 12, 2013 at 9:19 PM Post #3 of 27

DutchGFX

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Oh okay thanks! So you think the D2 could still be decent, comparable to the Gamma2? The Gamma is only 300 + postage, and the D2 is 250, so it might be worth the extra cash?
 
Jan 13, 2013 at 8:53 AM Post #4 of 27

ProtegeManiac

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Oh okay thanks! So you think the D2 could still be decent, comparable to the Gamma2? The Gamma is only 300 + postage, and the D2 is 250, so it might be worth the extra cash?

 
I heard the D1 and there's audible grain in its sound, where distortion pedal-effects on guitars were sometimes just plain distorted.* The D2 may have improved on that but if I'm in your shoes I'd get the Gamma for only $50 more.
 
BTW, for that price, is the Gamma2 already built? Or you can build it yourself?
 
 
 
*The same CDs and FLACs played normally on other players and DACs so I'm sure the media wasn't the issue
 
Jan 13, 2013 at 10:28 AM Post #5 of 27

DutchGFX

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I heard the D1 and there's audible grain in its sound, where distortion pedal-effects on guitars were sometimes just plain distorted.* The D2 may have improved on that but if I'm in your shoes I'd get the Gamma for only $50 more.

BTW, for that price, is the Gamma2 already built? Or you can build it yourself?



*The same CDs and FLACs played normally on other players and DACs so I'm sure the media wasn't the issue


Built. 300 + 15 postage to USA. Go to the Gamma2 website and it says you can buy
Rebuilt from "namehere" , click the name and it brings up an email. That guy sells em for $300 :D
 
Jan 13, 2013 at 10:26 PM Post #6 of 27

ProtegeManiac

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Built. 300 + 15 postage to USA. Go to the Gamma2 website and it says you can buy
Rebuilt from "namehere" , click the name and it brings up an email. That guy sells em for $300
biggrin.gif

 
I'd definitely take that one for just $50 more since it's already built. The Maverick is great for all the features in it, and I'm sure there's some tweaking that can be done to reduce or remove that grain, but if you don't need the preamp and would rather not tweak and void warranty, the Gamma2's a good choice.
 
Jan 15, 2013 at 4:39 PM Post #8 of 27

Ksef10

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Hi Dutch,
 
You may want to take a look at our DACport LX. It is a compact USB DAC. The cost is now $250 and we are currently offering free shipping.
Here is what one reviewer said:
 
"CEntrance's DACport LX offers superb sound quality at an affordable price. Its lack of an asynchronous USB interface doesn't compromise its performance, proving that there's more than one way to skin a serial cat."
(http://www.stereophile.com/content/centrance-dacport-lx)
 
Let me know if you have any questions.
 
-Kenny
 
Jan 15, 2013 at 8:04 PM Post #9 of 27

DutchGFX

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I'm looking for a much larger unit, to stack my Little Dot MKii ontop of, sorry!
 
Feb 7, 2013 at 11:26 PM Post #10 of 27

DutchGFX

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Just got my MKiii, and my LOD for my e17 will be here tomorrow. When using my Cowon>MKIii, it gets really distorted in the lower frequencies. So I guess I'll have to test it with the LOD. But still, I don't have aDAC picked out! Helpppppp haha
 
Feb 8, 2013 at 11:16 AM Post #14 of 27

DutchGFX

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So what DAC do you recommend? PS, it has to be big enough to stack under my Little Dot MKiii, no exception, not enough desk space otherwise. When my l7 comes I'll see how my e17 sounds, maybe it'll be fine for now
 

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