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DAC advice

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Posted on December 25, 2016 at 15:56:48
wisnerjb
Audiophile

Posts: 11
Location: Charleston, SC
Joined: December 10, 2012
It's been a long time since I've had a system, but I am getting back in the game!
I am looking for a USB DAC to pair with Ars Sonum Filarmonia and Merlin TSM Black Magic monitors.
I have a small room (12x12) and enjoy big imaging and detail.
I am trying to rip everything to my computer and plan to use Roon/Tidal to organize it all. Right now, I am just ripping old CD's, so no commitments yet!

Any thoughts??

I am looking at Blue Circle BC507, Ayre Codex or QB-9 DSD, or.....

Thanks for any help you can provide!

 

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RE: DAC advice, posted on December 25, 2016 at 17:21:02
classfolkphile
Audiophile

Posts: 406
Location: Florida
Joined: December 17, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
October 27, 2005
Lampizator Amber II. Extremely holographic with lots of detail. Very analog like.

 

RE: DAC advice, posted on December 25, 2016 at 17:36:42
wisnerjb
Audiophile

Posts: 11
Location: Charleston, SC
Joined: December 10, 2012
Thanks for the recommendation.
Heard GREAT things about Lampizator Dacs, but didn't want to spend the $$$ for their higher end DACs. All I've seen were $5k+
$2300 is more reasonable...will look closer!

 

RE: DAC advice, posted on December 26, 2016 at 06:25:07
G Squared
Audiophile

Posts: 4055
Location: Washington, DC Metro Area
Joined: November 16, 2004
Take a look at Schiit DACs', as long as yiou don't need DSD.

 

RE: DAC advice, posted on December 26, 2016 at 07:16:18
ahendler
Audiophile

Posts: 4855
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Joined: January 24, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
January 14, 2010
Audio-GD Master 7. Uses the famous 1704 ladder dac chips. Can be set in nos mode I use it for streaming from Tidal and it is a very emotional connecting dac. $2500
Alan

 

RE: DAC advice, posted on December 26, 2016 at 07:36:37
wisnerjb
Audiophile

Posts: 11
Location: Charleston, SC
Joined: December 10, 2012
I certainly need to educate myself further, but I'm confused about DSD. If I rip everything to my computer losslessly (FLAC), then DSD is not an issue, correct?
It seems like DSD is only an issue if I am trying to play/rip SACDs. I don't have any SACDs...missed the boat on that!

Would I ever need the ability to decode DSD if I have no SACDs to convert?


 

RE: DAC advice, posted on December 26, 2016 at 07:39:50
wisnerjb
Audiophile

Posts: 11
Location: Charleston, SC
Joined: December 10, 2012
Thanks for all the replies. I have really never read a bad review of a Lampizator or Schiit product. I know they are different $$$, but they both seem like good innovative companies.
Definitely checking into the Audio-GD Master 7.
Great stuff!

I have no easy way to audition, but I know Schiit allows 15-day returns...may be a plus

 

correct, and another recommendation, posted on December 26, 2016 at 08:27:09
bullethead
Audiophile

Posts: 7902
Location: East Coast USA
Joined: May 6, 2012
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000






correct, DSD is also a file type, you can get DSD albums online for a couple of bucks more than FLAC, I got into the DSD bandwagon with my Auralic Vega DAC, but it wasn't worth it for me. Basically trying to get people to repurchase albums they own on CD with better sound quality sometimes re-made from master tapes. I think the DSD catalog is seriously lacking unless your into classical.

I do like my Auralic Vega DAC, it is $2,500 now I think. If you need another recommendation that's one for ya. It does DSD and DXD so you'll be good for awhile should you need high-res, it also does lossless FLAC at CD quality beautifully. That's how I looked at it an investment for at least a decade.

I've linked to a professional review below.

 

RE: DAC advice, posted on December 26, 2016 at 09:13:24
fred76
Audiophile

Posts: 1480
Location: Manila
Joined: February 28, 2004
Hi,

Most modern dacs have hybrid multibit/delta sigma chips. The best of them indeed sound very good, slammy and very detailed without being strident..

But old school R2R multibit dacs are still a viable choice (like the PCM1704K based Master 7 suggested by Alan) if you value natural lifelike tone and timbre, unforced detail and dynamics. And that cohesiveness of the musical whole that can really be elusive in most digital front ends.. One R2R multibit option is the Audial Model S USB, a TDA1541A based non-os usb dac.. I have a limited production diy kit dac from them, an older design, that keeps me listening without fatigue. So I imagine that the newer more elaborately designed non-kit offering would sound just more refined and sublime in all aspects. I personally would choose the option with the Jensen high nickel line output transformers in the output stage....

 

RE: DAC advice, posted on December 26, 2016 at 11:35:50
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28409
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002

IMHO, you don't need to spend $5K or even $2K to get an outstanding DAC these days. The Ayre QB-9 DSD is a fantastic DAC. I know because I owned one. I replaced it with the $1299 PS Audio NuWave DSD DAC. I also had the $5000 Luxman DA-06 which was easily bettered by the Ayre and my PS Audio. Higher price does not guarantee a better DAC, not even close.

If it were me, I wouldn't go nuts spending big bucks on a DAC because you can do quite well these days for a lot less money. Some folks like DACs from Schiit, which is another 'value brand'.

Enjoy.




 

+1 .... My Experience Also..... Very Wise advice ...nt, posted on December 26, 2016 at 11:47:15
Cut-Throat
Audiophile

Posts: 11538
Location: Minneapolis - St.Paul Area
Joined: September 2, 2000
nt

Cut-Throat




 

If you feel you need a DSD DAC..., posted on December 26, 2016 at 17:46:13
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35559
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001

Not sure you do, I'm doing fine without one but...

If I did, the new Gustard X20U Pro pictured above sports the latest ESS DAC chip, the ES9028 (one per channel) which is a generation newer than the old ESS ES9018 chip and a generation better sounding according to early reports.

Link below:





 

RE: DAC advice, posted on December 27, 2016 at 17:35:35
classfolkphile
Audiophile

Posts: 406
Location: Florida
Joined: December 17, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
October 27, 2005
I think Lampizator has a 7 day return policy. Contact Fred at http://www.lampizatorna.com. A great guy.

All of the Lampi DACs, including the Amber II, have copper foil caps, the most natural sounding caps I've heard. The tone, timbre, continuousness, coherency, and holographic soundstage/imagining are exceptional.

I reviewed the Amber II here:

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/lampizator-amber-ii-review-30785/

 

+1. nt., posted on December 28, 2016 at 01:38:42
jusbe
Audiophile

Posts: 5189
Location: Ryedale
Joined: April 4, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
July 23, 2004

Big J

"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."


 

By all means..., posted on December 30, 2016 at 22:58:19
DAVID
Audiophile

Posts: 712
Joined: September 26, 1999
...let us know what you think of this DAC after you've had it a while! Looks impressive.

 

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