DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?

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thegasman

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DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« on: 24 Apr 2018, 02:29 am »
I’m in the process of setting up a “new to me” system. I have recently purchased a preowned set of Odyssey Audio Stratos monoblock amps along with a preowned Odyssey Audio Candella preamp. I’m saving up for the Odyssey Audio Suspiro phono preamp.  My speakers are currently Definitive Technology Mythos towers, but I plan to replace those at some point. I also have a set of Definitive Technology supercube subs.

So now that you know what I’m working with, what would be some good DAC’s and/or streamers to consider?

My budget is in the $1K +/- range. I was saving up for an Oppo UDP-205, but that ship has sailed since Oppo is shutting down that division of the company.

My main purpose for the DAC would be to feed it with a laptop or tablet running Roon with heavy use of Tidal via Roon software. I’ve also looked at some streaming devices like the Bluesound Node2 which would eliminate the laptop/tablet and has a built in DAC. But I’m thinking a dedicated DAC may be better. 

Please let me know what you recommend.

Thanks!

aaron.luebke

Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: 24 Apr 2018, 11:05 pm »
Get you some Schiit.  If you're going USB directly to the device running Roon it'll work just fine.  Multibit is the way to go.  If you're willing to break your budget just a little go with the Gungnir with Multibit.

I'm test driving a friends "Gumby" against my "Yggy".  Just hooked it up so no real time on it yet.  I'm using the UDP-203 as the device and digital output to the DAC's.  I really enjoy the Yggy.  It has three analog outputs so you can get pretty creative with what you feed.

JackD

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Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: 25 Apr 2018, 02:04 am »
For a streamer/DAC combo you can start with the Auralic Aries Mini for $500 and use it's internal DAC to start with until you decide on which DAC you want to buy new or used.  Used DAC's are plentiful on this site and many others due to rapid turnover. 

thegasman

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Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: 25 Apr 2018, 02:45 am »
Get you some Schiit.  If you're going USB directly to the device running Roon it'll work just fine.  Multibit is the way to go.  If you're willing to break your budget just a little go with the Gungnir with Multibit.

I'm test driving a friends "Gumby" against my "Yggy".  Just hooked it up so no real time on it yet.  I'm using the UDP-203 as the device and digital output to the DAC's.  I really enjoy the Yggy.  It has three analog outputs so you can get pretty creative with what you feed.

Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve been looking at the Schiit stuff, specifically the Gungnir. I kind of wish that they supported MQA. It’s not a deal breaker for me since I’m fully aware of the fact that MQA has its ups and downs.

thegasman

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Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: 25 Apr 2018, 02:47 am »
For a streamer/DAC combo you can start with the Auralic Aries Mini for $500 and use it's internal DAC to start with until you decide on which DAC you want to buy new or used.  Used DAC's are plentiful on this site and many others due to rapid turnover.

It looks like that Aries Mini is no longer available? It looks like it’s a good product though.

firedog

Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: 25 Apr 2018, 08:45 am »
Auralic are coming out with a new Aries streamer as part of their new line (not the super expensive G2, which is already out).

If you want a good quality inexpensive streamer, look over at allo.com. They make "audiophile" versions of the Raspberry Pi, optimized for streaming.

DACs - the best ones under $1000 are probably Emotiva, iFi, Nuprime, Schiit, the new Mytek Liberty ($999). Probably a few others I didn't think of off the top of my head.

One box solution: Bluesound, Cambridge Audio. Elac makes a one-box which is $1100, but it is also a server.

thegasman

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Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: 25 Apr 2018, 02:13 pm »
Auralic are coming out with a new Aries streamer as part of their new line (not the super expensive G2, which is already out).

If you want a good quality inexpensive streamer, look over at allo.com. They make "audiophile" versions of the Raspberry Pi, optimized for streaming.

DACs - the best ones under $1000 are probably Emotiva, iFi, Nuprime, Schiit, the new Mytek Liberty ($999). Probably a few others I didn't think of off the top of my head.

One box solution: Bluesound, Cambridge Audio. Elac makes a one-box which is $1100, but it is also a server.

Some good options there. That allo product looks very interesting and it’s got good reviews. I like the Mytek Liberty too. The two together would be right around $1,200.

I just signed up to be notified by Oppo when they have more UDP 205’s available. They say it should be in June so I may wait and see if I can snag one. It looks like it supports Roon and MQA, plus it’s a solid disc player. Hopefully I can get one.

Waltzzz

Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: 25 Apr 2018, 02:18 pm »
I would highly recommend the Eastern Electric Supreme DAC. $1,350 through Morningstar Audio Imports.  I am on my 3rd EE DAC now.  Throw in a Gold Lion tube and in my experience it outperforms the Auralic Aries, Exogal, Cambridge, Simaudio to name a few which I have auditioned in my home before I purchased the latest EE DAC.  It is not MQA certified but if fed an MQA signal it will play it at 32/96 and the sound quality difference over regular Tidal (and even some 96 hi-rez) is significant.  Anyway, that is the fun of this hobby - reading reviews, getting feedback from others, and if you are lucky trying out the products with your system.  I wish you the best in finding the best piece of equipment for the lowest cost.   :thumb:

JackD

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Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: 25 Apr 2018, 06:14 pm »
There is an Aries Mini for sale in the Trading Post.

abd1

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Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: 25 Apr 2018, 07:52 pm »
I would highly recommend the Eastern Electric Supreme DAC. $1,350 through Morningstar Audio Imports.  I am on my 3rd EE DAC now.  Throw in a Gold Lion tube and in my experience it outperforms the Auralic Aries, Exogal, Cambridge, Simaudio to name a few which I have auditioned in my home before I purchased the latest EE DAC.  It is not MQA certified but if fed an MQA signal it will play it at 32/96 and the sound quality difference over regular Tidal (and even some 96 hi-rez) is significant.  Anyway, that is the fun of this hobby - reading reviews, getting feedback from others, and if you are lucky trying out the products with your system.  I wish you the best in finding the best piece of equipment for the lowest cost.   :thumb:

I also recommend the Eastern Electric Dac's. I have the Minimax Dac Plus and it sounds great. I had a Peachtree Dac-It X which was pretty good for the $250 I paid for it, but the EE is much better in all areas. I also have a Bluesound Node 2 that I use as a streamer to the EE and I use the BS dac for MQA files. The way I have it set up I can swithc inputs on my integrated on the fly for immediate comparison between the EE and BS. IMO, the EE dac is much better than the BS dac (better deliniation of instruments, wider and deeper soundstage, better bass, etc.). When listening to MQA the BS sounds about the same to me compared to the EE, and I think I slightly prefer the EE, even though its not decoding MQA, compared to the BS decoding MQA, but that is very hard to tell the difference.


rodge827

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Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: 26 Apr 2018, 12:28 am »
Digital Amplifier Company DAC DAC with DAC usb to spdif converter...awesome sound!

Chris_B

Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: 26 Apr 2018, 11:55 am »
Get you some Schiit.  If you're going USB directly to the device running Roon it'll work just fine.  Multibit is the way to go.  If you're willing to break your budget just a little go with the Gungnir with Multibit.

I'm test driving a friends "Gumby" against my "Yggy".  Just hooked it up so no real time on it yet.  I'm using the UDP-203 as the device and digital output to the DAC's.  I really enjoy the Yggy.  It has three analog outputs so you can get pretty creative with what you feed.

Aaron,

Please post your impressions of the Gumby vs Yggy. 

On the original topic, I run ethernet to an Sonore ultraRendu (linear power supply which makes a big difference) streamer/endpoint and USB to a Schiit Multibit Gungnir DAC.  I use Roon to manage my library and stream Tidal.  After getting the current system reasonably dialed in, I'm very impressed with the lossless Tidal quality from streaming.

aaron.luebke

Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: 26 Apr 2018, 12:39 pm »
Will do - started last night.  Since Klaus doesn't sell DAC's I feel it's ok to run this around here.

Testing system:
Source is mainly FLAC from a PC streamed via network through Roon server to a UDP-203.

Optical SPDIF out to the Gumby, 75 ohm copper to the Yggy - this is the weak point in the test, different outputs and different cables but I'll switch them around.

Output from both going to a Bottlehead Mainline headphone amp.  Test headphones are MrSpeakers Alpha's (Fostex THxx).  I figured with sealed headphones I'd have less outside influence.  I've had this setup for a couple of years so both amp and headphones are well broken in.  I also have a pair of Sennheiser HD800s 's that I'll rotate in as well.  Switching from one DAC to the other is just a flip of a switch.

Last night I had them on for a bit - maybe an hour.  Output from the Gumby is higher (optical output?) by 3 or 4 db so I have to adjust volume between switch flipping.  These are very very close.  At this time about the only difference is a slightly blacker background and possibly cleaner upper frequencies but ...wow...very close.

I've also got a Bifrost with Multibit on the way so we'll be testing all three of the top dog Schiit products with multibit boards.

If anyone wants to send their dac to me for comparison I'd say within a year or two I should be done and will return it to you - I'll pay shipping...   :roll:   :icon_lol:

Stings

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Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: 18 Jul 2018, 07:32 am »
Auralic are coming out with a new Aries streamer as part of their new line (not the super expensive G2, which is already out).

If you want a good quality inexpensive streamer, look over at allo.com. They make "audiophile" versions of the Raspberry Pi, optimized for streaming.

DACs - the best ones under $1000 are probably Emotiva, iFi, Nuprime, Schiit, the new Mytek Liberty ($999). Probably a few others I didn't think of off the top of my head.

One box solution: Bluesound, Cambridge Audio. Elac makes a one-box which is $1100, but it is also a server.

  Is the ALLO.COM unit able to stream Tidal and Spotify as well as your own media library from a hard drive or USB chip? Also does the ALLO unit stream Video as well as Audio?

Thanks Stings.

firedog

Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: 19 Jul 2018, 05:36 am »
The Allo unit works acc'd to the software loaded on it. Ask Allo what you would need to do in order to get the result you want.
I think most people use it as an endpoint/streamer and not also as a server. It isn't a big standalone computer so it can't fully compete with those.

A_shah

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Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: 19 Jul 2018, 07:27 pm »
Get you some Schiit.  If you're going USB directly to the device running Roon it'll work just fine.  Multibit is the way to go.  If you're willing to break your budget just a little go with the Gungnir with Multibit.

I'm test driving a friends "Gumby" against my "Yggy".  Just hooked it up so no real time on it yet.  I'm using the UDP-203 as the device and digital output to the DAC's.  I really enjoy the Yggy.  It has three analog outputs so you can get pretty creative with what you feed.

I have a Gungnir but sigma delta , I use it with my desktop system using Audeze Deckard HP Amp & Kef LS50W) Also own a PS audio Directstream which is in my main system. I was just wondering if it it worth it to spend another $ 650 to make it into a multi-bit with a new Gen 5 USB port , would be very interested in you results, gumby vs Yggy

Asghar

aaron.luebke

Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #16 on: 19 Jul 2018, 08:11 pm »
The Yggy won.  But it's close...very close.  The Gumby had the V2 analog board and my Yggy has V1 analog boards.  Schiit wants $500 to update, I'm not going there.

I haven't heard any Schiit with without the Multibit - both Yggy and Gumby had that feature when tested.  So...I'm not sure if you'll hear $600 worth or not.  Now...if you sell what you have for a reasonable price...I think I'd jump!

JLM

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Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #17 on: 19 Jul 2018, 10:07 pm »
Owned the original EE DAC, couldn't hear a difference between stock tube, Lion tube, or solid state.  Not impressed, sold it (and I'm not one to flip a lot of gear.)  Friend has a very highly modded EE DAC (total price $4000), again not impressed.

Home auditioned Gungnir MB, made 10% of my iTunes ALAC ripped CD library sound better, but 30% sound worse compared to my $900 DSPeaker Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core.

A bit over budget, but take a look at the $1100 German made RME ADI-2 (DAC, preamp, headphone amp, DSP and other advanced features).  RME traditional builds for the professional side, but the ADI-2 is meant for the highest home audio consumers.  Sound quality is on par with Mytek Brooklyn, Benchmark DAC3, and other similar units that cost twice as much.

MttBsh

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Re: DAC and/or Streamer Recommendations?
« Reply #18 on: 19 Jul 2018, 11:01 pm »
I moved from a EE DAC Plus to a Schiit Yggdrasil and there is no comparison. Like a Ford Focus to a Lamborghini. Both will get you there but the ride in the Yggy is so much smoother, luxurious, powerful and fun. I use a Microrendu as my source, they make a fantastic combination.