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DACs for Around $1000 (Read 10135 times)
beowulf
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DACs for Around $1000
10/06/12 at 08:21:45
 
Hey guys, since Decware discontinued the ZDAC1, what other DAC's look promising to you around $1000 or under?

There are a lot on the market, but I like to keep my dollars in the USA whenever possible (but not a deal breaker).  I would like 24 bit/192k, asynchronous USB 2.0 and SPDIF.

So far I have been looking at these:

1. Schiit (gotta love that name) Gungnir:
http://schiit.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=...

2. CIAudio Transient MKII Asynchronous USB Converter:
http://www.ciaudio.com/products/TransientMKII

3. Wadia 121 Decoding Computer:
http://www.wadia.com/products/decoding/121/

Does anybody have any input on these or additional recommendations?

Thanks!  :)
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jameskk
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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #1 - 10/06/12 at 11:33:06
 
Ok Beowulf . I have the zcd 200i, I also have the Rega Dac , I can go back and forth using the tascam side of the cd player with the coax ouput, and AB it on the fly with the inputs of the white se84c+. There something about that rega dac thats more real sounding  when you listen to instruments , but thats where it ends . the zcd is a wider and deeper soundstage and maybe slightly more detailed, these are both around a 1000.00 dollars , the zcd being slightly more as to your options , I just got the regulator and one volume control. I'll tell you the 5 volt ouput really keeps me from wanting anymore power than the zen amps provide...........
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Donnie
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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #2 - 10/06/12 at 11:53:08
 
Wyred 4 Sound DAC1
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busterfree
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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #3 - 10/06/12 at 16:48:37
 
PS Audio just released a new DAC (NuWave $999) to replace the DLIII. It is built in the US. I think it has  24 bit/192k, asynchronous USB 2.0 and SPDIF. I have not heard it. Thanks
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opnly_bafld
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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #4 - 10/07/12 at 14:34:47
 
Both are NonOverSampling DACs ~ Havana has tube buffered output ~ Octave doesn't have USB input (good converter wil put it over $1k budget).

Mhdt Havana
http://dhost.info/mhdtlab/havana.htm

Metrum Octave
http://www.nosminidac.nl/Octave_English.html

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JazztoGo
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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #5 - 10/07/12 at 16:19:51
 
I use a AVA vision dac that is very nice with my mini torii Cheesy
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Longbowbbs
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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #6 - 10/08/12 at 03:16:41
 
I have listened to both the Wadia 121 and the W4S DAC2. Both are terrific and both require a couple of hundred hours of burn in. The W4S has a few more inputs so its a bit more expensive. I am sure there are better DAC's but the prices really go up and the law of diminishing returns really kicks in above either of them.
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MacMini,W4S DAC-2 DSDse,Denon DVD-5900, Decware CSP2+, Taboo MK III, Sennheiser HD800's, DM945's, DefTech Supercube 3
http://www.head-fi.org/t/654644/a-visit-to-decware
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Morganc
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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #7 - 10/08/12 at 16:27:18
 
The dB Labs Tranquility is Selling for $700 or so on Audiogon and it is fantastic for that price and is made in America with very good support.  I just plugged mine in and it compares very well to the EE Dac Plus and the Metrum Octave.
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opnly_bafld
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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #8 - 10/08/12 at 22:35:30
 
dB Labs Tranquility is USB only.

IIRC it started out as SPDIF only and was changed to USB, now they have a SPDIF DAC coming soon. Huh
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beowulf
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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #9 - 10/09/12 at 07:08:38
 
Wow, what a great list of feedback, I can see I have my work cut out for me!

jameskk, I never thought about the ZCD 200i as an option, although I don't have many CD's, I prefer reading files from my PC as my source, so it would almost be a waste to get something with a CD player.  But good to know!

Donnie, the Wyred 4 Sound DAC1 has got some great reviews, but I was trying to get 24/192 ... Although the DAC2 has that feature, but at $499 more.

busterfree, the PS Audio looks promising.  I'll definitely check into that one. I think I read somewhere that Lon has the big brother PerfectWave ... that is a cool piece of gear, however out of my budget.

JazztoGo, the AVA's are interesting.  I never heard of them, but would love to hear that hybrid tube DAC ... very industrial looking design too!  I wonder if they come up on audiogon every once in a while for a used one?

Morganc and opnly_bafld (cool name by the way), I read about dB Labs last year and then forgot all about them,  Have you seen this thread http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=74816.0 ?  It is an extensive post about their products and overall just a whole lot of good info in general.

Thanks guys for the great feedback!

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Lon
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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #10 - 10/09/12 at 13:47:47
 
I do have the big brother to the new PS Audio NuWave DAC, and because I love the big brother so much I would definitely audition the new one if I could if I were in the market for a DAC at that price point.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,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:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Audioqwest
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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #11 - 10/17/12 at 13:02:24
 
If you can find a used Theta Pro Gen model you can't go wrong, or the Benchmark DAC are also very good for the money, especially used.
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Apogee Scintilla - 1 ohm (painted Sterling Gray Metallic RM base/clearcoat by yours truly), Decware ZTPRE, Theta Pearl & DS Pro Prime II, Parasound T/DQ 1600, Threshold S/200.
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Crazy Bill the Eel Killer
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Tubes Rule !!

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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #12 - 10/17/12 at 14:15:24
 
Hello Beowulf,
Couple of things,
If you are at least an average DIYer, w/o question, you need to check these guys out:
http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/landing.aspx
State of the art stuff.

Second, if you are using a Windows based system, w/o question, you need JPlay riding on J.River Media Center as your media playback engine. Truly incredible computer playback. Nothing is better than this for a Windows system.

I'll elaborate further if anyone is interested.

Cheers,                 Crazy Bill
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« Last Edit: 10/17/12 at 14:16:01 by Crazy Bill the Eel Killer »  
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beowulf
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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #13 - 10/18/12 at 07:50:41
 
Wow, Crazy Bill ... thanks for turning me onto that site, very cool and tons of reading and info!

Have you built one of these yourself?  If so, which model?

Thanks!
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Crazy Bill the Eel Killer
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Tubes Rule !!

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Re: DACs for Around $1000
Reply #14 - 10/19/12 at 17:18:06
 
No Beowulf, I have not, as of yet, built one of their DAC's. Though I will be ( short of hitting Lotto and having unlimited cash ), building one up in the future. Probably the Buffalo III, though I haven't ruled out the COD as it would ( for me ) be easier to design an all tube IV converter output stage.

That said, I do have, in house, their Ventus headphone amp w/ Placid BP PS. Just haven't got around to building it yet, and very possibly might never actually build it. But I can unequivocally state that I am incredibly impressed by the quality of what I received from TP. Everything in the kits are first class right down to the available documentation. If you can stuff a board, you can build their stuff.

That's all the time I have for now. More to follow.

Cheers,                    Crazy Bill
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