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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. purrin
    Try it with toslink anyways. There's a computer/data buffer/DSP thing in there, so transport does tend to be less critical compared to some other DACs.
     
  2. wahsmoh

    Will do. I am going to give it a go tonight when I have some more free time.
     
  3. prot
    @AustinValentine
    Didnt know about the AMB incident, that sounds pretty bad indeed. Maybe he was a jerk afterall ...still no incompetent charlatan. And there's nothin wrong with his devices..especially for the price. Heard one of those small schiit amps once ... didnt have the o2 to compare but thee was nothing special ... just another good small amp, prolly worth the reasonable price.


    Tried quite a long time to get one of those Dacs of yore on ebay EU but the Thetas and Parasounds are very rare and still very expensive around here ... not gonna pay €700-1000 for simple curiosity. Congrats and maybe you can compare it with some current models
     
  4. mikek200
    Do any of these dacs,from the 90's,still have parts available,if needed,or are these  newer models , with warranty??
    Correct me,if I'm wrong.
     
  5. wahsmoh
    That's my goal. If I can get to SoCal CanJam 2015 I will compare it with the Gungnir and today's modern DACs.
     
    For now though it will be a single-ended shootout between the Bifrost Uber Gen2 USB and DS Pro Progeny A. I think that leads to an interesting match up because the Progeny A was designed as an affordable step-up to Theta DACs but in a single-ended form. The Schiit Bifrost Uber Gen 2 was designed by the same guy and offers the modern advantage of asynchronous USB. The Theta DS Pro Progeny A has two transformers, one for the digital section and one for the analog versus the single transformer of the Bifrost Uber. I think the Bifrost Uber managed to separate these two sections more with the Uber analog stage. I plan on listening to redbook and anything under 20/48khz to keep the sample rates fair in my comparisons.
     
  6. purrin
     
    I'd say borderline. The PCB layout was kind of funky, the pot between the stages was retarded, and the amp failed with its stated design goal of being portable. Charlatan in that he actually convinced a lot of people that he was not only competent, but competent beyond reproach with his D-scope and all.
     
  7. wahsmoh
    Yes and no. Most of these Theta legacy products can no longer be repaired or maintained through warranty. I have heard of people sending their Sonic Frontiers DACs to the original guy and getting them worked on so yes there are some 90's DACs that are still repaired by the company. What makes them hard to repair I believe are the parts that are no longer manufactured. That means the Theta Digital DS Pro Basic IIIa which uses 4x PCM1704 has a chip that is on a timeline to expiration as they are no longer manufactured and have a limited stock. Also the one that my DAC uses, the Burr Brown PCM67P-k is no longer manufactured.
     
  8. mikek200
    Well,I wish you the best of luck,and I hope you get years of service/enjoyment out of it.I was close to getting one myself,but decided at the last minute, for the Yiggy
     
     
    Mike
     
  9. evillamer
    Speaking of O2 amps and AMB. What happened to RSA? They used to be very well regarded with their RSA shadow amp and all. Now it seems that they aren't as popular as they used to be. Maybe Schitt Audio or other players like Leckerton or Jdslabs supersede them interms of $/performance?
     
  10. prot

    Well he convinced me :). The O2 is portable enough for my needs (hotel room amp), can drive almost any HPs and sounds very good for the price...especially since I only paid ~€100 for a swiss made device on ebay. As about "competent beyond reproach", noone is that good.

    Anyway, curious what would you recommend as an alternate. Dac/amp combo or just amp ... under 1k ... able to drive most HPs ... portable or at least semi... sounds clearly better than an iphone or middlerange DAPs like the ibasso-s.

    May also be just a DAP. Currently I'm looking at the soundaware esther...apparently will be able to take 1TB of music and has a reasonably powerful amp ... may be my future road jack :)
     
  11. prot

    I'm not the right person to ask, I just tried to get one of those. I assume the parts & service situation is quite dare, wouldn't buy one of those as my main device.
     
  12. Armaegis
     
    RSA products always had a bit of a premium pricing on them, and with increasing competition especially from the cheaper Asian market most of the popular names in portable amps from a couple years back are dwindling.
     
  13. Bill-P
     
    Try the Leckerton UHA-6S Mk.II. Smaller footprint than O2, truly portable, and power output is only a bit behind, but resolution and everything else should be audibly better due to it having better technicality than the O2.
     
    There were some comparison measurements made between the O2 and the Leckerton, even, showing the O2 audibly causing frequency response variations in hard-to-drive IEMs, whereas the Leckerton handles them like a champ. Unfortunately, that website has gone down now.
     
    If you need a better DAC than ODAC, I'd say... Geek Out 450.
     
    I had an O2 for a while, but when I got my Leckerton in and did a comparison, the O2 went up for sale almost immediately...
     
  14. hans030390
    UHA-6S MkII is what made me sell the O2/ODAC unit, even if the Leck's DAC isn't quite as good as the ODAC. Still sounded better overall.
     
  15. prot

    Thx for the suggestion, the leckerton did seem perfect up to "usb limited to 16/48" ... thats a bit too little for anno 2015.

    The geeks are not that special and they can't drive both IEMs & HPs. Plus I already have a microstreamer + O2 and I'm trying to simplify my life with an upgrade ... too many cables & components to carry right now. I'm thinking either a very powerful DAP like that soundaware, or a serious powerpackage like iDSD Micro. Or just a really good amp fed from the iPhone. Dont know I'm quite lost between all those posibilities ... and open to suggestions.
     
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