Naim DAC-V1 vs...
Feb 3, 2022 at 10:37 PM Post #91 of 100
My question is directed to those who opened up their/a Naim DAC-V1 to repair, change, upgrade, alter, refresh, modify, update any parts or components.
If you did not do either, please ignore this post. If you did:

1. Which parts or component(s) did you change/replace/upgrade?
2. What did you discover in the sound character in your opinion?

Please don't say "Why would you / Its already perfect!" But if you must: I auditioned it with a Utopia, loved it (except found the lows unconvincing below 100 Hz).
I don't want to use software and fiddle with eq's. I want just the hardware to be natively ready to go, regardless of the system that it's connected to.
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Feb 4, 2022 at 2:11 AM Post #92 of 100
I used to have the DAC V-1, it’s weakest aspect is volume control, bypass this by using an external preamp and you will hear a benefit.

For me, it has been supplanted by Chord - but you may love the V-1 sound.

If you feel it doesn’t have convincing lows then either switch or purchase another amp. Wasn’t clear to me if you’re a headphone user or loudspeakers. A load invariant amplifier, or high watts into 4/2ohms will give bass a good kick.
Feb 4, 2022 at 6:03 AM Post #93 of 100
Thanks for the reply! Sorry forgot to mention I auditioned it with a headphone (Utopia), loved it, except found the lows unconvincing below 100 Hz.
That can be a trait of the Utopia, but perhaps there is a way to give the Naim DAC-V1 a bit more punch below 100 Hz via hardware chances?
Perhaps changing some capacitor values or resistors etc?!
Feb 4, 2022 at 6:25 AM Post #94 of 100
I wouldn't bother personally - Focal Utopia is quite sensitive. Sell the V1 and buy a Mojo 2. I sold my V1 and purchased the original Hugo (since upgraded), which I felt was superior to the V1.

Mojo 2 is relatively affordable and also has advanced 'tone controls' - this is your answer I think.

Alternatively get a Schitt equaliser, but not as good as the Mojo 2 technically speaking mind.
Feb 4, 2022 at 6:46 AM Post #95 of 100
Thats a very interesting / baffling suggestion! "You opend up a whole can of DACs!"
You mean the DAC of the Mojo2 is of a higher fidelity and nicer sounding? Is that mainly because the Mojo2 is an FPGA DAC?
Can we safely generalise that well designed FPGA DACs are better sounding than DACs with a normal CPU like SHARC processor found on the Naim DAC-V1?

How does the internal headphone amp of the Mojo 2 compare to the class A headphone amp of the Naim DAC-V1?
The Naim weighs 4 to 5 Kg, with a massive transformer and has large headphone plug inputs.
The Mojo2 does not have large headphone inputs. Need an adapter to plug larger headphones.
I only need a desktop DAC. Is the Mojo 2 that good, that the Chord mobile battery powered DAC can replace a NAIM desktop DAC? :)

To reverse the question: what are the advantages of the NAIM DAC-V1 compared to the upcoming brand new cheaper Chord Mojo 2?

Also I would like an analog volume knob I think, that way I can precisely tune up or down the volume exactly as I want several times during a song.
With the + / - buttons on the Mojo 2 thats a little more difficult. Perhaps there are precise external USB volume knobs for Windows PC?
A fun fact, in Windows if you raise/lower the volume, it always goes up by 2 points not by 1 point! Annoying.
A brand new Mojo 2 is cheaper than a second hand Naim DAC-V1. I guesse I must buy both of them to compare?
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Feb 4, 2022 at 6:59 AM Post #96 of 100
Choice... choices.... but my opinion is that Mojo 2 will be better on all fronts. Naim DAC V1 is very old now, and the older Hugo 1 comfortable beat it IMO.

However, you might like the V1 sound, it's certainly very good, or that of others DACs.... any way to know is to try.

Ergonomics is up to you :)

+ never use windows volume control.
Feb 4, 2022 at 7:04 AM Post #97 of 100
Thanks! Indeed :) Choices ... choices... One thing is certain: more (and more affordable) FPGA DACs will come to market in near future.
For now I will stick with the NAIM DAC-V1 and wait untill the market is flodded with FPGA DAC's. That could be then the time for me to upgrade.
Untill then I will use and enjoy the NAIM and will post a link/pictures of my project if I ever decide to open up my NAIM.
Feb 4, 2022 at 7:12 AM Post #98 of 100
I would seriously not bother opening the Naim DAC... all you'll do is devalue it, there is nothing you can do to make it any better, other than just using it as a straight DAC and buying an external preamp.

Enjoy the V1, save your money and buy a better DAC/DAP/Headphone amp when you are able. There are already loads of FPGA DACs out there... the original Hugo TT is also great if you want a bargain and prefer a desktop solution (with volume knob).
Feb 4, 2022 at 8:25 AM Post #99 of 100
Thanks. I think I may follow your advise, exactly as you say. Enjoy it for now, save for something else later.

My dream/whishlist for a Headphone DAC :)
  • Large analogue precise volume knob (like the Naim DAV-V1 has)
  • Asynchronous USB input
  • FPGA processor
  • 6.3mm large headphone plug in front
  • Dual XLR balanced outputs in the back
  • Price of about/under 1000$ on the used market

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