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Author Topic: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?  (Read 2040 times)

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Offline MakersMarc

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Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« on: March 05, 2019, 01:49:41 PM »
So I'm thinking of picking up another refurbished Lenovo for $300 and a great sounding DAC, so I have a cheap interface to plug externals in. My sense is I might get the most bang out of pc>DAC, as opposed to plunking down $700 for an Astell Kern sr15. My other two daps are straight up mid fi, and the SR15 would be an upgrade, but still not hifi.

Any suggestions for a true hifi USB DAC with rca or mini output, in the 400-500 price range or below? Looking for transparency and a bit of warmth. Also suggestions on a DAC that also is an all in one streamer, including an interface?

Thanks!
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Offline kindms

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2019, 03:10:28 PM »
well as a blackbox no frills i like my Grace SDAC. Usb in RCA out. Bus powered and 24/96. I think it was 90 bucks
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Offline twatts (pants are so over-rated...)

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2019, 03:28:11 PM »
I bought an AudioEngine D1 a few years ago, to use as a headphone amp, and to pair with an external amp (B&K ST-140) whenever I got around to buying a set of bookshelf speakers...

Works great, but I'm not sure its "hi-fi"... 

Terry
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Sony PCM R500 > SPDIF > Tascam HD-P2
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Offline heathen

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2019, 03:31:47 PM »
Teac UD-501 is $550 with free shipping here: https://hifiheaven.net/shop/TEAC-UD-501-Dual-Monaural-D-A-Converter-with-USB-Streaming-in-Black?language=en&currency=USD&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIopCM9urr4AIV1Rx9Ch0WOgrbEAYYASABEgLIX_D_BwE

I have no idea about whether or not it has "warmth," but it uses excellent DAC chips (BurrBrown) in a dual mono design. 

This is as good a DAC as anyone is likely to ever need.
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
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Offline MakersMarc

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2019, 04:04:32 PM »
Teac UD-501 is $550 with free shipping here: https://hifiheaven.net/shop/TEAC-UD-501-Dual-Monaural-D-A-Converter-with-USB-Streaming-in-Black?language=en&currency=USD&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIopCM9urr4AIV1Rx9Ch0WOgrbEAYYASABEgLIX_D_BwE

I have no idea about whether or not it has "warmth," but it uses excellent DAC chips (BurrBrown) in a dual mono design. 

This is as good a DAC as anyone is likely to ever need.

That looks fantastic!

So I'm thinking one of these and a cheap pc so I can play windows files, and stream MQA from Tidal.  :headphones: :headphones:
😈 Mk4v/41v>nbob actives>Baby nbox>Oade warm mod Marantz 620.

Open: 4v/41v>nbobs>Naiant PFA>Oade warm mod 661.

Home: the Stereo Hospital budget refurb rig: Lappie>DragonFly Red with Jitterbug>Nikko NR520 amp>B&W V202 speakers. Hi Fi Goodwill style.

Offline heathen

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2019, 04:21:24 PM »
Teac UD-501 is $550 with free shipping here: https://hifiheaven.net/shop/TEAC-UD-501-Dual-Monaural-D-A-Converter-with-USB-Streaming-in-Black?language=en&currency=USD&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIopCM9urr4AIV1Rx9Ch0WOgrbEAYYASABEgLIX_D_BwE

I have no idea about whether or not it has "warmth," but it uses excellent DAC chips (BurrBrown) in a dual mono design. 

This is as good a DAC as anyone is likely to ever need.

That looks fantastic!

So I'm thinking one of these and a cheap pc so I can play windows files, and stream MQA from Tidal.  :headphones: :headphones:

You might be able to do that with a Raspberry Pi.  I haven't used Tidal though so I'm not 100% sure.  If it does work, though, the Pi makes a very cheap and efficient PC substitute.
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031 | AT AE5100 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2019, 04:49:14 PM »
Teac UD-501 is $550 with free shipping here: https://hifiheaven.net/shop/TEAC-UD-501-Dual-Monaural-D-A-Converter-with-USB-Streaming-in-Black?language=en&currency=USD&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIopCM9urr4AIV1Rx9Ch0WOgrbEAYYASABEgLIX_D_BwE

I have no idea about whether or not it has "warmth," but it uses excellent DAC chips (BurrBrown) in a dual mono design. 

This is as good a DAC as anyone is likely to ever need.

That looks fantastic!

So I'm thinking one of these and a cheap pc so I can play windows files, and stream MQA from Tidal.  :headphones: :headphones:

Something like that would allow you to switch b/w a disc player, a PC, and perhaps your TV.  We still watch DVDs every once in a while, and my cable box has an optical output...

I might have to look into something like that...  Dang you Heathen!   ;D

Terry
***Do you have PHISH, VIDA BLUE, JAZZ MANDOLIN PROJECT or any other Phish related DATs/Tapes/MDs that need to be transferred???  I can do them for you!!!***

I will return your DATs/Tapes/MDs.  I'll also provide Master FLAC files via DropBox.  PM me for details.

Sony PCM R500 > SPDIF > Tascam HD-P2
Nakamichi DR-3 > (Oade Advanced Concert Mod) Tascam HD-P2
Sony MDS-JE510 > Hosa ODL-276 > Tascam HD-P2

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Offline MakersMarc

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2019, 04:54:07 PM »
Gotta keep shopping the 501 isn’t MQA capable. Cue Heathen rant....😃
😈 Mk4v/41v>nbob actives>Baby nbox>Oade warm mod Marantz 620.

Open: 4v/41v>nbobs>Naiant PFA>Oade warm mod 661.

Home: the Stereo Hospital budget refurb rig: Lappie>DragonFly Red with Jitterbug>Nikko NR520 amp>B&W V202 speakers. Hi Fi Goodwill style.

Offline MakersMarc

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2019, 05:11:59 PM »
Seems like I have to either spend a couple of hundred or 2k. This is my preliminary choice, any comments would be most helpful!

https://www.whathifi.com/audioquest/dragonfly-red/review

Hard to get a five star review from what HiFi
😈 Mk4v/41v>nbob actives>Baby nbox>Oade warm mod Marantz 620.

Open: 4v/41v>nbobs>Naiant PFA>Oade warm mod 661.

Home: the Stereo Hospital budget refurb rig: Lappie>DragonFly Red with Jitterbug>Nikko NR520 amp>B&W V202 speakers. Hi Fi Goodwill style.

Offline heathen

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2019, 05:12:44 PM »
Gotta keep shopping the 501 isn’t MQA capable. Cue Heathen rant....😃

My fault...I didn't look that closely at that aspect of it. 

And I'm not casting any judgment here, but the practical reality is that MQA compatibility comes with a cost so that the manufacturer can license the technology from Meridian (I think that's who holds the patent, etc).  What I don't know is whether that pushes any MQA-compatible DACs out of your price range.  Are you open to the used market?  Obviously that gets you more bang for the buck.
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031 | AT AE5100 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline heathen

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2019, 05:17:16 PM »
Seems like I have to either spend a couple of hundred or 2k. This is my preliminary choice, any comments would be most helpful!

https://www.whathifi.com/audioquest/dragonfly-red/review

Hard to get a five star review from what HiFi

I have no experience with the Dragonfly Red, but here are some measurements: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-dacport-hd-and-dragonfly-red.5977/
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031 | AT AE5100 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline heathen

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2019, 05:30:28 PM »
This might have more features than you're looking for, but it does have a dual mono ESS Sabre DAC that's MQA-compatible: https://www.crutchfield.com/S-52uTmBbieCA/p_252PBS2DB/Pro-Ject-Pre-Box-S2-Digital-Black.html?XVINQ=GLX&awkw=426935457728&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=258704679247&awdv=c&awug=9028804&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI7pHakIbs4AIVCbjACh23LwlzEAQYAiABEgJyxPD_BwE

Crutchfield has a good return policy too, so you could give it a spin for a while and then return it if you don't like it.
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031 | AT AE5100 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline gormenghast

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2019, 07:41:51 PM »
Seems like I have to either spend a couple of hundred or 2k. This is my preliminary choice, any comments would be most helpful!

https://www.whathifi.com/audioquest/dragonfly-red/review

Hard to get a five star review from what HiFi

I'll check again, but I think I have the black version of this DAC.  Mainly to playback 24bit FLACs in my truck, with headphones ( rarely ) or with my stereo.  It does what it's supposed to do.
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Offline MakersMarc

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2019, 07:56:51 PM »
Dug a little deeper, how is the Chord Mojo? Seems best reviewed for $500 or under.
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Open: 4v/41v>nbobs>Naiant PFA>Oade warm mod 661.

Home: the Stereo Hospital budget refurb rig: Lappie>DragonFly Red with Jitterbug>Nikko NR520 amp>B&W V202 speakers. Hi Fi Goodwill style.

Offline 108Ω

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Re: Laptop>USB DAC>Nikko amp?
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2019, 09:20:58 PM »
« Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 09:25:53 PM by 108Ω »
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