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Old 25th April 2011, 10:15 PM   #1
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Default the "do you have expericen with this thread" DAC, best bang for the buck?

I've been looking for a excellent but cheap DAC; excellent meaning I dont know, a dac you would pay 2000$ in a store

Can the chinese dac upsampling 24/192 delivers enough? the thread is too long, and people seems to finish by drop it eventually and make something better I seem to notice

Should I go for another dac then?

I have around 300$ max as a budget and would like to build something good enough to be satisfied for years.... can the chinese delivers? or not

thanks
Jason
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Old 26th April 2011, 01:55 PM   #2
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The amount you have seems okay to get that DAC to $1000 level, but.....

A fair bit of knowledge, lot of reading, experience, a lot of modifications done… is needed to get that $120 DAC (+ around $80 for parts) to a level of around $1000+ DAC

The reason why many have dropped this DAC is because they do transformer mods and stop there, or they apply capacitors sporadically and achieve nothing... not many have actually studied the PCB layout at all….

My suggestion is to do the search on this, and "the other" DIY sites.... and learn as much as you can, in particular about technics to reduce the noise around digital circuits. Few old-timers have published some excellent articles, so do yourself a favour and read them all…

If this all sounds too complicated and/or too much of a hassle, I suggest you pick a DAC from this site:

ͧ*响

... one that suits your beget. I have selected one for you (see the link). This DAC is within your price range, and is miles ahead compared to $120 Chinese DAC on e-bay (+ it has a case!)

NFB2 is $450 but it has MUCH better power supply regulation compared to NFB3 - so if you want an excellent sounding DAC - get NFB2.

Boky

Last edited by Extreme_Boky; 26th April 2011 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 27th April 2011, 03:03 PM   #3
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Not to cause an argument, but I have 2 of the upsampling dacs, and I don't expect to replace either one. I have never heard anything that sounds as good at a price I can afford. Both have high nickel output trafos and one was physically cut down, installed in a Philips player and fed I2S straight from the SAA7210. YMMV, but they are hard to beat.

I do like the looks of the dacs Boky has linked to, they might be world beaters. One question, they refer to I/V sections in the 8741 units, I thought they were voltage out chips. I imagine they are merely buffers.
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Old 27th April 2011, 03:31 PM   #4
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After the various issues found and addressed on the board in that mammoth thread, it is fair to assume that performing mods on the board improves the sound.

Given the positive noise made about the board I was sort of hoping that it would be a solid performer even stock. My experience is that the board is not impressive in it's stock setup. We'll see what happens after the mailman brings my transformers (cheap Edcors) and other parts, but I've pulled the unit from my system until then. Weak bass, lacks detail, odd response. Grainy and forward.

Hopefully I'll find the positive results others have reported after I get the mods done, but don't buy this board for its stock performance.
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Old 27th April 2011, 04:07 PM   #5
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Can't argue with that, I never even powered up the output section, but I don't think junk trafos are going to help much.
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Old 27th April 2011, 04:40 PM   #6
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Guess I'll burn that bridge when I come to it... I'll have to survey the mid priced offerings, I didn't want to spend more on the trafos than I did on the board!

Jerkbag (in post 3720) didn't seem too upset about them, though he didn't rave like some in the thread have done... I'll have to learn more about transformers if I'm going to figure out which ones are worth having.

Last edited by AdamThorne; 27th April 2011 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 27th April 2011, 06:36 PM   #7
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Dont seem to heard about the nfb2 in here. It sure looks like an amazing deal... Anyone can comment. Ive seen the dddac which looks great. Though the nfb2 seems hard to beat...
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