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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?


  • #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.

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

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

    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.

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


    • #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.


      • #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.

        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 -

        I used Head-Fi and ComputerAudiophile for research.

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


        • #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.


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


            • #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.


              • #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.