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Audio Note DAC 4 or 5. Just how good R they?

Discussion in 'audio' started by xtinct1, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. xtinct1

    xtinct1 Naimee

    Anyone using Audio Note DACs? Ever since I discovered these non oversampling DACs, I cannot listen to a pure solid state DAC.

    I lust after the DAC 4 and even more so the DAC 5 special/sig. Of course now the fifth element must be even better.

    There isn’t much user feedback about these DACs. Please share your experience if you’ve heard them or own them. And also in what system? I’m currently running a Naim and Harbeth system with Audio Note DAC 2 as source component.
  2. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member

    I'm sure they are very good DACs. I would like to try one too. I know a few fishies are users of AN, so they will be along soon. Also, don't discount Lampizator DACs.
  3. xtinct1

    xtinct1 Naimee

    Have you had any experience with Audio Note? Compared it to the Lampizator?
    SW1X Audio Design is another DAC that uses similar principles. I am very interested in this one too.
  4. Dave***t

    Dave***t Revolutionary relativist

    There’s a review of a SW1X DAC which includes comparison with an Audio Note DAC here.

    Not sure if the models discussed are current (both brands tend to revise things sometimes) but it should give an idea/comparison of the house styles.

    Personally I’d love to try an AN DAC (or SW1X for that matter) in my system. And when the virus buggers off sufficiently that I can sell the stack of Naim gear currently sat boxed up in the other room, I hope to do so!
  5. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    For the better spec SW1X DAC which is full of Audionote parts, so you might as well buy an Audionote DAC.
    Bettisdad and Torris12 like this.
  6. Dee-Kay

    Dee-Kay pfm Member

    I have listened to a DAC 4 regularly, usually with a CDT Two, Jinro & AN-E Spe HE and the sound is magical to me and probably close to what I can realistically aspire to. I hear the TT3 in the same sessions and don’t feel any disappointment when we switch from vinyl to CD.

    I have a DAC 2.1x/II Signature I run with a CDT Two, Oto SE Signature and AN-E LX Hemps and I’ve never bought as many CDs or watched so little TV since completing this setup. I would probably go straight to a DAC4 if I feel the need for a DAC upgrade . The DAC 4 and above can reveal vocal textures and nuances from string instruments in particular, into music that captivates. I recommend you hear for yourself if you get the opportunity.

    I Was lucky enough to spend some time with a Fifth Element DAC with a CDT Six, Ongaku & AN-E SEC Signatures and it’s an experience I’m not going to try do justice to here, other than to say that after hearing the Jinro with the CDT 4 & DAC 4, I had set my expectations that the uplift was going to be subtle, diminishing returns etc. Not subtle at all as it turned out.
  7. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    But how can that be? NOS DACs roll off the sound and measure really poorly and the amps are low power SET's, which also measure really poorly and don't have enough power to shift the skin off a rice pudding... :rolleyes:
    Bettisdad, hairyderriere and sjs like this.
  8. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Cos people don't necessarily just want fidelity, in fact given the choice most wouldn't pick the more neutral setup.
    JimmyB and tuga like this.
  9. Dee-Kay

    Dee-Kay pfm Member

    What can I say, the ears like what the ears like.

    I can also enjoy great food without needing to reference the precise mass and chemical composition of the ingredients. Just lucky I guess;)
    kjb, MUTTY1, Tarzan and 3 others like this.
  10. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    I agree, personally I'm prepared to accepts warts n all, but totally accept I'm in the minority and that no one position is more globally right than any other. That any gear plays the music in the way that satisfies the owner is all that matters.
    JimmyB, coredump, davidjt and 3 others like this.
  11. xtinct1

    xtinct1 Naimee

    I couldn’t care less about the lack of filtering, oversampling etc. I hear what I hear. All the so called great solid state DACs with gazillion times oversampling never time as well to me.

    I always go by ear. If I like it that’s all that matters. I ended up with my vintage gear of Audio Note and Naim over modern alternatives. Noise floor isn’t as low as some modern DAC/amps but it sounds very very good to me.
    hairyderriere and Caledon1297 like this.
  12. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

  13. scotty38

    scotty38 pfm Member

    But it does end with:

    "The CD-4.1x is a paradox: does it sound good because of how it measures or despite it?"
    Bettisdad and Caledon1297 like this.
  14. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    Which just goes to prove that the current way of measuring equipment should only be used as a guide.
    ask, AndyCC72, PsB and 2 others like this.
  15. Caledon1297

    Caledon1297 pfm Member

    Or ignored completely! :rolleyes: :)
  16. Tw99

    Tw99 source last

    There's obviously no measurement for personal preference, and there's never going to be.

    Personally I'd be very happy to buy today's cheap, technically near-perfect, DACs, and add any preferred colourations via DSP under my control, rather than doing some trial-and-error process trying to find an expensive badly performing product that I like the sound of.
    Paul McDonough and Garrard 401 like this.
  17. the_bat

    the_bat pfm Member

    That assumes the only reason that these DACs are reckoned to sound better is down to added colourations. That's not my experience.
  18. Tw99

    Tw99 source last

    If it's not the added colourations/inaccuracy, then what is it that makes them sound "better" ?
  19. Rick_F

    Rick_F pfm Member

    I suppose one could read the measurements & stats all day long, but how many people would buy a dac purely on those without listening to it? I wouldn't!
  20. Octavian

    Octavian pfm Member

    No. It just goes to show that many listeners prefer crude effects boxes to proper hifi.
    Paul McDonough likes this.

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