• 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.

Still looking for an alternative to my DX1 from advance paris/ opinion on the DX1

Yasser 06

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
68
Likes
8
Note that i m not an expert with DACs. I got my first one like 15-20 years ago, it was a squeeze box much before logitec bought the small start up.It was a funny ecosystem and i actually modified some of the Pearl (python was not yet born) scripts they used. One day it died and i bought a ultramach pro from Thomann (they had a special sale) not a Hifi component but a studio. Years later i sold it back (almost at the price i paid for it, this device seems popular) and got a mydac from micromega )it was on sale at 100 euros). The mydac was simplistic, it remind me of the schitt modi.

Recently i switched to a power amp class D, so i needed a Dac with volume control, on top i have at least 4 digital sources and i was hoping to get a decent heaphone amp.

So i got a DX1 from advance paris (former advance accoustic) it is uses a KKG 4490 and the build seems ok.

Soundwise i can only compare it with the FX audio x6 mk2 (no need too measure or be an audiophile), and its much better, but it can still be messy especially on baroque music or for symphonies.
Audiophiles will probably consider it as crappy, and i would welcome any proposition telling me that something below 500 euros would sound much better (better dynamic, larger soundsatge, less aggressive high, better instrument separation). Chord largo(XIX century music or Rachmaminov like music in the XX) are often horrible and sound like mashup potatoes. I was told that it could my loudspeaker (Lyrr 222 from triangle).

Anyway its somewhat ok but the headphone amp section is really not great and on top there are issues (not related to the sound) due to bad interace behavior (these could be fixed by a firware update but Advance paris does not seem to follow up products all all).

The only strong point is the the connectivity, 6 opt in, 2 coax in, 2 usb in; 2 analog out, 2 digital out, and i really do want to keep that versatility.

In summary i'm (still) looking for a Dac with volume and at least 2 coax and 2 spdif in that would sound better than the DX1.

Budget 500 euro (second hand or not)


The teac UD 501 could have been a solution but apparently it uses a fix output level (even itif has a volue control probably for the hadphone amp only).

The NAD D1050 was another possibility but i read revews destroying it (soundwise).

None of the Chineses (SMSL, topping, Loxjie, FX audio) offer more than 1 spdif, 1 coax, 1 usb.

Last i don t care about MQA, HQ formats since 90% of my music is in flac with CD quality and 10% is on CD.

YoYo ma, Karajan, Morriconne, Qincy Jones probaly listened to CD quality most of their time, and anyway with my Boxem, my Lyrr 222 (that could be more ptimally placed) and my untreated room I m quite sure I won't head any real difference.

I for sure know the placebo effect, i played the blind test game with an audiophile friend 25 years ago and we were barely able to distinguish 128ks/sec mp3 from flac (granted that the end of the chain speakers and amp were bad) . The funny aspect is that subtilities that we heard first on the flac were also found in the mp3 (once we knew they were there). But against 192 or 320 it got harder.

I can say that i m hearing a large difference between my CD and the flac from my rspberry pi + digione (on the same dac) but this is not a blind test, the cd has more dynamic is more detailled -- or is it just the placebo effect? or a volume effect (i tried to equaize the volumes) ...

So i m clearly not an Audiophile but of course if there are DAC that produce much better results i would gladly get one, if it has the connectivity.
 

VintageFlanker

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
2,533
Likes
6,579
Location
Paris
Soundwise i can only compare it with the FX audio x6 mk2 (no need too measure or be an audiophile), and its much better
Well, that's not a good start.;) You can't avoid proper controled listening (or at least level-matching) that way.
i would welcome any proposition telling me that something below 500 euros would sound much better (better dynamic, larger soundsatge, less aggressive high, better instrument separation)
IMHO, your expectations about the purpose of a DAC are a bit... too much.
but this is not a blind test, the cd has more dynamic is more detailled -- or is it just the placebo effect?
It is. 100%. There's no possible audible difference between FLAC and CD, assuming there's no issue with either software or your CD transport.
None of the Chineses (SMSL, topping, Loxjie, FX audio) offer more than 1 spdif, 1 coax, 1 usb.
Wrong: SMSL M500 has 2 optical inputs.
In summary i'm (still) looking for a Dac with volume and at least 2 coax and 2 spdif in that would sound better than the DX1.
The new Cambridge DacMagic 200M fits your requirements. Will it sound "better" than your DX1 is another story.

You may also check used Audiolab M-DAC Plus. Both should measure good enough.
 

charleski

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2019
Messages
403
Likes
668
Location
Manchester UK
OP
Y

Yasser 06

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
68
Likes
8
Well, that's not a good start.;) You can't avoid proper controled listening (or at least level-matching) that way.
IMHO, your expectations about the purpose of a DAC are a bit... too much.

It is. 100%. There's no possible audible difference between FLAC and CD, assuming there's no issue with either software or your CD transport.

Wrong: SMSL M500 has 2 optical inputs.

The new Cambridge DacMagic 200M fits your requirements. Will it sound "better" than your DX1 is another story.

You may also check used Audiolab M-DAC Plus. Both should measure good enough.

Oh yes the SMSL M500 almost got it right, i saw the 2 optical in on it, i simplfied a bit in my statement about the chinese DAC. But it does not have 2 Coax.

For CD/Flac it may be an issue with the transport, but honestly it may be placebo + volume effect. And i cannot easily set up a blind test (it is easy with files on the same source since you can just write a small script).

Thanks for also mentioning the Audiolab, but people reported major durability issues (capacitor getting faulty and leaking...) and non standard USB protocol (need specific driiver, does not work "esily" under linux or non window systems).

Will check that DacMagic 200M
 
OP
Y

Yasser 06

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
68
Likes
8
This 200M seems quite decent, and got way more press cover than the DX1 (i could not find any independant review of the DX1, just shops promoting it). I shall investiagate a bit more about its headphoe amp stage ....

Or well my be a digital switch is better, this would allow me to pick any DAC.
 

VintageFlanker

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
2,533
Likes
6,579
Location
Paris
This 200M seems quite decent, and got way more press cover than the DX1 (i could not find any independant review of the DX1, just shops promoting it)
There's no "independent" review of the 200M either. Just advertising disguised under press cover/"reviews".

That's what ASR is all about. ;)
 
OP
Y

Yasser 06

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
68
Likes
8
There's no "independent" review of the 200M either. Just advertising disguised under press cover/"reviews".

That's what ASR is all about. ;)
Youtubers (most) are far worst ... some start genuilely willing to share but get quickly "corrupted" either by google monetization or "free gift" (getting free products to test that you probably sometimes can keep is likely to affect one subjectivity).

I find measurements of 120 DB funny, a bell is log_10(A/B), a decibel (as the name indicate) is that divided by 10.

So minus 120DB means that the noise is 10^{-12} the signal this is probably much beyond what even young and trained ear can detect.
 
Top Bottom