List of DACs Under $450

Discussion in 'DACs' started by Netdewt, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Nightwisher

    Nightwisher Farer In The Goldilocks Zone Subscriber

    South Carolina
    I know they've already been mentioned, but the Emotiva DACs are great. I have the older XDA-1 and it sounds excellent, and according to everything I've read the XDA-2 and Stealth sound even better. My XDA-1 is built like a tank. The remote is a bit too tank-like though.
    asilker likes this.


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  2. JimLamadoo

    JimLamadoo New Member

    Back in 2014, I bought an ARCAM rDAC, recently discontinued, seemingly new, said to be a refurb, on eBay for $314, including shipping.

    It sounds great and it's hard to find a versatile DAC in this price range. At first I used the RCA S/PDIF coax input and it works great. The optical Toslink is fine.

    It gave intermittent dropout from USB when I had the 2 meter USB cable stretched out horizontally to its full length, (like an antenna).

    I added a ferrite bead to each end of the USB, but no joy. When I moved the laptop to the rack, the problem went away completely. I live in a townhouse with a lot of wifi traffic, which might have contributed. (My iPhone sees 9 other networks in my living room!)

    Everything matters; but we all knew that.
  3. zwxy

    zwxy New Member

  4. Njoy-Music

    Njoy-Music Old Time Rock & Roll Subscriber

    Tucson, AZ
    I have the iFi nano DSD and it's less 250 and is doing really well. So could you add it as well.
  5. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

    Twin Lakes, WI
    I really like this DAC.....and for the price it's a steal. I use it as a back up to my Maverick Audio Tubemagic D2, although I liked the Maverick so much I bought another one. So now I have two backups. :)
  6. JayDreamer

    JayDreamer New Member

    Chicago, IL
    I just replaced my Emotiva XDA-2 Gen 2 with Teac UD-301. I could never be happier. It was $445 including tax and it does DSD 64 and 128 as well. Man, this DAC is amazing. While XDA-2 was a really good DAC, had multiple inputs and built like a tank, I miss two inputs each of optical and co-axial in Teac UD-301 (it has only one of each) also no remote (not a big deal for me). But in SQ department Teac is much better. It is more natural sounding than XDA-2 with a precise image and much more organic while listening. The DSD is an added advantage and sounds amazing with great recordings!
  7. runnin'

    runnin' Super Member

    I found the limits of my XDA DAC as well. Now I'm looking for a small footprint DAC that I can install in the car!
  8. sev1

    sev1 New Member

    In a car, forget the DAC and get a Helix DSP or DSP-Pro, or a Mini DSP. You will get much better results.
    Nightwisher likes this.
  9. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber


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  10. pete_mac

    pete_mac Super Member

    Sydney, Australia
    True. That's in $AUD, which equates to $USD550. This still exceeds the 'under $450' threshold, so perhaps it's not so relevant to this thread. It's a cracking DAC for the dollars though! :)
  11. Jpete9

    Jpete9 Active Member

    Melbourne, Australia
  12. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

    SE Alaska
    Schiit Modi Multibit. I have had mine playing music for around 20 hours now and has really blossomed, and the detail is pretty amazing. I am comparing it to the first generation Modi. Very smooth, increased soundstage and all for around $250! Makes it the least expensive multibit DAC out there.
    matteos, Quadrunner and Nightwisher like this.
  13. afewbricks

    afewbricks Active Member

    I will plug these because they have a lot of features packed into a very small box and sound very good. Have had it tied to several different amplifiers and sources and results were always pleasing. For the most it sounds smooth and analog yet detail is put back together before it enters your preamp, or power amp if you choose to use it as stand alone pre which it is also pretty good at. Everything one would seek in a dac it does pretty well. Pictures can be deceiving but once you get to closer inspect it the fit and finish doesnt seem cheaply done at all

    Things I like about it in no particular order

    high res
    digital step volume control
    balanced and unbalanced outputs
    fit and finish
    headphone amp
    preamp capable
    5 digital inputs
    up gradable power chord
    on board power supply that doesnt cause the unit to get overly hot even while pushing the little headphone amp (that sounds good too)
  14. Tdogzthmn

    Tdogzthmn Active Member

  15. Final_Baton

    Final_Baton Member

    Sorry for the necro bump. lol

    Don't know if it's been mentionned in the thread, but I definitely give a vote to the Peachtree Audio DAC•iTx. I think it has a lovely EQ curve, with the high end rolled off a bit, and a sound on the warm-ish side. Yet plenty of clarity to be heard here.

    It has worked great with all my setups and I honestly can't ask for more as far as the "sonic signature" go. What they went with fits my tastes exceptionally well. Very nice DAC for the price IMO (got it for $275 CAD plus taxes)
  16. navcom73

    navcom73 New Member

    south central texas
    you left out my dac: pro ject pre box s2 digital. specs include, dsd up to 512 and hardware mqa, dual ess sabre 9038 chips,headphone amp,coaxal,toslink and usb. and a sub 400 price.
  17. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Having MQA would leave it off my list, even though it has decent reviews. :D


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  18. navcom73

    navcom73 New Member

    south central texas
    why the bias aganst mqa?if the feature is there ,use it or dont,but other users might like that its included.
    Condorsat and E.Auer like this.
  19. arclight73

    arclight73 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Because it's a money grab and pointless.
    kray and olderroust like this.
  20. navcom73

    navcom73 New Member

    south central texas
    i understand now,list is filtered by personal views and not what is actually offered to the public.

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