Jump to content
IGNORED

British Dacs dissapointment


Recommended Posts

Hey folks,

 

long story short for the last 6 months I tried to find a nice DAC since the upgraditis bug

bit me again. First I tried it with the Chord QuteHD ( pre-owned) and I found the sound a bit digital

and not that dynamic, then I bought the Naim DAC V1 to also match my naim nait 5Si, and again big

disappointment... the soundstage shrank a lot, bass disappeared together with the fun, kind

of disappointing since I always believed that Naim makes very enjoyable and fun to listen products.

 

Then I connected my cheap but competent HRT microstreamer and I got all the fun again, this little

sucker its really good and makes me think that I dont need to upgrade at all, but still miss some things

I loved the sparkly highs of the Naim DAC V1 and the big soundstage and airiness of the Chord.

 

So the search continues...maybe some of you could help me to find the perfect DAC that suits my tastes:

Needs to be Very dynamic and fast, with taut and deep bass, sparkly and well defined highs, I like to feel

space between instruments and I dont care about microdetails retrieval but about fun factor.

I listen to metal, jazz, world music, and a bit of classical.

 

So hope you wise people from this forum can give me some ideas.

 

I wont tell you my budget to avoid biased suggestions.

Mac Pro > Amarra / A+2 > Forza Audioworks FAW Copper Series USB > Bel Canto 2.5 DAC > Horn audiophiles "The Analyst" RCA > Naim Nait 5si > AudioQuest FLX/SLiP 14/4 > Mark & Daniel Ruby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David... The Naim DAC-V1 you tried; did it have the latest (DSD compatible) firmware? Reportedly that improves sound quality.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David

Which input were you using with the Naim DAC V1 ?

If it was USB, then a USB Regen would almost certainly resulted in a worthwhile improvement.

 

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to comment
Share on other sites

long story short for the last 6 months I tried to find a nice DAC since the upgraditis bug

bit me again. First I tried it with the Chord QuteHD ( pre-owned) and I found the sound a bit digital

and not that dynamic

 

I've owned the Chord 2Qute and although I didn't find it digital sounding, it lacked the musical engagement and dynamics you find in more expensive DACs.

 

I currently run an Exemplar eXception DAC with an Audio Magic Beeswax fuse and it's just lovely.

Waversa hub > Lumin S1 > Bakoon HPA-21

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ Eloise : Yes I updated it and play some DSD tracks I have but still couldn't get my feet to tap along, and honestly I tried very hard

to love the V1, including bypassing the naim nait 5si preamp and using the V1 internal one, connect different speakers, cables, etc.

It just didnt do it for me :(, now is back on its box ready to be returned.

Mac Pro > Amarra / A+2 > Forza Audioworks FAW Copper Series USB > Bel Canto 2.5 DAC > Horn audiophiles "The Analyst" RCA > Naim Nait 5si > AudioQuest FLX/SLiP 14/4 > Mark & Daniel Ruby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David

Which input were you using with the Naim DAC V1 ?

If it was USB, then a USB Regen would almost certainly resulted in a worthwhile improvement.

 

Alex

 

I tried USB and coaxial, actually I read that due to the Audiophilleo implementation there is no need to use any convertor to improve USB, anyhow I did not have any kind of converter at hand and IMHO a DAC that needs convertor and tweaks to sound the best is not a well designed one.

Mac Pro > Amarra / A+2 > Forza Audioworks FAW Copper Series USB > Bel Canto 2.5 DAC > Horn audiophiles "The Analyst" RCA > Naim Nait 5si > AudioQuest FLX/SLiP 14/4 > Mark & Daniel Ruby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've owned the Chord 2Qute and although I didn't find it digital sounding, it lacked the musical engagement and dynamics you find in more expensive DACs.

 

I currently run an Exemplar eXception DAC with an Audio Magic Beeswax fuse and it's just lovely.

 

Looks lovely but I guess its really hard to get it here in the old continent.

Mac Pro > Amarra / A+2 > Forza Audioworks FAW Copper Series USB > Bel Canto 2.5 DAC > Horn audiophiles "The Analyst" RCA > Naim Nait 5si > AudioQuest FLX/SLiP 14/4 > Mark & Daniel Ruby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried USB and coaxial, actually I read that due to the Audiophilleo implementation there is no need to use any convertor to improve USB, anyhow I did not have any kind of converter at hand and IMHO a DAC that needs convertor and tweaks to sound the best is not a well designed one.

 

Many designers claim the same about there USB inputs, but more often than not, that turns out not to be the case. The vast majority of DACs with USB capabilities appear to have used generic USB inputs, but that doesn't mean that they aren't otherwise well designed. It's only recently that people like John Swenson have demonstrated the weaknesses with most DAC's USB inputs and their susceptibility to RF/EMI from the computer's +5V supply, as well as earth loop degradation.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many designers claim the same about there USB inputs, but more often than not, that turns out not to be the case. The vast majority of DACs with USB capabilities appear to have used generic USB inputs, but that doesn't mean that they aren't otherwise well designed. It's only recently that people like John Swenson have demonstrated the weaknesses with most DAC's USB inputs and their susceptibility to RF/EMI from the computer's +5V supply, as well as earth loop degradation.

 

So you are saying that a company like Naim is not able to integrate a competent USB input on a 2000€ DAC?

Mac Pro > Amarra / A+2 > Forza Audioworks FAW Copper Series USB > Bel Canto 2.5 DAC > Horn audiophiles "The Analyst" RCA > Naim Nait 5si > AudioQuest FLX/SLiP 14/4 > Mark & Daniel Ruby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So you are saying that a company like Naim is not able to integrate a competent USB input on a 2000€ DAC?

We are talking here about quite recent developments in USB audio as a result of research mainly by John Swenson and Alex Crespi, where >3,000 units of the Uptone Audio USB Regen have already been sold in quite a short period of time without paid advertisements.

There have been very few DACs with USB inputs where many members have yet to find that they don't improve further when using even just improved USB cables having better isolation between the Data and Power wires. Many also reporting a marked improvement by just isolating the noisy +5V from the internal SMPS supply right at the USB-A socket of the PC when the DAC doesn't need to see +5V from the PC.

Even the expensive Bricasti M1 DAC improves markedly with cleaner USB power and a Regen.

 

P.S.

Does this DAC need to see +5V from the P.C. ?

You could find out by inserting a small piece of tape over the +5V pin in the P.C.'s USB-A socket as many other members have done.

xheuj.jpg

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure if you're looking for British-only recommendations.

 

If you only need USB, the Ayre sounds fantastic. I would actually get it but I would like more than the one USB input so I can connect the satellite and PS3.

 

If you want British, then consider Linn or Meridian.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First I tried it with the Chord QuteHD ( pre-owned) and I found the sound a bit digital and not that dynamic,

 

I don't know the QuteHD, but my experience with the Hugo was the exact opposite, very dynamic and natural sounding. So normally, I would recommend you try the Hugo or 2Qute, but my guess is if you are attributing the above characteristics to a closely related DAC, maybe there is something sub-par elsewhere in your system that needs sorting first?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know the QuteHD, but my experience with the Hugo was the exact opposite, very dynamic and natural sounding. So normally, I would recommend you try the Hugo or 2Qute, but my guess is if you are attributing the above characteristics to a closely related DAC, maybe there is something sub-par elsewhere in your system that needs sorting first?

 

I wonder if the QuteHD would have sounded better with a high quality linear PSU. I use an MCRU linear PSU with my 2Qute and it certainly sounds great - as per the above description of the Hugo. I haven't tried it with the standard PSU though.

 

Earlier skyline said about the 2Qute: "it lacked the musical engagement and dynamics you find in more expensive DACs". That puzzles me as I don't hear that at all, quite the opposite in both respects.

 

It probably means that these kind of recommendations are a good way of narrowing down the field, but they are no substitute for hearing different DACs yourself.

System (i): (Stack Audio Link/MoOde > 2Qute+MCRU psu; Gyrodec/SME V/Ortofon 2M Black/EAT E-Glo Petit/Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > Glow Amp One > Klipsch RP-600M

System (ii): iUSB3.0 Nano/Allo USB Signature/MoOde > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > (Tandy LX5; JBL LSR305 ; Audeze LCD-3)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know the QuteHD, but my experience with the Hugo was the exact opposite, very dynamic and natural sounding. So normally, I would recommend you try the Hugo or 2Qute, but my guess is if you are attributing the above characteristics to a closely related DAC, maybe there is something sub-par elsewhere in your system that needs sorting first?

 

Well my system gets very dynamic with the introduction of the cheap HRT Microstreamer. I dont fell that sure about going

the Chord path again and I think my system is very well balanced overall.

 

Also maybe we have different interpretation of dynamics, for example I usually go to live concerts or to the Berliner Philarmonie and I like to get the same excitement with my system at home, well with the Chord and the Naim i could not feel the music and with the HRT I could, sadly the HRT is not perfect either ...

Mac Pro > Amarra / A+2 > Forza Audioworks FAW Copper Series USB > Bel Canto 2.5 DAC > Horn audiophiles "The Analyst" RCA > Naim Nait 5si > AudioQuest FLX/SLiP 14/4 > Mark & Daniel Ruby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting the little HRT DAC paints a better sonic picture for you in comparison to the Naim and the Chord DACs. The Chord was a darling of the DAC world when released and won numerous "best of" awards at it's price point, which was significantly higher than the Microstreamer's price point. Before upgrading my QuteHD (now Qute EX) I had it paired with my Mark & Daniel Rubys for quite some time and it was never boring and lacking dynamics .. anything but. (The Rubys are certainly dynamic unto themselves, no?) You obviously put together a very nice system so my guess here would be to look at the Metrum Acoustics line or the Schiit multibit DACs. Best of luck moving forward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if the QuteHD would have sounded better with a high quality linear PSU. I use an MCRU linear PSU with my 2Qute and it certainly sounds great - as per the above description of the Hugo. I haven't tried it with the standard PSU though.

 

Earlier skyline said about the 2Qute: "it lacked the musical engagement and dynamics you find in more expensive DACs". That puzzles me as I don't hear that at all, quite the opposite in both respects.

 

It probably means that these kind of recommendations are a good way of narrowing down the field, but they are no substitute for hearing different DACs yourself.

 

I used the chords standard power supply and honestly I dont fell comfortable spending another €300 on top of a €1000

DAC that should have all good quality parts, sure I know manufacturers make compromises but in that price range I expect more.

Mac Pro > Amarra / A+2 > Forza Audioworks FAW Copper Series USB > Bel Canto 2.5 DAC > Horn audiophiles "The Analyst" RCA > Naim Nait 5si > AudioQuest FLX/SLiP 14/4 > Mark & Daniel Ruby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting the little HRT DAC paints a better sonic picture for you in comparison to the Naim and the Chord DACs. The Chord was a darling of the DAC world when released and won numerous "best of" awards at it's price point, which was significantly higher than the Microstreamer's price point. Before upgrading my QuteHD (now Qute EX) I had it paired with my Mark & Daniel Rubys for quite some time and it was never boring and lacking dynamics .. anything but. (The Rubys are certainly dynamic unto themselves, no?) You obviously put together a very nice system so my guess here would be to look at the Metrum Acoustics line or the Schiit multibit DACs. Best of luck moving forward.

 

On my system the qute HD + nait 5si + rubyes sounded really harsh on the highs and lacked a lot of bass

also they felt slow paced, the naim worked better reducing the harshness of th HF and adding a bit of bass

but dynamics where similar to the Chord, now the stubborn HRT lacks the airiness of the Chord and the sparkly highs

of the Naim but its really energetic and dynamic and makes me feel the music!

 

On the downside is not the most revealing DAC and it can sound a bit muddy ,the HF are a bit rolled off and the bass can be to much sometimes.

Mac Pro > Amarra / A+2 > Forza Audioworks FAW Copper Series USB > Bel Canto 2.5 DAC > Horn audiophiles "The Analyst" RCA > Naim Nait 5si > AudioQuest FLX/SLiP 14/4 > Mark & Daniel Ruby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strange, I have had several HRT around, and still have a HRT music streamer II (in a drawer), and I can tell you there is no possible comparison with my beloved Hugo with TotalDac D1 cable, uncomparable. For practcality I fixed the Hugo to a 5 Kg Rock with industrial velcro (looks nice) and now it is easy to manipulate it with a single hand, as I use it in my main system. Mentioned the rock (with vibrapods bellow) because it seems to have improved the performance while it was not the original objective. I can't understand how would someone say that a Hugo with good cables (I use Cardas Golden Reference) can lack dynamics... note, leave it always on!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey folks,

 

long story short for the last 6 months I tried to find a nice DAC since the upgraditis bug

bit me again. First I tried it with the Chord QuteHD ( pre-owned) and I found the sound a bit digital

and not that dynamic, then I bought the Naim DAC V1 to also match my naim nait 5Si, and again big

disappointment... the soundstage shrank a lot, bass disappeared together with the fun, kind

of disappointing since I always believed that Naim makes very enjoyable and fun to listen products.

 

Then I connected my cheap but competent HRT microstreamer and I got all the fun again, this little

sucker its really good and makes me think that I dont need to upgrade at all, but still miss some things

I loved the sparkly highs of the Naim DAC V1 and the big soundstage and airiness of the Chord.

 

So the search continues...maybe some of you could help me to find the perfect DAC that suits my tastes:

Needs to be Very dynamic and fast, with taut and deep bass, sparkly and well defined highs, I like to feel

space between instruments and I dont care about microdetails retrieval but about fun factor.

I listen to metal, jazz, world music, and a bit of classical.

 

So hope you wise people from this forum can give me some ideas.

 

I wont tell you my budget to avoid biased suggestions.

 

What loudspeakers are you using?

 

R

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On my system the qute HD + nait 5si + rubyes sounded really harsh on the highs and lacked a lot of bass

also they felt slow paced, the naim worked better reducing the harshness of th HF and adding a bit of bass

but dynamics where similar to the Chord, now the stubborn HRT lacks the airiness of the Chord and the sparkly highs

of the Naim but its really energetic and dynamic and makes me feel the music!

 

On the downside is not the most revealing DAC and it can sound a bit muddy ,the HF are a bit rolled off and the bass can be to much sometimes.

 

I really think a NOS or multibit DAC may be just the ticket for you (an audition or 2 at least). The Rubys need just the right source to sound their best and are incredibly revealing bordering on a "hot" HF. BTW, you are the first person I've seen in quite some time using the Rubys, many folks haven't heard (or heard of) them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really think a NOS or multibit DAC may be just the ticket for you (an audition or 2 at least). The Rubys need just the right source to sound their best and are incredibly revealing bordering on a "hot" HF. BTW, you are the first person I've seen in quite some time using the Rubys, many folks haven't heard (or heard of) them.

 

I bought the rubyes based on online reviews since here in Germany its really difficult to audition them, they blew me away, replaced a dev tech sm55 and the kef ls50. I was rhinking about getting the schiit gumby, any experience with that one?

Mac Pro > Amarra / A+2 > Forza Audioworks FAW Copper Series USB > Bel Canto 2.5 DAC > Horn audiophiles "The Analyst" RCA > Naim Nait 5si > AudioQuest FLX/SLiP 14/4 > Mark & Daniel Ruby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought the rubyes based on online reviews since here in Germany its really difficult to audition them, they blew me away, replaced a dev tech sm55 and the kef ls50. I was rhinking about getting the schiit gumby, any experience with that one?

 

Sorry, no. I have the BiMBy however. I love it and could easily live with it as my only DAC. It's very enjoyable and is a steal at it's price point. I would love to hear both the GuMBy and the Yggy but for now I'm off the DAC merry-go-round. I'm sure you're aware each of their multibit DACs are garnering lots of praise.

 

I purchased my Rubys second-hand through Audiogon and was not disappointed. I need new stands for them before I put them back in my system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, no. I have the BiMBy however. I love it and could easily live with it as my only DAC. It's very enjoyable and is a steal at it's price point. I would love to hear both the GuMBy and the Yggy but for now I'm off the DAC merry-go-round. I'm sure you're aware each of their multibit DACs are garnering lots of praise.

 

I purchased my Rubys second-hand through Audiogon and was not disappointed. I need new stands for them before I put them back in my system.

 

So you are happy with the bimby, how is the synergy with the rest of your system? What type of music presentation do you like?

 

Yes the rubies need very good stands.

Mac Pro > Amarra / A+2 > Forza Audioworks FAW Copper Series USB > Bel Canto 2.5 DAC > Horn audiophiles "The Analyst" RCA > Naim Nait 5si > AudioQuest FLX/SLiP 14/4 > Mark & Daniel Ruby

Link to comment
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
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...