Dec 2, 2018398 views

Stand-alone Balanced DAC

Is there a reason it's so difficult to find a balanced DAC that isn't bundled with an amp? I don't want to pay for an amplifier when all I need is the DAC section, but the SMSL SU-8 is about all I can find that isn't ridiculously priced. Does anyone have suggestions at $300 or less?

Geshelli labs
Why not dx7s?
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I just wish they'd separate them, I hate paying for things I don't need.
imo the cleaner output is worth it, especially with the current massdrop prices being more proportional
Honestly, the SU-8 is your best bet. They just updated the model to "V2" and resolved some previous issues and it is measuring a bit better than before. They're also dropping in price as I picked mine up from Amazon for $199 a couple of days ago. So far, paired with the THX 789 and using with the Elex and Elegia, I can definitely tell a difference going balanced over normally using my iFi nano BL. I haven't really played with many of the filters and things yet and the volume control seems a bit odd at times, but for the cost, I am more than pleasantly surprised at how much I like this unit. I don't have a ton of experience with Chinese brands outside of Fiio or DITA but SMSL so far has left a good impression on me.
Why does it have to be balanced? Get yourself a good unbalanced dac rather than a crappy balanced one. The really good ones are over the 300 range, I would spring for a modi multibit or the r2r airist sold here first.
The multibit is a horrid DAC, the Modi measures better in every way, as does the Grace SDAC I'm using currently.
SDAC balanced
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To add another alternative, I've been happy with my XLR cable for HD650 from -- order wait time is currenty kinda long, but the cable is top notch and the price seems good.
Whelp, I now have the 1990's, t60rp's, and nighthawks on the way. Hard not to abuse the Amazon christmas return policy. Let's hope the Amiron's, t60's, or nighthawks are my favorite...really don't want to spend the $600 on the 1990's.