is the emotiva xda-1 dac worth buying? is it a good bang for the buck like my upa1
's or no?
its differential, balanced output. However, without a differential preamp and power amp down the chain that feature is less of an advantage. I'd say based on all I have read, and from listening to the XDA-1, is that, beyond the differential output, it is an average implementation for a $300 DAC. In addition, I wouldn't buy one for its USB capabilities which are sub-par in the marketplace. All that said, in a complete differential system it would be a competent performer, if not a bit outclassed by its surrounding components, and for $250 is as good as anything around $300 if USB is not to be used.
I'm getting back into audiophilic equipment. Can you recommend a turntable or three in the $600- $1400 range?
For $600 I like the Music Hall MMF-2.2 in piano black for $450 and a Pro-Ject Acryl-It platter upgrade for $129. A good, solid cartridge and adjustable VTA make it the best entry level choice.
I purchased my Pro-Ject Xpression III when they were on sale for $599 and replaced the underwhelming Sumiko Oyster with a $150 Audio Technica AT440MLa. A Pro-Ject Xpression III with a Ortofon 2M Red, Nagaoka MP-110, or even an Audio Technica 120E for $800 would be pretty nice at that price point.
The Music Hall MMF-5.1 at $875 should be a good step up from the above $800 suggestion. Although I have not heard the new Magic 3 cartridge, I see the Magic 3 is being sold separately for $350, so it could be a really good match with this table. I think it also now has a Pro-Ject 9cc tonearm which is very good at this price point. All in all, this looks like a very good value considering separately the cartridge sells for $350 and the tonearm for $770.
For $1,000 I like the Sota Moonbeam II with a Nagaoka MP-150 or Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge.
For $1,500 I like the Clearaudio Concept Turntable with the Verify Tonearm and the Concept MM cartridge. Get a 34.5" square silk bandana for $20-25 for a dust cover.
the emotiva erc 2 cd player, any good for the price?
for the price. But so are the Cambridge Audio 550C, NAD C545BEE, Music Hall CD15.2, and Marantz CD6004. It depends on one's ears which one is right. I am thoroughly satisfied with my ERC-1.