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Vivek Batra

Please help me choosing a DAC

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Hi Guys

 

I need your help to choose the right dac or a dac + streamer. For now my audio source will be streaming via laptop or hi res file that too from laptop. 

 

I have ordered everything brand new and Forte IIIs have arrived and I am now waiting for Luxman 590 AXii Class A integrated to arrive. I do not have any disc player so no way to play currently. I need your help in picking the right dac for my rig. If my music choice should be known then its 70s/80s retro,country, pop and rock that I mostly listen to. I would prefer a DAC with balanced output.

 

I was planning to go for Luxman DA 250 DAC that costs about USD 2.8K to me, but people advised against this. Is it really worth spending on costly dacs?

 

Kindly suggest.

 

Thanks

Vivek

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Some guys on here will know infinitely more than me in this area, but what little bit of research I have done, the Schiit Dacs are good bang for the buck:

https://www.schiit.com/products

The Modi 3 for $99 is the entry level, which I am considering and have heard good things about, and they go north from there to $2399.

 

Johnny Darko's beginners guid to Dac's was helpful I think: 

 

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17 minutes ago, Foxman said:

Some guys on here will know infinitely more than me in this area, but what little bit of research I have done, the Schiit Dacs are good bang for the buck:

https://www.schiit.com/products

The Modi 3 for $99 is the entry level, which I am considering and have heard good things about, and they go north from there to $2399.

 

Johnny Darko's beginners guid to Dac's was helpful I think: 

 

I wish I had a patient wife as well 😞

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2 hours ago, Vivek Batra said:

Hi Guys

 

I need your help to choose the right dac or a dac + streamer.

 

Is it really worth spending on costly dacs?

 

Kindly suggest.

 

Thanks

Vivek

 

Yes...

 

You've already spent monies on an amp, other wise I would have suggested a NAD M10 with you're requirements for streaming dac and amplification.

 

If you love the luxman, and who wouldn't, I would definetely suggest a Denafrips dac as a stand alone piece... the line supports several price points, we'll under your 2800$, to about 4600$. None of them have streaming capabilities.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Schu said:

 

Yes...

 

You've already spent monies on an amp, other wise I would have suggested a NAD M10 with you're requirements for streaming dac and amplification.

 

If you love the luxman, and who wouldn't, I would definetely suggest a Denafrips dac as a stand alone piece... the line supports several price points, we'll under your 2800$, to about 4600$. None of them have streaming capabilities.

 

 

I will check that out. Thanks

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my system : I have marantz AV 7705 (pre amp)+Monolith 11X (amp) +Klipsch RP280F (only stereo) for music hi res using streaming amazon music HD awesome.. !! I am looking streaming device DAC, what do you recommend ? I tested node 2i bluesound (good streaming but not like it audio, lack ) in Heos(Marantz AV7705) music is awesome 24/96 khz but , I can't use my playlist on amazon music HD.. this is cause for streaming dac..
Do I need external DAc for this new device? and if was like this..DAC Marantz av 7705 inside is better than Schiit modi?
thanks.your opinion is important..

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The main reason I steer you away from sigma delta DACs to one of physical ladder r2r is because in order for a chip dac to sound REALLY good, your going to need to bust thru that price barrier quite a bit. The Chinese r2r is a real bargain for what you get in terms of performance and build quality.

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7 hours ago, ILI said:

Hi

My first choice was Luxman DA 250 since DA 06 is no more available. I guess Luxman is not as popular choice for dacs as other brands are. This is what I got from many people. Do you have any self experience with da 06?

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3 hours ago, MechEngVic said:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?forums/digital-audio-converters-dacs.10/

 

Listen to Amir. DAC's should be transparent. You'll be surprised how many expensive DAC's are NOT worth the money, and how many inexpensive DAC's are very well made.  

 

Amir has it going on, just read his testing procedures and explanations, especially on jitter. I like this quote from Amir below:

 

"Many DAC manufacturers use off-the-shelf DAC chips from the same few silicon providers. Alas, two DAC implementations using identical DAC chips can have very different performance. Sadly, price, brand reputation, designer behind the product, glowing reviews and market adoption do not predict performance. I have tested over 120 DACs so far [now over 220] and the results are all over the place. Some no name low cost DACs have exceptional performance. Others from very well-respected companies retailing for thousands of dollars fail miserably when measured the same way."

 

That would definitely circumvent what a few peeps here believe. They blindly believe if you throw enough cash at it, it just has to be a great product. Sort of like $1000 amp power supply cables.

Thx for the reference, MechEngVic.

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1 hour ago, polizzio said:

 

Amir has it going on, just read his testing procedures and explanations, especially on jitter. I like this quote from Amir below:

 

"Many DAC manufacturers use off-the-shelf DAC chips from the same few silicon providers. Alas, two DAC implementations using identical DAC chips can have very different performance. Sadly, price, brand reputation, designer behind the product, glowing reviews and market adoption do not predict performance. I have tested over 120 DACs so far [now over 220] and the results are all over the place. Some no name low cost DACs have exceptional performance. Others from very well-respected companies retailing for thousands of dollars fail miserably when measured the same way."

 

That would definitely circumvent what a few peeps here believe. They blindly believe if you throw enough cash at it, it just has to be a great product. Sort of like $1000 amp power supply cables.

Thx for the reference, MechEngVic.

That's interesting.

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Not really... measures well, sounds terrible.

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8 hours ago, Schu said:

Not really... measures well, sounds terrible.

Not for DAC's and speakers. For amps and preamps, yes.

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On 1/10/2020 at 10:49 AM, Vivek Batra said:

Hi Guys

 

I need your help to choose the right dac or a dac + streamer. For now my audio source will be streaming via laptop or hi res file that too from laptop. 

 

I have ordered everything brand new and Forte IIIs have arrived and I am now waiting for Luxman 590 AXii Class A integrated to arrive. I do not have any disc player so no way to play currently. I need your help in picking the right dac for my rig. If my music choice should be known then its 70s/80s retro,country, pop and rock that I mostly listen to. I would prefer a DAC with balanced output.

 

I was planning to go for Luxman DA 250 DAC that costs about USD 2.8K to me, but people advised against this. Is it really worth spending on costly dacs?

 

Kindly suggest.

 

Thanks

Vivek

I recently bought a 250$ SMSL SU-8 V2 and I love it! It sounds great after a couple of weeks of burn-in ( a controversial subject I know, but this particular dac is VERY sensitive to it), clear, detailed, dynamic, with a very wide soundstage. I use it on a tri-amped, fully hornloaded system - think bigger LaScalas with two active subs- that is very revealing and frankly, I doubt I will want to spend more before very long. Plus it boasts both unbalanced RCA and true balanced XLR outputs, USB, optical and coaxial, is fully remote controllable including output level, has a last generation ESS Sabre chip, is small and well built. Mega bangs-for-the-bucks device.

If you buy it make sure you buy the improved "version 2" as the first one had some distortion issues on the XLR outputs at full level.

Just check the online reviews!

Edited by Rolox
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12 hours ago, Rolox said:

I recently bought a 250$ SMSL SU-8 V2 and I love it! It sounds great after a couple of weeks of burn-in ( a controversial subject I know, but this particular dac is VERY sensitive to it), clear, detailed, dynamic, with a very wide soundstage. I use it on a tri-amped, fully hornloaded system - think bigger LaScalas with two active subs- that is very revealing and frankly, I doubt I will want to spend more before very long. Plus it boasts both unbalanced RCA and true balanced XLR outputs, USB, optical and coaxial, is fully remote controllable including output level, has a last generation ESS Sabre chip, is small and well built. Mega bangs-for-the-bucks device.

If you buy it make sure you buy the improved "version 2" as the first one had some distortion issues on the XLR outputs at full level.

Just check the online reviews!

Thanks for sharing your views on SMSL SU-8 V2. Glad to hear that you are happy with it. I have almost bought Luxman DA-06 DAC.🙂

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22 hours ago, Vivek Batra said:

Thanks for sharing your views on SMSL SU-8 V2. Glad to hear that you are happy with it. I have almost bought Luxman DA-06 DAC.🙂

That Luxman is absolutely gorgeous.

Way out of my budget, and I haven't heard much about their DACs, but there's no reason it shouldn't be as good as their amps. 

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On 1/10/2020 at 4:49 AM, Vivek Batra said:

Hi Guys

 

I need your help to choose the right dac or a dac + streamer. For now my audio source will be streaming via laptop or hi res file that too from laptop. 

 

I have ordered everything brand new and Forte IIIs have arrived and I am now waiting for Luxman 590 AXii Class A integrated to arrive. I do not have any disc player so no way to play currently. I need your help in picking the right dac for my rig. If my music choice should be known then its 70s/80s retro,country, pop and rock that I mostly listen to. I would prefer a DAC with balanced output.

 

I was planning to go for Luxman DA 250 DAC that costs about USD 2.8K to me, but people advised against this. Is it really worth spending on costly dacs?

 

Kindly suggest.

 

Thanks

Vivek

 

Recommending a DAC is very difficult, if not impossible. Personal preference plays a large part, so YOU need to listen to a few and  decide. Personally I prefer non-oversampling DAC's. I have a MHDT Labs Orchid and really like it. I was using their Havana DAC for 9 years and then got the Orchid.   http://www.mhdtlab.com/

 

Here is a review of the Pagoda with balanced output. https://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/mhdt_pagoda_e.html

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