DAC upgrade

compact disc, dacs, mp3 players and streaming audio
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jagermonster
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DAC upgrade

Post by jagermonster » 02 Nov 2018 21:39

Hi all,

3-4 years ago, I got a Musical Fidelity V-Dac and V power supply for $150. I'm currently using it for a headphone system and the DAC is fed by a little USB --> Digital Coax converter so that it's upsampling computer audio to 24/192.

If I capped my budget at $150 for a used DAC of some kind, is there anything that represents a significant upgrade? I'm pretty happy with the current set up but can't Help but be curious.

Thanks for your thoughts!

HEADPHONE SYSTEM
Computer USB out -->
Signstek USB/Digital Coax converter -->
Musical Fidelity V-DAC -->
Schiit Vali 2 -->
Sennheiser HD650

LD100
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Re: DAC upgrade

Post by LD100 » 09 Nov 2018 14:32

jagermonster wrote:
02 Nov 2018 21:39

3-4 years ago, I got a Musical Fidelity V-Dac and V power supply for $150.

If I capped my budget at $150 for a used DAC of some kind, is there anything that represents a significant upgrade? I'm pretty happy with the current set up but can't Help but be curious.
Personally I change/upgrade my outboard DAC about every 10 years and hear a noticeable improvement in sound quality.

I used the internal DAC for about 10 years, then bought a bel canto DAC 2 and used that for around 10 years and currently use a Bryston BDA-2 which I am very happy with. Unfortunately it is outside your budget cap, but as your musical Fidelity is only 3-4 years old, I doubt you would get much bang for the buck upgrading at this point in time. :D

terry-a
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Re: DAC upgrade

Post by terry-a » 09 Nov 2018 21:22

Were it me I'd remove the USB to Coax converter and give a listen to the USB input on the V-Dac.

I would not be surprised if it sounds better without the converter in there.

JoeE SP9
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Re: DAC upgrade

Post by JoeE SP9 » 09 Nov 2018 22:32

terry-a wrote:
09 Nov 2018 21:22
Were it me I'd remove the USB to Coax converter and give a listen to the USB input on the V-Dac.

I would not be surprised if it sounds better without the converter in there.

What he said. =D>

jagermonster
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Re: DAC upgrade

Post by jagermonster » 11 Nov 2018 01:35

Thanks, all.

I had some nice capacitors laying around that were the right size for upgrading the output section. Noticeable improvement there. I went ahead and ordered a Burson V5i op-amp, which at $40 is stupid money, but my curiosity got the better of me.

And the coax sounds better to my ears, at least at the moment, but I'll switch it around and perk my ears up. Either way, the upgrade itch seems to be scratched for a total investment of ~$40. It's actually nice to have an old piece of gear with through-hole components.

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