Free Shipping on All Orders 1-866-764-1801

Vist our Online Store
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    New York, LI
    Posts
    426

    Default Dac choices for 2ch B&W.

    My 2ch setup is using the Sonos for the Pre-amp. Sonos sounds good but I know it could sound better.
    I am between two DACs and want to pull the trigger on one of them next month.

    Because of my space I have narrowed my choices down to two slim and affordable DACs.

    One DAC is the Rotel rdd-1580 : http://www.theabsolutesound.com/arti...log-converter/
    Its normally 800 bucks but I get it for $400.

    Another DAC is the Emotiva XDA-2: https://emotiva.com/products/dacs/xda-2
    This guy is under 300 bucks.

    I have zero experience with either of these units and would like some feedback from the polk community.

    Sources will be the Sonos only. Turn table and CD player are sources on my Sonos system.
    2CH Setup.
    CM9
    Sonos Pre-Amp
    Crestron CNAMPX16x60 (Bridge Mode)
    MIT AVT2 Interconnects

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    499

    Default

    Was going to recommend Peachtree Dac-it, 11steve had one for sale in the FM, but he finally sold it on ebay. (was a steal of a deal)

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    New York, LI
    Posts
    426

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by voltz View Post
    Was going to recommend Peachtree Dac-it, 11steve had one for sale in the FM, but he finally sold it on ebay. (was a steal of a deal)
    More choices!
    I will look into this unit. Has the Sonos on the homepage.

    (bryston: Dual 32Bit AKM DAC's)- the DAC I want but cant afford this year.

    Rotel: Wolfson WM8740
    Emo: Analog Devices AD1955 multi-bit delta-sigma
    Dac it: Sabre 9023
    Last edited by RamZet; 06-21-2014 at 01:49 PM.
    2CH Setup.
    CM9
    Sonos Pre-Amp
    Crestron CNAMPX16x60 (Bridge Mode)
    MIT AVT2 Interconnects

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    17,126

    Default

    Depends on your budget. If your looking around 500 bucks, the Musical Fidelity M1 comes to mind. Given your gear, I would suspect a warmer sounding dac is in order ? I picked up a used Cary Xciter for 6 bones for my Sonos and couldn't be happier.

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Brownsburg, Indiana
    Posts
    9,710

    Default

    Eh, throw out a suggestion for the Cambridge Audio DacMagic. Dont plan on moving this baby along anytime soon. Its soo good I am back working on my cabling as the rest of my sources are locked down.
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

    Lessons cost money, good ones cost LOTS - Tony Beets

    HT: APC H15 | Pio 51FD | Uverse | Xbox 360 | Squeezebox Classic | Integra DTR 5.9 | Carver AV-705x & M1.0t MKII Opt002 | LSi 15 | LSiC | LSi F/x | Kimber Hero IC & 8VS SC

    Office: Win 7 -> DacMagic w/ Pangea PSU | DIY Pass BOSOZ| Parasound HCA-1200ii | Polk RTA 11TL | Cables TBA

    Bedroom: Uverse | Roku 2 | Samsung LCD | SurroundBar 2000

    Sales Rating
    Gear

  6. #6

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    New York, LI
    Posts
    426

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Depends on your budget. If your looking around 500 bucks, the Musical Fidelity M1 comes to mind. Given your gear, I would suspect a warmer sounding dac is in order ? I picked up a used Cary Xciter for 6 bones for my Sonos and couldn't be happier.
    I like the chip in the M1.
    I cant locate one for 500 bucks new, they are showing up as 700-900 USD.
    I am very interested because I like the chip and I like that it would match my space.

    The Cary gear is to much for my budget USED.

    These are all good suggestions, keep them coming. I would also like to hear from people who own the gear I listed ( if there is any one).
    2CH Setup.
    CM9
    Sonos Pre-Amp
    Crestron CNAMPX16x60 (Bridge Mode)
    MIT AVT2 Interconnects

  7. #7

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    499

    Default

    Audio Advisor has the "Music Fidelity V90 for $299

    also the cambridge audio Dac magic 100 for $299

    and saw this Music Fidelity M1 DAC on Audiogon (but it ships from canada)
    http://app.audiogon.com/listings/da-...digital-canada

  8. #8

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    New York, LI
    Posts
    426

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by voltz View Post
    Audio Advisor has the "Music Fidelity V90 for $299

    also the cambridge audio Dac magic 100 for $299

    and saw this Music Fidelity M1 DAC on Audiogon (but it ships from canada)
    http://app.audiogon.com/listings/da-...digital-canada
    sweet, didnt know about Audio Advisor.

    You guys are not making this better for me. I went from 2 choices to 4...
    2CH Setup.
    CM9
    Sonos Pre-Amp
    Crestron CNAMPX16x60 (Bridge Mode)
    MIT AVT2 Interconnects

  9. #9

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    17,126

    Default

    If your looking for new, the suggestions above are pretty good. Keces makes one around 350 that's also good. You'd get more dac for your buck if you went used though.

    You have to get away from using the Sonos as a pre or it's dac, both actually, to make any headway in SQ.

  10. #10

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    New York, LI
    Posts
    426

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    If your looking for new, the suggestions above are pretty good. Keces makes one around 350 that's also good. You'd get more dac for your buck if you went used though.

    You have to get away from using the Sonos as a pre or it's dac, both actually, to make any headway in SQ.
    I only use music from my Sonos. I subscribe to Murfie lossless music server (https://www.murfie.com/landing/sonos) and play all my CDs back from that at 1440kbps.

    I have a Rotel Pre-amp ( RC-1550) but I dont see the point in using it if I only use the Sonos and I can run my Sonos through a DAC. I also dont have the space for the Pre. Visual performance has to be balance with the audio performance, this limits options for this setup. Otherwise I would just stick everything in my Middle Atlantic rack and call it a day with the biggest and ugliest equipment.

    The Sonos has digital (optical and coax) out and can sound great when combined with a DAC. The unit sounds good now but good can be better with a small/low price DAC.
    2CH Setup.
    CM9
    Sonos Pre-Amp
    Crestron CNAMPX16x60 (Bridge Mode)
    MIT AVT2 Interconnects

  11. #11

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    17,126

    Default

    Try it both ways then. Sonos to dac then analog out to the Rotel pre. Doesn't matter if your playing cd quality, the Sonos unit isn't very good acting as a pre amp. Most dacs aren't either and most who have tried even with far better dacs than your looking at will agree.

    A good dac is a must with a Sonos, but don't under estimate what a good pre also brings to the table. Just sayin' is all, I know you have budget constraints. Also, when you do get a dac, let me suggest a Blackcat digital cable to hook it up. Great sounding cable for not a lot of scratch.

  12. #12

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    New York, LI
    Posts
    426

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Try it both ways then. Sonos to dac then analog out to the Rotel pre. Doesn't matter if your playing cd quality, the Sonos unit isn't very good acting as a pre amp. Most dacs aren't either and most who have tried even with far better dacs than your looking at will agree.

    A good dac is a must with a Sonos, but don't under estimate what a good pre also brings to the table. Just sayin' is all, I know you have budget constraints. Also, when you do get a dac, let me suggest a Blackcat digital cable to hook it up. Great sounding cable for not a lot of scratch.
    I did what you said, I did a side by side comparison. I will do it again when I get the DAC.
    I am on the fence with this setup. The sonos as a Pre sounds better to me Vs. Sonos as a source with fixed volume into my Rotel RC1550.

    I will need to listen to more music ( albums i know very well ) to draw a conclusion.

    I do notice that the Rotel has a much greater volume gain but this is neither a + or - to me.

    I see you suggested a Coax Digital cable over the Optical. Any reason?
    I have a number of MIT cables, IXOS cables, and Liberty. If I go Coax is there any evidence to support solid core or stranded?

    Last edited by RamZet; 06-22-2014 at 12:07 AM.
    2CH Setup.
    CM9
    Sonos Pre-Amp
    Crestron CNAMPX16x60 (Bridge Mode)
    MIT AVT2 Interconnects

  13. #13

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    6,139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RamZet View Post
    (bryston: Dual 32Bit AKM DAC's)- the DAC I want but cant afford this year.
    For 24 hours, starting at 9:56 PM PST, I will sell you a Bryston BDA-1 for $900, including shipping.

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/Bryston-.../#.U6Zg-4C9KK0

  14. #14

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    17,126

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RamZet View Post
    I did what you said, I did a side by side comparison. I will do it again when I get the DAC.
    I am on the fence with this setup. The sonos as a Pre sounds better to me Vs. Sonos as a source with fixed volume into my Rotel RC1550.

    I will need to listen to more music ( albums i know very well ) to draw a conclusion.

    I do notice that the Rotel has a much greater volume gain but this is neither a + or - to me.

    I see you suggested a Coax Digital cable over the Optical. Any reason?
    I have a number of MIT cables, IXOS cables, and Liberty. If I go Coax is there any evidence to support solid core or stranded?

    I've been down your road with the Sonos so let me simply make suggestions is all, in the end do what sounds best to you.

    Digital coax sounds better to me over toslink. If the digital conection sounds worse to you, that only means what your connecting to isn't up to snuff, meaning the Rotel. You have to have a dac in the mix before sending it to the rotel. Most importantly, the Sonos is not bit perfect unless the volume is locked at 100% and you use another volume control such as in a pre amp. If your using the Sonos volume control, your losing bits of information at lower to mid volumes so that CD quality you think your getting, is compromised.

    Now that may not matter to you either, depends on if your looking to use the Sonos for. Simple back ground music, or are you trying to squeeze every last bit of SQ out of it.

    I have one ZP90 connected to an old Sony receiver for just back ground music out on the deck and in the kitchen. Sounds fine, connected by the analog outputs going into the receiver. The digital connection sounded worse going into the receiver which tells me the receivers dac was worse than whats in the Sonos. This may be your case too.

    Have another Cullen moded one hooked up to a Cary dac, night and day difference. Tried toslink and digital coax on that one and the digital coax was miles ahead. I use a pretty good digital coax cable too but it's only slightly better than the Blackcat, which I also owned, but the Black cat is a steal for the price....hence my suggestion.

    The one on the Cary dac runs digital coax into the dac, analog outs into my Pioneer receivers CD input set on analog bypass, into my Butler amp and on to the Legacy 20/20's. My system is used for both HT/music. Looking for a pre with HT pass thru to complete that setup but it rocks as is so I'm in no hurry on that account.

    One zp90 serves it's purpose in a simple setup for easy back ground listening, the other I wanted to replace the cdp with so SQ was of more importance. 2 different uses, 2 different approaches, 2 different results. You have nice speakers, I'd assume SQ is your goal and not easy back ground listening.

  15. #15

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    17,126

    Default

    Let me add, because I'm old and my brain works in reverse now, that as your system becomes more revealing the down side is that it will expose weaknesses in other areas of your system. Your speakers are pretty revealing so slight changes will become noticeable and other weaknesses exposed.

    For my ears anyway, never liked Rotel gear with B&W speaks. To me, those speaks need warmer sounding gear to match up well and digital music files won't do that any justice without some warmth added along the way. Musical Fidelity, Cary, would be my top 2 choices for those speakers. You'd be surprised the quality of gear you can pick up on the used markets these days too for not a lot of coin.

    Comes down to a matter of preferences too. I like a warmer musical sound with detail/dynamics and a toe tapping rhythm and speed. You may like a brighter in your face sound, I dunno man. Chase your own demons, but if your path is similar to mine, all I can do is make suggestions.

  16. #16

    Member Sales Rating: (14)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Pa
    Posts
    13,547

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by voltz View Post
    Audio Advisor has the "Music Fidelity V90 for $299

    also the cambridge audio Dac magic 100 for $299

    and saw this Music Fidelity M1 DAC on Audiogon (but it ships from canada)
    http://app.audiogon.com/listings/da-...digital-canada
    Ditto
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  17. #17

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    6,139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    For 24 hours, starting at 9:56 PM PST, I will sell you a Bryston BDA-1 for $900, including shipping.

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/Bryston-.../#.U6Zg-4C9KK0
    Deal is over. I have to quit drinking beer and trying to give away my stuff.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Similar Threads

  1. If these were your only choices?
    By wrigley in forum Electronics
    Replies: 70
    Last Post: 05-30-2011, 10:56 PM
  2. Need Help Choices, choices, choices. What would work best?
    By chboro in forum Basic Hookup/Wiring Questions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-28-2011, 11:06 AM
  3. Sub Choices..
    By fab5valentine in forum Subwoofer Hookup & Bass Management
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 05-28-2011, 06:00 AM
  4. Amp Choices
    By gguess321 in forum Car Audio & Electronics
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-25-2004, 02:56 PM
  5. DVD choices
    By DaveJo in forum Electronics
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-23-2004, 10:18 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts