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Thread: Best redbook 16bit/44.1kHz DACs?

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    Best redbook 16bit/44.1kHz DACs?

    What are some of the best DACs out there that extract the most out of regular old 16/44.1 redbook?

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    The Schiit Yggdrasil is the best I have ever heard at that.

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    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! Elberoth's Avatar
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    Schiit also does hi-res.

    As far as redbook only DACs are concerned, I have read many positive reports on the new, battery powered Concert Fidelity DAC.
    Adam

    Speakers: Magico M3
    Amp: MSB M202 / D'Agostino Momentum Stereo
    Digital: Lampi Golden Gate DSD only + Lampi DSD Komputer server
    Cables: AudioQuest WEL Signature IC / Shunyata Anaconda Z-Tron SC

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    I don't mind if the DACs play hi-res also, this is a nice to have feature, but not essential. Don't know about you guys but I listen to 95% redbook so want optimal performance for this format.

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    Interested in The Schiit (on back order till end of June) but the FAQ is hilarious, a must read.

    Any other recommended options in that price range?

    http://schiit.com/products/yggdrasil
    Rega P1/Rega Phono Mini USB/Denon DL-110/
    Pioneer Spec-1 Pre/Pioneer Spec-2 Amp
    Magneplaner .5 QR
    Kubala Sonsa Anticipation Cables
    Pioneer CT-1250/ Pioneer SG-9500/Pioneer TX-6700
    Xonar Essence STX/Samsung DVD-HD841 Audio Only

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hi-FiGuy View Post
    Interested in The Schiit (on back order till end of June) but the FAQ is hilarious, a must read.

    Any other recommended options in that price range?

    http://schiit.com/products/yggdrasil
    I would be very hesitant of buying any Schiit products without measurements. My son bought one of their $400 DACs and it was by far one of the worst performing DACs I have measured. I was measuring it because he was able to readily hear the activities of his PC bleeding through that DAC into his headphones. Here is its S/PDIF performance:



    That jitter is at -62 dB FS. It is 20 to 30 dB worse than anything I have seen. Signal to noise ratio of redbook CD is 96 dB. So for the distortion to be at the level of noise, it would have to be -96 dB FS. This is 34 dB worse than that! It also has the dishonor of being the first fully documented case of use of different media players showing different outputs due to lack of isolation from the PC:



    Keeping everything the same but using Media Player Classic gives this:



    I can buy a $20 USB DAC with far better performance than these. My son could not return the DAC faster than he did.

    He also bought a pair of interconnects from them. One of them failed immediately. I opened it up and it super lousy soldering job with no strain relief so the center coax connector broke off. They had bought the connectors from one of the famous cable companies and soldered their own wire to it. And screwing up the only part they had their hand in it.

    They have lived up to their name in my book. No company that had any quality control or ability to measure gear would have ever released such products. Be afraid, be very afraid in buying their products as the line in Adam's' Family movie went.

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    Here is a link to measurements taken of the DAC. Seem damn impressive to me.

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/764787/yggd...l-measurements

    I have 2 Schiit products, the Gungnir DAC and the Wyrd and they work flawlessly. Mike Moffatt is no dummy. I recommend their products without hesitation. Sorry you had an issue Amir. We listened to redbook extensively with this DAC last night and it was sensational. So was high rez.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Whip View Post
    Here is a link to measurements taken of the DAC. Seem damn impressive to me.

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/764787/yggd...l-measurements
    Thanks but the measurements are not properly documented. I can't tell for example if he used the PC to drive to the signal as I did or the Prism Sound output. Lack of isolation is not going to show up when you use a lab grade instrument to drive the DAC as opposed to typical noisy PC music server.

    I have 2 Schiit products, the Gungnir DAC and the Wyrd and they work flawlessly. Mike Moffatt is no dummy. I recommend their products without hesitation. Sorry you had an issue Amir.
    Me? No. I had no issue. We returned the box and got a refund. They have issues. What I have shown are clearly design problems in a $400 DAC. Not one problem but multiple. The workmanship on the interconnect was not subject to debate either. Maybe their other DACs are good. I don't know. What I do know is that significant issues existed beyond anything anyone can explain away in nearly $1,000 my son spent between DAC, headphone amp and cables, based on my recommendation of reading their subjective performance on forums no less. Having now egg on my face, I hope you forgive me for warning people to not jump in the pool the same way.

    We listened to redbook extensively with this DAC last night and it was sensational. So was high rez.
    When a device has poor isolation, its performance becomes variable and source dependent. Unless such time that it is shown to not have such issues, then subjective performance unfortunately cannot be relied upon as even if valid, may not be replicated on other systems.

    My strong warnings remain.

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    Which is why they have a money back guarantee. Try it for 2 weeks and if you don't like it, send it back. My friend did it with the much more pricey Berkeley DAC. He keep the Schiit over that and a PS Audio DAC. Maybe you can order one, test it and let us know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Whip View Post
    Which is why they have a money back guarantee.
    The guy selling hair growth ointment has money back guarantee too . Doesn't mean it is a substitute for proper data before jumping in. There is work and effort involved in buying and returning something.

    Try it for 2 weeks and if you don't like it, send it back. My friend did it with the much more pricey Berkeley DAC. He keep the Schiit over that and a PS Audio DAC. Maybe you can order one, test it and let us know.
    I think I have done my bit to add objective data to the conversation and that was enough for me to write off the company. With so many choices of DAC companies out there, I don't know why I would spend time dealing with a company that put out such poor performing product. You should have seen the soldering job on the cable. I can show a 6 year old how to solder wires better than they had.

    If there is sufficient interest in their products and someone can explain to me why, sure, I can test another. For now, I would not remotely mention Berkeley products in the same sentence as them, your friend's experience notwithstanding.

    BTW, what can you tell me about the guy who did these measurements? He has the gear so I assume he knows how to perform such but looking at what he has post has me concerned:



    For one, anyone who posts blue graph on black needs to be taken out back and shot. I had to pull it into Photoshop, brighten it just to be able read the darn thing.

    When I do that, I see correlated low frequency jitter that has landed on top of the main tone because his chart has too low of a resolution on X axis. The solution is to expand the X axis which would allow one to see the actual distortions.

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