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Tube Dac

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amit11

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Hi Friends,

Is there any tube DAC available around the range of 100 USD?
Currently I have the Schiit Modi DAC and I was thinking to get a taste of tube sound if such reasonable tube DAC comes in the market. I think i do not want a tube dac working as a headphone amplifier and having volume control. Rather it should be like a normal DAC similar to Schiit Modi DAC with line level output and no volume control etc. It should have inputs optical/coaxial/usb.


regards,
amit.
 
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saikatbiswas82

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Hi Friends,

Is there any tube DAC available around the range of 100 USD?
Currently I have the Schiit Modi DAC and I was thinking to get a taste of tube sound if such reasonable tube DAC comes in the market. I think i do not want a tube dac working as a headphone amplifier and having volume control. Rather it should be like a normal DAC similar to Schiit Modi DAC with line level output and no volume control etc. It should have inputs optical/coaxial/usb.


regards,
amit.

Instead of investing on a $100 dac+tube pre package, I'd like you to try one tube buffer/pre at line level. That might (just might) yield better results IMO.

The most budget and nice sounding tube buffer I've come across is Yaqin CD3. Putting a nice stereo volume pot will give the flexibility of volume control as well.

If you don't have uber upgrade in you modi, you could look into that as well.
 
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amit11

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I am new to the terminology "tube buffer". I tried to understand from the net. Have one question, can we use it to connect to amplifier directly? I have a Yamaha amplifier AS-500 which is both pre-amp + power-amp. For tube buffer do we need to strictly connect to pre-amp only?
 

saikatbiswas82

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I am new to the terminology "tube buffer". I tried to understand from the net. Have one question, can we use it to connect to amplifier directly? I have a Yamaha amplifier AS-500 which is both pre-amp + power-amp. For tube buffer do we need to strictly connect to pre-amp only?

You have a nice stereo amp. [emoji4]

Tube buffer can sit between dac's line out and amp's line in.

Ideally there should be one active preamp in chain (I am keeping active bi-amping driver scenarios out of scope here - actually there are too many variables). More the number of active pres, more unwanted distortion or noise might creep in. So in this case, as you already have an active pre (inside as500), better to go with a buffer only. IMHO.

Active pres are famous for colorization in sound. The color may be good or bad but not transparent.
 
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greenhorn

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@greenhorn

Is the kit ready to use directly? Or we have to do some soldering etc or attach the transformer with plugs etc?

yes, some assembly is required. No soldering etc, but you'll need to connect the transformer, tubes, power cord, and possibly the chassis
 

greenhorn

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yes, some assembly is required. No soldering etc, but you'll need to connect the transformer, tubes, power cord, and possibly the chassis

EDIT: it is also available on ebay as a components kit (where the parts need to be soldered ) so be careful what you are buying
 

arj

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I personally am not a great fan of buffers and never recommend it. Why add an extra component and cables to just change the sound.

I would suggest going for a different DAC..

A tube buffer is used to solve a specific problem of correcting impedance mismatches between a source and amp so that the source sees a simpler load.
 

greenhorn

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I personally am not a great fan of buffers and never recommend it. Why add an extra component and cables to just change the sound.

I would suggest going for a different DAC..

The OP wants a taste of tube sound, and hence the recommend for a tube buffer. Most budget tube dacs and hybrid tube amps are just the garden variety dacs/amps with a tube buffer stage added onto it. So why bother buying the whole thing when you can buy just the buffer alone - this way he can get a taste of tube sound without blowing $$$ unecessarily
 

arj

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Having used tube different just gave my view.. My experience is that the longer the chain , more the deterioration of sound..


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

amit11

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I would suggest going for a different DAC..



Initially i also had given a thought that a more expensive and better DAC would fill the thirst. But i feel that even after that the sound would be solid state. I would still miss the elusive sound of tubes no matter how better the DAC is.

Getting a tube amp is expensive. Hence tube buffer came into picture. In fact i never knew about tube buffer, rather I was thinking about tube dac but buffer came into conversation and i found that to be interesting.
 

arj

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A tube buffer really does not do anything ..it has slight gain that's all. Where it really benefits is when your source does not have enough power maintain a constant voltage output with the amp..the tube buffer buffers it from that and gives a smaller load. Tube sound does not really come cheap but you could consider lyritas amps if that is in your budget.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

greenhorn

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A tube buffer really does not do anything
Can we agree to disagree here ? My experience with the Little bear P3 has been otherwise. I would not call these as proper buffers, as their main job (apart from the gain) is to add even order distortion and give a taste of tube sound on a budget.
...more the deterioration of sound.
Yes, but some deterioration is better than others :)
 
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amit11

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I finally placed order for Yaqin CD3 tube buffer. [emoji4]

Now eagerly awaiting for its arrival. I hope the decision to buy this turns out to be fruitful.
 

sgautam

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Hi where did u buy it and what price. Is it thru PayPal

Sent from my CP8676_I02 using Tapatalk
 

amit11

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I got it from amazon.com. seller is shenzenaudio. They ship to india. Price is 195 usd including shipping. Customs would come around 1k to 2k inr approx.

Sent from my Note3 using Tapatalk
 
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