Need a dac

Discussion in 'DACs' started by Billiam1962, May 8, 2018.

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  1. Billiam1962

    Billiam1962 Member

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    Just bought a used onkyo dx702 cd player circa 1991. Need a external dac with toslink input.

    What is good for less than $250?
     

     

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  2. invaderzim

    invaderzim Active Member

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    I'm happy with the topping D30. I didn't fall out of my chair in amazement when I first used it but I find myself listening to the amp it is connected to a lot more than I did without it.

    The Schiit modi multi-bit was a bit harsh for me. But one person's harsh is another person's detailed.

    The modi multi-bit was on my SE tube amp. The D30 is on my Pass Labs M2 clone so it is an apples to oranges comparison too.

    I seem to have a preference for DACs with CS4398 chips as my garage setup has a cheap EBAY board with that chip and my SE tube amp ended up with a NAD D1050
     
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  3. Billiam1962

    Billiam1962 Member

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    Thanks. Have read some very positive reviews of the D30 from people that have compared it to more expensive DAC's. Have only seen one negative so far and that reviewer mentioned the mid range was just a bit muddy compared to a JDS Labs comparably priced DAC. Have read a couple of people claiming that the D30 is better than the Cambridge Audio DAC which I find surprising. That costs $200.

    I've read this CS4398 chip is a Cirrus Logic and has a tube like quality to it. That being the case I am sure I will like it.
     
  4. Decibel_116

    Decibel_116 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The Schiit Modi Multibit DAC is pretty amazing in that price range. They have an excellent return policy if you don’t like it. It is a modern version of a ladder DAC with a proprietary filter.
     
  5. Billiam1962

    Billiam1962 Member

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    Just curious. Does the Modi Multibit use a newer chip than the D30? That one is at least five years old. Good sounding but perhaps getting a bit dated now.
     
  6. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Any of the Schiit DACS use older designs and will sample down from 24 bit to 16 bit. The D30 is WAY newer than any of the Schiit designs. No Schiit DAC will do DSD but the D30 will.
     
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  7. invaderzim

    invaderzim Active Member

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    I have a Cambridge Audio Dac Magic 100 that I bought a couple months before the price dropped to $200 and it is currently not connected to anything. There was nothing I disliked about it and to be honest I haven't done any A/B testing against the D30 but I also haven't felt the need to. The JDS DAC was on my list too but I liked the longer return time with the D30 from parts express and with a coupon code it was even a bit cheaper (whenever you buy anything always search for the company name and 'coupons')

    The Schiit return was super easy and wouldn't hesitate to buy from them (in fact I have since)
     
  8. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Yes, I had the same reaction to the Schiit Modi Multibit in two of my systems. I gave it to a mate who uses it with his Schiit Saga > Quad 405 > Sony SS-F9000 speakers and in that system it really does sound very nice. Not a good match in any of my systems though.

    I've found that I prefer the AKM based DAC's over anything else. A bit smoother and more natural than the Sabre DAC's though without sacrificing their detail. For me the best of both worlds. Wolfson DAC's I tried simply have up too much and were bettered by a Starting Point Systems DAC3 with vintage Philips TDA1543 chip.... Till the damn thing failed that is.
     
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  9. corbin

    corbin Active Member

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    Are DACs costing more than $200 really better, or just different? Topping D30 seems good, SMSL is another good company.

    I've heard DACs from the Chinese perform like DACs costing many multiples of their retail prices. Not surprising to me as China's manufacturing capabilities are some of the best in the world, especially for high end items.
     
  10. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    They CAN be better. Remember that a DAC is more than the just the chip, it is also the PS, and Analog out. My TEAC UD-501 is much better than ANY $200 DAC.
     
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  11. Billiam1962

    Billiam1962 Member

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    I appreciate the additional information. This is something new to me. Just got my Onkyo DX702 hooked up and it sounds very good already. Hard to believe this things is almost 30 years old. Will do a comparison with the Yamaha S300 on the weekend when I have time. Currently sounds great on my little Miniwatt N3 aka TubeCube7 amp.
     

     

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  12. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

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    And I'm in the other camp regarding the chipsets. I like the ESS Sabre DAC chipsets. I've owned and listened to a lot of different DACs and, as we all know it's about what you hear, I much prefer them over any other I've heard.
     
  13. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

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    TEAC UD-501 is dropping for $399.99 on Massdrop. If you can stretch the budget a bit it is a reasonable price for what you get and a probably a much better unit than what you can get for $250 in general. That said, if you only need a DAC to pair with a CDP, vintage multi-bit units such as Adcom GDA-600 or Parasound D/AC-1000 can be had relatively cheap and sound fantastic, IMO.
     
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  14. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

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    Massdrop has only a few left.
     
  15. invaderzim

    invaderzim Active Member

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    there is a lot to it, especially at that price.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    skip the personals unless you share their music tastes, their hearing range, and similar
    if not identical gear. if you are going buy based on someone else's taste and budget
    then do a review of the various options out there. there's no shortage of reviews
    for DACs over the last 10 years.

    unless you are buying for the next 50 years and want today's best possible DAC then
    it may be better to try stuff, new or used. then upgrade based on what you hear, using
    your gear, and your music, and at your leisure with your favorite drink.

    there are dozens of choices, Chinese DACs with switching, Dragonfly and equivalents,
    small DACs, portable players with digital pass-throughs, etc. you can find these for well
    under your budget, and as you do this, each and every one you test will educate you.
    and don't worry about not having the latest 32/384, DSD256, MQA, feature-du-jour
    because 5 years from now, DACs will have all this, and more, and be cheaper.
    (the first CD players in 1983 were over $1k, today you get new CDPs for $10)

    and while you're doing all this, enjoy the music.
     

     

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  17. E.Auer

    E.Auer Super Member

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