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Thread: Contemplating a new DAC

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2019

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 34
    I'm David.

    Default Contemplating a new DAC

    Hi, my current digital setup is a Raspberry Pi 3 / Allo DigiOne combo loaded with Volumio and fed by network located FLAC files (my CD rips), Spotify or Tidal. The output goes into a Shek D1 (NOS) DAC (TDA1543) and then to a Yaqin MC100B (KT88 tube amp) and onwards to a pair of Spendor S9e's. I played around with different digital sources (CD players) and DACS a few years ago and settled with the Shek because of how more noticeably smoother it made everything sound. I really can't get on with anything even bordering on bright/sharp sounding.

    However, I'm finding that I still enjoy listening to my vinyl sources so much more and even though they generally sound very smooth and laid back (compared to my digital sources) they somehow manage to produce a more detailed and involving sound at the same time. Okay, I know digital sources will never sound like analogue ones and I shouldn't be trying to achieve that, but are there any DACS out there, for under £400, that might provide more detail and 'texture' whilst not sounding too bright or forward. I prefer a richer, more laid back presentation and one with with a strong bass and whilst I know I should aim to achieve this via amp/speakers, if the DAC is going to lean one way or another then that towards that would be my preference. Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Oct 2008

    Location: Glasgowshire

    Posts: 7,578
    I'm availableforweddingsAndBarmitzvas.

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    I’d go for a Rega Dac, very close to sounding like you are describing.
    a “Non digital” and musical listen, easy to relax into the music and forget about whether your dac is “good enough”.

    Not heard the new version, but see if you can pick one of those up second hand for your budget, it’s supposed to be better than the Version 1 which I had.
    I enjoy Hifi n stuff...

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,056
    I'm James.

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    The Allo Boss 1.2 DAC
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  4. #4
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,157
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    The Allo Boss 1.2 DAC
    Yup. Couldn't agree more at this point.

    Sent from my VKY-L09 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2018

    Location: Grimsby

    Posts: 254
    I'm David.

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    Depending how much you want to spend you could have a look at the Metrum NOS range.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2019

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 34
    I'm David.

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    Thanks for the replies, I'll look into all these options.

    But, starting off with the Allo Boss 1.2, can I ask does anyone know if this is designed to work together with the RPI and DigiOne combo or just the RPI alone? I suspect it might negate the need for the DigiOne. If all 3 together then I'm not sure if there would be a case option. Sorry, I'm a bit of a RPI noob and haven't quite got my head around all the configuration/add on options yet. Thanks, David.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: http://www.homehifi.co.uk

    Posts: 6,273

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    Since you are in London, just like me, why not give my Caiman SEG a try? It has all the attributes you are looking for, including the deep bass.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: Down South

    Posts: 2,402
    I'm Neal.

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    I’m not up to speed on the latest Volumio but if it has an option to alter the sox filter settings I’d have a play with that first. Also, maybe the Shek would benefit from a power supply upgrade.....
    Listening in a Foo free Zone...

    Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

  9. #9
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

    Posts: 14,560
    I'm David.

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    NOS DACs can put out loads of ultrasonic rubbish and according to info measured here and there, it's not low in level either, so be warned. May cause distortion at audio frequencies, thereby adding sonic 'character' perhaps.

    The Rega DAC has been designed and 'voiced' by a vinyl loving company, so any sonic character will be more around warmth of tone rather than sharply 'etched' 'deeeeetail.' Me? I'm a cheapskate, so I'd look first at a £200 Topping D50 which at least measures pretty well properly and doesn't seem especially power supply fussy...

    https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...-d50-dac.2403/
    Tear down these walls; Cut the ties that held me
    Crying out at the top of my voice; Tell me now if you can hear me

  10. #10
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 5,218
    I'm Alan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yabadaba View Post
    Thanks for the replies, I'll look into all these options.

    But, starting off with the Allo Boss 1.2, can I ask does anyone know if this is designed to work together with the RPI and DigiOne combo or just the RPI alone? I suspect it might negate the need for the DigiOne. If all 3 together then I'm not sure if there would be a case option. Sorry, I'm a bit of a RPI noob and haven't quite got my head around all the configuration/add on options yet. Thanks, David.
    It works with the Pi alone, it is a Dac/reclocker combined.

    Interesting developments in the midlands with 3 of us using this and experimenting with power supply arrangements.

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