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In Reply to: RE: Cheap DACs posted by Mike K on November 29, 2023 at 07:40:54
The list is interesting but somewhat limited.
The only dac on the list that I have tried is the Cambridge Dacmagic 200m. I had some intermittent problems with the usb driver and my Windows 11 laptop. I would have tried to solve the problems but I tried an Smsl d300 and it sounded noticeably better.
I have also tried an Smsl Su9n, iFi Zen One Signature dac and a Geshelli Labs J2 AKM. I much preferred the Smsl d300 over all of them. The Smsl d300 uses a Rohm labs dac chip that is also used in expensive Luxman cd players. I have no idea what the Luxman players sound like. However, the d300 sounds detailed but refined and smooth.
Smsl has recently released the VMV D2R dac which also uses the same Rohm chip with a much beefier power supply and other enhancements. I have ordered one and am awaiting delivery.
That SMSL VMV D2R dac could be interesting but I've not heard of the Rohm chip nor have I ever heard of porcupine power supplies ;-) The SMSL VMV D2R appears to be only $40 more than my SMSL D400EX
I read the review of the D400EX from the link you posted and it seems like it is a serious contender for best sound at the $1K price point. The VMV D2R was on sale for $850 when I ordered it and the sale price was a motivating factor in getting it. I will report how it sounds after I try it out.
Definitely let us know what you think of the VMV D2R overall after you've had it for a while. Do you have another DAC you'll be comparing against?
I will mainly be comparing to the Smsl D300. The other dacs I have are old and the comparisons would not be relevant. Unfortunately, I do not have any other $1,000 dacs on hand which is what the VMV D2R should be compared against.
My initial impressions after unboxing it and briefly listening to it last night are that it is a much more substantial dac compared to the D300 in build quality and possibly in sound quality. It sounded a little smoother today so I think it needs some time to settle in.
The VMV D2R looks intriguing, but I can't find anything about the analog section.
Lack of skill dictates economy of style. - Joey Ramone
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