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steven123's picture
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Best sound quality cheap DAC
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What Hifi reviewed a couple of cheap DACS, like the beresford tc-7510, v-dac and hrt music streamer 2. The review of the HRT ms2 is really good, but they stated it is a good choice if a usb connection is needed.

I was wondering , does anyone know what is the best cheap(below 200 pounds)dac just for the sound quality and not for the connections? Or does the logitech squeezebox duet reciever(without the controller it is really cheap) offer better sound quality?

 The music will be feeded from a PC with a Asus Xonar d1 soundcard, to a nad c320bee amplifier and the Wharfedale 10.1 speakers. 

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC

i have read lots of good things about the MF dac at £150 it looks good value

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC

The v-dac is a lot cheaper in the UK then here where i live, but i seems indeed a good choice. There is also the new Nuforce udac thats seems to impress a lot of people; looking forward to a review in whathifi.

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC

The v-dac is good indeed. It outrates the CA Dacmagic in some reviews done by German Hifi mags, plus there's a good review in a US magazine for stereophiles.

Whereabouts do you live? There are a couple of UK retailers now who will send to the rest of Europe. 

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC

I live in the netherlands and i have found some websites ship to here for reasonable shipping costs. The spitfire and the HRT ms2 are cheaper here then the rrp of the What Hifi reviews, but the v-dac and especially the Dacmagic are more expensive.

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC

Usual suspects already mentioned, but add to those the M-Audio Transit. £60.

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC

At this money it should be a very good tube DAC as i found out at forums, reviews and comparisons.


http://www.grantfidelity.com/site/Grant_Fidelity_Tube_DAC-09


It can be even better with a few simple modifications.

Anonymous
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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC
Tarquinh:

The v-dac is good indeed. It outrates the CA Dacmagic in some reviews done by German Hifi mags

 Rubbish. They are not in the same league. The CA engineering is far superior, I have taken both apart. And I have listened to both.

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC

The point is moot anyway. The CA Dacmagic is £229 and the OP wants a DAC below £200

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC
steven123:Or does the logitech squeezebox duet reciever(without the controller it is really cheap) offer better sound quality?

having used a Squeezebox 3 and a Dac magic for some time and now got the Squeezebox touch which i run without a DAC as it is as good if not better than the Dac Magic. The Touch sounds better than the Duet as well.

So i would be very tempted to just get the SB Touch.

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC
Hifi test monkey:
Tarquinh:

The v-dac is good indeed. It outrates the CA Dacmagic in some reviews done by German Hifi mags

 Rubbish. They are not in the same league. The CA engineering is far superior, I have taken both apart. And I have listened to both.



That would be in your opinion. Moot or otherwise.

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC

Firestone Spitfire + upgraded opamps.

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC

thanx for the replies! Does the touch sound way better then the duet? Do you know how the duet compares to the dacmagic? Cause the duet reciever(for 100 pounds) can be controlled by the computer without the need for a controller, what makes it really cheap. But then again, i dont need the streaming functions, and according the review the HRT streamer 2 sounds really good..choices argh:P

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC
steven123:I live in the netherlands and i have found some websites ship to here for reasonable shipping costs. The spitfire and the HRT ms2 are cheaper here then the rrp of the What Hifi reviews, but the v-dac and especially the Dacmagic are more expensive.



Fubar IV or Spitfire from here would seem like a good bet then, given that they'll be better value than CA in the Netherlands. I replaced my DACMagic with a Fubar IV when they had a very good deal on earlier in the year (and I sold my DACMagic to a Dutchman for more than I paid for it, which suggests the Euro is not treating CA products well at the moment).

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC
JohnDuncan:
steven123:I live in the netherlands and i have found some websites ship to here for reasonable shipping costs. The spitfire and the HRT ms2 are cheaper here then the rrp of the What Hifi reviews, but the v-dac and especially the Dacmagic are more expensive.

Fubar IV or Spitfire from here would seem like a good bet then, given that they'll be better value than CA in the Netherlands. I replaced my DACMagic with a Fubar IV when they had a very good deal on earlier in the year (and I sold my DACMagic to a Dutchman for more than I paid for it, which suggests the Euro is not treating CA products well at the moment).


John, how much better is the Fubar IV to the DacMagic or is it just that it has a headphone output?

HiFi - Cambridge Audio 340C, Pioneer A30, Denon TU 260L, Dali Lektor 2. 

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Re: Best sound quality cheap DAC


Can't say because I didn't compare the two side by side. It was primarily because of the headphone output though, as I changed my setup a lot and wanted a good headphone setup as my main rig. There's a review on here of the fubar with grado sr325is where I suggest it's the best sounding setup I've had, but then headphones are a very different sound altogether. One day I'll ask Simon to let me plug it in downstairs...

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