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Best DAC around $100?

andreasmaaan

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#21
Ahh, am I confusing things? I meant optical whenever I said toslink. Wouldn't the dac be processing already processed data (processed by your devices default dac)?
Toslink is optical ;)

Optical is the cable type, toslink is the connector.

Because toslink is the only connector used for optical cable in home audio, the two terms are used interchangeably.

Anyway, in most cases, the clocks on all modern devices are good enough that there is no audible difference whether you clock the data at the source and then send it via toslink to the DAC, or whether you send it asynchroniously via USB to the DAC and have the DAC clock the data there (quality does vary from device to device though and there are some exceptions to my statement that in most cases there is no audible difference).
 
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#22
You could have a Khadas in a frame for $73 shipped to your door if you bought it during Black Friday ($68 for Tone Board
You mean the scam Ozzgeek site that I wasted my time with and had to get a Paypal refund? Never seen tone board go much below $99..
 

Roen

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#23
You mean the scam Ozzgeek site that I wasted my time with and had to get a Paypal refund? Never seen tone board go much below $99..
Yup, that's the one.

Was worth a shot if you could actually get one for a cheaper price and if not, at least you're fully covered on refunds.
 
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#24
Hi all !
I'm in the same predicament, looking for a DAC in the 100 USD range !

From what I have read and suggested in other forums and communities, the choices are Grace DAC (massdrop), Dragon Fly (black), Topping D10 & D30, Schiit Modi 3 & Khadas tone board.

Confused !

BTW, Khadas is available at gearbest (not sure if its a reliable site)
https://www.gearbest.com/other-accessories/pp_009556128905.html

Topping D10 is there at Massdrop for 65 USD.
 
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#25
Hi all !
I'm in the same predicament, looking for a DAC in the 100 USD range !

From what I have read and suggested in other forums and communities, the choices are Grace DAC (massdrop), Dragon Fly (black), Topping D10 & D30, Schiit Modi 3 & Khadas tone board.

Confused !

BTW, Khadas is available at gearbest (not sure if its a reliable site)
https://www.gearbest.com/other-accessories/pp_009556128905.html

Topping D10 is there at Massdrop for 65 USD.
Going by specs and reviews I've read around online audio quality goes by the Khadas (has ess hump though if that matters) >= Modi (no ess hump, AKM AK4490) > D30 > D10 > Dragon Fly. Not sure where grace (AKM AK4452) fits into this but I believe the modi is better.

On another note, chances are between most of these you wont be able to tell an audible difference. Maybe go for the cheapest or most convenient one.
 
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#26
Going by specs and reviews I've read around online audio quality goes by the Khadas (has ess hump though if that matters) >= Modi (no ess hump, AKM AK4490) > D30 > D10 > Dragon Fly. Not sure where grace (AKM AK4452) fits into this but I believe the modi is better.

On another note, chances are between most of these you wont be able to tell an audible difference. Maybe go for the cheapest or most convenient one.
Thanks for the reply !
Very helpful in deciding my choice which is Khadas Tone Board.

Now, in your opinion, which is the best , Gearbest or AliExpress ?
 
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#27
D10?
 
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#29
Thanks for the reply !
Very helpful in deciding my choice which is Khadas Tone Board.

Now, in your opinion, which is the best , Gearbest or AliExpress ?
Personally I think the modi is better unless you know what you're doing since you need an enclosure, etc, but you cant go wrong with either if you get it working.
 
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#30
Personally I think the modi is better unless you know what you're doing since you need an enclosure, etc, but you cant go wrong with either if you get it working.
Modi is not available in my country through official channels at the moment. Its listed as out of stock. :(

Regarding the enclosure, its very easy for me to design and build one as I work in that field (manufacturing). I also have an unused pre-amp lying around that I can cannibalize.
 
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#31
Modi is not available in my country through official channels at the moment. Its listed as out of stock. :(

Regarding the enclosure, its very easy for me to design and build one as I work in that field (manufacturing). I also have an unused pre-amp lying around that I can cannibalize.
The khadas sounds like a great deal for you then :)
 
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#33
Topping D30 can be had for like 101 USD at shenzenaudio dot com not sure if its a good price or not.

By the way, what about SMSL M6 and SMSL Sanskrit 10th Anniversary edition ?
Any idea on how they sound (subjectively) ?
 
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#35
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#36
I have only bought stuff from AliExpress and Ebay.com, thats why I'm waiting for the AliExpress shop to re-stock.

By the way, what about the original O dac ?
Can it match this Khadas tone board in your opinion ?
According to the "internet", it can't match the Khadas !
 

jsrtheta

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#38
Really a hidden gem, my dad actually picked up these monitor audios from a warehouse randomly for me on a whim to surprise me many years ago. Only paid about a hundred bucks for them, brand new. If nothing else, these are really well made and great quality from what I can tell, very premium looking/feeling. I considered trying to "upgrade" but quickly realized whatever I got what probably be a sidegrade or downgrade unless I spent quite a bit. They sound great even with a cheap budget setup so no reason to replace them yet, at least before the other parts. Every time I've had something good, and tried to change them for better I usually ended up regretting it lmao.. so I'm a bit scared to try upgrading them, usually when something seems good, they usually are.
I'll say this and shut up, because I don't wish to hijack this thread.

I had Monitor Audios for many years, the last for a while being the Silver 8is. But then I moved back to Colorado, and there's really not a convenient dealer here. I wound up with Snell K.5s, which are phenomenal, but just not what I wanted. (They are phenomenal, otherwise. Reminiscent, to me, of a pair of Whatmough bookshelves that were better than anything I'd heard previously.)

So one day I decided to get some Monitor Audios again. I snatched a very old pair of Monitor Audio Monitor 2.5s (named by the Department of Redundancy Department) off eBay, and, boy, did they sound great. I upgraded to newer MAs, and sold the Monitor 2.5s. A really nice guy responded to my ad, young father of a couple of kids with little money. I was unable at the time to audition them for him, so he bought them with the guarantee that if he didn't like them I'd take them back no questions asked, full refund. And I gave him a very good price.

I never heard from him again. I think he really liked the speakers.

I've had MA Silvers and Bronze(s). I've heard Golds that transported me, though quite beyond my reach. Never heard the Platinums. But I've recommended MAs for years, and no one has ever said anything but "thank you."

They are vivid and lively, though not harsh. The closest I ever heard to them were the Platinum Audio speakers, but they're out of business. Maybe I just like metal speakers, but I think it's more than that.
 
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#39
Its not according to 'anecdotes' on the 'internet'. The ODAC was good when Nwayguy designed it. It has been outperformed by current gen devices.
Yup.


There are people at diyaudio.com modding cheap 18Usd ESS diy dac PCBs from ebay and claiming fantastic performance. I plan on doing the same after getting a decent dac for 'reference'.


Offtopic:
I'm a big fan of Monitor Audio as well but now being "converted" to the church of Dali
 
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