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10/21/14 at 19:38:21


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Tube Dac recommendations (Read 831 times)
Steve Deckert
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Tube Dac recommendations
07/25/14 at 22:56:59
 
Quote:
Hi Steve,

I am building a digital system (already have vinyl) and would like your recommendation on a tube/dac.  




With regards to a tube dac, I'm not sure what to recommend. The dac world is in a head spin with changes right now.

I can comment on a few things that might be helpful. First, the difference between a DAC costing hundreds vs, thousands is usually the packaging, power supply and analog output stage. The dac chips are the same in both. That said, the two things that make a 10,000.00 Dac sound better than a 1,000.00 Dac are the power supply and the amount of effort put into the analog output stage.

So if you buy a decent sounding solid state dac without a tube stage that has a good following, the odds are it has a suitably good power supply designed to drive the chipset and op amps that make up the output stage... otherwise it wouldn't sound good, or image well.

Getting a tube stage in a dac often comes down to a single tube to keep costs down and if you're trying to keep costs down, the power supply is also going to be extremely practical.

We have great luck pairing a good quality solid state dac without a tube stage to our CSP3 preamp, which becomes a cost no object tube output stage for the DAC. When you find a dac with a tube output stage that features a power supply 500% larger than necessary, vacuum tube rectification, and an SRPP low impedance output stage with world class headphone output, you'll be in the 5 digit price window. Instead, get a 1000.00 dac with a good following and the CSP3 and achieve similar or superior results.


Steve

http://www.decware.com/newsite/CSP3.html

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patshrews
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Re: Tube Dac recommendations
Reply #1 - 07/27/14 at 21:54:17
 
Hello,

FWIW, after searching for several months, I settled on the Schiit Gungnir. It's made in USA and sold direct, and falls right in with Steve's recommendation of price and engineering at 750 (or 850 with USB).
It comes with a money back trial guaranty. I have been very pleased with it for my Tori Mk IV.
Cheers!
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Torii Mk. IV
Schiit Gungnir
Zu Omen Bookshelfs
with HO drivers
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Guy13
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Re: Tube Dac recommendations
Reply #2 - 08/07/14 at 04:38:49
 
Hi all.
Anyone out there have experience with a Schiit Bifrost.
I wonder if spending 400 USD on a outboard DAC will sound better than the inboard of my Rega Apollo ???

Guy 13
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Guy13
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Re: Tube Dac recommendations
Reply #3 - 08/22/14 at 04:24:41
 
Hi all.
Two weeks have pass by
and I still didn't get any answer to my question.
The Schiit Bifrost fall into my budget, it's small, it's made in USA
and has a good warranty.
The trial period is worth nothing for me on planet Vietnam.
I would like to have an answer or suggestions before the end of 2014, because by then, I might have the funds for that purchase.
Thanks.

Guy 13 on planet Vietnam.

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beowulf
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Re: Tube Dac recommendations
Reply #4 - 08/23/14 at 02:59:15
 
Hi Guy13, the FAQ section of this forum is not as popular as the General Discussion and Support forum.  I would head over there and post your question as I think there are a couple guys who are using it, but they may not make it over to the FAQ section too often.
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maximum kahuna
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Re: Tube Dac recommendations
Reply #5 - 09/25/14 at 03:34:52
 
I'm a huge Bifrost fan. I have one in my computer set up and another in the Family room for use with my SB Touch. It was a big step up from my Peachtree DaciT. Just be sure to get the Uber-analog version. I had my original one upgraded, and it made a noticeable difference with my Zu Omens. Also they take quite a bit of break in time (100 hours or so.)  Don't get discouraged if it is a little underwhelming at first.
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Guy13
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Re: Tube Dac recommendations
Reply #6 - 09/25/14 at 09:57:26
 
maximum kahuna wrote on 09/25/14 at 03:34:52:
I'm a huge Bifrost fan. I have one in my computer set up and another in the Family room for use with my SB Touch. It was a big step up from my Peachtree DaciT. Just be sure to get the Uber-analog version. I had my original one upgraded, and it made a noticeable difference with my Zu Omens. Also they take quite a bit of break in time (100 hours or so.)  Don't get discouraged if it is a little underwhelming at first.


Hi
Your first post is of great help to me, it's make me feel more comfortable buying the Schiit Bifrost.
A Vietnamese audio friend told me that the Schiit Bifrost was not that good.
I don't remember if he told me that he had audition it, but anyway, I more or less relied on his experience, which is a lot better than mine. I have zero experience with computer music.
However, a few days later, he told me that he had compared the Schiit Bifrost against his Audio GD NFB7 (Or something like that) which is a 1,000 USD + unit. Not a fair comparison.
But, he also added that the Schiit Bifrost had very good review and it was good for the price.
One thing that I like, it's Made in USA and even if I am a genuine Canadian, I prefer to buy Canadian or American products and I try to avoid as much as possible Made in China products.
I know what I am talking about, I've been living/working on planet Vietnam for the past 20 years and sometimes I have no choice and sell (Cheap) Chinese products.
On my HP laptop, what would be the best type of files to store music.
FLAC, Lossless, etc... That's all Chinese to me.
Hopefully you will shed some light on my computer's music ignorance.
Thanks.

Guy 13
On planet Vietnam,
but from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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maximum kahuna
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Re: Tube Dac recommendations
Reply #7 - 09/25/14 at 16:54:16
 
    It's easy to get overwhelmed by choices and recommendations. Try to listen to as much gear as you can,even if your chances are limited in Viet Nam. Then you can decide what you like for yourself. Some good references for beginners are the computeraudiophile and the welltemperedcomputer.
    Now that storage is cheap, there's no reason not to go lossless whenever you can. There's a lot of debate over which file type is best but almost everyone agrees that some kind of lossless is preferred. There are programs to change from one type to another if necessary. Often it comes down to what player you are using, e.g. itunes doesn't readily do FLAC, JRiver plays  almost anything. Finally, be sure to back up your files no matter what you do.
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Guy13
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Re: Tube Dac recommendations
Reply #8 - 09/26/14 at 03:00:35
 
maximum kahuna wrote on 09/25/14 at 16:54:16:
    It's easy to get overwhelmed by choices and recommendations. Try to listen to as much gear as you can,even if your chances are limited in Viet Nam. Then you can decide what you like for yourself. Some good references for beginners are the computeraudiophile and the welltemperedcomputer.
    Now that storage is cheap, there's no reason not to go lossless whenever you can. There's a lot of debate over which file type is best but almost everyone agrees that some kind of lossless is preferred. There are programs to change from one type to another if necessary. Often it comes down to what player you are using, e.g. itunes doesn't readily do FLAC, JRiver plays  almost anything. Finally, be sure to back up your files no matter what you do.


Hi Maximum kahuma.
(What an original name...)
Thanks for your recommendations.
My main problem is that I live on planet Vietnam
and it's not easy to audition different types of DAC,
not that they don't have DAC here, but you need to know where to go.
My Vietnamese audio friend said he would bring me to a get together of
headphones audiophiles, maybe I will make contact and then,
be able to listen to some DAC.
I still think that the Schiit Bifrost would be good for me, I am not very demanding when it comes to sound quality, I should add, that I am less and less demanding as I get older and I am sure I am not the only one like that.
I will keep you and everybody else up to date on my findings.

Thanks again.

Guy 13 on planet Vietnam.



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beowulf
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Re: Tube Dac recommendations
Reply #9 - 09/26/14 at 21:21:27
 
The new iFi Audio iDSD, should be on your short list as well.  It's about $499, but it can play True Native Octa-DSD512/PCM768/Double DXD ... so we are talking about one of the most cutting edge DACs out there right now regardless of price.  There is a long thread over on Head-Fi and it was well received.  You may have an importer closer to you where you can get it cheaper since they are made in China.  This DAC should keep you up to date for many years considering it can play formats that aren't even out in great amounts yet.
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« Last Edit: 09/26/14 at 21:26:34 by beowulf »  
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Guy13
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Re: Tube Dac recommendations
Reply #10 - 09/27/14 at 11:51:56
 
beowulf wrote on 09/26/14 at 21:21:27:
The new iFi Audio iDSD, should be on your short list as well.  It's about $499, but it can play True Native Octa-DSD512/PCM768/Double DXD ... so we are talking about one of the most cutting edge DACs out there right now regardless of price.  There is a long thread over on Head-Fi and it was well received.  You may have an importer closer to you where you can get it cheaper since they are made in China.  This DAC should keep you up to date for many years considering it can play formats that aren't even out in great amounts yet.


Hi beowulf.
Thanks for the info.
I will have a look at their website and see if
it's what I am looking for.
However, may I say that I really prefer audio stuff
made in USA or Canada when possible.
Thanks.

Guy 13
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beowulf
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Re: Tube Dac recommendations
Reply #11 - 09/28/14 at 05:06:29
 
Guy13 wrote on 09/27/14 at 11:51:56:
Hi beowulf.
Thanks for the info.
I will have a look at their website and see if
it's what I am looking for.
However, may I say that I really prefer audio stuff
made in USA or Canada when possible.
Thanks.

Guy 13


I agree as well Guy13 ... almost all my hi-fi equipment is made in the USA or UK.  I do like to buy goods from countries who pay a good wage to their employees.  

That being said, if the iDSD wasn't so cutting edge I would recommend Schiit Bifrost over it, but IMO Schiit has been lazy with their DAC implementations/upgrades and the Bifrost is already outdated and limited in what it can do as it is, but the iFi is cutting edge, it's better and won't be outdated for many years and that's the main reason I brought it up.

Supposedly Schiit is coming out with more products (6 total) within this year, so it may be a good idea to wait and see what they come up with in response to the saturation and cutting edge stuff like iFi and Audio GD are putting out.  But if you want something "now", the iFi iDSD can do it all so you won't worry about be left out of any current and future formats for a while.
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Guy13
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Re: Tube Dac recommendations
Reply #12 - 09/28/14 at 05:14:16
 
beowulf wrote on 09/28/14 at 05:06:29:
I agree as well Guy13 ... almost all my hi-fi equipment is made in the USA or UK.  I do like to buy goods from countries who pay a good wage to their employees.  

That being said, if the iDSD wasn't so cutting edge I would recommend Schiit Bifrost over it, but IMO Schiit has been lazy with their DAC implementations/upgrades and the Bifrost is already outdated and limited in what it can do as it is, but the iFi is cutting edge, it's better and won't be outdated for many years and that's the main reason I brought it up.

Supposedly Schiit is coming out with more products (6 total) within this year, so it may be a good idea to wait and see what they come up with in response to the saturation and cutting edge stuff like iFi and Audio GD are putting out.  But if you want something "now", the iFi iDSD can do it all so you won't worry about be left out of any current and future formats for a while.


Hi beowulf.
I am really not in a hurry, it's something for middle of 2015
or when $$$ become more available, whichever comes first.
I will be watching daily Schiit website.
Thanks.

Guy 13
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