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Offline glitches

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DAC Recommendations?
« on: July 15, 2015, 10:43:49 AM »
Hello everyone! I just started my journey into audiophile land. I purchased a pair of HD 650s yesterday along with a Crack kit. While I'm waiting for the kit, I want to start purchasing all the other necessities before it arrives. My output device is a Macbook Pro. My research shows some decent reviews on HRT and JDS Labs DACs that I can plug into my USB. I want to make sure I have a the best setup for my Crack and headphones.

1)Do you guys have a specific DAC recommendation that will go best with my setup? 2) And while on the topic, any specific RCA cable recommendations? I hear blue jean is the way to go.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 03:16:39 PM by rsumi »

Offline denti alligator

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2016, 11:14:29 AM »
Since the BH DAC is now officially out of production, I thought we should get some answers in this thread. I currently have a MyDAC and am wondering what a significant upgrade would entail.
- Sam

Rega P3-24 (w/AT 150MLX) w/Groovetracer upgrades / Eros II / FLAC -->J.River -->DSD256 -->Gustard X20 / Stereomour II / Klipsch Forte II w/Crites upgrades / C4S S.E.X. 2.0 +Nickel MQ Iron / Speedball Crack / Sennheiser HD600 w/Cardas cable

Offline Alonzo

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2016, 11:56:20 AM »
I went over to the Headfi forum to read up and ended up with more Schiit than I know what to do with :).  I have a BiMBy for my Mainline/HD-800 and a BiMBy for my main system.  They sound great, especially considering the price.
Alonzo
Den: 6000N>GungnirMB>Mainline>HD800
                 >BH Stat amp>Koss ESP/95

Offline drewh1

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2016, 12:37:55 PM »
I highly recommend Ayre. I have a QB-9 DSD that sounds amazing (USB only).  They have a new more affordable version that is basically the same circuitry and has more interfaces.   Ayre is also well known for providing product upgrades so what you buy from them doesn't become obsolete.
J-River on Custom built Music Server in Silverstone Case
Ayre QB-9 USB DAC
Kaiju
Stereoumour
Diy Cotton wrapped wire interconnects and speaker cab!es
Green Mountain Audio EOS HDx speakers
Crack with Beyerdynamic T1
Shunyata Diamond Back Power Cable
DIY Sub with Seas L26Roy Driver

Offline jdm

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2016, 02:29:40 PM »
+1 for the QB-9 DSD.

Jim

Offline galyons

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2016, 03:11:41 PM »
Being a Bottlehead, ("Tubes & I can build it better" syndrome!),  and preferring NOS DAC's,  I bought a DAC2.1 from AudioNote kits.  AD1865 chip and 6299 output.  It has been a wonderful addition to the kit!!  (Headphones are still on a modified Teradak NOS).

Cheers,
Geary
« Last Edit: February 06, 2016, 08:47:10 AM by galyons »
VPI TNT IV/JMW 3D 12+Benz LP-S>  Eros + Auralic Aries + ANK Dac 4.1 >Eros TH+ Otari MX5050 IIIB2 > BeePre >Paramount 300B 7N7 > EV Sentry IV-A

Thorens TD124/Ortofon RMG-212/SPU >Seduction > Smash^Up> Paramour 45 MQ >K12's

Offline JamieMcC

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2016, 08:44:53 AM »
I moved to a Leema Acoustics Elements dac using the Mainline and HD800 and thought it was a significant step up from both my Marantz and Eastern Electric Minimax dacs. 
Shoot for the moon if you miss you will still be amongst the stars!

Offline Strikkflypilot

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2016, 05:58:34 AM »
I run with the Ibasso DX90 as a portable Dac with my Mainline/modded HD800 setup.
Today I tried the NAD C510 DAC with the DX90 as a transport and coax cable to the NAD.
I heard NO difference whatsoever. Did quick A/B (switch took a second) back and forth on several records over two solid hours.
Maybe the Ibasso is simply a steal:)
Home system:
Sources: Ibasso DX90, Google Chromecast Audio optical out
DAC: Schiit Gumby
Amp: Bottlehead Mainline
http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php?topic=7463.0
Phones: HD800S

Office:
Sources: Iphone/ Ipod
DAC: Dragonfly Red+Jtrbug
Amp: Crack/Speedball heavily modded
Phones: HD580,HD600 grilles

Offline grausch

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2016, 10:02:20 PM »
I found the same thing when listening to onboard sound vs my Sound Blaster X-Fi USB. Once things are properly volume matched I can not tell them apart. Never heard any of the more expensive DACs, but to me the headphones just make the biggest difference in sound.
Gunter Rausch

Modded Bottlehead Crack
Modded Stereomour with Two-tone Orcas

Offline drewh1

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2016, 07:33:57 AM »
Get your hands on a well implemented high end dac and you will hear a difference. Mostly this has to do with USB serial interface, isolation, but the digital filter implementation is key. Read hansons white paper on digital filters on the ayre website. Besides speakers, the dac is the most important component in a digital system  , amps and tubes not so much  IMHO of course
J-River on Custom built Music Server in Silverstone Case
Ayre QB-9 USB DAC
Kaiju
Stereoumour
Diy Cotton wrapped wire interconnects and speaker cab!es
Green Mountain Audio EOS HDx speakers
Crack with Beyerdynamic T1
Shunyata Diamond Back Power Cable
DIY Sub with Seas L26Roy Driver

Offline jjvornov

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2016, 09:49:43 AM »
I've currently got the Meridian Explorer2 from the laptop to my desktop Stereomour II system and a Schiit Bifrost multibit in the bigger system.

I'm amazed at how much better these DACs are than those of years past. Interfaces and filters have improved, but I think implementation does have character. The Meridan is clean but a bit more polite and distanced, especially with the few MQA recordings I've been able to get so far. The Bifrost is more immediate and is a bit more to my liking for that jump factor.

Offline drewh1

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2016, 11:20:51 AM »
What blew me away is the improvement in 44khz cd's with the recent upgrade to my Ayre.  It is so nice to have all my old CD's sounding really musical. If I was going to compare DAC's today, I would want one that played CD quality as well as it plays hi-def recordings. There doesn't seem to be any problem with 44khz if the DAC does its job well.

And it is definitely more than just the chip the DAC uses. I compared an inexpensive EMU 0404 to my Ayre. Same system , cabling etc. Both have high end chipsets, one is musical the other is not.
J-River on Custom built Music Server in Silverstone Case
Ayre QB-9 USB DAC
Kaiju
Stereoumour
Diy Cotton wrapped wire interconnects and speaker cab!es
Green Mountain Audio EOS HDx speakers
Crack with Beyerdynamic T1
Shunyata Diamond Back Power Cable
DIY Sub with Seas L26Roy Driver

Offline Strikkflypilot

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2016, 11:27:41 AM »
The NAD I tried is a 1300$ piece of equipment and no budget equipment. The Ibasso DX90 cost 380$. Both sounded very good, I just couldn't hear a difference. It maybe is strange, but maybe I'll test something even more TOTL and see if I can hear a difference...
Home system:
Sources: Ibasso DX90, Google Chromecast Audio optical out
DAC: Schiit Gumby
Amp: Bottlehead Mainline
http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php?topic=7463.0
Phones: HD800S

Office:
Sources: Iphone/ Ipod
DAC: Dragonfly Red+Jtrbug
Amp: Crack/Speedball heavily modded
Phones: HD580,HD600 grilles

Offline drewh1

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2016, 01:11:47 PM »
if you are in the SF bay area, you are welcome to come over and give my system a listen, I have compared it recently to a music fidelity ($1500?) and the purchaser and I both heard an audible difference. Whether it is worth more money is as always up to you.
J-River on Custom built Music Server in Silverstone Case
Ayre QB-9 USB DAC
Kaiju
Stereoumour
Diy Cotton wrapped wire interconnects and speaker cab!es
Green Mountain Audio EOS HDx speakers
Crack with Beyerdynamic T1
Shunyata Diamond Back Power Cable
DIY Sub with Seas L26Roy Driver

Offline Strikkflypilot

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Re: DAC Recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2016, 04:58:00 PM »
That's a very kind offer.
I am sadly more in the Oslo (Norway) bay area:)
But I will bring home other DACs for testing.
Thanks again.
Home system:
Sources: Ibasso DX90, Google Chromecast Audio optical out
DAC: Schiit Gumby
Amp: Bottlehead Mainline
http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php?topic=7463.0
Phones: HD800S

Office:
Sources: Iphone/ Ipod
DAC: Dragonfly Red+Jtrbug
Amp: Crack/Speedball heavily modded
Phones: HD580,HD600 grilles