Marantz HD-DAC1
Jan 24, 2020 at 9:39 AM Post #931 of 1,210

MellowGold

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 19, 2016
Posts
75
Likes
50
Location
Stouffville, ON
I just realized I could connect the Mac Mini to my TV via HDMI, then have the TV connect to the Dac-1 via optical. Is there any compromise audio-wise if I connect things in this convoluted fashion -- ie, does having the TV in the middle acting as the bridge from my audio to the Marantz muss w/ things at all, or will i essentially get the same quality HDMI to optical connection that I would using an extractor-converter?

It's very possible that the TV could limit bit depth and sample rate of the output based on its supported formats. When connected to my Panasonic TV over HDMI, Windows shows the highest supported format as 16 bit 48 kHz. But you'll likely have to connect to your panel to find this out...it's hard to find manufacturer specs on this type of stuff.
 
Jan 24, 2020 at 1:08 PM Post #932 of 1,210

pbarach

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Posts
556
Likes
221
Several people have mentioned that the clicking is only an issue while connected via USB and not optical."

The only input source for my HD-DAC1 is coaxial or optical from my disc player (i.e., no USB source). The unit clicks when there is a change in resolution (e.g., from CD quality to 24/192), but otherwise there is no click. Thus, it doesn't happen in between tracks of an album. It doesn't bother me at all.

I'm very happy with the unit, but I've learned to not rely on the impedance of the headphones to determine the DAC's gain setting. Two pairs of relatively low-impedance headphones (Hifiman HE-400i and Focal Clear) both sound better when the gain is set to MEDIUM, although Marantz told me that the unit should use low gain for them.
 
Jan 24, 2020 at 1:18 PM Post #934 of 1,210

MellowGold

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 19, 2016
Posts
75
Likes
50
Location
Stouffville, ON
The only input source for my HD-DAC1 is coaxial or optical from my disc player (i.e., no USB source). The unit clicks when there is a change in resolution (e.g., from CD quality to 24/192), but otherwise there is no click. Thus, it doesn't happen in between tracks of an album. It doesn't bother me at all.

I'm very happy with the unit, but I've learned to not rely on the impedance of the headphones to determine the DAC's gain setting. Two pairs of relatively low-impedance headphones (Hifiman HE-400i and Focal Clear) both sound better when the gain is set to MEDIUM, although Marantz told me that the unit should use low gain for them.

For comparison here's the HD-DAC1 gain setting's that I prefer:

AQ Nighthawk (Low)
LCD 2 Classic (Low)
HE-400i (Medium)
DT 990 Pro 250 ohm (Medium)

The HE-400i is way more power hungry than some people think due to the low sensitivity. Volume needs to be cranked on low gain, IMO.
 
Jan 24, 2020 at 11:54 PM Post #935 of 1,210

loveshot

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Posts
56
Likes
33
Location
PNW
Coax is limited to 24/192 for bronze or golden ears :)

Even better.

Something odd I've noticed is that when I have a track paused in audirvana, i can play audio in other apps or in youtube or watch netflix and the dreaded clicking isn't there every single time i stop/start/pause/jump forward/os makes a noise/etc. audirvana is doing something with the dac to keep it engaged/locked on. there's also a little "pop" i hear in my headphones every time i start audio that isn't there now. if anyone knows how i can accomplish the same feat without audirvana in the mix (i don't plan on keeping it past the 30 day trial) I would love to know.
 
Last edited:
Feb 4, 2020 at 8:01 PM Post #936 of 1,210

loveshot

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Posts
56
Likes
33
Location
PNW
So I had a blissful 48 hours where the DAC acted as it should. Did not unlock and lock at every pause, skip ahead, system sound, etc. No "pop" in my headphones when it switched sample rates. Then it just reverted back to being a brat. Really not sure what to do at this point as I've tried troubleshooting every which way and I have no idea what caused it to behave properly for those two days, as I literally did nothing new (didn't muss with audio setting, reset computer, swap cables, change USB slots, etc). I'm contemplating returning it, but cost of shipping will be roughly $50. It may simply not play nice with my iteration of the Mac Mini, or with Mac OS Mojave. Or just be a bit lemony via usb. I may ask Music Direct to do a partial refund of like $75 or send me something to use as a bridge so I can connect the MM via coax. Not sure they'll go for that, but may as well ask. I don't want to spend that money on an Eitr or whatever just to make a fairly expensive (at least for me) 2 week old DAC function w/o hiccups the same way my old ultra-budget DAC did...
 
Feb 5, 2020 at 6:49 AM Post #937 of 1,210

loveshot

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Posts
56
Likes
33
Location
PNW
Even better.

Something odd I've noticed is that when I have a track paused in audirvana, i can play audio in other apps or in youtube or watch netflix and the dreaded clicking isn't there every single time i stop/start/pause/jump forward/os makes a noise/etc. audirvana is doing something with the dac to keep it engaged/locked on. there's also a little "pop" i hear in my headphones every time i start audio that isn't there now. if anyone knows how i can accomplish the same feat without audirvana in the mix (i don't plan on keeping it past the 30 day trial) I would love to know.

So I just downloaded Swansian and it does the same thing. As long as the app is open, usb remains locked on and no relay clicks except when listening to say, 24/192 FLAC. But pausing/skipping/etc are all smooth and clean. No more random relay clicks from system sounds. It isn't the cleanest workaround -- I still feel like there's some better way to keep the usb-dac input engaged at all times the same way the optical inputs are -- but I'll take it. I like Swansian quite a bit and it's only $25 so a cheaper solution than getting a usb/spdif converter and now I don't have to mull returning this otherwise beautiful and mellifluous little beast.
 
Feb 29, 2020 at 5:17 AM Post #938 of 1,210

metric1

New Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Posts
45
Likes
61
Location
South East, UK
I owned this model for some time and absolutely loved it.

Mini-impressions:

Sound: sweet, warm-ish, full sounding - I really enjoyed the sound from the Marantz, very slightly tube-like, or hybrid tube-like, more accurately.
Used with: Audeze LCD-2C, Philips Fidelio X2HR
Reason to keep/buy: a versatile single box that works well with the pre-outs (fixed or variable), gain controls, lovely sound, gorgeous to look at, Marantz build quality, it has one of those machined volume knobs that moves when you adjust the volume via the remote ... probably my favourite feature!
Reasons to sell: not the most authoritative amp, detail retrieval is good but not Hugo/RME level, lacks some drive and attack compared to some solid-state headamps - some people describe it as a bit pipe and slippers - that is perhaps a tad unfair - it does sound lovely, for everything, which may well be its downfall for some people. It gets a tad hot - not burn your hand hot, but enough that you want to ensure it has room to breathe / vent.
Conclusion: I sold mine to fund a Naim DAC V1 (3x price of HD-DAC1) because I really wanted something with a lot more drive and attack (I listen to a lot of EDM and metal) - I got that drive/attack with the Naim, but then really missed the sweet and warm-ish character of the HD-DAC1! As a single-box solution offering line-outs and solid features etc., it really is awesome!
 
Feb 29, 2020 at 9:33 AM Post #939 of 1,210

loveshot

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Posts
56
Likes
33
Location
PNW
Sweet and warm is bang on. Unfortunately I'm returning mine due to a couple of the inputs becoming finnicky/problematic. I think I'll probably go for something else just to try something different. Can always come back to the Marantz if the desire should strike.
 
Feb 29, 2020 at 11:25 AM Post #940 of 1,210

metric1

New Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Posts
45
Likes
61
Location
South East, UK
Sweet and warm is bang on. Unfortunately I'm returning mine due to a couple of the inputs becoming finnicky/problematic. I think I'll probably go for something else just to try something different. Can always come back to the Marantz if the desire should strike.

Yes, they're regularly on the s/h market in the UK. It seems a lot of people start with one and move elsewhere once their tastes have changed or they're a bit more aware of what type of sound they want. For a £400-ish outlay (s/h) it's hard to beat (if you're looking for sweet/warm qualities). I may buy another one down the line, just to have something with those qualities - I kind of wish I'd just held on to mine, not as a primary use amp/dac, but as a solid option with brighter headphones and certain genres.

Happy shopping!
 
Feb 29, 2020 at 2:25 PM Post #941 of 1,210

Smoothstereo

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Posts
236
Likes
271
Location
USA
I have the Marantz HD-DAC1 for about a year, and absolutely love it. I feel this dac/amp combo is underrated and underappreciated. Probably one of the best all in one dac/amp combo especially at it's current price point. It has worked flawlessly.

To my ears in my setup, the combo is pretty neutral. Music sounds very organic and natural, nothing artificial. It has very good resolution at this price point, its able to separate and layer the instruments in its own space but still sounds cohesive. Soundstage has a good size. Its very clean, clear and quiet. Tonality is very balanced not really favoring any particular frequency. I find myself playing track after track without listening fatigue and sometimes don't want to go to bed.

My only small gripes are the analog input is a single 3.5mm which also is too sensitive , not full size RCA. If you input a signal that is too high, it might start clipping. The second gripe and this is probably asking for too much, is I wish Marantz would have added a BAL 4pin xlr headphone out giving it even more power.

I recommend to my friends who don't want to spend too much but want an all in one dac/amp combo and don't care for BAL headphone out or inputs, this is a very good choice.
 
Feb 29, 2020 at 4:30 PM Post #942 of 1,210

eeagle

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 3, 2005
Posts
413
Likes
311
Location
FL, Space Coast
@Smoothstereo That 3.5mm input is begging to have an Echo Input attached to it along with a subscription to Amazon Music HD providing unlimited CD (16-44) quality and beyond (many albums are 24-192). The input has been on sale many times for only $9.99 I haven't found a single album that isn't instantly playable by just asking Alexa to play it.
 
Feb 29, 2020 at 6:31 PM Post #943 of 1,210

pbarach

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Posts
556
Likes
221
My Marantz HD-DAC1 seems to have issues with static electricity in my carpeted listening room. After putting in a disc to the player connected to it and walking across the room to my couch, small movements of my headphones cause momentary breaks in the sound, and the Marantz dial switches back and forth from the sampling rate to UNLOCKED. This problem stops after a few minutes. Anyone else have this problem or have something to try for a solution?
 
Mar 1, 2020 at 8:42 AM Post #944 of 1,210

gimmeheadroom

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Posts
6,547
Likes
4,644
Location
Czech Republic
Are you running the disc player into it via optical?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top