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Old 27th April 2013, 10:03 PM   #1
jake01 is offline jake01  United States
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Default $250 DAC recommendation please

Hi all-

I have a specific application (a PC build) in need of a DAC, with a budget of $200-$300. I really like the look of Twisted Pair stuff, but it is more than what this project calls for. I am looking at ready-built stuff, like the DragonFly and similar, but thought that perhaps a kit would have more value, although DIY is not a critical requirement here.

Your recommendations are greatly welcome!

BTW, A-USB is great, but would settle for coax I suppose.
BTW2, up to $300+- does not have to include the enclosure..
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Old 27th April 2013, 11:01 PM   #2
MrSlim is offline MrSlim  Canada
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AMB's gamma2 could be built for that, and it's a very nice sounding DAC
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Old 28th April 2013, 10:03 AM   #3
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ODAC - an assembled board without a case can be had for $99 plus postage.
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Old 28th April 2013, 03:41 PM   #4
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I have amb y2. It is good.

IMO ak4399 is the better DAC. More natural sound.

ak4399 | eBay
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Old 29th April 2013, 10:50 PM   #5
jake01 is offline jake01  United States
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Thanks for the links guys, very interesting. I also ran across this one, any thoughts on it? Looks kind of serious, ES9018 DAC + USB board + transformer + enclosure for about $250. Shipping from china might be high for all of these though.

Assembled board ES9018 32bit 192khz Hi End DAC Optical Coax and Balanced output | eBay

Except I don't understand the discrepancy between "balanced output" and RCA jacks. Did they not implement the balanced? I could really use these for an active setup.

Last edited by jake01; 29th April 2013 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 29th April 2013, 11:08 PM   #6
billyk is offline billyk  United States
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The ODAC is pretty nice and well worth your consideration. I like it as a one board solution and it does things well and sounds good, I think it is an excellent value. I also like the y2 DAC, but you said you were looking for a finished unit. It was a nice build and I like the sound of it too. The soon to be released "subbu" looks to be a real winner, don't own one so cannot speak from experience, but I did sign up for two of them!
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Old 30th April 2013, 02:31 AM   #7
jake01 is offline jake01  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyk View Post
The ODAC is pretty nice and well worth your consideration. I like it as a one board solution and it does things well and sounds good, I think it is an excellent value. I also like the y2 DAC, but you said you were looking for a finished unit. It was a nice build and I like the sound of it too. The soon to be released "subbu" looks to be a real winner, don't own one so cannot speak from experience, but I did sign up for two of them!
I agree, ODAC has detailed measurement and blind tests behind it, ships from the US and within budget. The units on eBAY look good because of separate power supplies, but hard to say what this will bring in these specific implementations.
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Old 30th April 2013, 02:40 AM   #8
jake01 is offline jake01  United States
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Now if I can only mentally prepare my self to read the subbu group buy thread...
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Old 30th April 2013, 06:37 AM   #9
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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I would avoid that ebay ESS board, its practically circular there are so many corners cut
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Old 30th April 2013, 07:25 AM   #10
jake01 is offline jake01  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post
I would avoid that ebay ESS board, its practically circular there are so many corners cut
Ok thanks!
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