Rank the DACs you have tried

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by SilverEars, Dec 18, 2017.
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  1. SilverEars
    I didn't see a thread for this. It would be informative for us all if people can rank the DACs they have tried, all ranges in pricing. And key DACs at various price ranges would be informative as well.

    If I have missed any threads that has comparisons in them, please link them.

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  2. Music Alchemist
    Only ranking ones I have owned, based on overall preference.

    1. Chord 2Qute
    2. Chord Mojo
    3. Schiit Modi Multibit
    4. JKenny Ciúnas DAC
    5. JDS Labs OL DAC
    6. iFi micro iDSD
    7. Behringer UCA202, beyerdynamic A 200 p, Creative Sound Blaster E1, Schiit Fulla, Schiit Fulla 2, Schiit Modi 2 (At this point under $100 the differences are too small to care about.)

    I got a much larger improvement in sound by simply upgrading my speakers. If you're looking to get into high-end DACs, make sure you've found your ideal transducers first. (You won't really know what that is without doing extensive comparisons with alternatives.)
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  3. Mojo777
    1. Mytek Manhattan II
    2. Mytek Brooklyn DAC +
    3. Chord Hugo
    4. PS Audio Directstream DAC
  4. techboy
    Modi Multibit
    Asus Essence One Muses
    Asus STX
    Fiio Q1 MKII

    I guess Chord Mojo should be No.3 or 4. But didn’t try it without the amp. And with the amp it sucked.
  5. Music Alchemist
    May I ask which headphones you tried with it, which amps you compared to, and what you disliked about the sound?

    In my experience, the Mojo sounded about as good as the Simaudio MOON Neo 430HAD when driving the HD 800 even though it's more than eight times cheaper. I used countless other headphones with the Mojo, but didn't try the others on the 430HAD.

    The Mojo has enough power to drive nearly any non-electrostatic headphone to any loudness you'd want without clipping/distorting. Many (including myself) think it sounds more transparent than conventional amps since there are less components in the signal path to color the sound. The amplification in Chord DAC/amps is in the DAC's analog output stage and is cleaner than even the line outs of conventional DACs, so technically you can't bypass the amp, although you can connect to an external amp and have it function as a line out with digital volume control.
  6. ahmadfaizadnan
    I am just gonna list the DACs that I've listened for at least an hour.

    1. Holo Spring Level 3
    2. Schiit Yggdrasil
    3. Chord Hugo 2
    4. Matrix X-sabre
    5. iFi iDSD micro BL
    6. Chord Mojo
    7. Schiit Bifrost 4490
    8. Xduoo Xd-05
    9. iFi iDSD micro SE
    10. Schiit Fulla 2
    11. FiiO E17k
  7. SilverEars
    Thanks guys. Let's keep moving the thread on personal ranking. Whether you think Mojo or Modi Multibit sounds better is your preference.
    Fearless1 and ahmadfaizadnan like this.
  8. Thenewguy007
    There is Torq's & Marvey's mega thread of DAC comparisons. Though both haven't been active for awhile now.
  9. selvakumar
    SCHITT Jotunheim
  10. m17xr2b
    MSB Select 2
    Metrum Pavane
    GO V2
    Hugo TT
    GO V1
  11. Music Alchemist
    :scream: Not many have been able to compare the MSB Select DAC to the DAVE, but interestingly, nearly all those who did actually thought the DAVE was better. Since there aren't too many comparisons out there, do you think you could elaborate and describe the differences you heard between them? Did you compare them directly on the same system or what?
  12. m17xr2b
    Well to be fair I heard the dave with the LCD-4 and the Select with the 100k electrostatic setup on 009. The MSB setup was able to resolve spacial cues easier and the sound had more depth where you could hear exactly where one instrument was in relation to the one next to it. On guitars I could sense where each note was located because of how clearly I could hear how the region just above a note that was already playing was struck and started to reverberate while the original one was finishing it's vibration and I could sense the two different frequencies with ease but without overlapping. On the Dave I didn't get that and amps don't resolve spacial information they just amplify what is there.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  13. Whazzzup

    im a little torn between hugo and hpa8 I guess as a desktop a8 wins but tough call they are different.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  14. Music Alchemist
    Since you didn't hear the two DACs on the same system, you could just be describing the sound signatures of two different headphones. (Plus you were using two different amps as well, though this is a given when comparing 'stats vs non-'stats.) Without isolating the variables and having the DAC be the only thing that is changed, you can't do a proper comparison.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  15. m17xr2b
    That day I also auditioned the 009 with BHSE and it wasn't even close. Source was QB9
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