Canuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio ForumCanuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio Forum
It is currently Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:02 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:42 pm
Posts: 6
Location: North Vancouver, BC, CA
Hey guys, I just picked up an Audio-gd phoenix amp from a fellow CAM member and am now in need of a DAC to go with it. I was thinking of picking up a Mojo but people seem to either love it or hate it and I'm not in a situation to test it out first unfortunately. Do any of you have any recommendations? My budget would be around $500 and would be happy to pick up something used from here rather than buy new if something suitable is available.

Thanks for any suggestions.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:59 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:55 pm
Posts: 1754
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Impressive looking amp.

Never heard the Mojo so can’t really comment on the sound. But sound aside I find they are a bit of a hard sell. Too big to be what I would consider portable. And too small and somewhat awkward to be a stationary DAC. I’m sure others will have a difference of opinion. But what sets the Chord (and all of Chord’s DACs) aside from the rest is they use their own DAC technology instead of an off the shelf OEM chip. Nice to see someone breaking away from the crowd.

I use a Teac UD-501 with my headphone setup with a Bryston BHA 1 amplifier. The 501 is quite flexible covering pretty much all resolutions including DSD up to 5.6 MHz. Asynchronous USB (this is key!). Both RCA and XLR with switchable polarity on the XLR if needed. I find with the Bryston the XLR sounds better. Few digital and analog filters to play with, up-conversion and auto on/off circuitry. It’s headphone amplifier is pretty lack luster. I use it for casual listening to Youtube vids. But outside of that I am pleased with it's performance.

Used they can be found pretty much within your budget. And if you are lucky to find a new one I doubt it would be much more.

What are your needs for a DAC? USB, SPDIF, HiRes, DSD? Will also assume you’ll want XLR out.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:45 am 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:45 pm
Posts: 807
Location: Rockwood, ON, CA
You might be able to find something like a Meridian Explorer here.

_________________
Decware SE84UFO2... Chord 2Qute... Omega SAM's... TEO GC Liquid Cables... Audiosector Integrated... Auralic Aries Femto... Sonore Microrendu... Equi-Core 1200 Power Conditioner... MCRU LPS... Audioquest Dragonfly Red... Zavfino1877 power cord.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:42 pm
Posts: 6
Location: North Vancouver, BC, CA
sthomas1049 wrote:
Impressive looking amp.

Never heard the Mojo so can’t really comment on the sound. But sound aside I find they are a bit of a hard sell. Too big to be what I would consider portable. And too small and somewhat awkward to be a stationary DAC. I’m sure others will have a difference of opinion. But what sets the Chord (and all of Chord’s DACs) aside from the rest is they use their own DAC technology instead of an off the shelf OEM chip. Nice to see someone breaking away from the crowd.

I use a Teac UD-501 with my headphone setup with a Bryston BHA 1 amplifier. The 501 is quite flexible covering pretty much all resolutions including DSD up to 5.6 MHz. Asynchronous USB (this is key!). Both RCA and XLR with switchable polarity on the XLR if needed. I find with the Bryston the XLR sounds better. Few digital and analog filters to play with, up-conversion and auto on/off circuitry. It’s headphone amplifier is pretty lack luster. I use it for casual listening to Youtube vids. But outside of that I am pleased with it's performance.

Used they can be found pretty much within your budget. And if you are lucky to find a new one I doubt it would be much more.

What are your needs for a DAC? USB, SPDIF, HiRes, DSD? Will also assume you’ll want XLR out.


I felt the same way about the mojo. I don't really need something portable so it doesn't make sense to pick one up. I would prefer something with balanced out just for the option as the amp does support it. I would like something with USB and SPDIF at the very least and DSD seems like a good option just so I don't have to worry about support for things going down the road. The UD-501 looks to be good and support just about anything, I'm just not sure how much sense it would make to use it as just a standalone dac as I feel like a good portion of the cost of it is paying for the amp side of it.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:31 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:55 pm
Posts: 1754
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
gaming_freak wrote:
sthomas1049 wrote:
Impressive looking amp.

Never heard the Mojo so can’t really comment on the sound. But sound aside I find they are a bit of a hard sell. Too big to be what I would consider portable. And too small and somewhat awkward to be a stationary DAC. I’m sure others will have a difference of opinion. But what sets the Chord (and all of Chord’s DACs) aside from the rest is they use their own DAC technology instead of an off the shelf OEM chip. Nice to see someone breaking away from the crowd.

I use a Teac UD-501 with my headphone setup with a Bryston BHA 1 amplifier. The 501 is quite flexible covering pretty much all resolutions including DSD up to 5.6 MHz. Asynchronous USB (this is key!). Both RCA and XLR with switchable polarity on the XLR if needed. I find with the Bryston the XLR sounds better. Few digital and analog filters to play with, up-conversion and auto on/off circuitry. It’s headphone amplifier is pretty lack luster. I use it for casual listening to Youtube vids. But outside of that I am pleased with it's performance.

Used they can be found pretty much within your budget. And if you are lucky to find a new one I doubt it would be much more.

What are your needs for a DAC? USB, SPDIF, HiRes, DSD? Will also assume you’ll want XLR out.


I felt the same way about the mojo. I don't really need something portable so it doesn't make sense to pick one up. I would prefer something with balanced out just for the option as the amp does support it. I would like something with USB and SPDIF at the very least and DSD seems like a good option just so I don't have to worry about support for things going down the road. The UD-501 looks to be good and support just about anything, I'm just not sure how much sense it would make to use it as just a standalone dac as I feel like a good portion of the cost of it is paying for the amp side of it.


The headphone portion is an after thought. There for convenience. I doubt much was invested into the headphone amplification so if you are considering a UD-501 I wouldn’t put much thought into the amplification. Not pushing the UD-501 but it does check off everything that you are looking for…especially the price. And it is a very good sounding DAC

With your budget you may be limiting yourself in finding XLR out and DSD support. Stretching your budget a bit will give you a few more options. Couple of Wyred 4 Sound DAC 1 and Benchmark DAC 1 in the market place for $600 to $700 but no DSD support. Also a Matrix X Sabre that checks off everything you are looking for $700. All good really DAC’s but wouldn’t say they are better or worse than the Teac…just different. But regardless of your choice, make sure the DAC has Asynchronous USB. Older USB DAC’s may not support this.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:55 pm
Posts: 454
Location: Calgary, AB, CA
Try and find a used Mytek digital Stereo 192-DSD Dac which includes the balanced out. I own one as well as the newer Brooklyn, the 192 used might be 1 or 2 hundred above your budget but worth it.
In a totally different league than the Teac.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:38 pm 
Offline
Premium User
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:36 pm
Posts: 3605
Location: Vernon, BC, CA
wcoombs wrote:
Try and find a used Mytek digital Stereo 192-DSD Dac which includes the balanced out. I own one as well as the newer Brooklyn, the 192 used might be 1 or 2 hundred above your budget but worth it.
In a totally different league than the Teac.

+1
The Mytek stuff is really good for the price.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:39 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
James_W wrote:
wcoombs wrote:
Try and find a used Mytek digital Stereo 192-DSD Dac which includes the balanced out. I own one as well as the newer Brooklyn, the 192 used might be 1 or 2 hundred above your budget but worth it.
In a totally different league than the Teac.

+1
The Mytek stuff is really good for the price.


Mytek stuff is actually pretty expensive for what you get (speaking from experience). Their stuff is pretty looking, and that's about it. And for the record, their customer service is god awful. I had the brooklyn and ran into issues with the volume pot after only a couple months of light use. Needless to say, they flat out refused to service and replace it.

Don't take my word for it though. The original poster should do his due diligence. There's been quite a number of people that have expressed their displeasure so I would avoid them like the plague.

A Gungnir Multibit will last a very long time. Plus, there's always the possibility of upgrading the dac chip in the future should he need to do so.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:20 pm 
Offline
Premium User
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:36 pm
Posts: 3605
Location: Vernon, BC, CA
My experiences are completely different using a standalone Brooklyn in a 2 channel setup (Pass Labs, Dynaudio, Tyler Acoustics, Neat.) In the last 2 months I brought in a PS Audio Stellar and Benchmark DAC3 HGC to try direct DACs to my amp and the Brooklyn is the clear winner. Previous DACs range from the Bryston BDA3 to Chord Hugo TT, which the Mytek holds its own against at a lower price.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:26 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 12:54 pm
Posts: 4878
Location: Dodge City, NB, CA
James_W wrote:
My experiences are completely different using a standalone Brooklyn in a 2 channel setup (Pass Labs, Dynaudio, Tyler Acoustics, Neat.) In the last 2 months I brought in a PS Audio Stellar and Benchmark DAC3 HGC to try direct DACs to my amp and the Brooklyn is the clear winner. Previous DACs range from the Bryston BDA3 to Chord Hugo TT, which the Mytek holds its own against at a lower price.


Not really on the ops topic but I ended up with the Bryston because I wanted HDMI plugins but also because I couldn't get past the Brooklyn's looks.

_________________
No matter how hard you try, you can't cure stupid.
Unknown


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:36 pm 
Offline
Premium User
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:36 pm
Posts: 3605
Location: Vernon, BC, CA
KJT1 wrote:
Not really on the ops topic but I ended up with the Bryston because I wanted HDMI plugins but also because I couldn't get past the Brooklyn's looks.

To each their own I guess. The BDA3 looks and performance never blew me away but it was a satisfying piece all the same. Great warranty and reliability.

The Schiit Bifrost is a little bit over the $500 budget new but is worth a recommendation, great company to deal with.The Mojo does sound very good too..although the form factor doesn't work so well in a desktop setup. I was pretty impressed with the Gustard DAC I heard but it was a bit pricier.


Last edited by James_W on Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:26 am
Posts: 139
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
There's a used Hegel HD12 on here right now for $1000. It's a pretty zippy little DAC with a decent if not brilliant headphone amp (I used to own one.) It would fit on a desktop quite nicely. No affiliation with the seller, I hasten to add... Above your budget, I realize, but that is a difficult price point. You should definitely check out a Dragonfly if you're going the portable route. I don't know what it's like as a "speaker" DAC, but as a "headphone" DAC it's terrific!

_________________
Mac Mini w/ Roon / Tidal HiFi -> Job INT -> JM Reynaud Bliss Silver & Magic Stands


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:42 pm
Posts: 6
Location: North Vancouver, BC, CA
James_W wrote:
KJT1 wrote:
Not really on the ops topic but I ended up with the Bryston because I wanted HDMI plugins but also because I couldn't get past the Brooklyn's looks.

To each their own I guess. The BDA3 looks and performance never blew me away but it was a satisfying piece all the same. Great warranty and reliability.

The Schiit Bifrost is a little bit over the $500 budget new but is worth a recommendation. The Mojo does sound very good too..although the form factor doesn't work so well in a desktop setup. I was pretty impressed with the Gustard DAC I heard but it was a bit pricier.


I think I'm narrowing down the search to a Gungir or Mytek then. It's just going to come down the finding them now as I will be buying them used for sure. I would consider the Bifrost as it has very good feedback everywhere the only thing stopping me is it doesn't have balanced outputs. Not necessarily a deal breaker but I would like to have the option. I also see a few Bryston BDA-1s for sale but they're a little pricier.

-- 23 Oct 2017 00:07 --

xtrapnel wrote:
There's a used Hegel HD12 on here right now for $1000. It's a pretty zippy little DAC with a decent if not brilliant headphone amp (I used to own one.) It would fit on a desktop quite nicely. No affiliation with the seller, I hasten to add... Above your budget, I realize, but that is a difficult price point. You should definitely check out a Dragonfly if you're going the portable route. I don't know what it's like as a "speaker" DAC, but as a "headphone" DAC it's terrific!


The Hegel does look very good from reading a bit about it it's just too far above what I can spend right now unfortunately and the AMP would go unused so I couldn't justify buying it. The dragonflys have always looked interesting to me as they seem to pack a huge punch for their size but they're too minimalist for what I'm looking for at the moment.

-- 23 Oct 2017 00:14 --

On another note I have found an Auralic ARK MX+ for $650 quite close to me that looks like a potential candidate. Anyone have experience with them at all?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:45 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
sthomas1049 wrote:
gaming_freak wrote:
sthomas1049 wrote:
Impressive looking amp.

Never heard the Mojo so can’t really comment on the sound. But sound aside I find they are a bit of a hard sell. Too big to be what I would consider portable. And too small and somewhat awkward to be a stationary DAC. I’m sure others will have a difference of opinion. But what sets the Chord (and all of Chord’s DACs) aside from the rest is they use their own DAC technology instead of an off the shelf OEM chip. Nice to see someone breaking away from the crowd.

I use a Teac UD-501 with my headphone setup with a Bryston BHA 1 amplifier. The 501 is quite flexible covering pretty much all resolutions including DSD up to 5.6 MHz. Asynchronous USB (this is key!). Both RCA and XLR with switchable polarity on the XLR if needed. I find with the Bryston the XLR sounds better. Few digital and analog filters to play with, up-conversion and auto on/off circuitry. It’s headphone amplifier is pretty lack luster. I use it for casual listening to Youtube vids. But outside of that I am pleased with it's performance.


Used they can be found pretty much within your budget. And if you are lucky to find a new one I doubt it would be much more.

What are your needs for a DAC? USB, SPDIF, HiRes, DSD? Will also assume you’ll want XLR out.


I felt the same way about the mojo. I don't really need something portable so it doesn't make sense to pick one up. I would prefer something with balanced out just for the option as the amp does support it. I would like something with USB and SPDIF at the very least and DSD seems like a good option just so I don't have to worry about support for things going down the road. The UD-501 looks to be good and support just about anything, I'm just not sure how much sense it would make to use it as just a standalone dac as I feel like a good portion of the cost of it is paying for the amp side of it.


The headphone portion is an after thought. There for convenience. I doubt much was invested into the headphone amplification so if you are considering a UD-501 I wouldn’t put much thought into the amplification. Not pushing the UD-501 but it does check off everything that you are looking for…especially the price. And it is a very good sounding DAC

With your budget you may be limiting yourself in finding XLR out and DSD support. Stretching your budget a bit will give you a few more options. Couple of Wyred 4 Sound DAC 1 and Benchmark DAC 1 in the market place for $600 to $700 but no DSD support. Also a Matrix X Sabre that checks off everything you are looking for $700. All good really DAC’s but wouldn’t say they are better or worse than the Teac…just different. But regardless of your choice, make sure the DAC has Asynchronous USB. Older USB DAC’s may not support this.


I picked up a used UD-501 recently with the intent of listening to music on my iPad through headphones in the bedroom.

I was so impressed with its performance that I am using it in my main system that consists of mainly MacIntosh gear, replacing a Cary Audio DAC that costed 4 times as much a year ago.

I particularly like the feature that allows you to set it to fast, neutral or slow. So if you feel like having a bit more aggressive leading edge attack, set it to fast. Or if you find the attack too much fatigue, you can dial it back to slow.

Although it doesn’t have as many setting as some of the more pricey DACs, it has enough to keep me amused.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Desktop DAC.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:54 pm
Posts: 318
Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
XLR and DSD under $1,000 might be a problem. Many good players out there convert DSD to PCM very well.

For great value, Schiit stuff always come to mind. The Gungnir could very well be the last dac you buy, it's very, very good. I went up to their flagship Yggdrasil and noticed more different than better (mostly).

Of course you could go hog wild and get a PS Audio DirectStream Jr. I love mine.

All that said, I think the Schiit Modi Multibit bit would surprise the hell out of anyone considering the size and price. It's seriously quite good and look at where I'm coming from as a reference :)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group