New Dac

That’s not really the definition of a computer but if you are happy with 100% vinyl it’s fine with me.

A used Bryston BDA-1 or even 2 could be in budget. Great DACs. Transparent, precise. Tonally balanced. No pre-function, so you’d need a pre.

Just for interest. I bought a Mytek Brooklyn+ based on reviews (dangerous, I know) and didn’t get on with it at all. Found it completely lifeless. I used the pre function, and not as a standalone DAC, so maybe that was the problem. One thing that was interesting was the ability to change from analogue to digital volume control…and I found the digital my preferred. I didn’t think I’d hear much difference, but it was there for sure.

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I use a Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA). It’s an excellent and very unassuming DAC, in that is not in your face at all. It has the ESS Lab ES9038 Pro chip. It supports DSD up to DSD512 over all inputs, not just USB. It has three low-jitter Crystek clocks and seven selectable PCM filters. To drive inefficient active speakers, there’s even a +18dB gain mode.

I have tried it in Pre mode direct into my Sugden amp using the balanced outputs but I prefer it in DAC mode. Well worth a listen if you can.

I too am not a fan of the pre-amp on the Mytek Brooklyn+. I use it simply as a DAC in my second system with a separate pre-amp. Used in this way, I found it to be marginally better (for my ears & taste) than the Chord Hugo (Mk 1) that I had previously used in this system. A very close call.

However, if I was looking for a DAC at a relatively reasonable price point right now (up to say £5,000), then my choice would probably be the HoloAudio May.

I too was keen on the Holo Audio May, but it’s something I would definitely need to demo, and I don’t think there is availability in the UK. Try a Bryston BDA-3 if you can. It’s a brilliant DAC. I’m a Bryston fan anyway, but I think most listeners would be surprised just how good it is.

Denfrips Terminator


I use an Auralic Aeries G1. It’s not a noisy computer.

I’m not 100% sure what @anon56221831 meant by this either, but if they’re talking about noise generated on USB then there will always inevitably be noise. Computers are noisy. This noise is reduced through various trickery depending on the DAC. Also, reclockers such as the Innuos Phoenix help.

Then a Vega G1 would be a visual match. Sounds pretty good to my ears, too, though Vega G2.1 would be even better. :grinning:


There are all sorts of jittery/noise issues connecting the streamer output to a DAC, which are discussed elsewhere in this forum and other places.

Also the quality of the streamer output, I know people are saying bit is bit, but there is clocking info which plays a crucial role in the SQ.

There are two clocks. One running on the streamer, which decides how quickly to send buffers out over the network, and another running in the DAC, which actually drives the digital-analog-conversion process. So the sender (the streamer) and the receiver (the DAC) have to somehow resolve this mismatch in the rate of data flowing.

To make long story short, whether your streamer is an Auralic Aeries G1 or Mac Mini or a Roon Nucleus, you are dealing with more or less the same set of issues, except that some solutions are better than others.

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I have a nDAC with power supply. I’ve tried a number of new DACs to try to find something ‘better’ and have had no luck. From a Benchmark DAC3 to a Bryston to a Denafrips, the nDAC has been ‘better’ to my ears (and in a non-Naim system no less).

So I’d suggest considering that. I have heard DACs that better it, but they’re in dCS/Linn Klimax Organik price territory.


Which Bryston?
Which Denafrips?

I have a Chord Mscaler. I’m going to purchase whatever becomes available first. Right now both the Hugo TT2 and the Dave are on back order. If the Dave is available first I’ll loan myself some $$$ and sell the Mscaler (and expensive pair of BNC cables ) to help fund it. If the TT2 becomes available then I’ll buy that and use it with my Mscaler, which I had planned for and for which I have $$$ for in my secret Hifi cash slush fund. :smiling_imp: Either scenario should sound great.


Yep. Agree with all of this

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Not sure what point you’re making? Picking 2 Chord DACs: Hugo (H1 I don’t know about H2) is very susceptible to RF noise on its feed, and if a noisy computer (and for all I know also a less noisy one, to some extent) an isolator is needed to stop the noise which otherwise has a very noticeable effect on the analogue audio output.On the other hand Dave has been built to have extremely high rejection of RF, and can be fed from a normal computer without major effect. Less noisy computer sources may sound better, but any differences are marginal.

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What’s an H1? There is a HUGO TT2, and a DAVE . And what’s the deal with noisy computers. The Auralic’s USB output has its own separate Femto Clock, and well I’ll quote
Auralic here:

The second generation of our ActiveUSB provides more than just asynchronous control over USB data for enhanced accuracy and precise re-clocking to reduce jitter. It also bypasses the USB power stream, using its own Purer-Power linear power supply instead. That means dirty USB power — and the EMI noise that comes along with it — is kept as far from the music as possible.

Not sure why the fixation on Computers except that yes I agree they are noisy and that’s why dedicated streamers sound better. And FYI if I could afford to I’d keep the Mscaler to use in front of a Dave.

Sorry, I was using shorthand to distinguish between Hugo Mk 1 & Hugo Mk 2

In my case was only using the term ‘computers’ because it was relevant to the post to which I was responding. The rendering stage of streamers is of course a computer, and good ones are likely to be optimised to minimise noise - as are dedicated products such as Innuos and Melco (and others). Meanwhile the point I was making is that different DACs can vary greatly in their susceptibility to noise on their input signal, which in turn will have a vast influence on the the degree of difference between different source devices.

Right, you are correct in highlighting one of the issues, from the point of view of a layman’s personal experiences, that I have been trying to convey without getting into the nitty-gritty technical details.

Some people here also trying to argue that a streamer is not a computer. :slight_smile:

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Streamers are computers in a broad sense of things. So are Turntables with servo and specialized power supplies. Naim Snacko has chips, Dac’s , most amps, Naim Statement has tons of chips Suppose we could call anything with chips a computer but I think that’s very far off the mark. My Car has lots of chips, it’s not a computer.