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 Post subject: Value-priced DAC
PostPosted: 09 May 2015, 18:43 
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Joined: 07 Apr 2015, 22:27
Posts: 2
Is there really much difference in the sub $200 DAC, e.g. Schiit Modi2, ODAC, HIFIME 9018D USB DAC, Fiio E17K Alpen 2?

I'm new to the the board and pretty new to decent-sounding home audio. I've been building myself a pair of TriTrix MTM TL Speakers from a kit I got from Parts Express, I'm making a gainclone amp (LM3886 from Chipamp), and I'm looking to set up a reasonably-priced, home audio setup. I'm looking at DACs and was wondering if I'm going to notice any difference in lower-priced ones. Is there a standout DAC in the $100 - 200 price range? I like making things and am up for getting a pcb and putting it in a nice enclosure, but if it's not much more to get something ready-made, it's not essential.


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 Post subject: Re: Value-priced DAC
PostPosted: 10 May 2015, 11:50 
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Joined: 04 Jun 2008, 20:59
Posts: 4100
Location: Arizona, USA
Hi, Welcome to the forums. The speakers are fine and the use of a chip amp is good as well. They should play well together. IMO all the DACs mentioned are roughly equal. In that price range they all tend to make the same compromises. You need to go way up price to get away from it. My preference would be the Schiit. I would suggest that you might want to post the question on diyaudio.com as they have a big following of digital gear.

Good listening
Bruce

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 Post subject: Re: Value-priced DAC
PostPosted: 11 May 2015, 07:15 
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Joined: 21 Jan 2011, 07:24
Posts: 25
I've put myself the same question and decided that buying semi assembled kits with a case available is the best option.The Dac can be upgraded while assembling it ;for example some better resistors in some places,change filter values and adding capacitance and LP Filters for dc & upgrading opamps.
You shoud choose your dac kit by the IC you preffer ,i chosed pcm1794 then choose the SPDIF receiver then the usb converter.Some are discrete and some use just one opamp or discrete + opamps or using transformers.Good Luck,just google it.
I have the same Lm3886 , 4pcs BTL per channell and it took a lot of time assembling it because no case available and PCB was poorly designed,so had to rebuild it ,but its ok now.
I have ksa 100 MKii full kit ,but no case available also many design problems,so choose kits only if you have enough time and know your way around electronics.


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 Post subject: Re: Value-priced DAC
PostPosted: 11 May 2015, 14:18 
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Joined: 08 Aug 2009, 03:11
Posts: 2229
Location: Chilliwack, BC
xslavic wrote:
You shoud choose your dac kit by the IC you preffer...


^--- This ---^

DAC's commercial, kit, DIY using the same chip will all be variations on a theme. Get an idea for each chip (preferably by listening around... opinions are fine but it's your ears) and narrow your choices by the chip you like.

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Value-priced DAC
PostPosted: 13 May 2015, 10:12 
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Joined: 07 Apr 2015, 22:27
Posts: 2
Thanks for the replies; exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for.


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