Teac UD-501 USB asynchronous DAC with DSD capability is in the Blue Murder sale at Unilet Sound & Vision for £599, £100 off the RRP!
Sound: Naim Nait XS | PMC GB1i | Avondale Black Link speaker cable | PC with J River MC19 | Teac UD-501 DAC + Vetere D-Fi USB lead | Audio-Technica ATH-M50
Vision: Oppo BDP-105 | Pioneer PDP-LX5090 | Yamaha YSP-4100 | BK XLS300/PR Subwoofer
For the money this TEAC has actually a lot to offer!
"Every single part of the digital and analog sections are designed in dual monaural design" / "two toroidal-core power transformers offer a stable current supply with energy-effcient operation, one each for the left and right channel".
[ CambridgeAudio 350A + CambridgeAudio 651BD + Tannoy RS DC4 & Sub1001 + Schiit Bifrost + Sharp LC32LE705, Ixos/QED/Oehlbach/Audioquest. ] [ GDrive hdd 750GB -Firewire800 > Mac Mini -2010, 2.4GHz / 8GB RAM / (SnowLeopard) Audirvana & iTunes -ALAC > USB 16&24bit > Bifrost Dac. ]
[ Dual 505-1 (Ortofon) + CambridgeAudio 551P ]
Just purchased one form Unilet Sound & Vision in their Blue Murder sale.
This is a great sounding DAC with excellent build and sound quality. DSD dsf files playing back using J. River MC18 from my PC work a treat, both 2.8 and 5.6MHz files catered for. The sound is amazing out of the box, looking forward to some extended listening as it burns in.
What really allowed this DAC to sing was the Vertere D-Fi USB cable lent to me by Phil at Unilet. I already had the Supra USB and was sceptical that spending £70 on a USB lead would show any improvement over the Supra lead. How wrong I was, the difference is not subtle at all. All aspects are improved with better soundstage and separation of instruments, treble is clear but not harsh, bass is taut and deep. There will be sceptics out there, I was one, thinking as I plugged it in why did I borrow this, I'm just gonna have to post it back tomorrow! However, after hearing it against the Supra, I can't believe that anyone with ears wouldn't notice the difference this cable makes. At £70, it achieves massive audio improvement in bang for buck terms, needless to say it's not gong back!
I've been playing with the settings. With PCM my preference was easy to work out. I preferred the upconvert to 192khz off, with the filter setting as sharp. Off sounded a bit flat and slow lost a bit of detail. With DSD FIR filter things weren't as straightforward, possibly because each of the 4 settings had different volume gains, so a direct comparison was not as easy to make. I think I've settled on 3, closely followed by the default setting of 2.
How would you describe the sound of the Teac UD-501? Bright, neutral, detailed, forward sounding or not? Because I've read some contradicting opinions and I can't test the Teac in a shop.
The TEAC-UD501 is neutral to warm sounding. The balance of sound is excellent and I highly recommend it. The other DAC to look at if you want a very open, detailed, fast and clean sound that sounds more analogue than many DACs I have heard you may want to look at the Concero DSD.
Phil - Custom Cable Service and Unilet Sound and Vision, South-West London
This DAC has just been reviewed in the September issue of HiFi World.
Verdict "A smooth sound with strong bass, plenty of adjustment to tailor the sonic picture, and DSD replay make this a great DAC for the price".
For - sound quality, user adjustment, DSD replay.
Against - no remote, no HDMI, awkward to adjust.
Lounge - Arcam Solo Neo, Partington Super Dreadnought, Monitor Audio Silver RX1, Panasonic DMP-BDT310, Samsung UE46D6530, Yamaha RX-A1020
Legacy - Rotel-RA820, Wharfedale Diamond 1, Philips CD104, Akai HX-R44, Sony ST-313L
Just learned that the latest release from J. River, MC19 supports on-the-fly encoding of PCM to DSD. There's never been a better time to own a DSD DAC!
If any of you are using a UD-501 with J. River MC19, Teac's ASIO driver won't currently allow PCM to 5.6MHz DSD upsampling, only 2.8MHz DSD upsampling is supported via DoP.
But someone has found a solution until Teac and J.River can sort out Teac's own ASIO driver, see here.
My PCM FLAC files (44.1 to 192khz) are upsampled on-the-fly to DSD 5.6MHz and my native DSD dsf files are decoded at 2.8MHz.
PCM files now sound more natural. I have quite a lot of of native DSD files, but even if you don't have any, owning a DSD capable DAC now has benefits.
© 2014 Haymarket Publishing