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What DAC are you using? [message #94869] Tue, 07 December 2021 07:55 Go to next message
alexg is currently offline  alexg
Messages: 17
Registered: June 2019
Chancellor
Hi,

Still chipping away at my Four Pi build. I actually had a chance to get into my shop and mess around with my router and DIY Router guide. After a few test runs, think I have a solid plan for recessing the wave guides. Unfortunately, basketball season has begun and due to a shortage of coaches I am now signed up to coach my oldest son's 3rd & 4th grade team as well as my younger son's 1st & 2nd grade team. So, a completed pair of Four Pi Speakers are not in my immediate future.

I am in the market for a new DAC. Just curious what people are using in their Pi set ups and if anyone has a solid DAC recommendation for me?

Does anyone have experience with the Denafrips Ares II? What about one of the Topping or SMSL offerings?

My current DAC is a small unit from a company called HiFiMeDIY that uses a Sabre 9018 Chip. It is USB powered from my computer. I am looking to upgrade to something that has balanced outputs and its own internal power supply.

Thanks,
Alex
Re: What DAC are you using? [message #94906 is a reply to message #94869] Sun, 12 December 2021 11:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kingfish is currently offline  Kingfish
Messages: 517
Registered: November 2012
Illuminati (1st Degree)
Maybe try the Schiit Bifrost 2. I think it has what you're looking for and is easy to upgrade when you want/need to.

I use Dragonfly, but it sounds you want something different.
Re: What DAC are you using? [message #94919 is a reply to message #94869] Tue, 14 December 2021 22:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tom-m is currently offline  tom-m
Messages: 56
Registered: December 2009
Location: Texas
Baron
I have recently upgraded my DAC. I now have a Denafrips Pontus II. I also purchased a Denafrips Hermes DDC. The DDC does FIFO buffering and reclocking via the Precision Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillator OCXO. This eliminates the jitter to negligible level. Then the digital signal is sent to the Pontus. Both of these make a difference for the better in my system. My digital path looks like this:

Roon > over LAN > ultraRendu > USB to Hermes > I2S HDMI > Pontus.

I love how the digital sounds. I don't see how it could get much better. Different yes, but better would be hard. It is outstanding!

I think going to the Ares II would be a big jump up for you. I would recommend it.

Another DAC I have read good things about is the ifi NEO iDSD. It has balanced outputs as do the Denafrips. It is also a preamp. I have not heard the NEO iDSD, but has good reviews and not too pricey at about $800.

https://ifi-audio.com/products/neo-idsd/

tom
Re: What DAC are you using? [message #94992 is a reply to message #94919] Fri, 24 December 2021 10:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
alexg is currently offline  alexg
Messages: 17
Registered: June 2019
Chancellor
Kingfish and Tom-m. Thank you for your recommendations. I ended up going with the Denafrips Ares II. Unit arrived on Wed. I will try and get it set up within the next couple of days.

I hope everyone has a good weekend! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Alex
Re: What DAC are you using? [message #95018 is a reply to message #94869] Fri, 31 December 2021 12:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tom-m is currently offline  tom-m
Messages: 56
Registered: December 2009
Location: Texas
Baron
Hi Alex,
How do you like the Ares so far?
Re: What DAC are you using? [message #95145 is a reply to message #95018] Fri, 28 January 2022 13:39 Go to previous message
alexg is currently offline  alexg
Messages: 17
Registered: June 2019
Chancellor
Sorry for the delay. Finally got around to setting it up. Been listening for the last week or so. Trying a couple of different configurations with the various filters (sharp, flat, OS, and NOS) and inputs (USB and COAX).

My initial impression is that it smooths out the edges.

I will report back.
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