Looking for a new DAC to replace my Oppo 105. Don’t need a phono input. What would be the biggest improvement over my Oppo? Or is there something better? I heard the MHDT Canary might also be a good option. Budget <$1000.
Schitt Bifrost2 is getting good reviews.
Do you need balanced inputs/outputs?
Massdrop has several good quality DACs in that price range. Things really open up if you can spend a little more. A Schiit Gumby MB or PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC can be found for under $1k in the used market. With the present economic issues, some used equipment will be available at a discount.
Thanks. Good point on the economy. No I dont need balanced inputs or outputs.
I think your needs, both current and future, could help make the decision.
I have some experience with all 3 products to some degree and I am a huge fan of all 3 companies. I think they each do what they do very, very well.
That being said, if you want MQA, there’s only 1 choice (of the products you mention). If you think you might want MQA in the future, there’s only one option.
If you know you don’t want MQA (and DSD) and never will, the skies the limit.
I had an Oppo 105 I used briefly for a DAC until I could get a Brooklyn Plus. I wanted MQA and I enjoy it very much.
If Schiit made an MQA capable product, my decision would not have been so easy. They don’t, and actually the FAQ’s on the Bifrost product page talk more about what a Bifrost won’t do, but it’s based on their design principles and some very conscious decisions about what they want their products to be able to do and not to do and they work very, very well at it.
For versatility, I would (and did) go with the Mytek. I’m looking at a Bridge for another system.
On the other hand, if I want something for headphones, a pre-amp, a tube based product, or maybe their new turntable, I’m totally looking at Schiit.
@Gene Thanks. All good info.Do you the the Liberty DAC is a big enough improvement over the Oppo DAC?
Yes, I really do.
I know what an improvement the Brooklyn was over the 105, and I really liked the 105. I just knew that the DAC in the 105 was something it could do, but wasn’t it’s sole function. That, and the lack of MQA capability. And connectivity. I use the Mytek as a pre-amp and it’s DAC. And updates are simple…firmware via usb from the Mytek site.
I see now that Schiit offers updates both modular and firmware via sd microcard.
The 105 was no slouch and I have nothing at all bad to say about it. But the Mytek and Schiit have one job, they just get the job done differently. Both do it very well and I think both do it better than what’s found in the 105.
Oh, and if you get the Liberty and don’t like MQA, it’s still a very capable non- MQA DAC.
@Gene. Thanks very much for your input.
Right now I’m probably leaning towards the Canary. I never had a tube and it might be kind of cool. Although rolling my flare up my OCD.
@Larry_Gelman I hadn’t heard of the Canary until you mentioned it in this post. Sounds like an impressive unit. I dig tubes, and will be upgrading my analog system preamp to a tube unit.
Let me know what you decide to do, and if you go with the Canary, your impressions!
(Great…one more thing on my list ).
This is a hard comparison because they are all so different. Like @Gene said, if you want or think you may want MQA, then the Liberty DAC is the way to go. If you don’t need MQA then my vote if for the Bitfrost 2 or even a used Gumby as @rrwwss52 suggested. I personally like R2R DACs better than sigma-delta DACS, but you may differ. If you liked the sound of your Oppo 105, then I think you may like the Liberty DAC more than the canary DAC since the Liberty and Oppo use similar Sabre DAC chips. Have you considered the RME ADI-2 DAC fs? It retails for $1150, but you can find them new for $999. My favorite delta-sigma DAC.
I actual went with a MHDT Orchid. I ultimately decided I wanted to try something completely different from my Oppo.
About 10 hours into my new Orchid with standard tube (Western Electric 396A 2C51 D Getter JW military en route). Very impressed so far. Was using an Oppo 105 as may DAC for my Roon prior. The complete sound stage seems to have changed. Almost like listening to a live performance if that makes sense. I by passed the Oppo DAC and connected it in the Orchid via CoAx and my CD’s never sounded better. I was initially concerned that my HiRes files might not sound as detailed. Nope all sound amazing. Definitely warmer and very natural. Will report back after burn in and again after new WE396 installed. Cheers.
good choice! I really like those Philips TDA1545A chips that are used in the Canary. Glad to hear you are happy. Looking forward to hearing your impressions after the new tubes!