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Low cost DAC's recomendations (Read 8182 times)
Rollin
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #15 - 03/26/11 at 03:44:57
 
DACisions, DACisions,
I am now at a point where the DAC is my last major piece, I think.
Next week I'll take delivery of a set of Zygi's red Hybrid Radials, can not wait. I have changed direction since I started this thread in Oct. and now using old Dell laptop, that seems to take longer than the Torrii to awaken, to a MkI hiFace USB/BNC converter to DAC to Torrii.
Right now using a $60 4xTDA1543 NOS DAC to experiment with while sorting it all out, but guessing it will now be the weakest link in the system. Here in Iowa don't really have opportunity to listen and test out gear so have done lots of reading on the intranet, which I have enjoyed, but has left my head spinning too.

Like my exploration of Bonsai, looking for music to enrich my life and and enjoy with my family, but for now no way at the Master audiophile level. And have a limit on budget, trying to stay below $350. or less especially if it not really going to gain much and that is where I need your help. Looking for great involving sound for our 13'x30'+ great room. Back in Oct. over the phone Steve recommended NOS DAC's.

Now keeping eye on various classified forums and Audiogon and would appreciate any of your thoughts, including stay with what I have. I do have some 24 bit downloads and DVD-audio disks that I'm ripping so wonder is it better to push those to something like the well regarded AudioSector 16-bit NOS DAC or go with up-sampling like a used Bel Canto DAC 1.1 with PCM1704 that comes up every so often for about $350?

Local audio shop does have the Cambridge DACmagic I could probably actually get in home listen, but that DAC always seems to be the one people are moving away from on the net. Or is it just the ticket for me - good enough for my intended use?

Other options include another mid-west direct to consumer company Ross Martin’s Audio Designs DAC in $200 price range and they build it anyway you want including BNC for me, the before mentioned Chinese made Grant Fidelity Tube DAC-09 $215 but seems to have a lot going on, rather than concentrating on being a DAC, and Music Fidelity V-DAC that come up used for about $230 periodically.

Thanks in advance,
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-- Decware Torii #14 --
Speakers:Turning Point Audio HR-ONE's in Red
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Lon
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #16 - 03/26/11 at 04:22:35
 
If you're getting speakers from Bob. . .save up and get something really good like the ZDAC-1, it's just you're going to hear the difference. Don't bother with the cheap stuff. Just my 2 cents.
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JLM
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #17 - 03/28/11 at 13:47:09
 
Are you thinking about PC/Mac audio?  If so, how far off would that be?

A current DAC darling is the $750 Eastern Electric DAC.  It's sound is well respected.  It offers lots of input options, has solid state and tube output, mods are available, and op-amps can be swapped for better sound.  But the AES/EBU input is it's best and USB it's worse.  (It was built to a price point, rumors have it that the next version will have an improved USB input.)  For nearly twice the money the dB Audio Labs Tranquility DAC is killer but only has a USB input and is designed to use a Mac (recognized as superior to almost any PC) as a source.  But you can spend $3000+ on either of these (plus transport).

What CD player are you using now?  If you're planning on going with something else sooner than later why not just suffer with it as you save for a new DAC?

If you're staying with CDPs consider buying the Tascam that Steve bases his player on (available for under $300) until you can gather the stratch.

Or in this age of folks going to PC/Mac audio and blu ray, there should be lots of better than decent used CD/DVD/universal players out there for sale.  For instance, my Oppo 970 universal player ($170 new and Stereophile "C" rated) is sitting in it's box after finding a better CD transport and already using a another universal player in my HT system.
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opnly_bafld
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #18 - 03/28/11 at 22:39:22
 
I agree with Lon, enjoy the amp and speakers for now.
Keep saving and looking, the Torii and HR-1s will reward a wise decision down the road.

Lin
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MarkBlair
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #19 - 03/31/11 at 18:52:46
 
I really like using my NuForce Icon HDP (just $449) S/PDIF & USB DAC/PreAmp/Headphone Amp.  Even though it's perhaps most famous as a killer headphone amp, it's DAC and preamp are both surprisingly good (especially if you take the time to burn-in the DAC).

I'm using the S/PDIF coax digital output from a professional recording sound card to push the NuForce Icon HDP, which in turn drives my new Decware SE84C+, which drives PMC TB2S+ speakers.  Great nearfield monitoring sound (which is exactly what I wanted).

Anyway, check out the rave reviews of the NuForce at 6moons.com and at Amazon.com.  Very good bang-for-the-buck.

Mark
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Rollin
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #20 - 08/17/11 at 07:20:55
 
Local audio shop let me try out at home a DacMagic and while I liked the simpleness and flexibility it provided, in my situation we did not hear a difference so I'm still looking. Do not take my observations too seriously as my set up is not audiophile by any means right now. I'm in the stage of life of music enjoyment, but wanting to purchase for future better situations, however on a beer budget raising a family.

I'm keeping my eye on the Metrum Acoustics NOS Mini DAC Quad
http://www.nosminidac.nl/NOS_mini_DAC_English.html

Reviews:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=93939.0
http://www.hifi.nl/recensies/4265/Metrum-Acoustics-NOS-Mini-DACs.html

The big brother of it, Octave, is getting raves; http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/metrum/1.html
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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 #21 - 08/17/11 at 18:24:23
 
Rollin, I have the DacMagic in a 2nd system and I agree it is not impressive at all. My Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro and Dac 3.0 destroy it. I will probably sell the DacMagic. I know I mentioned earlier in above post to try an Emotiva........but that won't cut the mustard either.

As Lon mentioned save for a good one like Steve D's Dac here or a Wyred for Sound Dac 2. If my 16.5 yr old Audio Alchemy rig goes down...I will buy Steve's Dac and have him put in an Attenuator in it or I'll get the Wyred for Sound Dac 2. I would not be happy with anything less and it sounds like you will not be happy for anything less. My Select Amp and I now have a Torii MK III coming, with my cables demand a good DAC, to match the transparent Amps and holographic cables.

Stone of Tone

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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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markv
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #22 - 08/21/11 at 19:36:25
 
Read this - there are some reasonable priced units.  Decware is also in this comparison:

http://audiophilereview.com/cd-dac-digital/audiophile-reviews-top-five-dacs-unde...
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Low cost DAC's recomendations
Reply #23 - 08/30/11 at 14:22:15
 
You will just need to audition a few and calculate your restocking fee's and shipping. Me personally, I don't like preamps and Steve's Amps don't need um', unless you need the input switching.

The Wyred for Sound Dac 1, can be had for $999 without attenuation (vol control). I prefer remote control digital attenuation over a preamp with my Interconnects (Kimber Select 1030's-I have found no other more transparent-get out of the way of the music interconnects than these). That is why the WFSound Dac 2 is $1500, plus alleged more robust USB processing. Steve will have to charge me an understandable extra $500 to add vol control to his DAC as well.

So Rollin, bring 2or 3 of them in and have a shoot out.

Stone of Tone
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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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