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Best DACs under £1,000

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BigH's picture
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Having read many reviews and users comments it seems the best ones are:

Benchmark DAC1 £900?

John Kenny JKDAC32 £500?

Audiolab M-DAC £600

Halide Design DAC HD £ 379.

 

Are there any others? The John Kenny is getting good reviews and some say its as good as the Benchmark.

byakuya83's picture
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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

How do you measure the effectiveness of a DAC? The price varies wildly but they all do the same thing.

matt49's picture
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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

BigH wrote:

Having read many reviews and users comments it seems the best ones are:

Benchmark DAC1 £900?

John Kenny JKDAC32 £500?

Audiolab M-DAC £600

Halide Design DAC HD £ 379.

 

Are there any others? The John Kenny is getting good reviews and some say its as good as the Benchmark.

Not tried these but have heard/read good things about:

Metrum Octave Mk2 £800

Musical Fidelity M1 DAC £499

Have you seen the DAC round-up review in the July WHF?

Matt

roger06's picture
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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

byakuya83 wrote:

...but they all do the same thing.

Like all CD players do the same thing?

 

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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

Metrum Acoustics Octave DAC? Can't remember how much it is exactly, but well under £1000. Now with a new mark 2 version.

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Study: Synology ds212j (+ DS Audio) & Sonos ZP90 (Spotify & Tune-In Radio)→ Metrum Acoustics Octave DAC→ Cyrus Pre-XP (with PSX-R) + 2 Cyrus X Power → Vienna Acoustics Hadyns (Study) & ATC SCM11s (Kitchen), Beresford TC 7220 speaker switch, HiFi Racks Podium

Living Room: Macbook Air (2012 - iTunes + Bit Perfect) → M2Tech HiFace 2→ Metrum Acoustics Octave DAC →Cyrus DAC XP with PSX-R + Cyrus Mono Xs→ Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grands

BigH's picture
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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

matt49 wrote:

Not tried these but have heard/read good things about:

Metrum Octave Mk2 £800

Musical Fidelity M1 DAC £499

Have you seen the DAC round-up review in the July WHF?

Matt

 

Did no know about Metrum Octave, thanks. In the JUly WHF in the shops yet?

BigH's picture
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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

byakuya83 wrote:

How do you measure the effectiveness of a DAC? The price varies wildly but they all do the same thing.

 

Same as other hifi.

ngibbs's picture
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RE: Best DACs under £1,000
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Study: Synology ds212j (+ DS Audio) & Sonos ZP90 (Spotify & Tune-In Radio)→ Metrum Acoustics Octave DAC→ Cyrus Pre-XP (with PSX-R) + 2 Cyrus X Power → Vienna Acoustics Hadyns (Study) & ATC SCM11s (Kitchen), Beresford TC 7220 speaker switch, HiFi Racks Podium

Living Room: Macbook Air (2012 - iTunes + Bit Perfect) → M2Tech HiFace 2→ Metrum Acoustics Octave DAC →Cyrus DAC XP with PSX-R + Cyrus Mono Xs→ Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grands

BigH's picture
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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

ngibbs wrote:

Metrum Acoustics Octave DAC? Can't remember how much it is exactly, but well under £1000. Now with a new mark 2 version.

 

Thanks, did you hear any others like the Benchmark?

matt49's picture
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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

BigH wrote:

In the JUly WHF in the shops yet?

Yep. Can't remember exactly which DACs featured, but the MF M1 DAC and Audiolab MDAC were in there and both rated 5 stars, I think.

Matt

ngibbs's picture
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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

I'm afraid I didn't, so I've no idea how they compare. Bought the Octave DAC blind, but I liked it so much I bought another one for my second system! A lot of hullabaloo was made when they first came out: magazine reviews proclaiming they should cost 10 times the price, etc., etc.. No idea if it's true but I like it! Suits computer-based audio best apparantly, and quite unforgiving with less that opitimal sources and compressed music files.

 

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/metrum-octave-dac-without-filtering-...

 

Doesn't make my Sonos sound much cop for instance (but then again neither did my DAC XP....). Both Mac with iTunes + Bit Perfect and Synology NAS direct sound great though. Depends on what you're going to want to use it for I guess.

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Study: Synology ds212j (+ DS Audio) & Sonos ZP90 (Spotify & Tune-In Radio)→ Metrum Acoustics Octave DAC→ Cyrus Pre-XP (with PSX-R) + 2 Cyrus X Power → Vienna Acoustics Hadyns (Study) & ATC SCM11s (Kitchen), Beresford TC 7220 speaker switch, HiFi Racks Podium

Living Room: Macbook Air (2012 - iTunes + Bit Perfect) → M2Tech HiFace 2→ Metrum Acoustics Octave DAC →Cyrus DAC XP with PSX-R + Cyrus Mono Xs→ Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grands

BigH's picture
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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

Just read some reviews of the Octave DAC and they are all good. 

 

Also I see there is a new John Kenny Ciúnas DAC for Euro 550 which is meant to be as good as the Octave but different, one persons views "When the Ciúnas and Octave differed was the Octave had something little sweeter with sax and female vocal, sort of in the same was a valve SE amp might have. The Ciúnas was better at the top end with a crisper more detailed sound. The two DACs were very close and I could happily live with either. I suppose the old cliché comes out, the Octave was a little more analogue but not by a lot."

 

Anyone heard the Jolida Glass FX DAC II which is £540?

Pete68's picture
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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

A blind test will show that most DACs at the mid price band will sound the same apart for one or two ( the Metrum Octave being one of them).... so I've read.

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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

Are there any reviews where the DAC wasn't found to sound good? What's a £1000 one doing that a £500 one can't do?

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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

I compared the M-DAC to the Rega DAC, I preferred the Rega. I replaced that recently with a Teac UD-501 as I wanted DSD playback capability. The build and components used for the money (£699) make it great value. It's a very natural sounding DAC with good filter options. Teac aren't necesarily the first company you'd think of when buying a DAC, but I think the 501 is real winner.

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RE: Best DACs under £1,000

The Metrum Octave is an unusual and excellent suggestion (provided the Mk2 is as good as the original)......I haven't heard one, but it would on my shortlist due to the reviews of this splendid NOS Dac (after a Linn Sneaky DS shifty )

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