DAC Suggestions and Advice

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lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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2
0
theaceface said:
I have used a generic cheap DAC before, yes they do the job but I found the headphone amp to be somewhat lacking.
In that case, buy a separate headphone amp.

Differences between DAC chips are subtle. DAC chips are cheap as chips.

What you then want is either no seperate analogue section (output taken straight from DAC chip) or a simple, preferably good quality analogue section. A half decent power supply may help a little bit too.

This means that ultra cheapo DACs may sound just as good, or better than more expensive ones. And that at worst a simple ultra cheapo DAC will sound almost as good as an expensive one, especially in the context of the nature and size of differences that you can get between speakers.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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muljao said:
This is very inexpensive, in fact the DAC supplies an optical cable, which often on their own cost more the the DACs asking price.

Is this DAC that good? What does the power supply add to this? Thanks
With DAC's and CD players I've been coming to the conclusion (for a long time) that they should be treated like interconnects.

Buy an ultra cheapo one and use that as a reference to compare anything else against. Some people report significant. differences. Others subtle differences and others no differences. In both interconnects and digital sources.

For the DAC's I've linked to I've heard good reports from someone whose judgement I trust. Bake-off needed to test how good they'd be compared to an M-DAC+.

With a sub £50 asking price for the DAC and power supply there's little to lose and a lot to be gained by just going ahead and buying one. The Audiolab dealer's not going to have one in stock to compare against the 14 times more expensive M-DAC+, is he?

Same thing applies to £3 interconnects.

I have only ever heard subtle differences between digital sources. Maybe one day I'll attend a demo where there's a significant difference. As significant as that between speakers. Maybe not.

For the power supply it's a case of giving the analogue section good quality power and not chucking crap onto the mains that might affect the amplifiers in some systems. IE it could be a system dependent thing. At a cost of £39 it's no big deal anyway.
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
163
9
4,595
theaceface said:
I am thinking of adding a DAC to my system to breathe new life into my CD player and use with digital files.

I was thinking of the Audiolab M-DAC+

Any other suggestions or input greatly appreciated at around the same price point.
Can you consider the yamaha wxc-50. I have one and am very happy with it. Comes with a inbuilt dac that's good too. At least I couldn't make out much of a difference between this and my chord2qute dac. Also has inbuilt streaming for tidal and Spotify. Comes with a great app too. I plug my chromecast into the wxc-50 for adding additional streaming features. Should be around the 250 pound mark.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
662
345
5,270
I too (so far) have heard only subtle differences between DACs.

That's why I went for the Objective DAC (O-DAC). It's designer has the philosophy that, provided it's well designed, a DAC doesn't have to be expensive (I believe that philosophy got him sacked from the company he used to design for!)

If you're bored, here's some reading:

http://nwavguy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/odac-released.html

I realise that, being USB only, this particular DAC wouldn't suit your connection requirements OP, but the point is not to rule out low cost options.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
lindsayt said:
theaceface said:
I have used a generic cheap DAC before, yes they do the job but I found the headphone amp to be somewhat lacking.
In that case, buy a separate headphone amp.

 

Differences between DAC chips are subtle. DAC chips are cheap as chips.

What you then want is either no seperate analogue section (output taken straight from DAC chip) or a simple, preferably good quality analogue section. A half decent power supply may help a little bit too.

This means that ultra cheapo DACs may sound just as good, or better than more expensive ones. And that at worst a simple ultra cheapo DAC will sound almost as good as an expensive one, especially in the context of the nature and size of differences that you can get between speakers.
Amen
 

mond

New member
Jan 11, 2011
10
0
0
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bryston-BDA-1-D-A-Converter-DAC-Digital-to-Analogue-Converter-Ex-Demo-MINT/382434650681?hash=item590ae1aa39:g:LqwAAOSwxzdaAXE

Or

Wadia 151 Power DAC (Amp & DAC) - Boxed with Remote & Manual https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wadia-151-Power-DAC-Amp-DAC-Boxed-with-Remote-Manual/392019598026?hash=item5b46305aca:g:VGYAAOSwJwZa0aki

Or

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/music-fidelity-dac-x-24k/263610033016?hash=item3d6061e378:g:xW4AAOSw3Sla05nE

or this to match your 8000A Amp

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Audiolab-8000DAC-Digital-Analogue-Converter/173272196375?epid=1588168933&hash=item2857d3e517:g:ctAAAOSwpeFa05qE

There are plenty of used ones out there .......
 

muljao

New member
Jul 18, 2016
154
0
0
lindsayt said:
muljao said:
This is very inexpensive, in fact the DAC supplies an optical cable, which often on their own cost more the the DACs asking price.

Is this DAC that good? What does the power supply add to this? Thanks
With DAC's and CD players I've been coming to the conclusion (for a long time) that they should be treated like interconnects.

Buy an ultra cheapo one and use that as a reference to compare anything else against. Some people report significant. differences. Others subtle differences and others no differences. In both interconnects and digital sources.

For the DAC's I've linked to I've heard good reports from someone whose judgement I trust. Bake-off needed to test how good they'd be compared to an M-DAC+.

With a sub £50 asking price for the DAC and power supply there's little to lose and a lot to be gained by just going ahead and buying one. The Audiolab dealer's not going to have one in stock to compare against the 14 times more expensive M-DAC+, is he?

Same thing applies to £3 interconnects.

I have only ever heard subtle differences between digital sources. Maybe one day I'll attend a demo where there's a significant difference. As significant as that between speakers. Maybe not.

For the power supply it's a case of giving the analogue section good quality power and not chucking crap onto the mains that might affect the amplifiers in some systems. IE it could be a system dependent thing. At a cost of £39 it's no big deal anyway.
Thanks for taking the time to explain.

The input voltage on the dac is rated at 5 volts, but the power supply is 9 volts. Is this the correct power supply you meant to link?
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
muljao, try this £39 (5v) power supply:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hifi-linear-DC-5V-output-power-25W-USB-amp-DAC-external-power-supply/131524729527?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

with this £4.09 (5v) DAC:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Digital-Optical-Coaxial-Toslink-Signal-to-Analog-Converter-Audio-Adapter-RCA-/323170233167?hash=item4b3e726b4f
 

muljao

New member
Jul 18, 2016
154
0
0
lindsayt said:
muljao, try this £39 (5v) power supply:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hifi-linear-DC-5V-output-power-25W-USB-amp-DAC-external-power-supply/131524729527?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

with this £4.09 (5v) DAC:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Digital-Optical-Coaxial-Toslink-Signal-to-Analog-Converter-Audio-Adapter-RCA-/323170233167?hash=item4b3e726b4f

 
Thanks again
 

muljao

New member
Jul 18, 2016
154
0
0
lindsayt said:
muljao, try this £39 (5v) power supply:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hifi-linear-DC-5V-output-power-25W-USB-amp-DAC-external-power-supply/131524729527?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

with this £4.09 (5v) DAC:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Digital-Optical-Coaxial-Toslink-Signal-to-Analog-Converter-Audio-Adapter-RCA-/323170233167?hash=item4b3e726b4f

 
Thanks again
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
theaceface said:
said do you use a DAC?

if so which one?
I don't use a separate DAC. My digital sources are still old school in that they are CD players.

These include a £15 Denon C630. A £20 Marantz CD-48 and a £30 Philips CD753.

The Marantz and Philips are good for their less is more approach - according to Lampizator half an op amp per channel in the analogue section. When you open the lid they are pleasantly empty inside.

Although having said that, the sonic differences between them and the Denon are subtle.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
217
76
18,870
Hi. From my experience, differences between dacs are not insignificant, but I didn't compare similarly priced ones. Other people on this forum did more research on the matter, and they say it's not the chip itself, but the analogue part in the dac that makes the difference.

Anyway, with your budget, and if only needing one analogue input (which would mean getting rid of the cassette setup) I'd look at a Naim Unitiqute 2, which is an excellent match for the Iotas, and is a neat (no pun intended) solution.
 

theaceface

New member
Oct 20, 2016
9
0
0
Does anyone have any experience with Beresford DAC's?

I have done further digging and it seems very reasonably priced, has the connections I require, also has a decent headphone stage.

Based on previous replies, I could add a linear power supply to improve it further.
 

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