Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
zenpmd

Good dacs with balanced outputs

Recommended Posts

If you are seriously thinking about a pre with a built-in DAC you might want to consider the new SST Thoebe2 with built-in DAC. I picked it up back in August and within a few days I knew that I wasn't going to need my exasound e22 (for which I had bought the Thoebe in the first place) any more. The DAC in the Thoebe is a W4S Dac2 DSD variant w/o the femto clock and Vishay resistors, but coupled to the Thoebe's class A output. I would say the DAC in the Thoebe2 delivers 98-99% of what the e22 does (it doesn't have quite the last degree of transparency, or DSD256.) Plus you get the benefits of a great analogue preamp and a fantastic class A headphone amp (better than the one the in the exasound.) There's also a phono stage available which I gather is first rate (and I am somewhat kicking myself for not ordering, even though I don't actually need it at present.) Price with DAC is only $500 more than the exasound.


Mac Mini (+Tidal) -> WiFi -> Bluesound Powernode 2i (Audioquest NRG Z3) -> JM Reynaud Lucia (Tellurium Q Black v1)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How can you trust any company who produces an electronic board in an overpriced case and charges northward of 10k for it? In the same way, how can you trust any company who prices copper at ££££ per m

 

 

Those are two different "Chord"s, I think, no?


Mac Mini (+Tidal) -> WiFi -> Bluesound Powernode 2i (Audioquest NRG Z3) -> JM Reynaud Lucia (Tellurium Q Black v1)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How can you trust any company who produces an electronic board in an overpriced case and charges northward of 10k for it?

So your problem is with the cost... That's hardly a "trust" issue and Chord Electronics are not making huge profits. The case asside which can be seen as over engineering for aesthetic purposes (though other companies design similar cases and all claim audio engineering reasons), Chord design their DACs from the ground up rather than using off the shelf components and such engineering costs.

 

I get you don't like their products and feel them overpriced, I just think the term "trust" implies something underhand or dishonest and I can't see how that applies to Chord (or generally to any company we're talking about).

 

In the same way, how can you trust any company who prices copper at ££££ per m
Those are two different "Chord"s, I think, no?

The Chord Company (who make cables) is completely different company from Chord Electronics Ltd.


Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So your problem is with the cost... That's hardly a "trust" issue and Chord Electronics are not making huge profits. The case asside which can be seen as over engineering for aesthetic purposes (though other companies design similar cases and all claim audio engineering reasons), Chord design their DACs from the ground up rather than using off the shelf components and such engineering costs.

 

I get you don't like their products and feel them overpriced, I just think the term "trust" implies something underhand or dishonest and I can't see how that applies to Chord (or generally to any company we're talking about).

 

 

The Chord Company (who make cables) is completely different company from Chord Electronics Ltd.

 

fair enough

 

i wasnt referring to chord cables, i just meant the over charging for cheapish stuff without huge amounts of engineering, and thats where the trust bit comes in. I thought about buying the concept turntable the other day, until I looked at their stupid higher end products and lost faith in the whole company.

 

but I do also distrust over engineering in order to justify cost. Its so interesting to compare the inside of a Bryston DAC, to say, a DCS. THe DCS looks so full of "stuff" the Bryston barely at all...

 

As a side note, I dont understand how all these snake oil reviews can say a dcs is great, and a chord hugo is great. Apparently the thing that makes these big dacs great is all the isolation, different stages, whatever, then another companyt goes and squashes it all together in a tiny box and apparentlkyits amazing? There is so much weirdness out there in the end I dont trust any of them!


Benchmark HGC DAC2 / Ncore NC400 / Anthony Gallo Strada 2 / Anthony Gallo TR-3D Sub / Van Damme 6mm Speaker Cable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fair enough

 

i wasnt referring to chord cables, i just meant the over charging for cheapish stuff without huge amounts of engineering, and thats where the trust bit comes in. I thought about buying the concept turntable the other day, until I looked at their stupid higher end products and lost faith in the whole company.

 

but I do also distrust over engineering in order to justify cost. Its so interesting to compare the inside of a Bryston DAC, to say, a DCS. THe DCS looks so full of "stuff" the Bryston barely at all...

 

As a side note, I dont understand how all these snake oil reviews can say a dcs is great, and a chord hugo is great. Apparently the thing that makes these big dacs great is all the isolation, different stages, whatever, then another companyt goes and squashes it all together in a tiny box and apparentlkyits amazing? There is so much weirdness out there in the end I dont trust any of them!

 

I think you should wait until the iFI iDSD Pro comes out in couple of months it will have a balanced output and I have great trust in iFI's products which have a lot of trickle down tech from the AMR's high end systems. So I'm waiting until then to sell my benchmark to fund the iDSD Pro. That's just my 2 cents...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fair enough

As a side note, I dont understand how all these snake oil reviews can say a dcs is great, and a chord hugo is great. Apparently the thing that makes these big dacs great is all the isolation, different stages, whatever, then another companyt goes and squashes it all together in a tiny box and apparentlkyits amazing? There is so much weirdness out there in the end I dont trust any of them!

 

"Great" is used as a relative term, I think, including relating to price. A multi $10K DCS unit sounds great, and so does a little Chord DAC. The DCS sounds better. I think the idea is that the little DAC can get you a lot of the way there for a fraction of the price, so it is great. And if you listen to it on its' own without comparing to the big DAC, the sound is very good and enjoyable.


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i just meant the over charging for cheapish stuff without huge amounts of engineering, and thats where the trust bit comes in. I thought about buying the concept turntable the other day, until I looked at their stupid higher end products and lost faith in the whole company.

 

but I do also distrust over engineering in order to justify cost.

 

As a side note, I dont understand how all these snake oil reviews can say a dcs is great, and a chord hugo is great. !

 

You clearly have "trust" issues here...you seem to distrust an awful lot of things, might be worth identifying what you are prepared to trust and go from there.

 

A Chord Hugo is great as myself and countless other satisfied users will happily tell you. Don't understand the "snake oil" comments about Chord. The basic Hugo probably costs less than your current DAC. Their new Mojo is only £399 despite being UK made, I'd say Chord were undercharging and "over"engineering here, so judging by what you don't trust, you should love it.

 

Chord are a highly responsible and professional company with a proper "bricks and mortar" factory in the UK. I like the fact that I can return my 11 year old DAC64 to the same factory where it was built, for an overhaul. I like the fact they are then prepared to offer a guarantee on a 11 year old product and even for that guarantee to be transferred to a new owner. I'd say they were the epitome of a trustworthy company, in the market for the long term.

 

 

What's a concept turntable btw?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

What's a concept turntable btw?

Not Zen, but possibly he/she's referring to Clearaudio's entry level turntable? clearaudio electronic GmbH - Concept, For open ears and eyes, Features, Award winning technology


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not Zen, but possibly he/she's referring to Clearaudio's entry level turntable? clearaudio electronic GmbH - Concept, For open ears and eyes, Features, Award winning technology

 

Looks like a sensible TT choice to me. Generally I'm encouraged, rather than put off by companies that make expensive stuff as well as more "budget" options. When I buy the latter I hope for some VFM trickledown tech from the former.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Looks like a sensible TT choice to me. Generally I'm encouraged, rather than put off by companies that make expensive stuff as well as more "budget" options. When I buy the latter I hope for some VFM trickledown tech from the former.

 

Hi Norton. I am too. But when the concept is so sensibly put together, etc, their high end turntables are frankly stupid looking!


Benchmark HGC DAC2 / Ncore NC400 / Anthony Gallo Strada 2 / Anthony Gallo TR-3D Sub / Van Damme 6mm Speaker Cable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just fired up my Benchmark HGC after a long hiatus although I'm waiting on my balanced cable to come in it sounds very nice with analog "unbalanced" out to my Mjr2. I was actually surprised because I remembered the headphone amp of the benchmark too warm sounding less revealing which is why I left it and opted to try the Mj2. So I went in with low expectations but the pairing of the Benchmark HGC with the Mj2 its very nice and I'm sure it will be better yet once I go all balanced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised and saddened by the issues you report with your Benchmark. I've read so many good things about them and know people using them daily in a professional environment? I would find such issues in such an expensive product totally unacceptable.

Probably not up to your needs, (no DSD but I buy PCM only) I run a Emotive Stealth DAC-1 $499 in a Linux environment with NONE of the issues you report and it sounds awesome to me driving either my phones or speakers.


"The gullibility of audiophiles is what astonishes me the most, even after all these years. How is it possible, how did it ever happen, that they trust fairy-tale purveyors and mystic gurus more than reliable sources of scientific information?"

Peter Aczel - The Audio Critic

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You clearly have "trust" issues here...you seem to distrust an awful lot of things, might be worth identifying what you are prepared to trust and go from there.

 

A Chord Hugo is great as myself and countless other satisfied users will happily tell you. Don't understand the "snake oil" comments about Chord. The basic Hugo probably costs less than your current DAC. Their new Mojo is only £399 despite being UK made, I'd say Chord were undercharging and "over"engineering here, so judging by what you don't trust, you should love it.

 

Chord are a highly responsible and professional company with a proper "bricks and mortar" factory in the UK. I like the fact that I can return my 11 year old DAC64 to the same factory where it was built, for an overhaul. I like the fact they are then prepared to offer a guarantee on a 11 year old product and even for that guarantee to be transferred to a new owner. I'd say they were the epitome of a trustworthy company, in the market for the long term.

 

 

What's a concept turntable btw?

 

He's trolling - well known for it.

 

Not worth reacting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Zen

 

I'm surprised no one at Benchmark has been able to reproduce the issue or recommend a resolution. What did they say about it when you contacted them?

 

If you like the Benchmark, you might consider these other, cheaper options:

 

1. Get a sound card that has an alternate hi-resolution output connector.

2. Get an Auralic Aries Mini streamer, or similar product, and connect it to the Benchmark via USB or one of the Mini's other output connectors.

3. Install Windows.

 

All of these options are probably cheaper than buying a new DAC that would sound better than the Benchmark (even with the bug).

 

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not buy any DAC today without auditioning the Ayre Codex.


Software: Roon [depricated: Moode Audio (http://moodeaudio.org), Audirvana Plus+]

Digital: Ayre Codex [upgrading to Ayre QX-5 Twenty]; Oppo UDP-205; [depricated: Raspberry Pi 2 with Hifiberry Digi+];  Synology Diskstation 412+ NAS;  Tidal

Preamplification: Ayre KX-5 Twenty;  Amplification: Ayre VX-5 Twenty; Speakers: Vandersteen 5A 

Analog: Clearaudio Performance DC, Concept tonearm, Artist v2 ebony cartridge, Ayre P-5xe, Nakamichi 630 (Tuner… just for fun)

Cables: Audioquest Aspen for speakers, otherwise Anti-cables throughout (except Audioquest running from P-5xe to K-5xeMP) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you want a newer version, which supports async and has upgraded DACS, it will cost you double. It's the BDA-2.

 

Bryston has recently announced the BDA-3, which supports DSD256 and will play DSD output of SACD players via its HDMI input. First shipments to dealers were supposed to begin November 1. Price is competitive with Ayre and Auralic at $3495.


"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted"- William Bruce Cameron

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Schitt Yggdrasil .

 

 

+1

 

Interesting, the new pre-amp from Merrill audio is fully balanced in...so a completly balanced top to bottom end to the cables out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chord are a highly responsible and professional company with a proper "bricks and mortar" factory in the UK. I like the fact that I can return my 11 year old DAC64 to the same factory where it was built, for an overhaul. I like the fact they are then prepared to offer a guarantee on a 11 year old product and even for that guarantee to be transferred to a new owner. I'd say they were the epitome of a trustworthy company, in the market for the long term.

 

Spot on. I have a DAC 64 MKII several years old (with Balanced and RCA outputs BTW) and I took it for an upgrade to their factory in Kent, SE England.

 

They let me into their workshops and everyone I spoke to were friendly and were clearly enthusiasts for good engineering and long lasting service. They did the work whilst I waited. How many DAC suppliers do you know who offer such service?

 

Zenpmd - I suggest that you listen to their DACS before making ill-informed criticisms about Chord Electronics. Their DACs are very good indeed and have Balanced Outputs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Zen

 

I'm surprised no one at Benchmark has been able to reproduce the issue or recommend a resolution. What did they say about it when you contacted them?

 

If you like the Benchmark, you might consider these other, cheaper options:

 

1. Get a sound card that has an alternate hi-resolution output connector.

2. Get an Auralic Aries Mini streamer, or similar product, and connect it to the Benchmark via USB or one of the Mini's other output connectors.

3. Install Windows.

 

All of these options are probably cheaper than buying a new DAC that would sound better than the Benchmark (even with the bug).

 

Scott

 

I've had a Benchmark DAC2 for a long time. No issues or bugs. See sig for setup.

 

Regards,

 

Guido F.


For my system details, please see my profile. Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



×
×
  • Create New...