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wdecho

DAC's

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This topic, thread is open to any and all discussions about DAC's without worrying of hijacking the thread. A good DAC is necessary for enjoyment of CD's IMHO. I have used a ES Sabre 9018 chip based one for awhile but I could tell a difference between it and my LP's preferring the sound from a LP over a CD. I recently ordered a Chinese one based on the WM8740 chip which has been around for a number of years in quality retail CD players and equipment.  The price is cheap so I thought it was worth a gamble and I am well satisfied. Much better than what I was using and it has narrowed the difference between my LP's and CD's. The Ebay seller is well regarded by the diy crowd. You will need to purchase a PS, not a big deal a wall AC one will do, and a printer cable. 

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Finished-WM8740-DIR9001-DAC-Board-Support-coaxial-and-USB-input-R25/192116715941?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

 

The DAC getting a lot of praise of late in the audiophile community is the Benchmark DAC3 at a retail cost of $2200. It has a relatively new chip by ES called the ES9028 Pro. There is a Chinese one using the same chip being sold by Along1986090.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Finished-ES9028PRO-DAC-DSD-XLR-output-remote-control-OPA1611A-4-LME49990-2-/192210681893?hash=item2cc0a64025

 

The cost increases when one has to purchase the USB card for it to work with your computer. There are other sellers of the same DAC for a price tag of $400 on Ebay with the USB card installed. I am not brave enough to take the chance right now and purchase one. I just thought I would mention it. For a retired 68 year old on a fixed income $2200 for the Benchmark DAC3 is a lot of money. When I was employed I might have considered it or at least the Chinese one for $400. For now I am satisfied with the one I just purchased for $50. Since I purchased mine the price has come down. In the high end audiophile circles $2200 for a DAC is not considered the best out there. The one I just purchased is what I would call a deal. 

 

 

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  1. So your recommended dac is the $50 one you have linked and you use it primarily for cd, coax out.
  2. Have you used it with USB from computer and how is the quality.
  3. What is the printer cable needed for.
  4. Thanks for the info.

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1 I would not say recommended but it is the one I am using and I like it much better than the one I was using. Cheap for a DAC, in fact cheaper than the one I was using and big improvement. 

 

2 Yes, in fact I just listened to a new mp3 download and the sound is real close to a CD. I use my computer as the CD drive only and the DAC as the electronics. With critical listening I can tell the difference between a CD and a mp3 even with my 68 year old ears. 

 

3 It does not come with a cable to hook it to your computer. What is needed is a printer cable. It took me awhile to figure out exactly what a USB R25 input is but with the help of a friend we found it is no more than a $5 printer cable at Wal-mart.  

 

I had a wall plug in 9V AC 900ma transformer from some office equipment laying around and that is what I am powering it with. The voltage specified is 9 to 12 V AC. I would guess that 500ma would work as well but more milliamps is always better. They are pretty common and cheap. 

 

My dedicated entertainment computer is kinda old with Windows 7 installed and it had no problem downloading the drivers. I first tried the DAC on my laptop using Windows 10 and it was quicker to download on it but it works with both. I see no problem with any Windows operating system later than 7. 

 

I am a diy'er and I am always looking for a deal. Diyaudio is a great source for all the newer audio equipment. There are some ES9028 Pro DAC builders on the forum but I am not brave enough to try and build one using those tiny smd parts. The chip itself is pretty expensive. If I had more liquid funds I might spring for that $400 ES9028 Pro one on ebay. 

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24 minutes ago, wdecho said:

1 I would not say recommended but it is the one I am using and I like it much better than the one I was using. Cheap for a DAC, in fact cheaper than the one I was using and big improvement. 

 

2 Yes, in fact I just listened to a new mp3 download and the sound is real close to a CD. I use my computer as the CD drive only and the DAC as the electronics. With critical listening I can tell the difference between a CD and a mp3 even with my 68 year old ears. 

 

3 It does not come with a cable to hook it to your computer. What is needed is a printer cable. It took me awhile to figure out exactly what a USB R25 input is but with the help of a friend we found it is no more than a $5 printer cable at Wal-mart.  

 

I had a wall plug in 9V AC 900ma transformer from some office equipment laying around and that is what I am powering it with. The voltage specified is 9 to 12 V AC. I would guess that 500ma would work as well but more milliamps is always better. They are pretty common and cheap. 

 

My dedicated entertainment computer is kinda old with Windows 7 installed and it had no problem downloading the drivers. I first tried the DAC on my laptop using Windows 10 and it was quicker to download on it but it works with both. I see no problem with any Windows operating system later than 7. 

 

I am a diy'er and I am always looking for a deal. Diyaudio is a great source for all the newer audio equipment. There are some ES9028 Pro DAC builders on the forum but I am not brave enough to try and build one using those tiny smd parts. The chip itself is pretty expensive. If I had more liquid funds I might spring for that $400 ES9028 Pro one on ebay. 

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I like a bargain. Usually at that price, take the word of members here for their take on equipment. Have ran into connect problems before too. Good info on the cable. a 9volt window to 12v is nice as usually one around that will work. Have one with 10 and one with Windows 7 I use. Have used an outboard USB dac before with good results. Listening to records again lately and cd. Had a Rotel player was using. Now back to a Yamaha cd player. Sounds decent but, my streaming audio and cd could sound better. Have a good day.

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12 hours ago, wdecho said:

The DAC getting a lot of praise of late in the audiophile community is the Benchmark DAC3 at a retail cost of $2200. It has a relatively new chip by ES called the ES9028 Pro. There is a Chinese one using the same chip being sold by Along1986090.

 

The ES9038pro seems to be the latest. There is some high quality Chinese DACs out there...offerings from Gustard and Matrix look like excellent products.

Er, the DAC3 does use a switchmode power supply...but I trust Benchmark. ;) 

 

I almost sprung for a DAC quite similar to the one you linked from Ebay, but went for a Benchmark DAC1. I wished the Benchmark had a USB input, but the PC I use has Toslink and things seem to sound good enough using the optical option. (actually, it was a real improvement over the stock motherboard soundcard) I don't really have the gumption to toy around with DSD, and will be using the DAC1 for mostly redbook CDs.

 

There was a DAC thread in the 2 channel forum, and someone had posted about Soekris R2R DAC. They have PCB kits, and fully assembled units.

 

http://soekris.eu/shop/dac_modules_diyline_dam1021_en/

 

https://hifiduino.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/building-soekris-r-2r-dac/

 

Something I may be tempted to try down the road when I'm more flush...

 

The DAC1 I have used with a 2001 Pioneer Elite DVD player as a transport with rather good results playing redbook CDs. I bought a silver Faceplate for the DAC1 and a BNC to RCA adaptor for using coaxial input.

I need to listen a bit more with the DAC1 over time, but the Marantz/Heart tubed CD player is a good sounding CD player...I'm not going to gloriously exclaim that the Benchmark sounds better than the Marantz/Heart CDP, a bit different, maybe better with some material. I would have to compare more...

 

Music over the PC is a BIG improvement, so the purchase was justified.

 

 

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I read about you purchasing the Benchmark a few days, weeks ago, and was envious. Even the old Benchmark models are holding their value well. I still read about the high end audio product reviews on the net. A bad habit of mine that started in my youth. There are DAC's for $10,000 and more out there that are being praised but then if I paid that much for a DAC I would be praising it too. 

 

Anyone using the sound card in their computer should consider buying a DAC. Even some of the real cheap ones based on the Sabre ES9018 are a big improvement over most computer sound cards. For now I am happy with this $50 Chinese one. Everyone has heard the saying that "musicians listen to music and audiophiles listen to equipment." Guilty as charged but then if there were no music source there would be no equipement. 

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I guess I'm losing my "golden" ear as I just don't hear significant difference with my dac over CD without dac.  True it's not an expensive unit but it does have tubed output.

IMG_1891.JPG

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I used to have 4 separate small DAC's....a USB for PC files, a coax digital, and 2 optical for PS3 and TV output and  there were wires strung everywhere it seemed.  After I bought the Onkyo P-3000R preamp with all the digital inputs I needed, it solved that issue and all the small DAC's are just sitting in a drawer along with the spare RCA cables.  Plus, the Onkyo sounds better  than the other ones did as it uses separate 192 kHz/32-bit TI Burr-Brown DACs for each channel and has independent power supplies for the digital  and analog sections.  

 

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to many DAC's...

Pioneer has a dac

Oppo has a dac

Wyred has a dac

A&K has a dac

Samsung phone has a dac

I am sure there are more around somewhere.

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9 hours ago, Schu said:

to many DAC's...

Pioneer has a dac

Oppo has a dac

Wyred has a dac

A&K has a dac

Samsung phone has a dac

I am sure there are more around somewhere.

 

What's the point here?

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I guess I'm losing my "golden" ear as I just don't hear significant difference with my dac over CD without dac.  True it's not an expensive unit but it does have tubed output.

IMG_1891.JPG.0fc15aec160271ca68e452091ba35336.JPG
I have that Maverick Audio D2 DAC and really like it. Especially for the relatively cheap price of admission.

I did some tube rolling and upgraded to discrete op-amps. Worth the extra money putting the total cost of the DAC right around $500.00.

I believe there are a few others here with the D2 that have been happy as well.

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk

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9 minutes ago, SWL said:

I have that Maverick Audio D2 DAC and really like it. Especially for the relatively cheap price of admission.

I did some tube rolling and upgraded to discrete op-amps. Worth the extra money putting the total cost of the DAC right around $500.00.

I believe there are a few others here with the D2 that have been happy as well.

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk
 

Yes Carl has one and he likes it.

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Yes Carl has one and he likes it.


Yeah, it just came back to me. Carl's positve comments on the Maverick were what got me to buy it. In fact, I bought two.

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk

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3 hours ago, mike stehr said:

 

What's the point here?

To many dacs...

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I had a Benchmark DAC1, then a DAC2, and now a DAC3.  Liked everyone of them and that was the reason to buy the next one.  The DAC3 is very sweet.  All 3 were/are bulletproof on any thing I connected them to.  Never had any issues.  Sound got more refined and smoother on each one up the line.

 

They have 3 sets of outputs and are basically preamps able to drive amplifiers directly.  I would buy my DAC3 over and over.  Like it that much.

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I wasn't too fond of the black rack style faceplate of the DAC1 I purchased, (w/tape mark) so I picked a silver DAC1 faceplate. I also dared to be different by using stainless allen screws and a vintage aluminum knob with a slotted indicator. I can always revert back to the black knurled knob with the black allen screws.

DSCN2605.JPG

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I received an email form Hifimediy this morning that they are developing a DAC using the ES9038PRO chip. I have used a couple of their DAC's and for the price they have done nicely. This chip is the one used in the Benchmark DAC3. Be aware that there is more to a DAC than just the chip though but it should sound respectable or the same for much less money than the Benchmark DAC3. 

 

https://hifimediy.com/news/New-Sabre-ES9038PRO-Chip

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The Hifimediy DAC using the ES9038PRO chip is now available for $249. Being retired on limited income I hope someone with more funds will purchase and give review and let me know if it is worth the expense. My mad money usually goes to diy amplifier building as my hobby to occupy time. Right now I am satisfied with the DAC I have but if there is an appreciable difference in sound with some members here I will have to make room for a purchase. The chip is the same one used in the Benchmark DAC3 that is selling for 2 grand but as I said above there is more to a DAC than just the chip. I have purchased a couple of their older DAC's and was satisfied. Right now I am using another Chinese DAC that cost more than the other previous two from Hifimediy that uses the WM8740 chip. 

 

https://hifimediy.com/uda38pro-usb-dac-es9038pro?utm_source=Hifimediy+Newsletter&utm_campaign=823b145884-Hifime_Newsletter_8&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5e252e7fe2-823b145884-155901405&mc_cid=823b145884&mc_eid=a40d24fc36

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I would dare to say that you will hear added smoothness and liquidity over your existing less type dac, but probably fall a little short of a multiple chipset or ladder style higher end dac units.

I have to say that at 250$ you probably can't go wrong.

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