I knew a couple members here are fan of DAC, or owned many DACs. Be it ESS, AKM, R2R etc…So what type of DACs, or streamers with DAC, or just pure streamer that you own, and how you like them?
I’ll start first.
SMSL DP5. Kind of bright in my opinion. Can hear digital glares. Sounded thin. Can be harsh due to recordings I supposed
Topping E50. Not bad, nice bass, some digital glares. Sounded clean and crisp. For its price still usable. I had 2 now and used it for my HT +4 channel in my Trinnov as sub woofer signal output
Schiit modius. Sounded warmer and even better bass then previous 2, smooth in treble. Take away is no remote, no bluetooth. AKM implementation perhaps hence the sound signature. Good for desktop stereo I guess, can be better for towers speaker.
Borrowed Denafrips Ares 2. This is the DAC that made me fell in love with R2R design. Heard about R2R DAC last time but never really try it before, until I borrowed one from a member. Sound buttery smooth and I don’t really notice digital glares. Sounded detail and linear, fast in transient. Great piece of DAC with lesser listening fatigue compared to what I owned previously
- Currently owned Denafrips Terminator 2.
Upon hearing the Ares 2, I did not hesitate and bought the Terminator 2. It’s one of the most expensive and best DAC I’ve ever owned till date. Am not a believer of “clocking” or dual OCXO operating at 45.1584Mhz, 49.152Mhz or handpicked resistors yadayadayada whatever they called it… I know it’s hard to believe but when the moment I hook it up, the sound stage, the transparency, the vocals, smoothness, bass, cleanliness, low noise level (by the way I’m using ropiee room bridge raspberry pi as streamer, connected to the denafrips Iris DDC), the warmness the transients… Goes from 0 to 101% better in an instant.
The connections goes from the Raspberry pi ropiee usb to iris DDC, followed by i²S to the terminator 2 with 2 x BNC external clock connectors between the iris and terminator 2, and the terminator 2 to my Accuphase E5000 integrated Amp. Am pairing it with my Polk L800 SDA, now with the SDA, it will reveals how good or bad the source recording is, using the Terminator 2 with it, the digital glares is like gone FOREVER, if it’s a good recording, you will know it’s good, and if not, just skip to the next song
When the source/sing is from a good recording, the bass will be deep, clean, full and strong, the mids will sound dense and full compared to all DAC I’ve ever owned. There will be more tactile, the paced, rhythm and timing are way more improved than the Ares 2. The midrange, esp vocal songs, so sweet sounding, juicy and grabs the soul without any listening fatigue. Playing Jazz or musical songs has never been more enjoyable since you won’t get tired of listening.
Ok enough of the descriptions. I believe there are even better DACs out there in your personal opinions that I’ve not yet tried, and I’m just sharing what I feel in my setup.
I’ve hence sold off the iris DDC and is awaiting for the newest streamer with internal clocking (just like the DDC), named “Arce”, also from denafrips. Hope by having a “proper” streamer compared to using the raspberry Pi ropiee, it will bring my stereo listening to another level.
So what’s the DAC you’ve owned before, and currently own, and what’s your opinion about it? Do share your views.