Help a newbie out with selecting a DAC.
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fitmic

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Hi.
I've been a lurker for some time, but I have to ask you a question about DACs.
 
I have a DAC Destroyer from hotaudio, which I'm pleased with.
 
I now look at some 24bit DACs, and what I've read is that Musiland gotten quite some nice review among you guys. Right?
 
My system is a pc Win7 64bit with USB2 and USB3.
This is connected to my amplifier via the DAC destroyer.
 
What are the advantage/disadvantage with Musiland Monitor 02, Musiland Dragon and Musiland Monitor 03?
 
To be fair, I don't think I'll use the built in headphone amp in those DACs.

All I need is a good DAC. (value for money)
 
 
Thanks for taking time.
 
 
Now off to watch some European championship football (soccer for you in the US)
 
 
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fitmic

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I am sorry if I posted this in the wrong section, but I have used the search function without success.
 
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ProtegeManiac

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More bits in the chip alone won't help too much when the music they're decoding is still just 16bits. More than likely some DACs differ more in the sound of the analog output stage than the digital section, although even with comparable measurements of just the DAC chips' performance I have to admit half the time I can probably guess who manufactured the chip. It's easy enough to find a good, affordable DAC, and although there are real gains to be made from more expensive ones (generally), diminishing returns will usually be more apparent with sources; and from what I read in the feedbacks the HotAudio DACs are among the best value for money.
 
In any case, is there anything you don't like about the DAC Destroyer? You can then take that and compare it to reviews of the Musilands to see which one will address them. If you really like it, don't let curiosity get teh better of you, and only get a new DAC if
 
1) the Destroyer breaks (knock on wood) ; or
2) you get to listen to another DAC and decide you like it better
 
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PurpleAngel

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Quote:
I've been a lurker for some time, but I have to ask you a question about DACs.
I have a DAC Destroyer from hotaudio, which I'm pleased with.
I now look at some 24bit DACs, and what I've read is that Musiland gotten quite some nice review among you guys. Right?
My system is a pc Win7 64bit with USB2 and USB3.
This is connected to my amplifier via the DAC destroyer.
What are the advantage/disadvantage with Musiland Monitor 02, Musiland Dragon and Musiland Monitor 03?
To be fair, I don't think I'll use the built in headphone amp in those DACs.
All I need is a good DAC. (value for money)
What amplifier and headphone are you using?
 
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fitmic

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Thanks alot for the input.
ProtegeManiac: I think it is curiosity that drives me to try out another dac.
Mainly because I try to fool myself into thinking that a new dac will improve the sq tenfold.
 
PurpleAngel: My equipment is a Denon PMA 510 amplifier with Dali Zensor 1 speakers. I only have one pair of headphones: Denon AHN-D510
 
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ProtegeManiac

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Quote:
Thanks alot for the input.
ProtegeManiac: I think it is curiosity that drives me to try out another dac.
Mainly because I try to fool myself into thinking that a new dac will improve the sq tenfold.
 
PurpleAngel: My equipment is a Denon PMA 510 amplifier with Dali Zensor 1 speakers. I only have one pair of headphones: Denon AHN-D510
 
Well, taste varies, but as far as I'm concerned my old Marantz CD80 from the early 90s is still among my favorite CDPlayers; I liked it so much I got a DAC-AH (which uses the next DAC chip Philips released, waaaaay back in the1990s) when it stopped reading my CDs with PC content. I've still got seller's remorse over it.

Plus some of my other favorite CDPs aren't that new either - like that tubed Musical Fidelity in the original A1 amp chassis, and the 16-bit dual chassis (CDP+DAC) Meridian. The more recent CDPs that I like are the Cayin CDT23, NADC541, Arcam CD72 and Rega Apollo. As for DACs, I had some 20-bit and 24-bit units before, and I still like the DAC-AH and the 20-bit units from the 1990s. The Burr Brown USB DACs (PCM270x) typically have a similar sound signature, and unless I listen to them back-to-back on the same amps and headphones/speakers, after some time I tend to not notice the difference. Except I'm tempted to try my Corda Cantate with a few CDPs just to satisfy my curiosity, but of course I'm not pulling the trigger on anything until I get to listen to them. I'd say curiosity's healthy for this hobby, but if you need to be smart with your finances, it should always be curiosity leading to listening which may lead to buying. Cutting the listening out of that process flow will cost you more money and time in the long run.
 
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fitmic

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Thanks for sharing your story.
I do have problems to appreciate what sounds good at the moment, and only searching for "faults".
 
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ProtegeManiac

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Quote:
Thanks for sharing your story.
I do have problems to appreciate what sounds good at the moment, and only searching for "faults".
 
Well, think of it this way - the less "faults" (even if solely by your own standards) you can detect, the better the sound is, right?


In any case, try to look up any Hi-Fi stores near your area, trust me there could be one you just haven't heard of - some minimize the overhead and instead of renting a store or a building in a mall complex in $$$$$$ real estate areas, the others hide in cheaper-looking strip malls in low-crime rate areas.
 
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fitmic

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That's one way of looking at it. :)

I think I'd stop going to my therapist and hire you instead. :wink:
 
Now I only have to find some nice in-ears.
I listened to B&W's C5 yesterday and they blew me away. A bit expensive for me at the moment.
 
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ProtegeManiac

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Yeah, it might be a good idea to spend on better in-ears for now since your home set-up's good as it is, that way anywhere you are you get good sound. Before my car's Pioneer processor's Left channels kicked the bucket there was nowhere I could be without a good set-up for my music: Pioneer processor>Digital Designs C4>Focal Polyglass+Vifa tweeters in the car while driving, Shure+Zen player when I get out of the car, then there's a Marantz CD80>NAD304>Wharfedale Pi10 at home. But now I've ditched the speaker set-up at home because the sound is never even - I got a concrete outer wall on one side, wood inner wall on the other, and I can't position the speakers any other way because the attic ceiling slopes (that way I keep the slope behind the speakers). And now I'm too lazy to fabricate new fiberglass mounts for my speakers when I get a new car - at least headphones and IEMs are much easier to get right.
 
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fitmic

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Once again, thanks for your input.
What kind of IEM do you recommend for <$100 and <$200?
 
I only have two pairs.
Some really old AKGs that have way too much bass, and a pair of Beats that came with my HTC phone.
 
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proton007

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Given your current selection, and the fact that you're looking to upgrade, I think you should seriously consider upgrading your headphones first. Don't jump in to get the DAC yet.
 
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fitmic

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proton007: Could you please give me some advice for over ears for <$100 and <$200? I listen to all kinds of music but to be honest, mostly heavy metal.
 
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Quote:
proton007: Could you please give me some advice for over ears for <$100 and <$200? I listen to all kinds of music but to be honest, mostly heavy metal.
 
My experience in this area has been that you should not trust my word or anyone else's for headphones. Everyone has their own take on what they're looking for in headphones. What I can suggest is this: try to search through the headphones section, and if you don't find any thread suitable to your requirement, ask in the headphones advice thread. Make a list of probable purchases and then go to the store and try out the headphones. That'll ensure you make the best purchase.
 
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Quote:
proton007: Could you please give me some advice for over ears for <$100 and <$200? I listen to all kinds of music but to be honest, mostly heavy metal.

 We'll might veer off too far from the orginal topic, but to start you off on reading up about these, I like the Westone 2 and SE425 for the guitars (Iron Maiden, Kamelot and Nightwish sound fantastic through these); the Westone 3, SE535, and IE80 don't sound similar enough to each other but are generally more friendly with more music and more instruments. The 2-drivers I like sound weird with most tips (only like them with the Westone foam and the Shure Olives) but the guitars almost sound exactly like what I'd hear straight from the guitar amps.
 
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