TEAC UD-501

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Atlplasma

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TEAC UD-501
« on: 29 Jan 2013, 04:25 pm »
I've been considering a DAC upgrade for some time and really wanted to get one with DSD capability. The Mytek, Sonore exD, and Chord QuteHD were all on my list, but the price on the TEAC UD-501 was much more within my budget. I have one on order and will share listening impressions once it arrives.

Anyone else who has gone in this direction is welcome to post their observations as well.

bprice2

Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #1 on: 29 Jan 2013, 04:54 pm »
I look forward to your impressions.

ted_b

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Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #2 on: 29 Jan 2013, 05:14 pm »
Here's someone who bought one and has the Meitner MA-1 (my big rig DAC):
(taken from poster named Audio on xtremeplace forum)

Straight out of the box, I hook it up with the main system

It sound good…..and totally acceptable.  Clean, correct tone, detailed, dark….mind you, this is only ordinary PCM.  I went through the filter, yes, the 4 filters gave different sound but it’s not like different in tone, it seems like all 4 filters are dynamic in nature and it was very difficult to choose the “preferred” filter in so short a time. Filter #2 and seems to be the default and sounded the loudest.

When selected to play DSD, it sound like a million bucks….you can tell that DSD is superior to PCM, straightaway.  It is just more dynamic, more focused soundstage, even darker, a better sense of the ambience in the studio (Yes, I was listening to the Blue Coast sample).  Yes, you can hear the random light boot thud.

But sorry, no good news here when you compare the TEAC to the Meitner, there is still justification for the Meitner to be priced at US$7K.  Again, no need to strain the hear the difference….once the Meiter is online you can hear the micro details, the separation between the voices, the solidity of each voice and instrument, a hairline more dynamic and the most important reason why you buy Meitner or EMM labs, the emotion.

And when I place the CD (ABBA, the Visitors, remastered Complete Studio Recordings version) into the EMM Labs CDSA, playback on the Meitner, yet another layer of refinement….the separation of voices is more focused, now even more emotion, no need to strain, you can hear the difference very easily.

I ended the night by moving the TEAC to my bedroom to join my headphone rig and played a few selections.

That was when I discovered the 384K sampling mode.  OK, when I played a track at 44.1K, it sounded raw with roughness and but once I up sampled it to 384K, all the roughness is gone.  I am not sure this is good or not as the output from the TEAC dropped drastically that I can no longer get ear-deafening output from my HD-800 even at max Bryston Vol.  Not only the roughness had been iron away, the sound has become less dynamic as well, that’s a bad thing.  Maybe need to experiment with this a bit.

The headphone output of the TEAC is OK too but with a HD-800, you max out the vol control easily.    When compared to the Bryston BHA-1, again, it’s no fight, just more detailed sound from the Bryston.

Am I happy with the TEAC?  Absolutely because:-

(1)   Cheapest DSC DAC I could find.
(2)   Portable.
(3)   Very nice design, I like the look
(4)   XLR outputs, this is important.
(5)   384KHz sampling, all my DACs at home could only do 192K.
(6)   Digital display
(7)   Very decent sounding for the price.
[8]   XLR hot 2 pin or hot 3 pin switchable.


By the way, as if it's matters, this DAC is made in China.   :)

(Audio)

ted_b

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Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #3 on: 29 Jan 2013, 05:15 pm »
I will be getting one and comparing it to my Mytek and Meitner DACs too, but probably a month from now.

Afterimage

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Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #4 on: 30 Jan 2013, 12:45 pm »
Ted, which one do you like better between the MyteK and Meitner?  I have the Mytek, about 300 hours on it, and a NAD M51.  So far every time I compare the two, the Mytek is better.  More open and spacious.  The NAD sounds nice, but a little veiled in compared to the Mytek.

ted_b

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Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #5 on: 30 Jan 2013, 01:08 pm »
I've posted elsewhere but the Mytek is very very good for its price and beyond.  However, at 4X the price the Meitner is quite a bit better, and should be.  Michal (Mytek) and I have often chatted about what Mytek could do if designing a $7K DAC. 

bprice2

Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #6 on: 30 Jan 2013, 03:09 pm »
I pulled the trigger on this last night and should have a UD-501 sometime next week.  As far as PCM, I'll be able to to compare it to a Schiit Gungnir and a Bolder modified (analog) Squeezebox Touch.  And, of course, I will be able to hear what DSD sounds like for the first time.   Assuming the rumors become true regarding DSD capability, I also plan on auditioning the Oppo BDP-105.

Atlplasma

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Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #7 on: 6 Feb 2013, 07:36 pm »
I received the Teac today and have it up and running. It sounds a lot like my Bifrost but with the added benefit of DSD. So far there is nothing to dislike, but I'll report more when I have time to really sit down and listen.

Airborn

Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #8 on: 22 Feb 2013, 10:19 pm »
I am considering this DAC but wonder if it will accept the EDO usb out of my SB Touch at 24/192?  On the slimdevices forum there is a list of dacs that work with the EDO (Enhanced Digital Output) mod. that enables the Touch to output 24/192 files via usb.  The lower end TEAC UD-H01 dac is listed but not the newer, DSD capable UD-501.  Does anyone know the answer to this question?
« Last Edit: 24 Feb 2013, 12:33 am by Airborn »

Atlplasma

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Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #9 on: 23 Feb 2013, 12:02 am »
I am considering this DAC but wonder if it will accept the EDO usb out of my SB Touch at 24/196?  On the slimdevices forum there is a list of dacs that work with the EDO (Enhanced Digital Output) mod. that enables the Touch to output 24/196 files via usb.  The lower end TEAC UD-H01 dac is listed but not the newer, DSD capable UD-501.  Does anyone know the answer to this question?

If you get no feedback, consider buying the Teac from Sears. If it doesn't work out, the return will be pretty painless.

bprice2

Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #10 on: 23 Feb 2013, 12:40 am »
I am considering this DAC but wonder if it will accept the EDO usb out of my SB Touch at 24/196?  On the slimdevices forum there is a list of dacs that work with the EDO (Enhanced Digital Output) mod. that enables the Touch to output 24/196 files via usb.  The lower end TEAC UD-H01 dac is listed but not the newer, DSD capable UD-501.  Does anyone know the answer to this question?

I don't think the UD-501 will work with EDO via USB. At least I haven't been able to make it work. Because the UD-501 requires a driver to play with a PC via USB, I don't think it uses a standard USB interface, so won't play with the Touch.

Via coax, the UD-501 works great with Touch/EDO.

Napalm

Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #11 on: 23 Feb 2013, 12:42 am »
Schiit Gungnir

i'm saving for the Dawg Ballocks

 :icon_twisted:

Airborn

Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #12 on: 23 Feb 2013, 04:36 am »
Thanks for the responses. How about those reviews from Atlplasma and bprice2? Anyone using this with Touch other than bprice2?

bprice2

Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #13 on: 23 Feb 2013, 05:51 pm »
Thanks for the responses. How about those reviews from Atlplasma and bprice2? Anyone using this with Touch other than bprice2?

Ok, I think I've listened long enough with the TEAC in my system to comment on it. It's been in the system now for about 200 hours and I've had a chance to experiment with different configurations and different sample rates, including DSD. I've listened with a Squeezebox Touch with analog mods (clearly not used here) and aftermarket linear power supply by the Bolder Cable Co. The Touch utilizes EQ via Inguz, is up sampled to 192 via sox, and has the EDO add-on installed.  It is connected to the TEAC with coax.

After the TEAC, signal goes to a Red Wine Audio Signature 15 and to Omega Super 5 Bipole speakers. From the RWA line outs, signal goes to passive high pass filter (or is it low pass  :scratch:), to a Burson Buffer, to a Reckhorn bass EQ, to 2 Class D Audio amps run mono, and finally, to two Hawthorn Audio Augie bass drivers mounted in open baffle.

How does it sound?  Clear, open, solid bass, smooth and rich highs, sound stage galore...you name it the TEAC sounds wonderful in my system. The best thing is that it handles my 44.1 material excellently. This was a concern initially, but now laid to rest. HiRez sounds even better...airier. I don't have much DSD at the moment, but played through the TEAC software Pink Floyd's Dark Side is other worldly.  It's got a "there" feel about it.  If I close my eyes, I can forget I'm sitting on my couch. The various background voices throughout the album are Chrystal clear, many of which I've never heard over the last thousand times I've listened to this album. 

I've also listened to the TEAC thru USB with JR Media Center up front. I think if I learn to better tinker with JRMC, I can get it sounding as good or better than the Touch.  I would say DSD probably sounds about the same with JRMC, but the method is a little different from the TEAC software. With TEAC software I had to use ASIO and RAM playback. With JRMC I had to use WASAPI-Event Style and DoP bitstreaming.

I also have a Schiit Gungnir DAC. I have not performed extensive matchups, but at this point I like the TEAC better. The TEAC seems to have cleaner bass and be overall more precise without sounding clinical...if that makes any sense.

That's all I got right now. I hope I was able to convey at least something of use.



ted_b

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Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #14 on: 23 Feb 2013, 10:57 pm »
Great feedback!!  That is very helpful.  So EDO is ok with the TEAC?

Airborn

Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #15 on: 23 Feb 2013, 11:36 pm »
Thanks for taking the time to post your impressions bprice2, very informative.  I especially appreciate you mentioning the playback of redbook 44.1 material.  While it is great for dacs to be able to play hi rez, the reality is my library (and I am sure most people's) is still mainly redbook.  I would not want a dac that couldn't handle redbook well, even if it could play DSD and 24/192.  Btw, I already ordered the TEAC so I will be finding out how it works with the Touch and my Oppo. player soon enough. :thumb:

Atlplasma

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Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #16 on: 24 Feb 2013, 12:49 am »
Ok, I think I've listened long enough with the TEAC in my system to comment on it. It's been in the system now for about 200 hours and I've had a chance to experiment with different configurations and different sample rates, including DSD. I've listened with a Squeezebox Touch with analog mods (clearly not used here) and aftermarket linear power supply by the Bolder Cable Co. The Touch utilizes EQ via Inguz, is up sampled to 192 via sox, and has the EDO add-on installed.  It is connected to the TEAC with coax.

After the TEAC, signal goes to a Red Wine Audio Signature 15 and to Omega Super 5 Bipole speakers. From the RWA line outs, signal goes to passive high pass filter (or is it low pass  :scratch:), to a Burson Buffer, to a Reckhorn bass EQ, to 2 Class D Audio amps run mono, and finally, to two Hawthorn Audio Augie bass drivers mounted in open baffle.

How does it sound?  Clear, open, solid bass, smooth and rich highs, sound stage galore...you name it the TEAC sounds wonderful in my system. The best thing is that it handles my 44.1 material excellently. This was a concern initially, but now laid to rest. HiRez sounds even better...airier. I don't have much DSD at the moment, but played through the TEAC software Pink Floyd's Dark Side is other worldly.  It's got a "there" feel about it.  If I close my eyes, I can forget I'm sitting on my couch. The various background voices throughout the album are Chrystal clear, many of which I've never heard over the last thousand times I've listened to this album. 

I've also listened to the TEAC thru USB with JR Media Center up front. I think if I learn to better tinker with JRMC, I can get it sounding as good or better than the Touch.  I would say DSD probably sounds about the same with JRMC, but the method is a little different from the TEAC software. With TEAC software I had to use ASIO and RAM playback. With JRMC I had to use WASAPI-Event Style and DoP bitstreaming.

I also have a Schiit Gungnir DAC. I have not performed extensive matchups, but at this point I like the TEAC better. The TEAC seems to have cleaner bass and be overall more precise without sounding clinical...if that makes any sense.

That's all I got right now. I hope I was able to convey at least something of use.

I agree with bprice2. There really is nothing to dislike about the Teac. (Don't let the brand name put you off is my advice.) My setup is optimized 2009 Mac Mini server to Dodd Buffer with M&K electronic crossover, to Hypex Ncores to Teac with (just now) IFI usbpower) to Salk Songtowers and M&K V1250 sub.

The IFI is new and the dealer suggested 40 hours for burn in, so I can't really comment yet on whether it improves things.

One thing I've noticed since buying this DAC is that DSD is EXPENSIVE.
« Last Edit: 24 Feb 2013, 02:11 pm by Atlplasma »

woodbury

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Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #17 on: 3 Mar 2013, 06:54 pm »
I'm considering getting the Teac for my office system (Macbook Air -> Vox JamBox for the moment -> Adcom 2535 -> ProAc Super Tablettes).

Any more feedback would be greatly appreciated.

bprice2

Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #18 on: 3 Mar 2013, 09:40 pm »
Nice review at Audiostream.


bprice2

Re: TEAC UD-501
« Reply #19 on: 3 Mar 2013, 09:45 pm »
Great feedback!!  That is very helpful.  So EDO is ok with the TEAC?

With coax out, yes.  I still haven't figured out if USB will work. It should, but.... :scratch: