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Thread: Your favourite DAC?

  1. #171
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 5,699
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jandl100 View Post
    I'd get a XiangSheng DAC-01A.
    Fit it with a Western Electric 396A valve and it's even better.
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/XiangShen...gAAOSwDPNa8AWz

    I have owned all of the 3 you mention, and in my opinion the XiangSheng kicks them all into the long grass.
    I've owned much more expensive DACs as well. The XS beats them all. In my opinion.

    Another very strong contender (and currently in use in my system) is a SMSL M8 DAC. Fit it with a 50 (60 Euro) linear PSU and it's even better.

    Some of the electronics coming out of China these days is scarily good and ridiculously low cost.

    If you don't want to go the Chinese route then the Beresford SEG will also in my opinion better all of those you mention.
    Did the M2TECH DAC have the linear power supply, Jerry?

    I am stunned you think the XS is better. To me, the lower registers of the M2TECH were just completely better. Timbral quality was better, and the pure depth and clarity of the M2TECH beat the XS all ends up. Soundstage was bigger too.

    Since the XS has had a Telefunken fitted and a "Fancy" mains cable, I will admit the gap is less now to probably "slightly" better.

    What I would say is, but a XS for 100, send it to Firebottle for his mods (done in mine) put a Telefunken valve in (or whatever) put a "fancy" mains cabke on it and THEN it's a real contender and I always prefer a valve in the system. It is a very good DAC now.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Wizard Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Firebottle modded Xiang Sheng DAC (Telefunken Valve)
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 & Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves) & Monarchy Audio SM-70 Class A Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  2. #172
    Join Date: Jul 2013

    Location: Kingsbury, NW London

    Posts: 1,034
    I'm Clive.

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    While I appreciate that the subject is DACs at the 1000 price point, that was back when this thread started in 2014. On that basis I would suggest then try Chord DACs which in this case would be the Qutest or in the now obsolete 2Qute.
    SOURCE:Cyrus Phono Signature+PSX-R2,Cyrus StreamX Signature,OPPO UDP-205 BluRay, SkyQ, Technics SL1210M5G/Achromat/MN Bearing/Isonoes with Boots/Origin Live Encounter Mk3A/Ortofon Cadenza Black or Hana SL or AT33PTG/II
    DAC: Chord Qutest, Chord Mojo/Poly
    AMPLIFIER:Bryston BP17-3 Pre & Bryston 4B3 Power
    SPEAKERS: Spendor D7.
    HEADPHONES OPPO PM-1 with Atlas Zeno cable, B&W C5 v2
    CABLES: Analogue: Speaker - Chord Signature. Interconnect - Atlas Mavros XLR x2, Chord Indigo Plus XLR, Chord Indigo Tuned Aray
    Digital: Atlas Mavros Ultra, Missing Link Binary Star, Chord Optichord.
    Mains: Chord Power Chord x3, Homemade SupraLoRad 1.5/MK/Wattgate x3, IsoTek Orion 6 way, Sounds Fantastic 6way Mains Blocks.
    STORAGE Synology DS216J NAS with 2 x 3Tb WD Red hard-drives.
    TV LG55B7 OLED

  3. #173
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Forest of Dean, Glos

    Posts: 10,008
    I'm Jerry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    Did the M2TECH DAC have the linear power supply, Jerry?

    I am stunned you think the XS is better. To me, the lower registers of the M2TECH were just completely better. Timbral quality was better, and the pure depth and clarity of the M2TECH beat the XS all ends up. Soundstage was bigger too.

    Since the XS has had a Telefunken fitted and a "Fancy" mains cable, I will admit the gap is less now to probably "slightly" better.

    What I would say is, but a XS for 100, send it to Firebottle for his mods (done in mine) put a Telefunken valve in (or whatever) put a "fancy" mains cabke on it and THEN it's a real contender and I always prefer a valve in the system. It is a very good DAC now.
    Hmm, it is a bit baffling that we have such different views on the XiangSheng and its competitors - although your modding suggestions seem to bring the M2Tech and XS almost to parity.

    I would be tempted to put it down to different musical tastes, for me bass quality is not at the top of my list.
    But ... Justin user211 is also amazed by the XS and he is a total bass fruitcake, if it pleases him then there can't be much wrong with the bass at all.

    No, I don't think I did listen to the M2Tech with a linear PSU - I did have one on order but cancelled it as I was so disappointed with the bland ordinariness of its basic sound that I thought it would just throwing good money after bad and would be polishing a turd, as it were.
    Maybe I missed out there, but I suspect not.

    I'd bet our different opinions are just because we are after different things from an audio system.
    Jerry

    Qobuz Hifi / Spotify Premium streaming, XiangSheng DAC-01A or Topping D30 DAC with lpsu, Herron VTSP-2 valve preamp, Trigon TRE 50M monoblocks, MBL 116F speakers.

    Cables: Wireworld Starlight USB, Ixos Ixotica i/c, W&M speaker cables, Belden 19364 mains cables

  4. #174
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 5,699
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jandl100 View Post
    Hmm, it is a bit baffling that we have such different views on the XiangSheng and its competitors - although your modding suggestions seem to bring the M2Tech and XS almost to parity.

    I would be tempted to put it down to different musical tastes, for me bass quality is not at the top of my list.
    But ... Justin user211 is also amazed by the XS and he is a total bass fruitcake, if it pleases him then there can't be much wrong with the bass at all.

    No, I don't think I did listen to the M2Tech with a linear PSU - I did have one on order but cancelled it as I was so disappointed with the bland ordinariness of its basic sound that I thought it would just throwing good money after bad and would be polishing a turd, as it were.
    Maybe I missed out there, but I suspect not.

    I'd bet our different opinions are just because we are after different things from an audio system.
    The mods have really brought the XS into the realms of top quality and I wouldn't have bought it had it not been for them.

    I am convinced the linear PSU raises the game for the M2TECH and it's a shame you didn't get the chance.

    I agree that we are probably listening to different things. As long as we are all ok with our gear, it's no problem.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Wizard Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Firebottle modded Xiang Sheng DAC (Telefunken Valve)
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 & Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves) & Monarchy Audio SM-70 Class A Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  5. #175
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal

    Posts: 70
    I'm Luis.

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    Dear Jerry,

    Your inputs are very welcome as well as all the rest.
    I know very little about audio and really don't understand very well the DAC technology, nor very interested in (I am a Vet). What I know is what heard.

    The fact that 100 euro DAC can to a face-to-face with DACs 10 times its price means much. The tech is evolving very quickly or the Chinese are much better than the rest.

    I will order that XS DAC. It is not expensive so it means I can buy another one latter or keep it as a headphone amp, if I needed.

    The DAC I use nowadays was talked about here so I went for it. The IQaudio Dac. For the price I believe it is the best I had. My CD player is on par with it and the price was 10 times higher. Also have a Dragonfly for my headphones. I am really an headphone guy, but enjoy my stereo more as the years go by.

    Does the XS need a linear power supply? Were can I buy the valve mentioned?

    Many thanks.

  6. #176
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal

    Posts: 70
    I'm Luis.

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    Dear Bigman80,

    What does this mod consist of? Who does it?

    Many thanks.

  7. #177
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal

    Posts: 70
    I'm Luis.

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    Dear Clive,

    Those are hard to find here. I will have to consider other options.

  8. #178
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 5,699
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SantanaCorreia View Post
    Dear Bigman80,

    What does this mod consist of? Who does it?

    Many thanks.
    Firebottle of this forum did mine as it was his originally.

    You'd have to ask him the details!
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Wizard Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Firebottle modded Xiang Sheng DAC (Telefunken Valve)
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 & Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves) & Monarchy Audio SM-70 Class A Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  9. #179
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Forest of Dean, Glos

    Posts: 10,008
    I'm Jerry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SantanaCorreia View Post
    Dear Jerry,

    Your inputs are very welcome as well as all the rest.
    I know very little about audio and really don't understand very well the DAC technology, nor very interested in (I am a Vet). What I know is what heard.

    The fact that 100 euro DAC can to a face-to-face with DACs 10 times its price means much. The tech is evolving very quickly or the Chinese are much better than the rest.

    I will order that XS DAC. It is not expensive so it means I can buy another one latter or keep it as a headphone amp, if I needed.

    The DAC I use nowadays was talked about here so I went for it. The IQaudio Dac. For the price I believe it is the best I had. My CD player is on par with it and the price was 10 times higher. Also have a Dragonfly for my headphones. I am really an headphone guy, but enjoy my stereo more as the years go by.

    Does the XS need a linear power supply? Were can I buy the valve mentioned?

    Many thanks.
    Hi Luis

    Excellent - I think you will be pleased with the XS DAC.

    The WE 396A can, I think, only be bought from the USA.
    Here is one on eBay - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Western-E...AAAOSw8SpbGZNC
    But don't worry too much about getting one straight away, in my opinion it sounds great with the valve the DAC comes with.
    A cheaper option is to buy a Reflektor 5670 valve - not as good as the WE, but still a good upgrade. - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-x-new-o...QAAOSw8H1ajHVR

    I don't think you can easily use a linear power supply as there is no separate PSU box with the XS, so some internal work would be required to connect it.

    Hope that helps.
    Jerry

    Qobuz Hifi / Spotify Premium streaming, XiangSheng DAC-01A or Topping D30 DAC with lpsu, Herron VTSP-2 valve preamp, Trigon TRE 50M monoblocks, MBL 116F speakers.

    Cables: Wireworld Starlight USB, Ixos Ixotica i/c, W&M speaker cables, Belden 19364 mains cables

  10. #180
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 21,146
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazjam View Post
    Bit disturbing...

    Compared the dac in my Marantz UD7007 universal player from its analogue outs to playing through my Young dac via spdif.
    Its making music every bit as good as the Young...interesting.
    Its a bloody analogue output stage thats in it!

    .
    This is interesting. I tried a Young DAC in my system, using a Pioneer 757 universal player as a transport. There was no appreciable difference between the Young and the DAC in the Pioneer. I was quite surprised at the time, as was the owner of the DAC.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200P CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'This is the sort of music I'd be listening to if I was going shopping for a training bra.'

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