• Hello and Welcome to HiFiVision.com - an online community for the home entertainment and tech enthusiasts!

    If you would like to ask a question, participate in a discussion and view attachments please Register yourself.

DAC cum Streamer or standalone DAC + Laptop

Wharfedale EVO4.4 Speaker

Vivek Batra

Active Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
520
Points
43
Location
Chandigarh
I think USB input is not what its cracked up to be. DLNA servers like MinimServer stream music as well as USB would, and support cover-art, FLAC, DSD formats if your DAC/streamer supports. I use both on the CA 851N, and can not really make the difference out between the two.

While at it, I would recommend Cambridge Audio 851N. It's an excellent streamer and preamp. Handles all the formats I can throw at it, and has Spotify, Tidal, ApplePlay etc integrated.
Thanks for sharing your views in this. I'll check this out as well.
 
SPONSORED ADS

SPONSORED ADS

surfatwork

Active Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
253
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
Don't get hung up on balanced. For domestic use, it doesn't matter.
Concentrate on the Dac and don't compromise. Your audio quality ultimately depends on this one component. The source can be whatever - all it really does is send a digital stream to the dac. Reclocking DACs eliminate jitter issues.
 

essrand

Active Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Messages
128
Points
43
Location
Mumbai, India
Hi Vivek,

You have built a world-class system so far. Luxman 590AXii is one of the best integrated amps out there, your speakers are great too. Your DAC should be in the same league as well. Do not compromise on it.

It is sad to say this, but in my experience, but price does matter.

Over a period of an year (a few years ago when I lived in the USA), I tried many DACs (at least 6-7 of the famous ones at that time) I could find from 70k to 3L price range in my system and not surprisingly the more expensive DAC (AMR DP-777) did beat the cheaper ones.

I went to local audiophile blind shootout in San Francisco where something similar happened, the members brought their own DACs in the same price range 70K to 4L (1000-6000$) price range and the Luxman DA-06 (6000$) beat the rest of the cheaper according the shootout participants consensus.

I am sure that there are giant-killers out there. But unless you have actually tried them in the same system you cannot tell, you can only go by someone's word. My AMR DP-777 that I owned was one of them, but unless you have the luxury to try them in your own system and dispose them off if they cannot beat your current favourite, they are hard to find. Your idea of spending in the DAC the same ballpark price as your amp is a wise choice.
Aim for the 90-10 ratio. I think in DACs if you spend around 2-3ish (4000-6000$) lakhs you get 85% of the performance, 5ish lakhs you get to 90%, but to get that last 10% of performance it gets very expensive (think 15-30L) and is usually not worth it unless you are Mr. Moneybags or a very expert audiophile who needs that last ounce of performance.

Don't be very hung up on MQA, DSD and streaming capability. A well implemented PCM DAC would easily beat a so-so DSD dac. Or a well implemented USB DAC would easily beat a so-so streamer DAC. Find a DAC whose sound you like and if it has all the features, that's icing on the cake.

One last thought, try a tube DAC, paired with your luxman it will be a dream.

Cheers and good luck in your hunt.

Bhaskar
 
SPONSORED ADS

Top