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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2013
    Location
    Western NY.
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    792

    Good cheap dac................................

    Hi Sharks
    I'm in the market for a good dac and I don't want to spend more than $500. This will be used strictly in a headphone system.

    I've already researched a few and they are:

    Micromega MyDac $369.00
    Musical Fidelity v90 $299.95
    Schiit Bifrost $349.00 or 419.00 for the uber analog
    Cambridge audio dacmagic 100 $299.00

    USB connectivity is not important.

    All four have gotten stellar reviews with the Micromega being named The Absolute Sound budget component of the year.

    The only nitpick I have with the Micromega is the case is made from plastic. Robert Harley says this is not a concern.

    If anyone has any other suggestions, or comments on the ones I've listed I would greatly appreciate it
    Bob

    Heroes don't wear capes, they wear dogtags.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2013
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    25,868

    Re: Good cheap dac................................

    Bob - the Schiit BiFrost I think would be your best bet. It really sounds MUCH better than its price point.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2013
    Location
    Texas
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    638

    Re: Good cheap dac................................

    I've owned both the schiit and the micromega. The schiit does sound excellent and the build quality is unbelievable for the money, however....like the sound of the micromega more. The micromega looks and feels kinda cheap and plastic-y, especially compared to the schiit, but the sound quality is exceptional. Unless you prefer a warm rich tubey sounding DAC, I'd recommend the micromega.
    Aurender N100H Music Server => Devialet 400 => PMC Fact 12 => Nordost Cables => Torus Power

  4. #4
    Member
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    May 2014
    Location
    Tempe, AZ
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    71

    Re: Good cheap dac................................

    Quote Originally Posted by Toobs View Post

    Micromega MyDac $369.00

    USB connectivity is not important.

    The only nitpick I have with the Micromega is the case is made from plastic. Robert Harley says this is not a concern.
    If anyone has any other suggestions, or comments on the ones I've listed I would greatly appreciate it
    I certainly don't have the experience (or the high end gear) as most of the members here, but I've had the Micromega in my listening system for about two years. I believe that it is NOT the weakest link in my system and has performed flawlessly.

    This may not matter to you, but the best feature it has, to me, is the ability to switch between 3 digital inputs. I have it connected to the laptop (USB), disc player (coax), and TV (optical). I can leave the integrated set to one input and all I have to do is turn it on, select the input on the MyDac and hit Play on my selected device. I like stupid simple.

    The plastic case doesn't bother me too much except that the piece is so light. With four heavy cables connected to the back it feels as if the tail is wagging the dog, but their weight does seem to anchor it a little.

    Dwight

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2014
    Location
    Palm Coast, FL 'The Hammock'
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    Re: Good cheap dac................................

    Don't forget ifi Audio micro | iFi Audio

    Not bad sounding dacs for under $500
    Chris

    (2 Chl): Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE Lumin D1, VPI Classic 1, Manley Chinook, Dynavector DV20x2L.exaSound e32 mk11, Marantz SA11S2. ( computer) Win7, Synology DS413 NAS ,Vincent SP-331MKII , Quicksilver LS,Vapor Audio Breeze, Rythmik F12se. Cables: Acoustic Zen, DL Labs, Blue Jean.. ,Bryston BCD-1,Timbernation Rack,

  6. #6

    Re: Good cheap dac................................

    Bob...you may want to consider this Marantz Headphone amp/DAC: Marantz HD-DAC1 DAC/Headphone Amp at Music Direct

    It's got Coax/Optical/USB inputs. One idea is you can sell your Burson headphone amp and still have money left over to buy this Marantz headphone amp/DAC. You can use the cd3t into it and if down the road you want to use a PC/server/streaming source, it's USB input will accommodate that and the USB will also support up to 2X DSD.

    Just a thought. If you want to stick with your amp and spend under $500 on stand-alone DAC as your original question, I think you have covered most of the DACs that have coax/optical and AES/EBU connections
    Cyril
    Speakers/Amp/Preamp: Thiel CS2.4 / ARC Ref 110 / ARC Ref 3
    Sources: Basis 2001/Graham2.2/Nagra BPS/Benz Micro Glider SL, Dynavector 20X2-L, ARC CD7, Oppo BDP-83 SE
    Cables/Power/Other: Nordost Heimdall ICs, SCs / Shunyata Hydra 8, Shunyata Python Helix PC / VPI 16.5, HRS Nimbus isolation system

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    East Bay, California
    Posts
    14

    Re: Good cheap dac................................

    Check out this review of the Musical Paradise MP-D1
    Musical Paradise MP-D1 DAC. The world?s best DAC under $1,000? | Wall Of Sound

    Also a used MHDT Paradisea would come in under budget
    Craig

    JMR Twin Sigs or Klipsch RP600m, Allo DigiOne, Schiit Modi Multibit

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    N. California
    Posts
    4

    Re: Good cheap dac................................

    I've had both the Micromega and V90 in my system and would favor the V90.

  9. #9

    Re: Good cheap dac................................

    Quote Originally Posted by Mortsnets View Post
    Check out this review of the Musical Paradise MP-D1
    Musical Paradise MP-D1 DAC. The world?s best DAC under $1,000? | Wall Of Sound
    I second the vote for the Musical Paradise DAC

    AudioReview.ca - Musical Paradise MP-D1 DAC

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    USA , NYC
    Posts
    410

    Re: Good cheap dac................................

    Quote Originally Posted by Toobs View Post
    Hi Sharks
    I'm in the market for a good dac and I don't want to spend more than $500. This will be used strictly in a headphone system.

    I've already researched a few and they are:

    Micromega MyDac $369.00
    Musical Fidelity v90 $299.95
    Schiit Bifrost $349.00 or 419.00 for the uber analog
    Cambridge audio dacmagic 100 $299.00

    USB connectivity is not important.

    All four have gotten stellar reviews with the Micromega being named The Absolute Sound budget component of the year.

    The only nitpick I have with the Micromega is the case is made from plastic. Robert Harley says this is not a concern.

    If anyone has any other suggestions, or comments on the ones I've listed I would greatly appreciate it

    Buy a a ifi dsd micro. Not nano micro. It's really good DSd. It has a pretty good amp and a whole bunch of SW,s that tailor sound to. Your liking. It's porible but can be used as desk top. It works with many devices , iPhones , androids and cpu,s. It's pcm is good too but the sweet spot is DSd for me. It's cheap but works well. al

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Good cheap dac................................

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