• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Looking advice to purchase DAC. Don’t laugh at this...

Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
14
Likes
1
#1
Well guys I sold all my gear last month.
For the moment I don’t have so much money to spend, I’m focusing over other priorities and im traveling quite much.

The thing is, I’m looking for a DAC or DAC/AMP combo to compliment the Beats Studio 3 (I got them at 50% last month), some of the reasons because I have iPad, iPhone, MacBook and each one have their own connector, plus in the future I can exchange the battery (Or maybe get Sony’s WH-1000XM3 who knows)

Well, I was thinking about something around $200, if going Schiit I’d add a Loki at some point:

- Topping D30 + A30
- Schiit Modi 3 + Magni 3
- IFI Nano iDSD Black Label
- Audioengine D1

Maybe you have another consideration / recommendation about this.

Thanks all. Great forum !
 
Last edited:

Veri

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
2,257
Likes
2,086
#2
My vote would rather go to OL Dac/Grace SDAC/modi3/Topping D30/... + Atom amp :D top of the line amp performance in $99 package with any good DAC.

iFi nano has the least set-up/wires though. Plug and play.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
14
Likes
1
#3
My vote would rather go to OL Dac/Grace SDAC/modi3/Topping D30/... + Atom amp :D top of the line amp performance in $99 package with any good DAC.

iFi nano has the least set-up/wires though. Plug and play.
It’s a really nice option to consider I see!
The only downside is that it does not supports 24/192 according to the site... I’ll check this further.
 

Graph Feppar

Active Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
195
Likes
156
#4
I recommend Fiio K3 dacAmp for 99€ or Fiio M7 DAP for 199€.
The K3 have balanced output but M7 is single ended only, almost all modern DAPs can be used as dacAmp when connected to PC.

If you want balanced DAP, get Fiio M9 or Shanling M3S. The Shanling have lower output impedance but no WiFi. The Grace SDAC + Atom combo seem great but the SDAC distortion and noise is much higher than Atom amp and it have analog volume control which has imperfect channel matching, I prefer digital volume control like K3 has.
 
Last edited:

andreasmaaan

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
3,517
Likes
2,755
#5
It’s a really nice option to consider I see!
The only downside is that it does not supports 24/192 according to the site... I’ll check this further.
Why do you want support for 192KHz though?

There is little or no information in any recording in the additional frequency range offered by such a sample rate, and even if/when there is such information, it’s inaudible to humans.
 

Veri

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
2,257
Likes
2,086
#6
I recommend Fiio K3 dacAmp for 99€ or Fiio M7 DAP for 199€.
The K3 have balanced output but M7 is single ended only, almost all modern DAPs can be used as dacAmp when connected to PC.

If you want balanced DAP, get Fiio M9 or Shanling M3S. The Shanling have lower output impedance but no WiFi. The Grace SDAC + Atom combo seem great but the SDAC distortion and noise is much higher than Atom amp and it have analog volume control which has imperfect channel matching, I prefer digital volume control like K3 has.
The SDAC is fine honestly it's implemented quite well. It's a solid competitor to the modi3. Don't think Amir reviewed the SDAC on his newest analyser though.
 

Graph Feppar

Active Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
195
Likes
156
#7
The SDAC is fine honestly it's implemented quite well. It's a solid competitor to the modi3. Don't think Amir reviewed the SDAC on his newest analyser though.
Yes its very nice for the price, my bigger concern is the analog volume control on Atom. I have to admit that my point that the SDAC have worse performance than Atom is really a placebophile nitpicking becose nobody will ever hear any noise or distortion from SDAC except maybe when using ultra sensitive IEMs.
 

Veri

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
2,257
Likes
2,086
#8
Yes its very nice for the price, my bigger concern is the analog volume control on Atom. I have to admit that my point that the SDAC have worse performance than Atom is really a placebophile nitpicking becose nobody will ever hear any noise or distortion from SDAC except maybe when using ultra sensitive IEMs.
Definitely agree :) I think all top amps reviewed here (thx aaa, neurochrome, atom) all use analog volume though. I don't think it's a real issue.
 

Graph Feppar

Active Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
195
Likes
156
#9
Definitely agree :) I think all top amps reviewed here (thx aaa, neurochrome, atom) all use analog volume though. I don't think it's a real issue.
I think it is very real issue, its just small most of the time. The thing is, unlike -120db jitter or -100db THD, the 0.5 to 2db imbalance is potentially audible. It might not ruin the sound but this is difference large enough that its within reach of human hearing to pass the detection threshold.
 

bravomail

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2018
Messages
331
Likes
125
#11
I'd say save the money. Beats are very easy to drive from any source. Unless your source is a PC, then there is something to be gained quality wise.
For tablets and phones, having another piece defeats the mobility.
And I would seriously look for audiophil quality headphones. Beats are not :) I have Beats myself, they sound decent. It's just once you try "the good cans" you'd never go back.

Wto compliment the Beats Studio 3
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
14
Likes
1
#12
I'd say save the money. Beats are very easy to drive from any source. Unless your source is a PC, then there is something to be gained quality wise.
For tablets and phones, having another piece defeats the mobility.
And I would seriously look for audiophil quality headphones. Beats are not :) I have Beats myself, they sound decent. It's just once you try "the good cans" you'd never go back.
Yep. That’s the idea. To have a desktop DAC just for the notebook. On the road I don’t mind.
Don’t remind me about the cans. I come from some Z7’s :(
 

yue

Active Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
275
Likes
261
#14
For $200, you can get a Khadas board ($100) + JDS Atom ($100). both have the very top tier performance.

In alternative, you can get an Apple USB-C/Lightening to 3.5mm dongle for just $9. It's able to drive a low sensitive + high impedance headphone, such as HD600, to 103db+ without clipping while maintaining better than -100db SINAD. Believe me you can't hear any difference between Apple dongle and top tier DACs. It's also super portable.

If you have an Apple device that has headphone jack (such as iPhone before iPhone 7), you don't even need a dongle. The headphone jack performs better than the dongle.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
14
Likes
1
#15
It’s just a DAC that I’m looking for to play again the DSD and Flac files that I have in my library. Only on my Mac. While moving I’ll just use the Beats wirelessly, already carrying to much stuff with me all the time.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
14
Likes
1
#16
Ok guys first thing first. Merry Xmas to everyone !

Now, I was thinking. The beats are new and are waiting for me in Canada, but, I’m going back in a month with my mother, so I could give them to her and sell them in my home country for extra money. I think I can get U$300 out of Them quick and clean.

With that money I was taking a look at the Hifiman HE-4XX, which I could not find comments or a thread here about them and Incould go for the Topping D3X Pro. I’d watch some movies too, so I think it’s a better option over the HD-6XX from what I read, specially because of the bass and open soundstage.

I loved the Khadas (Outstanding SQ from what I read) and the Atom, but I don’t need any of them for real, and thanks god the THX is not available because it’s gorgeous.

Regarding the SDAC I really like it but I’m kinda obsessed with aesthetics. Can’t find a perfectly amp that matches thedesign. I know O2 does but seems kinda overpriced today next to other options.
 
Last edited:

vitalii427

Active Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2017
Messages
158
Likes
163
Location
Kiev
#17
4XX and 6XX are both great headphones. Own 6XX myself and many other headphones. Main drawback for 6XX that is you really need amp to drive them well. But I rarely use headphones lately.
 

Veri

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
2,257
Likes
2,086
#18
4XX and 6XX are both great headphones. Own 6XX myself and many other headphones. Main drawback for 6XX that is you really need amp to drive them well. But I rarely use headphones lately.
Think that's really overstated. Most modern devices drive the Hd650 to acceptable/fine levels, hardly need the amp.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
97
Likes
62
#20
I think it is very real issue, its just small most of the time. The thing is, unlike -120db jitter or -100db THD, the 0.5 to 2db imbalance is potentially audible. It might not ruin the sound but this is difference large enough that its within reach of human hearing to pass the detection threshold.
I test this with my homemade head microphone. Hardly accurate (these are capsule mics I stuff into foam padded boxes) but they give me basic channel imbalance and rough FR. I know super inaccurate, but the audible imbalance like 0.2db is measurable with this el-cheapo contraption atleast.
 
Top Bottom