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Budget DAC Review: behringer UMC204HD

tiramisu

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Time to resurrect this old thread. I'm running the UMC404HD with the same anemic 2volt outputs and subpar headphone amp.
For my trust MDR-7506, this has been perfectly fine BUT I have been eying the HD600's / HD6xxx|650 and that is 300ohm.

This leaves me looking for a new headphone amp. I'm looking at the JDLabs El Amp+ balanced (with a doubled gain) or the Topping L50.
(They are the same price shipped to my door). The only reasons for balanced are the extra juice and the cable convenience but I'm not wedded to the idea.

For the purposes of impedance matching and low noise what are my best solutions?
 

holsen

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I just moved up from the the JDS Atom to Topping A50s and it is a night and day upgrade. More detail more clarity, certainly more power. It's not balanced in but balanced out has a ton of headroom. I also upgraded my UMC202HD to a MotuM2. Great interface and actually with most IEMs it sounds fantastic with ESS Dac inside but MOTU wont release the power output specs. Anyway, I only use it for computer audio and mic in. I'm super happy with the A50s - BTW I feed it with a D50s where I swapped out the OPAMP to a V5i. I personally dont need any more than this; It's a great set up.
 
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Eric Auer

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I just picked one up for $120 from Sweetwater.

It will be used to pipe a Synth and a Stage Piano to Ableton on the PC, and to supply monitoring of those to a T class amp and a pair of old Saba BOX 45's
 

Jimster480

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I just picked one up for $120 from Sweetwater.

It will be used to pipe a Synth and a Stage Piano to Ableton on the PC, and to supply monitoring of those to a T class amp and a pair of old Saba BOX 45's
Nice! I've got a 202 and it works well for me for years now for my Mic!
 

Jimster480

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I just moved up from the the JDS Atom to Topping A50s and it is a night and day upgrade. More detail more clarity, certainly more power. It's not balanced in but balanced out has a ton of headroom. I also upgraded my UMC202HD to a MotuM2. Great interface and actually with most IEMs it sounds fantastic with ESS Dac inside but MOTU wont release the power output specs. Anyway, I only use it for computer audio and mic in. I'm super happy with the A50s - BTW I feed it with a D50s where I swapped out the OPAMP to a V5i. I personally dont need any more than this; It's a great set up.
Usually the Burson Op Amps degrade the overall sound.
 

ajawamnet

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I just took a UMC 202 apart to mod it with filtering and a front panel phantom power switch (they put the phantom power SW in the back - like WTF?) and it uses the TC3000 DICE III ... Here's some pics... the 1 pg datasheet attached. I'm using it for low freq lab work so I really don't care how it sounds... just that it's accurate.

behr-202.jpg



20221011_214843.jpg


20221011_214903.jpg
 

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Jimster480

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I just took a UMC 202 apart to mod it with filtering and a front panel phantom power switch (they put the phantom power SW in the back - like WTF?) and it uses the TC3000 DICE III ... Here's some pics... the 1 pg datasheet attached. I'm using it for low freq lab work so I really don't care how it sounds... just that it's accurate.

View attachment 236689


View attachment 236688

View attachment 236687
Never heard of this sound processor but it works well!
 

alfaholiq

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Very interesting to me is that everyone calls this Behringer a pro audio, while 100% of musicians and people from my branch will call it a garbage because it can not be a pro device, it is a cheap Behringer, hello. :)
Sure, the pro you all talk about is not the device but the target group that usually create music with such devices, but still this feels so refreshing compared to all the snobbery and mythomania always present in recording studios and YouTube reviews. :)
 

Eric Auer

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Very interesting to me is that everyone calls this Behringer a pro audio, while 100% of musicians and people from my branch will call it a garbage because it can not be a pro device, it is a cheap Behringer, hello. :)
Sure, the pro you all talk about is not the device but the target group that usually create music with such devices, but still this feels so refreshing compared to all the snobbery and mythomania always present in recording studios and YouTube reviews. :)
What branch?

I work in live stage, light and sound and see more of Behringer/Midas around every year.
 

AnalogSteph

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Make no mistake, the UMC202HD is an entry-level audio interface. Analog input and output levels are limited by the low analog supply voltage, not doing justice to the converters, and the input preamp has high levels of distortion at high gain (though at least input noise is better than it has any right to be). That being said, it's not exactly like we're being swamped with 2-in/2-out interfaces at its price point (the 202HD is back down to 83€ right now, the only things potentially comparable that are even cheaper are basically house brand stuff like the Swissonic UA-2x2).

Behringer is not a premium brand, but you'll generally be hard-pressed to do better at what their stuff costs.
 

alfaholiq

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What branch?

I work in live stage, light and sound and see more of Behringer/Midas around every year.
Sure, since Behringer took those big names under their umbrella people are generally more relaxed about their products, especially rebranded ones like X/M32 and others.

I also do live sound but mostly for my own gigs, however my main work is in the studio.
 

Get a hearing test

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Simply bought it to power my mic. It does the job. Used it for a short while as amp dac and it was slightly better than onboard but noisier and induced a slight headache during long listening.
 

Shayzer

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Hey, I just got a FiiO K7 as Dac/Amp but I was wondering this :

- I have an UMC202HD, and since I would like to be able to monitor myself during vocals recording in my DAW, I use the Line OUT of my UMC202HD and plug it to Line IN of my FiiO K7. So when I use my DAW to record, I switch to "Line" mode on my FiiO K7, and when I just chill, play games, I switch back to "USB" mode on my Fiio K7.

The things I was wondering is, if the UMC202HD DAC is similar to the intergrated DAC in the FiiO K7 (like, do you thing that there is an audible difference?), should I just return the FiiO K7 and buy a Topping A50S (so only an AMP and not a DAC/AMP) and use my UMC202HD for everything ?

What do you think ?

Thanks a lot for the help
 
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