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 Post subject: Help me or sell me a DAC
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:42 am
Posts: 64
Location: stirling, ON, CA
Plain and simple. I want a DAC that is step or two clearly better than my Sony 5400es CD player. I will still use the Sony as a transport. Why do I want a new DAC, you ask? I bought a bluesound node2 and that thing sounds damn good playing spotify. And I like it better than Sony.

Did DAC technology advanced that far since my CD player's introduction?

Did anyone had a CD player similar to mine and gone on to bertter thing ?

I have full tube pre amp, power amp and even a tube phono amp so for the DAC, I would like a little bit forward presentation. Not warm or laid back. I think my tubes will do that for me down the chain.

I'm leaning towards Bryson's new bda 3 used. Good idea?? I like to keep my budget around $1500 but more for right DAC.

Cheers


Last edited by rotaryphoneuser on Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:30 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:00 am
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Location: Grand Forks, BC, CA
I tried a bunch of DACs including the BDA1 but preferred my Cary 306/200 when I had it. It did step up using a proper computer transport into the digital in instead of the CD transport.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:18 am
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Location: Surrey , BC, CA
or best of both...Esoteric K-07X


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:39 am 
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Location: Sault Ste. Marie, ON, CA
DACs are one of the hottest commodities in audio at this time,choices can be over whelming and ridiculously expensive.At the end of the day it is all about system synergy and how deep your pockets are.All I would suggest is do you your research.I will pm you some of my recommendations.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:59 am 
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Location: Kingston, ON, CA
Depending on your budget, any of the DACs below will best the Sony:

Teac UD-503
LKS-MH-DA004
Bryston BDA-3
Schiit Yggdrasil
Lampizator
Meitner MA-1
DCS Scarlatti
EMM Labs DAC2X

Note: the above is not meant to be an exhaustive list.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:18 am 
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Another option is to just enjoy the Bluesound as it is without an external DAC. Many great recommendations made, but technically (and no offence) there are all subjective and may not suite you as they suite others. If you just received the Node 2, live with it for a while – get to know it’s sound with all different supported formats (other than Spotify) then make a decision if you want to ad a DAC or not. Just a thought.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:24 am 
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For a bit more, you cannot do much better than this, especially when comparing similarly priced DACs:
http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... 3-usb-dac/
I've own one for several years, and it's fantastic IMO. Another member on CAM owns the silver wired one and it's even better though quite a bit more. We've compared them to many others, including several at much higher price points, and have always found the wavelength to sound more detailed, smoother, and more natural.
B

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:59 am 
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sthomas1049 wrote:
Another option is to just enjoy the Bluesound as it is without an external DAC. Many great recommendations made, but technically (and no offence) there are all subjective and may not suite you as they suite others. If you just received the Node 2, live with it for a while – get to know it’s sound with all different supported formats (other than Spotify) then make a decision if you want to ad a DAC or not. Just a thought.




I only had node2 for about a month and that thing keep surprises me. And I like node2's sound signiture.

Basically, I would like more and better sounding of node2. More details, separation, bass, air but not laid back. Make sense? Is bryston like that? Does anyone has both ?

Cheers


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:33 am 
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Location: Nepean, ON, CA
You could use the Node 2 as a dac by connecting your Sony to it via an optical cable, Toslink. The Node 2 comes with a 3.5mm to Toslink adapter.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:54 am 
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GWN wrote:
You could use the Node 2 as a dac by connecting your Sony to it via an optical cable, Toslink. The Node 2 comes with a 3.5mm to Toslink adapter.



Ok, I will check into that too.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:12 am 
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rotaryphoneuser wrote:
GWN wrote:
You could use the Node 2 as a dac by connecting your Sony to it via an optical cable, Toslink. The Node 2 comes with a 3.5mm to Toslink adapter.



Ok, I will check into that too and see how that works. But I think I would want more.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:39 am 
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Location: Saskatoon, SK, CA
It is not really the DAC chip that makes all the difference. Much more important is the output stage that follows the DAC. The Sony 5400ES is already as good as it gets. It would be very difficult to better that in any meaningful way.

Once you level match the output the differences between DACs tend to disappear. DAC chips have been pretty much transparent for 30 years or so. Any obvious differences are deliberate non-linearity to make the uber expensive DAC stand out.

My current main CD player is from 1984 using a 14bit DAC. It sounds very good. How far has DAC technology advanced - great deal - 24 bit word length, much cheaper production costs, etc, etc. When it comes to listening, however, digital is kind of the same as it was at the beginning.

Some interesting reading below

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-line-level/314762-dac-blind-test-audible-difference-whatsoever.html


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:13 pm 
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Ok. I made my mind up. Bryston bda 2 or 3, if I save up more. Just have to wait. Thanks all.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:28 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
Good plan, rotary. Hope you acquire one or the other early in the New Year.

In the meantime if a friend, or fellow CAMer, offer you a loan of their's, take them up on it. 48 hours with a DAC can be very informative. I'd loan you one of mine for a weekend but I am on the other side of the country.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:51 am 
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rotaryphoneuser wrote:

Basically, I would like more and better sounding of node2. More details, separation, bass, air but not laid back. Make sense? Is bryston like that? Does anyone has both ?

Cheers


I have my Node 2 running through a Naim DAC-V1 and it gives exactly this. A bit more of everything, and the well known "in your face" forward naim sound.

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