Jump to content
IGNORED

Which DAC under $1k used?


Recommended Posts

I was looking for a Rega DAC-R after reading some posts here but then I saw that it doesn't do DSD. I don't think that that is a problem for right now but wondering if it will be in the future? This is my first foray into digital audio and I know very little about it. I'll be digitizing all of my redbook CD collection and mostly listening to that (and Pandora) for now but who knows what I'll be doing in the future, so wondering what DAC to get. If it matters, the rest of the system is Simaudio P5 pre-amp, Theta Dreadnaught-2 amp, Snell XA90ps speakers. Suggestions? Thank you. -Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Now,

 

Gustard X20u under a grand for sure used. I have only seen one used and it sold pretty quick. Love mine, best DAC I've had so far. Upsample all PCM to DSD256 via HQPlayer and NAA. Balanced out. Remote included. Volume control. Tweaking capable.

 

--

Finest kind,

Chris

- -

Finest kind,

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm still digging my Mytek DSD192. Play 2,000+ ripped CDs using HQPlayer unconverted to DSD128. Very musical, energetic, detailed...like real, live music.

 

Should be able to find one for @$800 on Audiogon.

 

I have mine hooked directly to a McCormack DNA-500, no preamp, so you might try it direct and if you go 100% CA, you can sell the preamp and extra cable to fund a new dedicated music server/computer.

Tone with Soul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm still digging my Mytek DSD192. Play 2,000+ ripped CDs using HQPlayer unconverted to DSD128. Very musical, energetic, detailed...like real, live music.

 

Should be able to find one for @$800 on Audiogon.

 

I replaced my Mytek DSD192 with a $600 Chord Mojo and it was pretty much an all around upgrade. The Mojo is quieter and retrieves more low level detail. Voices and are more natural. More powerful bass with the Mytek but in my system it was bloated. They're both about equally energetic.

 

When used with a microRendu, the Mojo punches way above its weight. Simply a huge step up from the Mytek driven by a Mac or Aries. I never tried the Mytek with the microRendu.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the suggestions. As there seems to be no consensus, I suppose I should keep my eye out for all of them and see what comes up for sale? Thanks.

 

If I was you, I'd go with one of the two suggestions for new at or below your price point. Both the TEAC and iFi are very good solutions and do a good job of playing back just about any format you are likely to encounter or care about. I'm sure the Mojo is also very good, but it is designed as a portable unit and while you obviously can use it at home in a permanent setup, that mobile format has some disadvantages you need to consider. If those aspects don't bother you, you should definitely consider it, as it has a lot going for it.

 

They iFi and TEAC both sound good, and are from reputable companies with support for the end user. Take a look at the features and see which one fits your setup and your listening habits better. Good chance you can order either or both for an in home audition or on a full refund basis for 30 days from some vendors.

 

You might be able to get something "better" used at your price point; doubtful whether it will sound significantly better and almost for sure will give you less options/flexibility than those two. So unless you are going to get something way better by buying used, I'd say buy new.

 

FYI- audiophiles tend to be highly prejudiced towards whatever solution they've chosen for themselves, and tend to recommend it even if it doesn't fit the criteria asked about in a query such as yours. In addition we tend to describe very small differences between the sound of 2 pieces as "amazing" , "night and day" - and with other similar exaggerations. Take all that kind of talk with a couple of grains of salt.

As for consensus, it will never happen among us - 2 audiophiles will give you 3 opinions and 3 will give you five. :)

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

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

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

firedog - Does the Mytek sound bloated in your very nice system?

 

Use mine like you seem to, directly into a musical sounding power amp and it does good, tuneful and tight bass, if that is what has been recorded.

 

I haven't heard the iFi nor TEAC. iFi is supposed to be introducing an full scale DAC called the Mini sometime soon, under $1K. Might be a nice choice.

Tone with Soul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for consensus, it will never happen among us - 2 audiophiles will give you 3 opinions and 3 will give you five. :)

 

Surely 3 audiophiles give 9 opinions: 3 different pairings each producing 3 opinions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

firedog - Does the Mytek sound bloated in your very nice system?

 

Use mine like you seem to, directly into a musical sounding power amp and it does good, tuneful and tight bass, if that is what has been recorded.

 

I haven't heard the iFi nor TEAC. iFi is supposed to be introducing an full scale DAC called the Mini sometime soon, under $1K. Might be a nice choice.

 

Personally, I'd call the Mytek the opposite of bloated. Very clean, clear, and precise. For some tastes, probably too much.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

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

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Use mine like you seem to, directly into a musical sounding power amp and it does good, tuneful and tight bass, if that is what has been recorded.

 

I imagine that you weren't present during the recording for most music you listen to, so you really can't tell if the Mytek is 100% accurate in the bass.

 

When I owned the Mytek, I never thought the bass was bloated. It was only after hearing the Mojo in my system that I was confronted with a difference in bass quantity and quality. After lots of listening I concluded that the Mytek was bloating the bass and obscuring what was going on on the music. Another person might very well have concluded that the Mojo is just light in the bass. I was simply just trying to convey that the bass was the one area where some might think the Mytek wasn't clearly beaten by the Mojo. Given the fact that I wasn't present at the recording either, I can't say which one is more accurate. What I can say is that I'm much more pleased with the bass now as it's far easier to follow bass lines and bass timbre comes through like I never heard from the Mytek. Bass is more dynamic with greater heft while being more nimble at the same time. Remarkable really, but credit for this also goes to the microRendu.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A friend had suggested the Mojo as an upgrade for my Mytek and I thought he was out of his mind. How could a $600 DAC be an upgrade? I had my doubts so I made sure to purchase the Mojo from a seller who accepted returns. Within an hour of plugging it in, I knew the Mojo was a keeper. It was the Mytek that got boxed up instead.

 

I ended up selling the Mytek for a little over what I paid for a new Mojo. I was thrilled because I thought I would have to shell out lots of dollars to get a bump in sound quality; like maybe I'd have to go with something like the Brooklyn. And yet I got a big bump in sound quality without spending a dime. How huge is that?

 

What even made it sweeter was after I purchased the microRendu and then sold my Aries and REGEN, I came out about $600 ahead and got what I consider to be a huge upgrade. That rarely happens in this hobby. Exciting times!

 

Oh and I was also able to bring in another $600 after selling the power cord that I had been using with the Mytek. The Mojo runs on batteries so the power cord matters not. So I actually ended up being $1200 ahead.

 

If the tables were turned and some other Mytek owner had reported what I just reported, I'd be jumping to get a Mojo in to audition so I could hear this myself.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only caveat is that Mojo is designed for cellphones so the USB input can't take in too much noise from desktops and laptops or else the Mojo performance degrades quite significantly IMHO. MicroRendu has a superbly low noise USB implementation which matches the Mojo design perfectly. And Mojo is a phenomenal DAC as I own one too but for it to perform optimally, it should be used as designed. If OP is thinking of getting a Mojo with a generic computer, at the minimum, he should get a USB filter like Audioquest Jitterbug.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I imagine that you weren't present during the recording for most music you listen to, so you really can't tell if the Mytek is 100% accurate in the bass.

 

Pretty silly statement.

 

Been playing blues, jazz and rock guitar in live situations for 35+ years...that's my reference.

 

Hear no bloat and plenty of detail with Mac playing HQ Player at DSD128 FW to Mytek...so not sure I'd jump on fixing something I do not perceive as a problem...but that's just me.

 

Glad you love your Mojo + microRendu.

Tone with Soul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pretty silly statement.

 

Been playing blues, jazz and rock guitar in live situations for 35+ years...that's my reference.

 

Hear no bloat and plenty of detail with Mac playing HQ Player at DSD128 FW to Mytek...so not sure I'd jump on fixing something I do not perceive as a problem...but that's just me.

 

When I hear live music, which is often, I'm struck by how far off my system is from sounding like the real thing. Even the best systems I've heard have very, very far to go. You must have one heck of a system to come away from the sound of live music thinking your system nails it absolutely perfectly and needs absolutely no fixing.

 

I'm not trying to begrudge you for enjoying your Mytek. It's great that you are so pleased with it. But if someone out there is looking to spend some money on a DAC, I'm just saying that I think there are better choices based on my own personal experience. When the Mytek DSD192 came out, it was a steal. It replaced a DAC in my system that retailed for a lot more money. But time has passed and now it's the DSD192's turn to get passed by less expensive DACs.

 

Speaking of live music, I recently got to hear a friend's Chord DAVE in my system. This is the best DAC I've ever heard. Musicians came alive in ways I've never heard before from digital. The Mojo sounded broken relative to that - and so would the Mytek had it had been here. The DAVE at $13k is 22x the price of the Mojo of course, so it better be a lot better. And it really was. But with the DAVE playing, no one would have walked into my home thinking they're hearing the real thing and that there's no fixing needed to hit that mark.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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...