Marantz HD-DAC1
May 24, 2020 at 2:13 PM Post #961 of 1,171

Smoothstereo

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The 3 different gain positions on HD-DAC1 not only adjusts the appropriate gain, but each gain level has a slight difference in presentation as well (at least to my ears) when volume matched as best as I can with my smartphone sound meter. The High gain gives the presentation a little more upfront row and more impact, while the Low gain is more mid hall and more laid back. Mid gain is like in between the two.

The specs sheet say it has 800mW at 32 ohms, but to me it seems conservatively rated imo. Comparing it against my other dac/amps or amps, it does not sound under-powered.
 
May 25, 2020 at 5:37 PM Post #965 of 1,171

Smoothstereo

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No one can give me an answer on if i should get one? :c

it's just so confusing, all the online reviews are "yes this is amazing"but then everyone i spoke to was like "No its awful" Which is it?
It really depends on your headphones, expectations, and future endeavors. I would recommend the HD-DAC1 to ppl who are beginning their hobby, and want a simple all in one dac/amp combo and don't want separate dedicated gear. Good for someone who does not plan on going Balanced cables and planning to pair really hard to drive headphones.

If the above applies to you, and if you can get a good cheap price (search for specials), this should be a good choice. I still have mine and love it. But I'm always looking for the next upgrade, so I know it won't be my last. Good luck!
 
May 25, 2020 at 5:42 PM Post #966 of 1,171

PrincessLeliana

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It really depends on your headphones, expectations, and future endeavors. I would recommend the HD-DAC1 to ppl who are beginning their hobby, and want a simple all in one dac/amp combo and don't want separate dedicated gear. Good for someone who does not plan on going Balanced cables and planning to pair really hard to drive headphones.

If the above applies to you, and if you can get a good cheap price (search for specials), this should be a good choice. I still have mine and love it. But I'm always looking for the next upgrade, so I know it won't be my last. Good luck!
I'd be getting one for under $300, i don't particularly care for all in ones (its more convenient, sure, but if the same money gets me superior seperates ill do that) and I will be getting campfire cascades (theyre in the mail).
 
Jun 29, 2020 at 8:38 PM Post #968 of 1,171

RSC08

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How is the background on this unit? Also, anyone compared it to the TEAC UD-505?
 
Jul 3, 2020 at 3:11 PM Post #969 of 1,171

jamca

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Marantz HD Dac1 is a Wonderfull Dac amp that accomplices what a headfier would want. It is a great all in one machine that does its job great. It is very refined, and sharp without been fatigue. I would give a step ahead to Pioneer U-05 ( which is my favourite machine till now) but Marantz is not far behind.
 
Aug 21, 2020 at 4:35 PM Post #971 of 1,171

lltfdaniel

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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.

I agree, i love it's sound and also i am addicted to the sound and don't want to go to bed, it has a lovely sound that i always wanted which is professional fun and not boring and very acceptable for audio lovers.

Marantz has pulled it off with this dac 1, and i trust they will sell products that sound awesome, other amps i owned are boring to be frank but for me people have to try test and listen to the dac 1 so they can decide if they agree with us or not, but i agree with you.

Dan.
 
Aug 21, 2020 at 4:45 PM Post #972 of 1,171

jamca

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I also agree..it is great gear, not only for begginers. I have tried many dacs and amps and double the price and it is not far behind. It has many inputs, great amp , nice dac with addictive sound signature, very good imaging, not that wide soundstage but with depth and wonderfull 3d sense. It is one of the gears that will never regret buying...
 
Aug 21, 2020 at 8:13 PM Post #973 of 1,171

Smoothstereo

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Glad you guys like the HD-DAC1 as much as I do. It really is a good sounding combo unit and with good build quality. The HD-DAC1 sounds even better now after I added an Audioquest Powerquest3 (PQ3) power conditioner to my headphone rig.

I was looking for a better power surge protector strip since mine was getting old, 16 years old to be exact. We get a lot of power outages in my neck of the woods so I wanted something that can handle surges and spikes to protect my gear. I have nicer, more expensive power conditioners in my two channel hifi rig and understand clean power is essential but I didn't want to spend that much on my headphone rig.

After some research, I finalized on getting the PQ3. I figured 300 bucks to get good spike and surge protection with 8 outlets that can clean the power is a fair product and if it can improve my audio, its a plus. I wasn't expecting much to be honest for a low priced item compared to my Monster HTS5100 and Sound Application Linestage back in the day. Since I have 30 day return period, I had nothing to lose.

Boy was I surprised, the PQ3 really improved my audio. It made my AQ Nighthawks and HD-DAC1 sound even better. The sound stage opened up a bit. Separation of instruments and imaging was better. Able to hear each instrument so distinctly, the details are so effortlessly floating out. Sounds so engaging and real. It tightened up the bass on the Nighthawk. Sounds cleaner and clearer.

One thing to note is my Sundara did not improve as much as the Nighthawk did. I'm wondering if its a dynamic vs. planar driver dependancy.

I highly recommend trying out the PQ3. I'm not affiliated with AQ in any way, this is just my own experience with my own gear.
 
Aug 22, 2020 at 2:26 PM Post #974 of 1,171

gimmeheadroom

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I bought the hd dac 1 about a week ago and i am happy that i bought a decent piece of gear this time and it sounds wonderful, clean and detailed and will power any headphone with ease.

A proper amp dac for beginners with great sound i recommend, i do love it's sound really.

Dan.

It will absolutely not power any headphone with ease. If it works with your headphones, great. But there are a lot of headphones which it cannot drive well at all. 800mW / 32 ohm is not much more than some DAPs running balanced.
 

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