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Entry Level DAC purchasing advice


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Thanks @sly_bastard for the SMSL su-8 v2 recommendation, I'll have a look into that one too. Thanks very much @twofires, very helpful advice knowing you use it for the exact same purposes. Definitely acknowledge the last point of your post, and I will get to the speaker and amp changes in due course. Just hoping to not add to the issue.

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I would look at one of Clay Gieseler Dacs. Made in Aust. Giant killers.  They come up on here from time to time within your price range

I haven’t heard the Arcam but TBH I wouldn’t bother with an older second hand dac unless you’re getting into the higher end. I’d just buy a new Topping e 30 - they’re a bargain and will do everything

No need to be embarrassed - youve got to start somewhere. I only ask because it’s unwise to try and correct, for example, brightness caused by speakers with a particular dac. The dac just doesn’t have

11 minutes ago, Sterg237 said:

Thanks very much @twofires, very helpful advice knowing you use it for the exact same purposes. Definitely acknowledge the last point of your post, and I will get to the speaker and amp changes in due course. Just hoping to not add to the issue.

No worries. Also remember that it's not a crime to nudge that treble control on the Yamaha down a hair. It's your listening preference - don't stress too much about whether it's the 'correct' thing to do.

 

You could also try removing any toe in on the speakers (pointing them straight out into the room) so that you're listening slightly off axis relative to the tweeters - that can calm things down a little. Also make sure there's adequate space between them. You get some speakers within 2m of each other and it starts to sound a bit nasty. Apologies if I'm rehashing things you already know/have tried - I admit I got half way through this thread and started skimming a bit. 

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No, a few of those options certainly have been thrown out there yet @twofires, so thank you. I have no issue playing around with the bass and treble controls regularly depending on whats playing. It's only my girlfriend and I, so there is no judgement (unless it's from the cat or dog)! They are fairly well spaced, off the top of my head about 1.8m, but I'll play with positioning. Given it is set up in the lounge room, I also have to follow certain interior design directives! 

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Hi all, I know I started this thread looking for DAC advice, but there was also significant interest and advice when I mentioned my system was on the bright side.
 

Just an update on that front, I hooked up a Schiit Mani preamp which I picked up off another SNA member a couple of weeks again, yesterday, and it’s made an incredible difference to the sound compared to the inbuilt one in the Yamaha. I have a 2M Blue cartridge I haven’t yet installed, that might make an added difference. I still plan to switch out the amps and speakers in due course, but that will be for another thread.

 

Therefore, as a few people have recommended, I’ll probably look out for a Schiit DAC too, with the Topping a good fallback position.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a Modi Multibit you are welcome to try out for a month or so. I have found it to be not quite as nice as a Klein 2 and about the same as the internal DAC in a bluesound node 2i. Let me know you are within 5km of Richmond or 10km if we meet halfway.

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Sorry to keep you in suspense @nowallet, I thought this thread had died off! 

 

I'm actually playing the long-game for a change, preferring to pay off my credit card from a couple of recent SNA purchases first. I'm keeping a keen eye on the classifieds and will jump on anything that comes up, but otherwise I'm probably about a fortnight away from putting a WTB up.

 

I will be taking @Justin M up on his offer to borrow his Modi Multibit, as that was on a shortlist along with a Bifrost Multibit, Chord Mojo, Rega DAC or Arcam irDacs. From what I have gathered, they are ones that might add the slightest bit of sound improvement. Any feedback on those named is welcome. If that fails, I'll fall back to the Toppings which sounds like will be a solid performer at an exceptional price.

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  • 1 month later...

Been a while since I posted on this thread, but for all of those playing at home, things have certainly come full circle in that time.

 

Lockdown ended and I have since sold the Yamaha amp and Dali speakers, and purchased a new set of speakers (Wharfedale Lintons) and amp (Rega Elex-R) which should certainly take the quality of sound a few leaps forward from where it was when this thread commenced. I also picked up a Chord Mojo with a new battery on Gumtree at a good price, so I plan to use this at line level as my DAC. I know it is not considered "warm", but think the speakers have that covered now.

 

In an effort of self-restraint, the speakers will remain boxed up until Christmas, so won't be able to provide any sort of feedback until the festive period is over (if anyone is actually still following this by then...)

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