Best "bang for the buck" DAC

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
6,720
1,823
340
North Shore of Boston
#61
I'm having trouble following the thread of this last page. I guess you digital guys speak a different language that what a vinyl guy like me can understand. I'll take that as my cue to view from afar.

Have a good long Memorial Day weekend everyone. I'm going outside for a while, perhaps a long while.
 

fuscobal

New Member
Apr 8, 2020
26
3
3
40
#62
Guys, thanks for the latest recommendations but DAC2X v2 is on its way already (should be here in couple of days). Afterwards, streamer to replace my CDSA (for now will use it as a transport for DAC2X v2).
 

RGMD11

Active Member
Mar 30, 2017
61
50
35
#63
Popped round my local dealer yesterday to listen to a Taiko Extreme, but sadly was not able to (maybe next week or after when it will be hooked unto a Wadax Reference Dac).

But I did have a listen to a Wadax Atlantis Transport with Boulder 2110 pre-amp and 2160 amp which they were trying out with a "APL" "DSD-AR" DAC (Bulgarian entry level model and around 6K euros) into a pair of Vimberg Tonda D speakers using Van Den Hul cables (not sure which range),

Sounded amazing, best system I have heard there recently and probably since listening to a Accuphase transport with Gryphon Mepthisto and Rockport Altair speakers a couple of years back, extremely impressive DAC (it has tubes) for the money and I think this was the most surprising aspect, (never heard of them), punched way above it's weight and price.

Keep safe everyone.
 
Likes: Hyperion

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,305
2,179
433
E. England
#64
There's a stellar review of this dac on hifi-advice.com, from 9th May.
 
Likes: Hyperion

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
6,115
628
340
Boston, MA
#65
I remember a time where you thought that analog would always be superior to digital, especially Redbook, since you thought the latter had inherently too low resolution.
Well, I still bet top analog trumps any redbook, so what I think of the Yggy2 is in the context of my system. At the same time, we have both heard mediocre sounds from "top" analog, like that Basis Trancendence + Rockport + Nagra demo at the load dealer's (none the fault of either brand's), which paled against whatever digital they played (I forget). So proper execution really matters.

Having said that, redbook has come such a long way that just the other day, my son walks by me in the living room, stops, sits down to listen with me and says: This is the radio? Yes, it was the radio, playing Vivaldi, and the strings were to die for. I've started buying CDs again from http://www.arkivmusic.com which is what https://www.classicalwcrb.org/ is usually playing - just incredible sounds from this heavily modified FM tuner.
 
Last edited:

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
1,370
1,202
355
Denmark
#66

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,305
2,179
433
E. England
#67
I think he'd have enjoyed my recently purchased Beethoven Symphonies box/Karajan/Berlin Philharmonic/DG '79. I mean, thru Zus. But as we all know, we don't listen thru spkrs but the spkrs/room combination. And my Zus are a different proposition now.
 

Hyperion

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2011
294
13
95
Stockholm/Sweden
#68
Popped round my local dealer yesterday to listen to a Taiko Extreme, but sadly was not able to (maybe next week or after when it will be hooked unto a Wadax Reference Dac).

But I did have a listen to a Wadax Atlantis Transport with Boulder 2110 pre-amp and 2160 amp which they were trying out with a "APL" "DSD-AR" DAC (Bulgarian entry level model and around 6K euros) into a pair of Vimberg Tonda D speakers using Van Den Hul cables (not sure which range),

Sounded amazing, best system I have heard there recently and probably since listening to a Accuphase transport with Gryphon Mepthisto and Rockport Altair speakers a couple of years back, extremely impressive DAC (it has tubes) for the money and I think this was the most surprising aspect, (never heard of them), punched way above it's weight and price.

Keep safe everyone.

The new APL DSD-AR DAC is indeed something very special. Among all of the DAC's that has passed through here during recent years below $10.000 this is the highest performing side by side with the new Rockna Wavelight DAC.

/ Marcus, www.perfect-sense.se
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
1,370
1,202
355
Denmark
#69
The new APL DSD-AR DAC is indeed something very special. Among all of the DAC's that has passed through here during recent years below $10.000 this is the highest performing side by side with the new Rockna Wavelight DAC.

/ Marcus, www.perfect-sense.se
Their older models just have a terrible resale price in the used market. Don’t forget that serial number for me next week ;)
 

Hyperion

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2011
294
13
95
Stockholm/Sweden
#70
Their older models just have a terrible resale price in the used market. Don’t forget that serial number for me next week ;)
You don't need to sell your APL DAC as it will always be upgradeable outperforming most others within the same price range (and well above).

As for the resale value of older digital sources, all brands suffer. Ultimately you need to ask yourself if you're buying to enjoy or buying to sell. All premium goods decline in value no matter which area or hobby you're in.

As for the serial, I presume you're referring to the Schiit DAC...? :)

/ Marcus, www.perfect-sense.se
 
Likes: Marcin_gps
Jun 22, 2017
38
6
23
#71
I have been streaming from a local server for almost 12 years using a variety of software. Then I moved to a dedicated Auralic Aries server. All of these scenarios had the server sitting in the audio room using usb. Since the better dacs come with network connections or i2s, I got rid of the server and especially usb and went with Roon with a server in a separate room using Ethernet to the dac. Usb is a terrible protocol to use for audio and you can spend thousands trying to make it better. Plus isolating the server in another room, there is no noise. If for some reason you want a server in the audio room, or you don’t have a network interface to the dac, use i2s to the dac.
 
Likes: Rob181

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
1,370
1,202
355
Denmark
#72
You don't need to sell your APL DAC as it will always be upgradeable outperforming most others within the same price range (and well above).

As for the resale value of older digital sources, all brands suffer. Ultimately you need to ask yourself if you're buying to enjoy or buying to sell. All premium goods decline in value no matter which area or hobby you're in.

As for the serial, I presume you're referring to the Schiit DAC...? :)

/ Marcus, www.perfect-sense.se
Yes all older digital gear declined in value. Alex’s modded Esoteric machines where selling used for ridicules low priced for a while.
Yes i meant the Schit.;)
 

matthias

Active Member
Mar 14, 2019
322
96
28
Germany
#73
The new APL DSD-AR DAC is indeed something very special. Among all of the DAC's that has passed through here during recent years below $10.000 this is the highest performing side by side with the new Rockna Wavelight DAC.
Hi Marcus,

please can you share something about the sound signature of the new Wavelight?
Thanks

Matt
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
1,370
1,202
355
Denmark
#74
Hi Marcus,

please can you share something about the sound signature of the new Wavelight?
Thanks

Matt
And a few words comparing i to the Schit if possible, you are allowed to plead the fifth amendment. The Schit is for my brother, he does not read WBF ;)
 
Dec 17, 2016
9
5
18
#75
Last August, the AZ AV Club held a DAC shootout with ten or eleven contenders. It was well designed; level matched, 0.5 seconds between selections, three DACs at a time, each labeled A, B & C. Expensive, highly resolving system. As I recall, Black Ice Audio FX Tube DAC ($799) came in first, Chord Qutest ($1695) 2nd, Schiit Yggy 3rd, ifi Pro iDSD 4th (lost by one vote to Yggy, may have done better in one other of many configurations available).
 

adamaley

Well-Known Member
Apr 15, 2016
374
295
93
Minnetonka, MN
#77
For $2500, I think the Audio Mirror Tubadour III SE is really good. Punches way above its price point!
A buddy of mine switched from an Yggy 2 to the original Audio Mirror Tubadour. He's recently had some upgrades done to it by Vlad, but I'm not sure if it's up to the III SE yet. He's really enjoying the DAC.
 
Apr 8, 2020
26
3
3
40
#78
Aurender N10 is here now to pair with DAC2X v2 and replace my CDSAse. So, CDSA vs CDSA + DAC2Xv2 vs N10 + DAC2Xv2 all sound pretty different. CDSAse alone is still amazing for its age. CDSA + DAC2X has more detail all around, more air, veeery delicate highs. N10 + DAC2X has a fuller bodied sound all around, better low frequency control, larger stage, similar air to CDSA + DAC2X, a bit more forward highs and midrange.
 

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