Which DAC ?

aversaurus

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2016
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I have two dac,s in mind the audiolab m+ DAC or the Leema elements DAC I can't really audition either.
I'm buying used and there round the same price.
What do you think?
 

record_spot

Well-known member
May 30, 2015
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18,670
What do you need from a DAC? Functionality? Connectivity? Space considerations?

Draw up your shortlist of what you really need from a DAC, read good reviews on both (forget any fluff pieces, get ones that give you some informed detail), then decide. Beyond that, it's really your call.
 

aversaurus

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Jan 11, 2016
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The Leema gets mixed reviews and that's really what puts me off .but I have a Leema amplifier and it will go to the grave with me .I'm just not sure
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
The Leema gets mixed reviews and that's really what puts me off .but I have a Leema amplifier and it will go to the grave with me .I'm just not sure
@record_spot is correct. Don't just go by reviews. Look at functionality, connectivity...

Most importantly, though, synergy. It can have all the magazine plaudits but if it doesn't energize with the rest of your kit, it's sobbing in your soup.

My current ClearAudio cart WHFI only gave it 3 stars, yet for my set-up it's one of the very best in its price range.
 
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record_spot

Well-known member
May 30, 2015
152
70
18,670
The Leema gets mixed reviews and that's really what puts me off .but I have a Leema amplifier and it will go to the grave with me .I'm just not sure
Don't knock it - I think the sadly now recently defunct Hi Fi World gave it 5. It retailed for about £1100? The M-DAC+ about £800. Do you have a return option on them (even used) - some sellers will give you a 14 day return on used kit? You could buy both and send the one you like least back.

If it was my money, I'd go for the Audiolab, but that's based on what I'd want, not necessarily what you're after. Failing that, probably SMSL's latest.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
FWIW, I've owned a DacMagic, demoed Arcam rDac, Rega Dac and a Peachtree. Based just using to play CDs, the only difference was tonal. My hunch is I would have to spend well over a grand to detect a major difference. That brings it into Leema territory @£1200 or so. Add in the voicing that matches the amplifier....
 

painter24

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May 31, 2021
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My heart says the Leema for synergy but my head says audiolab for the reviews and how DAC,s are
I had the Audiolab M-DAC + for a few weeks and returned it. I found it too artificial sounding - very "digital", synthetic, not natural at all. I played around with all the filters and other numerous settings but just didn't like it at all.

As always, this is just my opinion from using it in my system at the time, with my ears. I know it is generally a well received DAC, just not for me. Hope this helps
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
I had the Audiolab M-DAC + for a few weeks and returned it. I found it too artificial sounding - very "digital", synthetic, not natural at all. I played around with all the filters and other numerous settings but just didn't like it at all.

As always, this is just my opinion from using it in my system at the time, with my ears. I know it is generally a well received DAC, just not for me. Hope this helps
I've not heard their Dac but that is pretty much how I described Audiolab amps - very mechanical.
 
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aversaurus

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Jan 11, 2016
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This is what he said.i sent it to Audio Science Review, after it was agreed it would get reviewed and measured, so I shipped it to Washington!
Then the guy who runs ASR, got upset with some of my posts and refused to review it.
When you made your offer, I asked him to send it back, he has agreed and I gave him my return address, so it is going to be returned.
 

painter24

Well-known member
May 31, 2021
183
103
770
This is what he said.i sent it to Audio Science Review, after it was agreed it would get reviewed and measured, so I shipped it to Washington!
Then the guy who runs ASR, got upset with some of my posts and refused to review it.
When you made your offer, I asked him to send it back, he has agreed and I gave him my return address, so it is going to be returned.
You couldn't make it up 🤣. Why on earth would you go to that extent. I think I'm missing something
 

painter24

Well-known member
May 31, 2021
183
103
770
Agreed. It sounds strange at best. I would have asked why?
So, the seller either shipped the DAC to ASR after putting it up for auction, or, put it up for auction after he had shipped it to ASR..... either way that's bizarre; to auction something that he knew wouldn't be in his possession as he was shipping it to the US, or, shipped to the US after he had already put the DAC up for auction. Either way its kind of weird

I don't like to think bad of people, but this chap sounds absolutely bonkers
 

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