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Dac question budget £150 your thoughts

Discussion in 'audio' started by Miss Ariel, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. the caretaker

    the caretaker pfm Member

    If your using interconnects from cd player to amp? Try audioquest ruby..that should make the sound from cd a bit smoother...try streaming music from your phone or tablet to your hifi..( radio FIP is excellent ) I have a linn turntable and a flash cd player..nearly all my listening now is to qobuz hi res..dac in phone or tablet is OK.. but at some point you will want a better one...dac magic is good and cheap pre loved..but if you only want a dac for cd player? ( using your cd player as a transport ) then get a cyrus dac x + ( about £800 pre loved ) yes not cheap but just awesome...also if you get into streaming then the dac x + with a musical fidelity v link 2 ( as spdif/ usb converter, dac + doesn't have usb input ) you should be very happy with sound..
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  2. Andy1912

    Andy1912 pfm Member

    I have a schiit modi 3 and it competes pretty well with my SME 20
    Darren, the caretaker and Miss Ariel like this.
  3. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    Two comments to add:

    'Legato Link' essentially is 'NOS' but with a linear interpolation between the 44.1k sample values. I have two Pioneer Audio CD recorders and you can demonstrate the resulting effect on output. e.g. for a nominal squarewave it adds HF above 22.05 kHz, and thus also can add HF intermod. above that as well.

    I still use a Cambridge Audio DAC Magic Plus for some things and it works nicely in my view.
    Dan K, Miss Ariel and windhoek like this.
  4. windhoek

    windhoek The Phoolosopher

    Do you still use the original power supply? I've heard some say performance can be improved by running the DM+ via battery but how one would go about that, I don't know. But I'd like to give it a go seeing as I've got DM+ at hand.
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  5. Nigel

    Nigel pfm Member

    I blind purchased a Topping E30 from Amazon last week to use with my twenty year old Rega Jupiter 2000, using the coaxial output. I was pleasantly surprised just how much better it was.
  6. Dave***t

    Dave***t Revolutionary relativist

    Hmm, not sure. Though when I dealt with the chap to buy mine, it was mostly through eBay, so that might be the way to go.

    ...actually, I just checked eBay and couldn’t find anything. Possibly he’s gone quiet because of the pandemic and will resurface. It’d be a shame if not, they’re good little units.

    A quick look at hifi shark does show that some have been sold within the OP’s budget though, so worth keeping an eye out if 2nd hand would work.
    paulfromcamden likes this.
  7. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    Yes, standard PSU. FWIW I'm currently using it with both a Linux and RISC OS pair of machines. And have recently written software that lets me examine its performance. Gives low distortion,noise, etc.
    windhoek likes this.
  8. Zombie

    Zombie pfm Member

    All DACs sound virtually the same as long as they’re competently designed.
    Fatmarley likes this.
  9. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    That took considerably longer than the norm on here, it is of course twaddle but hey ho
  10. clownfish

    clownfish It's all in the details

    What leads you to this conclusion?
  11. Zombie

    Zombie pfm Member

    Nothing. I saw it a while back and I thought I'd make life easier for the OP by sticking to the present setup and save money. It might also be dried out elcos on the output and elsewhere in the CDP that causes the unsatisfactory sound.
  12. windhoek

    windhoek The Phoolosopher

    Thanks, Jim - if it's good enough for you, then it's good enough for me :)
  13. w00fer

    w00fer pfm Member

    Very pleased with my s/h Metrum Octave. Think it cost a bit over your budget, but not massively over.
  14. G.smith310

    G.smith310 pfm Member

    For what it's worth : I tried my CCA using the internal DAC and then with the DAC built into my CXA60 then a Topping DAC. The topping and built in added some more energy to the music but I wouldnt describe it as a smooth sound. Perhaps a pricey DAC made by a hifi brand will give that smooth sound.
  15. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    FWIW, I don’t have a turntable anymore but it still seems to me nothing sounds as organic and, as you say smooth (that I would translate by musical) as an LP 12 with a decent old school cartridge such as Decca Gold.
    I am just too lazy to put on a 12 inch plastic disc, brush it with a carbon brush, align the arm to the edge of the disc..........and so on..........
    So a NOS, vacuum tube or a Sugden DAC look like good compromises IMO.
  16. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    Oh, and live shows on FM radio from my 1976 Kenwood tuner are almost impossible to beat in terms of having the illusion to be in the bar with them!
  17. Subito

    Subito pfm Member

    Schiit Modi Multibit is a NOS design that’s renowned for its smooth sound, $249 in the US, don’t know UK pricing or availability.
  18. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    FWIW for some years now I've adopted the habit of making a 96k transfer of any LP I want to play. Then play that to listen to it on future occasions. Main change to the sound is that I can remove clicks. The big advantage is that I can listen even when not at the main audio setup with the turntable, etc.

    One point to add about 'NOS'. *Two* factors are relevant here.

    1) NOS just means the DAC runs at base rate. Which if there is *no* following analogue reconstruction filter means an output 'staircase' waveform that will generate a lot of HF above 22 kHz.

    2) NOS may still means an analogue filter is used for reconstruction. This reduces the above HF. But may be of a type like the 'Legato Link' that does a linear 'join the dots'.

    Even if the user can't hear the HF it *may* affect the performance of kit further down the line. However it means that 'NOS' covers a wide range of behaviours so may mean one 'NOS' DAC is NOT the same as any other 'NOS' design. Devil is in the details the term 'NOS' fails to specify.

    Conclusion. You can't easily assume that what you get from one 'NOS' DAC will be the same for others. And may vary due to your choice of the *following* kit and choice of music. The 'staircase' wasn't in the original recording, either, so represents an alteration being applied to all the things you play, regardless.
    paulfromcamden, Amber Audio and Dan K like this.
  19. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    BTW if someone wants to experiment with 'NOS' then it is possible to take low rate materal and run it through an upsampling program that applies various types of reconstruction - inc NOS types - to generate, say, an x4 rate output file. You can then play that at the high rate though a good DAC to compare different reconstructions and see what you can hear as any differences. I did an experiment a bit like this some years ago, but it used software I wrote for RISC OS, not other platforms. I guess someone else has also done this as it seems obvious as a way to explore the results. But I don't offhand know who/where. Maybe sox can do it.
  20. Dan K

    Dan K pfm Member

    Good info Jim! I did not know that.

    Coming from the PD-S 904 I have obviously got used to NOS. I always find NOS players a more 'natural/ convincing' listen.

    The Metrum Octave is both Non Oversampling and has No Output Stage (8 DACs in parallel)

    I still think the OP should go for the full JVC Titanium stack!

    JVC AX-Z1010TN Amp/ DAC/ Phonostage
    JVC FX-1010TN Tuner
    JVC TD-V1010TN Tape

    There's a CDP as well, but they go for mega money

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