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MSB Analog DAC/Luxman DA-6 kind of sonic signature for under 3000?


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Hello guys!

 

In my search for a DAC I keep struggling between issues of sound vs features, and because on the features side of things, there are not many DACs I find that match my needs, maybe I can match them in the essential part, which is sound of course.

 

So I ask you, is there a DAC out there, up to 3000 euros, that can deliver the kind of sonic signature MSB Analog DAC and Luxman DA-06 have?

 

As you may understand, I'm looking for a lush, smooth, organic, laid back, "analog", tonally well saturated and maybe, not necessarily, with a just so slight bloom to stirr me up more on an emotional rather than intellectual level... as opposed to a clinically analytical, thin, shrill and detailed till death of emotion kind of sound. Sorry for the thick brush strokes here.

 

On the features side, if they have balanced out, pre function and headphone amp. that would be even better, but I guess it would be pushing for the unattainable in this price range.

 

I'm sure there are a lot of ignorant but poor folk like me around looking for something like that, or close to that, so in their name and mine, I thank you if you can help us out :)

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Hello guys!

 

In my search for a DAC I keep struggling between issues of sound vs features, and because on the features side of things, there are not many DACs I find that match my needs, maybe I can match them in the essential part, which is sound of course.

 

So I ask you, is there a DAC out there, up to 3000 euros, that can deliver the kind of sonic signature MSB Analog DAC and Luxman DA-06 have?

 

As you may understand, I'm looking for a lush, smooth, organic, laid back, "analog", tonally well saturated and maybe, not necessarily, with a just so slight bloom to stirr me up more on an emotional rather than intellectual level... as opposed to a clinically analytical, thin, shrill and detailed till death of emotion kind of sound. Sorry for the thick brush strokes here.

 

On the features side, if they have balanced out, pre function and headphone amp. that would be even better, but I guess it would be pushing for the unattainable in this price range.

 

I'm sure there are a lot of ignorant but poor folk like me around looking for something like that, or close to that, so in their name and mine, I thank you if you can help us out :)

 

As an owner of an MSB Diamond DAC and a HUGE fan of the Analog who had it for a long evaluation, the closest sound to the Analog on a budget is the Chord HUGO. A fantastic piece and can also be used portably. I am extremely impressed with it and its "Analog" like presentation.

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I spent a lot of time searching for something similar. The closest was the Audio Research DAC8 which can be picked up second hand for under your budget. But it is the ladder technology and separate power supply boxes, not to mention the clock accuracy that make it so special. Sabre based DACs sounded fatiguing to me.

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The Chord Hugo is definately not 'lush' and 'tonally well saturated'.

 

The DAC you are looking for is Lampizator. It offers exactly the kind of sound you are looking for. In terms of value for money, they are very hard to beat in my experience. Lampizator DSD and Lampizator L4 are both within your budget:

 

LampizatOr DSD DAC

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

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The Chord Hugo is definately not 'lush' and 'tonally well saturated'.

 

The DAC you are looking for is Lampizator. It offers exactly the kind of sound you are looking for. In terms of value for money, they are very hard to beat in my experience. Lampizator DSD and Lampizator L4 are both within your budget:

 

LampizatOr DSD DAC

 

Really?? I know you think you are all things to all people when you make absolute statements like this "is that" or "this is better than that" or the "trinity is the best" or the Chord Hugo is DEFINITELY not lush and tonally well saturated" but if you can make that last statement it is quite obvious you are a gearhead rather than someone who listens.

 

Sorry, the Chord Hugo is more analogous to an Analog than any DAC I have ever owned. It IS lush and tonally well saturated. It is a fantastic piece. This is not just my opinion either. If you want to make recommendations to the guy, do it without your "absolute" BS.

 

I had an Analog for close to three months and the HUGO is very close.

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Priaptor, have you ever heard a Lampi? NOT looking for a fight, just a decent discussion.

 

I think if you did, you may understand whay Elberoth made that comparison.

 

I had a whole day session a month ago listening to a Lampi B7, a MSB Platinum stack, a Hugio and a Direct Stream, all via quality headphones, so no room in the equation. Sennheiser SS amp and 2 different Woo Tube amps. HD-800, Stax and HifiMan HE-6, and beyerdynamic DT990Pro H-Phones.

 

Lampi was the most relaxed and lush of the lot and shaded even the MSB. The MSB and the lampi demolished the other 2 in DSD and beat them handily in PCM. Clear as day.

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Priaptor, have you ever heard a Lampi? NOT looking for a fight, just a decent discussion.

 

I think if you did, you may understand whay Elberoth made that comparison.

 

I had a whole day session a month ago listening to a Lampi B7, a MSB Platinum stack, a Hugio and a Direct Stream, all via quality headphones, so no room in the equation. Sennheiser SS amp and 2 different Woo Tube amps. HD-800, Stax and HifiMan HE-6, and beyerdynamic DT990Pro H-Phones.

 

Lampi was the most relaxed and lush of the lot and shaded even the MSB. The MSB and the lampi demolished the other 2 in DSD and beat them handily in PCM. Clear as day.

 

I have not heard the Lampi and hence why I would not comment on it's recommendation. However, I know what Elberoth has and has gotten rid of and what his "absolutisms" are and was not condemning the Lampi in anyway.

 

When he makes a statement like "The Chord Hugo is definately not 'lush' and 'tonally well saturated", as an owner of an MSB Diamond Plus, a Hugo and someone who has owned many other fine DACs and has lived with an Analog for close to three months, I must come to the conclusion that Elberoth has no clue about listening or that IF he did listen to the HUGO, his system is severely lacking.

 

I have heard fine things about the Lampi, but have not heard it myself. I was just giving a first hand opinion to the OP about a product, that I was turned on to for a second system, that has since replaced my Vega in that second system. That product being the HUGO, which I have also recently placed into my primary system for a listen and was impressed as you can imagine. Having had the Analog for an extended period, I was just making a recommendation to the OP for an Analog type DAC without having to spend the money of an Analog that he doesn't seem to want to spend.

 

BUT Elberoth, in his typical nonsensical absolutism makes the absurd comments "The Chord Hugo is definately not 'lush' and 'tonally well saturated" which is why I must come to the conclusions I do regarding his comments.

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The Luxman DA-06 sells for about 2500$ in Japan, so about half the US price. You could get one brand new through ebay or pricejapan and be well under your 3000EU budget. Of course, there are the duties to consider as well as a possible voltage converter needed. And wether you feel secure with buying through ebay and/or without a distributor, I don't know. But that would be one way to get one brand new Luxman.

 

Another option would be a second-hand AMR DP-777. It has 2 pre-amp inputs, real analogue volume and balanced out. No headphones though. I believe it has all the sound characteristics you are looking for. Very smooth, organic and "analog-like", whatever that means.

 

Good luck!

Arcam rDAC / Oppo BDP-83 / NAD 315BEE / Totem Arro

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The Luxman DA-06 sells for about 2500$ in Japan, so about half the US price.

I seriously considered this a few months ago. I was able to find some reputable Japanese dealers through my friends there. The biggest issue for me was the step down transformer I would need and the potential impact on sound quality. I do think the US price is a bit over inflated.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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I seriously considered this a few months ago. I was able to find some reputable Japanese dealers through my friends there. The biggest issue for me was the step down transformer I would need and the potential impact on sound quality. I do think the US price is a bit over inflated.

 

Why would you think the step down transformer would affect the sound quality? The volts change from 120V to 100V.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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Why would you think the step down transformer would affect the sound quality? The volts change from 120V to 100V.

I dont know whether it would or not. Thats my point. Also once I added in the cost of a good step down transformer the price was not that far from just getting a US spec version.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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Why would you think the step down transformer would affect the sound quality? The volts change from 120V to 100V.

 

Connecting an impedance ahead of the DA-06 which has its own transformer is OK, slows down pulses, so it minimises the impact on other gear. The DAC doesn't draw much power, so a small transformer, say 20VA is all you need. Commercial statements apply of course over technical ones at times, if there is nothing much to compare price wise, then go for the local supplier. You also find that the manual is in English and with a warranty to suit.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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The Chord Hugo is quite lush and tonally saturated. Quite! (When not driving an amp directly). I have heard many on this thread (Lampi, Luxman, Directstream, Dac8...just not the MSB's). The Hugo is $2300 list. No brainer IMHO. Note: not sure where folks think you can get a Lampi DSD for under $3k, but if so it's a definite contender..

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The Chord Hugo is quite lush and tonally saturated. Quite! (When not driving an amp directly). I have heard many on this thread (Lampi, Luxman, Directstream, Dac8...just not the MSB's). The Hugo is $2300 list. No brainer IMHO. Note: not sure where folks think you can get a Lampi DSD for under $3k, but if so it's a definite contender..

 

If you are outside of North America, the Lampi Amber DAC is available. The Amber DAC starts at 1200 Euros ($2,145 USD). So that would be under the price of a Hugo.

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Been trying to decide between the Lampi 5 and the Meitner MA-1 both right around the price I want to spend. Has anyone heard both and have an opinion?

 

No DSD comparo needed. Thanks

Headamp Blue Hawaii Special Edition / Stax SR-009, SR-007 MKI, SR-007 MKII

Lumin A-1 Network Player

iPAD Pro / JRemote App

JRiver 21 / unRAID NAS

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Been trying to decide between the Lampi 5 and the Meitner MA-1 both right around the price I want to spend. Has anyone heard both and have an opinion?

 

No DSD comparo needed. Thanks

 

If you can step up to a Lampi Big7, even used (I saw 2 on the Gon) then you have a winner! I heard one 4 weeks ago and it shaded a clock upgraded MSB Platinum stack which costs 3 times as much. DSD is a bonus too, and it does DSD128.

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If you can step up to a Lampi Big7, even used (I saw 2 on the Gon) then you have a winner! I heard one 4 weeks ago and it shaded a clock upgraded MSB Platinum stack which costs 3 times as much. DSD is a bonus too, and it does DSD128.

 

Two for sale already hhuumm?? Really, I have to stay in my lane. Around $7K is where I want to be.. Might as well add the Berkeley Alpha DAC 2 as well.

Headamp Blue Hawaii Special Edition / Stax SR-009, SR-007 MKI, SR-007 MKII

Lumin A-1 Network Player

iPAD Pro / JRemote App

JRiver 21 / unRAID NAS

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Two for sale already hhuumm?? Really, I have to stay in my lane. Around $7K is where I want to be.. Might as well add the Berkeley Alpha DAC 2 as well.

 

They WERE going for $7K and were snapped up already, unfortunately. Trust me, the sound is supreme and I have a L4 and now am Jonesing! Imagine driving a Lambo in a 30mph zone...that is the feeling of ease I senses. You KNOW you have bags of power on tap if needed. Oh, and the DSD...it was other-worldly.

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