Jun 27, 2019


A bit of a noob question, Is their any trade off in sound having the DAC built in to the 'SDAC' over the stand alone 'Cavalli Tube Hybrid'? I have a 'FiiO X5' I no longer use, would that work fine as the DAC in the chain with the 'Cavalli Tube Hybrid' ? or am I better off with the 'SDAC' I hope this all makes sense. Cheers in advance for any help.

Hi Chamelion, I own the MCTH and SDAC unit, and i would like to highlight a few potential issues with sources. Many people do not realise the importance of the quality of the source. If I hook up the SDAC to my laptop with the supplied micro usb cable it souds like crap. This is because of interference on the motherboard of the laptop causing jitter and noise in the power supplied to the SDAC. The SDAC takes its power and digital information from the source over the cable. If I switch to the HiFimeDIY Sabre 9018 and connect that to the MCTH I get much improved results. This is because of its superior power filtering and jitter rejection. If I play music from my LG G6 the quality improves again but not as much. Units such as your Fiio are specifically designed with electrical isolation and quality of digital feed in mind. You will probably be better off using that, even if your digital source doesnt suffer from noise or jitter, which, if its a Windows laptop, is unlikely. God bless
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Hello again, I didn't know you can use the FiiO X5 as a DAC! Does it have a digital input? It is not a device I am familiar with. Have you done this before? The Airtist DAC is excellent. IF you have a good source then it will be far better than your FiiO I imagine (If I was to guess). It comes down to the source as I have no confidence in your PC. Can you tell me a bit more about this PC? I'm just not sure if it could serve as a music source. If not, Just get a Schiit Wyrd or Eitr depending on the digital inputs of your DAC. (THX AAA is an amp, not a DAC...)
Thanks for all the info. The FiiO is a temp until the Airist Audio R-2R DAC arrives. The Pc is a Windows 10, i7 16GB ram 1tb ssd, with a 4tb Sata drive holding FLAC files.
I prefer separate components whenever possible as it gives me flexibility to change out a piece of my signal chain without having unused sections of my components or being "forced" to change another aspect because they were combined with the piece I was looking to change. Were it me I would go with the X5 + CTH as the built in SDAC is limited to 96kHz and no DSD. I also don't like my analog and digital components to share the same power supply/housing if I can avoid it. Caveat: I'm a bit biased towards separate components, "all-in-one" units were not very high quality when I started out in this hobby and I don't have a spouse to take issue with the number of "boxes" I have in my system.
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Could be a really nice set IMO, as long as you don't need a second output on your DAC/balanced outs that Airist R2R appears to be a solid value.
Pulled the pin and purchased the R2-R
Anyone?????? Moderator even
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Well, those cans deserve a nice nos tube in the cth...