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This my first new DAC since my Uber BiFrost and there is an awesome difference!
First off before we get to anything else this is so solid. I like the fact the PSU and the DAC part one unit but separated. This is a nice to to make it one unit but keep the PSU apart. Does it make a real difference, I am sure people here can make the case either way, at least to me it doesn't hurt having it apart.
As for my current set-up. I am using Emotiva 4S for my amplified speakers, I use my computer for the source which is an X299 EVGA DARK MB with an optical output. I wish I really knew which was better USB or Optical but that is a separate battle! My current Amp is a Cavelli Liquid Carbon 2, BUT I do have an THX 789 on the way eventually, November they tell me. I am using Cardas Hexlink Gold for my balanced XLRs as I got an awesome price for them, Monoprice RCA to XLR for the speaker cables with another private brand of RCA that are pretty well made. I am using a Little bear passive preamp so that I can use both at the same time, though I didn't realize at the time that the D1 can be used as a pre-amp with the remote which didn't come with the battery to test out.
I own several cans such as Senn HD600 MassXSenn HD6XX, Audeze LC2 Fazor, etc. But for my listening I mostly use my Sens either the HD600 or for my current listening HD6xx
Now what people care about, how does it sound etc. I have always wondered would I hear a REAL difference in the DACS because its all digital anyway. First, this DAC is solid as anything I have ever seen or used, it is as quiet as it can be when working etc. It is almost eerie how quiet it is, not that the Bifrost was NOT quiet it's just different.
When using my speakers, my sound is fuller and more detailed. The imaging is definitely better. I really do hear things that were not as pronounced with the Bifrost Uber. I have loved my Bifrost of 6 years or more and I have no complaints. I was super close to choosing the Schiit offereing over this but I decided this may be a better deal because EVERYBODY else is selling this for a LOT more than $850 and it has solid reviews too. I wish I had the remote to test the other modes as it has a ton of setting but it starts with everything on standard mode so I can use that a start before I play around. My LED does not light up either and that may be remote related, I have sent in a ticket to Drop and they have never let me down before so we'll see.
Others list all the music etc. but I am not a pro reviewer. As long as I hear a positive difference I know at the least I have better than what I had before. Was it worth the extra? Could I have gotten JUST about the same thing for less? Those questions are individual in nature but as for me? I am happy with my purchase and once Drop fixes my issues I will a bit happier with my purchase for now? Its fine. There is a new D2 coming out and I bet it will cost a LOT more than I just spent... But will it be better? Who knows...
Would recommend to a friend.
Which speakers do you use? Will this be any use with powered speakers like Kando TUK or AudioEngine which I understand have an in built DAC and amp?
It was buried in the review. I use the Emotiva Airmotive 4S. It seems Emotiva did away with that line of powered speakers but for the money they ARE amazing!
Thanks. I was wondering if a DAC like this is still useful to improve the performance of powered speakers which already have an inbuilt DAC?
TBH I am not sure. My powered speakers have some EQ settings but I have NEVER touched them. There is no built in DAC but as I said in my review when I switched from the Schit Bifrost UBER it sounded better to me. There really is not a way to measure better and people argue over speaker cable, power plugs etc. I use what I believe to be quality cables, connecters, power plugs etc. I am NO expert. I have now owned this DAC for awhile and I am REALLY enjoying it. I am SURE there is better, but the price of this was as high as I wanted to go. I WISH Emotiva STILL made this line of speakers and I really love them! I wish you well on your hunt. AudioEngine makes great stuff BUT at the time the Emotivas for ME were a much better buy for the money.
Thanks for the info. If you liked Emotiva’s sound signature you should give the stellar Edifier S1000DB a try.
Read good things about that too. Just wish I bought the bigger ones in this series when I could have... Didn't NEED them but... :-)
Hello sir, does your LED work now? I just got the D1 and is encountering the same issue.
Once I put the battery in the remote all went as suppose it is suppose to be. They do not supply a batter with the remote and you most definitely need the remote. Hope this helps.