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rockoqatsi's picture
Last seen: 2 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: Apr 11 2012 - 3:18pm
DAC Ideas for ≥$1000/negotiable

Hi folks,

My current digital source is my HTPC's Lynx Two-B (originally $899). I know it as one of the best PCI soundcards out there, even though it was originally fabbed in 2001, value depreciation is almost nonexistent. It's still supported by Lynx, and is touted by a withering minority of professional and amateur sound engineers, and AV weirdos like me who stick these pro-grade cards into their toys.

But I'm curious...

I'm on the cusp of buying a new Mogami D-SUB snake for the card (which I'm sure would sound a whole lot better than the one Lynx shipped with the card) but which itself costs just over $200.

You guys out there who know your DACs, you think it's a better idea if I:

a) Sell the card (most likely for 90% of MSRP), and use that and the money I was going to spend on the new cable and get an outboard DAC.


b) Keep the card and buy the snake, and hear what I've been missing that was under my nose all these years.


rockoqatsi's picture
Last seen: 2 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: Apr 11 2012 - 3:18pm
Or a better title for this thread would be... light of the possibility that no one here has used a Lynx card (outside of Computer Audiophile), what's the best DAC out there for at or around $1000? How much money do I have to spend to outperform a pro-grade soundcard (or can most outboard DACs do this regardless of price?)

Do analog fans have a favorite DAC?

(I've read good things about non-oversampling DACs.)

mrvco's picture
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: Aug 3 2012 - 9:13pm
I think there are enough

I think there are enough DAC's in the ~$1k price range that everyone can have their own personal favorite (right now, the one that has my interest is the Rega DAC).

I haven't touched a sound card in almost a decade, but in the spirit of "You don't know what you don't know"... I'd buy the snake (search Amazon for their price) and audition some DAC's to see what you may (or may not be) missing.

jackfish's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
You can try the intriguing

Schiit Gungnir for 15 days and return it for a purchase price refund if you don't like it. Looks pretty impressive for $750 ($850 with asynchronous 24-bit/192kHz USB) anyways.

davidflas's picture
Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: Oct 31 2010 - 3:48am
Schitt Gungnir

I've had a Schitt Gungnir for about a month now, and am blown away by the sound quality it produces. I have the USB model, and have played 24/192 digital files via USB, lossless rips from CDs that I own, and even low bitrate tracks downloaded from iTunes. I have also played CDs from my Pioneer PD-65 and Onkyo DX-5700. Previously I had used the same sources with a Peachtree iDac, minus 24/192 downloads as the iDac can't decode those. The iDac is well regarded by Stereophile, landing on the class A list while it was still in production. 

In my system the Gungnir yields much more authoritative bass, not more bass, just more extended and solid. I also noticed increased air around the instruments and a larger soundstage.  Again, the differences between the iDac and the Gungnir were not subtle! Other than the sound quality improvements, I like that the Gungnir has its DACs and USB card on daughter cards, so it can be easily upgraded in the future. 

I am running the two CD players I mentioned as transports, and an Aragon 18k MKII as my preamp, I am using a pair of Emotiva UPA-1 monoblocs for amplification. My speakers are NHT Classic 3 bookshelves on a pair of Sanus stands. 

teegood64's picture
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: Feb 5 2013 - 7:09am
More Schitt...

I spent 60 days with a Cambridge DAC Magic 100 and was very dissapointed. It was, quite frankly, a loudness button. Instant bass that upon turning the volume up, became ridiculously boomy and loose. Compared to my Pro-Ject record player, which I set (volume dial) around 10 oclock for listening, the Cambridge when set at 10 oclock was seriously loud and muddled. Also, the Cambridge seemed to have limitations in the high range as well.

So I sent it back and purchased a Schitt Bifrost with USB and Uber Analog upgrade. WOW! This is nirvana! I can honestly say that I doubt I will ever replace it as it does everything I had hoped. No color. Good bass response without overpowering the rest of the music. Volume Dial around 10-11 oclock and really gives vinyl a run for its money (I only have an entry level table and cartridge with a Pro-Ject S box). Cost was about $150 more than the DAC Magic but well worth the money. The Schitt does not come with a USB cable, so have one on the ready.

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