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Pretty sure the 301 and 501 are the same, just a digital screen on the 501, maybe some different settings? I have the 503 and love it, but would grab up a 301 if it was dropped for a good price.
As a standalone dac the 501 is better performing than any other UD model from Teac. The 301/503/505 all have lower base SNR (16/44.1) than the others due to their outputs applying gain to achieve output because of them being setup to be preamps when not in fixed mode.
May not seem like a big deal until you compare the 301 and 501 giving XLR to a tube amp. Same voltage, but the 4V is acheived on the 501 without gain, and this affects sound quality a decent amount.
Thanks Austin. My current setup is the UD-301 connected via XLR to my Teac Ai-2000 integrated amp. http://www.teac.com/product/ai-2000/
Should I go for this 501? You think its gonna make a 'huge' difference in sound quality?
My Sony tv Bravia connected via optical, my macbook pro via usb and I also have a teac PD-301 CD player connected via coaxial... all to my ud-301
If I do go for it, I add a another problem... my PD-301 will not match the 501 : (
Never easy with TEAC.
Or wait for the UD-505/NT-505. Probably coming with MQA.
That said, the UD-501 is an amazing DAC. Especially at this price. I <3 the ever living crap out of mine.
agreed, but I'm 100% sure the price will be over 2k for this.
Not really a huge difference. It's a difference though, and fairly noticeable on tube amps. If your integrated amp requires a preamp the 501 won't do that job either, and the 301 makes a fine dac/pre if that is your needs.
no pre amp required... the teac ai2000 is a integrated amp. I wish I could test these things before buying. Always looking for 'better'. Never satisfied. The satisfaction in audio usually last about 1 week after installation for me.
You can always get it and sell it if you don't want it or need it. Or you can sell the 301. Both have good value in the hifi market and can be easily resold.
MQA isn't something I would hold out for. Meridian's last packing tech took quite some time to gain an industry foothold. MLP eventually found a home on blu ray but that wasn't it's original use. I haven't compared hi-res streaming to hi-res local files but if it's at all comparable to 4K streams vs. 4K discs the difference is noticeable.
For sure. I'd totally just get the UD-501 if I didn't have one already. I can MQA soft decode with Roon, so why bother spending $1000-$2000.
Doesn't mean I don't actively lust over gear that supports it. Even if I held out and bought something with MQA, it would most likely go into the rack as an 'it can do this, so I only use it for this' component. Unless it preforms better than the UD-501, that is. Then all bets are off.
Get both & have a shootout!
I definitely agree the 501 is an incredible value. I've set my targets on a Benchmark DAC3 (or whatever is out then) for the next DAC purchase. Going to separate my stereo and home theater systems again and the pre-amp function plus three simultaneously powered outputs fits the bill quite nicely.
Tidal Master (hi-res?) does not match local hi-res files in terms of sound... with my system anyway. I unsubscribed from Tidal, and even Spotify now cause I cannot stand the 'streaming' sound.
I had dropped tidal before MQA, you've just reaffirmed my concerns over highly packed high-res streams. If anyone else out there is a MQA skeptic this article won't help... https://www.linn.co.uk/blog/mqa-is-bad-for-music
Granted Linn has a horse in this race with not wanting to pay licensing fees but they bring up decent talking points.