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Can't stay analogue forever

Discussion in 'DACs' started by ericc129, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. ericc129

    ericc129 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Shreveport, LA
    with all the progession in DAC technology etc, I'm guessing we are getting close to a point of dimishing returns on investment, etc.....anyway, listening to vinyl is always as feasible in my home office and I was wondering where a good jumping off point would be in terms of purchasing my first DAC.....I've got great pwoer amps and tube pre amps as well but would like to eventually be able to hook up a DAC to stream and listen to music when I don't have the luxury to get up and down to flip records and stax o wax, etc......anyway, where is it nowadays that we start to hit the laws od diminishing returns with DACS....or where can I get my best bank for my buck. Especially with my aikido and singel eneded tube amps, etc....I'd love to have the luxury to stream from my computer or phone and still get great audio quality....I know its hard to beat the emotioanlly connection with vinyl, etc....but how much shoul I be looking to spend on a DAC to amke the most of my oldschool amplifiers, etc.
     

     

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  2. ericc129

    ericc129 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Shreveport, LA
    or I should say going from digital stereo 2.0 to analogue instead of straight vinyl sources, etc.
     
  3. PAGS

    PAGS AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North of Philly
    How much do you want to spend?
     
  4. Audiofreak71

    Audiofreak71 Boerboelicious Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    PNW
    Like Pag said , how much is your budget? You can go from $50 to $50k with dacs and there’s many to choose from that should fit your needs. I just added a Musical Fidelity TriVista 21 Dac to my setup it retailed for $2500 and is a Tube Dac , it works extremely well with my setup and is magical in its musical presentation. But like I said there are many to choose from you just have to do your research and experiment.

    Audiofreak71
     
  5. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights " Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Fort Dodge, Iowa
    Sure you can..

     
    604man and vinowino like this.
  6. Decibel_116

    Decibel_116 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,880
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama, USA
    Are you planning on doing the HiRes thing? If not, you can opt for one of the better vintage DACs. If you want to be able to play the latest HiRes files, I recommend the Chord Qutest. Amazing little device. It does not use an Off-the Shelf DAC chip, which I find to be a refreshing approach. Best investment I have made in a long while on audio equipment.
     

     

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  7. slow_jazz

    slow_jazz AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    I would start cheap before investing major money.

    Right now I'm pleased with a broken Denon DVD-5000. The dvd drive doesn't work but it has a standalone dac that still works great.

    Bought it cheap because the dvd isn't working.
     
  8. Guest125

    Guest125 Active Member

    Messages:
    353
    You might consider something like the Yamaha WXC-50.

    https://theaudiophileman.com/wxc-wxa/

    "Next up was the preamp, the WXC-50. For this test, I turned to ‘old technology’ and a pair of Class A power mono blocks. The small in stature but wholly meaty Valvet Classe-A Mono-amps A1r, to be precise. I’ve always enjoyed their open-ended and focused output and they have been used when shelf space has been lacking. As such, they pair up very well with the similarly low footprint WXC-50. Hooking up is easy with the A1r mono blocks sliding into the Pre Out sockets at the rear of the Yamaha chassis.

    The reason for connecting the A1r blocks was to show that the Yamaha can connect to older hardware or hardware lacking in modern connective facilities. The thought of using the A1rs with a USB source and as part of a streaming set-up was an intriguing one.

    I began with a slightly more traditional source, CD and back to Earth, Wind & Fire. The combination of the dynamic and high energy track, Let’s Groove, the bass rich Yamaha and the punchy A1r produced the sort of low end that can punch through brick walls and keep on going further than Godzilla in a bad mood. That, of course, is another benefit of the Yamaha preamp, you can tailor its musical personality, depending on what you connect to it. Yes, that slightly strident edge to the app mids was evident at higher volumes and during crescendos but, once more, at normal volumes it was no great concern."

    Generally speaking, mids were insightful, detailed and with a slightly clinical edge that enabled the WXC-50 to dig deep into the mix to extract even the most subtle and shy of effects that often resided within the complex arrangement of this song. Solid state fans will adore the sound from the Yamaha, which could easily become a dictator of a small, wayward country, such is the measure of strength, power and no compromise approach it has to sound.

    Turning to the USB port and Sonny Rollin’s higher resolution source via St. Thomas, the Yamaha successfully fed a relatively open and spacious signal, for the price, to the monoblocks. The result combined an energetic yet detailed output that was full of texture and character, especially from the Rollins saxophone while the percussion produced a musical and dynamic presentation, brimming with energy and motive power. Piano was a little strident at times but that was of no real surprise at this price point. The piano has to be the most difficult of instruments to control for any budget component and the Yamaha made a good fist of the chaotic and disorderly frequencies from it."
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  9. 432HzBob

    432HzBob Super Member

    Messages:
    4,866
    Location:
    West Coast
    This will be my next DAC. If I ever decide I want another.
    https://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/tube_magic_d1
    I run just a Little Dot dac_1 for 10 years that has 4 various inputs, slope and bitrate options..
    I have never been above TOSLINK and straight off the computer or plugged a phone or Walkman in when needed either..
    Don;t sound too much the dismayed analog luddite over going digital. What took so long? All the kids are doing it (with bluetooth portabl speakers:)
    thought by now every audio person would have integrated at least 2 computers, a few CD/DVD/Blu sources
    HDMI and record-to-computer options....
    Even more than amp prices, I am ever more jaw dropped at the price DAC's are fetching these days.
    The "chip" thing and all. Give me sturdy switches, great Vol knob, ports that don;t fall apart and LED's that you don't have to put a dab of paint over.
    I'm simple" Beef and corn, Burr-Brown and Wolfsson for the win!

    But yes there are alot of NWCAI.. New Wave of Chinese Audio Imports . and American made DAC's under 4-500.
    I always thought one could plumb a decent little DAC in to a sturdy cigarette box and make it sound good and be functional.
    Everyone needs something that turns a sterile digital signal into something your amp and speakers like..
    Oh and hold on to your TT's and records still. They could be popular again in another 30 years :D
     
  10. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,905
    Location:
    MI, US
    I am going with a PS Audio DirectStream or DirectStream Jr when I'm ready to upgrade the digital. The big problem with DACs is that any time a new technology comes along, they are instantly outdated. For a me, a DAC that doesn't play hi-res and especially DSD is useless, as those files are the biggest growing portion of my digital collection. And what if a new file format comes along for lossless files? One thing the DirectStream series offers is that it is upgradable via software--they do not use DAC chips but instead, FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays), so the conversions happen in software. I will consider other DACs which use the same FPGA technology, so I am future-proofed. If I'm dumping this much coin on digital, I have no intention of upgrading it for a decade or more, and constantly chasing technologies. Buying these particular DACs used is the way to go--deals can be had for about half the price of new units, if shopping carefully. :)
     
  11. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    Given there are already tubes in the chain it would be wise to avoid adding a tube-buffered DAC. If you don't actually need a network streamer/DAC and can live with a DAC that's tethered with a USB cable to your computer or phone start small with an inexpensive DAC that has been confirmed to perform well through independent measurements such as Topping D30 or maybe Schiit Modi 3 if you prefer to not send your money to China. Around $100 should be enough to get started, and you can always upgrade later as you get more familiar with the technology.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  12. PAGS

    PAGS AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Good advice, here.
     

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