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Please help me choose a Dac

"you don't need to spent loads of money to get a DAC which works "perfectly"
I never said that. I have however a few weeks ago, listened to a couple of Chinese Dacs on the graph posted in post 2 and really did not like what I heard. The ones I asked about in my initial post were recommended to me by a friend who has listened to all of them.

Were these sighted listening tests? Blind level matched?

Schiit Modius, made in the USA, audibly transparent, balanced outputs
 
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This is another good read:


Two questions need to be asked when evaluating DACs: 1. Can I reliably hear a difference? 2. Does the difference actually matter to me?

An obvious "tell" in comparisons is that the more expensive DAC always sounds "better." Really? Why not just different, and why does the reviewer always have the ability to rank them?
 
I don't know that I can hear a difference. I'd certainly like to try, blind, and also like to see if I could identify which I prefer. I have Boulder 1050 mono amps (bought used) and McIntosh Mc2301 (also bought used) tube amps. I was able to level match them, and then had my gf switch them out, with me blind, and I could easily pick out which was which. The ****** part (because I want to sell one or the other), is that I like both for different reasons. It was pretty easy to identify each. On certain music, I much prefer the solid state Boulders. To me, they sound crisp, clear, and defined. On other music, I much prefer the tubed Macs. Punchier, are the only way I can describe it. They are lower powered, 300 watts into 2, 4, or 8 ohms, where the Boulders are certainly more powerful, but different. I've never failed to identify which are playing when I come home and hear the music my gf is playing, without looking at the system. I doubt I could do so with a dac, but I don't know, I've never tried. I'd defer to those who have, but everyone's ears are different. Great point about the reviews. Yeah, the pricier one usually comes out on top, but you can also tell when the reviewer doesn't think so, because of all the caveats offered.

I don't know if the difference in sound, if there was one, matters to me. It might. Probably would. But it would just be my opinion on what I like. I've never had two dacs here to play with. Actually, I do! I just realized my Cambridge audio cxn-v2 has a built in dac! When I get over this f'ing cold that has my ears clogged, I'm going to give that a whirl, and A/B it blind. I might just order a topping d90se or Gustard and see if I can tell the difference from my Wavelight. If not, it might be bye bye Wavelight.

For me, I like to think I'm open to lots of points of views, and I'd like to give some of these great measuring dacs a try myself. Maybe even get a high priced dac on loan, and try to blind test it myself with my gf's help. Anyway, I appreciate the responses and the ideas. I will say I appreciate build quality, as this stuff does sit in my living room, but I'd happily save money on a dac if I can't hear a difference! The Gustard, Matrix, Topping, Benchmark certainly seem well built enough to not look out of place, and yeah, that matters to me in the living room. I wouldn't pay an extra 5 -10k for that though. I've been very happy with all aspects of the Wavelight thus far at the 3k I spent. I guess I'll see! Thanks again!
 
Let us know, i wouldn't be surprised if you saw the light, sold your stuff and got a cheap 100€ Topping as a DAC, fed by a RPi Zero or WiiM or something, that's what i did.
 
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I enjoy this forum and have learned a lot. However, some of you folks can be a bit condescending in your approach to offering suggestions to others. Take it down a notch. Anonymity only get you so far.

To answer the OPs question and I'm sure I will be roasted, but I am very happy with HoloAudio May KTE and the Gustard X26 Pro.
 
I enjoy this forum and have learned a lot. However, some of you folks can be a bit condescending in your approach to offering suggestions to others. Take it down a notch. Anonymity only get you so far.

To answer the OPs question and I'm sure I will be roasted, but I am very happy with HoloAudio May KTE and the Gustard X26 Pro.

I don't feel the need to be gentle to usual concern trolls parroting the tired snake oil drivel in a science forum.

It's pretty obvious whose wallets they are speaking for.


This is another good read:


Two questions need to be asked when evaluating DACs: 1. Can I reliably hear a difference? 2. Does the difference actually matter to me?

An obvious "tell" in comparisons is that the more expensive DAC always sounds "better." Really? Why not just different, and why does the reviewer always have the ability to rank them?

Archi also shown a massive 3% THD is also not easily identified nor very objectionable when listened blind.

Even a garbage DAC of 60 dB SINAD can clear that with light years of headroom.
 
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I don't feel the need to be gentle to usual concern trolls parroting the tired snake oil drivel in a science forum.

It's pretty obvious whose wallets they are speaking for.
Perfect job proving my point.
 
I don't know if the difference in sound, if there was one, matters to me. It might. Probably would. But it would just be my opinion on what I like. I've never had two dacs here to play with. Actually, I do! I just realized my Cambridge audio cxn-v2 has a built in dac! When I get over this f'ing cold that has my ears clogged, I'm going to give that a whirl, and A/B it blind. I might just order a topping d90se or Gustard and see if I can tell the difference from my Wavelight. If not, it might be bye bye Wavelight.
Just be aware that NOS mode on these boutique dacs tends to measure "badly" enough (whatever that means in terms of subjective pleasantness) to be easily audibly discernible depending on how much high frequency hearing you have left. Probably want to use one of the other filters for the most apples-to-apples blind test.
 
I know this post is old. The OP must have a lot of disposal income but he may not be in the technical field. He may be making >$500K or $1M per year

I believe It is embarrassed to show his friends the cheap Chinese gears even ”we assume the SQ is very similar”. By reading his post, his friends recommend him very expensive gears. They have expensive tastes.

I am an engineer and doing well but I don’t make $500+ per year like software engineers. Even I could afford those gears if I want to, I don’t have a treated room and friends to show. From his stand point, I don’t think the gears are just for SQ, it is a “art” and “common subject” to talk to his friends IMO. I may be wrong

OP wants to buy expensive speakers. I would only buy very accurate stereo reference speakers from now on if some day I own a treated room such as ME-GEITHAIN RL 944K. At least I know they are extremely accurate, used in commercial and not snake oil.

”The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” Russel.
Ime ultimately there is no peace and true satisfaction in the high end audio world. Much doubt, seaking for the holy grail and going round in circles.

Imo some get lucky by preferring and buying active speakers. If you truly want state of the art listen to the Genelec the 8351 or 8361.

If I'm being honest, though, if you choose carefully where it really counts, an active speaker costing 2000 will be just as enjoyable. Mainly bass extension and room eq is what makes a difference between an excellent and a mediocre or bad sounding system.

I would venture an educated guess that a raspberry pi, minidsp flex, hypex amp to a low cost speaker like a revel m106 and 2 subs would destroy many high end gears, and would almost match the genelec 8351 in tonality, while only 'lacking' in a bit of clarity.
 
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HeadFi has EMM labs DAC2X discussions! If I have a lot of disposal income, it will buy not only the performance but also the looks. It has to match my other gears.

“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” ― Bertrand Russell
 
This is my first post on this site. I am setting up a new system after a country relocation. I wonder if us vps server any members have heard these Dacs and can give a recommendation. I cannot find reviews on this site.. I hope this is the right forum.
Playback designs MPD-8
EMM Labs DAC2X-V2
The much cheaper Sonnet Pasithea, which gets great reviews.
Thank you, any recommendations are much appreciated.
I would suggest maybe the Mola Mola Tambaqui streamer DAC.
 
This is my first post on this site. I am setting up a new system after a country relocation. I wonder if any members have heard these Dacs and can give a recommendation. I cannot find reviews on this site.. I hope this is the right forum.
Playback designs MPD-8
EMM Labs DAC2X-V2
The much cheaper Sonnet Pasithea, which gets great reviews.
Thank you, any recommendations are much appreciated.
What do you want to know? I am familiar with dac2xv2 and the last gen MPD. MPD-8 is probably better compared with DV2.

Here are the measurements from a comparable dac from Emm Labs's sister company. Dac2xv2 should measure better than this. https://www.stereophile.com/content/meitner-ma3-integrated-da-processor-measurements
 
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