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Best DAC under US$ 225

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Santy

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One of my friend is returning from US by mid of Nov... I thought I will ask him to carry a decent DAC for my setup.

USB input is optional but a bonus if present. My source will be WDTV and DVDp. It will be connected to NAD amp and Norge speakers. Need suggestions from experts on the ideal, VFM DAC and where I can place order for it.

I also wish to know if I am too stupid to expect the quality of a good entry level CDP out of it? If I cannot get a decent quality for my budget, I would rather not proceed. I can wait till I am able convince my home minister that buying a CDP or a DAC for Rs. 22k is NOT ridiculous. :D
 
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Santy

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Yes Emotiva sounds too good. But it is shipped from China I suppose? So obviously shipping cost and customs will add to the cost. May go upto $400, for which I am not prepared now. :eek: Even if it can be delivered locally in US, it would be in Dec, which becomes too late.

I was thinking why don't I get take the opportunity of my friend returning from US to save on shipping and customs. I think he is allowed to carry goods upto Rs. 25k (though I guess that poor guy is already booked as 'carrier' by many of his other friends)
 

iaudio

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One of my friend is returning from US by mid of Nov... I thought I will ask him to carry a decent DAC for my setup.

USB input is optional but a bonus if present. My source will be WDTV and DVDp. It will be connected to NAD amp and Norge speakers. Need suggestions from experts on the ideal, VFM DAC and where I can place order for it.

I also wish to know if I am too stupid to expect the quality of a good entry level CDP out of it? If I cannot get a decent quality for my budget, I would rather not proceed. I can wait till I am able convince my home minister that buying a CDP or a DAC for Rs. 22k is NOT ridiculous. :D

Now that is the problem part! Its a difficult objective imho at this budget. The bet thing to at this budget is to scout head fi, diya or audiogon for used dacs.
 

Santy

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^^ In that case why do people even buy stuff like the Beresfords or the VDACs which almost fall in that budget range (assuming we need good audio performance and not versatality)?. What I was thinking is that a DAC worth $300 should give a quality comparable to a $500 CPP assuming that about same value ($300) must have gone into building that DAC inside the CDP. Sorry about crazy calculations but just trying to understand what it takes to produce appreciable quality.
 

anm

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no - this is US price - shipping should be about $10 within US. However it is not yet clear when it would be available.

Yes Emotiva sounds too good. But it is shipped from China I suppose? So obviously shipping cost and customs will add to the cost. May go upto $400, for which I am not prepared now. :eek: Even if it can be delivered locally in US, it would be in Dec, which becomes too late.

I was thinking why don't I get take the opportunity of my friend returning from US to save on shipping and customs. I think he is allowed to carry goods upto Rs. 25k (though I guess that poor guy is already booked as 'carrier' by many of his other friends)
 

sandip_d

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emotiva legacy?

hmmm...
Solid products & performance at reasonable price. How many do you own? That is offcourse a layman's experience & can be elaborated more in Technical terms which I am not capable of. Perhaps Spidey, Kapvin, Santhol and many other owners on this forum can.
Now for me, 299$ price seems reasonable. It looks as solid product from photos, performance.....hmmm.... there fits legacy. Hope you got it now.
 

Santy

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Valob NOS DAC
US$ 200

I have this currently ( thanks to Jaibir ,i got it from him!)
I really like it
Read the technology and logic before buy! Controversial technology..
Also check the version -you get 250 V version

If you want to listen you can visit my place..

Yeah, controversial for sure.. and the loads of technical research papers published in the marketing space (ebay product description) scares me a bit.

Anyway I should try to see the difference; certainly have to visit your place- its long due :rolleyes:
 

rallynut

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the valab nos is a very well regarded implementation for a "budget" dac,but FWIW,the nos "sound" is not for everyone.congrats hemanth,its a good buy,esp the one from jai ;).

i guess the prob starts when comparos are drawn up :indifferent14:.i have always believed "budget" dac's are exactly what they are,at a budget.and if one does rely on pc/hdd for music,a soundcard/dac is of paramount importance in the chain.mine is a budget setup at best,hence my 2 dacs provide very satisfying sonic performance :).

there are different thought processes,implementations by way of chip(BB/CL/PHILIPS/TI) used,etc,..and all dac designers have their own philosophies in "how" to extract maximum sonic performance from the said applications.

luckily,there are few well regarded ones,the rest being,umm..:rolleyes:.making google ur friend is the best way to narrow down ur search :p.enjoy the hunt.cheers
 

Santy

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Queried Emotiva for group buy offers, but no specific discount was given. May be a couple of persuasions can bring down the price. As far as shipping is concerned, they have mentioned that a few bucks can be saved with bulk order. Problem with group buy is the customs. Any dealer in the forum having an import license? We could pay a small fee out of savings. But again, I am not still decided for XDA-1 as shipping cost really bothers me.

From:
Sarah Terry <sarah@emotiva.com>
To: Santy

international_orders (2).pdf (35KB)

Hello,

Thank you for your interest in the XDA-1.

I am pleased to quote the following:

XDA-1 $299.00
Freight $87.27 FedEx Economy
Total $386.27

Please note that this is an estimated freight quote because the XDA-1 is not in stock, yet.
I have not sent a bulk order to India before, so I do not know exactly what you would should expect. I would check with your customs office.
It would save on your freight cost to order a few at a time.

Thank you for your interest,

Sarah Terry

Office Manager

Emotiva Audio Corporation
131 Southeast Parkway Court | Franklin, TN 37064
615-790-6754
 

StanleyB

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^^ In that case why do people even buy stuff like the Beresfords or the VDACs which almost fall in that budget range (assuming we need good audio performance and not versatality)?. What I was thinking is that a DAC worth $300 should give a quality comparable to a $500 CPP assuming that about same value ($300) must have gone into building that DAC inside the CDP. Sorry about crazy calculations but just trying to understand what it takes to produce appreciable quality.
The price you are asked to pay has very little to do with what the performance of the item would delivery. Where would you get a $500 CDP from, and where would you get a $300 DAC from? I bet you that you are comparing the $500 CDP price from a shop in India versus a $300 DAC price from the internet and shipped from a different country. By the time the DAC has gone through Customs and the local retailer has added his sales margin, the $300 internet DAC will be about $500 in the local shop as well.

Worse still, I can get that $500 CDP in India for less than $250 in its country of origin. That makes the $250 CDP cheaper than the $300 DAC, and then you have to decide if the CDP is anywhere as good as the DAC ;).
 

iaudio

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Stanley, with all due respect, I was talking about international prices itself(for both cdp and dac). Hopefully will get to hear DACs that will do away that notion.
 

StanleyB

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In that case, it gets even more complicated:). It is next to impossible to buy a single CDP directly from the manufacturer, unless you are looking at a very expensive one out of China. DACs on the other hand can be bought quite readily from a range of manufacturers.
What does that then mean? That means that the CDP price includes import duty and import VAT, after which the retail price is calculated. The DAC will not have those costs if it is from the manufacturer, which means that if the factory gate prices are equal, the CDP will cost a lot more by the time it gets from the seller to the buyer.

I used to work for a company who bought their CDP and DVDP from a well known Chinese OEM manufacturer called TONIC. A typical player with all the specs and high end part might be between U$50 to U$100 in quantities of 10,000. The retail price for each unit was however around U$499.
DACs on the other hand are not made in such large quantities, but if they were, then the price from the factory for an equivalent U$499 DAC would be far higher than U$50 to U$100. Why? Because a CDP uses a lot of cheap plastic to make up the total package.

Do a google search for the Goldmund DVD player trouble. It's a U$5000 player that was rebadged from a U$150 Pioneer unit. Was big news a few years back.
 

iaudio

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Yep, Stanley, I do remember reading a while back about the Goldmund fiasco and more recently the Lexicon.
 
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