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decooney 10-17-2018 10:27 AM

which DAC and why?
 
What DAC are you happily running with your Cary Audio / AES / Inspire gear?

Considerations:
Looking to replace mine. Note: I already have a tube preamp. Possibly moving to something with dual DACs, maybe something that can run DSD. Not really looking for bluetooth or preamp functions. A Dedicated DAC is preferred. Maybe the new Pro-Ject Box? SCHIIT? Audio Alchemy? or used Benchmark? Wyred 4 Sound?

..maybe 32-bit, ESS dual DACs, not sure. Probably in the $1000 to $1500 max range would be nice. Any thoughts, ideas... or are you excited about a particular unit by chance, a good value DAC you jumped to recently, maybe? Thanks in advance for your replies. Majority of the time I'll likely use it for streaming more than laptop or CDs, but hopefully for some improvement with streaming on Spotify Hi-fi or Tidal for now.




.

FloridaBoy 10-17-2018 05:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by decooney (Post 936043)
What DAC are you happily running with your Cary Audio / AES / Inspire gear?

Considerations:
Looking to replace mine. Note: I already have a tube preamp. Possibly moving to something with dual DACs, maybe something that can run DSD. Not really looking for bluetooth or preamp functions. A Dedicated DAC is preferred. Maybe the new Pro-Ject Box? SCHIIT? Audio Alchemy? or used Benchmark? Wyred 4 Sound?

..maybe 32-bit, ESS dual DACs, not sure. Probably in the $1000 to $1500 max range would be nice. Any thoughts, ideas... or are you excited about a particular unit by chance, a good value DAC you jumped to recently, maybe? Thanks in advance for your replies. Majority of the time I'll likely use it for streaming more than laptop or CDs, but hopefully for some improvement with streaming on Spotify Hi-fi or Tidal for now.
.

The offerings from MHDT Labs are well regarded. I use a NOS Havana DAC. Very analog sounding IMHO. I've had it for 8-9 years and still like it. They use a 2C51/5670 tube and are capacitor coupled.

Tyson 10-17-2018 07:28 PM

Right now I'm running a newly released iFi iDSD Pro, it's displaced my prior reference DAC the Auralic Vega. I thought the Vega was a world-beater even at it's full $3500 retail price. And now the iDSD Pro is handily besting it at a price of $1k less, $2500.

I think what I like about the iFi gear is that it generally sounds closer to vinyl than other DACs I've heard. Having a really nice tubed output stage using 2c51 tubes probably helps. I also really like being able to choose between NOS, and various oversampling options (there's several available). I find I tend to go for NOS with music and oversampling for movies.

decooney 10-17-2018 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FloridaBoy (Post 936091)
The offerings from MHDT Labs are well regarded. I use a NOS Havana DAC. Very analog sounding IMHO. I've had it for 8-9 years and still like it. They use a 2C51/5670 tube and are capacitor coupled.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyson (Post 936103)
Right now I'm running a newly released iFi iDSD Pro, it's displaced my prior reference DAC the Auralic Vega. I thought the Vega was a world-beater even at it's full $3500 retail price. And now the iDSD Pro is handily besting it at a price of $1k less, $2500.

I think what I like about the iFi gear is that it generally sounds closer to vinyl than other DACs I've heard. Having a really nice tubed output stage using 2c51 tubes probably helps. I also really like being able to choose between NOS, and various oversampling options (there's several available). I find I tend to go for NOS with music and oversampling for movies.

Nice. I have not tried a good tubed DAC yet. I have a lot of research to do I guess. The more I look, more there is, amazing. Good grief, a LOT more DACs out there than I imagined. Have not looked much the past five years.

Have either of you heard or demo'd a Benchmark DAC or compared to either of your MHDT or iFi DACs before?

Leew 10-17-2018 10:22 PM

Using the Oppo Sonica

https://www.oppodigital.com/sonica-dac/

Masterlu 10-17-2018 10:55 PM

Leew... Welcome to AA! :wave:

decooney 10-17-2018 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leew (Post 936123)

Leew,
Thanks. Did Oppo give any indication how much longer they will be open to support the unit or firmware upgrades? I was surprised to see the unit is still listed for sale after they announced they will be closing their doors after 14 years.
Selling off remaining stock -OR- still in manufacturing of the Sonica-DAC?

FloridaBoy 10-18-2018 05:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by decooney (Post 936114)
Nice. I have not tried a good tubed DAC yet. I have a lot of research to do I guess. The more I look, more there is, amazing. Good grief, a LOT more DACs out there than I imagined. Have not looked much the past five years.

Have either of you heard or demo'd a Benchmark DAC or compared to either of your MHDT or iFi DACs before?

I've not heard the iFi or Benchmark DAC. There are a lot of DAC offerings and, IMHO, digital is a slippery slope. *I* never warmed up to upsampling/oversampling digital devices. They just did not sound 'right' to me. What do you not like about you current DAC?

decooney 10-18-2018 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FloridaBoy (Post 936148)
I've not heard the iFi or Benchmark DAC. There are a lot of DAC offerings and, IMHO, digital is a slippery slope. *I* never warmed up to upsampling/oversampling digital devices. They just did not sound 'right' to me. What do you not like about you current DAC?

My existing DAC is a 2013 design, sounds pretty nice. I do like it, but the've come out with newer versions of the same DAC adding more noise with bluetooth and headphone amps included. The newer version is probably not for me. It's a mid grade DAC at best. I'm consolidating my systems for a while, and not having owned a really nice high-end dedicated DAC before, I'd simply like to try one. Not much to demo around my area in the way of DACs. Prefer not to do the whole buy/try/return thing. Hope to narrow it down a bit through referrals from folks here and elsewhere, Thanks! :thumbsup:

Leew 10-18-2018 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by decooney (Post 936128)
Leew,
Thanks. Did Oppo give any indication how much longer they will be open to support the unit or firmware upgrades? I was surprised to see the unit is still listed for sale after they announced they will be closing their doors after 14 years.
Selling off remaining stock -OR- still in manufacturing of the Sonica-DAC?

I don't know, I bought the dac when they first came out.


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