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wdecho

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For me, the ESS ES9018M DAC in the Pono player is all I need.  I use a Pono player to feed a balanced signal to the differential inputs of class D amps.  No need for a preamp.

 

No more physical media for me.  All CDs and vinyl are ripped to FLAC files and played via Pono.  I’m so pleased with the setup, I purchased a second Pono player.  At less than $300, the orphaned players with their excellent DACs are hidden gems.

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On 8/28/2017 at 10:10 AM, wdecho said:

I have used a ES Sabre 9018 chip based one for awhile but I could tell a difference

 

The difference may be due to the CD vs LP, rather than DAC vs analog.  A better comparison might be obtained by playing the same digital source through different DACs.

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6 minutes ago, DizRotus said:

 

The difference may be due to the CD vs LP, rather than DAC vs analog.  A better comparison might be obtained by placing the same digital source through different DACs.

The one I am using now with the WM8740 is definitely better to my ears than the 9018 from Hifimediy but then it may just be the design of the device which uses the different chips. The WM8740 is a chip used in many high end products. Old chip but still very good. In this thread you will find the one I am now using. Less than $100 from China.  

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18 minutes ago, Schu said:

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.

I agree for $250 hard to go wrong. I would not expect it to equal or be as sophisticated as the Benchmark but neither is the price. 

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12 minutes ago, wdecho said:

The one I am using now with the WM8740 is definitely better to my ears than the 9018 from Hifimediy but then it may just be the design of the device which uses the different chips. The WM8740 is a chip used in many high end products. Old chip but still very good. In this thread you will find the one I am now using. Less than $100 from China.  

 

You’re correct, the design of the device containing a specific chip will affect the end result.  Unless the only difference is the chip, you’re not truly comparing apples to apples.  These old ears are completely satisfied with Ayre’s implementation of the 9018 in the Pono player.  Others are free to disagree.

 

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16 minutes ago, DizRotus said:

 

You’re correct, the design of the device containing a specific chip will affect the end result.  Unless the only difference is the chip, you’re not truly comparing apples to apples.  These old ears are completely satisfied with Ayre’s implementation of the 9018 in the Pono player.  Others are free to disagree.

All that matters is that you are satisfied with what you are now using.

 

If someone pulls the trigger and buys the Hifimediy 9028 and gives positive reviews I may buy one myself but then I am always changing my active devices. Always fun buying new audio toys. This new DAC might appeal to some that have been thinking of buying the Benchmark 9028 but have not because to the big price. The chip is supposedly the best new dac chip out there but as stated it's implementation in the circuit matters just as much. Hifimediy has been working on this device since the summer of last year so one would think the Chinese have designed a pretty decent new DAC at a reasonable price. With the diy crowd they have been known to produce decent pieces at reasonable prices and do back their products. 

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Anyone have any experience with Schiit products?  I really like my Maverick DAC but am always willing to try something else.  I was looking at the multibit version of THIS one. 

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I've been using the Schiit Modi 2 DAC for a couple of years.  I like it.  For $100, it's hard to beat.  I did have a problem with it recently.  My computer stopped seeing the Modi USB device.  Schiit's customer service was easy to work with.  After having me do some quick troubleshooting steps, the support tech said I needed to send it in for repair.  It was still within the warranty period (2 years) so I shipped it to them, and they had it back to me in a couple of weeks.

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58 minutes ago, wdecho said:

All that matters is that you are satisfied with what you are now using

 

Exactly!

 

The thing I like about the Pono players is their ability to directly feed balanced outputs to the differential inputs of my class D amps: TPA3118, TPA3255EVM, and iNuke1000DSPs.  No need for a preamp.  Music selection and volume are controlled from the Pono player.  Clearly this isn't for most, but it's difficult for me to imagine feeling a need to spend more money to chase an improvement.  I'd rather spend money on more music, whether from HDtracks, and the like, or used vinyl to be ripped to FLAC files.

 

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3 minutes ago, Opus said:

I've been using the Schiit Modi 2 DAC for a couple of years.  I like it.  For $100, it's hard to beat.  I did have a problem with it recently.  My computer stopped seeing the Modi USB device.  Schiit's customer service was easy to work with.  After having me do some quick troubleshooting steps, the support tech said I needed to send it in for repair.  It was still within the warranty period (2 years) so I shipped it to them, and they had it back to me in a couple of weeks.

Service after the sale is important.  Thanks for the info.

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Schiit products are the best bang for the buck IMHO.  I bought a BiFrost Uber several years ago and upgraded it to the 4490 myself - it is outstanding.  The multibit is supposed to be better.  Put a Schiit Sys passive pre between the Bifrost and your amp, and that's all you need with Klipsch speakers unless you play music a Rush-concert levels.

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4 hours ago, CECAA850 said:

Anyone have any experience with Schiit products?  I really like my Maverick DAC but am always willing to try something else.  I was looking at the multibit version of THIS one. 

I have been using the Bifrost Uber DAC and am very pleased with it's performance.

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I really enjoy topics like this. DIY and knowing bargains in the used market are they way to own world class systems at more reasonable prices.

Some assembly required. 

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16 minutes ago, CECAA850 said:

@Opus. @jimjimbo

 

What, if anything, were you using for a DAC prior to purchasing the Schiit DACs?

I was not using anything previously, but after a bunch of research, decided to get some Schiit.  Mainly due to numerous positive reviews and comments from multiple audio sites, the ability to upgrade the unit, and the price/performance ratio.

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1 minute ago, jimjimbo said:

Mainly due to numerous positive reviews and comments from multiple audio sites, the ability to upgrade the unit, and the price/performance ratio.

That's what's pushing me in this direction as well.

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21 minutes ago, CECAA850 said:

@Opus. @jimjimbo

 

What, if anything, were you using for a DAC prior to purchasing the Schiit DACs?

The Schiit Modi is the only external DAC I have used.  Like jimjimbo, I did a lot of research and found a lot of positive comments about the Schiit products.  The Modi 2 met all of my needs, and fit within my limited budget.  While it is an inexpensive DAC, I don't think you can beat it without spending significantly more money.

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4 minutes ago, Opus said:

The Schiit Modi is the only external DAC I have used.  Like jimjimbo, I did a lot of research and found a lot of positive comments about the Schiit products.  The Modi 2 met all of my needs, and fit within my limited budget.  While it is an inexpensive DAC, I don't think you can beat it without spending significantly more money.

Honestly, after reading about the Modi 2 Multibit, if I were to purchase another DAC now, that would likely be the one.

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I was not using anything previously, but after a bunch of research, decided to get some Schiit.  Mainly due to numerous positive reviews and comments from multiple audio sites, the ability to upgrade the unit, and the price/performance ratio.

I did the same with the Maverick Audio Tubemagic D2. A budget DAC in all it's glory. It sounds great.  

 

 

It's cool because it has a tube output stage/buffer. When I first got it I rolled several tubes. Honestly, they all sounded good..... it was just a matter of choosing what flavor I wanted to hear.

 

I also removed the upgraded opamps from Maverick Audio and replaced them with discrete opamps from Sparkos Labs. Plug and play. I love how this thing sounds.

 

Originally a $250.00 DAC. With discrete opamps, still only a $500.00 DAC. It performs well above that price point. Yes, the opamps cost almost as much as the DAC but well worth it.

 

I have two of these. One with the Maverick upgrades and the other with discrete opamps and a NOS GE 5670 5 Star Premium black plates with white lettering tube. I just bought four more of these tubes because they really jive with my system. The Western Electric tube came in second.....

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Opus said:

I've been using the Schiit Modi 2 DAC for a couple of years.  I like it.  For $100, it's hard to beat.  I did have a problem with it recently.  My computer stopped seeing the Modi USB device.  Schiit's customer service was easy to work with.  After having me do some quick troubleshooting steps, the support tech said I needed to send it in for repair.  It was still within the warranty period (2 years) so I shipped it to them, and they had it back to me in a couple of weeks.

Mine actually did the same thing recently. I should send it back to them.

 

I recently got a Cambridge Audio DAC Magic 100 for about $200 and have really liked it. It is a little more laid back but has a very solid soundstage where my previous Aune T1 had things wander around too much.

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