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Is the uDac overrated?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by mralexosborn, Nov 4, 2010.
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  1. mralexosborn
    I think so. I paid $70 for it used around here. It is a HUGE improvement over my onboard audio. But. It is barely much better than my Droid. Yes. My Motorola Droid is similar.
    Yes, the uDac gives my Grado's more soundstage and a tiny bit more bass and cleans up the mids but not worth $70 over my phone. I pride myself in my decent ability to hear so that is not the issue (I don't think). 
    I am not saying audio is a sham, but the uDac certainly isn't worth it's price tag. I was just wondering if anyone else agrees. I plan on upgrading to the Audinst MX1 as a source rather than getting an amp because of my disappointment.
     
    Oh, I posted this in the headphone forum because I don't feel like it is a dedicated source component in comparison to other things in that forum, if that makes any sense. 
     
  2. KneelJung
    The uDAC is what it is Alex. It was $99 new when I got it plus another $10 for S&H and based on the hype that was generated in the uDAC thread that prompted me to buy it, yeah it's over rated. That said it was worth evry penny that I paid for it. My SR60's sounded like crap plugged directly into my PC and the difference was night and day after I got the uDAC and plugged them into it. You got an even better deal than I did because you are going to be able to sell that little gizmo for at least what you paid for it. So your cost for temporary audio bliss will be exactly nothing. Nothing over rated about that.
     
  3. mralexosborn


    Quote:


    Thanks for making me feel like a dick. Haha
    I think when I put that in my signature I was suffering from new toy syndrome. I do appreciate you selling to me, I just am not sure how people with $500+ setups still use a uDac as a source. Granted it is used with other amps and such but it can't be worth keeping down the road. There was so much hype about it and the similar sequel, I just don't get it. I guess it is like many low/mid-fi offerings, such as my hated IEM (UE SuperFi 5vi), in that they are overrated. The Audinst better live up to it's lack luster hype... 
     
  4. rawrster
    Well have you ever used it as just as dac? I don't find the amp section to be that great but the dac wasn't terrible. I found it a good purchase when I had it and don't regret buying it
     
  5. mralexosborn


    Quote:


    I don't think it would be beneficial to my audiophiliac cause to keep this source and get a $200+ to drive a pair of cans.
    I would rather get the transparent Audinst for $180 and be able to drive 600ohm cans if thats what I want. 
    That way I can keep the Audinst until I conjure up funds for a DACMagic. Also the Audinst is upgradeable FWIR.
     
  6. kite7 Contributor


    Quote:


    From what I know, you don't have a standalone amplifier so how can you judge the uDAC as a source by itself? For all I know, the amplifier in the uDAC is not revealing of its capabilities as a source.
     
    Unless you can find something better or equal for the same price or less, I'd say the uDAC is not overrated. It's overrated in the eyes of the beholder who expects too much of it.
     
    Also I also read somewhere how someone compared that the Dac Magic is hardly better than the uDAC as a source, I can't say because I never heard the Dac Magic. How true this is, I don't know because the details of what was used in this test is unknown to me. For all this someone could have done was compare the two sources using cheap cans.
     
    In my experience, grados benefit more from a quality amplifier than a source. I have heard greater improvements going to different amplifiers than sources with my RS1.
     
  7. Riku540
    Well, if you think about it, the higher up you go with electronics in general, the worse the performance increase-to-price tag ratio gets. Especially considering that for the money, you can usually only get an amp, or a DAC separate. Also consider the fact that 95% of people who are into "high end" audio do not know about Head-Fi and do not even have the knowledge of headphones needing amps and DAC's or even their existence to begin with. These products are made by very few companies for a very special minority of music listeners, and the uDAC does exactly what it is advertised to do.
     
    In my conclusion; it's not overrated.
     
    Quote:
     
    I think this would qualify for a portable amp though...
     
  8. kingtz
    I think the uDAC is great for $100. It's a neat little thing that I always take along with my laptop. Without it, I would literally never listen to music on my laptop. The onboard sound is that horrendous. The uDAC, thus, allows me to enjoy some music at work or wherever I decide to take my laptop. You also have to keep in mind that its DAC functionality is better than its amp functionality, hence the name uDAC. It's still a pretty decent DAC when you connect it to a more powerful amplifier. I've ABX it with my V-DAC, and the V-DAC is clearly superior, but for $100, it make a great portable dac/amp combo for your laptop.
     
     
    EDIT:
    I mistakenly picked NO in your poll. You switched around the meaning of your question between the thread title and the poll question, which you should not do. The two must be consistent. I was answering your thread title, thinking it would (should) be the same as your poll question, so I chose NO. Oh well.
     
  9. darknessproz
    From my country, i can find a new Audinst going for about 10-20 SGD more than the uDAC 2. Really puts things into perspective no?
     
  10. mralexosborn


    Quote:


    Sneaky, sneaky teenagers...
    That actually was unintentional. I am suffering from 3 hours of sleep ATM...
     
  11. the search never ends
    It's fine for the price point until you factor in how much better it gets going up a bit in price to say the Audinst.
    The DAC funtion isn't that hot. Not bad either considering price I guess.  Here is the problem.  So many variables. 
    Take the usb/dac cable, sounds pretty darn good for the price, if I use a T3 amp with it, it sounds awful. I love the T3 for an ultraportable.
    It does not work well with the usb/cac cable (IMO)
     
  12. the search never ends


    Quote:
    It's not tue, not even close. Using the Udac even as a dac only creates a slight channel imblalance.  I bought several for the sake of comparison. Every one of them had at least some channel imbalance. Even when used as dac only.  The headroom dac is still quite a step up from the udac. At least in my opinion and acording to tests I ran.
     
  13. SillyHoney
    Since I don't have a chance to use a good PC for quite a long time, I honestly don't know how good the on-board audio in PC is (PC that has good motherboard without dedicated soundcard like X-FI stuff).
     
    Is it more or less the same as that of laptops (nice sounding ones)?
     
    The reason for asking is I'm thinking of buying an uDac-2 HP for my dad. Things like uDac-2 clearly put laptop on-board audio into shame but I don't know if that's still true with PC. If PC is anything similar to laptop sound wise I would buy the uDac-2 HP for my dad in a blink.
     
  14. kingtz


    Quote:

    All onboard sound is crappy. Really crappy. I really wish onboard sound like Realtek would go the way of onboard video and just die. Just give us an extra PCI slot or something. But yeah, to get back to  your question, if it's onboard sound, even on a PC, it will suck. Just get your dad the uDAC2.
     
  15. the search never ends
    udac is certainly an upgrade to any laptop onboard I've heard, Including the HP envy. 
     
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