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Entry Level DAC purchasing advice


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3 hours ago, Ittaku said:

I've bought 3 Topping DACs from Shenzhen audio direct which is cheaper than buying local, and shipping is free. No issues with buying.

https://shenzhenaudio.com/

How long did shipping take? And are we talking pre-pandemic or since the world began to officially crumble around our ears?

 

I ordered some (non-audio related stuff) from Aliexpress back in March and didn't see it until late June......

 

 

 

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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

Happened upon this topic and it took me right back..... I tried quite a few budget Dacs back when I was getting started on my first proper system. It's half the fun of this gig - trying a new componen

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27 minutes ago, el toro said:

How long did shipping take? And are we talking pre-pandemic or since the world began to officially crumble around our ears?

 

I ordered some (non-audio related stuff) from Aliexpress back in March and didn't see it until late June......

 

 

 

1 week prepandemic. 3 weeks in pandemic.

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1 hour ago, el toro said:

How long did shipping take?

Aliexpress free shipping has taken up to eight weeks for me in pandemic, I now try find a seller with the cheaper tracked shipping ($3-4) that ships in +- 3 weeks.

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I would recommend either the SMSL su-8 v2 or the Topping E30.  Have both and they are both great for the price.  The smsl is more detailed and is balanced with both XLR and RCA out but is almost twice the price of the Topping.  There is a difference in sound and they obviously use different chipsets. 

 

The Topping used to be found via email locally for less the Shen Zhen Audio, got mine off Ebay at the time.  Looks like it has slightly changed but I would recommend ebay if you want it in a few days not at least a month if not longer as it is a local seller as such.

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Just to add to the heap of Topping recommendations, I use a D50s for exactly the job you describe, albeit with Marantz and Dynaudio kit. It worked perfectly straight out of the box, and it comes in a silver that matches your Yamaha. The remote is also quite good for the price range. I have zero complaints.

 

I think your issue with brightness is, as others have suggested, that you have a treble forward sounding speaker with an amp that is a little bit rough in that range (versus their more expensive offerings). 

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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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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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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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