What’s your recommendation for a USB DAC on a budget?
Well, many like the Schiit Modi, or Modi Multibit or the new Modius. On the other hand, a lot of people like the Topping line, D30 D50, etc. And, others enjoy the Dragonfly’s Black or Cobalt or Red.
In the above paragraph there are options in the sub 100 range, sub 200 range and sub 300 range. Not knowing what you consider “budget”, I listed a range.
I was thinking sub €300 range.
Has anyone tried the
S.M.S.L Sanskrit 10th MKII AK4493
Although I havent personally heard it, the SMSL SU-8 is well reviewed and uses the ESS Saber 9038 chip which I prefer over the AKM chips used in the Sanskirit.
I like the Pro-ject Pre Box S2 Digital which uses a pair of ESS 9038’s. It’s just a hair over you budget, but if you stretch a bit…or buy used it is an option.
I’ve a D10 which has been replaced by the D10s which seems to be getting on for as good as the 30.
" At just $30 more, the E30 makes a good comparison. The E30 has a few extra features like a pre-amp section, the ability to control filters, and SPDIF inputs instead of the outputs that the D10s has. With quite a few more features, one would expect that there should be something that ended up being sacrificed with the E30. And I would assume that it might be the sound.
The 2 DAC’s from Topping utilized 2 different, but very capable DAC chips, namely the AK4493 for the E30, and the ES9038Q2M for the D10s.
With this main difference, I found that the E30 tends to be a hair more dynamic than the D10s, however the D10s is able to catch up and best the E30 when it comes to the resolution and clarity. I can hear nuances better, with the vocals, and each strum of the guitar sounds just slightly clearer with the D10s. Between the 2 DAC’s there is no clear winner, just a difference in priorities."
The opposite. I prefer the AKM chips over ESS.