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[Poll] Which one would you pick? Looking for an all in one dac under 2000.


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HI. I'm currently looking for a new dac to upgrade my current dac (Aune x1s). The reason for upgrading the Aune is it does not have any output volume adjustment so I have to control the volume through windows. The volume is also way too loud so I have to leave it under 10 most of the time. I have also put a want to buy ad in the classified but seems like people tend to hold on to their gear and the DAC v-1 rarely come up for sale. If anyone have one and planning to upgrade or sell please feel free to pm me. Due to I couldn't find a Naim DAC v-1 for sale that is within my price range, I have came with 2 options but not sure which one should I go for. Both DACs are around the same price range.

 

Current system

Source: Tidal

Amplifier: Naim NAP 100

Speakers: Cabasse Minorca MC40

Dac: Aune X1s

 

My requirements

1. headphone amp

2. Volume knob to control the output volume

3. Can be use as pre amp

4. USB input

5. Small enough to put on top of the NAP 100

6. remote (optional)

 

Option 1

Naim Dac V-1 for GBP 899 around $1604 + shipping + import tax

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Naim-DAC-V1-D-to-A-Converter/224183982826

 

Naim DAC V-1

https://www.naimaudio.com/product/dac-v1

 

Option 2

RME ADI-2 DAC FS for EUR 969 around $1561 + shipping( $98) + import tax

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/RME-ADI-2-DAC-FS/313166531158

 

RME ADI-2 DAC FS

https://www.rme-audio.de/adi-2-dac.html

 

Option 3

Save myself 1k and buy the Topping Dx7 pro

or

Anything within the same price range

 

The reason for choosing the Naim DAC V-1 is  due to I already have the NAP 100 and DAC V-1 will be the ideal match because they are both from the same company. The problem with the Naim Dac v-1 is I will have to use some parcel forwarding service to redirect it to Australia because the seller only ships locally in UK. I'm not against parcel forwarding service but if something happen to the dac like defects or something like that, it will be a headache to return it to UK. For the RME ADI-2 DAC FS, I have seen a lot of the good reviews from many websites and forums. Like the Naim dac v-1 it ticks all the boxes. My only hold back with the RME is I'm not sure if it will pair well with the Naim power amp. Any advice and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

naim dac v1.jpg

rme.thumb.jpg.2adb4d3413684e52bd6c59491e840e16.jpg

Edited by John8819
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7 hours ago, Irek said:

I would add to the list Schiit Lyr, Topping Dx7pro,

or Topping A90 or Valhalla with your existing DAC. 

 

Irek, Thank you for your suggestions. I am looking for an all in one dac to replace my current dac because it does not have a variable line output. Therefore, I'm not planning to buy a separate headphone amp. The Schiit Lyr is a little bit wider than NAP 100, I'm not sure if it will fit on top of the NAP 100. I will look into the Topping Dx7pro.

Edited by John8819
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5 hours ago, barbz127 said:

Would a cma400 do the job? $1299 new or see if a WTB nets anything

 

https://www.minidisc.com.au/questyle-cma400i

CMA400 looks like a solid built dac, the specs are good too but it is too wide. Due to limited space on my desk, I'm trying to find a dac that can stack up on top of the NAP 100.

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  • John8819 changed the title to [Poll] Which one would you pick? Looking for a dac/headphone amp/preamp under 2000.
23 hours ago, John8819 said:

HI. I'm currently looking for a new dac to upgrade my current dac (Aune x1s). The reason for upgrading the Aune is it does not have any output volume adjustment so I have to control the volume through windows. The volume is also way too loud so I have to leave it under 10 most of the time. I have also put a want to buy ad in the classified but seems like people tend to hold on to their gear and the DAC v-1 rarely come up for sale. If anyone have one and planning to upgrade or sell please feel free to pm me. Due to I couldn't find a Naim DAC v-1 for sale that is within my price range, I have came with 2 options but not sure which one should I go for. Both DACs are around the same price range.

 

Current system

Source: Tidal

Amplifier: Naim NAP 100

Speakers: Cabasse Minorca MC40

Dac: Aune X1s

 

My requirements

1. headphone amp

2. Volume knob to control the output volume

3. Can be use as pre amp

4. USB input

5. Small enough to put on top of the NAP 100

6. remote (optional)

 

Option 1

Naim Dac V-1 for GBP 899 around $1604 + shipping + import tax

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Naim-DAC-V1-D-to-A-Converter/224183982826

 

Naim DAC V-1

https://www.naimaudio.com/product/dac-v1

 

Option 2

RME ADI-2 DAC FS for EUR 969 around $1561 + shipping( $98) + import tax

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/RME-ADI-2-DAC-FS/313166531158

 

RME ADI-2 DAC FS

https://www.rme-audio.de/adi-2-dac.html

 

Option 3

Save myself 1k and buy the Topping Dx7 pro

or

Anything within the same price range

 

The reason for choosing the Naim DAC V-1 is  due to I already have the NAP 100 and DAC V-1 will be the ideal match because they are both from the same company. The problem with the Naim Dac v-1 is I will have to use some parcel forwarding service to redirect it to Australia because the seller only ships locally in UK. I'm not against parcel forwarding service but if something happen to the dac like defects or something like that, it will be a headache to return it to UK. For the RME ADI-2 DAC FS, I have seen a lot of the good reviews from many websites and forums. Like the Naim dac v-1 it ticks all the boxes. My only hold back with the RME is I'm not sure if it will pair well with the Naim power amp. Any advice and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

 

 

 

Strange ... to me:

  • a DAC is a something that converts a digital signal into an analogue signal (which you then feed into a preamp - which then feeds a power amp - or directly into a power amp if either it or the DAC has a volume control).
  • a headphone amp is a 'power amp for cans '.
  • a preamp is something that a. selects sources and b. controls volume.

All these items are distinctly separate, IMO!  :)

 

8 hours ago, John8819 said:

The Schiit Lyr is a little bit wider than NAP 100, I'm not sure if it will fit on top of the NAP 100. I will look into the Topping Dx7pro.

 

So why not put the NAP100 on top of the Lyr?  As the Lyr won't get hot but the NAP100 - being a power amp will - that seems like the right thing to do.  :)

 

Andy

 

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  • John8819 changed the title to [Poll] Which one would you pick? Looking for an all in one dac under 2000.
35 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

 

Strange ... to me:

  • a DAC is a something that converts a digital signal into an analogue signal (which you then feed into a preamp - which then feeds a power amp - or directly into a power amp if either it or the DAC has a volume control).
  • a headphone amp is a 'power amp for cans '.
  • a preamp is something that a. selects sources and b. controls volume.

All these items are distinctly separate, IMO!  :)

 

 

So why not put the NAP100 on top of the Lyr?  As the Lyr won't get hot but the NAP100 - being a power amp will - that seems like the right thing to do.  :)

 

Andy

 

Thanks for the reminder. I will rephrase the topic, it is a little bit misleading. What I meant was I was looking for an all in one dac that has the function of  headphone amp and variable line output. This is my home office setup so my only source is Tidal using USB connection. I would love to have 3 separate components but unfortunately I don't have enough space on my desk.

 

The Schiit Lyt is a nice dac but it has a tube on top of it so there is not a lot of space left for the NAP 100. Besides, the NAP 100 is a lot longer than the Schiit Lyr so I'm not sure if I can fit the NAP 100 on top of the Schiit Lyr.

Edited by John8819
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Schiit Jotunheim? Mine performs well in desktop configuration.  Can be purchased in Australia.  

 

From their website:

 

jotunheim%202%20main%20silver%201920.jpg
  Unique technology, unrivalled flexibility, and modular design—the Jotunheim 2 sets the standard for balanced headphone amps and preamps. It’s ready for any headphone—and fully enabled to be the centerpiece of a complete desktop system. 

The Best $2400 Headphone Amp—For $400?
If you’re talking fully discrete, truly balanced headphone amps, you’re usually talking big, big money. Not with Jotunheim 2. It meets—or even exceeds—the insane parts and build quality of boutique amps. A true balanced, 4-gang, silky-smooth Alps RK27114 potentiometer and 1% “supermatched” JFET inputs, 10% matched, paired BJT gain stage and output devices, and zero capacitors in the signal path is just a start. Jotunheim 2 also features our exclusive Nexus™ current-feedback, inherently differential, input/output agnostic topology. It also includes our Continuity S™ output stage for exceptional linearity and efficiency at high output. Or, in English, Jotunheim 2 connects seamlessly to all your sources without compromise, puts out an incredible amount of power, and is whisper-quiet on even the most sensitive IEMs.

Total. Desktop. Control.
Jotunheim 2 provides all the connections and control for your entire desktop. Choose balanced, single-ended, or an internal card source with one front panel switch. Enjoy all your headphones, from the most power-hungry to the most sensitive. Hook up to powered monitors or speaker power amps via the balanced and single-ended preamp outputs. And, enable or disable the preamp outputs with a convenient switch. Jotunheim is all you need for a state-of-the-art desktop.
 
Modularity: Tailored To Your Needs, Ready For the Future
Jotunheim 2 is the only modular, affordable balanced headphone amp available today. This means it’s the only amp that lets you tailor it perfectly to your needs. Choose from one of three optional modules: 
  • True Multibit™ DAC. Choose the optional True Multibit DAC module to get Schiit’s unique time- and frequency-domain optimized digital filter and multi-bit D/A converters for $200.
  • AK4490 DAC. Or choose the more affordable AK4490 DAC module for a world-class delta-sigma DAC for $100. 
  • MM Phono. Or, choose the MM phono input module, for 42dB of gain and passive RIAA, for great phono sound, for $100. 
Also, Jotunheim 2’s modular design means you’re ready for the future. You won’t get stuck with dumpster fodder if DAC technology changes—just swap the module. And, you won’t get stuck with an amp that doesn’t work for you—change the module to meet your changing needs.
 
Designed and Built in California
By “designed and built in California" this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Jotunheim 2—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made minutes from our facility. Our PCBs are done just over the hill from us. Our transformers are made in NorCal. You get the picture. 
 
5-Year Warranty and Easy Return Policy
Jotunheim 2 is covered by a 5-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor. And if you don’t like your Jotunheim 2, you can send it back for a refund, minus 5% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving it.
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Just gonna chime in and say the rme-adi2 fs is pretty small. I was picking up something at an audio store and recognized it right away. When I saw it up close, its really quite cute haha. So perfect for desk space and heaps of features, depends if you'll use them though. Can't go wrong, just more on the expensive side.

 

Also can't go wrong with the dx7 pro, very sexy too.

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https://www.audioapartmento.com.au/shop/naim-dac-v1/

Ask them if it carries local warranty and just buy that. Any issues with the unit can be resolved here and it’s a perfect pairing to the nap100. 
Any cheaper and you will be sharing horror story on how you saved afew $$$$  from overseas but now need to be looked after warranty wise

Neo

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18 hours ago, Neo said:

https://www.audioapartmento.com.au/shop/naim-dac-v1/

Ask them if it carries local warranty and just buy that. Any issues with the unit can be resolved here and it’s a perfect pairing to the nap100. 
Any cheaper and you will be sharing horror story on how you saved afew $$$$  from overseas but now need to be looked after warranty wise

Neo

Thanks for the reminder. That's actually a very good point that I forgot about. Not having local warranty is one of the things that put me off from buying overseas as I don't want to send it all the way back to have warranty issues sorted. The Naim OLED display is known to have some issues. It might actually be much better to buy locally to have the warranty included. Currently, I'm more leaning towards the RME due to the extra features it offers. The Naim Dac- v1 is not bad but it's getting a bit old now in terms of the technology.

Edited by John8819
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StudioDJ in Richmond have an RME plugged in for you to demo with a pretty nice list of headphones, nothing too crazy (sennheiser, akg, beyer i think). Might not help much but just saw that you're from Melbourne.

 

I was able to play around with its features while i was there, might be worth even though you're not gonna use it for headphones, you're there to see its size and features and play around with it

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Don’t be fixated on features and latest trends, but be fixated on sound. A lot of gear that’s now considered old will sound better than the one with all the bells and whistles. Naim dac v1 and nap100, will be the most ideal pairing. As for the oled displays I have plenty of Naim gear that use that and no issues. Some are 5-6 years old, that was unitilite and Unitiqute, both sold due to upgrade.

Naim pairing will have a perfect match in terms of gain on your nap100, something can’t be said with certainty in regard to the rme. 
I will use my situation as an example I’m using nap200dr with a Lehman Audio linear SE as a simple pre. I can’t get past 9am as the sound is too loud. If it was a Naim pre no issues like that. 
My nac272/nap200dr are in perfect synergy in that regard, so don’t be swayed by the flavor of the month and grab the Naim Dac v-1, very versatile as a Swiss army pre/Dac and an excellent headphone amplifier section as well.

Just a thought, RME still commands top dollar even secondhand, grab Naim new with warranty at a good discount and enjoy the music, that’s the important bit. 
 

https://www.naimaudio.com/product/dac-v1


Neo

Edited by Neo
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On 22/12/2020 at 12:46 PM, dwee said:

StudioDJ in Richmond have an RME plugged in for you to demo with a pretty nice list of headphones, nothing too crazy (sennheiser, akg, beyer i think). Might not help much but just saw that you're from Melbourne.

 

I was able to play around with its features while i was there, might be worth even though you're not gonna use it for headphones, you're there to see its size and features and play around with it

Thanks for letting me know. I will go and have a look.

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On 22/12/2020 at 12:48 PM, Neo said:

Don’t be fixated on features and latest trends, but be fixated on sound. A lot of gear that’s now considered old will sound better than the one with all the bells and whistles. Naim dac v1 and nap100, will be the most ideal pairing. As for the oled displays I have plenty of Naim gear that use that and no issues. Some are 5-6 years old, that was unitilite and Unitiqute, both sold due to upgrade.

Naim pairing will have a perfect match in terms of gain on your nap100, something can’t be said with certainty in regard to the rme. 
I will use my situation as an example I’m using nap200dr with a Lehman Audio linear SE as a simple pre. I can’t get past 9am as the sound is too loud. If it was a Naim pre no issues like that. 
My nac272/nap200dr are in perfect synergy in that regard, so don’t be swayed by the flavor of the month and grab the Naim Dac v-1, very versatile as a Swiss army pre/Dac and an excellent headphone amplifier section as well.

Just a thought, RME still commands top dollar even secondhand, grab Naim new with warranty at a good discount and enjoy the music, that’s the important bit. 
 

https://www.naimaudio.com/product/dac-v1


Neo

That is exactly the reason why I want to pair the NAP 100 with another Naim. My current setup with Aune x1s dac is having the gain problem, the line out is not variable and its too loud. I cannot get past 10 on volume in windows. Currently, I cannot find any dac v-1 for sale in Australia that is within my budget so my only option is to buy from oversea or buy the RME. This is going to be a hard decision to make between two DACs.

Edited by John8819
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8 minutes ago, John8819 said:

That is exactly the reason why I want to pair the NAP 100 with another Naim. My current setup with Aune x1s dac is having the gain problem, the line out is not variable and its too loud. I cannot get past 10 on volume in windows. Currently, I cannot find any dac v-1 for sale in Australia that is within my budget so my only option is to buy from oversea or buy the RME. This is going to be a hard decision to make between two DACs.

You may find that you will have the same problem with RME and it’s sound signature 

Neo

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Burson Playmate 2 ($990) or Burson Conductor 3 Performance ($1599). Made in Melbourne. Universally well reviewed brand. Great aftersales support. Both smaller than DacV1

Keith

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I’m super impressed with my RME. It’s great. For the purposes you have stated, it will more than deliver. I’ve always thought it curious that the audiophiles here don’t take more inspiration from professional recording studio gear. They’ll say it’s too clinical, not romantic, etc. I say the clock is fantastic, and it is accurate. It reproduces what is meant to be heard. Trust the music making and professional recording process, don’t try and colour things too much afterwards. Listen flat and accurate as much as possible. RME gets my vote

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A pal with a very revealing and well balanced system recently bought the RME dac. It was found to be too much on the clinical side and was moved on pretty quickly.

Of the dac's listed the Naim is the obvious choice but another one that should work well with the Naim is : https://www.musicalparadise.ca/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=61&product_id=97

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