Unsure what to do...DAC or CD?

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by SpicySammich, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. techguy0192

    techguy0192 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I can't advise on that. I've only ever owned standalone DACs. I do own a Node 2 for streaming. Personally, I have had fantastic results with the Bryston BDA-1 and BDA-2 DACs. The BDA1 is a fantastic value in the pre-owned market.
     
  2. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I believe that you can only read files off a DLNA server with the Oppo 103/105/D, it's not until the 203/205 that you can use it as an asynchronous USB DAC.

    Now if you have the Oppo hooked up to a display, you can use a 103 to read FLAC or other media files off a portable HDD or over the network from a NAS or PC running a DLNA server program; if that's all you want to do then great, I find it easier to use my PC as the source and play through a USB DAC.

    Not running down Oppo products, I just bought my third (a BDP-95) it's just that prior to the 203/205 I don't think you can use one in place of a traditional USB DAC and I'm pretty sure not as a S/PDIF DAC either although I have no application for that usage so don't quote me on that (RTFM before making any decisions.)

    I'll also be picking up another HRT USB DAC soon as I find that offers more benefit to my life really.

    If the Oppo 95 or 105 had had built in capabilities of being used as a standalone DAC it would have been even more awesome that it already is, and I probably would have bought one sooner.
     
  3. meggy

    meggy AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'd find an old Sony SCD-CE595 with a DAC built into it. Then you'd have a CD player, an SACD player, a DAC, and you could output your stereo into whatever computer you may have now or in the future.

    I mean you're probably talking about $50 bucks and it sounds pretty amazing for that price point.
     
  4. rocknroll1

    rocknroll1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I just ordered a 205 and have not even read the manual yet. So it can be used as a dac from a computer or other streaming source?
     
  5. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes. You just run a USB cable from your laptop and it acts like a USB DAC. Pretty awesome feature if you ask me. Of course, as you know, you pay for this convenience, but it is slowly but surely becoming "one box to rule them all." Add a HDMI switch, a Roku, and your cable box and you can duplicate my "Quad HT" system :)

    The only thing that the 203/205 gives up to earlier models is I believe they no longer do HDCD decoding as I believe that the chips for that are no longer made. Kind of a niche thing, but if you like being able to play every format that is a consideration where you may want to keep one older player around. The only other format that I'm aware of that it won't play is HD-DVD, again, a very niche application (but I'm crazy enough, I actually do have a Toshiba HD-DVD player stashed away in the closet. Just because I found it cheap in the thrift store.)
     
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  6. ginny

    ginny New Member

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    I had no idea finding the right DAC to stream pandora and Tidal with the right amount of inputs and analog output was going to this difficult.

    I'll keep reading this forum and seeking advice from those of you that are willing to help a novice build his dream tube system.
     
  7. ginny

    ginny New Member

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    can you tell me about the Bluesound Node 2.

    Would a decent setup consist of the Node 2 ran through an Oppo UDP 205 to a Decware SE34I.5 integrated Amp?
     
  8. techguy0192

    techguy0192 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Not much to say other than put as good of a DAC behind it as you can afford. It's simple to setup, easy to user, and never given me a moments trouble. I'm fairly certain these are made in the US also, as there is nothing to indicate otherwise. The Oppo would probably do just fine; I prefer dedicated DACs. Decware makes nice tube gear, and with the right speakers that should be a nice setup.
     
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  9. ginny

    ginny New Member

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    Thx techguy

    I have Tekton Pendragon speakers that I just received last wed, with Mogami cables.

    Considering connection:
    Should I use the Oppo UPD-205 as a preamp? if so, which way would you prefer, rca or toslink optical out of the Bluesound to the Oppo input?

    Edit:
    I found this bit of info in another forum:
    When using the analog out (RCA) to connect to your receiver/integrated you will be hearing the Node's on-board DAC. When using either Toslink or coax, the Node's on-board DAC is bypassed and the signal will be processed by the on-board DAC in your receiver/integrated (or stand-alone DAC)
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  10. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    I'd go with a DAC, but that only makes sense if you also invest in a solid HTPC/server setup. You can rip all your optical media to that for convenience and use the DAC for digital playback. Most any DAC will far surpass the average computer sound system for quality. Bonus points if you can also route your analog sources thru the DAC as well, using it as a mini switcher.

    Backup concerns aren't as much an issue as they once were due to the increased reliability of the hardware, but always safe to have a plan. I mirror my data drive and use a separate SSD for the operating system. I also run a full backup every now and then to a WD Passport USB drive and store that in the fire vault for extra insurance. Especially important if you've invested a bunch of time into ripping your vinyl.
     
  11. techguy0192

    techguy0192 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If it were me, I'd use the RCA outs on the Bluesound, until funds were available for a DAC. Just connect it directly to your Decware integrated and skip the Oppo. The Node's on-board DAC actually sounds pretty good and would be adequate until you find a DAC you like.
     
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  12. ginny

    ginny New Member

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    Thx for all your advice techguy.

    I've read some on the bryston dacs and would certainly love to own one.

    Fwiw, I considered the Oppo UPD-205 also for its cd / DVD capabilities. And do to its input options, would/could be a good option for me. (Definitely not etched in stone)

    The Bryston BDA-3 would be an excellent option with its input options. Just wish I had 3.5k to throw down on one.

    As is stands, I have a few months before I have the funds which is why I am seeking advice from those of you with audiophile experience.
     
  13. techguy0192

    techguy0192 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The BDA-3 builds on the BDA-2 and basically adds HDMI ports and related features plus DSD. There's a reason Bryston still makes the BDA-2; may people, including myself do not want/need the HDMI features. The original BDA-1 is still very good and can be had for around $600. The difference between it and the BDA-2 is minimal. If the budge is tighter, the Schitt Modi and Bifrost would be good choices.
     
  14. ginny

    ginny New Member

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    I have researched Schiit DACs in the past (Yggdrasil and Gungnir) and ruled them out because neither had the inputs that I needed.

    Your advice on the Node2 and now the Bifrost has been game changing advice in that these two components will do everything I need on the streaming front as well as connectivity.

    Because of this, I have also shifted from the Oppo UDP-205 to the 203 as a separate input to my future integrated amp for cd/DVD.

    Your advice will not only provide better results, but also save me $200.
    Win win.

    Now to decide on which Decware IA I want to purchase, SE34I.5 (6 watt SET amp) or Torii jr 20 watt.
     
  15. techguy0192

    techguy0192 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Give Steve Deckert a call at Decware. He's great to work with. A few years ago, I researched Decware products extensively. I planned to make a shift to low watt SET amps and horns, but ended up changing directions. As much as I think their little 2 watt amps are cool, I don't like how it can *potentially* eliminate certain speaker options. However, it is astonishing what a single watt of clean power will do. Personally, if I were you and the budget wasn't an issue, I'd say go with the Torii Jr. It's almost 3.5 X the power, plus it's a dual mono design. Again, a call to Steve would be well worth the trouble as he knows the products better than anyone.

    Glad I could help out on the DAC.
     
  16. slow_jazz

    slow_jazz Lunatic Member

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    I purchased a Microsoft Surface Pro with cracked screen for cheap and use it for most of my digital listening.

    USB hub hooked up with DAC and extra storage.

    Plenty of horsepower. I have external cd to rip the music.
     
  17. ginny

    ginny New Member

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    I have conversed with Steve via email recently about the 6 watt which he said will drive the Pendragons very well.

    Referring to the Schiit bifrost multibit...
    Have you heard it matted with the Bluesound Node2 and do you think it would be a good pairing?
     
  18. techguy0192

    techguy0192 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have not. I have been using my Node 2 with a McIntosh C47. It has worked out great; however, that's an apples to oranges comparison based on what you're looking for.
     
  19. RobRoy

    RobRoy It's just stuff - but fun

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    For me, physical media means vinyl. I have a few dozon CD's, but if I lost them all in a fire, it would not be a catastrophy. BTW, I just play them on my BlueRay player. It goes into my TV via HDMI and out via hdmi to a $30 converter with RCA outs. That goes into my 70's Mitsubishi separates system.
     
  20. ginny

    ginny New Member

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    I'm sure that C47 is a sweet machine and am happy for you, unfortunately i can only dream about owning one.

    You have btw sparked my interest in the bryston bda-1. I have found several used units on AG and eBay, but just have serious reservations about buying used even though most AG sellers take great care of their equipment
     

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