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Low cost DAC's recomendations (Read 7412 times)
Rollin
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Low cost DAC's recomendations
10/23/10 at 08:49:07
 
Can not afford a Z DAC right now, any $400 and under DAC's that you can recommend? Either no oversampling or very little oversampling.

Thanks
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MikeS
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Cui bono?

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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #1 - 10/26/10 at 19:08:07
 
What inputs does this DAC need to offer?  S/PDIF Coax & Optical? USB?

For computer-based playback (USB-input), the HRT Streamer line is getting good reviews - http://highresolutiontechnologies.com/
Even their $150 unit sounds quite nice in my system.

A few years ago I bought a fine used DAC on audiogon.  It was flexible enough to accept 44.1 and 48 kHz inputs, so I could toggle between my CD player's Coax out and my PCs S/PDIF out as sources.

affordableaudio.org has reviewed a number of DACs that won't blow your budget.
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Rega Planet > Rega Io > Mapleshade-modded 1962 Heathkit (2x EL84/ch) > audiodata 90 dB/4 Ohm speakers

laptop > HRT MusicStreamerII > SE84 'B' > Back-loaded FE206EM horns & active 15" sub
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Rollin
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #2 - 10/27/10 at 04:31:24
 
Thanks!
Will check out the links. Should have said not USB.
Right now thinking of iPod using an Onkyo ND-S1 transport, and other inputs, but not computer.

WARNING Newbie questions:
My CD player has an optional optical out - that is a pure digital stream that needs to be fed into a DAC before hitting my Decware amp - correct?
Will most DAC's work with the amps or do I need a pre-amp or DAC with an AMP? And with the later am I assume I'm killing some of the quality in the lower price ranges?

Thanks in advance
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Lon
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #3 - 10/27/10 at 16:50:21
 
If your Decware amp has a volume control (I think they all do) you won't need a preamp, especially if the DAC you choose has an output voltage of 2V or more.

In your shoes honestly I would save for the ZDAC-1.  Although I use a Sony ES SACD player (the SCD-XA5400ES) that costs twice as much the ZDAC-1 for cd playback (I prefer its redbook cd sound to the ZDAC-1, and its SACD sound is phenomenal) the ZDAC-1 sounds phenomenal for the price and makes my Blu-Ray player and DVR sound spectacular.  I think it's worth waiting for, I'd save some months to get it if I had to.
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« Last Edit: 10/27/10 at 16:52:23 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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MikeS
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #4 - 10/27/10 at 17:55:25
 
"My CD player has an optional optical out - that is a pure digital stream that needs to be fed into a DAC before hitting my Decware amp - correct?"

Correct.  Digital outs (optical, coax) allow you to use your CD player as a transport (bypassing its own DAC), leaving the digital to analog conversion job to your DAC.

I'll echo Lon's recommendation about saving up for a Decware DAC.
Steve produces very fine products for the money.  His prices reflect a direct-to-consumer sale, rather than also having to pay a distribution/retail channel for their efforts.
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« Last Edit: 10/27/10 at 17:58:33 by MikeS »  

Rega Planet > Rega Io > Mapleshade-modded 1962 Heathkit (2x EL84/ch) > audiodata 90 dB/4 Ohm speakers

laptop > HRT MusicStreamerII > SE84 'B' > Back-loaded FE206EM horns & active 15" sub
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Rollin
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #5 - 10/28/10 at 07:29:39
 
Thanks so much.
I'm sure I will have a few other basic questions so appreciate the friendly knowledge sharing. Just purchased a Torii Mk. I Wednesday off Audiogon.com so really excited to venture into the tubes for myself and with my son.
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MikeS
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #6 - 10/28/10 at 16:28:01
 
Torii MKI

You'll run into other owners of your amp in its dedicated forum.
Congratulations and happy listening!  I got my SE84 used from Decware ten years ago and have been a tube/high-efficiency speaker fanatic ever since.  Steve's new Zen Open Baffle speaker really intrigues me.
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Rega Planet > Rega Io > Mapleshade-modded 1962 Heathkit (2x EL84/ch) > audiodata 90 dB/4 Ohm speakers

laptop > HRT MusicStreamerII > SE84 'B' > Back-loaded FE206EM horns & active 15" sub
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Rollin
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #7 - 10/29/10 at 05:13:27
 
Thanks,
So far I'm the only one that has posted in the dedicated section of the forum  :)
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-- Decware Torii #14 --
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #8 - 10/29/10 at 15:57:44
 
http://emotiva.com/xda1.shtm

No Brainer, XDA-1

Cool, you picked up an Torii Mk. I am considering the MkIII or one of Mr. Pass wonders, either the J2 or M2.

Cheers, Stone of Tone


Solid State System:
Denon DCM-290 (Transport)
Acoustic Zen MC2
Dac Magic
Monster M1000 MKIII  IC (from 1993)
Rotel RA-1062 (as Preamp)
Kimber PK10 Palladian (Rotel)
Kimber KCAG
Emotiva UPA-1 x 2
HGA SC-16 Silver Braid to Kimber 8TC
Polk LS90
360 Degree Room treats-dedicated Room

Tube Amp System: (#1 system = 80% of my listening)
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
AA DTI-Pro
Prophecy Cryo-Silver i2s
AA 3.0 Dac
Kimber Select 1030
Decware Zen Select
Kimber Select 3033
LS-90
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Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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Rollin
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #9 - 11/03/10 at 04:20:00
 
Difficult to tell on the Emotiva site if you will have much control of the oversampling.

I like the ZDAC's size better.

And another newbie question - are the 2 XLR (Balanced) outputs usefull in a home system?
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-- Decware Torii #14 --
Speakers:Turning Point Audio HR-ONE's in Red
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #10 - 11/04/10 at 05:15:05
 
You would not have control over the oversampling. I picked this one based on your stated budget despite oversampling. I like my Audio Alchemy gear where I do have control over the dither.

The size is for stacking.

Balanced outputs are great if you have balanced inputs to connect too. Cool

I have never liked balanced inputs. My Kimber Select 1030 IC's I have never been able to best them. I have owned them for 10 years and purchased new at half the price they cost now for .5 meter. Pitty more people can't experience them because their to damn expensive now.

Stone of Tone
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« Last Edit: 11/04/10 at 05:16:41 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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Rollin
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Posts: 47
Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #11 - 11/14/10 at 05:54:11
 
Please give us a review if you get one of the Emotivas, I'm thinking of holding off for a bit for now.
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-- Decware Torii #14 --
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ny10522
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #12 - 12/21/10 at 02:37:54
 
Cambridge Audio DacMagic, although its a wee bit above your budget.
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JLM
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #13 - 12/25/10 at 00:20:44
 
Emotiva is built to a budget, you get what you pay for.  The DAC is no different.  There's a lot of buzz that the volume is poorly controlled (gets too loud way to fast).  Too bad.

Another option would be the $225 Grant Fidelity DAC-09:

http://grantfidelity.com/site/Grant_Fidelity_Tube_DAC-09
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Rollin
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #14 - 12/27/10 at 03:38:07
 
Thanks,
Had not come across Grant Fidelity.
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