I know this has been asked in varying ways several times, but I’d like to know what anyone’s current thoughts or experiences are with an ext DAC for the SN3.
I’ve had a mini-stack of DACs in the past - ranging from Chords Mojo, 64 and QBD76, to NAD M33, Arcam IR, Chromecast and latterly a Qutest.
I’ve recently replaced the Nova with an SN3, and I currently have no ext DAC. I’d like one to run a Bluesound Vault into and the CD playback from a Marantz SACD player (leaving the SACD playback as it is, directly into SN3 analogue inputs).
My shortlist is:
A Chord Qutest (this would be the fourth time I’ve owned one!)
The RME one
A Chord Mojo 2 in desktop mode
Or a Naim DAC s/h purchase.
I assume the qbd76 is better than qutest? I have the qbd76 for nearly 5 years now and it sounds stellar with my 282/250DR and Luxman L-590AXII. This Chord is a keeper in my system. I recently bought a Luxman DAC but the qbd76 isn’t going anywhere.
I don’t play CDs through the QBD76. My source is a laptop playing FLAC through the DAC. I tried using a Krell CD player and other cheaper CD players as a transport feeding the qbd76 but the result isn’t that good. The sound quality of CD isn’t comparable to digital audio files when played through the DAC.
Based on my limited experience, I find the performance of the qbd76 to be much improved when playing FLAC files with the existing gear in my system. A USB Type A to B cable connects between the source and DAC.
Network Acoustics is the brand (Google them) and the streaming system is either amazing marketing hype & fairy dust or, as I’ve found - and many reviewers too - an astonishing little box that does wonders to your Ethernet signal. There’s a 30-day trial, so you can always send it back if you don’t like it. I doubt many return them…
HQPlayer is worth considering too, at roughly 1/6 of the cost it also gives you dozens of digital filters to try with up to 2 million taps. HQPlayer took my Qutest to sonic heights I never thought it was capable of…