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Thread: External dac?

  1. #21
    Senior Member Heuer's Avatar
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    Hey, I paid a small fortune for it!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dvz2...ature=emb_logo

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heuer View Post
    I am very tempted by the Chord Qutest DAC as there is credible and quantifiable technology in it to separate it from other DAC chips but it does cost ú1,200. It should be your starting point when looking at an external DAC for your Touch as anything less is probably going to disappoint.
    After the dust of the expectancy bias settled I heard no difference between the SBT+Qutest and SBT+Quad USB DAC.
    Tonight I will make one SBT stock and compare it to SBT+Qutest.
    Last edited by Zombie; 2021-02-22 at 11:07.

  3. #23
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    Schitt BiFrost

    On my main touch system I use feed the digital audio to an Oppo BDP105D.

    On another system I have a touch with a Schitt BiFrost DAC (with "analog upgrade"). I think it's about 6 years old and was about $450 USD. I know that it has been superseded since. The difference between the touch DAC and the schitt is night and day (to me) when I A/B then through an Arcam analog amp. I'm not versed with the audiophile lingo, but the music seems clearer and more detailed, almost like you can hear subtle things through the schitt that you can't through the touch. It's a bit brighter too, but not overly.

    It's really a nice $500 DAC IMO, and a reasonable companion to a touch.

    As an aside, A while back, I decided to A/B the DAC in the schitt with the DAC in the Oppo, and I really couldn't tell the difference. The Oppo 105 was about a $700 analog upgrade over the 103.

  4. #24
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    I love the sound from my old (Slimdevices!) Squeezebox 3 coupled to an external Arcam irDAC. With a bit of luck you still might find a used one somewhere (e.g. here); the irDAC and its successor irDAC II have both been discontinued.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie View Post
    After the dust of the expectancy bias settled I heard no difference between the SBT+Qutest and SBT+Quad USB DAC.
    Tonight I will make one SBT stock and compare it to SBT+Qutest.
    I had a Chord Hugo (1) on loan for a while and IMO it sounded noticeably sparklier than my then Naim Supernait built-in DAC, which also sounded slightly murkier and weightier than the Mytek DAC I wound up actually buying afterwards and which I still have (a very small difference that one, and one that may not survive longer comparison, presumably because they both were based off the same ESS DAC chipset).

    I think the Hugo measures a lot better stereo separation than the Supernait dac at high frequency for a start, so that's not just my brain tricking me into hearing things. So there you go ; DACs do seem to sound different.

    And more to the point, the SBT is more than up to delivering very very high end sound!
    --
    Hardware: 3x Touch, 1x Radio, 2x Receivers, 1 HP Microserver NAS with Debian+LMS 7.9.0
    Music: ~1300 CDs, as 450 GB of 16/44k FLACs. No less than 3x 24/44k albums..

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmatt View Post
    I had a Chord Hugo (1) on loan for a while and IMO it sounded noticeably sparklier than my then Naim Supernait built-in DAC, which also sounded slightly murkier and weightier than the Mytek DAC I wound up actually buying afterwards and which I still have (a very small difference that one, and one that may not survive longer comparison, presumably because they both were based off the same ESS DAC chipset).

    I think the Hugo measures a lot better stereo separation than the Supernait dac at high frequency for a start, so that's not just my brain tricking me into hearing things. So there you go ; DACs do seem to sound different.

    And more to the point, the SBT is more than up to delivering very very high end sound!
    I had a Musical Fidelity V-Dac for many years until I changed to a Topping E30 late last year. There is nothing in the test results from Audio Science Review that would suggest they should sound different as although the V-Dac has poorer results than the E30 the differences should be inaudible. Yet I am pretty sure they do sound different. If I turn the amp to maximum volume with nothing playing there is noticeably less noise from the E30 but at normal levels it wouldn't be noticeable. This impression is not based on blind volume matched tests just general observations from playing familiar tracks. I did also change from a Touch connected via Coax to a piCorePlayer connected via USB but I also tried the Touch into the E30 using both USB and Coax and couldn't tell the difference. My main reason to try the E30 was to try asynchronous USB connection and the change from Touch to Pi was purely because I had an issue where the DAC would fall silent if the sampling rate changed and only recovered if I toggled inputs. That was obviously going to be a PITA so the Pi took over with the added bonus of being able to play DSD files natively.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

  7. #27
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    I think so. And personally I avoid the word "better" when comparing, because that's not what I actually mean anyway. I might prefer one over the other, but that's a preference, it's not a measured analysis...
    I am totally sold on the in-some-circles-uncomfortable fact that the digital data is immutable and reproducibly perfect, but the analogue domain is still a mess of options and tweaks that do make small differences, some of which you might like, some you might not.
    --
    Hardware: 3x Touch, 1x Radio, 2x Receivers, 1 HP Microserver NAS with Debian+LMS 7.9.0
    Music: ~1300 CDs, as 450 GB of 16/44k FLACs. No less than 3x 24/44k albums..

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