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Audio Flynn

Need a new DAC

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The power supply on my Channel Islands seems to have died. It was about 11 years old. Using my old MSB Link III with Monlithic power supply with non functioning sampling board. It is 16 years old. Both have Burr Brown chips.

 

For a job interview I studied AKM DAC chips. Certainly a Mytek or Benchmark would be great but pricey due to my forced early retirement after 25 years. Still looking for a job at 59.

 

My wonderful bride of 37 years said I can spend 500 USD or so on  new DAC. The Chi Fi phenomena has passionate folks on both sides pro and con. The Topping D70 seems to have good AKM components.

 

What others should I consider?

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There may still be a Musical Fidelity in Garage Sale... price has been coming down.

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I use an SMSL with great success, the sound is very good, it is the 6Th Sanskrit model. The construction is very good, especially for the price. There are newer and excellent models and the price is very low

 

http://www.smsl-audio.com/products.asp?classid=3

 

 

 

With AKM and in your rates

 

http://www.smsl-audio.com/productshow.asp?id=115

 

http://www.smsl-audio.com/productshow.asp?id=134

 

http://www.smsl-audio.com/productshow.asp?id=149

 

And ...

 

 

;)

 

 

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While I have yet to hear it first hand, the ares II by denafrips at just over $750 Is a very real consideration... merely by mode of construction and architecture. 

 

I am a big sigma-delta ess guy, but the set up needs channel separation,  multiple chips and femto timing. To date there hasn't been anything in my setups (headphone and free standing) that could compete... I am hoping that the denafrips terminator can because I have been wanting to try a physical ladder DAC for sometime.

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I currently use a Marantz NA7004. It’s technically a media streamer/player but I really only use the opt and coax inputs... been very happy with it for quite a while. I think the current iteration is the NA6006?

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And for a price below $ 100 with a USB power supply that will have to be found, here is a good cadidat : SMSL Sanskrit 10th. You save the rest for records 😀

 

 


Attention you must use the right USB plug and the right charger, after the DAC becomes excellent 😉

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-smsl-sanskrit-10th-dac.5702/

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This is the crazy thing.......you can spend from $30 to 3500 on a stand alone DAC. Think about that for a moment. I did a recent search on line. The cheapest DAC available doesn't add  distortion, it simply converts digital bit stream to an analog signal via a micro processor/chipset. Crutchfield has info and models from $30 to 3500. I bet you can spend > $3500 if you try.

Users rave about the $99 usb models avail today. No doubt there are features and more options to be had with high end units, but gee wiz.

 

A $40 Sansa mp3 player has a dac within it, and memory chips and a rechargable battery too.

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4 hours ago, polizzio said:

This is the crazy thing.......you can spend from $30 to 3500 on a stand alone DAC. Think about that for a moment. I did a recent search on line. The cheapest DAC available doesn't add  distortion, it simply converts digital bit stream to an analog signal via a micro processor/chipset. Crutchfield has info and models from $30 to 3500. I bet you can spend > $3500 if you try.

Users rave about the $99 usb models avail today. No doubt there are features and more options to be had with high end units, but gee wiz.

 

A $40 Sansa mp3 player has a dac within it, and memory chips and a rechargable battery too.

if I want a good stable low voltage switching supply capable of at least a couple of amps to run a transport it is going to cost me $100.00 CND. minimum. Do you really think you can buy a 30 - 40  dollar dac and it is going to sound as good as a well designed and built one costing 10 - 300 times more? Perhaps someone who does not have a hi rez system might not notice much or any differences but with a good rig a 40 dollar dac is not going to get the job done. A 30 - 40 dollar Sony DVD player has a pretty good built in dac but it is not at sota level and Sony make and sell a lot of those so cost is way down. For a phone or low level background music sure inexpensive dacs are fine but they are not going to convince anybody they are at the symphony.

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5 hours ago, tromprof said:

I got an SMSL-SU-8 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DQDNF6S/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1) this last year. It displaced a Benchmark DAC in my K-horn system.

A little more info please.  I had an original Benchmark DAC1 when they first came out and it was great. 

 

When I am ready, I plan on using a DAC for streaming from Amazon and my server (which is a mix of CD quality and MP3s) so I assume that critical listening will still be with albums and CDs.

 

I think that either something like this DAC or a Denafrips Ares ($760) will do the trick.  Is there a reason to get a really expensive DAC if you have a really good TT and CD player? 

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57 minutes ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

A little more info please.  I had an original Benchmark DAC1 when they first came out and it was great. 

 

When I am ready, I plan on using a DAC for streaming from Amazon and my server (which is a mix of CD quality and MP3s) so I assume that critical listening will still be with albums and CDs.

 

I think that either something like this DAC or a Denafrips Ares ($760) will do the trick.  Is there a reason to get a really expensive DAC if you have a really good TT and CD player? 

 

The Benchmark that the SMSL replaced was the DAC1 USB, so a bit older model. I always thought the sound was extremely good but the SMSL is clearer/cleaner and can do DSD.  It has an ESS DAC in it, similar to the DACs in my Yamaha CX-A5200 pre/pro. I believe Benchmark is also using ESS in the most recent offerings.

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18 hours ago, moray james said:

if I want a good stable low voltage switching supply capable of at least a couple of amps to run a transport it is going to cost me $100.00 CND. minimum. Do you really think you can buy a 30 - 40  dollar dac and it is going to sound as good as a well designed and built one costing 10 - 300 times more? Perhaps someone who does not have a hi rez system might not notice much or any differences but with a good rig a 40 dollar dac is not going to get the job done. A 30 - 40 dollar Sony DVD player has a pretty good built in dac but it is not at sota level and Sony make and sell a lot of those so cost is way down. For a phone or low level background music sure inexpensive dacs are fine but they are not going to convince anybody they are at the symphony.

 

Is this from a guy who advocates and markets $1000 amplifier power supply cables?

 

My $150 Cowen Plenue D portable/mini hi res music player has a DAC in it, and it sounds terrific. It also has specs high end audio preamp/amplifier manufacturers would envy. 

 

  • 24bit/192kHz High Definition Sound, High Quality 24bit Stereo DAC
  • SNR 123dB, THD+N 0.004%, Crosstalk -105dB
  • Jet Effect 5 & BBE+, FLAC/WAV/AIFF/ALAC/APE/MP3/WMA/OGG
  • Wide Angle Touch Display, Isometric Edge Design
  • Music Playback 100 hours, 32GB Internal Memory, microSD Card Slot, Matrix Browser

 

You feel the need to spend $2000+ on a stand alone DAC, go right ahead buddy.

 

 

  http://www.cowonglobal.com/product_wide/PLENUED/product_page_2.php?movearea=area_22

 

 

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23 hours ago, Audio Flynn said:

The power supply on my Channel Islands seems to have died. It was about 11 years old. Using my old MSB Link III with Monlithic power supply with non functioning sampling board. It is 16 years old. Both have Burr Brown chips.

 

For a job interview I studied AKM DAC chips. Certainly a Mytek or Benchmark would be great but pricey due to my forced early retirement after 25 years. Still looking for a job at 59.

 

My wonderful bride of 37 years said I can spend 500 USD or so on  new DAC. The Chi Fi phenomena has passionate folks on both sides pro and con. The Topping D70 seems to have good AKM components.

 

What others should I consider?

 

I'm old and semi retired, I think you should look int a MHDT Labs Orchid DAC. Me thinks it would make you smile.

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23 hours ago, Audio Flynn said:

The power supply on my Channel Islands seems to have died. It was about 11 years old. Using my old MSB Link III with Monlithic power supply with non functioning sampling board. It is 16 years old. Both have Burr Brown chips.

 

For a job interview I studied AKM DAC chips. Certainly a Mytek or Benchmark would be great but pricey due to my forced early retirement after 25 years. Still looking for a job at 59.

 

My wonderful bride of 37 years said I can spend 500 USD or so on  new DAC. The Chi Fi phenomena has passionate folks on both sides pro and con. The Topping D70 seems to have good AKM components.

 

What others should I consider?

It is my opinion that a DAC should be as transparent as possible, save the coloring of sound for pre's, amps and speakers, they are the ones putting the music in the room, a DAC is making a signal. Once again I highly recommend checking out Amir and his DAC measurements over at Audio Science review.  You'll be surprised how poorly some very expensive DAC's measure and how well some budget ones do.

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?forums/audio-dacs-streamers-servers-players-adcs.8/

 

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On 12/30/2019 at 5:37 PM, MechEngVic said:

It is my opinion that a DAC should be as transparent as possible, save the coloring of sound for pre's, amps and speakers, they are the ones putting the music in the room, a DAC is making a signal. Once again I highly recommend checking out Amir and his DAC measurements over at Audio Science review.  You'll be surprised how poorly some very expensive DAC's measure and how well some budget ones do.

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?forums/audio-dacs-streamers-servers-players-adcs.8/

 

Amir and the site are quite the read.

 

Topping D70 was ordered by my wife. Keep everyone posted.

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I have used this DAC for several years - first model and then upgraded to the current model known as the DAC3 

Both models are available on eBay - newer model is more expensive but both are great 

Both are within your budget 

 

Starting Point Systems NOS DAC - uses a Philips TDA 1543 chip 

Bonus is that it can run on power and also batteries 

 

This video is by the designer and maker - model shown is the new DAC3

 

 

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