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What DAC to go with Rega Elex R

Sscov

Standard Member
Hi all,

As the title says. I have the Rega Elex R and looking for a DAC to pair it up.

Is it worth buying a used Rega DAC as I have s good deal on one of them for less than half the original price (not the newer DAC-R tho). Or maybe a topping d50 or something similar for around the same money .

I'll be mainly streaming music from my phone so I'll have to buy a streamer as well. I'm also thinking if I should go with DAC + streaming in one box solution so I have to deal with lesser no of things .


Please share your thoughts/unit recommendations.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Rega DACs are well regarded and there should be some synergy with the Elex. I've run several different DACs to my Elicit, not stand alones though, and it has taken them all in it's stride.
 

Mr Broon

Active Member
I stream to my Elex via Bluesound node 2i. Sounds great - but even better when node connected via my Chord Mojo. I have thought about a Qutest but really happy with Mojo. Fact that it is not mains powered has never bothered me. Prior to Node 2i I was using a Chromecast Audio and this was excellent too if you want a £20-30 option to try out the streaming option. I picked up Mojo new for £300 - money well spent, and you can also use with your phone and headphones.
 

THX1138UK

Well-known Member
Hi all,

As the title says. I have the Rega Elex R and looking for a DAC to pair it up.

Is it worth buying a used Rega DAC as I have s good deal on one of them for less than half the original price (not the newer DAC-R tho). Or maybe a topping d50 or something similar for around the same money .

I'll be mainly streaming music from my phone so I'll have to buy a streamer as well. I'm also thinking if I should go with DAC + streaming in one box solution so I have to deal with lesser no of things .


Please share your thoughts/unit recommendations.

Just be aware that the original Rega DAC has some limitations on the maximum kHz that can be used when using the USB input (TOSLink does not have the same limitation). If you are streaming High-Def audio from a PC, then you need to give this some consideration. If your content is all CD quality 44.1 kHz then there are no issues.

Other than the above limitation, it's a very nice sounding DAC, and very well made. I found the moving from a Denon AVR to an Elicit-R 2 channel amplifier for music made a massive difference to sound quality, but replacing my previous DAC (DraganFly Black 1.5) with the Rega DAC made far less of a difference.

I also got a good priced-used Rega DAC - not sure I would be prepared to pay full price for one due to diminishing returns on investment.

Hope this helps,
James.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Hi

I have an Elex R. I run a topping D30 (now replaced by the E30). Sounds fine. I also have a Chord Mojo. Sounds slightly better than the topping, but not £320 different. I usualy just use the topping, or my Sonos connect. The mojo's a faff as a desktop DAC.
I have to admit, I find the differences between DAC sound quality to be far smaller than some of the price differences suggest.
It's your lovely amp that making the biggest difference!
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Hi all,

As the title says. I have the Rega Elex R and looking for a DAC to pair it up.

Is it worth buying a used Rega DAC as I have s good deal on one of them for less than half the original price (not the newer DAC-R tho). Or maybe a topping d50 or something similar for around the same money .

I'll be mainly streaming music from my phone so I'll have to buy a streamer as well. I'm also thinking if I should go with DAC + streaming in one box solution so I have to deal with lesser no of things .


Please share your thoughts/unit recommendations.

You don’t mention what the dac is for.

Is it only to provide de-coding for a streamer for files sent by your phone?

And will you be using a streaming service, or files stored on your phone?
 

Sscov

Standard Member
Thanks all for the replies.

The DAC will be used for decoding files sent by phone, youtube and possibly form Tidal in future.
 

Sscov

Standard Member
I have an Elex R. I run a topping D30 (now replaced by the E30). Sounds fine. I also have a Chord Mojo. Sounds slightly better than the topping, but not £320 different.

That's interesting. What kind of difference did you hear between the D30 and Mojo?
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
The DAC will be used for decoding files sent by phone, youtube and possibly form Tidal in future.
If your phone is your primary source, you might be better off with a streamer. The obvious options would be a Yamaha WXAD-10 if on a budget. A Node 2i if feeling a bit more flush (On sale at RS i think).

Re the difference between the Topping and the Mojo, I'm back from a break tomorrow. If you don't mind waiting a day or two, I'll set up an A/B and refresh my ears. I doubt much.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
If you don't mind manufacturer refurbished, this is a corker. DAC with loads of inputs and a streamer. Not that much more for brand new:
 

Celestion44

Active Member
I currently run a Rega Brio (I appreciate this is a step down from the Elex) and I've recently purchased a Schiit Modi 3 DAC. It sounds fine to me (in fact, much more than fine) - connected to a Raspberry Pi streamer.
My logic for buying entry level in the Schiit range is that there seems to be a ready market for used DACS and when I'm ready to take the next step (if I ever am!), then I really shouldn't have too much trouble selling on with only a minimal loss.
In the meantime, I'm very much enjoying listening to what it can do.
 

Sscov

Standard Member
I'm actually thinking of getting an RME ADI-2 DAC FS thinking it will stop me wanting to read all these reviews reg DACs.

I also like the EQ that it comes with. But I see that it is also a headphone amplifier which I will not be using. Is it still of great value as a DAC?

Any thoughts on that?
 

NifkinFZ6

Active Member
If you don't mind manufacturer refurbished, this is a corker. DAC with loads of inputs and a streamer. Not that much more for brand new:
I second this. I use this as my streaming source in my main system, and the master for multi-room streaming. It sounds excellent. I think some people are a bit snobby about it because it's cheap and it's Yamaha, but I compared it to a few other DACs at twice the price and it's just as good, but with more versatility.
 

Vagrant

Novice Member
Hi All, not sure if this thread is still live but if so hoping I might get some advice?

I am running an audiolab 8200cdq through an old (clamshell) Rega Brio at the moment and looking to ugrade to a new Elex R.

But the audiolab is currently working as a pre-amp as well as dac on the Brio because I can't see a way of running it just as a DAC.

If I upgrade to the Elex I would like to enjoy the full Rega sound, but am worried the audiolab will 'take over' the preamp section of the Elex. Is there any way to stop that happening? Doesn't seem worth paying on an Elex if I am not able to enjoy it's preamp section.

Of course I may be very dumb and just misunderstand how I should be connecting these up!

Any advice on whether the above is possible and, if so, how I run teh connections would be great.

many thanks!
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Audiolab 8200CDQ User Instructions (Page 10 of 24) | ManualsLib - page 10.

@Vagrant - You can set the output of the 8200cdq to fixed output mode, plug the outputs into a line level input e.g. cd/tuner/aux on your amp, then the amp controls volume and your 8200cdq is going through the preamp stage in the amp which gives you most of the amp character. Connect other analogue sources directly to the amp, only digital sources to the 8200cdq.

Hope this helps.
 

Vagrant

Novice Member
Audiolab 8200CDQ User Instructions (Page 10 of 24) | ManualsLib - page 10.

@Vagrant - You can set the output of the 8200cdq to fixed output mode, plug the outputs into a line level input e.g. cd/tuner/aux on your amp, then the amp controls volume and your 8200cdq is going through the preamp stage in the amp which gives you most of the amp character. Connect other analogue sources directly to the amp, only digital sources to the 8200cdq.

Hope this helps.
Hi Ugg10 - thanks for that! But it won't let me adjust the output - remains as 'Adjustable'. I am guessing maybe it is over-riding me because the old Brio doesn't have 'gain control'?

Or perhaps I have it connected wrong. If I connect it from the audiolab's unbalanced analouge outputs to the Line In, then it works very nicely but I can adjust the volume via the rega, audiolab or chromecast - so I can guessing it is using the audiolabs pre-amp (as I say, it won't shift of 'adjustable' on the output display.

I tried connecting from the audiolab unbalanced analogues outputs to the Aux on the rega, but that won't play/no sound.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
From the manual it looks like you have to turn it off and then back on holding one of the buttons down, have you tried what it says in the manual?

However, in effect you have 2 preamps working in series and probably will even if you set it to fixed volume mode. So long as you have the audiolab connected via it outputs (balanced or unbalanced) into one of the rega line inputs you will be going through the rega preamp.
 

Mindhead1

Standard Member
Hi all,

As the title says. I have the Rega Elex R and looking for a DAC to pair it up.

Is it worth buying a used Rega DAC as I have s good deal on one of them for less than half the original price (not the newer DAC-R tho). Or maybe a topping d50 or something similar for around the same money .

I'll be mainly streaming music from my phone so I'll have to buy a streamer as well. I'm also thinking if I should go with DAC + streaming in one box solution so I have to deal with lesser no of things .


Please share your thoughts/unit recommendations.
I’m not sure what your budget is, but I’m a big fan of the Chromecast Audio (CCA) and a decent DAC setup for streaming. Something like a Modi 3 or E30 should do the trick. I’m assuming you don’t have a need for greater than CD quality sound (MQA, DSD, etc).

I run a CCA into an Aune X1S DAC connected to my Yamaha as301 and it sounds great. I also run a CCA into an AudioEngine D1 that feeds my Darkvoice tube amp with great results. From a source perspective I have a hard time believing I’ll achieve better sound quality from other streamers without a significant upgrade to the rest of my gear.
 
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Vagrant

Novice Member
From the manual it looks like you have to turn it off and then back on holding one of the buttons down, have you tried what it says in the manual?

However, in effect you have 2 preamps working in series and probably will even if you set it to fixed volume mode. So long as you have the audiolab connected via it outputs (balanced or unbalanced) into one of the rega line inputs you will be going through the rega preamp.
Hi Ugg,

Yes tried that. But given what you say about it go through the rega in any case it doesn't really matter - thanks so much for explaining this for me. Much reassured - and much appreciated!

Cheers
 

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