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Looking for a DAC - NuForce upgrade or USB Dongle DAC recommendation


New Member
Dec 25, 2023
Hi, friend has recommended me this forum so I'm quite new here, said you guys look at graphs besides opinions. So I decided to make a thread here instead of other forums.

Right now I'm on TIDAL. I also use an old Technics compact disc player SL-P111 to play my CDs with Burr-Brown 16 bit DAC- so I'm more interested in warm punchy sound rather than 24 bits 192kHz - lossless is important for me but let's be honest it's not audible past that point whatsoever.

I've been using NuForce uDAC-3 for as long as I remember. Tested a bit AudioEngine D1.

So I wasn't that much impressed with D1 - I guess it isn't the signature I was searching. Sure it was more neutral but a bit boring for me plus a bit more open soundstage etc etc.

I have considered two routes for my audio path:

- Route #1:

Go with TIDAL on my PC + upgrade my NuForce to something.

I was looking at Schiit Modi but I'm from Poland and it's mostly out of stock which is a bummer - and I'm not convinced it will be exactly an upgrade, more of a side grade.

I'm eyeballing right now NuForce DAC-80 used units since I believe it's not in production anymore - and it had good reviews and internal power supply and going by a common sense it makes me believe it can actually outperform uDAC-3 maybe have a bit dynamic sound. And it's around my max budget.

- Route #2:

Buy an USB dongle DAC since I was rather impressed with Apple Music lossless database.

But I don't have an Apple ecosystem and I won't buy a Mac - and they don't do lossless on Windows or Linux. Only on Android - oddly enough.

So here's a thought - buy some decent spec wise tablet and make it AM streaming machine on some stand + USB dongle DAC and push lossless audio on my vintage audio gear from android, leave NuForce as it is for other content on PC and change streaming service whatsoever. MQA was a scam anyways. I'm glad they are trying to change that but still that AM database is unbeatable especially in Poland - since we don't have much choice here. I was trying to test Qobuz but it's not available around here.

I saw something like Questyle M15 - it is sure a nice looking transparent DAC with good reviews but is it really the best choice? Will this be better than let's say my NuForce?

Oh, right I mentioned my budget I guess it's around $300 to $350 tops. My NuForce cost me like $115 back in the day.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations - be it a USB mobile DAC dongle or a PC USB DAC unit.
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