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Advice - DAC step 2?

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My Dragonfly DAC has a problem with it and I am looking to take this opportunity to upgrade. The Dragonfly was my first outboard DAC and a huge step from the audio directly out of my computer. Since then I have started acquiring high-res music and even a few DSD recordings. I am using JRiver so it has been dealing with things that are higher than the 96k capabilities of the Dragonfly. I don't want to spend more than $500 on my next DAC and would definitely like to spend less. Looking for suggestions of what I should be looking at and why. Thanks in advance for thoughts and suggestions.


As an aside... The problem with the Dargonfly is that is seems that the 48/96k clock is dead. Took me a couple hours of fiddling to figure out the problem and then on a whim and on a Friday at 1630h PST, I called Audioquest directly not expecting much. Almost immediately I was talking with a knowledgeable tech person who right away knew what I was talking about. Seems that this is a problem they have had before and the tech person right away sent me a return authorization. I will return it and the replacement will become my portable DAC for when I am travelling.

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You should check out the iFi nano iDSD. It is an amazingly versatile thing that will do all formats in native fashion (so it will let you hear the DSD recordings for real.) It has other big fans here. I am sure the small Geek DACs are good too, but the iDSD is probably the value king right now at $200.

Roon ->UltraRendu + CI Audio 7v LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

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or you can wait for the idsd micro

Mac Mini with JRMC26 or Audirvana  / Raspberry4B_4GB(GentooPlayer_LMS) / Raspberry Rpi3B+: Allo DigiOne(GentooPlayer) - M2Tech Evo DAC Two Plus/iPurifier2 - Schiit Vali 2 - Densen DM20pre/30pwr amps - Spendor SP2/3E, Sennheiser HD600 & HD25Aluminum - Audeze Sine

Cables: Vovox, DIY, Furutech. 

Portable sources: iPad, DELL Laptop with JRiver MC26

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  • 1 month later...

Got the iFi Nano the other day. It was a bit of a pain to get it working. Installed and reinstalled the drivers several times before going back and upgrading the firmware and that did the trick. So have it working now and breaking in. Not noticing a huge difference from the Dragonfly other than it does play 192k without down sampling. Had a nice long listen to it this morning after getting it working. Will update as I discover more about it.

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