56 posts / 0 new
Last post
Deliriumbassist's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 27/04/2011 - 13:09
Posts: 169
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

Great list!

 

Just a side note- the Teac DAC will upconvert to 32 bit, and has balanced XLR output alongisde the RCAs.

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

Thanks Deliriumbassist! and for the info update about the TEAC. I didn't want to put another column on there for upsampling because most of them seem to do it and there doesn't seem to be any correlation between that and quality. I know that could be argued for any sample rates above 16/44 too but unless a slew of people tell me how important upsampling is I will leave that one out for now. 

** Click here for this latest chart in full size**

This includes the update for the TEAC and...

Updated IO columns so they are easier to read

All DAC chips listed accept Nuforce & Leema (who don't seem to publish)

Bel Canto DAC added (now most expensive for this list)

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

I made a few corrections and added a new collumn: Portability - in which 'semi' means that it's small enough to be transportable (<500g) but needs external power (not USB). This would be annoying if using a laptop away from a socket for example.

I should probably point out that portable for a USB DAC is almost always intended for laptop use. The only DACs here that will accept a digital audio signal from a portable DAP are the 'Fostex HP-P1' or the 'GoVibe Porta Tube +' and then only with the iPod/iPhone.

Also added 5 new collumns for controls like gain, bass, treble etc. This was because of the 'Practical Devices XM6' which looks very interesting! Although some others have some of these controls but not many. 

Here is a list of DAC / amps I have added to the chart since the last post:

● DACMagic Plus

● IBasso D6

● IBasso D10

● IBasso D12

● Fubar 3 mkII

● Fiio D5 (new cheapest DAC / amp)

● GoVibe Porta Tube + (portable tube amp that takes digital audio from the iPod/iPhone)

● Fostex PC-100USB

● Fostex HP-A3

● Centrance DACMini

● Practical Devices XM6 (play/pause/track skip + bass/treble/gain/impedance/crossfeed control - wow!)

● Wavelength Crimson HS (Tube amp / new most expensive - so far)

● Lindy USB DAC (cheapest device with 24/96 USB, 24/192 SPDIF/coax)

** Click HERE to see full size (New Window)**

That's 58 combined USB DAC / amps in the list now, it gives a pretty good covering from £20-4800 so hopefully will be a good place for people to start looking if they are interested in one. Am considering taking review scores for these. Do you own one and would like to rate it? Give a score out of 10 if you own one of these please.

Deliriumbassist's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 27/04/2011 - 13:09
Posts: 169
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

Took the plunge and ordered the rPac- should have it on Tuesday morning from Superfi. Will do a small review, as I have next week off work to play around with it.

 

Now I just need to perform the arudous task of ripping all my CDs onto the Mac Mini I got through on Thursday...

 

 

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

Oh that's awesome!! I am very interested in the rPac too so yes please on doing a review! Have you had any other DAC / amps? Just wondering what you will be comparing it to or will it be your first?

Sounds like you are building a great system there, is it for headphones or speakers mostly?

I remember not looking forward to ripping all my CDs to lossless but they will be done before you know it and once the back catalogue is done keeping it up to date it pretty easy. I assume you will just use iTunes with the Mac.

DIB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 53 min ago
Joined: 21/05/2009 - 21:07
Posts: 2353
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

I've just bought myself an Aune X1 mini DAC, based on what I'd read on various forums, price etc.

 

I've got my PC hooked up to it via Toslink, and I've also hooked up the Squeezebox via Coax for comparison.

 

First impressions are very favourable, a definite improvement on using the onboard PC soundcard. So far I can't tell any real difference between playback of the SBT direct to my amp and through the Aune, both sound superb. BTW this SBT is such a great piece of kit, I've not stopped listening to internet radio all week!

 

The headphone output is again excellent, had a short listening session and at my optimum volume level the dial is set no further than "quarter to".

 

Very early days but I would say this DAC ticks all my boxes, at a not too restrictive price (£160).

 

Here's a pic..

 

.

 

 

 

 

Creek/ProJect/SBT/Epos

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

Thanks a lot for reporting about another very interesting looking DAC / amp from the list. Please report back after you have had a while longer to play with it too, I find that it takes a few weeks to really get used to these things.

Oh and I forgot to say, I got the Audinst HUD MX-1 yesterday. A nice little machine, pretty well made, nice volume dial. It's been very useful that it has both 3.5 & 6.4mm headphone sockets. The sound is a great upgrade from the default PC output - nicely detailed and controlled, less smooth and a tad dull compared to the Yulong D100 but then that's expected at nearly 3 times the price and a much bigger unit so I'm not too shocked there.

I paid £112 direct from the company (eBay - which seems to be the only way to buy) and I would say that's pretty good value. It runs fine off of USB power and can easily drive the AKG Q701 - loud at 50% as opposed to the Denon D7000 / VModa M-80 being loud around 25%. You probably only need to plug it in to the wall for 600ohm headphones but there is a jumper on the motherboard for that too (which is a bit odd). The adapter has a USA plug that takes 100-240v, it has an EU converter so to get it to work in the UK you'll need to buy a UK converter, if you think you need the extra power.

I turned the volume up to 100% on a silent track and got absolutely no hum, no static - absolutely nothing. RCA out for an external amp or powered speakers is great for such a small and light device but I understand the SPDIF out less, an SPDIF in would have been more useful but oh well. 

It doesn't seem to be able to support the ASIO4LL driver but WASAPI works just fine and gave a noticable improvement. 

Here's a pic of it next to the D100 for some scale...

Deliriumbassist's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 27/04/2011 - 13:09
Posts: 169
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

quadpatch wrote:

Oh that's awesome!! I am very interested in the rPac too so yes please on doing a review! Have you had any other DAC / amps? Just wondering what you will be comparing it to or will it be your first?

Sounds like you are building a great system there, is it for headphones or speakers mostly?

I remember not looking forward to ripping all my CDs to lossless but they will be done before you know it and once the back catalogue is done keeping it up to date it pretty easy. I assume you will just use iTunes with the Mac.

I'm currently running a Roksan Kandy K2 through Kef Q500 speakers. The rPac will be an inbetween until I pick up an Audiolab 8200CDQ. Then the rPac will be gifted to the younger brother, or if I love it, used with my laptop on train journeys. I'll be using Grado RS2i's at home, and B&W P5 or C5 on the move, dependant on which set is handiest at the time.

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

Deliriumbassist wrote:

I'm currently running a Roksan Kandy K2 through Kef Q500 speakers. The rPac will be an inbetween until I pick up an Audiolab 8200CDQ. Then the rPac will be gifted to the younger brother, or if I love it, used with my laptop on train journeys. I'll be using Grado RS2i's at home, and B&W P5 or C5 on the move, dependant on which set is handiest at the time.

Oh wow that sounds like a sweet setup! I heard the Audiolab 8200CDQ in a hi-fi store. It was only a pretty quick test because I really wanted to play with the M-DAC but it seemed pretty awesome! I am tempted by the M-DAC because I will always be running CDs ripped from a PC. For me it'll be a fight between the M-DAC, the Firestone Libby and the Burson HA-160DS but by the time I can afford one of them things might have changed.

I guess if you don't love the rPac enough to keep it you will think of something else for the train, or will you not bother? 

Deliriumbassist's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 27/04/2011 - 13:09
Posts: 169
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

Depends on how often I end up using the rPac on the move.

The only letdown for the M-Dac for me is the lack of RCA inputs, which is a bit odd to me as it acts as a preamp as well.

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

Yeah I know what you mean, A lot of them don't include those. I was just missing some RCA inputs on the Yulong D100. I wanted to use the HP amp on the D100 but the DAC from the Audinst but there is no way I can do it... damned shame Sad

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

A small update to the DAC / amp list. Added a 'Red Wine Isabellina' & a couple models from 'Audio-GD'.

** Click HERE to see full size (New Window)**

Deliriumbassist's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 27/04/2011 - 13:09
Posts: 169
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

Just gotten home with my rPac- first impressions are solid- tried first with Alter Bridge's "Slip to the Void" from ABIII, and there's a whole bit with a tremolo bar that I never noticed before. Bass is also tighter, punchier when running through my Roksan K2.  Will make a proper thread/review once I've played with it a bit.

CustomCable's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 19/04/2010 - 20:49
Posts: 170
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

You may want to add the Resonessence Invicta to the list. Arguably the best DAC/Headphone amplifier around at the moment.

www.resonessence.co.uk

 

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifiers - List

Hey Phil thanks for info, I have now added it to the list, I will upload the new one soon but got a few more to add tomorrow. The Resonessence fills a nice gap between the two top end ones. I wonder how many more there are to find...

Pages

Log in or register to post comments