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  1. #1

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    Default Halide Design DAC warning.

    Hey Guys,

    I've been into finding a good DAC lately. To do this, I located a great sounding affordable reference and moved my way up in search of high-end sound at a great value.

    My great sounding affordable DAC was the Audioengine D2. Very musical and pleasant DAC.

    Then I moved to the Schiit Gungir w/USB, which was a big step up in the bass department and incredibly musical after breakin.

    Shortly after screwing around with the Gungir, I heard about the Halide Design HD DAC. I ordered one thinking it might actually sound better than the Gungir for less. I wish I could tell you that I made an extensive comparison of both DACs, but I never received the HD DAC. Halide charged by CC, but never sent a confirmation, failed to respond to six emails and never answered their phone even when I was in their own country for work! Needless to say, I had my CC company void the charge and I moved on.

    Recently, I spoke to Drew Baird of Moon Audio, a dealer for Halide Design. He indicated that his customers have orders from three months ago and that other dealers are experiencing the same delays. Halide can't handle the demand for their DAC (and is obviously doing nothing to get a handle on the issue).

    Moving forward, I recently purchased a Perfect Wave DAC MKII from Underwood HiFi for $2580 to compare against the Gungir. I know this may not be a fiar ocmparison but I feel the Gungir makes very pretty digital. I personally think it may be a good point where most people would start counting the diminishing returns. The PWD MKII arrives tomorrow.

    Conclusion: Halide Design probably makes a great sounding DAC as many reviews claim, but their communication is terrible. If you can't get a company to talk to you when you want to give them money, how can you ever expect them to support the product after the fact.


  2. #2

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    I'm looking forward to your review of the Schiit vs the PWD. I was tempted at first with DACs to buy a PWD but ended up starting down the chain and moving up as well.

    and I figured for the price you didn't get the bridge included as well correct?
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  3. #3

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    How does your Apogee Duet 2 stack up against other DAC's you've owned? I remember you posting that it was incredible at $500 several months ago.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the heads up. Sorry to hear about what you had to go through. Glad to hear you sorted it out and got your money back. The Perfect Wave must sound awesome. Congrats on the new purchase.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
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  5. #5

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    any thoughts about trying Musical Fidelity or Bryson?

  6. #6

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    Hey,

    I haven't had the Apogee around for a while so I couldn't make a direct comparison, plus my gear has changed in general since the Apogee. If I were to be buying $500 DACs right now. I' wouldn't even consider the Apogee. Digital is changing so fast now that a two-year old DAC that costs $500 is likely to be blown away by a DAC of the same price with current tech. This same reason is why I opted to not buy a W4S DAC II.

    As far as a formal review btw, the Gungir and the PWD MKII, don't expect anything extensive. I've learned over the years that it is more fun to listen to music than write about it.

    I haven't considered MF. I owned the Bryston BCD-1. It was a great player, but a little on the cool side. I do however have plans to check out he BDA-2 when time and money permits.

  7. #7

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    When you purchased the ps audio mk2 did it come with the metal case instead of plastic ?

  8. #8

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    I didn't know it ever came with plastic?

    Mine appears to be metal with a very shiny top. Not sure.

    By the way, out of the box, this thing in NativeX mode destroys the Gungir. I'm really impressed and it is not even broken in yet. I normally don't get wowed by PSA products, but this thing is sick.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    By the way, out of the box, this thing in NativeX mode destroys the Gungir. I'm really impressed and it is not even broken in yet. I normally don't get wowed by PSA products, but this thing is sick.

    Hows those "diminishing returns" working out for ya ? LOL !! Just bustin' your balls Mike, glad your diggin it. Was looking at the nuwave dac, I guess a company on Audiogon is selling them with mods for 1g. Has the native mode too but not sure what it does.

    Lampizator dacs might be up your alley too, each hand made. Suppose to be a "come to Jesus" dac by those who use one. Seriously, I'm with ya on the diminishing returns thing, but then a piece comes along where you throw that thought out the window along with your wallet. Isn't this hobby fun ?

  10. #10

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    Not surprised to see the PSA best the Schiit since its 3x the price. The real question is how it performs against other $2600 DACs, or how the cheaper ps dac performs against the Schiit.
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  11. #11

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    Yep, the Nuwave dac is the better comparison, agreed.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Yep, the Nuwave dac is the better comparison, agreed.
    True but what is amazing is how much great digital can be had for an entry level price. The gunfire is still about 75 percent of the PSA PWD MKII.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    Hey Guys,

    I've been into finding a good DAC lately. To do this, I located a great sounding affordable reference and moved my way up in search of high-end sound at a great value.

    My great sounding affordable DAC was the Audioengine D2. Very musical and pleasant DAC.

    Then I moved to the Schiit Gungir w/USB, which was a big step up in the bass department and incredibly musical after breakin.

    Shortly after screwing around with the Gungir, I heard about the Halide Design HD DAC. I ordered one thinking it might actually sound better than the Gungir for less. I wish I could tell you that I made an extensive comparison of both DACs, but I never received the HD DAC. Halide charged by CC, but never sent a confirmation, failed to respond to six emails and never answered their phone even when I was in their own country for work! Needless to say, I had my CC company void the charge and I moved on.

    Recently, I spoke to Drew Baird of Moon Audio, a dealer for Halide Design. He indicated that his customers have orders from three months ago and that other dealers are experiencing the same delays. Halide can't handle the demand for their DAC (and is obviously doing nothing to get a handle on the issue).

    Moving forward, I recently purchased a Perfect Wave DAC MKII from Underwood HiFi for $2580 to compare against the Gungir. I know this may not be a fiar ocmparison but I feel the Gungir makes very pretty digital. I personally think it may be a good point where most people would start counting the diminishing returns. The PWD MKII arrives tomorrow.

    Conclusion: Halide Design probably makes a great sounding DAC as many reviews claim, but their communication is terrible. If you can't get a company to talk to you when you want to give them money, how can you ever expect them to support the product after the fact.

    I have 0 tolerance for these kinds of things. If a company can't call you back within 24 to 48 hours , I take my business elsewhere. I don't care how good the product might be , no service no business from me. To many other great companies out there to put up with ANY kind of stuff.
    Last edited by Kenneth Swauger; 02-10-2013 at 05:23 PM.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    True but what is amazing is how much great digital can be had for an entry level price. The gunfire is still about 75 percent of the PSA PWD MKII.
    I'll take your word on that Mike, but to your point, where do you start counting the diminishing returns ? Given your own example, you spent roughly 1500 more on a dac but gained 25% only in SQ. Not knocking you in anyway for it pal, I'd probably do the same thing. I guess the answer to that is it's all different for each of us as to what point you start counting coin spent against the gain in SQ. Seems to me anyway, the higher up the ladder you go, the more you have to spend and the gains become smaller. Just sayin' is all. Looking forward to a more indepth opinion on the sound of the PSA dac. BTW- was does the native mode do anyway ? I'm assuming it doesn't upsample and takes the signal at the bitrate it receives ?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    I'll take your word on that Mike, but to your point, where do you start counting the diminishing returns ? Given your own example, you spent roughly 1500 more on a dac but gained 25% only in SQ. Not knocking you in anyway for it pal, I'd probably do the same thing. I guess the answer to that is it's all different for each of us as to what point you start counting coin spent against the gain in SQ. Seems to me anyway, the higher up the ladder you go, the more you have to spend and the gains become smaller. Just sayin' is all. Looking forward to a more indepth opinion on the sound of the PSA dac. BTW- was does the native mode do anyway ? I'm assuming it doesn't upsample and takes the signal at the bitrate it receives ?
    Ha no I get it. I see how this could easily take on the tone of a cable debate, but I guess I'm thinking, for most people with speakers that the average audiophile can afford, the Gungir will offer more than enough resolution and musicality. If you have some Magicos, then you'd probably not be reaching the true musical capability of the speaker. In the case of the Magicos, given the caliber of speaker, the Gungir might seem only to offer 50% of the performance that the PWD MKII can.

    It's definitely a moving target. I think you start counting the diminishing returns based on all your other gear. If you have $3K in speakers then a $1k DAC can probably give you all you need, but if you have $100k, then chances are a $1k DAC won't be doing the speakers justice . . . and so on and so forth for all gear you introduce into your system.

  16. #16

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    Makes sense big guy, good way of putting it. For me anyway, I prefer musicality over detail. I'm interested in your thoughts on the musicality of the PSA, and hopeing the nuwave dac has the same musicality. Hard to track down a store with the nuwave to get an ear on it.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Makes sense big guy, good way of putting it. For me anyway, I prefer musicality over detail. I'm interested in your thoughts on the musicality of the PSA, and hopeing the nuwave dac has the same musicality. Hard to track down a store with the nuwave to get an ear on it.
    Put it this way, in terms of musicality, I like my PSA PWD MKII better than my Prism Orpheus. Take that to the bank because it is a serious compliment.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    I'll take your word on that Mike, but to your point, where do you start counting the diminishing returns ? Given your own example, you spent roughly 1500 more on a dac but gained 25% only in SQ. Not knocking you in anyway for it pal, I'd probably do the same thing. I guess the answer to that is it's all different for each of us as to what point you start counting coin spent against the gain in SQ. Seems to me anyway, the higher up the ladder you go, the more you have to spend and the gains become smaller. Just sayin' is all. Looking forward to a more indepth opinion on the sound of the PSA dac. BTW- was does the native mode do anyway ? I'm assuming it doesn't upsample and takes the signal at the bitrate it receives ?
    Only 25%???....Wow, IMO 25% is huge. People pay a lot more than that for much lesser gains in SQ.
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  19. #19

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    Folks, just curious. Anyone made a comparison of the Gungnir dac vs the Burson conductor? you seem very knowledgeable with this kind of gear.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by high_def View Post
    Folks, just curious. Anyone made a comparison of the Gungnir dac vs the Burson conductor? you seem very knowledgeable with this kind of gear.
    The Burson is fairly new so comparisons may have to wait a tad. The more appropriate comparison to the Gungnir would probably be Burson's Dac 160 stand alone. The conductor is a pre, head amp, and dac, an improved version of the HA160.

    From what I can tell, the Burson will have a more organic analog sound while the Gungnir will exceed at detail retrieval.

  21. #21

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    I'm looking forward to trying these:

    Anedio D2 http://www.anedio.com/index.php/product/d2_overview

    BMC Audio PureDAC http://www.audiostream.com/content/bmc-pure-dac

    and the new Schitt Reference DAC whenever it arrives.

  22. #22

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    audio advisor shows the Halide in stock as a demo unit

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