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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. adobotj
    Thanks uncola. Logged just 3 hours of listening as of today. Haven't tried it with different setups yet but will try it over this weekend. So far... IT IS GOOD out of the HD800. Very musical and definitely no loss of detail. Very VERY good extension on the low frequencies. Highs are somewhat rolled-off but will try to reassess it as the days go by and with other setup. Tried it with my OTL tube amp (LDmkii on voskhods and russian power tubes) and it sounds AMAZING. The music is so pleasing to my ears. It made my HD800 un-analytical (in a good way) and made me just listen to the music. I noticed that on good recordings (mastering) and on jazz/alternative/bossa, that this NOS dac really shines. It brings out almost all if not, all the details in the recordings and instruments sounds just right. So this is it for now after 3 hours of listening. I can say that I'm already loving this dac! Sounds better (musical) than the cirrus dac of my ak100ii (to my ears). 
    Next up for me would be to hook this up to the upcoming LC and try to compare its output from different amps as well (SS vs Tube Valve w/o opamp). Will try to use planars later (LCD2f/alpha dogs/hifiman) and see what it brings.
    p.s. May i ask what is your main dac?
  2. uncola
    my NOS battery dac is for sale, I'm including a usb to toslink system and 12v wallwart.
  3. tg123
    Man I missed the indiegogo campaign. I wonder how good the DAC 3 is going to be compared to the DAC 2.
  4. uncola
    Tg123 eh?
  5. tg123
  6. varzyl
    Is it correct to assume that pairing a "Battery DAC" with an already "fun" headphone like the Fidelio X2 (and to a lesser grade the Sennh HD650), would be detrimental?
    Too much fun would lead to a severe lack of detail\muddy sound?
    Same could be said for pairing this DAC to a tube amp, or dark SS (like Violectrics)?
  7. SDBiotek

    Keep in mind that the DAC 2 does not act as a headphone amp: you have to add one to the chain to drive your headphone.
    It isn't really a matter of correct or wrong, but whether or not you like how the combination of DAC, amp,and headphone sound when used together. One person's idea of lack of detail may simply be a smooth, laid back sound to someone else, who may actually prefer it. In that sense, it's "better" for him. "Fun" can also mean different things to different people. It's the ever elusive "synergy" that you see mentioned all over Head-Fi. Some tube amps, to me, don't really sound tube-like, but what is a tube amp supposed to sound like?It mostly depends on what the designers were trying to achieve.
    I recently picked up a DAC2, but haven't had much of a chance to try it yet. I'll try to post some impressions here soon after I have some time to use it with some different amps and headphones.
  8. dryvadeum
    Just ordered the new DAC 3. Should have it in a week so I'll post some impressions when I get it.
  9. uncola
    cool let us know how it is dryvadeum.  
  10. dryvadeum
    Can anyone recommend and relatively cheap amp that has good synergy with this DAC? I'll be using a pair of TH900s. I kinda want the Hifiman hm-603 amp sound but in a full size amp.
  11. uncola
    I didn't try enough amps with it to definiteively say what has good synergy, but I will say the two amps I feel are hot and relatively inexpensive are project polaris and the burson audio lycan.  or maybe try a vali 2 if real cheap needed
    I use this DAC with a Little Dot MKIII tube amp to drive Beyerdynamic DT880 600 Ohm headphones. I looks perfect next to the fireplace and sounds pretty good.  For sources, I either use an A&K DAP via optical or a Fiio via Coax.  
    This is nowhere near being my "BEST" rig, but it is very smooth and enjoyable for relaxing by the fire.
  13. dryvadeum
    Just got the DAC 3 today. I listened to it for about half an hour with my DX50 as source via coax into the DAC 3 and then into my Meier 2Stepdance which amped my TH900s.

    I was pretty impressed with what I briefly heard. It sounds really smooth and cohesive. The mids and bass texture are very good and the imaging seems quite holographic.

    I'm liking how it can be charged via usb as that allows you to charge it with a power bank or phone charger.

    I'm going to have it setup plugged into my ps4 via usb (to power it) and optical for sound. Then just leave the dx50 plugged in via coax for a music source.

    It boasts a diminutive size too which is nice.
  14. dryvadeum
    Doing more listening now. Using the same setup but using my Denon MM400s and the sound is so pleasant and full bodied. The bass and mids of this DAC are so cohesive which allows you to feel the pulse of the music really well.

    I know a lot of people feel the TDA chip isn't the most resolving but I don't feel as though I'm missing out on any musical detail as it sounds so harmonically coherent. Sonically, I can see how people would feel its dull or flat but that's due to the overall harmonic coherency imo.

    In other words, it sounds as tho I'm listening to an actual instrument and i can hear and sense the air. I feel as though it was money well spent.
    richard51, asilker and zilch0md like this.
  15. audiojun
    I just ordered this battery NOS DAC. It should arrive in 1-2 weeks. I will post my impressions.
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