DAC Fashion

edited February 2012 in Digital
My, we're fickle! Or is it just that DAC technology is moving that fast . . .

In 2011, all you could hear were people talking about the Young DAC. In 2012, we're seeing unloved Young DACs spring up for sale all over the place, and all the glittering things are drooling over the Audiolab MDAC, which you can't currently obtain for love nor money - and which I believe sold almost a thousand units in the UK alone in the past few months.

Naturally, I wish folks had rushed in quite such volume to buy the ESS Sabre chipped DAC with digital volume control, linear power supply, multiple in/outputs and 24/192 USB we were selling two years ago (I feel like Bill Gates moaning about Apple selling 'slates') . . . hey: you can't fight fashion! But is it really that much better than the Young DAC? I know that some here have swapped one for the other . . . thoughts?


  • edited March 2012
    I honestly don't know if anything out there is better than a Young for less than, say, a k.

    I've taken the view from the time I bought the Young that as I can't afford a high-end DAC for the time being, I'm going to be keeping the Young until 2013. By which time I'm hoping the Young-level market will have moved on tangibly, rather than just offering a 'matter of taste'.

    In the meantime, I've been looking elsewhere in my system for big steps forward.

    I guess that I do agree with you that there can be a fashion thing going on. Partly because many of us are box-swappers, who like having something new on their racks. Me? I've just got a massive music habit that needs feeding 
  • edited February 2012

    Hey guys.

    Didn't feel like creating a new topic so I'm posting here. Is there any good, cheaper alternative to already famous M2Tech Young DAC? I've got around 300 pounds to spend on a second hand converter.

    Quite looking forward to test that MHDT as I've got a few positive comments from people that are using it, but finding a second hand  Paradisea or Havana will be pain.


    EDIT: Crap, just found this:

    Have had the MHDT Havana DAC for quite a while. A very pleasing and musical DAC indeed. But it is beaten by the M2Tech Young DAC in every aspect. Would recommend both DAC´s. But the M2Tech Young is THE winner in a head to head contest IMO. Young is right up there with the best DAC´ s and You have to pay a lot more to get the same level of performance!!
  • edited February 2012
    I would be looking at this Emotiva for the money. Mark, (@ItemAudio - the OP), posts here very occasionally. He may be happy for you to demo the unit? Either way, I haven't ever read a bad word about it.


    BTW, just because some bloke on the internet doesn't think the MHDT DAC is as good as the Young, doesn't mean he is right! ;)  You might actually prefer it! Trust your ears, no one else's!

    Sometimes good savings can be made second hand, maybe a Lavry or similar?
  • edited February 2012
    I know, but talking about savings... I still have 1,5 year of school left, so I worked hard all weekends since October 11' and winter holidays to save money for Royds and NVA. Now I barely have any cash left after buying it, so my budget is extremely tight and any savings I could get will be a drop in the ocean... Unless I continue that pathological 7-days-a-week-busy thing.
    And I would have to borrow DACs to test which one I would like. But that still costs (shipping costs), and borrowing new DACs from shop isn't comparable with borrowing someone's DAC - new elecronics need some burn-in time to start working properly.
  • I do think there is a "flavour of the month" issue with certain products. The Young & Audiolab DACs would fall into that category.
    However I still think that the Young is a superb DAC which would take probably £2k to show it a clean pair of heels, eg a Weiss. The Audiolab may be taking its place partly due to its volume control ability as much as its SQ.
    DACs would appear to be a fast moving tech, so I'm sure there'll be more wonder products to come along in time. I'll probably be sticking with my Young for quite some time to come. Just waiting for my Avondale PS for it to be delivered.
  • I think your view is pretty much in line with mine, Matt.

    I've been having fun with other parts of my rig instead.

    Your PSU will really help the Young.
  • Yes, we seem to be in agreement re the DAC.
    Looking forward to seeing what the pwr supply does, trying not to get impatient!
  • Guys,
    At the risk of being seen as advertising my products, I'd like to point you to a JKDAC32 as a competitor to the Young. A Young DAC owner dropped by recently & we auditioned his Young DAc (with Teddy Pardo external PS) against my JKDAC32 - he left with one of my DACs :). I'll post links to his comments if it is allowed? ItemAudio has heard one of my earlier DACs, I believe & might wish to comment!

    Moderators, if this is considered too much of an advertisement for my products, please remove! 
  • All welcome!
    As long as trade members stay within reasonable limits (eg not attacking rival products / manufacturers) we welcome any info' on new kit.
    Nice to have you along.
  • As a matter of Internet there is. new Hiface ,it doesn't need drivers for Mac and Linux, I haven't heard on yet, first deliveries due this week.
  • Hi JKeny, I have read that review before - you should be very proud! It looks like you've really designed something special there.
  • That is an excellent review, John.
  • Thanks guys,
    Uglymusic asked if anything out there bettered the Young DAC for less than a K - mine costs half that so I thought I'd just post that Young DAC owner's impressions - John_Darko's review is coming soon http://www.digitalaudioreview.net.au/index.php/audio-reviews/forthcoming-reviews/item/348-john-kenny-jkdac32-pcm5102-%20-lifepo4 

    Also reviews due to be published in 6Moons, EnjoytheMusic soon.
  • It is based on a HiFace and the Twisted Pear 'buffalo' boards isn't it, I would like to hear one someday.
  • It is based on a HiFace and the Twisted Pear 'buffalo' boards isn't it, I would like to hear one someday.
    Not quiet. It is a modified Hiface Integrated with a Burr-Brown 32bit 384KHz DAC chip. I never had any product based on Twisted Pear Buffalo boards - don't know where you got that from? I have a DAC based on a ESS Sabre DAC chip  
  • edited March 2012
    Post deleted for probable link spam.

    If we're wrong, please get in touch with me or one of the other mods.
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