Buying tips for a DAC

Hello everyone!

I am currently using Ropieee and am now looking for a DAC to connect to USB.

I want to read DSD and PCM files (32/384 minimum).

I have a budget of about 1500€.

What do you recommend as a DAC? I don’t need volume (100% DAC usage) or display.

Ideally I would like it to appear in the list of devices officially recognized by Roon.

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In your budget with 32/384, the RME ADI-2-DAC is a great contender.


Thanks, it’s a option :slight_smile:

But i prefer DAC present in this list :

What’s your amp? Perhaps a HAT for the Raspberry is all you need?

Atoll IN300, i used Ropieee with Allo Digione a the beginning, but USB is necessary for DSD … si i switch to USB connection :slight_smile:

I can vouch for Aqua…however even a second hand La Scala Mk2 Optologic is above your stated budget.

Keep a look out though, you might get one at a good price. I think they are £6200 new. I got a used one for £2500.

Looking at that list, Antipodes don’t do standalone DACs


Not all the devices in that list are DACs.

To have this kind of display (for example) :

OK, not much of a reason to select a DAC, IMHO.
Most people look for some sort of sonic quality, but I guess there’s enough in that list to give you a choice.

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The priority remains the sound :wink:

Topping DAC, chord Qutest, Atoll DAC200 are good choices ?

Chord Qutest. fullstop! :slight_smile:



Also, maybe something from Pro-ject?

Nowadays there are two kinds of mainstream high quality DACs. The first uses ESS Sabre 9038PRO chipsets with a revealing and very outspoken presence. The second kind uses AKM (4493) 4497 (and 4499) chipset with a more coherent - less edgy/metalic - Velvet Sound. Both chipsets are loved by enthousiasts. I advise you to be aware what your preference is. And even important: check if the DAC is internally fully balanced with two chipsets available (although the comparable inexpensive Topping D90 has only one AKM 4499 (with 4 channels internally) with good reviews), and at least two 3 pin XLR output to connect to the headphone/power amp. And last but not least, the DAC should fit within the characteristic of the other components of your system; this means, try different kinds in your system.

Topping products looks very well and have awesome specs, but what about sound quality ?

Dunno, I use an iFi Pro DSD DAC. A little out of your wanted price range, but not by much.

I just gave you some links to help you decide.

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And I thank you!

But these purely technical tests which are very interesting don’t give any information about the sound quality.

Thank your for adding these excellent reviews. I own a Topping D70 dac. It is excellent within its budget category. Nowadays the Topping D90 is top model by Topping. This Topping D90 has only one AKM 4499 chipset. This chipset has four channels for a balanced circuit. Probably this circuit is balanced with two channels available for left and right, but in theory it is not fully balanced with two separate chipsets. The review shows that with two chipsets the heat production of both chipsets would be to much for this kind of housing.

Compared with Marantz HD-DAC1 and Sennheiser HDVD 800 the Topping D70 is far better. I think the Topping D70 is still state of art in the price category between € 500 and € 600 (to be exceeded by the Topping D90, but I have not listened to the latter).

Thanks ! I prefer 2x Mono like DX7 ou D70 than D90 …

but it’s just my opinion :slight_smile:

Yesterday I have ordered from the Roon list: Fully balanced Teac NT-505 as Roon Endpoint (by Ethernet) upsampler and DAC (with two AKM 4497; and optional USB DAC between the NUC) to replace my Topping D70 that will serve as USB DAC between my PC and the Sennheiser HDVD 800.