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Looking for suggestions for new DAC (Read 3338 times)
ericwe
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Looking for suggestions for new DAC
05/08/17 at 18:02:07
 
Hi all,

About five days ago my new SuperZen arrived.  I'm about 20 hours in, and so far it's sounding great and breaking in nicely.  I'll probably post else where about my thoughts in due course.

My setup also includes Tekton Lore 2.0's, apple airport (streaming Tidal), BlueJean interconnects & speaker wires, and a Schiit Modi 2 Uber DAC.

I'm considering upgrading my DAC.  Any suggestions?  I'm hoping to keep it under $500, if possible.  

Also - does anyone have any thoughts on how an upgraded DAC might impact my system.  (i.e. a 5% change, a major change, it's subjective, etc...) Just curious..  (And I realize room treatment can play an major role.)

The SuperZen really sings so far.  
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Rich
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Re: Looking for suggestions for new DAC
Reply #1 - 05/09/17 at 03:19:02
 
I'm very happy running my SE84UFO2 with a Schiit Bifrost multibit dac.  It's around your price point.
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SE84UFO2, Zstage, Schiit Bifrost Multibit Dac, diy Betsy bafels, Bluesound Vault music server
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Tripwr1964
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Re: Looking for suggestions for new DAC
Reply #2 - 05/09/17 at 03:46:01
 
2x on the bifrost.  the 4490 isn't bad either at $400.  i have both a multibit and 4490.  can't go wrong either way, but i prefer my mb.
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CSP3, CAD 120s MKII, UFO2, Sota Star Sapphire, SME309, Hana SL, JC3+, Schiit bifrost multibit, CXC, MG1.6QR w/ ext xo & mye stands/betsys/Augies/Alpha15. herbies iso, VH audio flavor diy pwr cords, Beden 8402 IC,
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ericwe
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Re: Looking for suggestions for new DAC
Reply #3 - 05/09/17 at 17:51:52
 
Thanks!  The Bitfrost seems to be very popular, and a very good value, from everything I hear and read.
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Tommy Freefall
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Re: Looking for suggestions for new DAC
Reply #4 - 05/09/17 at 21:48:10
 
Ericwe, if you’re not in a hurry, Steve recently announced somewhere on the Decwares forum that he was working on a new DAC based upon the TEAC NT-503. Although, it will most likely exceed your $500 budget.
The stock TEAC unit – which sells for about $900 or so – is likely an excellent performer even before Steve adds his modifications though.
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Torii Jr., ERRx, ZBIT, Zenhead, Grado 325e
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Donnie
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Re: Looking for suggestions for new DAC
Reply #5 - 05/09/17 at 23:36:15
 
I've been a Wyred 4 Sound fan and user for quite a while.
This is their $400 version. https://wyred4sound.com/products/dacs/%C2%B5dac
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Looking for suggestions for new DAC
Reply #6 - 05/10/17 at 19:28:51
 

Wow, I didn't hear about that new TEAC - I'm interested!  I'm seeing some open box items here and there for $650.  4X DSD is what I'm looking for in my next system!
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Looking for suggestions for new DAC
Reply #7 - 05/10/17 at 19:30:12
 
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Tommy Freefall
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Re: Looking for suggestions for new DAC
Reply #8 - 05/11/17 at 17:01:53
 
LR, scroll down to Steve's post on 4.20 for more details

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1408725911/250#250
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Torii Jr., ERRx, ZBIT, Zenhead, Grado 325e
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Luis
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Re: Looking for suggestions for new DAC
Reply #9 - 05/12/17 at 23:46:45
 
That´s very interesting! I had thought about the UD-503 as a possible replacament for my Rega DAC.
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ERRs, SE341.2+, CSP2+, REGA DAC, ZDC200i, Styx & DSR-ll
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4krow
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Re: Looking for suggestions for new DAC
Reply #10 - 05/16/17 at 16:55:55
 
While I am far from being an expert on DAC choices, it seems that I ran into a great sounding DAC almost by mistake. I was looking for a headphone amp that used tube output at a low price. So I was skeptical when I came across a very Chinese product, can you say Xiang Seng? Doesn't roll off my tongue either. I purchased the DAC 02 model with upgrades that were worked with by someone who seems to know what he is doing. In short it will accept sampling up to 96k, has a tube output and a SS output. 3 inputs include coax, fiber optic, and bnc. Has input selector on the and volume (but only for the headphone amp), and in short sounds so good, I am choosing it as a headphone amp, AND using the DAC in place of my Emotiva ERC3 internal DAC. Can only compare the sound to the old Cayin CD player that I loved so much until it bit the dust.
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Decware 34I.3 integrated amp/Forte' 3 bass amp/Velodyne SMS-1 bass mngmnt system/Decware ZOB speakers/Audio Nirvana 8" bass drivers/Xiang Seng DAC/ LR Audio Computer/Rega Apollo R CDP/Emotiva ERC3 CDP/BPT 3.0 power cond.
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: Looking for suggestions for new DAC
Reply #11 - 06/27/17 at 18:35:06
 
Hi Eric,

I currently have a few DAC's at my disposal except my studio gear to record...

- Hegel HD30:  This is a Norwegian company with great solid-state amps, CD players and DACs.  HD30 is their top model and costs around $5,000 in the US to the best of my knowledge.  Apart from having optical, S/PDIF and USB connections, it also has Ethernet input that you can stream directly from streaming sites like TIDAL, which sounds great, by the way.  It has balanced outputs apart from standard RCA connections.  To this day, it is maybe the best DAC I have ever heard.  With separate volume adjustment and remote, it can function as a preamp as well.  Highly recommended!  

- Copland DAC 215:  This is a Danish brand which is not well-known in the US.  I ordered it from their Canadian dealer and received in a few days.  It is around $2,200 including customs charges, etc.  Apart from being a DAC, this is a tube preamp and headphone amp.  It does not have the complexity that Hegel has, but it sounds very smooth and detailed.  It is warm thanks to the tube preamp, but has quite some tight bass as well.  In terms of its looks, it is the sexiest of the bunch!  It does not have a remote, just keep in mind.  Quite recommended!  :)

- Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100:  Despite its size, this is a great box for the dollar ($200) and it has USB, optical and coaxial inputs.  As a starting unit for bedroom or office systems, I highly recommend it.  It does not have the tight bass of the above units, but we are talking about different caliber gear here.  Please keep in mind that it is fixed output volume.

- Hegel HD2:  This is also a very small unit which is discontinued by Hegel, but for the price ($250-300) it is an amazing piece!  The only drawback is it is only USB, but it is powered from its USB port, so no need for external power supplies/cables.  You can find this only on EBay, I would assume.  But again, this is in the category of the Cambridge Audio I just mentioned, and actually significantly better.

In the style of the last two, I have heard some Musical Fidelity DAC's as well.  They are also decent pieces of gear...

Hope this helps...  Best,

Alper
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