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  • Can-do-anything DAC

    RMAF (and other shows) tend (in my experience) towards (very realistically) praising loudspeakers and source components. (And I tend towards parentheses. )

    What about 'normally' priced DACs?

    The Mojo Audio Mystique v3 is (probably - I've not heard or seen one) an awesome piece of aspirational equipment, but for me (and many others) is out of new-purchase reach. I'm speaking as some who bought, owned, and regretted selling a two-box EAD DSP-9000 Pro, an astonishingly good 'ordinary' DAC. If you've not heard one, you should.

    Who here has dabbled in the world of XMOS DACs, those which will interpret 16/44.1 through to DSD256 and beyond? Is there, or will there be, an EAD-PRO-equivalent for these wonderful pieces of uber-kit? There's a new world out there, undreamed of in the incipient days of EAD and it's brethren: AliExpress has provided a direct-to-market front for the likes of Gustard.

    Gustard (as far as I can tell) manufacture in China (or Taiwan) using the latest, greatest and most capable ICs. Things many traditionally recognised super-DAC manufacturers would gawp at in astonishment. Their DAC-X20 Pro Super Ultimate 2 - let's not be shy in naming our product, eh? - and DAC-X22 represent the cutting edge of technology, but how do they stack up in terms of audio and (more importantly) musical quality?

    There's a burgeoning development in updates, upgrades and improvements for these DACs. The price is (relatively) low - we're talking in the region of $1k, a long way shy of the Mojo's $6k+. The emphasis is firmly on technology, conversion ability, technical flexibility and perhaps not on musical reproduction, but is anyone picking up the gauntlet and running? Or is this a runaway bleeding-edge market being addressed by niche-market players?
    DIY TT w/ Transrotor mech, Roksan Tabriz Zi, SAE 1000LT
    Vacuum State JLTi phono stage, SAS B11a pre-amp, DIY 2A3 monoblocks
    DIY HD XMOS-based USB->S/PDIF converter, Danish Audio Designs 3-box DAC10
    DIY 3-way folded line speakers, DIY Open Baffles

  • #2
    The last sentence is the direction. I feel hi end is a runaway train in prices. If you don't spend 60k on a dac your not being serous lol.
    Being a Lampi owner it always have me big sound for cheap.
    hi end is mostly prose of ownership woth a few who actually know it's good or not.
    Note most dacs need a good sever but few even comment on it. So you buy it and use your laptop how can this great. Some dacs do use internal reclocking and iso methods but exp models only. The point is most need it but few mention it.
    analog stuff.
    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
    sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
    new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
    thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
    thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
    kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
    phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
    speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
    mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
    digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
    Dacs lampi various

    Comment


    • #3
      The DAC is just one component. Almost every CD player ever manufactured has one, built down to a pro\ice where it becomes an insignificant line item in the manufacturer's bill of materials. This is why an external DAC, fed by either fibre or coaxial output from the CDP, is a popular upgrade.

      And as the vast majority of CDPs contain a DAC, so most DACs contain some form of reclocking. And you can buy an external clock, from economic options through to full-blown atomic clocks.

      The rest of the signal path is just as important, from the originating source through to the transducer (loudspeaker or headphones), and the old adage applies - garbage in, garbage out. Feed a DAC good signal (or give it the chance to 'mend' the signal) and you're in with a chance of good output. Feed it a broken signal and it's like using a roofing nail on a vinyl LP.

      For me, I'll probably go for a solution providing cutting-edge digital handling, enable the best 'feed' signal I can, and improve (as far as I can) the musical reproduction aspects.
      DIY TT w/ Transrotor mech, Roksan Tabriz Zi, SAE 1000LT
      Vacuum State JLTi phono stage, SAS B11a pre-amp, DIY 2A3 monoblocks
      DIY HD XMOS-based USB->S/PDIF converter, Danish Audio Designs 3-box DAC10
      DIY 3-way folded line speakers, DIY Open Baffles

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow you speak al hahaha wonderfully said and completly true. It's shame how it I has become. A good CD player is very hard to beat even today it's a package lol.
        What i don't get is why not make a great CD player that allows for usb and spidif input too. Use the internal synergy and reclocking inside. But few do and reviewer would need to explain the reasons it's good. But that horse has left the barn a while back.
        Msb and dcs do this but at a high cost not worth it by
        analog stuff.
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
        sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
        new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
        thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
        thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
        kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
        phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
        speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
        mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
        digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
        Dacs lampi various

        Comment


        • #5
          We are almost alone hahaha
          analog stuff.
          otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
          otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
          sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
          new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
          thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
          thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
          kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
          phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
          speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
          mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
          digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
          Dacs lampi various

          Comment


          • #6
            Long time since I posted this! And yes Alrainbow it does seem we might be alone! Or we have comprehensively answered the question.

            I've made zero progress on this. Redundancy, looking for work, finding work (hurrah!) and moving house have been all-consuming, in terms of time and emotional capability.

            However, I may look to revisit this soon(ish). At present I'm directing thoughts to decoding DSD at source - within a computer - or decoding within a DAC. Theoretically the DAC should be better at this as it'll have custom ICs designed specifically to achieve this, while the computer will be operating in software. Solid-state drives have become cheap enough to make a testbed an achievable option, so perhaps I'll look at that. If it doesn't work out, it can become a streamer, AV computer, or similar.
            DIY TT w/ Transrotor mech, Roksan Tabriz Zi, SAE 1000LT
            Vacuum State JLTi phono stage, SAS B11a pre-amp, DIY 2A3 monoblocks
            DIY HD XMOS-based USB->S/PDIF converter, Danish Audio Designs 3-box DAC10
            DIY 3-way folded line speakers, DIY Open Baffles

            Comment

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