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Best price/value DAC's

I wondered what the opinion is in this forum on the below mentioned DAC's,
and wheather anyboy knows DAC's with better price/value?

Merk/Type                        Chip(s)                Prijs
Gustard X20u                      ES9018 Sabre      € 772,00
JemmyAudio DAD1pro       ES9018 Sabre      € 305,00
SMSL M8                             ES9018 Sabre      € 223,00
Schiit Modi 2 Uber              AKM AK4490       € 175,00

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #1
Behringer UCA-202 with NWAVGUY's mods, maybe? Around 40 USD.
http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html

For line-level use, probably no need to modify at all: The mods do greatly lower output impedance through the headphone jack though.

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #2
Fiio D3 for ~20 USD?

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #3
Or, any soundcard that doesn't have audible noise is very-likely better than human hearing, and you can't do much better than that!

P.S.
Or, HDMI into a home theater receiver if you want surround sound and support for all of the major formats, and EQ, and remote control, etc.

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #4
I wondered what the opinion is in this forum on the below mentioned DAC's

Well the ES9018 costs about 10-15 dollars in bulk, so I would say anyone charging you hundreds of euros for one is probably not giving you a very good deal unless they are including a lot more than a DAC...

What exactly are you hoping get?

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #5
Well, you can guess my opinion by ABXing these two files:

One is the original track, the other one is the original after being played on a Samsung GT-S5830L and recorded with the line in of a A58M-E motherboard. I even had to convert the original file to AAC because the phone can't play Flac files. xd (though it was an overkill bitrate).

Note: The beginning silence of the recorded file was edited to be free of hiss (the rest is untouched).

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #6
Behringer UCA-202 with NWAVGUY's mods, maybe? Around 40 USD.
http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html

For line-level use, probably no need to modify at all: The mods do greatly lower output impedance through the headphone jack though.

Great price/value headphone DAC. And easy to MOD (http://nwavguy.blogspot.nl/2011/03/behringer-uca202-frankendac.html).
However, I am not into modding and, as you can see on my list, not searching for headphone DAC's


Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #8
I wondered what the opinion is in this forum on the below mentioned DAC's

Well the ES9018 costs about 10-15 dollars in bulk, so I would say anyone charging you hundreds of euros for one is probably not giving you a very good deal unless they are including a lot more than a DAC...

What exactly are you hoping get?
A ES9018 alone doesn't make a decent audio-DAC with commonly wished functionality (And certainly with all the technical possibilities nowadays those wishes are increasing).

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #9
Fiio D3 for ~20 USD?
Would not know where to get it for only 20USD or equivalent in €. And I am not sure weather it meets most of this forums members threshold of value. However, certainly great price/value. (More info: https://hifiduino.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/inside-fiio-d3/)
You're right, it's about 34 euros on Amazon.fr. I'm not real familiar with European retailers so maybe there's a better deal out there. It certainly worked for my purposes.

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #10
What exactly are you hoping get?

A ES9018 alone doesn't make a decent audio-DAC with commonly wished functionality (And certainly with all the technical possibilities nowadays those wishes are increasing).

Once again, what are those wishes?  Do you need more than just a DAC?  It is impossible to answer your question if you don't specify what you are looking for. 

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #11
Well, you can guess my opinion by ABXing these two files:

One is the original track, the other one is the original after being played on a Samsung GT-S5830L and recorded with the line in of a A58M-E motherboard. I even had to convert the original file to AAC because the phone can't play Flac files. xd (though it was an overkill bitrate).

Note: The beginning silence of the recorded file was edited to be free of hiss (the rest is untouched).
Well you obviously would not hear a difference playing them on a Samsung GT-S5830L or a common PC. However,  I would love to know weather anybody hears a difference using a decent audio-setup and the DAC's mentioned by me.

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #12
I am not sure weather it meets most of this forums members threshold of value.
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,3974.msg149481.html#msg149481
Well you obviously would not hear a difference playing them on a Samsung GT-S5830L or a common PC. However,  I would love to know weather anybody hears a difference using a decent audio-setup and the DAC's mentioned by me.
Sure are there bad chips and bad implementations, but on its face, this amounts to little more than elitist bullshit.

Read the above link.  When discussing differences in audible sound quality, the rule here is put up or shut up.

EDIT: Toned it down a bit; "put up or shut up" applies in general, rather than only to the original poster, though it seems pretty clear that the original poster doesn't know about TOS #8 and really really really should.  My post before editing can be seen quoted below.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #13
What exactly are you hoping get?

A ES9018 alone doesn't make a decent audio-DAC with commonly wished functionality (And certainly with all the technical possibilities nowadays those wishes are increasing).

Once again, what are those wishes?  Do you need more than just a DAC?  It is impossible to answer your question if you don't specify what you are looking for. 

An ideal solution would solve the below mentioned situation.

Like many people I have a invested in the past in a decent analogue audioset (my Amp has RCA-jacks only). And I don't want to put that investment to waste.

However I do wish to digitize my Vinyl- and CD-collection into 24bit-192kHz flac files, and be able to play them lossless (thus without cable induced jitter) on my analogue set. I would like to listen to music from the internet (downloading or streaming) on my audioset, or to listen to audio from video's that I play on my TV (For instance with Blu-ray player).

And I would like to use my laptop, I-pad and TV as both monitor to control which music should be played on which device at a certain moment (for example with XMBC?) and as mediaplayer. Among those audiostreams could be DTS or Dolby 7.1 sources while my analogue audioset only takes in 2-channel Stereo.

In other words I would like be able to control on any monitor In my house which music I would like to play on which connected device(s). And all music sources (even DTS and Dolby 7.1 compressed into 24-bit 192kHz flac files) should be transported by cable or by air without loss of quality (so without compression-loss and without jitter).  Which means that digital decoding and digital to analog conversion should take place as close as possible to the loudspeakers.

However, it would take a great effort, and money, to run UTP or HDMI cables everywhere through my house. So I try to avoid this if possible.

I have my digital files on a harddisk connected to my laptop (If necessary I'm willing to invest in a separate NAS). My laptop (with connected harddisk) is located 6 meters from my audioset.
I can run a cable between my laptop and my audioset fairly easy .

My TV is located 6 meters from my audioset and my laptop. However running a cable from my TV to my audioset or laptop would take great effort.

My internet router is located 7 meters from my TV, 10 meters from my laptop and 15 meters from my audioset. I can run a cable between my Internet router and my TV fairly easy . However running a cable from my Internet router to my audioset or laptop would take great effort.

What solution(s) would you advice?

(If no decent solution for the above situation, with good price/value, is available then I would settle with a simple DAC for now. As long as I helps me to play my flac files on my analogue audio-set.)

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #14
I am not sure weather it meets most of this forums members threshold of value.
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,3974.msg149481.html#msg149481
Well you obviously would not hear a difference playing them on a Samsung GT-S5830L or a common PC. However,  I would love to know weather anybody hears a difference using a decent audio-setup and the DAC's mentioned by me.
This amounts to no more than elitist bullshit.

Read the above link: put up or shut up.
Strange response. On which toes did I step? I was only saying "I am not sure" and "I would like to know". What is so elitist about that?

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #15
It sounds like you are actually asking for a fairly ordinary AV receiver and possibly a WiFi audio bridge for the devices that are too far to run RCA cables to. 

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #16
I am not sure weather it meets most of this forums members threshold of value.
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,3974.msg149481.html#msg149481
Well you obviously would not hear a difference playing them on a Samsung GT-S5830L or a common PC. However,  I would love to know weather anybody hears a difference using a decent audio-setup and the DAC's mentioned by me.
This amounts to no more than elitist bullshit.

Read the above link: put up or shut up.
Strange response.

Not really.  You're telling a moderator that you don't feel like following the forum guidelines you agreed to when you signed up.  Expect a negative response.

I was only saying "I am not sure" and "I would like to know". What is so elitist about that?

The presumption that normal people don't have a good enough PC to evaluate the difference between lossless and AAC audio player on a cell phone is extremely elitist.  And almost certainly wrong.

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #17
However I do wish to digitize my [...] CD-collection into 24bit-192kHz flac files
???

cable induced jitter
Fuck me.  I can't be bothered to read beyond this horseshit.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #18
I think they mis-typed "coffee-induced jitters".

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #19
delusionally induced regurgitation
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #20
I am not sure weather it meets most of this forums members threshold of value.
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,3974.msg149481.html#msg149481
Well you obviously would not hear a difference playing them on a Samsung GT-S5830L or a common PC. However,  I would love to know weather anybody hears a difference using a decent audio-setup and the DAC's mentioned by me.
This amounts to no more than elitist bullshit.

Read the above link: put up or shut up.
Strange response.

Not really.  You're telling a moderator that you don't feel like following the forum guidelines you agreed to when you signed up.  Expect a negative response.

I was only saying "I am not sure" and "I would like to know". What is so elitist about that?

The presumption that normal people don't have a good enough PC to evaluate the difference between lossless and AAC audio player on a cell phone is extremely elitist.  And almost certainly wrong.
No, Phoenix1 was insinuating he could not hear the difference. I will gladly believe that you cannot hear the difference on a common PC (maybe there are good ones with great speakers on which you can. I don't no). What I do know is that the quality and detail that comes from my phone and my computerspeakers do not even compare to the quality and detail that comes from my Audio set. And I was curious weather others can. But clearly this forum is not for me. To many people with a history of fight and chips on their shoulder. I just came here for some help since I don't know to much about the subject and the only thing I receipt was being harassed by moderators. Nice forum. Keep up the good work.

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #21
I am not sure weather it meets most of this forums members threshold of value.
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,3974.msg149481.html#msg149481
Well you obviously would not hear a difference playing them on a Samsung GT-S5830L or a common PC. However,  I would love to know weather anybody hears a difference using a decent audio-setup and the DAC's mentioned by me.
This amounts to no more than elitist bullshit.

Read the above link: put up or shut up.
Strange response.

Not really.  You're telling a moderator that you don't feel like following the forum guidelines you agreed to when you signed up.  Expect a negative response.

I was only saying "I am not sure" and "I would like to know". What is so elitist about that?

The presumption that normal people don't have a good enough PC to evaluate the difference between lossless and AAC audio player on a cell phone is extremely elitist.  And almost certainly wrong.
No, Phoenix1 was insinuating he could not hear the difference. I will gladly believe that you cannot hear the difference on a common PC (maybe there are good ones with great speakers on which you can. I don't no). What I do know is that the quality and detail that comes from my phone and my computerspeakers do not even compare to the quality and detail that comes from my Audio set. And I was curious weather others can. But clearly this forum is not for me. To many people with a history of fight and chips on their shoulder. I just came here for some help since I don't know to much about the subject and the only thing I receipt was being harassed by moderators. Nice forum. Keep up the good work.

Then, show us the ABX log of the files that I've linked using your audio set.

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #22
I am not sure weather it meets most of this forums members threshold of value.
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,3974.msg149481.html#msg149481
Well you obviously would not hear a difference playing them on a Samsung GT-S5830L or a common PC. However,  I would love to know weather anybody hears a difference using a decent audio-setup and the DAC's mentioned by me.
This amounts to no more than elitist bullshit.

Read the above link: put up or shut up.
Strange response.

Not really.  You're telling a moderator that you don't feel like following the forum guidelines you agreed to when you signed up.  Expect a negative response.

I was only saying "I am not sure" and "I would like to know". What is so elitist about that?

The presumption that normal people don't have a good enough PC to evaluate the difference between lossless and AAC audio player on a cell phone is extremely elitist.  And almost certainly wrong.
No, Phoenix1 was insinuating he could not hear the difference. I will gladly believe that you cannot hear the difference on a common PC (maybe there are good ones with great speakers on which you can. I don't no). What I do know is that the quality and detail that comes from my phone and my computerspeakers do not even compare to the quality and detail that comes from my Audio set. And I was curious weather others can. But clearly this forum is not for me. To many people with a history of fight and chips on their shoulder. I just came here for some help since I don't know to much about the subject and the only thing I receipt was being harassed by moderators. Nice forum. Keep up the good work.

Then, show us the ABX log of the files that I've linked using your audio set.

What is an ABX log? And is ABX not a listening test? How do I log my ears?

By the way I don't have DAC yet. That why I started this thread in the first place. To get informed on DAC's, by asking peoples opinions about the "supposed to be good DAC" that I found on the net. And maybe people on this forum allready did ABX-tests on those or other DAC's ? Is that so much to ask for? Is not that what forums are supposed to be all about? Help people instead of harassing them in GOD-like elitist way.

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #23
Learning how to liberate your ears from the rest of your senses is the best help you can possibly get; far better than weighing the anecdotal placebophile bullshit that you've undoubtedly read about subjects you say you don't understand.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Best price/value DAC's

Reply #24
I am not sure weather it meets most of this forums members threshold of value.
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,3974.msg149481.html#msg149481
Well you obviously would not hear a difference playing them on a Samsung GT-S5830L or a common PC. However,  I would love to know weather anybody hears a difference using a decent audio-setup and the DAC's mentioned by me.
This amounts to no more than elitist bullshit.

Read the above link: put up or shut up.
Strange response.

Not really.  You're telling a moderator that you don't feel like following the forum guidelines you agreed to when you signed up.  Expect a negative response.

I was only saying "I am not sure" and "I would like to know". What is so elitist about that?

The presumption that normal people don't have a good enough PC to evaluate the difference between lossless and AAC audio player on a cell phone is extremely elitist.  And almost certainly wrong.
No, Phoenix1 was insinuating he could not hear the difference. I will gladly believe that you cannot hear the difference on a common PC (maybe there are good ones with great speakers on which you can. I don't no). What I do know is that the quality and detail that comes from my phone and my computerspeakers do not even compare to the quality and detail that comes from my Audio set. And I was curious weather others can. But clearly this forum is not for me. To many people with a history of fight and chips on their shoulder. I just came here for some help since I don't know to much about the subject and the only thing I receipt was being harassed by moderators. Nice forum. Keep up the good work.

Then, show us the ABX log of the files that I've linked using your audio set.

What is an ABX log? And is ABX not a listening test? How do I log my ears?

By the way I don't have DAC yet. That why I started this thread in the first place. To get informed on DAC's, by asking peoples opinions about the "supposed to be good DAC" that I found on the net. And maybe people on this forum allready did ABX-tests on those or other DAC's ? Is that so much to ask for? Is not that what forums are supposed to be all about? Help people instead of harassing them in GOD-like elitist way.

You need foobar2000. And this: http://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_abx

There are plenty of guides on internet of how to use it, but to resume it, select test A and test B on foobar2000, rightclick, utilities, ABXtracks. Choose the trail count (preferably >10) and start. You have to tell whether not "Play X" is "Play B" or "Play A". (Obviously if for example "Play X" is "Play B", then "Play A" is "Play Y").



 
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