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Bargain DAC Suggestions?

pos

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Thanks for the detailed write-up. :) You did such a nice job there that you enticed me to order it. :) I got it from Amazon which turned out to be more expensive since they charged sales tax! Total was $114 so I hope it does a lot better than SMSL IDEA (which is $85 including prime shipping).

It is also on slow train from China claiming delivery well into August....
It is on massdrop right now: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/audirect-beam-portable-dac-amp#overview
Did you get a chance to measure it?
 

amirm

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I feel we are lacking a bit on the SMSL products, given how frequently they appear on massdrop and also readily available elsewhere. Can we see a few like the M3, M6 etc ?
 
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Here's the SMSL Sanskrit 10th SK10 DAC on Massdrop for $75, https://www.massdrop.com/buy/smsl-sanskrit-10th-sk10-dac#specs
I see that the SK10 has another active MassDrop. Perhaps a good match for my red Loxjies. The question will be do I get more coherent sound sticking with red, or more balanced sound choosing blue? Has anyone received/evaluated these yet? The remote volume control for the price, and the specs seem to make it a deal if it measures well.
 

Veri

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I see that the SK10 has another active MassDrop. Perhaps a good match for my red Loxjies. The question will be do I get more coherent sound sticking with red, or more balanced sound choosing blue? Has anyone received/evaluated these yet? The remote volume control for the price, and the specs seem to make it a deal if it measures well.
Rather than cosmetics I would definitely go balanced into the loxjie rather than single ended (since the circuitry is made for it). Geshelli's new DAC seems like great value here, or the balanced SDAC on massdrop but you will need to wait for new drop I guess. Or the newly revised SMSL SU-8 of course, almost forgot.
 
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The Red/Blue remark was a poor attempt at humor. But, you make some good suggestions. I was not aware Geshelli's new DAC which could be an excellent choice for the price. Both MD and Geshelli seem to lack Toslink which I use for Chromecast streaming...but I do not need it for every DAC.

I have to learn more about the benefits of Balanced DAC outputs for home use. I have just 1 Balanced Cable Headphone...which I use a lot: HE560s. It is easier for me to see how full balanced circuitry can have a major impact (for good or evil) in an amp. Less so in a DAC. However, Zeos, in his typically subjective review of the Loxjie P20 heard huge differences using balanced inputs AND outputs VS balanced output and and unbalanced DAC. So there is that. I can wait for ASR measurements in any case. Thanks for the suggestions.
 

amirm

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My Sanskrit 10 arrived yesterday, the same time I got the Khadas Tone Board. Guess which one got the play time? My major dac is an RME ADI 2 DAC, which uses the same chip as the Sanskrit. Given that I have the RME is it silly to keep rolling dacs, when as of now, I hear next to no difference?
 

stunta

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There is one piece of feedback on it from a member here: https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...heap-compact-dac-with-remote.2201/#post-70965

Let me think about whether I want to order it or not. Alternatively the few of you could get together, buy it and send it to me for measurement. :)
@amirm, I have had the Sabaj D4 sitting here for a while now. Haven't even opened the box yet. I can test it to make sure its a functioning unit and send it to you if you are interested in reviewing it. Cheers. I wont be around for 3 weeks starting Christmas so no rush in sending it back to me.
 

amirm

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@amirm, I have had the Sabaj D4 sitting here for a while now. Haven't even opened the box yet. I can test it to make sure its a functioning unit and send it to you if you are interested in reviewing it. Cheers. I wont be around for 3 weeks starting Christmas so no rush in sending it back to me.
Sounds good. Thanks.
 
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the Fiio rep said that the K3 is supposed to be the desktop version of the Q1MkII (which is a really good DAC too), so that thing shows promise.

someone linked this from taobao, no idea who's the maker:

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=2013.1.0.0.474c319dc3FiUe&id=575728410474


I quite like the look of it, that black PCB looks professional.
View attachment 18700
The Savitech drivers can be quite a pain. Not the easiest to find nor the most stable. My SA9226 driven DAC has loads of issues when playing with Foobar and its drivers.
No idea if they have improved significantly with the SA9227.
 
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The Savitech drivers can be quite a pain. Not the easiest to find nor the most stable. My SA9226 driven DAC has loads of issues when playing with Foobar and its drivers.
No idea if they have improved significantly with the SA9227.
My SE4 have the SA9226 and while the proprietary drivers might be an annoyance to find, I've had no issues with it so far (some disconnects issue that might be related to USB sleep setting, at least). I do use a variety of players other than Foobar and also still running Win7, so no idea if its related.
 
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