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Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff)

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by purrin, Dec 5, 2013.
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  1. thegunner100
    Gungnir is smoother but more aggressive and dynamic sounding. X-Sabre is the more detailed and laid-back sounding dac.
     
    purrin likes this.
  2. 7ryder
    I've never heard a Majik, but I had an Akurate DS and, until recently, a Klimax DS/1 -- decided to give tubes a try and picked up an Audio Research Ref DAC which has Ethernet streaming in addition to the usual digital connections.  
     
    Like Purrin says, Linn has Ethernet streaming and gapless down, unlike PS Audio and that confounded Bridge!  I got rid of my PWD w/ Bridge and went to the Akurate because of the issues with the Bridge.  
     
    Linn has a lot of support docs on their website and, yes, you can use the DS players wirelessly and can stream from your iThing too if you want.  
     
    here's a link to the support pages where you can read how to set up the Majik, recommendations for a LAN, NAS, etc. http://www.linn.co.uk/support
     
    If you like the Majik, don't, I repeat, don't listen to the Akurate...or the Klimax for that matter, or you'll be pawning stuff to increase your budget!  I made the mistake of listening to the Klimax when I owned the Akurate...my wallet hasn't quite forgiven me.
     
    Oh, and yes, definitely buy used. 
     
  3. 62ohm
    @purrin
     
    On your best amp for HD800 list, you mentioned that the amp circuitry of HDVA 600 / HDVD 800 have its own sound, and DACs don't make much different with this amp. To what extent do you think does the amp circuitry impose its own sound signature?
     
    I recently get myself a Metrum Octave and, with the Senn amp I actually find very little (minuscule, actually) difference between the Metrum Octave and the Benchmark DAC1. I recall trying out various sources with the BHA-1 before and the difference between one DAC and another was not subtle.
     
  4. mauriceg

    Could both work well with sennheiser HD650's? Or would one of the two be favorable?
     
  5. mauriceg

    Thanks so much for the advice! I'm already doing everything I can to be able to afford the Majik DS, wanting a klimax or akurate would be a disaster for me haha!
     
    7ryder likes this.
  6. AustinValentine
     
    This. As long as you're staying single-ended, it's a pretty incredible piece of kit. I use one of those with my Project Ember + Paradox/HD600. Make sure that you get a decent USB to Coax converter for it - Gustard U12 works well, a Ciunas Converter would be better still. 
     
    Don't run it off of Macbook or motherboard toslink. Seriously. Just don't. 
     
    wahsmoh likes this.
  7. jogfi2002
    How do you comment on the DENON DA300 and Emotiva DC-1?
     
    In USA, they are at the same price of $499, but the DENON seems to have an atrracting technology AL32 that have been used in their top devices.
     
    Very confused and could not decide which to buy...
     
  8. purrin
     
    ^ What he said. Plus Gungnir is bassier, X-Sabre is leaner. Both good DACs. Pick your poison.
     
  9. purrin
     
    No idea on AL32. It might be a legit custom DSP / digital filter that does wonders or it might not matter. I'm a bit hesistant because of the BB1795 DAC chip (not a good sounding chip) and also because Denon hasn't made anything good sounding in a decade. They make crap integrated amps and bluray players for sale at Best Buy now. As for the DC-1, I don't think I've heard an AD1955 implementation that I did not like.
     
  10. purrin
     
    The answer to a very large extent. I couldn't even tell much of a difference between my iPhone, Sony Walkman X out, and the HDVD800's internal DAC. The Metrum Octave vs. Benchmark on a good setup should sound very very different, even on modest amps and headphones.
     
    The headphone circuit in the HDVx units is based on an TI headamp chip that has a tendency of making everything laid-back sounding at best, or flat and boring, at worst (examples would Hi-Fi-M8, PHA-1, etc.). The chip makes decent power, especially in balanced bridged configuration where it also helps with imaging precision. The nature of the chip's sound and high output impedance makes it a good match for the HD800 and HD6x0. The chip imparts a certain kind of stamp on the sound. Hard to describe. Sort of an enforced timbre. Pleasant and forgiving.
     
    The BHA-1 (provided that you don't let it get hot) is a much more transparent amp. If you plan on rolling DACs, avoid the HDVx units from Senn. However, I think the HDVx solutions are worthy of consideration if you just want something that works with the HD800 and don't care about getting the most from the headphone. HDVx amps suck on most other headphones, especially orthos.
     
  11. jogfi2002
    Thanks for reply.
     
    So you are absolutely prefer Emotiva to DENON.
     
     
    Hmmmm...May turn to Emotiva.
     
  12. jexby
    Ok, my turn to rub the tummy of Purrin Budda and ask for a ranking/ recommendation without including Yggy:

    current Gungnir + Wyrd
    BiFrost Uber USB gen 2 + Wyrd
    BiFrost Uber USB gen 1 + Wyrd
    Modi 2 Uber + Wyrd
     
  13. 62ohm
     
    I guess I need to get the BHA-1 as well then. And I'm guessing the BHA-1 with the Metrum Octave would be a decent match for the HD800? Might as well keep the Benchmark DAC1 for the HDVA600 as it won't make much of a difference anyway regarding what DAC I use with the HDVA600.
     
  14. EraserXIV
     
    Get the Modi 2U and save your money until you can afford the Yggy.
     
  15. jexby

    Indeed, solid advice.
    Except I have no rack space, speakers, nor nuclear power plant for 24x7 operation of the Yggy yoga master DAC.
     
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