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why are DACs so unpopular??

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by rockhopper, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. rockhopper

    rockhopper
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    After reading a bit about DACs, I can't understand why they are so unavailable to buy?? Am I just looking in the wrong places online?? I know a lot of internet hifi companies, but none of them sell DACs :confused:

    From what I have read, I can get pretty much £1k worth of sound quality from a £150 DAC. So obviously I want one!

    Can anybody please recommend any DACs that are available anywhere for around £150?? I am gettomg sick of looking and am tempted to go for a dedicated CD player instead.

    Please dont get technical as I know nothing at all whatsoever about DACs, all I want is to spend my money on the best sound quality I can get :)

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    There are actually agood number of DACs around,from DIY through to several thousand pounds,so there's something for every pocket.

    In the lower priced brackets,you could either look at used DACs,or perhaps something like the Cambridge DacMagic,which offers good performance for the price.

    Moving up a litle,some of the MF Dacs can be had at decent prices second hand,but you may get better advice from someone like CJROSS who no doubt will add something later!
     
  3. Knightshade

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    Here it is again: Ebay item number: 5792271809
    Or slightly dearer but probably (?) better: 7532561486

    Good NOS dacs that aren't going to break the bank and will do exactly what they say on the tin. With or without modification. Quite like the look of the Derek Shek one myself.....

    Couple of DAC 64s on there as well. Seems a lot of people are parting with them these days..... Ah Well, Hey Ho...
     
  4. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    You do still get lots of DACs secondhand (and DIY models) - as suggested, try a search on fleabay. You could also post a wanted ad in the classifieds on these forums or here (http://www.hifiwigwam.com/forum5/) or here (http://forum.hifichoice.co.uk/viewforum.php?f=5) - I got my Meridian DAC by posting a wanted ad, and actually had a couple of offers to choose between...

    There do seem to be fewer budget DACs being sold new (in retail outlets) nowadays. No idea why - so many people own DVD players now you'd think there'd be more of a call for them :confused: Anyway, as there's no moving parts like transports in a DAC they're a pretty safe secondhand buy :D In terms DACs to look out for, I've used a Cambridge Dacmagic 2 mk 2 (similar to, but v slightly upgraded from, the 2i) and can second that recommendation. You also often see Meridian DACs around the £100 mark - one of these might be worth looking out for...

    Jon
     
  5. rockhopper

    rockhopper
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    Thanks for the replies folks,

    as for the NOS DAC from Derek Shek, I have actually contacted him twice now asking for info on the NOS DAC, the first reply I got was Mr Shek trying to sell me his own DAC, with no info at all on the NOS DAC, which I asked for. I replied asking again for info on the NOS DAC, but I have not had a reply??? Maybe he's stopped doing them??? Would have been nice to know either way.

    I did a search for the Dacmagic, but cant seem to find much - I'll keep looking though for a while, and I will also keep looking on eBay for 2nd hand models (or new).

    Thanks again..
     
  6. BUGANNA

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    >>>TDA1543 Non-Oversampling Tube DAC-> Digital Renaissance

    WOW !

    just look at the price of this dac - anything like this, at a dealer, would cost at least 3 times as much, by the time u cost in taxes, dealer margins, advertising etc etc

    looks excellent, but how does it sound ?

    also, the use of non metal cases, is not a good idea, u want a metal case, to block out RF, and other electrical nasties

    a clear case of ( pun intended ! ) style over function..............

    yes, Cambridge dac is very hard to beat, at any price...........if u can find out, 2nd hand, dont think twice, the spec on this item is riduculous, for such a small price ( 3 PSUs, gold plated circuit board (!) - BNC balanced outputs, standard outputs, optical in / out, pass through, co-ax in / out, and designed by Pink triangle - all this for £ 150 new !!!!! thats the deal of the decade

    those were the good ole days, when Cambridge were making a name for themselves ( after Richer bought the brand name )

    no such amazing bargains any more from this brand.............

    the Cambridge dac, is 95% as good, as our Audio Note Dac 0.....and that cost £ 700.......

    the cambridge, is still worth £ 250, in terms of 2nd hand value - Im pricing it like a £ 500-600 dac , which is the performance it offers

    u can get one for £ 100 or so, if u can find one ( I have 2 of these, and would not consider selling either of them for less than £ 250 ! this is NOT a sales pitch, merely highlighting how good this thing is )

    look on ebay, surely one must be on at sometime !

    agreed, MF dacs should be very good too, but cost a good bit more, and personally, I find the small case a bit silly, considering the price...........

    if u can find a Dac-O for £ 300 buy it - tremendous value at that price ( 2nd hand of course )

    good luck !

    I can also say, Ive never heard a CDP with a dac I found of high end quality.........Im sure there are some out there, but nothing under £ 1,000 for sure
     
  7. phalaris

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    Yeah we're in the same boat..

    I had a tight budget and plenty of info from the internet. Not a good idea when you're going around shopping for hifi. The hifi dealer's perfect customer is somebody with a BIG budget and a SMALL amount of info to control his spending. I was anything but a perfect customer. I asked SO many questions that the entire shop (Peats) actually knows me now. Even sellers that don't specialise in hifi there know me. And like I said in a previous thread I actually got laughed at twice for mentioning DACs (once in the Yamaha shop).

    Now to answer your question: I think the reason DACs are so unpopular is the reason that you unwittingly stated already. You can get a £1000 setup from a £150 DAC. Hifi dealers don't like that. They want people with an entry level budge buying entry level equipment and then coming back for an upgrade. And because hifi dealers are so unanimously against even discussing DACs with me I think that can explain why the majority of the public don't know what they are.
    Most people buying hifi don't have as tight a budget as I had and don't spend as much time on the net as I do. Therefore they go to a shop, ask the dealer and probably buy something the same day.
    Everyone's happy so there's no need for them..
     
  8. BUGANNA

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    hmmm, not exactly true, as if the quality was the same, it wouldnt be priced at £ 150 as a standalone dac, but more like £ 5-600

    in the same way, thatu can get £ 50 cdp and £ 1000 ones

    u would think there would be the same logic applied to Dacs ?

    its probably more the case, that with a CDP, the cd laser / tray etc, will fail after so long, so u need to replace the whole thing - with another expensive cdp, if u want good quality

    if u had a good dac, all u would need, is to replace the cdp with any cheap one, or even a dvd player

    I think the dealers look forward to this turn over of older CDPs..............

    :devil:
     
  9. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Not sure that always applies...I've not found any of my local dealers have any sort of problem discussing DACs,and in many cases manufacturers they dont stock,but have experience of.

    I think it comes down to the individual dealer,but when confronted with a reasonably knowledgeable punter,most will try to provide you with what you want from their stock.
     
  10. BUGANNA

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    funny u mention that.....

    i used to work in a hi fi dealer many many years ago, and we were told to check what stock items were in, every morning, and to push the sale of those items only !
     
  11. phalaris

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    It was just speculation based on my personal experiences in the country I live in (Ireland)..
     
  12. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Dac's aren't gone but they have evolved a bit. The old "black box with lights on the front" has pretty much disappeared from sale. However there are an increasing number of "digital pre-amps" appearing that offer a twist on the old straight DAC. By the same token the old Toshiba SD9500 battleship and the forthcoming Cambridge 740C carry digital inputs to act as a DAC to other components in a stack.
     
  13. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    DACs with inputs (analogue and digital) and volume control seem to be way forward if they are at beer money / DIY end.
     
  14. alechodgson

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    I've been wondering this for a while. Does anyone out there have experience with a 'budget' DAC like the Cambridge Audio DACmagic? Will this improve a budget player like the Marantz CD6000ose and the like?
     
  15. BUGANNA

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    yup - dacmagic is virtually unbeatable at any price......
     

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