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Good inexpensive DAC for a SB Duet?

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  • Good inexpensive DAC for a SB Duet?

    I'd like to get a nice step up for my SB Duet in terms of the DAC but don't have a fortune to spend. Are there some good options I should be looking at?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    The DACMan seems interesting if you can wait.

    A lot of people really like the CIA DAC, but I haven't heard it myself.

    http://www.ciaudio.com/

    Another budget DAC that seems to get good reviews is the Cambridge Audio DAC Magic

    http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/set_te...ry.php?PID=320

    I've also read good things about the Musical Fidelity budget DAC

    http://www.musicdirect.com/product/84139

    I went the Chinese route and got a Zero DAC from Hong Kong on eBay, and have been real happy with it. There is a massive 500 page thread about it on Head Fi.

    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trk...All-Categories

    http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...re-amp-269458/

    You should also check out Pacific Valve and Audio Magus for other alternatives.

    http://www.pacificvalve.us/DACS.html

    http://www.audio-magus.com/
    (Website is down right now.)

    Lots of choices and price points, but for me being very budget conscious, the Zero DAC for about $175 delivered was a good choice. Good luck in finding something.


    Jim C

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    • #3
      Thanks. Reading the last few pages on the Zero DAC thread it seems like people are saying it's gone downhill lately. I appreciate the other suggestions.

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      • #4
        Check out the Keces DA-131 Mk2. A guy in Taiwan builds them and sells them on Audiogon and Ebay. He is a greta guy and super-responsive.

        http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....-Legnedary--Im

        I have the Keces DA-151 Mk2 which is USB only and I am very happy with it. I recently bought an iBasso D10 Cobra which is a mini DAC and Headphone Amp. I has USB, Coax, and Digital inputs as well as headphone and stereo out. I plan to use it in the office.

        I also heard good things about the Devilsounds DAC - http://www.devilsound.com/

        I used Head-Fi and ComputerAudiophile for research.

        Edit: Forget the Devilsound. I forgot that it is USB only.

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        • #5
          Be sure to add a tube DAC from MHDT to your shopping list. I'm using a MHDT Paradisea DAC with the Duet and this combo sound very nice.

          Do a google search for "MHDT Paradisea" and you'll find bunch of positive reviews.

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          • #6
            I have a SB3->CI VDA-2 and couldn't be happier. :cloud9:

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            • #7
              Yeah, thanks. I'm going to send it to my SP3, so I wasn't sure if I'd benefit from a tube DAC as well.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dvenardos
                I have a SB3->CI VDA-2 and couldn't be happier. :cloud9:
                +1, same here

                My only other consideration would be to have the Duet modified by Bolder Cable and just use the analog outs of the Duet.

                www.boldercables.com/servlet/StoreFront

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