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Suggestions for a low-cost DAC?


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7 minutes ago, jabbr said:

 

Well folks, I've tracked this down. Turns out that when I bus powered the S2D directly from the Espressobin, I got the same static (like an LP record with crackling) on the S2D as on the DX7s (the DX7s has an AC connection) but when I bus power the S2 using an Uptone ISO Regen, itself supplied by an LPS1.2, the S2 sounds great!

 

This is the biggest improvement I've heard with an ISO Regen ... ever ... hands down bar none. Its weird that they both have the same issue, perhaps the ESS chips are very power supply sensitive (the iDSD Micro doesn't have this same sensitivity for me). 

 

The S2D is sounding pretty great through the Regen/LPS.

 

I'm not clear on what configurations you have compared...

 

S2 w/Regen vs. S2 w/o ??

 

S2 (how?) vs. the BL version ??  (which is a battery operated DAC, right?)

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

 

I'm not clear on what configurations you have compared...

 

S2 w/Regen vs. S2 w/o ??

S2D with Regen -> great

S2D w/o Regen -> background static like the DX7s

 

Quote

 

S2 (how?) vs. the BL version ??  (which is a battery operated DAC, right?)

 

 

 

Will do some more careful listening (the BL doesn't seem Regen dependent at least with the Espressobin) -- I'm not going to use the S2D w/o the Regen/LPS in the future because its unpleasant -- possible that using power isolation etc could fix that but this is supposed to be a semi portable system.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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23 hours ago, Miska said:

And I cannot switch to newer firmware than 5.20 because they ruined the functionality when they added MQA since they needed to remove bunch of other stuff from XMOS firmware to make space for the MQA. At one point they half-promised to make a non-MQA update for it, but so far nothing...

 

 

Wait, really? What functionality did they ruin? Admittedly I used the micro BL for 44/48Khz, not DSD256/DSD512...

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  • 3 weeks later...
5 minutes ago, left channel said:

 

Indeed. This is mostly based on their measurements, published with this month's review of the S2D. The review itself is rather basic.

 

Okay, no wonder I can't find the review on their website. Used to have subscription but not any more. 

Setup #1: GoldenEar Triton Reference --> Parasound Halo Integrated --> Allo DigiOne Signature

Setup #2: ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 --> Akitika GT-102 --> ???

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Re. the Pro-Ject Pre Box S2A :  Out of a small number of Amazon Verified Purchaser Reviews, several cite build quality issues.  Especially those involving either power port's/USB port's "breaking"/"falling-off".  I'm always wary about purchase reviews especially on Amazon.  But there appears to be far too many of a limited sample, "verified" purchasers with the same issue.  So, at the very least before purchasing, I would want to delve into this issue more to confirm that either the reviews on Amazon are abnormal, or Project has fixed the problem.  

 

 

-Mike

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1 hour ago, mrmb said:

Re. the Pro-Ject Pre Box S2A :  Out of a small number of Amazon Verified Purchaser Reviews, several cite build quality issues.  Especially those involving either power port's/USB port's "breaking"/"falling-off".  I'm always wary about purchase reviews especially on Amazon.  But there appears to be far too many of a limited sample, "verified" purchasers with the same issue.  So, at the very least before purchasing, I would want to delve into this issue more to confirm that either the reviews on Amazon are abnormal, or Project has fixed the problem. 

 

There have indeed been hardware and firmware issues galore, but it's still a very ambitious design for its price-point, and most owners seem very happy with it. There's a long thread on the product here, and more good info on head-fi, pinkfishmedia, and elsewhere.
 

 

Everyone wants to date my avatar.

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My unit is pretty early one. Maybe Pro-Ject has been trying different cost savings around the design over time, and not sure how consistent the QA has been. So with more expensive devices one would expect to get more consistent quality. Original design itself is very good though.

 

Personally, I have generic dislike for micro-USB connectors after lot of experience from different devices. Problems are due to various mechanical design challenges. If you have a device with such, just avoid any physical stress to the connector. Doesn't affect electrical performance, but the mechanical durability is not so great.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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About iI audio products, the iDAC2 micro has the best performance as a desktop dac than the micro iDSD and the micro BL, some users of this forum and others and some friends have already compared and found the top idac2. Even ifi itself measures this by saying that it is desktop-oriented and the ones with a battery are portable for headphones.

 
I have one in my system with Speakers Audio Monitor Silver 6 and integrated Sansui D11II with a great result, I had even considered buying the digital D50 or S2 but I am very satisfied with the idac2, now I am arranging an Uptone Regen because they say it is a perfect marriage with the dac of ifi.
 
The SMSL SU-8 V2 looks very promising for the value it costs.
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I am testing out the SMSL VMV D1 dual ESS 9038Pro chip DAC. Really impressive so far. I would say beats my iFi iDSD BL overall. Still going through the comparision as the D1 is approaching 500 hours so should be burnt in. I have started a separate thread for the SMSL VMV D1 dac

Kelvin

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On 1/2/2019 at 5:26 PM, Shangri-La said:

I'm building a desktop system for computer and casual music listening (streaming and CD-ripped tracks). The speakers are ELAC Debut 2.0 bookshelf B6.2. Amp will be most likely the Akitika GT-102 which is a recent Stereophile Class B power amp at amamzingly $500. It's proabaly a bit overkill for the ELAC but it's too tempting to resist. 

 

Now I need a DAC. I was leaning towards the Musical Fidelity V-90, which was a Stereophile Class A DAC, which I assume will be enough for the new setup. But it's a 5-year old product and I'm hoping if there a are newer DACs around that perform nearly as well at a lower cost. Any sugguestions? Thanks. 

 

PS - I was also considering the PS audio Sprout 100 integrated amp, but believe the seperates will give me better sound. 

 

PPS - what about the Schiit Modi 3? It measures very well and gets a great review at audio science review. 

  Just last night I got a newsletter from Stereophile.  There was a link for 2019 recommended components .....  

https://www.stereophile.com/content/recommended-components-2019-edition

 

I could not believe what I saw while reading through their Class A DAC list. There with some very expensive DACs listed. Then this name and price came up..  Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital: $399...   Listed right before the Schiit Yggdrasil.

It all depends upon in what dimension of life one finds themselves living in.  For, one man's music is another man's noise. 

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3 hours ago, GeneZ said:

  Just last night I got a newsletter from Stereophile.  There was a link for 2019 recommended components .....  

https://www.stereophile.com/content/recommended-components-2019-edition

 

I could not believe what I saw while reading through their Class A DAC list. There with some very expensive DACs listed. Then this name and price came up..  Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital: $399...   Listed right before the Schiit Yggdrasil.

 

And JA commented in the measurements:

 

680797122_ScreenShot2019-03-16at8_58_50am.png.3d85aa8c2280d1008c1d4315ffdf6254.png

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17 hours ago, GeneZ said:

  Just last night I got a newsletter from Stereophile.  There was a link for 2019 recommended components .....  

https://www.stereophile.com/content/recommended-components-2019-edition

 

I could not believe what I saw while reading through their Class A DAC list. There with some very expensive DACs listed. Then this name and price came up..  Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital: $399...   Listed right before the Schiit Yggdrasil.

 

Yes, that is exactly my reactions when I first read it. Wonderful achievement for a 400 DAC. My desktop project in the original post is taking a back seat though, as I'm really enjoying the Akitika GT102 amp in my main system lol.

Setup #1: GoldenEar Triton Reference --> Parasound Halo Integrated --> Allo DigiOne Signature

Setup #2: ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 --> Akitika GT-102 --> ???

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