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Audible Differences in DAC's?
sawdin
post Jan 9 2013, 19:41
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When he announced the release of the ODAC, NwAvGuy posted the the following on his blog:
QUOTE
NO SNAKE OIL REQUIRED: Many audiophiles want to believe more elaborate or exotic DACs offer higher fidelity. The ODAC demonstrates you do NOT need any of these for 100% transparent performance:

Asynchronous USB
UAC2 (USB Audio Class 2) Support
Asynchronous Sample Rate Conversion (ASRC),
Minimum Phase Filtering (no pre-ringing)
Non-oversampling NOS DAC chips
Dual DAC chips
Balanced Outputs
Vacuum Tube Stages
Elaborate and/or High Current Power Supplies


Is his position accurate/defensible?

If there was a well-designed DB/ABX test of the ODAC and sub $500/$1000 DAC's (e.g., Audioquest Dragonfly, iFi Micro iDAC, Audioengine D1, Emotiva XDA-2, etc.) that are are Asynchronous, USB Audio Class 2, etc. etc., do you think there would be 'audible/discernible' differences?

The reason that I am asking is that I am curious as to the whether there really is much of an audible difference between various sub $500 or $1,000 DAC's, and I haven't come across any DB tests of DAC's. I have read many subjective reviews that claim differences are quite noticeable. Of course, there are major differences in terms of the types and number of inputs and outputs that a DAC may have, whether they include a headphone amp, how portable they are, etc.

I am not trying to start a fight/flame war, I am just curious as to what the 'prevailing wisdom is' on this site. If you think there are differences in sub $500/$1000 DAC's, what do you believe are the relevant factors (e.g., USB vs Toslink/Coax)? I know that 'speakers' make a difference, but am unsure about how much, if any, difference there is between DAC's. Again, just trying to become an informed consumer (and save $), not trying to start fights.

TIA

PS...I should note that I appreciate people like NwAvGuy and others who try to provide quality products, diy options, etc., at reasonable prices.
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greynol
post Jan 9 2013, 20:26
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$500 is far too much for a transparent DAC. You are not going to see any DBT results justifying this figure as a minimum price point from a sound quality perspective in today's dollars, ever.

This post has been edited by greynol: Jan 9 2013, 20:26


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Posts in this topic
- sawdin   Audible Differences in DAC's?   Jan 9 2013, 19:41
- - pdq   I'm curious why you felt the need to limit the...   Jan 9 2013, 19:55
|- - sawdin   QUOTE (pdq @ Jan 9 2013, 13:55) I'm c...   Jan 9 2013, 20:14
- - greynol   $500 is far too much for a transparent DAC. ...   Jan 9 2013, 20:26
|- - sawdin   QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 9 2013, 14:26) ...   Jan 9 2013, 20:31
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (sawdin @ Jan 9 2013, 14:31) Okay, ...   Jan 10 2013, 00:47
|- - sawdin   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Jan 9 2013, 18...   Jan 11 2013, 16:41
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (sawdin @ Jan 11 2013, 10:41) How a...   Jan 14 2013, 14:52
- - DVDdoug   Most sub-$100 CD players or portable music pl...   Jan 9 2013, 20:29
- - greynol   I don't feel challenged, rather it is I who is...   Jan 9 2013, 20:42
- - Speedskater   Unfortunately the NwAvGuy has lost interest in the...   Jan 9 2013, 20:51
|- - sawdin   QUOTE (Speedskater @ Jan 9 2013, 14:51) U...   Jan 9 2013, 21:11
- - ktf   You can try for yourself, download this: http://dl...   Jan 9 2013, 22:56
|- - arve   QUOTE (ktf @ Jan 9 2013, 22:56) You can t...   Feb 4 2013, 20:40
|- - mzil   At extremely elevated levels (which with normal le...   Feb 4 2013, 21:28
|- - arve   QUOTE (mzil @ Feb 4 2013, 21:28) At extre...   Feb 4 2013, 22:01
- - skamp   QUOTE (sawdin @ Jan 9 2013, 20:31) Okay, ...   Jan 9 2013, 23:37
- - sawdin   Thanks to all who have replied. Very informative,...   Jan 10 2013, 01:47
- - Mach-X   Haha skamp exactly why I love my zunehd! Its s...   Jan 14 2013, 06:27
- - Mach-X   btw Arnold, the folks at Zanden would disagree wit...   Jan 15 2013, 03:58
|- - probedb   QUOTE (Mach-X @ Jan 15 2013, 02:58) ...   Jan 15 2013, 09:05
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (probedb @ Jan 15 2013, 03:05) QUOT...   Jan 16 2013, 14:43
- - pdq   You did notice that he said that two of the files ...   Feb 4 2013, 22:23
|- - arve   QUOTE (pdq @ Feb 4 2013, 22:23) You did n...   Feb 4 2013, 22:50
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (pdq @ Feb 4 2013, 16:23) You did n...   Feb 6 2013, 03:48
- - Mach-X   My question here is, if the sansa clip+ provides l...   Feb 6 2013, 10:10
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (Mach-X @ Feb 6 2013, 04:10) M...   Feb 6 2013, 11:09
- - skamp   Sure, the ODAC is overkill, but that's not a b...   Feb 6 2013, 11:45
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (skamp @ Feb 6 2013, 05:45) Sure, t...   Feb 24 2013, 11:58
|- - mzil   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Feb 24 2013, 05...   Feb 24 2013, 22:10
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (mzil @ Feb 24 2013, 16:10) QUOTE (...   Feb 25 2013, 15:51
- - DonP   Of course the big limitation of clip is that whil...   Feb 24 2013, 14:32
- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (DonP @ Feb 24 2013, 08:32) Of cour...   Feb 24 2013, 20:11


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