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Starting Point Systems portable NOS DAC

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by cjg888, Mar 12, 2014.
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  1. protoss

    Hows the sound without the batteries?
  2. richard51
    The internal rechargeable batteries are always working, this is better to lower the noise floor …. I only charge them with a Ifipower supply now and not with an external lithium battery and it is better...my best to you...
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
    protoss likes this.
  3. protoss

    I see. The batteries are part of the sound design.

    Also, this can be part of a desktop dac instead of it being a portable dac. I mean it looks like it can replace desktop dacs
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  4. Haden2866
    It's a really good DAC, IMO.Needs time to warm up properly - I usually give it 90 minutes. I sold my Chord Mojo and don't miss it - I won't sell this SPS DAC3.
    protoss likes this.
  5. richard51
    It is a desktop dac for me Protoss... and I am not surprize by your opinion about this dac Haden2866...This dac is the unknown gem of audio....In my heavily tweaks audio grid this dac has no defect whatsoever... Details are all there but musically and organically linked... Many people nowadays prefers details not musically linked like in a microscope ...:L3000:
  6. protoss
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  7. Haden2866
    I would say be patient and check eBay often. You will usually find (on eBay UK at any rate) a number of auctions running at the same time, with different starting prices and different postage rates - it's quite an eccentric selling strategy, IMO, but it means if you are lucky you might get a bargain.
  8. protoss
    So whats a good and decent price i should be looking at? $200 ? Or ....
  9. Haden2866
    Hard to tell - maybe the price has been climbing steadily as the DAC's reputation has grown.
    I hope that you would not be disappointed at that price.
    I use the USB, SPDIF and Optical inputs, for different use cases, and all work well.
  10. richard51
    This dac has attracted no real negative reviews and sometimes raving one....The price few years ago were around 100 bucks new...I bought it on an ebay a bid from the designer, I was lucky I pay it peanuts (20 bucks),because nobody bids after me...... After that I never see a low price again... The best for you, buy one used... Used I has seen it often around 150 bucks even 120 bucks...They are 3 models of this dac… The model 2 is low price often when used...The sound is virtually the same than model 3 … I run model 2 from my computer with an optical converter...
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  11. Haden2866
    I think the model 3 has an upgraded USB receiver which M. Mariac, the maker, claims offers some form of reclocking for improved performance.
    How much is this DAC worth?
    I am not sure I would want this as my only DAC - it rewards slow, relaxed listening sessions. I mentioned earlier in this thread that some sessions have been truly transcendent, man, proper third-ear open, there's no left- and right channel any more, soul-nourishing, extraordinary. It is capable of taking you places other DACs, in my experience, can't. And yet, if you look at the specs or, God forbid, measured it you would probably chuck it in the bin these days.
    Is that worth 200 bucks? 300? Can't say. I don't miss my Mojo - great in its own way but ultimately a £400 maths processor - but I will never sell my SPS DAC3.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  12. richard51
    Remember that ultimately the performance of any piece of audio gear,be it a dac or an amplifier or speakers, is linked directly to the cleaning of vibrations, and cleaning of the electrical grid and electrical source and treatment of the room... This french dac does not sound the same in my system before or after cleaning...
  13. earwego
    I don't use headphones - I use very revealing Role Audio Enterprise Loudspeakers. The SPS DAC 3 sounds incredible with the SoTM sPS 500 PSU (power supply) connected to it, with Auralic Mini streaming music over Wi-Fi (using it's optional upgraded Auralic PSU).

    It's quite easy to distinguish - the major strength is stopping any form of blur mush of muddle you can get with digital - yet also presents incredible spaciousness and superb sweet detail in the mid and treble.

    This DAC really does confirm for me that the source is more important that the speakers (a very contentious subject but my opinion at least). My speaker sound average with average gear and excellent with excellent gear. The SPS DAC 3 is truly an eye (ear) opener!

    My system comprises: Auralic Mini streamer, using Auralic's upgraded linear PSU >>> spdif (not USB) to SPS DAC-3 powered/charged by SoTM sPS-500 PSU >>> NVA P50sa (stepped attenuator passive pre) >>> Croft 7 Power amp (valve / mosfet) >>> Role Audio Enterprise.
    Haden2866 and richard51 like this.
  14. richard51
    I fully support your view about source and power supply; and more than that the electrical grid of the house and room, and the electro-magnetic fields intrication of the different pieces of gear in the room are crucial element to treat for the sound quality... Most people have already good audio systems which they dont know the true potential because of these facts about source and the electrical grid; they think that changing their gear is the upgrading solution, they makes these mistakes because hype, and marketing methods does not inform the audiophile about the most important fact in audio : how to decreasing the noise floor...

    I use the same dac that you use, but I cannot afford for now your power supply, I use a low cost excellent solution Ifipower with greater result than lithium battery....But I had treated my electrical grid, vibrations resonance problems, and acoustical room, and this dac is an endgame for me, no limits to his potential quality sound are perceptible by me inserted in my audio grid...It is not tough a microscope,( buy another costly trade mark to focus on micro-details); The SPS dac nos is a musical instrument in his own way with all details integrated in the naturally colored instrumental timbre of each musical voices or instruments.... My best to you...
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  15. earwego
    If you have the same appreciation of DACs as me (for example I realise the potential of the SPS DAC 3 like you do) - you will also find another unlikely but excellent performing DAC under the hood of a Marantz NA7004 << get one used and find out for yourself. There seems to be a headphone amp included too (not that I would use that part of it personally).
    richard51 likes this.
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